Extremely grateful to give and receive- by Phil Sporrer
This was my second time to visit Uganda. The first trip I took was in July of 2014. I started building relationships with these people, so I couldn’t wait to get back and see them again! I was amazed at the general improvement of the children in Bukedea and Ogoloi. They were cleaner, had nicer clothes and their general condition seemed to be better. This trip was less emotional than the first trip, partly because I have experienced it before and partly because the kids are doing better.
My wife and I sponsor a very special girl in Bukedea named Anna Grace. As you can hopefully see in the photo below her smile is contagious and she has the most beautiful heart! She plans to be a nurse once she finishes school and she wants to give back to the community however she can. We are extremely proud of her and are committed to help her meet hear goals however we can! As on my first trip, I am continually amazed by the tremendous joy these children have. By American standards, they don’t have much, but what they do have is relationships with each other and with God. They teach me so much, especially in the last area.
It was my first time to go to the new CarePoint in Ongongoja. It’s been a CarePoint for just over a year so need was much more obvious, and yet the same joy pervaded. One highlight from Ongongoja was I was challenged to a dance contest and I happily obliged.
In Ongongoja I picked a young man named Tom to sponsor because my dad’s name is Tom! When I got to know Tom I found out we had some more similarities. His grandmother’s name is Lisa, which is my wife’s name. I also found out that Tom’s mother had married a new man after his dad died, and that her new husband didn’t accept Tom, which is why he lives with his grandmother. The children being cast out of the home because their mom’s new husband will not accept them or allow them to be a part of their family is unfortunately very common in Ongongoja.
I had a chance to serve meals to the kids. It struck me that my kids could have been born in Africa instead of America, that my kids could have been the ones standing in line for rice and beans, just grateful to eat that day. It made me feel guilty that I really don’t give that much in relation to how much I have. I also realize that the more I give, the more I have. My relationship with God is strengthened as I offer a hand to someone else. I’m extremely grateful to give and receive.
I’m always surprised at how willing the kids are to share with each other. You would think the less you have the less you want to share, but that’s not the case at the CarePoints. A perfect example of this was a teammate of mine, Kristin, giving one of the girls her ABC gum. The girl was thrilled to have it AND she shared it with her two sisters! (for those of you who don’t know Kristin, she was the troublemaker in our group!) Something I noticed was that the kids who have become leaders and are helping the other kids and giving back to the community seemed to be doing the best. They are wonderful channels of God’s love and peace. They are an inspiration to me and I strive to be like them.
Something I found to be true in my life is that as I help others, God takes care of me and my needs. The more I give the more I get. My life keeps getting better and better. $38 a month is a small price to pay to change a child’s life forever. It’s the least I can do, and I always do the least I can do! If you would like to be a part of changing a child’s life forever please consider sponsoring a child today! There are still many more children waiting to find a sponsor!
Thank you Joe, Dylan and Jen for opening a whole new world to me. I’ll never be the same!