Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Saying Yes

There is just something about the New Year.  Despite the cold weather the New Year brings with it a fresh start or a blank slate.  I had the day off yesterday but my husband had to work so, I spent the majority of the day reading, "Kisses from Katie".  
Katie's story is one to inspire you to follow God with all your heart and to say YES to whatever He is asking you to do.  If you don't know who Katie Davis is let me share a very summed up version of her story with you.  When Katie graduated High School in 2007 she decided that before she went to college she wanted to spend a year in Uganda...which quickly turned into her life.  Since that time she has adopted 14 abandoned Ugandan girls, started a sponsorship ministry, and now she is starting another ministry in a slum area in desperate need of aid called Masese, which is near Jinga, Uganda.  She is now about 22 or 23 years old and has done all this.  Anyone would hear her story and think, WOW she is something special!  In her book she repeatedly says that she is not anything special she just made a choice to say yes to God's call on her life and that without His strength, love, grace, and mercy pouring into and then out of her she could not do it.  Meaning, as Christians we all have the strength of God do to what He asks of us...despite how crazy it may sound.  I remember someone saying that they want to follow God's will because they don't want to miss out on the blessings that it brings.  Just think if Katie would have come back from Uganda and gone to college like she had planned...she would be the first to tell you she would have GREATLY missed out on the countless blessings of her live serving the poor in Uganda.

My prayer is that God would show me what He wants me to say Yes to.  What is God asking you to say yes to?

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Christmas Wish

A little over a week ago I wrote about a girl I met in Uganda named Angel.  Angel is HIV positive and lives in the slums of Kampala.  Today my dear co-workers in Uganda gave me more information about this precious young girl. What I learned broke my heart...

"Angel is a total orphan. Both of her parents died of HIV / AIDS. It’s unfortunate that she is infected too. Mr. Tamale picked Angel from a rubbish pit from where she had been dumped by her relatives and the state at which she was found was quite sad and severe. She was on the verge of dying. Apparently Tamale has no stable source of income and it is for this reason that he seeks a hand especially with school fees."

On the bright side...Angel does believe in Jesus and trusts Him for her salvation.  I am so grateful to Tamale who had compassion for Angel even though he struggles to provide all their needs.  Angel is 9 years old and in the second grade.  She hopes to one day be a doctor.  

Angel is in desperate need of a sponsor.  Would you sponsor her?  What a great Christmas gift to give to Angel...the opportunity to attend the childcare center where she will receive food, love and care from the Christian staff, medical care as needed, and help with her education.  What better gift could you give?  Please contact me if you are interested...let's get this girl a sponsor!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

World AIDS Day 2011

Today is World AIDS Day.  Did you know that 6,800 new HIV infections occur daily, worldwide, and more than 5,700 people die of AIDS each day?( Courtesy of Compassion International: http://blog.compassion.com/aids-and-poverty-world-aids-day-2011/#ixzz1fISN5vgC).  WOW!  

When I was in Uganda this past summer it was the first time I was really around HIV/AIDS.  I remember seeing these signs in many schools...

This was in an elementary school.  I also remember a sign that read, "HIV/AIDS is not the end of your life".  I can only imagine being a child and finding out you have a deadly virus...where medical attention is not always readily available and expensive.  How can you not feel like it was the end of your life?  A girl named Mary from the AMG orphanage recently graduated with certificate in catering services. She was abandoned by her family because she has HIV and she beat the odds thanks to the encouragement of the AMG Uganda staff and our Savior Jesus Christ. 

Since Uganda, when I hear HIV/AIDS I always think of a young girl I met in the slums of Kampala named Angel.  We were doing home visits near the Masajja Childcare Center and Angel just came up to me and grabbed my hand.  She was sweet, had a beautiful smile, and I remember one of her flip flops was broken.  This was the first time I had walked through one of the slums in Kampala and wasn't easy.  Let me paint a picture for you...we enter an alley and pass small shacks and one roomed apartments very close to each other.  The ground is dirt, uneven, with trash everywhere.  There is no grass, play grounds, or paved streets.  Children wearing rags, some with shoes some without, are running around everywhere.  Naturally, white people walking down their street cause quite a commotion.  Because this was the first time I had seen this type of desperate poverty, I struggled to keep my cool and not break down in tears in front of all these children, who live this life day to day.  Anyway...back to Angel.  So, the team did a few home visits and Angel stuck by my side throughout my time there.  She didn't say much just held my hand and smiled.  As we started our way back Jennifer, one of the workers at Masajja, told me that Angel has HIV.  Angel has HIV...and she lives here...in the slums with a broken flip flop.  All I could think is...how long will she last if she doesn't receive proper nutrition and medical care?  I would guess that Angel is anywhere between 8 and 10.  So young to be facing this deadly disease.  I was so shocked by what Jennifer told me.  I mean I know there are countless children who suffer from HIV/AIDS but I guess I didn't expect to be hit in the face with it by a sweet girl named Angel.  

Angel is in the yellow shirt to my left.
I gave Angel a bracelet and said a prayer for her.  I still think and pray for her often.  I just emailed my friends in Uganda asking about her Angel.  Maybe there is something I can do for her.  It is easy in America to forget that HIV/AIDS is still a huge problem in our world.  Find out what you can do to help and join me in praying for Angel and thousands of children just like her.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

what makes me cry

Isn't funny what God will randomly bring to your attention or breaks your heart for?  Something that you haven't really thought much about or even realized was out there...?

Well this week that happened to me.  On Monday morning during the AMG devotions I heard a report on Newspaper Evangelism in Nepal.  I had no idea AMG even did Newspaper Evangelism in Nepal but I thought that was pretty cool that AMG is involved in bringing the Gospel to this lost nation. I learned that a native from Nepal has been putting an ad in a magazine read primarily by 15-35 year olds.  Over the course of this year over 775 people have responded to the ad and 233 people have accepted Christ as their savior... through a Newspaper ad.  Anyway, at the end of the report our co-worker gave a prayer request:
"Many poor and orphaned children are neglected from education.  We are praying for a Christian home for girls because traditionally girls have less opportunity for education and are socially dominated; please pray with us."
This broke my heart.  Those poor children need someone to stand up for them and love them.  This was Monday.

Next week on the AMG Blog we are focusing on Newspaper Evangelism so I thought I would share what I learned about Nepal with our readers.  Yesterday I did some more research on Nepal...there are 380 people groups in Nepal and 93% of them are unreached...meaning: "An unreached people is a group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group" (Joshua Project).  Less than 3% are Christian with the majority practicing Hinduism.  In 2008 Nepal became a democratic secular state opening the door for evangelism although it is still difficult because of the Hindu majority.

I've been reading 31 Days to Change the World.  Yesterday the post was, "know what makes you cry."

On Sunday I only thought of Nepal as a small country where the Himalayas are and I think I watched a Destination Truth episode where they were in Nepal.  I have never been to Nepal and I have no idea what the culture is like.  Only 5 days later and God is breaking my heart for these people.  For the orphaned children, for the children who don't know Jesus, and for the men and women who have never known the true Joy and Peace Jesus gives.

I think it is too easy to forget the fact that there are those who don't even know the name of Jesus because in America we are surrounded by it.  They have no idea that God sent His son to reconcile the world to Himself...it is a free gift for all!  These people don't know and have no way of knowing unless someone tells them.  My heart is heavy...

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?  That is why the scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of the messengers who bring good news!"
Romans 10:14-15

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Sarah's story has been laying heavy on my heart since I returned from Uganda.  I haven't talked much about her to family and friends because her story breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes.  Let me share with you why...

On our last ministry day in Uganda we did a few home visits in the bush...literally.  I remember looking around my surroundings thinking...I wish Ryan was here to see this.  Unfortunately I don't have a good picture to show you but...just think of flat land, dust, farming, and houses made out of clay.  Anyway, it was a Sunday and after church and we visited three homes.  Sarah's was the last home we visited.  I knew a little about her story because she has been featured in the AMG News but I didn't remember the details (which I will share with you in a moment).  So we walk up to her home and see Sarah's beautiful smile.  She is sitting on a mat and greets each of us.  At the time I'm still a bit clueless as to her situation...

After visiting with her for a little while we learn that she is paralyzed from the waist down, only has sight in one eye, and spends her days sitting on a mat weaving mats. Because she can't feel anything from the waist down and she sits all day on the hard ground she often develops bed sores, her family cannot afford a mattress for her. Because her wheel chair looks like this...she cannot go to school.  

After leaving Sarah I learned a little more about her story.  Sarah is 12 years old and she was born healthy and lived a normal Ugandan life until she got cancer of the eye a few years ago.  AMG Uganda had set up the necessary treatments for Sarah because this cancer was very treatable.  The day before Sarah’s treatment her parents took her to a witch doctor, thinking the witch doctors treatments would heal their daughter. Unfortunately after a month of not receiving any treatment, expect that from a witch doctor, AMG finally found her and she was in bad shape. Sarah finally received the treatment she needed but because of the delay some permanent damage had been done.

The more I thought about Sarah the more my heart was burdened for her. I believe God has broken my heart for Sarah and I'm not the only one, Aly's heart is also broken for Sarah.  Since we have been back (a month now) we have been discussing what we can do in order to better her situation and give her all the opportunities any child deserves.  Like I said she is only 12 years old!  She has her whole life ahead of her!  Sarah is a smart girl and does well in school when she is able to go.  I think what is so hard for me to take in is that if only her parents hadn't taken her to the witch doctor she might not be in this situation. NO child should live a life of weaving mats on a hard floor for their whole lives.  I know God has a plan and purpose for Sarah and I must trust that.  

Please pray with me for Sarah as we strive to seek out a way to best help her.  AMG Uganda has gotten her a new wheel chair so hopefully she can start going to school. Eventually Aly and I would like to see Sarah at Upendo (the AMG orphanage in Uganda) because the school is right next to the girls dorm.  I believe Sarah would thrive there.  But, God knows best.  I have to remind myself that God loves Sarah more than I could ever love her.  HE cares for her more than anyone would care for her.  God will take care of Sarah but I want to do all I can to help.