Truly, the most beautiful woman I know lives across the world in a small town called Jinja, which sits quietly in Uganda, Africa. This woman plays such a remarkable roll in such a LARGE piece of the story I’m about to tell you.
You see, many months ago we were supposed to travel to a place in DR Congo with Voices 4 the Voiceless. Long story short, God had other things in store, and now I know the reason why. God knew that I was meant to meet this woman, her name is Damalie. When we prepared to travel to Uganda, everything possible stood in our way. Satan was out to attack and make it impossible for us to get to this place that had been richly prayed over for the months leading up. But thankfully, I serve a God bigger than Satan! Praise God, we finally made it there. Pastor Isaac with Canaan Children’s Home had requested that we visit with a baby cottage during our time here. I immediately rolled my eyes and thought – please no! We have so much going on this week already and besides, this isn’t on the “schedule”! (yes, I am type A and struggle with that) Well, thankfully, we had a leader who said yes, we will make time to go visit this baby cottage.
So we had planned to go the morning of the 15th while there. But on the 14th, our leader mentioned going there that day instead, after all, we had some time – so we did. We traveled this baby cottage, and got up close to a small, home. Simply 4 walls, nothing fancy in anyway. To paint you a better picture, it was a very small home with 3 rooms. It had no actual ceiling, only the tin roof. Concrete floors and absolutely no toys, swings, bouncy seats or anything for the babies. Just an old concrete floor. In one of the rooms were chickens. Yes, chickens. She raises the chickens then sells them to pay her rent. In the other room were two bunk beds – and that is where the 9 babies sleep at night. Damalie has two sitters that help her during the day, and then at night, she has all of the babies by herself. There is no running water, and the babies drink goats milk. The Lord had been preparing my heart for this day – but He truly broke me when I walked into this cottage. Lord, thank you!
I knew when I walked into this cottage that the Lord had us here for a reason. More specifically, He brought Richard and I threw ups and downs and hell and back to get to this place. Uganda… Sangaalo Baby Cottage. This was why He had us here. Before we left that day, we asked Damalie what needs they might have. She said, “well maybe some baby clothes for the children.” In our heads we thought, seriously? All you’re asking for are baby clothes?!
So we walked out to our bus with our team leader and we pulled money together that we had all raised prior to leaving the states. We then asked her to come back out to the bus with us, that we had a gift for her. We handed her $1,000 which was enough to pay her rent for an entire year. (yes, $100 per month) She broke down and praised a God who is faithful, loving and kind. A loving Savior who never leaves His people, and even in the hard times, loves each of us dearly. She cried, she lifted her arms to Him and she praised Him. Not us, not our team – the ones that handed her the money. But she praised our God, the one who provided it.
If God wasn’t good enough for allowing us to witness that – just wait, there is more.
When she regained herself, she began to tell us that God had sent us. Because her rent was due the following day, the 15th, and had we not been here, and given her such a generous gift – her landlord would have kicked her and all of the babies out. And in case you have already forgotten, we were supposed to visit with her on the 15th. We all cried again. What a beautiful moment and what a trusting woman! She trusted that the Lord would provide, so much so, that she didn’t even let us know her rent was due and she needed the money. When we asked what her needs were, she never asked for our help. She trusted in her Savior for that.
After we left that day, I left with my heart full. My heart raw, exposed and broken. I knew the Lord brought us to Uganda for Damalie. For Sangaalo Baby Cottage. He wanted more from us.
And so, with an open, prayerful spirit, I prayed the rest of the time while in Uganda and continued my prayer seeking His plan for us in this. The Lord reminded me of this cottage, this woman and this need. He gave me clarity that we were to help, we were to do more, were to build this woman a baby cottage. And so, with a servant heart and trust in a God bigger than anything or anyone… I am trusting and obeying.
The Lord has called us to partner with Sangaalo Baby Cottage through our ministry, Voices 4 the Voiceless – and we are going to build her a more permeant, stable home for she and those precious babies.
Although I have no idea what I am entering into, I trust that the Lord led us there, and I trust He laid this on our hearts. Now I must trust that He can work out all of the pieces and get this woman and those babies what they need.
For now, they have some immediate needs. So I want to share them with you and if anyone would like to help, please email me through the V4V website.
• Formula (as I mentioned above, these babies are only drinking goats milk and NEED better nutrients)
• Toys (example: bumbo, bouncy seat, swing, teething toys, etc)
• Clothing (onesies, cloth diapers, etc)
Many of these are items we can purchase in country and have delivered to her there. With that being said, financial donations are much appreciated. If you or anyone you know would like to pray about how you can help, how you can bless this baby’s home, please keep them in your prayers. Please also continue to pray for us as we trust in the Lord to make the right decisions during preparation for this new home. And lastly, if you wish to support the Sangaalo Baby Cottage Project, you can visit HERE. Simply click on “Give a Voice – Donate” and when you enter the amount, you can select one time or monthly, and below that you can scroll down to Sangaalo Baby Cottage. Please help us spread the word so we can build these children a more permeant and safe home. You can also support this project by making a purchase in our shop! We have lots of beautiful pieces under “accessories” that we purchased in Uganda. Profits from those sales will also go to support the building of a new Sangaalo Babies Home.
One last thing to leave you with… I spoke with Damalie this morning on the phone, and it was so wonderful to hear her voice. I cried when she answered. Overwhelmed by this woman. She asked, is this Brantley, the one with the blonde hair? I said yes Damalie, this is Brantley. We both laughed. She still remembers me as the girl with the blonde hair. Apparently the babies all go the measles. And it spread like wildfire. She was able to take good care of them and they are all doing much better. I thank the Lord for looking out for each of these precious babies.
God bless and thank you for your prayers and continued support!
Brantley, Richard and your Voices 4 the Voiceless Team