My name is Maria Gorrett Nassolo, and I am currently a student of Early Childhood Development at a trade school called the YMCA Comprehensive Institute.
I grew up with my grandmother. At three months old, my mother abandoned me and left me with my father, who could not take care of me. In the same village where I was staying with my father, there was an old lady who loved kids so much and could take care of them, even those not related to her. My father decided to take me to her home. She loved me even though I was not in her biological family.
"God surely knows His own."
I joined God Cares High for my secondary level. In 2016 when in my S4 year, my grandmother passed away. I felt my life had come to an end. God surely knows His own; He created a way for me and gave me a new family. After my grandmother passed away, a friend told me I could live with her family. She took me to her home. I was accepted again and taken in as a child; since then, they have become family. God is so good.
In 2018, I completed my high school level. I joined a Tertiary Institute, where I am finishing my Certificate in Early Childhood Development. I thank God that amidst all challenges, He always created a way through for me. I thank God that my dream of becoming a teacher is becoming a reality. I thank my sponsors and Buyamba Outreach Ministries for loving, caring, and not giving up on me. May God bless all of you for helping me!
The recent annual parent meeting for the students at God Cares High School took an unusual turn when Worship Dongo Byakika, the CEO of Buyamba in Uganda, asked for questions or comments at the end of the meeting. One mother stood up, wearing the traditional Muslim attire, and started thanking the administration at GCS for all they had done for her son. Apparently, she had seen a dramatic difference in her once disobedient son this past year, who told his mom that he had accepted Jesus into his heart as his Savior. She was so taken with his transformation and a new love for the family that she asked how she might also be saved.
Pastor Florence Dongo leads GCHS Mothers in a prayer for salvation
Immediately, another mother of Muslim descent stood up, testifying to the dramatic change for the better in her daughter. She also asked how she might also know Jesus as Savior.
It didn’t stop there, for three other moms stood up asking the same question. The meeting took a turn, and all were excited and amazed at what was happening.
Pastor Florence immediately stood up and took the lead to lead these five women in a prayer of salvation. There was so much joy that night among the parents who rejoiced over these women and the ongoing discipleship of the children at God Cares School that impacted their families.
One of the fun things about partnering with our sponsors and donors is the creative ways they come up with to give! A recent example of this creativity was Tim Hutchinson's 70th birthday party. Tim decided that instead of having his guests bring something for him on his birthday, it would be more meaningful for him if his friends gave Buyamba Love Gifts to the kids in Uganda. Tim was not new to Buyamba, for he is a worship leader at Calvary Chapel Conejo Church in Thousand Oaks, CA, and he has been involved with sharing Buyamba with others for years. He and his wife, Kathy, are also faithful sponsors of a boy named Jonah Kalumba, who goes to God Cares School in Kampala, Uganda, and is in the 4th grade.
Tim and his daughter celebrating his birthday
Tracy Lynn, a Buyamba representative, hosting a sponsorship table
We were happy to be a part of Tim's big day. We were able to highlight some of our "Buyamba Love Gifts," such as a goat named "Surfer Dude" (to represent Tim's lifetime love of the sport). There were other choices of gifts his guests could choose from, such as a cow, chickens, school uniforms, shoes, bibles, and even a child's sponsorship could be given in honor of Tim's birthday.
At the actual party, Tracy Lynn, a Buyamba representative, was invited to set up a "Buyamba Table," highlighting a few of the students we needed to be sponsored and the additional Buyamba Love Gifts that his friends could choose from. Some guests had contacted us directly weeks before through Tim's birthday invitation and had designated a Love Gift to Buyamba. We sent Tim a Buyamba Birthday Card for each gift to say that a donation had been given in his honor on behalf of a particular guest for a specific Love Gift chosen with care.
Tim’s efforts were fun and productive, for among many gifts were 11 goats, 5 bibles, shoes, a child named Samson sponsored, and many general gifts to help the children given in Tim's name. Tim loved the part that his friends were excited about giving, and some who are not Christian got involved in the ministry he cared about.
Now that's CREATIVE!
We love partnering with our sponsors in their creative efforts! Call the Buyamba office if you have an idea about how to share Buyamba. If we can send a representative to be present at the creative event, we will try and be there or send one of our volunteer representatives to host a table.
My name is Penina Nanozi, and I am 18 years old. I am in my second year (S2) at God Cares High School. I am very privileged to be in school because most of my friends in my village at home are school dropouts and others are not in school because their parents cannot afford their education. In my family, we are eight children, and I am the fourth born. I have a dad who is a drunkard, having many wives, but he does not care about his children.
My mother used to do everything to ensure that my siblings and I got all the basic needs that a child needs for living, and she saw to it that we were back to school each year. Unfortunately, she passed away on the 18th of July this year. What made me sadder was that my dad did not appear at the ceremony on the day of the burial. We soon discovered he had brought another woman, my stepmother, into the house. We knew we would all have had to get used to it because we were just children; he was our father, but more was about to happen.
After the burial, we returned home, but our father didn’t want us to stay at his house anymore. He threw my siblings and me out of his house, discouraging us not to go back to school and saying that we should go marry or find work to do instead. We had nowhere to stay until my elder brother called my maternal uncle, who came to our rescue. My siblings and I had to move to our uncle’s place.
After my mother passed away, I lost hope. I thought I would not be going to school anymore, despite being a Buyamba-sponsored child. I felt that since my hope, “my mother,” was no more, no one would care what and who I would become. But I thank God that despite all that was going on and being thrown out of our father’s house, Buyamba social workers kept checking on us until they ensured that we were back to school. My sister Racheal and I returned and finished the second term of school and completed our end-of-term exams. With the right people (the Buyamba family) by our side, I am confident and sure that my future is bright!
Today I had the honor of talking to one of our long-term sponsors, Fran, on the phone. She called to check out how old her sponsored child is because it appeared that either the child (Thomas) or the Buyamba office had the date incorrect. We checked it out, and sure enough, her child got his age wrong on his recent letter. I explained that the kids in Uganda don't necessarily grow up celebrating their birthdays so he might be confused. Before we hung up, after establishing the correct information for Thomas, she told me that she had money set aside for him until he was 18, so she had to know if Thomas was 10 or 11 years old. The story that unfolded behind this information brought tears to my eyes because it was a story of a faithful sponsor called by God to care for a child she would most likely never see.
Fran sponsored Thomas in 2016. The Lord had put on her heart to sponsor a child from Uganda because her good friend, whom she served for years as a preschool teacher, went back and forth each year to help children in Uganda.
Fran's church at that time was Calvary Community Church in Westlake, which holds a child sponsorship opportunity every year. Fran was preparing for that future Sunday that it would be available to her at church to pick a child. She was a bit nervous about it because she had just retired and would live on a fixed income, but the Lord encouraged her to step out in faith. That same week, she received a communication from a bank to which she had no account.
It turns out this was an account her mother had left her two years before, but she had forgotten about it. The following Sunday "just happened to be" Sponsorship Sunday at her church. She faithfully stepped up to the Buyamba Uganda table to pick a child to whom she would commit. Fran said she looked around at a sea of smiling Uganda children, but the picture that grabbed her was sad.
Picking up that photo and reading the child's background, she learned that the child's name was Thomas, which was her father's name that had just passed away. She knew right then that Thomas was hers. Fran found out soon after that it turns out the Lord had given her the TOTAL amount in that random bank account that Thomas would need for years to come until he was 18! God had met her in her step of faith beyond what she could ask or imagine.
Fran loves to receive letters and photos of her child each year and was happy to tell me that in every picture since that day, Thomas is always smiling!