So I wanted to share with you all of bit about the people who I spend each and everyday with. It is this group that encourages and supports me. These are the ones that get to enjoy my great jokes, admire my rugged handsomeness, and all in all be blessed by my incredible personality. Just kidding, I've learned so much from this group. It amazes me how close you become with those you work and I am so lucky to have brothers and sisters in Christ by my side. I pray that I can be a blessing to them.
First up is Katie. Katie is the founder of Amazima and the mother to 13 great girls. She is the executive director so she does a bunch of administrative stuff, but all her passion is for the people of Uganda, so relationships with the people we serve always take priority. She spends big portions of her days homeschooling her girls, but she also, leads the women's beading circle and oversees all of our medical programs. She also works closely with Christine and her work in Masese (a very impoverished community that we work in). Those are the major things that take up her time, but she has her hand in all that goes on.
She amazes me daily and I am so thankful for who she is and how she hungers to obey God in everything. One of her most admirable traits is her willingness to share all that is her with anyone in need. She will welcome the downcast and rejected to her dinner table. She will kiss and love on the dirty hungry children that God so dearly cherishes. She will give of herself and her family in ways I have never seen before. She is the type of person that makes you want to be a better you.
Next is Patrick. Patrick has kind of become my right hand man. He is a very talented and resourceful man. He lives and works at the land that Amazima owns. He oversees the upkeep of the chapel, the farm, and the playground. He used to be a farmer and a carpenter...kindred spirit. He has become a pastor and has a small church in the village that he leads. We use him in such a wide range of ways that it is hard to explain. He knows tons of people and really knows how to get stuff done. I can feel confident that he will figure just about anything out. I just tell him what I want or what our goal is and he gets it done.
He also is a father to many. Not only does he take care of his own children, but he also has taken in several of his brother's after he passed and just recently he adopted a little boy named Noah who's mother was our friend and died from Aids. So thankful for the example he is to the kids and the blessing he is to Amazima, not to mention me!
Oliver is in charge of our sponsorship program. She is such a smart woman. We have over 400 kids in our sponsorship and currently they attend over 30 schools. She doesn't have advanced computer programs to track all this yet she has kept it orderly and organized which boggles my mind. She knows every child in our program, their siblings, where they live, and so much more. She does home visits with all of the kids and follows up on their performance at school.
We are currently trying to find ways to take the load off of her. We are getting big enough that it isn't reasonable to ask her to take all this on alone. Right now we are trying to pick her brain and get that expansive amount of info into a computer so all us dummies can have access to it without having to bother her constantly. Also, we are looking into breaking the kids into smaller groups and having some sort of mentor program. Thanks goodness we have Oliver though.
Christine is our social worker that works mostly in Masese. I don't directly oversee her so I can't say I know all that she does. What I do know is that she spends tons of time at clinics. Masese is ravaged by poverty, alcoholism, AIDs, and illness. Currently we are working to find ways to provide health care to those who can't afford it and education to those who need it (both of which are expansive). Christine is the face of Amazima to this community and shows them a love that is so rare...unconditional. She holds their hand as they wait for their HIV test results, she brings them a hot meal while they lay alone in the hospital, and she builds real and meaningful relationships with each and everyone she meets.
I am such a fan of Christine. I wish our work overlapped more cause she has such a joyful spirit and a smile that can light up a room. We have become good friends non-the-less. She is only 21 years old, but she is so mature, responsible, and wise. Currently she goes to school at night as well. She is working towards her masters in social work. I wish I wasn't so terrible with words cause I don't feel like I have adequately described how great she is. Oh well, just know she rocks!
Well this is getting pretty long so I will save the others I had in mind till next time. After starting this I realized I could have easily done a long blog about each. I will blog again this month before I come home. Oh yeah, I'm coming home for a visit! So excited to see everyone. Thanks again for caring enough about me to pray for me and follow what I'm doing.