For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope. -Jeremiah 29:11
Many families in Uganda have very little hope for a good future for their children. Imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t afford for your children to go to school and had little to no money to buy clothing, shoes or the basic necessities of life. Imagine the grief you would feel if you couldn’t afford to bring your children to a doctor when they are sick and imagine how hopeless you would feel if there were little no jobs for their future.
This week I was able to experience the opposite of this type of hopelessness when I met my sponsored daughter, Grace.
Grace and her twin sister Blessing are 13
and attend the Mbarara PCM school. She did not know I was coming. When I met her for the first time, she was overwhelmed with emotion.
She hugged me so tightly and wouldn’t let go as she cried and cried with gratefulness and thanksgiving. It is the dream of each of sponsored child to one day meet their sponsor and thank them in person. I knew the children would be grateful to be sponsored, but I didn’t realize the depth of the gratitude and the life changing hope $35 a month meant to a child in Uganda that otherwise had no hope for a good future.
But that was small compared to the gratitude of her mother who made a special trip to the school to meet me. When first introduced to her, a dam of emotions burst forth. She fell on me sobbing and sobbing with emotion and thankfulness. When her daughters were finally able to “peal” her off of me, of course I was crying by now too, she fell at my feet thanking me. Wow! After, we took several pictures together with the girls, she was still so overcome with emotion she could not even smile for any of them; but she assured me, they were tears joy.
What an honor it was to represent YOU as a PCM sponsor this past week in Uganda. I felt the full force of the love and gratitude from hundreds of sponsored children poured out on me when I visited each of the 5 Parental Care schools this past week with team 63. Unless you’ve actually had the privilege of experiencing it for yourself, its hard to begin to describe the depth and breadth of the warmth and love and joy that was felt in the songs, hugs, smiles and greetings of so many excited children as they swarmed our team at each school. I was overwhelmed by this outpouring of love and moved to tears, but this outpouring of gratitude was not meant for just me and my team. We were only the flesh and blood representatives of the sponsors that they have yet to meet and thank in person. So on their behalf, I thank you.
Thank you for caring enough to give faithfully each month to meet their most basic needs of food and shelter. Thank you for caring enough to write a letter of encouragement letting him or her know that he or she has not been forgotten and matters to someone. Thank you for the prayers and pictures that you send, the verses of encouragement and sharing a little bit of yourself with them.
Make no mistake about it…sponsorship gives hope!