Last Friday was sports day at Covenant Primary school! Several other primary schools in Mbale came to Covenant Primary to participate in a competitive sports day. Several IChooseYou children participated in netball, volleyball, and football (soccer) matches. The school grounds were full of teachers, children, and referees. Vendors came to sell popcorn, mandazi (donuts), and ice cream. Covenant Primary came away victorious in the under 12 boys and under 14 boys football matches. It was great fun for all!
Monday, July 7, 2014
It is this beautiful girl’s fifteenth birthday, so it’s only fitting that we feature her on our blog today. Vicky is in the P7 class (equivalent of 6th grade) at Covenant Primary school. Vicky has been in the IChooseYou program for six years. She lives in Namatala with her mother, seven year old brother, and three year old sister.
When she grows up, Vicky wants to pursue a career as a doctor. I asked her why she is choosing this profession, and she responded that she would love to treat God’s people. At school, Vicky likes to hang out with her friends Rebecca (also in IChooseYou), Rachel, Mercy, and Christine.
After school, Vicky helps her mother with chores and takes care of her two younger siblings.When she isn't at school or helping at home, Vicky likes to play netball and volleyball, as well as sing and dance. She loves to praise and worship, and she says that God has been teaching her more about worship lately.
Until recently, Vicky had a hard time reading her Bible because the print was too small and she had a problem with her vision. Now, she has been provided with glasses and is able to read her Bible once more. Her favorite story in the Bible is the story of Noah’s ark because “we should all serve the Lord our God and trust in him, just like Noah did.”
Vicky’s message to you: “Hold on to God and trust in Him, because he cares for everybody!”
Monday, June 30, 2014
This is Asuman. Asuman is ten years old and in the Primary 2 class (1st grade). He works very hard in school and is in the top of his class. His favorite subject to study is mathematics. When he grows up, Asuman wants to be a pilot because he thinks it would be fun. Asuman enjoys playing football (soccer) and playing with his friends Teko Brian, Wataka, and Senyonga.
Asuman has chickens and ducks at home, which he helps to care for. He lives with his mother, three brothers, and two sisters in Namatala. His mother, Grace, is a diligent participant in the IChooseYou mother’s sewing club. His favorite animal is a monkey and his favorite Bible stories are found in the book of John. Asuman has been in the IChooseYou program for two years. When I asked him if he wanted to say anything to his sponsors, he said, “I love you.” Asuman is a happy and helpful child. He can often be found pushing other kids around in a wheelbarrow during break times. He loves to laugh and have fun. He is very kind and smart, but my favorite thing about him is his enormous smile.
Monday, June 23, 2014
“Why do you want to be a doctor?”
Gloria scrunches her forehead together in deep concentration, as if the thought had never occurred to her before. After thinking about it for a moment, she replies, “I just want to help people.”
That statement embodies everything you need to know about this beautiful ten year old. At school, Gloria is always ready to lend a hand, whether it be carrying something for you, or helping to get the other children quiet during Bible stories. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen her put a gentle hand on a friend’s arm, to warn them to settle down before they get into trouble. At home, Gloria loves to help her mother with the other children, cooking, and other work around the home. Gloria lives with her mother, father, three sisters, and a “brother cousin”, as she calls him. Gloria has been in IChooseYou for one year and is in the P-3 (2nd grade) class at school. She enjoys going to school and being with her friends, Priscilla, Irene, Sandra, and Anna. Her favorite subject is science, and she especially likes to learn about domestic animals and insects. She likes to learn about the many insects and see which ones she can spot at home in Namatala. Gloria enjoys playing soccer, making up stories, and playing games with her friends.When asked if she would like to say anything to her sponsors, Gloria replied, “I love my sponsors! Thank you for caring for me!”
The same love and care that Gloria has received, she is more than ready to give to others. What a beautiful example of what we all should do with the Father’s love that He so graciously has poured out on each of us.
Friday, April 4, 2014
"I want to say thank you to Mama Becky and my sponsors. It is a good thing you have done here. We are not the same people were once were. I pray that you are given more of the spirit of giving so that you can continue to give to many others."
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
This beautiful girl is Sandra. Sandra is in P-4 (3rd Grade) and does very well in her class. She loves to go to school and her favorite subject is mathematics. Her favorite color is pink. When she isn't in class, Sandra enjoys playing netball and jump rope with her friends, Irene, Gloria, and Priscilla.
Sandra comes from a very loving and stable home, a rare thing in Namatala. Her father, Robert, understands his responsibility to take care of and provide for his family, and he is a very loving father and husband. Sandra's mother, Annette, is an active participant in IChooseYou's sewing club, learning job skills, financial planning, and how work alongside others in a way that is pleasing in God's sight. The family is a beacon of light in the community, regularly caring for the children of their neighbors and it isn't rare to see a large group of hungry children on their porch at dinner time. Sandra has two younger brothers and two younger sisters, all of whom love her immensely.
When Sandra grows up, she wants to be a primary school teacher. She loves to read her Bible and she wants to teach the Bible to others when she is older. The story of Abraham is her favorite. When I asked her why, she said, "Because Abraham heard the voice of God. I want to learn to hear the voice of God." I think she already has.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
This beautiful girl is Justine. Justine has just completed her final year of primary school and will be departing next week for boarding school in Kampala. After secondary school, Justine would like to continue her education at university. She would like to become a lawyer or a teacher when she has completed her education.
Justine's life has not been an easy one. The youngest of four sisters, Justine was a baby when her father died of AIDS. Her parents owned and operated a shop together, but when her father died, her mother was turned away empty handed. Justine's uncle helped the family to find a new place to live in Mbale. Her mother, Sarah, now raising four children by herself, was able to obtain a job with TASO (The Aids Support Organization). Since Sarah had to work, the children were left alone most of the time. Justine fondly looks back at times when she spent days playing pretend games with her sisters.
A representative from IChooseYou came to the area they were living in when Justine was school age. Joyce was immediately accepted into IChooseYou. When Joyce and Justine's mother heard about the child sponsorship program, she thought it was a scam. Surely no one could want to help her family, without desiring any payment in return? When it was proven that IChooseYou wanted to do exactly that, Justine was added to IChooseYou as well. Both began attending primary school, and with a little extra help academically, Justine thrived.
Justine loves her sponsors, and getting to know them has made a great impact on her life. When she was nearing the end of primary school, Justine decided that boarding school would be the best choice for her. She discussed it with the leaders of IChooseYou and then humbly put her request before her sponsors. Justine is so happy and thankful that her sponsors have continued to support her so well throughout the years.
Justine feels boarding school is the best place for her because she will be able to stay very focused on her studies in such a structured environment. Her favorite subjects are English and social studies. Justine's sister, Joyce, attends another campus of the same boarding school in Kampala. Justine is very excited about attending secondary school and being closer to her sister.
Though her life has not always been the easiest, this lovely and wise thirteen year old is full of truth. While discussing outward beauty, Justine said,
"All are beautiful. None is ugly who is made in the image of God."
How right she is. And what an exquisitely beautiful young woman she is, both inside and out.