A true survivor if I ever met one…

IMG_3841“That’s Allan back beside Collins,” Mandy whispered in my ear this morning at a village church in Kyampisi.

I turned around and saw a nine-year-old boy talking to Collins. I immediately noticed the scar that extended from the back of his head and around the side. I began to tear up. That was Allan, the little boy who survived child sacrifice.

I’ll admit. Today was going to be rough for me. It’s the regular season opener for the Indianapolis Colts. Sundays in the US mean church, lunch, and football all afternoon. For me, here in Uganda, that’s just not possible. But instead, I found myself in Kyampisi with some of Ugandan’s most beautiful children. And there’s honestly nowhere else I’d rather have been.

The church wasn’t very big. Some were dressed in their Sunday best, while others clearly wore whatever they could find that day. Before we even sat down, a little girl grabbed my hand and walked with me to my seat. I asked her what her name was, but she didn’t speak English. That’s OK. All she needed to read was the smile on my face, and I’m hoping that showed her some love.

After church, some of our friends showed us around Kyampisi. We saw homes they were building for families who have been victims of child sacrifice, and we even got to see a house my friend Mandy did some fundraising for.

It was strange to be in Kyampisi. I have watched a few documentaries about child sacrifice in Uganda, and apparently Kyampisi is one of the biggest and worst areas for it. I’ve heard about it and read about it, but now I was finally seeing it. Kyampisi is crawling with witch doctors who are quick to tell someone, “Bring me a child sacrifice, and you will have wealth and prosperity.”

That’s what happened to Allan. He was playing with a friend one day when he was abducted. They not only castrated him, but they also took a machete to his head and neck. They cut out a part of his skull for the sacrifice. It’s literally a miracle that Allan survived.

Allan knows who did it. Everyone knows. But the man was released from police custody because of lack of evidence. This is common with child sacrifice. And that’s why it continues.

I got to meet Allan today. I got to meet his father. We went to their village home and sat in their living room. Allan was given medical treatment in Australia, and he had a photo album filled with pictures from his trip there. Allan was excited and full of life, the only sign of his tragic experience was the giant scar on his head. We also know that inside Allan is very fearful, but on the outside, he’s just a kid like any other.

Allan‘s survival was a miracle. His best friend George, who was also castrated for child sacrifice, was also a miracle. Most kids’ stories end in death.

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It was emotional to be there. Every little hand that grabbed mine (there were lots!) made me shiver as I wondered if they would be victims of child sacrifice someday. It breaks my heart to know that anyone has so much evil in them that they would kill innocent children. Not just kill them, but mutilate them, decapitate them, and then eat their organs or drink their blood. To me, humans just aren’t capable of that. Only monsters.

I hope to get more involved with Kyampisi Childcare Ministries. I hope that there’s love and hope we can bring to the families who have lost children to child sacrifice, and that there are things we can do to keep the children safe. No one, not children or their parents, should have to live in such atrocious fear.

Please pray for Kyampisi and those who work there daily to be a light for God in such a dark area of Uganda.

“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”
Isaiah 48:22

 

The tragedy you don’t even know about…

I knew people were starving.

I knew children were being forced to kill their families and become soldiers.

I knew AIDS and malaria were taking the lives of thousands and thousands of people.

I knew witchdoctors were destroying the lives and souls of the people of this beautiful continent.

What I didn’t know was that children were being sacrificed. How did I not know?

I feel like I’m pretty current on the tragedies that claim so many victims here in Uganda, but I had absolutely no idea that children, innocent and blameless children, were being sacrificed by their own communities and sometimes, their own families.

Today, some of my co-workers and I participated in a 10K to raise money and 1235116_194109344093303_1813041655_nawareness for Rose’s Journey. We even got to meet Rose, who once walked more than 50K to escape her family, a family that was active in witchcraft.

People in America don’t understand how active witchcraft is in Africa, or how dangerous it really is. It seems like worlds away when you’re in the US. It seems like something that just can’t be real, but it is real, and it’s claiming the lives of children.

One of my friends works with another organization that rescues children who are victims of witchdoctors. She told me about one little girl who was found on the brink of death in the middle of a field. A witchdoctor had cut her tongue off and she was left for dead.

Rose told us more about child sacrifice this morning before the 10K. She told us about the witchdoctors and the things they promise people who “believe.” Want to make more money? A witchdoctor might request a child sacrifice. It might be your own child, it might be someone else’s. The rest of the ritual usually involves drinking the blood of the sacrificed child or eating parts of certain organs. The results are supposed to be wealth and good health for the person who partakes.

In one national magazine, an interview with a witchdoctor revealed that they often don’t even kill the child before removing their organs for sacrifice. Instead, the children die after the extraction.

The article also revealed that members of high society sometimes use witchdoctors to get what they want. One witchdoctor said a female member of parliament came to him because she wanted to keep her seat, and in order to do so, he requested a child sacrifice and she agreed.

IMG_20130824_071605Doesn’t this all sound so unreal? Can you even believe this happens today? It makes me sick to think that the Ugandan government isn’t doing anything to stop it. There’s little the government can do against witchcraft, but you would think something could be done to stop the slaughtering of innocent children.

I know these children being sacrificed are so far away from most of you. But things like this take on an entire new meaning when it’s happening just down the road. Someone’s son, daughter, niece, nephew, brother, sister, is being sacrificed. Does it really matter how far away it is? The fact is, it’s happening.

I feel so incredibly blessed to have met Rose today and to walk for her wonderful cause. I hope to learn more about Kyampisi Childcare Ministries and what can be done to help these families who have either lost children to sacrifice or have children who need medical help after a near-sacrifice. Sometimes causes jump out at you and grab your heart so tightly that you just have to get involved.

Please join me in praying for these families and for the future of the children of Uganda.

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.””
Matthew 19:14

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Additional information on child sacrifice in Uganda:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8441813.stm

http://www.theage.com.au/world/australians-take-lead-in-fight-for-survivors-of-witch-doctors-20121228-2bz8n.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8444047.stm

http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Child+sacrifice+on+the+rise++report/-/688334/1674568/-/24ivi7/-/index.html