Friday, May 01, 2015

My Last Day at the UCCF and UCI

I arrived at the UCI Thursday morning and delayed heading to the UCCF because I knew I'd have to sit around for a bit. So I hung out with James for about 30 minutes.
When I arrived at the UCCF it was quite quiet. Moses greeted me and introduced me to a couple high school students who were waiting for the rest of their group. The UCCF has a campaign called 3C: Children Caring about Cancer. They go around to all the schools promoting cancer awareness, hygiene and getting children involved in helping and caring about those who have cancer. They have organized groups of high school students who rotate coming in and bringing the cancer patients needed supplies. This particular group that came in today was about 6 girls and they had bags and boxes full of supplies.
Tons of fruit, porridge, milk, toilet paper and soap. Moses told me that toiletries are a huge need.
While the girls waited, I waited. I did spend a few minutes buying t-shirts to take home, UCCF t-shirts. They were only $5 each!!
After a short time I finally told Moses that I really could do something. Maybe I could make room on a shelf for the supplies from the suitcase to go (since I needed to take it with me today anyway). So I did that. I was then told that it was very possible Becky may not be able to come in at all today because of a sick family member. So I decided to grab a coloring book and go make copies somewhere. I told Moses that I was going to make copies so that I had something prepared for the children in case Becky didn't come.
I went and asked Patrick if he knew where I could easily make copies and he said, “Sure.” He took me over to the clinic offices and Lydia (IT tech) helped me make copies.
I made 3 different pictures (15 each). I am so glad I did because when I got back to the office I was told Becky wasn't coming in. Ben said, “You know more about it up there than I do now since you've been up there 3 days.” So Moses and I headed up the hill to the UCI children's ward. He helped me get all set up and then headed back down the hill leaving me with the children!
I was completely comfortable with this! They all knew me now and were so excited to receive their shading pages. We had Hello Kitty today!
Just as I was starting to hand out crayons a woman came running from the ward, screaming and crying. She stopped right outside the doors. Right in front of me. A few other women came to her assistance and she fell to the ground, crying and shaking. People were walking by saying, “Oh, sorry.” It was completely heart wrenching. All I could tell was that she just lost her child. Moses was actually still here at this point so I asked him about it. He said she THOUGHT her child had died, but in fact he/she had not. But she did spend the next 2 hours crying and I so I was thinking that the child really doesn't have that much time left. I'm not sure what child it was so I don't know if I knew the child or not. This was very difficult to see.

The children thoroughly enjoyed the time they had for shading. I was so happy to be able to come in Becky's place to provide this time for them. There were many familiar faces and some new faces. Here is a young girl,
maybe 13 years old or so, with her niece. Her name is Prossy. She told me that this was her sisters baby, but the baby often called her mama. Her sister doesn't look much older than she does and at some point came to get the baby who became quite fussy. Prossy's nephew was the one in the cancer ward. He looked to be about 4 years old. With him so sick I'm sure Prossy helps take care of baby quite a bit!

Soon Moses came back with Winnie and the high school students.
We sent all the children to their beds to receive their gifts. Winnie asked me to help. I mostly followed along. We handed out soap, toilet paper and a bag full of fruit. Each family was so grateful.

While the children were still in their beds we cleaned up all the crayons and paper and got the chairs and mats ready to bring the TV out for the afternoon. As the children came shuffling back in they sat to watch their movie for the day.

I started to say good bye to some of them. I specifically made sure to tell Douti that I was going back to America. Abednego was sitting next to him. I described my plane ride and that I was leaving. Abednego asked me, “Can we go with you?” Heart broken I had to say, “I so wish I could take you with me but I can't.” 
This is Abednego, Douti and me.

I said my good byes. 
I wish I could have done so much more!

I want to remember these faces forever. I can't remember nor actually understand what all their names are but I will try.  Here are the children of God:

(L-R)Abednego, Sam, Thoms (in back shading), Faith and 2 young ladies (the older one was always so beautifully dressed, the younger just as lovely but the one fighting cancer)
This is Frida!  Tall and beautiful.  Always with a smile and willing to help me understand the other children.

This beautiful little girl I never heard her talk.  But she giggled to no end when I placed this "crown" on her head!

This is Mercy Grace!

This quiet little boy has Burkitts Lymphoma, a completely curable cancer.  No child here in the US would die from it.

Christine.  Quiet and lovely.  She loved to shade.  Wednesday and Thursday she was always with another little girl, Annet.  I loved the smiles they gave me when they completed their shading.

This is Sheena.  She was packed and ready to go home when I saw her Thursday!

He stole my heart, Daynese.  On Thursday he never came out to the play area.  He wasn't doing very well.  I missed his smiles.

Little Lucy.  Poor little Lucy with leukemia. Her momma said she is getting worse.

This is Peace holding baby Grace.  Holding this baby put smiles on Peace's face.  She also loved to draw.  The little girl in the yellow dress was just visiting for the day.  Her mother worked there.

This is Stephen. 

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