All things Africa: Our day at the Michelle and Julia Hoffman Memorial Children’s Home

If you would have asked me at that moment if I thought that this was real life I would have told you NO and meant it.

If you would have asked me at that same moment if it is possible to feel your heart breaking and mending at the same time I would have shouted a resounding YES, and meant it.

If you would have asked me at that moment if it was possible to feel terribly heart-wrenching grief and the most immense joy ever–simultaneously– I would have screamed OF COURSE IT IS and meant it because that is exactly what I was feeling at that moment.

If you would have asked me in that same moment if I ever thought God’s redeeming grace could be SO GOOD, I would have shook my head in bewilderment and mumbled no, and truly meant it.

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The first building we saw when we arrived at the Michelle & Julia Hoffman Memorial Children’s Home in Njeru, Uganda. (Photo courtesy of True Impact Ministries.)

Driving up to the Michelle & Julia Hoffman Memorial Children’s Home was one of the most SURREAL moments of my life. As I had on so many days prior to this one since the crash, I felt like a bad actor in an equally bad Lifetime movie. Nothing around me seemed real, yet I knew it was. Every sight, sound, and emotion were so very real. But how could it be? How? I have yet to wrap my head around this. Maybe I never will. It was just a year ago when our family was locked into group hugs at the MSP airport welcoming Mike,  Michelle, and the kids home from another school year abroad.  And now? Just months later? We were about to spend the day at an orphanage in Uganda that was named in Michelle and Julia’s honor? How could this be real life? How could it be?

There are still days that I think that we will all wake up from this nightmare of the last year and our family will be whole again. Then? I actually wake up and realize that this IS real life. I wake up and realize that the pain and heartache of the last year are very real and there isn’t a single thing we can do to change it. Thankfully though, God’s redeeming grace is so wonderfully amazing. 

The blessings that are beginning to rise from the ashes of this nightmare are good, SO VERY GOOD. There is a beautiful little orphanage, rising up in love, that brings a hope of healing for so many. For that, I am so very grateful.

Here’s a few pictures from our day at M & J’s. . .

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Most of the 51 children that will be living at the orphanage came out to meet us when we visited. Just over half of the children have sponsors already and the rest are waiting. . .
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Enjoying some sweets!
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This little sweetie’s name is Harira. She is six-years old and is in need of a sponsor.
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Dressed in their finest and happy to have a soda. These guys were so full of life and love that day!
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The children were rather quiet and shy at first. It didn’t take long though before this beautiful place was teeming with laughter and love.
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And there was even some dancing!
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We were blessed to have the chance to meet our little sponsored guy Mayanja! 

To see some video from the opening ceremonies click here http://youtu.be/KRQN-VOWZHY and here http://youtu.be/v5ZZ1vQ18J0.

For more from our day at the orphanage you can check out the True Impact blog here–http://www.trueimpactministries.com/blog/michelle-julia-hoffman-home-day/.

You can keep up-to-date on the progress of the home by following The Michelle & Julia Hoffman Memorial Children’s Home on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/HoffmanHome and by following True Impact’s page here https://www.facebook.com/pages/True-Impact-Ministries/289875141039444.

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One thought on “All things Africa: Our day at the Michelle and Julia Hoffman Memorial Children’s Home

  1. My dear sweet friend – I absolutely abhor the life circumstances that brought us together, but I know that God’s plans are so much bigger than we can fathom.

    This, my dear one, is quite possibly the best writing you have ever done. I devoured every word – vicariously living through you. So proud of what you have accomplished!

    Love to you – walking in the shadows of your milestones – cheering you along the way! Kandy

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