By Susan H.
I pass by an infant sitting in the red, soft dirt by herself...soft brown eyes staring with wonder at the muzungu...white person...smiling down at her. I was also wondering...Where is her mother? Had she crawled over here on her own through the dust? Another older child, maybe 5 or 6, ages are sometimes hard to tell due to lack of nutrition and proper growth, biting her lower lip with shy, hesitant eyes peeking out at me. Curiosity winning out over apprehension as she touches my arm.
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struggles, but God moved again on another sponsor's heart named Jackie Grant, and she investigated the opportunity to have Buruhan treated in his own country with a specialized surgeon who travels internationally from the U.S.
In 2017, Buruhan had his first successful leg surgery (pictured above) that would be the beginning of healing. Now, in January of 2018, Jackie is traveling back to Uganda again to stay by Buru's side as he will have his second surgery on his other leg by that same visiting surgeon. While the first time God had moved on the hearts of a group of donors to cover all his medical expenses, this time, a generous organization called Child Springs International is covering all of his hospital expenses. Because these sponsors followed God's lead and had a strong relationship with kids at God Cares School, God's plan was set into motion.
Last week, our Primary 7 students of God Cares spent two days sitting for their Primary leaving exams. We thank God for this large class of 80 students! The majority are featured in the above picture, taken before their exams, and as you can see they look ready to succeed. The students know we remember them in our prayers, and this is encouraging to them.
When a student successfully passes their primary leaving exam, he or she graduates to high school. Each year, God Cares School rises in the rankings of top schools in Uganda, and we believe this year we will once again receive high scores. Students transferring to God Cares High School will need an additional sponsor if they are not already living at the school. Due to the location of God Cares High School, the majority of the students live at the school and therefore need a residential sponsor. If your sponsored child is in P7, please be praying for a second sponsor, or share the blessing of sponsorship with a friend, and let them know about this opportunity.
We are overwhelmed by the sheer number of students that are moving through God Cares Schools, receiving a quality faith based education. They are being empowered to impact their nation for Christ!
The final term of school comes to a close on December 1, 2017. The S6 students of God Cares High School, as well as the S4 students, are preparing to take their national exams. S4 students take what's called, "O-level exams" and this determines whether or not they will proceed to S5 and S6 for further education or continue on to a trade school or enter the workforce. S6 students take, "A-level exams" and this decides whether they will have the opportunity to continue to a university, college, or some other form of higher education. Test results will be released in the late summer of 2018.
There are thirty students in this year's graduating S6 class and all of them have been praying about what God would have for their futures. Thanks to each of their sponsors, they have been granted the opportunity of education, which encourages them to dream and hope for a bright future.
If you're sponsoring an S6 student, we would ask that you also join us to pray that God would give each child His vision for their future. Please pray for them to stay on course with their studies and walk in faith through the season of waiting until the test results are released.
Does the Sponsorship Journey End Once My Student Graduates High School?
No.... our mission is to offer love, hope and a future through education and discipleship ... one child at a time. If a student wishes to continue their education beyond high school, we want to fully support them! Buyamba strives to cover a student's education from nursery to university. If a sponsor continues his commitment of $35 a month, we can continue to come alongside that child. We may need to add a couple of additional sponsors to a student if a particular university requires more. A given institution could require fees that would equate to one to three sponsorship(s) of $35 a month. A degree can take up to three years to obtain.
We are also launching our new University Scholarship Fund where an individual, church, or business can create a scholarship in their name for $3,900 - the cost of three years of schooling for the most popular university with the Buyamba students, The Buyamba Scholarship Fund will be available to students with top scores, good behavior, good attendance, and a demonstration of good leadership.
I left it all behind when I reluctantly had to leave the warm people and lush, vibrant red soil of Uganda.
I believed God would send me someday to Uganda, after I had a student who was adopted from God Cares School in my class five years ago. I just had a feeling that I would go back with him someday. Quite frankly, I struggled with the thought of spending all the money on the expenses of travel and a flight to get there, when the money could go directly to the school. The opportunity to go to Uganda opened up for me, and two weeks after I signed up for the trip, I got a call that my former student was going on the same trip! God is a miracle worker!
My life will never be the same, and I pray that the lives of those I had the awesome privilege to encounter will be touched, also. I was blessed to see the results of Buyamba's efforts in the gleaming white smiles of happy, joyful students by spending two weeks in Africa, serving alongside a team of 36 with the local nationals.
My expectations of what it would be like were blown apart when I stepped foot onto the campus of God Cares School. It is such a blessing to write a check for capital improvements, send shoes or buy items to help support the ministry, or to send a monthly check to sponsor a child, But to see the fruits first hand of all the efforts made by Buyamba cannot be described adequately in words alone.
A small idea of what it was like can be felt when we walked into the slums of Bukasa and visited the homes where some of the boarding students come from. They were very proud to welcome us into their space, which was only a few square meters wide, to talk, pass out sanitation packages, and pray. I will spare you the details of the living conditions… because they cannot be adequately described, but suffice it to say that it very, very rough conditions. I met with one woman who had not seen her husband in over a year, because he worked 40 miles away. It made me think of my husband's commute to work for many years, which was over 40 miles one way per day. She was no different than I, other than the fact of where she was born. She has huge dreams for her children to better themselves through education. I met another woman who said the government would soon come and level her home, and when I asked her where she would go when that happened, she just shrugged her shoulders. These are the homes of where some God Cares School children come from. We then went to the secondary school, and I met a girl who is studying chemistry, dreaming of becoming an international surgeon. She was articulate, joyful and hopeful for her future. The contrast was shocking. When I left, I might have had an empty suitcase, but I left with a full heart. My dear friend, who is on the trip with me, made a statement that put this trip into perspective. She said that Jesus sent people, not money. The students really care about relationship. They literally fast and pray for their sponsors. They look forward to letters, and pray for the families who support them.
We, as a team, were used as a bridge from Uganda to the U.S. to bless the people of God Cares School. I hope to someday return to these beautiful people, but in the meantime plan to support Buyamba's efforts in anyway I can. I was honored to step into their world and make a difference. I might have left all I had brought with me at the school and come home with an empty suitcase, but I left with a full heart.
Interested in going on our next mission trip? Visit our Mission Trip Page!
October - Meet Dennis Kamila
October- Buyamba Legacy Giving
September - Bible Camp Recap
August - God Cares Dorm Project
July - Mission Team Updates
June - Jerry Lehman Passes
May - Bible Camp
April - Florence's Travel Updates
March - High School Dorms
February - Share Buyamba
January - Florence Dongo to Visit the U.S.
December - Merry Christmas Videos
December - A Student Story
November - Happy Thanksgiving
November - Days of Gratitude, Leaving Exams
October - The Dongo Run & Christmas Baskets
September - University Students & A Student Success story
September - Bible Camp & Remember Dongo
August - University Sponsorship
June - Livingstone Graduation
May - Volunteer Highlight
May - Happy Mother's Day!
April - Happy Easter!
March - Creative Giving Highlight
March - Drought Hits Uganda
February - Student Story: His Mighty Hand
February - Presenting: "The Shoe That Grows"
January - Buyamba Annual Dinner in February
January -Florence Dongo to Visit the U.S.