In December, there will be a team of us going to Uganda to work with an organisation called Watoto. Watoto is a non profit organisation that cares for orphan children in Uganda. Building villages and raising future leaders.
I absolutely love and believe in the vision that Watoto carry, by placing orphaned children in family homes, with brothers, sisters and a mum, and in functional communities that cater for all their needs. The children are raised in a family environment, and for some of these children with the devastation that they have faced in their young lives, it has literally saved them over and over again.
As part of our trip, we will be building a new family home so that 8 children and a Ugandan mum can live with shelter, food, education, clean water and a life, with a community of people that believe in them. We will also be helping in the babies home in Kampala, which is specifically designed to care for children aged 0-2.
For this trip, we needed at least 15,000 British Pounds (US$25,000) to cover the costs of all of the building materials and local labour - we will pay wages to the men and woman that build with us, and for some of them, it will be the only income in the month that they receive, and they travel many miles to get there.
On Friday night we held a BidOnMe fund raising event, where people auctioned off their skills, expertise and many more things. We raised an astonishing 20,000 Pounds. We not only raised that money, but through an incredible side-track, we managed to sponsor 110 children from our church to go on an outing to Lego Land, these children were from single parent families, or through other circumstances couldn't afford to go, and will remember the generosity of people as they get to enjoy Lego Land with their friends on Saturday. The atmosphere of people being generous and beautiful was thick, and it touched me to my very core. I am still so overwhelmed with the beautiful spirit in which people gave. Every time I think about it, I think how incredible our God is. The goal seemed so big and so far away, but in just one night we raised over and above what we needed. The beautiful thing is that, the more we raise, the more they receive, and the more houses can be built, and the more a nation can be changed and restored.
On Sunday, our Pastor got up at church and just shared how much we raised, and how much we as a church believe in what Watoto do, and then added another 20,000 Pounds to our fund raising as a gift from the church!
WOW...talk about being overwhelmed already - that just tipped me over.
So here I am, absolutely amazed at the people in my world, at my church and ultimately at God. For something that didn't seem possible, it has become more than reality, and for that I will never be the same again. The way that I think will never be the same, the way that I pray will never be the same, and the way that I view people will never be the same. I have learned that people can be generous beyond comprehension when they have a valid cause to give to.
I know that this cause is literally changing the lives of every single person that encounters it, whether it is through something like I will be doing, building, going to a fund raising event, or where it personally changes the circumstance of your life like it does so many men, woman and children in Uganda. This is not just a cause, this is not just a humanitarian feel good activity...this is truly God breathed and carries the very heart of God at the centre.
The important thing is that we're not stopping here. Why would we? There are children to be clothed, fed, schooled and lives to be changed.
Come on guys...let's get moving. I know that anything is possible.
Proverbs 11v24 (MSG)
"The world of the generous gets larger and larger;
the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller."