After an all but sleepless night, I landed at 6:30 AM in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At noon we flew from Addis Ababa to Entebbe. The first thing that struck me was the difference in color between the two countries. Ethiopia was brown from the sky, while Entebbe was as lush and green as the Florida Keys (click for pix).
The second thing I thought of was the highjacking of an Air France airliner filled with dozens of Israelis thirty plus years ago. PLO terrorists rerouted the plane to Entebbe. Idi Amin allowed all ‘non-Zionists’ to be flown out of the country while he allowed the terrorists to hold the Israelis at the airport. The Captain, Michel Bacos, said that he could not abandon his passengers and would not leave. His entire flight crew followed suit. In a daring rescue, Israeli commandos rescued 103 hostages (Three hostages, all eight of the terrorists and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed.). Not surprisingly, Israel was criticized for the heroic rescue.
Unlike the dictator Amin, it appears that most Ugandans look favorably on Israel. After preaching, more than one Ugandan believer came up to me and asked if they could hug me because they had, “never met an Israeli.”
In the morning, Eddie, my host, took me to Baby Watoto (Bulrushes) where they take in unwanted babies. Some children are left in hospitals only hours after birth as their mothers run. Others were prematurely born and some were simply left by their parents at police stations, trash heaps and other insignificant places. Baby Watoto takes them in and begins to raise them. The atmosphere of love and affection brings life to these young rejected infants.
I walked in and found about 20 babies playing in the central area. These were the cutest babies and none of them were crying. I was taken from room to room. In each room there are about ten cribs. Five rooms in total house the babies according to their age. After a tour of the facility we returned to the main area and played with the children. Some were being fed. Eddie and his wife each grabbed a baby and started feeding. The older ones were seated at little tables and fed themselves.
None of them are fearful. They all want you to hold them and play with them. It was overwhelming.
The healing power of love is amazing. Despite at one time being rejected and even abused, these children have been restored to spiritual and physical health by the workers who love them and the dozens of visitors who are overcome with compassion and pour out affection upon them.
Once the child reaches two years old, he or she is transferred to a Watoto Village where he or she will join a ‘house’ and will stay with that house mother for many years. That mother will be as his or her mother and with the help of the community will raise the unwanted child to adulthood. Moses, their first child at Baby Watoto, has already been sent to one of the Watoto Villages.
This ministry does take volunteers and survives on donations. If you are interested in learning more, go to their website at Watoto.com.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. To see pictures of my time at Baby Watoto go to: http://gallery.mac.com/roncan/100057 and you can see a couple minutues of unprofessional and unedited video at gallery.mac.com/roncan.
Committed to the Messiah’s Mandate,