We go to church at ORA (Orphans, Refugees Aid International) often and then spend time after church loving on the kids.
(singing "This Little Light of Mine")
This is Peace and her son, Levi. She leads worship and teaches the children.
All the children speak Lugbara, so it is a great place to practice our language on the first grade level where we are.
One of the kids' favorite things to do after church is climb the large mango tree on the property.
LOTS of kids like to climb it.
Can you see Kylie up in the top branches?
Here, I'm zoomed in.
Karis and Caleb also like to climb.
The trunk is rather large, so this is how the children have to get
into the tree.
Most of the orphans are pros at it.
This tree could bless these children more than being just a place to climb, but they are missing out on the best part…the fruit.
This particular tree bears so much fruit, it would be enough for all the children to eat as much as they like with still enough to give to families around the base, and STILL have hundreds to sell.
This is what the children are eating instead.
The mango has just started developing at this stage and it's very bitter, but they will climb up, pick them, throw them down to their friends, and soon, everyone is eating a very small, bitter, green mango.
It broke my heart.
Then I heard God saying, "Kathryn, you do the same thing."
"Not me, Lord. I like my food ripe and sweet."
"Kathryn, I try to bless you and I want to give you good things, but you are not patient to wait for them. You take things into your own hands, push me out, and decide that you know what is best. When you do this, you miss out on ME, and you can't be a blessing to others."
I was even more heartsick.
He is right. I'm not patient. I need to grow where I am and not wish for a quick escape. I need to rejoice in my struggles. He is stretching me through the waiting process.
"He acts for the one who waits for Him." - Isaiah 64:4
A couple of quotes from the retreat reminded me of all I still have to learn.
"God has no problems, only plans. There is no panic in heaven." - Corrie ten Boom
"I am here by God's appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for HIS time." – Andrew Murray
God wants us to trust Him one step at a time. He wants us to "outlive our lives." And He wants to not only give us good fruit, He wants us to share good fruit with others.
"I am the Vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in Me, and I in Him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing." - John 15:5