My first Saturday at Compassion's Center Day I met God's beautiful gift, Giftee. She and I spent the day dancing and laughing together. Then about midday she fell asleep in my lap. I sang over her the song my mum used to sing over me, In the Garden. It stands out as one of my favorite days. Since then, Giftee runs to find me whenever she and her mom come to Victory. The day I met her mom she was very pregnant. She told me she was due in March, and because we are in a 3rd world country, she did not know if she was having a boy or a girl. I remember praying then that maybe Harriet (Gift's mom) would let me name her new baby. *Which is not impossible. Our team has given many names to babies and even to a young girl who converted to Christianity from Islam.
This Saturday I inquired to some of the Compassion staff about Harriet's condition because I had not seen her for two weeks. Turns out she had just given birth 3 days before to twin girls! I don't think I could have been more excited! I was told that the birth went very well, and that Harriet was ready to receive visitors. (Which I realize now was a funny question to ask as I found out later that after giving birth on Wednesday to twin girls, she WALKED home on Thursday with the twins in tow!) Unfortunately, I was delayed in seeing her for three more days.
Two days ago, my roommates, Carrie-Anne and Marissa, and I went walking around Lira in the hopes of finding where Giftee and her family lived, but we had also been given the task to minister in the ways Jesus did in the gospels. So, we set out praying for direction because we had NO idea where Gifteee lived.
We found ourselves in a market area we had never been to before and we were a little discouraged because we didn't know who we were supposed to talk to. Finally we just stopped on a random corner at a random shop and talked with a random yound man who runs that little stand. His name is Jasper and his music name is Greedy (We're gonna talk with him about that..haha!) He is a musician and he writes Reggae and Hip Hop songs. Gospel songs, in fact, because he loves Jesus! We asked him the location of Samaritan's Purse because we were told Giftee lived near their buidling. Turns out, it was very close to where we were. Jasper offered to take us, but we needed to return to Victory to work in the Compassion office. We promised to
That brings me to yesterday! We returned to Jasper's stand; this time with Brittany, one of our team leaders. Jasper offered again to take us to Samaritan's Purse, and this time we accepted. On the way we stopped to greet Jasper's mom. Her name is Molly and she runs another little shop/stand nearby. Get this!...As we are greeting her, she tells us, without any prompting from us, "I am the Aunt of Gift"...that's Giftee! HA! God is so amazing! Let's recap: We randomy began walking through Lira praying that we might randomly stumble upon Samaritan's Purse to find Giftee's home. Then, while discouraged, we randomly stop and talk to a random young and joyful shop owner, and it randomly turns out that he is Giftee's cousin! Really?! What are the odds?! God is SO VERY GOOD!
But just wait, this is the best part of the story. When we arrived at Giftee's home many members of her family were there. We asked Harriet what she had named the twins and she said that she had not, she was waiting for us to come and name them! In case you haven't figured it out, the names we chose are the title of this blog. When holding baby Apio (a last name given to the first-born of twins here in Uganda, and currently what we were calling baby #1) I thought only of the word joy. My teammates chose Jubilee! Naming baby Acen (same as above, only for the second born) took a little bit longer. I was thinking Grace or Peace and while holding her I was leaning towards Peace. We talked about MANY names. Finally the baby's grandmother said Peace! I was thrilled! So we put four names to Harriet for her to decide. She picked Peace! So Giftee's sisters are now called Apio Jubilee and Acen Peace. (Last names are written and spoken first in Uganda.) We all agreed Peace would be a good, hopefully prophetic name for the little one as Giftee is quite a handful and her sister's name is Jubilee. Harriet could use a little peace and quiet on occassion. Though don't underestimate her; she is African strong. When we arrived she was doing laundry. Which in Uganda means standing and bending over a bucket to wash every item by hand. Note that this was six days after giving birth to the twins.
So yesterday, I helped to name to precious baby girls! I can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store!
With great joy and peace,