Stories of Change
1. Kim, sponsor and traveller.
“I became a child sponsor in 2008. I saw a picture of Joab at a fundraising event for Children’s Heritage Foundation. His story touched my heart. In 2009, I traveled to Uganda with CHF to volunteer on a medical mission’s trip. While at the school where Joab attends, I was able to meet his mother and found out that Joab had a sister, Mercy. Their mother, Beatrice, struggles as a single mother. Without sponsorship assistance, Joab and Mercy would not be able to attend school.
Mercy is now in high school and finished 3rd in her class. Joab is also doing well in primary school. On a recent trip to Uganda, Beatrice shared with me that she has always dreamed of attending cosmetology school.
My husband and I now sponsor her schooling. She has one more term to complete her training and we are praying that she will find work to aid in supporting her children. They are our Ugandan family. We share a special bond.
Since that first trip in 2009, I have been back to Uganda 4 times. Uganda holds half my heart. I wouldn’t be the person I am now if I hadn’t spent time in Uganda with the amazing people of that country. Sponsoring this family has given me the gift of a window into their world that has changed me in ways I never imagined.”
2. Melissa, sponsor and traveller.
For nearly 10 years we sponsored Vincent. Each year, we would receive a current photo of him and watch him grow up from afar. We prayed for him as a family and sent him small gifts on holidays, figuring that would be the extent of our relationship.
But, in 2016 we had the opportunity of lifetime to travel to Uganda with CHF and meet our sponsored child, Vincent, face to face. We laughed together, cried together, prayed together, traveled and ate. We sang loudly and danced crazily. He gave us a crash course in Luganda. Our kids walked down the street holding his hand. It's impossible to put into words how full my heart felt watching my biological children wrestle and play with their African brother.
There is a simple, raw beauty in the way God used sponsorship to knit us together across continents. It's easy to imagine that the joy we felt over being together is just a tiny glimpse into what Heaven might be like.
Vincent is 22, now, and has graduated from secondary school. He will start college courses in a few months. No matter where he is in life and no matter where we are geographically, he will always be a part of our family. We have learned so much about God's definition of family through our decision to sponsor. It has changed my understanding of what it looks like for God to include us, to bring us to Himself, and to have unlimited space and love in His family.”
3. Maggie, CHF social worker, Uganda.
“I finished high school in 2001. My parents didn’t have money to send me to college, so I got a job working as a gas station attendant. During my first year on the job, I fell in love with a man who promised me a bright future. In 2003, I became pregnant with his baby, quit my job and moved in with him. Things were easy for a few months. Our baby arrived healthy and we were both happy. But, shortly after that, things took a turn for the worse. I discovered that my boyfriend was in a relationship with another woman. In 2004, he abandoned me and our 5 month old baby.
For the next 5 years, I raised my daughter alone. I had no income and only a small amount of money from handouts to try to survive. I started selling second hand clothes door to door, but rarely made enough money to get past our daily needs. We struggled every day.
In 2006, I got a job in a supermarket and from there, life changed a bit. I began attending church and making new friends. But, in December of that same year, my mother became ill with cancer and I left my job to care for her. Only a few shorts months later she passed away, leaving me with the full responsibility of caring for my little brothers.
I was at a very desperate time in my life. Our church began taking volunteers for a new ministry and I offered my time as a way to fill my days with something meaningful. This was not a paying job and I was the only one in the congregation who was willing to do it for free. The CHF program was just forming and I began my work with them translating children’s interviews into English.
That was the beginning of something amazing in my life. Through that ministry I met Cammie, a woman who saw me so much greater than how I saw myself. She poured her finances and, most importantly, her love into me and since that time God has overturned my life. I attended and graduated college, married a wonderful man and am currently working a paid position in the same office I began volunteering with! We own a home, have four healthy children and take care of the needs of our niece and many other children who need a safe place to stay. God has turned my mourning into laughing and poured out blessings on me day and night. I am so grateful for CHF because God has used it to make my life new again and to transform me into a person that has hope for tomorrow.”