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.
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.
of fruit, porridge, milk, toilet paper and soap. Moses told me that
toiletries are a huge need.
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!!
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.
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 was completely comfortable with
this! They all knew me now and were so excited to receive their
shading pages. We had Hello Kitty today!
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!
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.
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
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!
Moses came back with Winnie and the high school students.
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.
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.
said my good byes.
wish I could have done so much more!
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. |