Don’t take any child for granted

“Don’t have children. For God’s sake. Don’t.” This is from the mother in Raymond Carver’s story “A Small Good Thing.” Her boy, hit by a car, is dying in the hospital. Who can blame her? Or anyone else?Years ago some friends of mine, not long married, said the same. “We’re not having children.”
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“Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.”

Once again parents are celebrating September and their kids’ return to school, and I, for one, am enjoying the new freedom to reflect more on how to be the world’s worst dad. First, this. The exasperated school principal. I recently watched the poor guy – it’s a thankless job – with his tie and blazer and jowls and arms all flailing and
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For Gloria, the fatherless girl we left behind

She's the Ugandan girl who we left behind in a part of the world where, this weekend, there is no Father's Day. And even if there was, this girl, our friend, has no father to honour on it. So while it's only suitable that so many fathers and children
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I hereby resolve – No more children, no, not ever

I don’t know how we get on these things. We were talking about the dog. Next thing we’re talking about my manhood. Did we get the dog fixed? Nobody remembers. The boy thinks yes. The girls say no.
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How a simple skipping rope changed lives

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, November 12, 2016) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ It started with a skipping rope, a plain green skipping rope, the kind you’d find at any dollar store. It was a simple investment. You’d be forgiven for opting to instead spend the money on your morning double-double.
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Learning to be a kid again

KAMPALA, UGANDA✦It’s the children who in the end will be given the keys to the Kingdom. This is what Jesus said on the matter. Be a kid again. The way up is down. If you want even half a shot at eternal life, as if it were somehow possible, go and grow young.
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A place called ‘Baby Cottage’

(The Hamilton Spectator - Friday May 31, 2013) JINJA, UGANDA ✦ It’s Monday and we’re on the road early, dressed up, driving the 90 minutes down a dangerous road, the road that we won’t drive at night anymore because we fear it may kill us. We arrive at the court in Jinja, a relaxed beach-town on Lake Victoria, to finally be told ‘Yes. Yes, everything is in order and the court is satisfied, and Hannah will never have any family outside of yours, the family she clearly belongs in.’ Hannah is the Ugandan girl who’s been in our home for almost four years now. We just need the final stamp of court approval to make her adoption official.
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Mourning in Uganda with a change of clothes

(The New Vision Online - Monday, April 15, 2013) JINJA, UGANDA ✦ It's Monday morning and I sit in a Jinja café wearing a bright tie, blue shirt, navy blazer and brown pants, but I’m wishing I could start the day over and wear black from my neck to my feet, everything as black as the black in Uganda’s flag. This, as I read the latest news report of Black Monday, the growing citizens campaign pointing out what we already know, that Ugandans need to mourn, to grieve, to be saddened for their deepening losses, losses from thefts of public funds that are key to the wellbeing of this nation.
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Once, there was a poor, young girl …

KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ Once there was a little Ugandan girl who loved school. The girl, who had been an orphan when she was younger, loved learning new things and making new friends and pretty well everything about it, especially the stories. Maybe she loved school all the more because of her years as an orphan, which started in a hospital in Mbarara, in western Uganda, where she was left abandoned when she was barely larger than a cat. There she was given all she ever owned, her name, Hannah.
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Say ‘Yes’ to inspiring others

We know little about them, these grandparents—if they came to babysit on Friday nights or if they maybe played checkers with the curly-haired, laughing boy while he grew in wisdom and stature.
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Africa should be a safe haven for children

So it is Christmas, a good time to give thanks for the past year, especially for our children.
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Power of prayer challenges the impossible

(Christian Week – December 2011) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ Remember Kienan Hebert, the three-year-old in one of Canada’s biggest feel-good stories of 2011? Kienan was abducted from his B.C. home and later returned by, of all people, his abductor. Twitter and Facebook lit up. Christians proclaimed God is alive and well and listening to prayer. One wrote the Toronto Star online: “To those who aren’t aware that God answers prayer, I show you the return of Kienan Hebert. Now if we prayed on an ongoing basis for the protection of children and for those disturbed in mind and spirit, abductions like this would rarely occur.”
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A few dollars changes lives in Uganda

Government education is a sham but top students are heroes.
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For dads and dad-dads everywhere

If I have one urgent piece of practical advice for young men today, it's this: Look forward with great hope to the day you marry and have children.
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A culture of fatherhood

"You're such a Dad-Dad." This phrase, a recent favourite of my three-year-old Jon, has reminded me anew that there's nothing like fatherhood.
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