Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Meet the Kids Part 2

Now I will introduce you to the older children at the Kirabo Seeds home. 
It's been awesome getting to know them, they are great kids!

Daniel is 11 years old and in Primary 3. He's a sweet boy. His favorite color is red. His favorite thing to do is to ride bicycles. His favorite foods are chicken and caps (similar to meatloaf). He wants to be a car mechanic when he grows up. 

Dickson is also 11 years old and in Primary 5. He's a really smart and really funny. His favorite color is green. He says his favorite thing to do is clean his room. His favorite foods are pizza and rice. He wants to be a doctor when he grows up. And I think he'd make a great one! 

Paul is 12 years old and in Primary 5. He's a funny kid and joy to be with. I'm always smiling when I'm around him. His favorite color is blue. He loves riding bicycles. His favorite foods are rice, pizza, chaps and chapati. He wants to be a car mechanic, like Daniel when he grows up. 

Denis is 12 years old and in Primary 5. He's a quite boy, but he always seems to be happy. His favorite color is yellow. He loves to play football. His favorite foods are chicken and chips (or french fries). He wants to be an airplane engineer when he grows up. 

Angela is 13 years old and is also in Primary 5. Her and I have gotten pretty close over the past few weeks. She's an outgoing and mostly joyful young lady. She's a great helper to her younger siblings and often leading in the activities we do. Her favorite thing to do is sing, and she's really good at it! Her favorite foods are pizza, sandwiches, and sausage. When she grows up she wants to sponsor other orphans like her. (How awesome is that?) 

Peter is 13 years old and in Primary 4. He's a very friendly and outgoing boy. He seems to be best friends with everyone. His favorite colors are yellow and blue. His favorite thing to do is to run. His favorite foods are pizza and chicken. He also wants to be a doctor when he grows up. 

Musa is 13 years old and in Primary 3. He loves to be a leader and usually is the one making sure everything gets done. He has a love for photography and is always asking to have his picture taken. When he sees it he tells me what I could do to improve it. His favorite color is yellow. He also loves to ride bicycles. His favorite foods are matoke (cooked bananas), and chicken. He wants to be a pilot when he grows up. 

Ronald is 14 years old and in Primary 5. He is often found in the background of the group. He's a hard worker and great at taking care of all his younger siblings. He does things right away and never complains. His favorite color is blue. He loves to sweep the compound. His favorite foods are rice, pizza, sausage, and chaps. He would like to be car mechanic when he gets older. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Meet the Kids (Part 1)

I want to introduce you to the youngest kids here at the home, and I'm hoping maybe you will fall in love with them as much as I have.

Ronah is 3 years old and such a cutie. She can be sassy and try to get away with anything, though, so you have to watch out for that. When she's in her sweet mood her older siblings really enjoy taking care of her and playing with her. She seems to be picking up on English pretty well. Whenever I read her a story she copies every word I read. It's so cute! She said her favorite food is bananas.

Marvin is 4 years old and such a big helper. When the dishes need to be done he is usually the first to help out. He wants me to join him in the helping too. His favorite color is yellow. His favorite foods are pineapple, oranges, and pizza. He wants to be a pilot when he grows up.

Ryan is 6 years old. He is really sweet and loves to laugh. He's one funny boy who loves attention. His favorite color is yellow. He loves to wash dishes, and his favorite food is pizza. When Ryan grows up he wants to be a driver for visitors.

Lydia is 7 years old. She loves when I read her books. She loves to help out with washing the clothes. She can be shy sometimes, but her laugh is contagious. Her favorite color is blue. Her favorite foods are pizza and chicken. She wants to be a driver and a mom when she grows up.

Lawrence is also 7 years old. He's quite the character. He always makes me laugh. He says his favorite activity is watching movies. His favorite color is red. His favorite foods are the same as Desire (they are best friends), pizza, samosas, rolex (similar to an egg burrito) and chapati (a type of flat bread). When he grows up he wants to be a helicopter pilot.

Desire is 8 years old. He so smart and loves to talk. I was helping him with dishes one afternoon and he talked my ears off! He’s such a dreamer. He told me he wants to be a pilot, a mountain climber and a president. He went on and on about how that would be. So cute! His favorite colors are yellow, pink and purple. His favorite foods are pizza, samosas, rolex and chapati.

Christine is 9 years old. She can be shy, and when the attention is on her she giggles and hides her face. She is really good at playing cards (when we play together she's usually wins every time) and jumping rope. Her favorite color is green. Her favorite foods are rice and chapati. When she grows up she wants to be a shopkeeper and a teacher.

Victoria is 10 years old. She always seems to have a smile on her face and loves helping out with the youngest children. She also loves to dance. Her favorite color is blue. Her favorite foods are pizza and fried chicken. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

I see so much joy in the kids. I asked Angela (one of the oldest) after school if she had a good day and she said "No", but had a big smile on her face and was skipping around. So I asked her why she was happy, and she said "Home is good, I am happy to be back at home." This is a family, not an orphanage. The kids and staff here are amazing, and I’m so thankful for this opportunity to be part of their lives this summer.

During the past two weeks I've been able to really get to know the kids and see what it takes to run a home like this. When the kids have free time we play games, read books, watch movies, and just talk together. This past week we played a water balloon toss (their favorite). The kids asked me to bring more water balloons because they remember playing it last time I came (with the YWAM team). They helped me fill them and they had a blast playing. It didn't last long, though, because they were so excited. The joy on their faces was priceless. I love seeing even the oldest ones having fun! 

Taking a silly selfie with Marvin.

The kids are really starting to get to know me and I’m falling in love with them. It’s going to be so hard to leave, I already know that. Even though I miss many things about America and some moments I just want to go back, I really love this place! It’s not always easy. As you can imagine helping raise 16 kids is tiring, emotionally and physically, but it’s also awesome! There is so much to learn from my experiences here!

I can't wait to see what the next 3 weeks bring!

Ryan and I playing with my webcam.

*Prayer requests: 

Please pray that God will give me strength and energy to make the most of my time with the kids. Also, that I would be joyful in everything I do. Thank you!

Also, Kirabo Seeds needs at least 3 more sponsors for the kids here. If you are interested please email me for details ( It's only $25 a month. I'll be writing a post soon with more details on sponsorship.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Serving at The Gem Fundation

For the past 28 days I've been serving here at The Gem Foundation. 

The Gem Foundation was founded by Emma (read the amazing story here of how it all began), and exists to take in children with special needs that other orphanages do not have the resources to take care of. Emma's has a huge heart for these children and it's awesome to see! Macey, who like Emma, has moved here indefinitely from America, to work for The Gem Foundation. Currently there are no children in the home, yet, but it could be any day now. They are just waiting on their final approval from the government. The Ugandan staff members are hired, the home is ready, and they even have some children in mind to transfer here as soon as possible.

So as you can imagine we've been doing a lot of praying, waiting, getting last minute things together, and attending meetings. But we didn't forget to have fun!

Staff lunch/birthday party for one of the staff children. 

The sweet birthday boy!

This past week we trained the staff in Early Childhood Development, Nutrition, First Aid, and Special Needs. I put together a training manual for these topics and we taught from it. It was so much fun training the staff and hearing all that they learned. I know these ladies will be such great nannies for the children who come into this home! 

Emma sharing her vision for The Gem Foundation

Me teaching on Early Childhood Education

It's been an incredible journey to serve here and be a part of the beginnings of The Gem Foundation! I can't wait to visit again soon and meet all the precious "gems" that will call this place home! 
Tomorrow morning I travel to the other side of Kampala to serve at the Kirabo Seeds Children's Home. I am very excited for this new adventure, but I will never forget the amazing people here at The Gem Foundation!

The staff members and their families!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Last Day as a Go Team

June 2nd was our last day as a team, and we made the most of it. 

We went out to African Hearts Junior School to re-paint some of their buildings that needed to be freshened up. 

(Photo by Lindsay)
The "teacher" inside of me always loves to visit schools here. I love to see how the classrooms differ from America and I'm always amazed that the children here learn 2 languages (English and Lugandan). Of course, when we arrived at the school it was a sight the children didn't want to miss. They were peeking out the windows of their classrooms, until it was break time and they all came running up to us to greet us.

(Photo by Lindsay)

Pastor Dwight always draws a crowd! The kids love it when he calls himself "Big Jaja".
(Photo by Lindsay)

(Photo by Lindsay)

(Photo by Lindsay)

(Photo by Lindsay)

Being curious little kids. :)

I'm pretty sure some kids were skipping class to watch us paint. 

Having fun! (Photo by Lindsay)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Birthday Party Fun!

On May 31st our team joined with A Perfect Injustice to celebrate the birthday of 3 boys in their program. Every month they have a birthday party for the boys born during that month. 

It was an honor to help them prepare the food, join in with the games, face painting, and cookie decorating, as well as help serve them lunch. Here are the pictures from this exciting day!

Rachel and I cutting up fruit.
Carrying the food to the Gazebo.

Washing dishes (makes me appreciate a dishwasher)!

The boys playing with marbles.

Getting their face painted. 

Of course, we ended with their favorite activity, dancing!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Joy for the Street Boys

On May 27th our team helped at a program for street boys in the slums of Kampala.

Taking a group picture with the street boys.
We taught a bible lesson, gave our testimonies, organized games for them and finished off with face painting and coloring.

Rachel sharing her testimony to the boys.

Me telling the boys the story of Noah and talking about God's faithfulness in my life.

20 boys raised their hands to receive Christ after our testimonies and bible story! Wow!

It was amazing to see them all be able to be a kid again. For those 5 hours they didn't have to worry about being hungry, being vulnerable, where to sleep safety, or how to survive.

Photo by Linsay

They really enjoyed everything we did and we saw so many smiles. It was a privilege to see so much joy in them. They were amazing kids! So sweet and loving. I can't even imagine being in their shoes and living on the streets at night especially. Having no where to call home and no one to care for you. It was heartbreaking to think about. But today they were brought hope. Today they laughed. Today they were loved. The ministry that runs this program does such a great job! All their staff really love the children and are great christian leaders for them. What a great experience! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Teaching School at API

Back on May 28th while the Go Team was still here we had the amazing privilege to teach the boys at A Perfect Injustice. These are boys who once lived on the streets of Kampala. Now they belong to a family, receive an education, and are shown the love of Jesus. They now have a hope and a future, and most importantly have the opportunity to be a part of God's family. It was amazing to go to the village where the boys live! It is a beautiful place with huge gardens, amazing homes, fun playgrounds, and beautiful views. The boys are home-schooled right on campus. The boys are all on different levels, some have never been to school, some have only been a few years when they arrive. So, in order to avoid embarrassment and shame from the other children in public schools the boys are taught everything here. There are also a few girls from the community that are enrolled in the school, because their families are not able to afford school fees. 

The classrooms are under these gazebo's that a past IVO team provided.  

Our team of 8 divided up into pairs and taught the children different subjects. This was actually considered a fun day for the children and the teachers were able to get a much needed break. We taught health/anatomy, agriculture, art/geography, and dance! The children were so excited to have us come teach them and they were so eager to learn. They were all so smart and worked hard. 

Theresa and I taught art/geography, where we drew a map of the world. It was so interesting seeing what each grade level knew about the world. We were impressed with their knowledge! I feel like some of them knew more than me! 

After a few hours of teaching it was time for fun! Theresa, who is a Zumba teacher in America, taught us different dances from around the world. The kids were so thrilled to learn these dances. I'm pretty sure dancing is any Ugandan's favorite thing to do! Of course, they wanted to teach us their local dances at the end.