Humbling, inspiring, promising, and satisfying! By Dawn Teig
“How was your trip?” This question is normally very easy to answer when returning from a vacation, but I have struggled this time because it is difficult to put into words what this experience was like. Having the chance to travel to Uganda with 17 other Americans was a dream come true for my daughter, Ali. I was excited to accompany her, but I was also a little apprehensive. As expected, returning to life as normal has been hectic, so I have decided to take a break and get some memories into words before they fade.I will start with the children we met. They greeted us with song, dance, huge smiles and sparkling eyes. I was overwhelmed to see what is being done for these children who have next to nothing. It was exciting to see the progress being made and how the three different Children’s HopeChest CarePoints are each in their own stage of moving through the phases of Survive, Thrive and Succeed.
It was a great team-building experience! By far the most amazing thing I witnessed was my teammates in action. It did not take long for my apprehension to disappear. Ali was in the best company I could ask for and she was loving it! Their passion was infectious, and I was proud to be a part of an organization that has barely scratched the surface of their potential.
Who would have thought that two married couples, three women in their 50s, nine more women in their 20s or 30s, one teenager, and a seven-year-old could form an ideal team? Throw in the best bus driver and a wonderful guide and we were set for a wonderful journey. We laughed a lot, cried a little and we share a bond now that cannot be broken. As a parent, I could not ask for better role models for my daughter. I am so excited to think of where God will lead every single one of these individuals. I loved getting to know each of them…hearing about their families, their triumphs, and struggles they have overcome. I truly believe we brought out the best in each other and that we all played a role in our team’s success.
It was humbling! The children we visited were so happy. They do not have much as far as material things, but they have faith, family and friends…everything else they just take in stride. There are no clocks that govern their schedules and spending time together means looking at each other instead of looking at their electronic devices. It is a simple life which I found myself envying a bit.
It was inspiring! The children inspired me to see the good in everybody. Their parents inspired me to be strong. My team inspired me to set a good example and this whole experience inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and look for ways to serve others.
It was Promising! I felt God’s presence on the other side of the world! Children’s HopeChest is doing wonderful things and I was thrilled to be a part of something that is changing our world. We hear terrible stories about tragedies in nations everywhere, but I had the chance to see so much good. It was truly heart-warming and it gave me hope that our world is not as messed up as the media would have us believe.
It was satisfying! Like many from my generation, I was leery of how these sponsorships work. I do not remember where this idea came from but I was worried about the unknown. How do I know our money is going to be used to really help these kids? I never thought I would get the chance, but I saw exactly how our donation is benefiting the kids that are in need, and I also got to meet the sweet little girl that we are sponsoring! It was satisfying to me and I hope my endorsement of Children’s HopeChest and Orphans of Teso will convince you to sponsor a child and even consider joining this group on a future trip!
Oh and of course the wildlife in Africa was beyond amazing!
For more information about Orphans of Teso and Children’s HopeChest please visit: http://www.orphansofteso.com
And to learn about the project Ali is doing for Orphans of Teso click HERE