Ugandan Street Youth Changed!

by - 1:36 AM


Hello from Masaka. The past days have been beautiful times learning from Aunt Joan, a Canadian missionary who founded Ddembe (Freedom) Home Uganda to reach and disciple Masaka street youth so they can overcome street life abuses, addictions and habits. It's the only organization here working with older street youth, empowering them in vocational training and spiritual discipleship. 

Many of them go through relapses and they also don't speak or write English well, so that makes it harder. But God is just stretching me even further in the area of discipleship and what that really means when it gets down to it. I'm so blessed to be humbled in this place and to learn what love and grace really looks like with those nobody wants to take in. Though daily challenges and constant setbacks abound, the love and mercy encountered in this ministry is just a testament of Jesus' compassion overflowing through this place. Prayer, worship and spiritual battles being fought for the lives of these young people. Love these guys and the way they've been such strong, resilient overcomers through ups and downs, relapses and new responsibilities! 




That is beautiful Mom Joan, the lady who founded Ddembe Home and who has been investing time, love, energy and prayers into these young people. She has a heart of gold. I have learnt so much from the time I'm spending here. I feel like I myself am being discipled in this home as I live with these guys and learn how to 'be with' people as Jesus came to be with the people he came to rescue. 

I've read many biographies of Christian missionaries in tough places, but right now I feel like I'm seeing it live-in-action through Mom Joan's life and her determination to receive some of the toughest young people around. She has a background in reaching youth and adults overcoming addictions such as alchohol, drug abuses, and street habits, and undergoing the recovery and rehabilitation process. The many conversations we have shared this week has truly widened my understanding of what it means to 'get down low' and to minister to youth who are seemingly broken beyond ordinary means of help. I learnt from Mom Joan that it is indeed a spiritual, unseen battle for the lives of these young people who have destinies to fulfil but who have been robbed from an early age of the opportunity to find out what these dreams, destinies and purposes are. 




But God is just stretching me even further in the area of discipleship and what that really means when it gets down to it. Its love, love, love – patience, patience, patience – the way God loves. I'm so blessed to be humbled in this place and to learn what love and grace really looks like with those nobody wants to take in (those that even the churches, hospitals and schools don't want to receive here – and it’s also difficult to find funding or support for such a ministry). It's confronting and heart-wrenching; it drives us to prayer like nothing else. It's a real spiritual warfare for the lives of these young people. The devil really wants them down and out. But love and mercy is Joan and her leaders' motto, they continue to open their hearts to these guys.

The challenges that these young people face are seemingly insurmountable, but with God, nothing is impossible. The transformation I see in these young men through their daily lives in Ddembe Home is nothing short of miraculous. Yes, there are relapses and failures and mistakes in this process, but through it all I see the thread of God's grace in this place. 

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Welcome to my wayfaring world of stories. I’m a traveling musician and music educator from Melbourne living in Kabul, Afghanistan. Join me on my quest to embrace people of peace in tough places, inspire creative education where none exists, spark conversations that challenge the status quo, and collaborate with like-minded young people to catalyze a movement of peacemaking through acts of compassion and creativity among the young and free. As a nomad at heart, my ‘home’ is wherever I journey with people on the ground and discover life on the frontiers.