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!
Let the graduations continue! Five God Cares alumni graduated from Africa Renewal University. Two of the five students featured are staying in school for one more year to gain another certificate. Please keep these women in your prayers as they have been equipped and are now launching into their communities to IMPACT UGANDA FOR CHRIST!
Our congratulations go to: Sharon, Hadijah, Mastula, Ritah, and Doreen.
Last Saturday was a big day for seven of our God Cares High School alumni who graduated from LivingStone International University in Uganda after five years of intense studies. We are very proud of these students, many of whom have been with God Cares Schools since its beginnings, and have shined all the way through. We applaud them for their efforts and achievements.
Our congratulations goes to: Deborah Nassanga, Ismail Mutawe, Jemimah Nakachwa, Juda Kisakye, Joyce Namuyomba, John Khaukha, and Brenda Nakinrijja. We are so proud of all of you!
Each of the seven students above have been supported by at least 3 sponsors and as many as 5 sponsors! We are thankful for each faithful sponsor, and pray that God would bless them for giving. If you are one of these committed sponsors, please keep an eye out in the mail for graduation pictures we will be sending you to commemorate your student's achievement.
Please know if your child has become ineligible for sponsorship for whatever reason we are terribly sorry... it is our hope that each child would graduate from high school, but that is not always the reality in Africa. We want you to know you have made a tremendous difference in the life of the child you have sponsored. You have shown unconditional love by caring for his/her residential or educational needs, and we are confident your love and kindness was well received.
These are the hardest phone calls for our Buyamba volunteers to make and we understand that it is hard to just "switch" kids, but because the need is so great with so many children, we will ask if you would consider sponsoring another child. Some kids are with us just for a season, but many do graduate from God Cares High School and continue on to a university or trade school.
When a child communicates to a sponsor outside of the processes in place, they are actually breaking school rules. Again, we are asking you to help us by communicating only through the systems in place.
There are reasons this system is set up the way it is. For one, the letters are all processed through our trained social workers at the school, ensuring the safety of our children. Second, communication outside of these methods leaves room for misunderstandings and ultimately, it is for the best interest of all involved.
Please come alongside us in this way. If your sponsored child attempts to contact you through Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp or any other medium outside of Buyamba, please first remind them that Buyamba does not allow students to use social media with their sponsors and to please write to you through the social worker and you will get letters accordingly. If it persists, please notify our offices and we will help get these communications back on track.