As we launch a new SGU website and I think of new beginnings, I am reminded again about how many times something really difficult happens before something new and life changing begins.
In 2007, before Uncle Fred’s House was opened and Saving Grace in Uganda had a name, there was a street child named Denish. He and his brother, Bonnie, had come to live on the streets after their parents were killed by Joseph Kony and the LRA. Denish had been given a few cents by someone who used the street children and treated them as slaves. One day Denish was very hungry so he went to buy a piece of bread. The bread vendor recognized him as a worthless street child and after Denish gave him the money for the bread, the vendor gave him an old dirty piece of bread. Denish insisted on a clean piece of bread which he had rightfully paid for and when the vendor refused, Denish grabbed good piece of bread and ran. The vendor ran after 11 year old Denish, grabbed a stick and beat him to death in the middle of the market. No legal action was taken against the man. The above image was taken at Denish’s funeral. There was no doubt that something had to change and the children on the streets needed protection. Just a few days later, Uncle Fred’s House was opened by a 23 year old man named Fred Ojok. The life of street children in Lira, Uganda has never been the same.
I’ve had times in my own life when the difficulties seemed hopeless and there did not seem to be a way for the circumstances to change. Despite this, the scriptures are full of examples of death eventually leading to life. Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24 . Lazurus was brought back to life after he died. The sacrificial death of Jesus has brought new life to many. Death of a vision, a marriage, a friendship, a job, even the death of a street child can lead to new beginnings.