Just two months ago, we had the privilege to travel to Uganda after five canceled trips due to Covid. The purpose of this trip was to ensure the Arrows + Hope mission of pointing orphaned and vulnerable children to hope in Christ is being lived out, and making a difference in the lives of sponsored children. Spending face-to-face time with the Uganda team is so important! They need encouragement and prayer, as the work they do each day is not easy. Our conversations also included brainstorming ideas for improvement and increased accountability.
During our visit to Uganda, we had a goal to visit as many children as we could in their homes. Each home and village tells us a story. Spending time in each child’s village gives us a clearer understanding of their situation and how we can specifically pray and care for them.
Wilson’s home village told us the tragic story of a young girl, struck and killed by a truck just days prior to our visit. Fresh dirt and flowers surrounded her gravestone, which lay just yards from the small grass hut where Wilson’s mother and her children sleep.
Wilson’s mother appeared tired. We came to learn she has no land of her own to farm, making for an extremely difficult life in rural Uganda, as a widow and mother of six. The small piece of property where she lives was given to her by her late husband’s family. She struggles to provide for her family’s basic needs by working in other peoples gardens for $1-2 per day. The young girl who recently passed away was the one who would care for her children while she worked.
Wilson’s mother is grateful for the discipleship and education he receives through his A+H sponsorhsip. We are prayerfully considering other ways to come alongside Wilson’s mother, and other single mothers like her, to help them provide for their families.
Hope and Joy
Another home told us a story of hope and joy! This grandmother was dancing and singing when we pulled up. She was so excited to show us the small produce stand she started after attending the business training which was offered by Arrows + Hope.
With huge smiles across their faces, both she and her granddaughter gave glory to God for the blessing of discipleship, education, training and encouragement they have received through Arrows + Hope.
Daniel’s home was quiet when we arrived. We were told his mother was down by the lake, fishing. A child ran to get her. We soon met her running down the red dirt path as she hurried to change from her wet clothes into a beautiful, African print dress. Daniel also went to change into his best clothes for our visit together.
Daniel’s mother put the fish she caught into a bowl. Fishing is how she provides for herself and her children. She can sell the fish in the market to buy other things she needs!
Each home we entered into held precious faces, and each held its own unique story. Over and over again, we heard glory given to God! These families recognized that it’s not us, nor those back in the US who are supporting or sponsoring… but it is God through us! We get to be His hands and feet, to be part of the seed planting and watering happening in Uganda. It was so beautiful to see this firsthand!
One way we saw seeds being planted was by watching the children read or listen to the letters sent to them from their sponsors. The letter Daniel is holding from his sponsor in the below photo speaks life over him and encourages him. His sponsor shared a verse from the Bible, and spoke of Jesus loving him so much that He died for him! Daniel wasn’t the only one who listened to these truths being read out loud… Look at all the children behind him! These letters will be hung on the walls of their huts and treasured forever.
The sower sows the word (Mark 4:14) – In other words, the farmer is like a person who plants God’s message in people!
Something else we found at almost every home during this visit was a spirit of gratefulness – for the Lord’s protection during COVID, for provision of food and school fees for their children, for the team in Uganda who are always there for them, and for so many other things!
Our purposeful visits are short, but the Arrows + Hope team in Uganda works hard each and every day sharing the love of Jesus! They are amazing, and we are so thankful for their hearts for the children, integrity and hard work ethic. They hold weekly discipleship programs, conduct home and school visits, arrange for medical care when needed, encourage the caregivers, pay the schools fees and make sure each child has the supplies, shoes, and clothing they need for school each term, send monthly updates and reports to the US, and so much more.
We left Uganda, after visiting 105 children, encouraged that the mission of pointing these precious children to true hope in Christ is being carried out by Claude, Sophy, Susan, Sarah, and Dennis each and every day in Uganda. Thank you to each of you who have partnered with us through prayer, sponsorship, and support! To God be the glory!
Will you join us in the mission of pointing more children to HOPE in Christ? There are so many ways to make a difference!
Hold a sponsorship drive at your church, school, or simply share with a group of friends.
Join us on the next vision trip in July 2022.*
*Scheduled for the last two weeks of July – Please email Michelle Fisher or Sandy Holtrop for more details.