Tag Archives: Uganda

A Touching Story from Uganda

20 Jul

Deborah, recent Journey 117 Uganda team member, shares about an orphan that captured her heart and reminded her of when she was 8 years old in a children’s home growing up…..

Safe In His Arms

While on my mission trip to Uganda I was working at a baby home feeding babies and loving on the littlest, sweetest orphans. I wanted to hold them all and just felt like I could have spent the whole 10 days there. A volunteer came into the nursery and asked if one of us could check in on a child that had been brought in that day. She said she was worried about her and felt bad leaving her. I immediately volunteered and headed to the isolation room. They kept them in there away from others until they could be checked out and cleared by a doctor. What I saw when I got there broke my heart. This child was in a dark room crying so hard she was hyperventilating. The sobs where gut-wrenching. I immediately picked her up and tried to console her. She clung to me with a death grip and continued to sob. I tried rocking her in my arms and rubbing her back and softly saying, “It’s ok, it’s ok.” The sobs kept coming and my heart kept breaking for her.

As I was turning around in this small room I saw the sign on the door that read “Isolation.” I was taken back by that because when I was 8 years old I was in a children’s home in an isolation room for three days. It was one of the hardest times of my life, and to this day I tear up when I think about it. I was traumatized more by that than any abuse I had ever endured. After the second night there I was at a breaking point. I thought I was going to go crazy if I didn’t talk to someone. So I cried out to GOD. I said, “If you are real, please come. I need you now and I can’t bear to be alone any more.” In that moment of desperation I felt HIS presence. It was if peace entered that room and I felt that HE wrapped me in HIS arms and instantly my tears stopped and I fell asleep singing “JESUS loves me” to myself. I have never doubted if GOD was real in my life because I knew from that moment on that HE was real. Continue reading

My Duty Assignment

28 May

Blog post by Alicia, Team Uganda 2012

“Children simply want to love and be loved…they have nothing to do with the families they are born into.” That is a mantra of wisdom that I heard consistently from my mother as a child growing up. My mother and father raised my siblings and me with the knowledge that it not by any good works that we should be boast but rather to be constantly “thankful” to God for all of His blessing. I was raised to never “look down” on anyone unless I was looking down to lift them up.

I remember as a young child when I would see commercials for “Feed The Children” or the famine broadcasts I would ask my father if we could take some of our dinner and send it over to the children. I wanted them to have cake, ice cream, hamburgers, chicken, candy, pizza, party punch and the like.  Everything I enjoyed I wanted them to enjoy as well. I now understand why my father would just look at me and smile and say, “Alicia, well honey it is as not as easy and cooking and sending a meal but we can send a donation in to assist with getting food to them.” I have always had a heart and passion to help children. I feel like they are the most vulnerable citizens of any society and when they are in need, the body of Christ has a duty to assist a child whenever help is needed, wherever they are in the world.

Furthermore, as a child of God, I feel personally that I have a mandate from the Lord to help lift the cause of the orphan among, not only my family, church family and friends, but I feel I must lift up my voice before the world to bring light to what the conditions are for the precious children of Uganda.

I have never had a problem expressing myself verbally and speaking with compassion and conviction about any cause I believe in. The cause of the orphan is something I feel and care so very deeply about in my deep in my heart and in my soul. As a military soldier receives his or her “duty assignment” from their superiors, so I have received my assignment from the Lord. I’m anxiously awaiting this Journey to see what God has in store for me and how He will use my life to be and advocate for the orphan. For me I have an assignment…this is my mandate and it is only the beginning.

Alicia resides in California and will be serving with Journey 117 in June on the Uganda team.

My Journey to Uganda

25 May

Blog post by Kimberly, Team Uganda 2012

My life has been absolutely crazy. Getting to this place in life after only twenty years of living is mind-boggling to me. Growing up in a wealthier area of Atlanta suburbia has creates a specific mindset for those growing up in it. Honestly, I was a spoiled brat for most of my life. It’s disgusting to think about. I was given everything and anything a girl could possibly want, until my sweet parents made me go on my first mission trip to New Orleans for my spring break instead of getting to go to the beach with all of my friends. This was sophomore year of high school and the year that my eyes would be opened to the needs of others outside of my bubble. The next year I went back to New Orleans where God furthered a heart and passion for missions. It wasn’t until senior year that the Lord had manifested a heart for Africa, specifically Uganda, in addition to orphans.

The beginning of senior year I began babysitting for a family in the church. They had two beautiful daughters and for the year I watched them make preparations for their newest addition, a baby boy named Samuel from Ethiopia. When the baby had gotten there, my heart leaped at the sight of a once-orphan now being loved and taken care of by probably the most amazing people I know. They are in the process of adopting HIV-positive siblings. This was the first point in my life that God stirred my heart for the orphan. I then got involved with Invisible Children at my school which further cultivated my heart for the children of Africa. After graduation I went for my final summer to church camp. As I was praying for some younger student, a woman of the church came to me bawling. I had asked her what was wrong and she told me that the Lord had given her a word for me three weeks prior. I asked what the word was and she choked out Uganda. Well that was the final straw. Since then, it has been a journey in itself of the Lord getting me to this point of my heart being ready to go. He’s told me to go and led me straight to World Orphans and that’s why I’m going on this team. If nothing else, I know that this is the next step the Lord has for my life so it’s the next step I’m taking – totally walking in faith while abiding in Him.

Kimberly resides in Georgia and will be serving with Journey 117 in June on the Uganda team.

I Care For Orphans….Because I Was One

2 May

Blog post by Deborah P., Team Uganda 2012

Our journey started with following a blog written by Katie Davis about her heart for Uganda. When her book was released last year, I met her at Catayst in Atlanta and she signed a copy for Mallory [my daughter]. After Mallory read her book she told me she felt led to go to Uganda and wanted me to go with her. I told her we would pray about it and see where GOD led us. I felt that it was not the right time with having adopted a baby last year, it would be hard to leave him, but after meeting a man form Kampala in January at PASSION 2012, I was again spending time in prayer about our Journey to Uganda. I was contacted in February by my mission coach from a trip I took to Ukraine in 2010. She was wondering if I was interested in another mission trip. I told her about Uganda and she emailed me 3 possible trips. The first two were not feasible and after a month she called back.  When I checked out the 3rd email I realized that it was a trip to Kampala, Uganda…the very place we had been praying about going. I felt confirmation from GOD about now being the time and, after talking with my husband and friends, I knew that this would be the year to take this Journey with my daughter, Mallory.

I have had a heart for orphans since I was one myself. Continue reading

Colorado Christian University team prepares for Uganda

10 Feb

Colorado Christian University’s missions mobilization program, CCU2theWorld, has linked arms with Journey 117 and World Orphans to send a group of students and a faculty team leader to Uganda this summer to serve the fatherless. Last night they hosted a bowling fundraiser to raise support for their upcoming “Journey.” Check out their pics below. Great job, Team Uganda!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Team Uganda Update – Part 3

3 Jul

It’s hard to believe that we are reaching the end of our journey. We’ve experienced so much in such a short amount of time, yet it feels as though the time has flown by! On Thursday we spent the day at Watoto’s home for orphaned and abandoned babies. As most of the ministries started by Watoto, the facilities were stunning in comparison to most of what we’ve seen so far. We started by cleaning cribs and changing sheets, and then spent the rest of the morning feeding, changing, and holding the babies. When the babies went down for a nap, we broke for lunch, and then continued the afternoon with sorting donated clothes and then spending the rest of the afternoon feeding and holding the babies until it was time to go. Continue reading

Team Uganda Update – Part 2

2 Jul

Our team is doing GREAT and everyone is healthy! We have seen so much in such a short amount of time. Words in this email can’t really describe to you the variety of things we’ve seen and the experiences that we’ve been through. We have laughed, cried, played, sang, taught, cooked and fed more in 5 days than most of us do in any given month! The last two days have been very different from the first few. We went to the oldest orphanage in Uganda yesterday and visited a place that takes in abandoned or orphaned babies and helps to care for them until they can place them into an adoptive home or into foster care. We were told that these babies are found in pit latrines (holes in the ground used for toilets), on trash piles or just left in farming fields. Police or people in the community find these children and bring them to this facility in hopes that there is space for them to take them in. The goal is to find placement before the child turns 4 or otherwise they will be transferred to another orphanage and probably be institutionalized for the rest of their childhood. That broke our hearts, but the good thing is that MOST babies are placed before that happens. Our team assisted with various activities at the orphanage, including cleaning windows, feeding babies, changing diapers, and feeding lunch. Most of us just spent the morning holding babies and showering with them with as much love as we could because there are never enough hands in the place to help care for them in this way. Continue reading

Team Uganda Update – Part 1

30 Jun

WOW – where to even begin?!

These past 3 days have been action packed, hence the reason you haven’t heard from me yet. I am going to try to recap everything for you here, although these few words won’t even come close to describing all that we have seen and experienced in this short time.

We arrived really late on Friday night and got settled into our first place and in the bed around 11-12pm. We were up and on the road at 9am and went to the Greenhouse Orphanage. Our team LOVED it there. It was the perfect place to start our time in Uganda because it was so action-packed. Jet lag had NO chance with us that day. : )  We arrived to children singing and welcoming us to their place. They haven’t had visitors in several weeks so they were so excited to see us. Once we were welcomed, we got a tour of the place and learned about the history of Greenhouse. Quite amazing that Kevin, the founder, was actually an orphan himself at an early age and started the orphanage when he was 16 years old. Now he is 24 years old and cares for about 70 children along with his wife and other volunteers. It was evident that those children were loved. They were so joyful and loved spending time with us! We broke up into groups; several of us joined the children and cooked various dishes for lunch and the others set up a volleyball net that we brought as a gift and played outside (along with other sports and arts/crafts). We had an amazing lunch with them and then walked down a dirt road to a nearby community field where we had races and other games. We laughed our heads off as three teams competed in wheelbarrow races, one-leg hops, crab walks and izzy dizzy. : )  However, leaving was a different story. The kids didn’t give us a “typical” orphan departure experience. Instead of closing off toward the end of the day because they knew we were leaving and acting apathetic, they were crying and very sad as we started loading up the bus. It took a while to finally say goodbyes because we didn’t want to leave, but we eventually pulled ourselves away. There wasn’t a single dry eye of those on our team. Super hard experience to go through, so we are trying to figure out how to process that and see what God wants to do in us as a result. Continue reading

15 Seconds

9 Jun

Blog post by Emily H., Team Uganda 2011

15 Seconds….

Did you know that in the time it took you to click on the link you got in this email and begin reading this blog post, another child in Africa has become an orphan due to AIDS?  Read two or three more sentences and you have a second AIDS orphan.  Finish this blog post and you have another 4 or 5 depending on how fast you read.  Did you also know that in the same time span, 7 orphans have aged out of the system and have no place to call home and no family to turn to?  “But, people are adopting children all the time, aren’t they?” you ask.  People are adopting, nearly 250,000 children are adopted every year, which is a blessing, but think about the children who don’t get adopted?  Continue reading

Child Soldiers

8 Jun

Blog post by Carol D., Team Uganda 2011

Children are defenseless.  Children are vulnerable.  When rogue forces sweep a village for resources, they sometimes kidnap children and brutally force them into various forms of servitude.  When that service includes arming children and forcing them to fight, maim, and kill, the children become child soldiers.  Children as young as five and six may be abducted.  If a child is not strong or coordinated enough to carry a gun, they may be used as look-outs or spies.  Children are sometimes drugged or raped into submission.  Sometimes they are given an ultimatum of kill or be killed; or kill or your family will be killed.  They are brainwashed and shamed for the atrocities they are forced to participate in and then are told that their families and communities won’t accept them back any longer, so they have no one else to turn to.  Globally there are at least 35 conflict zones where children are used as soldiers.  Continue reading