Everyone knows that Alyssa and I were "taken" with the Children of the World International Choir when they came to our church in Oct. 2009. We heard them on a Sunday night at our church. We didn't get to host any of the children but our youth pastor invited us to come have lunch with the whole group on Monday.
The children were so very loving. One little Ugandan girl came and sat next to me at the park.... and then laid in my lap... played with my hair and gave me some weedy flowers.
Alyssa and I were changed that Sunday night and for the next 7 months we went to different places that they were..... some in Georgia, some in Florida and one in South Carolina. We prayed for them, got to know them, they got to know us.... they called me Auntie Teena.
In January that little Ugandan girl asked if we would come again I told her "yes.... and that I pray for her and that we have pictures of all of you." She patted her chest and asked "you have pictures of JUST ME?"
I told her "yes" Alyssa made a run to the van and got the pic book ... the one where she was laying in my lap.... She asked "WHEN will you come back?" I told her in about 6 weeks.
In March we went to Florida again and this time I made a point to take several pictures of the children and me ....and that little Ugandan girl and me. She asked then "Auntie Teena, I see you again... before I go back?" I said "back to Uganda?" she said "yes?"
I said "I don't know... I hope so." I was thinking this would be the last time but Alyssa kept saying "God's going to let us see them again, Mom!" We knew their tour would be over in June.
God did.... Athens, Georgia.. in April. We went .... she (they) were so excited each time we surprised them. Alyssa (and I) were able to have lunch with them... watch two choir performances... and she was able to play games with them.... I made each of them scrapbook pages.... (from all the pics we took of them and us).
When we left that Sunday afternoon ... Alyssa BEGGED to go to South Carolina... 2 hrs Northeast .... guess what ....we went. more visiting.... more talking.... each time that little Ugandan girl would rub my hair, touch my face.... calling me Auntie Teena.
I asked the leaders and they told me she was a true orphan.... both her parents were deceased. she (plus some of the others) asked if we would see them again... before the tour was over. I told them "yes, I thought maybe ONE more time."
I asked what her favorite candy was .... she said "I like, I like candy with gum in the middle (blow pop)." I told her I would try to bring some next time!
I called World Help and asked IF she was eligible for sponsorship?
They said she was.....
My heart hurt of not being able to keep in touch with her... she loved me FIRST.
A few weeks later Alyssa asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day..... do you know where I am going with this? I told her I wanted to sponsor "JAMIRA" that little Ugandan girl.....
Well on Mother's Day .... she announced to me that her dad and her wanted me to sponsor JAMIRA!
We saw the children for the last time on May 20th.... we brought 3 bags of blow pops!
The leaders knew we had sponsored her (we emailed them & still keep in touch) and before they sang...
they brought Jamira out and said
"we want to introduce you to your sponsor." SHE SMILED and GRINNED so BIG. We gave her the blow pops .... she was thrilled. Words can't even describe. I told her we would write her.... I asked what some of the kids get from their sponsor and she said "stickers." I asked what kind she likes and she said "princess stickers." I told her we loved her.Jamira is our ugandan daughter ..... she returned to Uganda on June 7th. She will be 10 in November.
We cry. We miss them. We pray for them....We think about her in that orphanage..... we sent our first package to her last month and will send another this week. It has princess stickers and blow pops.
God has... and is changing our lives. God allowed the Children of the World to show us a glimpse of this world. Not just my little family.... or my town, church... state... or country... but HIS world. For so long I was just in my little bubble.... God is changing me.... for that I am grateful.
Please take a minute and watch this video/song by Sara Groves called "I saw what I saw." Someone sent it to me and said when they watched it .... they thought I would identify with it. It speaks for itself.