Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Today has been a busy day.

First, I worked on a new website and got us turned into a dot org, like we should be!  Check us out at and let me know what you think!  The old website is still working until April and at that time, I will switch it to the new one.

Second, I made a picture movie.  I thought I could only do this on a Mac and since mine met an untimely death a while ago and I have been using a PC, I never created one...until now!  Let me know what you think!

Friday, March 8, 2013

My first year of teaching I had a boy in my second hour class that has stuck with me.  I will call him JD.  He was an interesting kid.  Tough.  Probably a lot going on, a lot of baggage.  But he was always kind and respectful to me.  He missed school sometimes but he tried in my class.  I tried to help him with his work and he would even come in early to make up tests or assignments he missed.

My second year of teaching, this boy got in a lot of trouble.  He made a huge mistake and made really bad decisions.  He was 17 maybe 18.  Now he is serving 35 years in prison. (Just in case you were wondering, it wasn't murder or attempted)

When I heard the news the first time, no one could believe it.  I had students that were in class with him that first year coming to me all day asking if I had heard what he did.  We were all in disbelief.

I saw an article online yesterday and it reminded me of him.  He was in a group of several boys and the last one was finally sentenced.  I didn't follow along with his case, so I went back and googled to see what happened to him.

35 years.

When he gets out, he won't be a kid anymore.  Who knows what prison will do to him?  And my heart breaks for him.  I know he screwed up.  BIG TIME.  I am totally not saying that there shouldn't be consequences to his actions.  There should.  But this??? I wonder...

Anyway, not the point I wanted to make...

Now he is just another statistic.  Just one more kid, now man in prison, for bad choices he made.  Most would probably say good riddance, one more criminal off the streets.


But to me, he isn't just another number.  He isn't just another court case or news report or criminal.  I knew him.  I talked to him.  He sat in my classroom.  I helped him with his work.  I laughed with him.  He isn't just another nameless face whose life has been wasted.  He is a real person, who had hopes and dreams at one time, probably still does.  He is a kid who had a family, a mom whose heart probably hurts more than I can even begin to claim mine does.

Things change when you put a face and a name to a statistic.  You can no longer ignore what has always been.  He isn't the first boy to be in this situation, I am sure he won't be the last.  But because I knew him.  Because I saw potential.  I see them all through his eyes.

And it has been absolutely overwhelming.

I love this quote because it is so true.

“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes…” – David Platt

You can replace orphan with any group you chose:  prisoners, kids living on the streets, people in some form of slavery, girls and women being sold, I could go on and on and on.

But now you know about him.  Will you begin praying with me for him?  

You know about the boys too and the thousands still on the street.  Will you pray for them too?

Monday, March 4, 2013


I am so proud of who these boys are turning into.

So. So. So. Proud!

It continues to amaze me every day.

I have been really down in the dumps lately.  It has been officially one year since I left Uganda.  I never thought I would be gone this long.  I thought it would only take me a few months and I would be back home.  Well..a year later, I am still in limbo.  And it sucks.  And its difficult.  Did I mention it sucks?

Anyway, last week I got word that something I thought was going to happen, didn't.  It kind of sent me spiraling and I was ready to move to Abu Dhabi.  Seriously.

And because God is good, I recovered.  I read the right words.  People said the right things.  And my spirit was renewed.

Truth is, I cannot imagine my life anymore without these boys in it.  It is no longer acceptable to me to never return to Uganda.  So we keep fighting.  We keep plugging away and eventually, I will get back.

I know it.

The thing that left me most encouraged was my talk with David on Sunday.  Before you continue, you should read his coming home story here.

I know without a doubt, David is supposed to be in the home.  But I never would have chosen him.  He was a mess.  But now...

David is in primary 7.  We let him go to the boarding section and got him extra tutoring.  We want him to be successful.  We want him to finish secondary school.  But in order to do so, he has to pass the exam at the end of primary 7 just to join secondary.  One of David's concerns about going to boarding was he would never get to talk to me anymore.  So I told him that when the uncle went, he could call me or he could write me letters and I would write back.

We talked on Sunday.  About normal stuff:  his classes, teachers, tutoring, the weather.  And then he asked about a friend that used to be in Uganda.  It was so random and unexpected.  He had never asked about her before and I didn't even know that he knew her.  Then he asked me about a day where things got a little out of control with an older boy.  I said I remembered it very well.  I don't actually remember him being there but I remembered the day.  He asked me if I would beg my friend to forgive him.  (Keep in mind, this happened about 2 years ago!)  He told me how bad he felt for that day and how he was mean to her.  He promised me that he was changed now but he needed her to forgive him.  He told me he didn't want to be that boy anymore and how he couldn't believe what bad behavior he had then.

I don't know what made him remember.  What made him feel like he had to beg for forgiveness.  The day was long forgotten in our minds.  I hadn't thought about it since.  But it was still on his mind.

He continued on to tell me that he never gets in trouble at school and how thankful he is for his opportunity.  He told me when he got off the phone with me, he was going to appreciate the uncle too because we have done such great things for him.  I tell you, I never thought he would be this boy.  I would have never chosen him because even though I didn't remember that day, I remembered others.  But God is good and He knew what David was capable of being.

Now I do too.

We ended the conversation with David telling me that he loved me.  I, of course, told him I loved him so much too.  He responded by telling me he was sure he loved me more and when I told him that wasn't possible, I loved him more, he laughed and said, "ok, you can love me more."

My heart melted.

I don't know the plan.  But David was the confirmation that I needed.  I am where I am supposed to be and one day, I will be back home.

David still needs sponsors.  If you want to help us change his life, let him know someone else loves him more, email me at  He is an amazing boy.  He will change your life, just like he changed mine.

on the left-playing checkers with Uncle Steven before he left for school