Well, that’s what happened to me with the story of children in Uganda who are orphaned by the rampant AIDS epidemic. That is still happening over there, although we don’t hear much about AIDS in this country anymore. So one Sunday the pastor at the church I attend was speaking from the Book of James. Now, you know many of us turn up our nose at the concept of “religion,” smugly saying “I’m not religious…I have a RELATIONSHIP with God,” so when he quoted James 1:27, it caught my ear. He read “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” and then he gave some examples of places in the world where the needs of orphans are the greatest.
Okay, we all know that Africa is a troubled continent, full of wars, genocide, diseases and corruption. It’s been that way for generations, and nothing I could do about it was going to change the status quo. The pastor’s message that day was quickly forgotten. Forgotten for a few days anyway, until my small group meeting where we were discussing the previous weekend’s message. One of the women in my group mentioned that she sponsors a child in Uganda – one of the places the pastor had mentioned – and that there are families of kids living on their own because both parents died of AIDS. She told us about the 12-year-old boy she sponsors, and that he has two siblings under 10, and he’s the head of the household! She said that Mosaic Vision, the non-profit that she sponsors through, was created specifically to care for these “double orphans” living in what they call “child-headed homes.”
After I went home that night I checked out Mosaic Vision’s website, and read more about AIDS in Uganda. The figures are staggering, I found out. More than 1,000,000 children in Uganda are orphans, and since most of them live in jungle or forest settings, they are totally vulnerable to being abused by any adult they meet. Those poor kids, oh my gosh! Mosaic Vision says their vision is to restore the lives of these orphans. I’m glad to know that people are caring for these kids, but I’m not sure this is something I should get involved in.