March 25, 2012


I've found some unusual forms of encouragement these days. 

Everyday I take a taxi (mini bus crammed with people) to and from various places around Kampala for work.  

The back of the taxis here in Uganda often times have an interesting message written on the back window. A lot of them make no sense or have no deep meaning, but it seems I see one nearly everyday that encourages me or makes me laugh. 

It feels like just what I needed to hear at that moment. God is funny like that. He can use anything, anywhere to speak to our hearts if we are looking and listening for Him. 

How is God speaking to you these days?

March 22, 2012


The first time I met Peace, she was too sick to get out of bed and greet us. 

We had received the sad news at one of our weekly meetings that one of the widows in our program who was HIV positive had fallen ill and was bedridden.

Later that week, Annet and I wandered through one of the slum areas to visit Peace and offer whatever help we could. As we entered her one room house and our eyes adjusted to the darkness, I heard a muffled voice greeting us from behind a hanging bed sheet.

Slowly a hand drew back the curtain and I looked directly into the desperate and worn face of Peace. I reached out and squeezed her outstretched hand and forced a smile on my face. She looked frail and defeated as she propped herself up a bit so she could share with us her story.

Peace has a long and sad history for only being in her 30’s. She married when she was 16 and quickly began having children. Like so many women in our ministry, peace was abused and neglected by her husband who quickly took on other wives. Peace found out she was positive after her husband died of HIV/AIDS leaving her to raise four children with no outside support.

Her struggle is great as Peace isn’t able to provide the basic necessities for her children. When she is healthy, Peace works at a Coffee factory sorting coffee seeds which earns her about $30 a month. It’s not nearly enough to care for all her children’s needs, especially school tuition.  

I had the privilege of meeting her kids the next week and I was so impressed by their kindness, hospitality and compassionate hearts. Even in the midst of their own struggles, these children long to help others.  They are very bright and have above average test scores in school. They sell scraps and work at whatever odds and ends jobs they can to earn money to go to school but it is not enough.

 When you think of sponsoring a child, I know it’s easy to think of only young kids. But the fact is there is a huge need for these older children to get sponsors! A lot of the big sponsorship programs only start with young ones, leaving children, especially like Jannette in a tough situation. 

Jannette(19) and her 3 younger brothers. The boy on the far right is sponsored by another organization.

The added bonus of sponsoring an older child is the time commitment is shorter as they only have a few years left of their education.

These 3 need sponsors! Jannette (19) Witness (16) Trust (7)

If you would like to sponsor one of Peace's children or help in any way please visit our website or email me directly! 

I have the joy of working with these precious families and I know what a HUGE difference a sponsor will make in their lives!

March 09, 2012

let us not grow weary in doing good

“I’m staying on your trail; I’m putting one foot in front of the other, I’m not giving up.” Psalm 17:4

I’ve felt like giving up a lot lately. Moving to Uganda hasn't been easy and the pressures and demands of helping run a children’s sponsorship program in the middle of Kampala weigh heavily on me. There is constant need around every corner and so often I feel like I can do nothing to help.

It was about 11:30 at night and I was coming back from dropping a friend off at the airport. While sitting in traffic at a stoplight downtown, a handful of young children were walking in between the idling cars begging for money. Their faces were hungry and desperate as their little hands reached out hoping a coin or two would be dropped into them.
As I drove away, my heart broke.

It’s not fair Lord. Why? How can I really help those children?

Mary, one of our sponsored children cries lonely tears as we have to say goodbye and leave her at boarding school. She is 6 and a total orphan. Mary desperately longs for a mother’s care and love.

Ben is also an orphan who has diabetes and keeps failing in health. We are trying to help him manage his condition but how do you tell him he must eat more and drink clean water when he has no money for either?

These are just a few of the stories from this week that make me want to give up. There is the everyday “wear and tear” of living in Kampala with no car doing fieldwork. It’s the dry season; the heat and red dust alone can discourage a person. The days can be filled with lots of walking in the hot sun door to door. From one problem to the next.

So what keeps me going?

These children, these widows I have the privilege of working with can’t walk away like I can. This is their everyday reality. I just stepped into it 4 months ago and already I’m ready to quit? They wake to painful realities everyday.

Their children are home crying because they so badly want to be in school but there is no money for school fees. They work hard trying to earn some income to pay for rent, food, medicine to treat their HIV, but they are often too sick to work and come up short.

They wake to phone calls that their sister was hit by a car and killed instantly, she has left 8 children behind. Or they come home from burying their uncle only to be greeted by the horrible news that their child has mysteriously dropped dead.


 I share only a small fraction of their struggle. And yet when all the widows in our program gather on Tuesdays for our weekly meeting, they close their eyes and sing worship songs to the Lord with tears dripping down their faces. The words God is good and God is faithful still roll off their lips. They believe it with every fibre of their being.

And I grumble and falter and feel like quitting and
question God’s goodness and intentions, his plans and his provision. I have much to learn from these women.

For whatever reason, God has asked me to come and know the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings among his poor and forgotten in Uganda and in the process find true abiding peace and joy. 

I’m looking for it, straining to find the joy.
Some days are harder than others. But it's there.

His widows and orphans know it, taste it, see it and believe it. I’m hoping to capture it too.

In the meantime what can I do? How can I really make a difference? By putting one foot in front of the other.
 By not giving up.

I can stand back and marvel at their courage,strength, perseverance and their faith that can move mountains.
I can love. 

I can also tell their incredible stories and see how God might use these stories to move hearts and provide for his people.