Jumping for Joy – Back to Uganda (July 2014)

For more than 3 years now we have been vitally involved in the lives of almost 400 orphaned and vulnerable children in the heart of Uganda. And twice a year, since we first committed to loving these kids, we have visited them and had the opportunity to bring along some of the generous people who sponsor them from around the U.S. and from around the world. Our last trip to the CarePoints was in August of 2013 (more than 9 months ago) which is by far the longest time since we have been there…

So it is with a lot of joy and anticipation that we jump on a plan in the first week of July (just 2 weeks away) with a new team of “friends” (the aTeso word for sponsor literally translated to mean friends) to visit the kids.

A lot has happened since our last trip. New land has been acquired for crop raising at Bukedea and fences have been constructed at both Carepoints. At Ogoloi, a new well has been dug and the chicken coups have been growing as the kids learn to raise the chicks and develop a revenue stream for the Carepoint from egg sales in the nearby villages. And we are immensely excited to see the progress that has been made as a result of the ongoing micro-finance and micro-loan initiatives at each of the sites. It is always exciting to return to our home away from home and see the ongoing progress in the CarePoints, and the improvements in the lives of the kids as well as the surrounding community.

But more importantly, it is always an incredible feeling to be back with our friends, and the kids that we have truly grown to love and care for. I am actually a little saddened by the idea that some of my little buddies will have grown up so much in the last 9 months, much in the same way I feel as I watch the years fly by with my own two boys. It’s strange, but I hate to miss out on so much of the lives of these kids that today feel a part of our extended family.

We are excited to have another great group of people coming with us to spend some time with the kids and community at the Carepoints, and wanted to introduce you to the rock star group of folks joining us on this trip.

Meet the Team:

Phil Sporrer

Phil is a facebook friend of ours and started sponsoring a girl named Martha in Ogoloi just over a year ago and has wanted to meet her ever since!  He and his son, Aaron, who is also joining us, were planning a fun dad-son trip to celebrate Aaron’s graduation from the Air Force Academy this spring and were thinking about going to South America.  Then Phil heard about this trip and thought it would be exactly what him and Aaron would love to do together.  We are so excited for Phil to be on the team and can wait for him to meet Martha!

Aaron Sporrer

Aaron just graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs this Spring.  He has been sponsoring a child in Uganda through another organization for a while and was so excited when his dad mentioned the idea of going to Uganda together.  Aaron is going to stay a few days after us and visit his sponsored child in Western Uganda and possibly travel some more around Africa as well.

 

Jessica Duren

Jess joined us on our second trip to Uganda a couple years back, fell in love with the kids, and has joined us each year since!  She has worked hard to get her friends and family to sponsor kids and does a great job bringing them back pics and videos of their sponsored kids.  This will be her third trip to Uganda and the kids will certainly be excited to see “Jesca 2” (as they affectionately call her) with us once again!


Nate Agrimson

Nate and his family were the first of our friends to jump on board and say they wanted to sponsor kids and get involved when we first got involved with the care points. They sponsor kids in both care points and both him and his wife, Kristin, have come on a trip with us in the past.  They are taking turns each summer joining us which is good because one Agrimson at a time may be all that Uganda can handle. The kids will be thrilled to see Nate (pronounced Nut-tee) again.

 

 

John Antoine

John and his wife Rachel have been helping change the lives of the kids in Bukedea far before we even knew it existed!  Their church in North Western Minnesota is vitally involved with the care point and generously donates towards trips/projects as often as they can.  It has been so much fun partnering with them and I know the kids will be happy to see John again (although they will miss Rachel).  John and Rachel joined us together on their first trip and now are also taking turns each summer traveling to see the kids.

 

Caeden de Bruin
Caeden traveled with us to Uganda last summer and will be joining us again this summer!  He quickly fell in love with the kids there and made many new life long friends whom he thinks about daily and can’t wait to get back to see. He has been working hard all year to raise money for his trip.  He has his own painting studio now in our garage to create paintings to sell to cover his trip expenses.

Jen de Bruin

This is Jen’s 4th trip back to Uganda and she can’t wait to be with the kids again singing and dancing and walking around hand and hand with them!  Jen works hard all year round to raise money and help find sponsors for these kids and it is such a blessing for her to see that every minute of her time she spends advocating for them is 100% worth it when she sees the change and joy and hope in these kids.


Dylan de Bruin
This will be my 7th trip to the CarePoints since we first partnered with Hope Chest back in 2011. This trip I plan to attempt no back flips (or front flips for that matter). I’ll let the picture speak for itself. I am very eager to see the progress at the Carepoints, but much more excited just to be with my friends and extended family in Uganda.

As always, we want to thank everyone who helps us make this incredible ongoing work possible through your generous donations and sponsorship of the kids. We will work to get you all as many updates on your kids as possible, and will be sharing as much as we can on the blog and facebook as possible while we are on the ground and when we return.

Watch this space 🙂

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