What in the world is a “Child-Headed Household” and “Unaccompanied Minor?”
Friday 21 March
Back home in Entebbe
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The UN has a special term for them. They call them “Unaccompanied Minors.”
It means they are refugees who arrived without an adult.
They may truly be orphans. Both parents are dead and they are separated from close kin such as grandparents, uncles, aunts.
Often times they simply don’t know where their parents are.
The shooting started in the dark and everyone ran.
They became separated and have no idea of where their family is, and even if they’re alive.*
Not knowing may be the worst of all.
Then there’s the group known as “child-headed households.”**
It’s a group of family members: siblings, cousins, babies led by an older sibling.
Usually a teen, this head of the house takes on the task of keeping the family together.
A child forced to take on the role of a parent.
Amazingly, they do a great job.
Africans are amazingly resilient.
After ten days of being in over twenty cluster camps, we are exhausted.
But it’s a good kind of tired.
Pray for us as we relax, reload, recharge, reflect, and rest.
*I’ve often thought how it would be a great ministry for some stubborn Americans to move through the camps finding these children and attempting to connect them with family. Any takers?
** Ministering to the child-headed households in a camp would be a challenging but rewarding ministry.
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of the last ten days:
Where are you? We’re back home in Entebbe, Uganda. It’s time to wash clothes, write reports, debrief with our Kentucky team, and catch our breath.
What are you doing? We’re meeting with Bob and Nancy and our Kentucky team to prayerfully consider the priority projects from the three major refugee camps we’ve been in.
Why were y’all up north? We’re trying to find ministry/need gaps that our organisation (International Mission Board and its humanitarian arm, Baptist Global Relief can fill.
What’s next? Tomorrow I travel to Uganda Baptist Seminary in Jinja for graduation. One of our longtime pastor friends, Pascal N. graduates. He has been sponsored by Reggie and Tina Burnaman and Bill and Becky Calloway.
Pascal pastors Bethany Baptist Church in one of the world’s most difficult and dangerous places, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.
How can we pray?
1. Wisdom in focusing in on the most immediate and meetable needs in Adjumani Camps, Rhino Camps, and Koboko Camp.
2. Safe travel for Daizy Mae Thomas and her mother, KB. They leave for America this week!
3. Wisdom as our Chadan Engagement Team meets this week to plan, pray, and prioritise.
4. Gospel opportunities to share as we journey. It’s all about Jesus.