Today’s guest post is by Katherine Anderson, a Food for the Hungry sponsor who visited her sponsored child in Uganda and described the experience as a piece of heaven.
Words cannot describe how wonderful it was to visit my sponsored child in Uganda! It was a taste of heaven.
The Arrival in Uganda
The entire village came to greet us with cheers and ululations (a joyous howl) as we walked down a little path to Annet’s home. I knew Annet as soon as I saw her and she kneeled for the traditional greeting of the women in her region of Uganda. I had tears in my eyes; it was a quite overwhelming moment.
The Food for the Hungry (FH) staff, along with Annet, her father and my husband and I sat in chairs while everyone else sat on a tarp. Annet introduced us to her family, her mother, grandmother, a church deaconess, brother and sister. As a group, she introduced 25 other people from her school and surrounding homesteads. Occasionally the older ladies broke out in ululations to honor our unprecedented visit in their community.
Visiting With My Sponsored Child and Family
I asked Annet a few questions via an interpreter.
She said she runs to school everyday. She would like to become a nurse when she grows up. Her parents seem to take such pride in her, and they beamed while we spoke. They definitely want her to become all that she can!
She said she didn’t have a favorite Bible verse or story but likes Jesus’ miracles. I told her about my favorite verse from Matthew 26:26, where Jesus gives thanks during the last supper as he foreshadows his blood being spilled. Annet’s father read the verses from his Luo Bible. I said that Jesus trusted God and thanked Him for his suffering, that allowed us to be reconciled with Him. My husband read from 1 Peter and talked about suffering as well. He prayed for their family, and Annet’s father prayed for us.
God’s presence was very palpable as they sang a worship song for us. (Her father mentioned that for some reason they all thought I was a girl the same age as Annet, and everyone laughed!)
I asked if I could see Annet’s home/hut. She took me in and showed me her school books and her bed and her mosquito net. She sleeps behind a little sheet. The floor is dirt, the hut is made from dirt and the roof from palm tree leaves. Her father offered to show us their family’s crops. We walked through the field to see corn and a few other things. We even tasted their sesame seeds.
We returned to the chairs under the tree, and I gave Annet the gifts we had brought. Her mother then brought sodas and homegrown peanuts and corn for the FH staff, Annet, my husband and me while everyone else watched us eat. Her mother had handcrafted the cover for the food and the tablecloth, and they were beautiful. Another touching moment was when Annet’s mother stood up and said that Annet was her child and also my daughter. It was so sweet of her to share with me the investment in Annet’s life. Annet’s uncle asked if we would continue supporting Annet throughout her life. Nate and I agreed that we would! We will definitely send her the same sponsorship amount throughout all of her school including university and beyond if necessary. We will see if we can do more when the time comes.
A Tearful Goodbye
We sang Amazing Grace for them in closing and hugged goodbye. We danced all the way down the path to the van. Annet, her mother, and grandmother held my hands at different parts of the walk and sang the whole way. They cheered as we drove off. It was so hard to say goodbye. I’ll never forget that day as long as I live.
My husband and I agreed that it was our favorite moment of the entire trip, paling in comparison to even a safari in Kenya and the beaches of Zanzibar. We talked about sponsoring another child in the village or perhaps giving towards FH’s work at the school and in the community.
Thanks to Kathleen for sharing her amazing experience! If child sponsorship sounds like something you’d like to, you can choose your special child now!