I'm very excited to introduce you to some new friends today. You may already have been introduced to Jack and Kelly, the very American looking couple in these photos. Kelly was my middle school Spanish teacher turned dear friend, and Jack is her husband. You may also already know that Jack and Kelly got engaged in Uganda a few years ago while on a mission to build water wells and visit sponsored Compassion International children there.
Jonathan and Jackie, the other couple in these photos, are from Uganda, and grew up there as sponsored children through Compassion International. They have been married four years, and already have two sets of twins! That's right, four children under the age of four!
The Lord brought Jonathan and Jackie into a friendship with Jack and Kelly through their visits to Uganda. Now, the four of them are working together to give back the hope they have received from the ministry of Compassion, and through their friendship.
Here is Jackie's story of hope received as a sponsored child:
Isn't she beautiful, and don't you love the joy with which she shares her gratitude for the hope she received through sponsorship?
We felt so privileged to spend an evening with these two couples eating dinner and hearing about a new ministry they have created together.
Kayla felt privileged to bask in puppy love of Cleo and Sasha all evening!
(Pretty sure the doggies were basking in Kayla love as well!)
Kayla, Cooper, and I each picked out a Ugandan treasure from the coffee table overflowing with necklaces, bracelets, sewn and stuffed animals, and beautiful banners while we heard about what this foursome is up to these days as they try and extend hope to even more children in Africa.
Together they've created African Hope Children's Ministry. It is a child sponsorship program much like Compassion International, but because Jackie and Jonathan have inroads into some very rural villages, they are able to reach older children and teenagers in Uganda who may not be reached by one of the child sponsorship ministries, and have already been able to support and provide safety for some who needed immediate help because of crisis situations. "Mercy", their first sponsored teenager was in just this sort of immediate need. Today Mercy lives with Jackie and Jonathan in safety, and is attending school as you can see from the informational material below.
This ministry allows for children to be "double sponsored", in that each child has two sponsors who commit to $35.00 per month. As you can see, this provides for school expenses (school is never free in Uganda), health and well-being, as well as further life-training through camps and conferences.
I've blacked out their address and phone number for now, but will be more than happy to pass them along via email for any of you who may be interested in supporting this much-needed ministry. Also, they are in the process of developing a website with more information and avenues of giving.
Again, I'm so thankful for this new friendship and the privilege of introducing them to you! Please let me know if you would like to connect with them in any way. Jackie and Jonathan are here in the states (based in TX) through March. They have a fairly full schedule of speaking engagements, but would love to consider sharing their story of hope with you, those you know, or your church, etc. and giving others the opportunity to help them extend that same hope to others in their native country.
And stay tuned, because not only did we get to spend an evening having dinner with this lovely couple, but a week or so later we also got to take them to the biggest and best rodeo in the state of Texas! ☺