My phone had been pinging all day long. As I walked to my car that afternoon, I checked my messages and laughed at the group conversation my boys had been having while I was at work. Normally I loathe group texts, group conversations and the straight EVIL that is the Reply All button.
But the conversation between my boys tickled me. I struggled to translate their conversation from Acoli into English, but when I did, I saw that there were 28–yes, 28–messages about land prospects for the chicken farm, feed providers, which farmer they’ll buy the initial chicks from, etc.
There were also teasing barbs, typical brotherly ribbing. Can I just tell you how much my heart loves the teasing they do? My formerly orphaned boys tease each other like brothers do and it’s music to my ears.
I read along as their messages progressed into the evening in Uganda and when they settled down for the night and messaged a chorus of I love yous to each other, it was all I could do to scoop my puddled heart up off the floor.
Because of you, Vigilantes, my boys were starting to see that their Chicken Farm Project wasn’t just a dream.
Me? I wish I had their faith. I’d spent the previous night looking at the Chicken Farm Project donation thermometer, incredibly grateful for the $51 that had been donated, but also trying to come up with ways to make that thermometer fill up to the tippy top.
Little did I know, on that very night, as I sat trying to think of ways to make this project happen, and the following morning as my boys chattered away about all things chicken, a Vigilante woman was praying about my boys and their future chicken farm.
This woman has asked to remain anonymous, so let me tell you just a little about her. She’s a cancer survivor. She volunteers at her local hospital. She takes in foster kids. She loves with her heart wide open.
After I finished translating the 28 messages from my boys, I received this message from this Vigilante woman.
After thinking and praying about this last night and today, I have decided to send you a check for $950 to fund the chicken project. I’m impressed with the guys and their determination in coming up with an idea, a business plan, and a way to help others.”
Insert record scratch here.
I read her message again. She’d decided to fund the remainder of the ENTIRE CHICKEN FARM PROJECT.
I called her immediately and before the first ring, I was crying, snot dripping, mascara running, ugly crying. I left her a blubbering voicemail and then called my mom, who cried right along with me.
I still laugh at the whole idea of this chicken farm. Really, God? You want me, the girl who is terrified of birds, to help my boys start a chicken farm in Uganda? Chickens? Really? Of course. God’s sense of humor is obviously fully in tact.
God’s sense of compassion is also fully in tact. I know this to be true because three formerly orphaned boys have not only taken up residence in my heart, but in your hearts, too.
My boys still struggle with the residual pain of being orphaned. Of being left by parents who died too young. Of being unloved. Of being treated like dogs. Of being children left to fend for themselves on the streets. Of being unclaimed.
I sit here fighting back tears again because you, sweet Vigilantes, whether you donated a single penny or a lot of pennies, have claimed me, claimed my boys, and claimed a whole lot of chickens, too.
Thank you. Thank you so much.
Want to see something wonderful before you go?