ICHOOSEYOU MINISTRIES NEWSLETTER 2013
For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, God has chosen you to be His own special treasure. Deuteronomy 7:6
This is IChooseYou’s scripture, the following is a personal favorite of mine:
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord… Psalm 127:3a
Team members, Becky Ball, Darby Burleson, Katelyn Lipscomb, Madison Nye, Bryanna Armstrong, Anapaulina Perez, Rachel Gober Thomas, Chase Thomas and Callie Eacret, left Houston on May 1 for the great adventure of 2013!
We had many highlights, choosing 3 more children for the IChooseYou Sponsorship program (we now have 50 children!), treating wounds in the slums of Namatala, spending quality time will all 50 children (no school…they were on holiday!), teaching new songs, having a great personal hygiene class for the older girls and boys…..I could keep on going! Darby, as always spent good quality time with the IChooseYou Sewing Moms. There was a lot of sewing going on and she was able to sit with them and talk to them about their goals, their vision for the future, their wants and their needs. Darby is such a blessing to these ladies…she shows them just how important and special each one is to her, to us, to the children and above all else to Jesus.
But the biggest highlight for me this year was being able to experience a huge first for the children of IChooseYou. None of the children but 2 have never been out of the Mbale/Namatala area ever in their lives. Well, we took them to Kampala and Entebbe for a great two day field trip! We loaded 47 children, 10 team members and 4 Ugandans on a bus and a van and headed out! They were all dressed in their new IChooseYou T-Shirts, new school shorts, new school shoes and new backpacks. It is a 6 hour drive one way and on the bus, we heard many songs and unfortunately some sick bellies but it was all amazing!!! We stopped once on the way for a potty break. It was on the side of the road by a forest (sorry, I can’t remember the name of it) and 47 children hopped off the bus and ran into the bush!!! Oh my, this was a first for me….we could never do this in America!!! It was hilarious and this was just the beginning!
We drove across the Nile River then we drove through Kampala, the capital of Uganda, then on to Entebbe. We had lunch at the shores of Lake Victoria; I think the 2nd largest lake in the world. Lake Victoria is the headwaters of the Nile and the lake itself is in 3 African Countries...just a little side note. They ate fried chicken and fries (another first for them). They saw a ski boat pulling a skier, I’m not sure they understand that one yet! We then went to the Entebbe Zoo and Learning Center…it was great! They all said that the Chimps were their favorites….they did put on a show for us…they are very loud! They giggled at the monkeys that ran all around us throughout the park. After the Zoo we took them to the airport to show them where we fly in and out of and to show them the size of the planes that we fly on….they were pretty amazed by that. After our day in Entebbe we arrived at a church encampment in Kampala where we would stay the night. We arrived and they had dinner ready for us, the children sang and danced after dinner then it was off to bed. I will have to admit, it did bring a tear or two to my eye when I walked into the girls dorm. They were giggling and chattering in their beds….this was the first time most of them had ever slept in a bed! They were not sleeping on a mat on a dirt floor this night and they had mosquito nets over them….they were little princesses on this night, the most exciting, fun and memorable night of their little lives. All I could say was, “Thank you so much Jesus for this night and for allowing me to be a part of it”….our God is so good and so big!! They slept through the night without anyone falling out of their bed and after breakfast the next morning we said goodbye to Darby, Madison, Rachel and Chase and we headed back to Mbale/Namatala where life goes on. But isn’t our God so good to give us sweet moments like a trip to see the Nile River, a big lake, chimps at the zoo, big airplanes and a bed to sleep in!! I am so thankful and so blessed by these children…seeing new things through their eyes!