Saturday, September 12, 2009

Child Sponsorship Changing My Life

Uganda Day Three

Today was a very special day for me and a testament to the impact of child sponsorship. Today was the day that I got to meet Mauwa Nayikoba our sponsored child at Nabukalu Home of

Champions. Let me first preface what I am about to write by saying that I am not an overly emotional guy (big surprise to those of you who

know me), but the act of child sponsorship has truly changed my heart and I must say that I have grown to love Mauwa, prior to ever meeting her.

When Brandi met Mauwa on our first trip to Uganda, I was very sick and had to stay at behind at the Executive Hotel (which is a story for another time, let’s just say that I vowed never to go back). Mauwa’s father had died some time ago and her mother had just died a few weeks before. Mauwa is very shy by nature and Brandi spotted her sitting off by herself. Brandi has been given the gift of compassion and went over to her and put her arm around her. This was all that was needed to unearth the pain and the grief that this 13 year old little girl was feeling…she openly wept and Brandi’s heart broke for this child who was now all alone in the world.

Jamin, my good friend and the pastor of Summit Church, Naples was on that first trip to Uganda with us and his church decided to sponsor the Home of Champions. Their sponsorship Sunday was March 19th and Brandi and I decided that we would go down to Naples to be a part of their launch weekend. As we sat at Jamin and Vicky’s home organizing sponsorship packets Brandi came across Mauwa packet and she looked at me and without saying a word I knew that we would be sponsoring Mauwa.

As a child sponsor with Children’s HopeChest you are encouraged to live relationship with your sponsored child and the primary means of relationship is through letter writing. I made a commitment to take this responsibility very seriously, so I scheduled into every Monday morning’s calendar 15 min. to write Mauwa and I have been consistent, I have written to her every week since we accepted her into our family. Through this process I have grown to love her and the 15 minutes I spend writing her and sharing my week, a Bible story and memory verse are one of the highlights of my week!

Well today it came full circle and I had the opportunity to meet her face to face. Brandi had prepared me for the fact that she is very shy, so it was no surprise to me when a timid 13 year old approached and me and kneeled and bowed her head (a traditional greeting for girls when they meet men). I stood her up and hugged her and God allowed me to see a small piece of the heart he has for all His children. She has been so wounded and is so beaten down but there is a God who loves her and is committed to her far more than she can ever know, and that God that cares for and protects her is the same God who loves and protects me. The small sacrifice that we as a family make (which honestly is no sacrifice at all if I really boil it down) is meaningless in light of the sacrifice that our heavenly father has made on our behalf.

Mauwa knows that she is loved. My commitment is to continue to be a point of consistency in her life where there is no other earthly consistency. Lord, thank you for allowing Greg, Brandi, Brayden, Davis and Gracie to be a part of the redemptive love and compassion you show to Mauwa. Thank you for the leadership of Children’s HopeChest and the vision they have to follow the call of James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless it is this: to look after orphans and widows in their time of distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” and even more their desire to see every man, women and child impacted and changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It has been a great day…I feel incredibly blessed, and am grateful that I have the opportunity to play a small part in the things that He cares about.

On a separate note it was also a day of personal growth…I returned to Executive Hotel, a place that I vowed never to go, and still harbor significant resent for. But I overcame and even visited the scene of the crime. And, in a show of good faith I did visit the restroom and this time it was a MUCH better experience J

****For those of you who don’t know the story be glad, but let’s just say that it involves a squatter toilet, the worst food poising of my life, and no running water…UGHH


Wendi said...

thank you Greg! lovin' me some internet these days...going right now to write our sponsor child...ridiculous...really...

Anonymous said...

Greg, I love reading your blogs. As I read I can feel your love for what you are doing. Still praying for you and your team. Love, Mom and Dad

Anonymous said...

How do you sign up to sponsor one of these children. let me know!
Aunt Linda

Dearest Jessica said...

praying for you guys. I love this story and your commitment to her!

Sandra said...

Brandi, I was able to use your story of meeting your sponsor child with my kids yesterday. We were discussing Jude 22 about showing mercy and treating others with respect. Greg's story of you reaching out to Mauwa, just popped into my head. Thanks for being a teachable example of mercy. :-)