Friday, August 26, 2011


Dorcas ministry started in the year 2008 when AMG noticed many young teenage girls were dropping out of school.  When girls would start their menstrual cycle they thought they were dying. Can you believe that?!  So, these girls would miss a week every month in school causing them to get behind and eventually just drop out.  The women at AMG Uganda stepped in and now educates these girls, supplies them with sanitary pads (which a packet only costs $1.50…but most families cannot afford them), and counsels them during this difficult age.  Many of these girls are total orphans and they come from very poor families. They are often abused by their parents or guardians.  They are forced to drop out of school at a younge age, forced into early marriages that lead them to early pregnancy and possibly being exposed to HIV/AIDS or other STDs.  The Dorcas Mothers (as they are called) disciple these young girls to follow Christ and make the right choices, like saving themselves until they are married. 

The girls on the team
One morning while in Uganda the girls on the team had the opportunity to fellowship and encourage the Dorcas mothers and some of the older girls involved in the program.  The team prepared a program with a few worship songs, testimonies, and scripture.  It was amazing how our team pulled together and each of us shared something with the Dorcas group.  This was one of my favorite days in Uganda.  These Dorcas mothers and girls are simply amazing.  We came to encourage them but their faith and complete trust in God encouraged and challenged me!  It is a beautiful thing to worship God and fellowship with sisters in Christ. 
Aly sharing the Word
I hope we were as much of a blessing to them as they were to us!  It really is amazing what this ministry is doing to help many young girls.  What is so amazing is this ministry started with about $10 that some of the AMG Uganda women put in from their own pockets.  Now, Dorcas ministers to mothers and grandmothers of sponsored children, they support two girls through university, and they continue to minister and disciple to young teenage girls entering into womanhood. 
Madie with a new friend
Please pray for the Dorcas ministry.  Let me know if you would like to learn more about the ministry and how you can get involved!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Meeting Jemima

One of the highlights of my trip was meeting me and Ryan's sponsored child, Jemima.  I remember getting in the bus that Saturday so anxious to arrive at Masajja and see her.  I even dreamed about it the night before. 

One of the greatest joys in a sponsored child’s life is to meet their sponsor. Likewise, it is such a huge blessing to meet the child you sponsor. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to go to Uganda and visit Jemima.

Jemima had three other sponsors before me but for one reason or another they stopped sponsoring her. I remember entering Jemima's bio into the computer during my first year at AMG. Her sweet smile and desperate story moved me and my husband to start sponsoring her (her father abandoned the family leaving her mother to care for Jemima and her two brothers on her own). Our relationship grew with letters and photos over the last two years. Honestly I never thought I would be able to go to Uganda because it is very far and very expensive. So, I never thought I would have the chance to meet Jemima. When it was official that I’d be traveling to Uganda I couldn’t wait to write Jemima and let her know I was coming!

This was taken after we first met
So, back to that Saturday...when we arrived at Masajja Childcare Center the Saturday program had already started so we took our seats (in the front) and I started scanning the crowd looking for Jemima.  I finally spotting her and knew it was her because she had spotted me too.  Once worship and the Bible lesson for the day were over it was time for "break tea" and she came to find me.  It is amazing to see the actual face of the photo you have been looking at for two years.  To know she is real and you are helping.  Jemima is a very sweet girl with a beautiful smile.  She was very timid at first but she kept holding my hand and smiling. 

Inside her home with her little brother
Jemima's mother is a cook at the childcare center and they live in a small room at the center (which is also a primary school and church).  I was able to peak into their home and meet Jemima's mom.  When I walked in I saw the photos the Ryan and I had sent her in picture frames on the table.  Wow!  Jemima's mother could not speak English but through a translator she expressed to me her gratitude to me and Ryan for all we do for them.  She started to tear up and so did I. 

Jemima, her mother, and me
When I left Masajja that day I didn't think I would be able to see Jemima again on this trip.  BUT, God is good and I was able to see her two more times.  During home visits in her area I had another opportunity to visit Jemima at her home.  I was blessed to be able to share with her family one of my favorite passages in scripture, Romans 5:1-5.  While we continued visiting homes of sponsored children Jemima came along with us holding onto my hand. 

Home Visit
During my time with Jemima I learned that she wants to be a bank manager one day so she loves math.  Jemima loves to sing and is in the choir at church and at the childcare center.  She has many good girl fact one of her good friends is named Gladys and my sister and brother in law sponsor her.

I knew that on the third day of being with Jemima I wouldn't be able to see her again and so did she.  I walked her to the bus that would take her home...she said she loved me through tears and I tried to be strong and keep it together but goodbyes are never easy. 

Saying Goodbye
Despite the sad goodbye I feel so completely blessed to be in Jemima's life.  Not only am I in Jemima's life but in her family's life.  What an honor to be able to help this sweet family.  I left Uganda feeling so encouraged by her family.  I know they are safe, I know Jemima has a good mother and friends to help her through life, and I know that both Jemima and her mother love the Lord and obey Him.

God willing I'll be able to go back to Uganda and see Jemima again.  I look forward to seeing her grow into a Godly young women with a very bright future.  Without AMG Jemima's life would be a lot different.  Her mom wouldn't be cooking at the center which provides her with a place to they might be homeless.  Jemima probably wouldn't be able to go to school and learn math so she can be a bank manager.  She also might not be following Christ with her whole heart.  It pains me to think of many other young boys and girls who are missing out on these basic needs and human rights because they don't have a sponsor. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm Home!

I can’t believe my two weeks in Uganda has past. It seemed to go by so quickly yet I have so much to share with you. For the next week or so I will be sharing some of my favorite stories from my time in Uganda.

Jemima's House, the girl Ryan and I sponsor 
I absolutely feel in love with the country. I admit at first the sights and sounds shocked me a bit. Our whole time in Kampala we only saw one street light…ONE! Traffic was a mess with cars, bikes, and motorcycles (or Bota Botas) then people walking everywhere. There was plenty of dirt…everywhere! Every night when I washed my face I was always shocked at how much dirt I cleaned off. But, the people of Uganda are extremely friendly, caring, and hard working. The children there are precious and easy to fall in love with!  

I am still trying to process all I saw and learned about AMG Uganda and about the lives of the kids in the program. It is amazing how close you can get to a child in only a few days. It was hard to say goodbye to the kids and to my fellow team members although, I am so happy to be back home with my husband.

God taught me a lot while I was in Uganda. I feel truly blessed to have been a small part of the work God is doing in and through AMG Uganda. My co-workers there are incredibly dedicated to serving God and reaching many needy children for His sake. Their dedication and faith challenged me in my own faith. Please continue to pray for AMG Uganda, our co-workers, and their ministry.

Home Visits
If you want to know more about the trip please keep coming back as I share some stories and photos.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day One

I'm sitting at the AMG home office waiting for 1pm when we drive to the Nashville Airport.  My day started with my second round of my Hep A/B fun I tell you.  Then I had to say goodbye to Boone and then goodbye to Ryan.  No all.  But, I keep telling myself that God has lead me here on this trip so I am fully trusting Him.  Even though this part is not easy. 

It probably makes me sound like I'm a big baby...not wanting to leave my husband and dog for two in a half weeks but...this will be the longest that we will be away from each other since we've been married.  Plus, I'll be pretty far away.  I keep telling myself that the two in a half weeks will fly by!  Which they probably will for me...I just hope they do for Ryan too. 

I am excited to get into DC tonight...Ashley will be waiting for us at our hotel.  We will be spending the night then catching the noon flight Tuesday all the way to Ethiopia.  It will be one heck of a long flight! 

Who knows what God holds of the team in Uganda!  I can't wait to see and I am praying I'll be open to whatever God wants me to do and whatever he wants to teach me!

Here is our Itinerary for Uganda, it might change slightly but this is the gist...
  • August 3rd Wednesday We will arrive in Uganda – get settled at the hotel and receive our debriefing and an introduction to AMG Uganda
  • August 4th Thursday We will begin our work at Upendo (the orphange) – Painting and working with children – we will have a staff fellowship in the afternoon
  • August 5th Friday Continuing our work at Upendo.
  • August 6TH Saturday We will be involved in the usual child care center activities for Saturday – games, bible teaching, activity – basically interacting with children.
  • August 7th Sunday We will attend an Ugandan Church
  • August 8th Monday Continuing our work at Upendo – possible home visits in the afternoon.
  • August 9th Tuesday We will be going to visit the Bukoto Child Care Center – work with children – games, sharing testimonies, etc.
  • August 10th Wednesday Back at Upendo – continuing our work.
  • August 11th Thursday Women will be involved with the Dorcas ministry, men will be involved with men/children. We will have a staff fellowship in the afternoon.
  • August 12th Friday Women will be involved with the Dorcas ministry, men will be doing home visits. In the afternoon, we will all be doing home visits in the Namugoga area.
  • August 13th Saturday We will be going to Igamba to minister at the child care center
  • August 14th Sunday Igamba for another day – Ugandan Church services
  • August 15th Monday Travel back to Kampala – get packed for home.
  • August 16th Tuesday Head home and share with friends and family all of the wonderful things you have seen God do over the past 2 weeks.