Attempt at Understanding

“street kid murdered”

12:24 AM – 8/06/14 – I checked my email, and as my eyes were drawn to the top of my inbox I found that devastating title. Instantly my stomach dropped as I felt that queasy nauseating feeling you get when you are suspended in air on a roller coaster and you don’t know when it will stop. I decided to write right after reading this email.

Thoughts and questions flooded my mind as I read a very short and vague message. Was this one of the street kids I had met in previous trips? Why didn’t someone stop the violence against this child? Will this violent act of murder ever be brought to justice?

Immediately I became overwhelmed and defensive mechanisms swarmed in my mind trying to distance my thinking from the pain. Death is impossible to grasp. Death is not gracious, comforting, natural, or relatable but rather it is ominous, despairing, desolate, foreign, and heart breaking. However, the disgusting nature of murder and death is no excuse to avoid processing. As I began to grieve over this murder rather than compartmentalizing the situation and ignoring the harsh realities, I found that allowing myself to immerse in tragic pain is ok. As humans we are meant to connect whether through joy, laughter, excitement, or through heart-wrenching pain.

I will admit I scroll through news feeds bursting with terrible information, hear countless stories full of tragedies and injustices, and see gruesome images in media without my heart skipping a beat. My heart has become so calloused and apathetic to suffering as it is incredibly disconnected. Yet this time it was different. This time it was about a community, culture, and people that I have grown to love. I had two options either I could quickly fill my mind with distractions, move on and estrange myself from the hurt, or I could let my defenses down, feel the pain, and face the unsettling reality of street life in Lira, Uganda. This was not an easy or pleasant thing to do.

God designed us to connect for a reason. Deep connections are what emotionally bonds us and drives our motivations. Embracing this pain has strongly fortified and strengthened my desire to see something change in the lives of street children in Lira, Uganda. After hearing this news I felt feelings of helplessness, torrid anger, sadness, grief, and confusion. These deep emotions now are added fuel to the fire of my motivations and to my passion of seeing street life ended and horrid injustices stopped.

I urge you to live an open life, encounter and embrace the positive and negative and allow those interactions to greater connect you with others.

Please join me in praying for the community of Lira, Uganda as a beautiful soul was taken from us.


The email:

“Yesterday night, there was night patrol by the security agent and one of the street boys was knifed using gun Benet to death that was around 10 pm and his body was taken to police station for postmortem and by midday his body was taken to their village for the burial tomorrow, no body was allow to take the pics except some journalist was allow to take pics and the funereal will be tomorrow. the body was taken with the police truck.”
Uncle Fred.