April 14, 2014

Farming God's Way - Growing Dignity and Community

After posting about our farm project here at Amazima, many of you have asked, "what exactly is Farming God's Way?"

In our new video (below), you'll see the personal and communal impacts of Farming God's Way and what the Amazima community is saying about it. We hope you will be as excited as we are by the lasting impact this program is having!

To learn more about Farming God's Way, visit their website here.

We also share more about how Amazima is utilizing this resource to empower the community we serve here and here.

April 1, 2014

NEW VIDEO - Meet Madina

Meet Madina. At just nine years old, she inspires us with her passion and personality! Madina has been part of our sponsorship program for two years, and she told us her dream is to become a doctor when she grows up.

Thank you to the Amazima sponsors who help make this goal possible by joining hands with us to educate and empower Madina. We can't wait to see Madina reach her dreams as she grows with Amazima!

Watch the video below to learn more about this beautiful girl. 

March 24, 2014

Sight and Scripture

     She is the embodiment of joy.

     Her smile is infectious and her work ethic is strong.  She is always full of words of encouragement and strives to do her best at her daily tasks.

     Lucy is a cook at the sponsorship program in Buziika. 

     You may find Lucy sorting beans, cooking large pots of rice, or talking about the Lord.

     "I just want to serve God.  With everything in me, I want to serve the Lord so much," she beams.

     She is proud of her children and encourages them to do their best in school.  She sets an excellent example of how to spread God's love. 

     One day, Lucy shared that she was not able to read her Bible anymore.  The words had begun to blur together.  She mourned being able to read her Bible daily until she finally decided to share her struggle. Only several weeks before she confided in us about her vision, we had a donation of reading glasses in the Amazima in-country office.  We were thrilled to allow Lucy to sort through the reading glasses and pick the ones that made the words turn crisp and clear on the page. 

      Lucy radiated with happiness as she looked down and clearly read the Karamojong language off the pages of Hebrews.  She was even kind enough to share one of her favorite scriptures, Isaiah 55:1, with us in Karamojong:

                                   “Come, all you who are thirsty,    
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,    
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost."

March 13, 2014

A plumber, a wheelchair, and God's sufficiency

Several weeks ago, in the community that our sponsorship program functions, Anna* was hit by a boda (motorcycle taxi). This young girl uses a wheelchair because of the debilitating effects of polio. The impact of the accident was strong, and she was seriously injured.  As she was rushed to the hospital, Anna's wheelchair was stolen.

In a plumbing shop in the midst of the hustle and bustle of downtown Jinja, not far from the office of Amazima, there sits a man who may seem ordinary, but he is anything but. Several years ago, he was in an accident of his own. In the middle of shop at about midday, John* tells his story.

"I was headed in a vehicle and a large truck came and knocked us.  I was sleeping in the back at the time and when I woke up, I was on my back. I was wondering where the roof went, what happened

"I then heard men around me yelling, 'He's going to die! He's going to die! He is badly off!' At the time, I didn't realize that it was me they were talking about."

John is animated and inviting. His eyes twinkle just a bit and he laughs in the pauses of his sentences. A prostheses attaches to one of this legs below the knee, and he grins as he states he is getting better every day.

"I now no longer need the chair," he explained, "I was told someone was in need. I said yes!  I couldn't see the reason in keeping it, although some people will keep things out of fear of what will happen in the future. But I said, if I can handle [giving] it, then why not? There is a saying in my local language that says, 'If you don't eat something, give it to someone who can eat it."'

As if on cue, an old man shuffles up to the steps of John's store. He holds out his deformed hands, draped in tattered rags and gives a toothy smile, asking for spare change. Without a second thought, John digs deep into his pocket and fishes out a bill. He pushes it across the counter as the old man thanks him and hobbles away.

John lets out a chuckle, "he doesn't even know that I am worse off than him!"

"I feel like I have a connection with others who have disabilities. I would say to anyone with a disability to take courage! God is a provider. I would say to them that yes, you are different, clearly you can see that. But you can serve the world in a better way. Even though you are different you can make a great difference in this world."

With a new wheelchair and a fresh discharge from the hospital, Anna is a happy girl. She is very grateful for John's act of kindness and so are we. What a beautiful thing to see God's sufficiency displayed through the generosity of John's heart.

We believe that he has already made a great difference in this world.

*Names changed for privacy

March 3, 2014

Meet Our Mentors: Diana

Amazima employs twelve mentors who spend time counseling and empowering the children, families, and communities involved in our sponsorship program. Here, we invite you to meet one of these amazing mentors, Diana, and hear about her heart for this work in her own words. 

I am Akrut Diana. I work as a program sponsorship mentor. I work in Amazima Ministries. So far I have spent two years in Amazima, coming to three years now, and I glorify God for everything I have done in Amazima because it has been so awesome. And I have seen the glory of God, I’ve seen the hand of God, I’ve seen the beauty of God, in Amazima Ministries.

Why do you do what you do?
I look at the beauty of God in these children, and I look at the love that Christ gave unto me and that is a love that I do share with other people, most especially the disadvantaged ones. That tenderness, in the hearts of the children, you see Christ in them, and that is the beauty of it all. When I see the smile of a child, I also smile because it is so wonderful, and I see that is Christ smiling onto me. So you find the Christ that we have in us, because what we all have is about Christ, and when you share Christ, you already share the love of God with the children.

Can you tell us a story of God's work in the community?
Maybe I can bring in the case of the late Tabitha? Tabitha was a lady that was wasting away. But all I knew is that she had a hope to live. And I believed that until the last day of her breath. So I said "God, may you give me courage, that I will help this lady smile, and see these children,"  because the most important thing was the children. I was helping her in the name of the children. Because I wanted the children to have a mother, to have a mother they can run to, to have someone they can call, “mommy.” So that’s why I came into that and I said I will strongly stand.

You know how God can never give you a hopeless life? He will always give you hope that, something is going to happen. So I said God sure I know that she is going to breath, so I believed and became strong that this lady is going to live. That is why I came into that family and started helping her, taking her to the hospital, encouraging her. When we got her she used to not eat, sometimes she would not smile, sometimes she would not stand, but the first time we took her to hospital, I told her, “You know what? You are going to live, Tabitha. God loves you. God has a reason as to why he has spared your life. But remember that these children need you most...” Because everyone longs for a mother. You see how God protects us, it's like a mother. That is how our God also is.

God gave her hope, she also in her heart believed that there was God who was keeping her strong. She also believed that there were people caring and she was not left alone. She could see every day someone in her room. Because in some villages, you find they will lock up such people with that case like Tabitha’s case. Some people would not look at her, they would fear. I will give an example when she had wounds, and people would say, “how can you go in and touch that person? Won’t you get infected?” But I said, “the God who has allowed me to do it, will protect me!” I can get it from anywhere, but He himself is the one who knows how I walk, what I do. So I said, “God, I am treating Tabitha in your name, so if you allow me to get sick, it is you yourself who has alloMwed it. So I am treating her, knowing that your protection is already there, because this is your life and this is your flesh, and this is your beauty, so I have to make sure Tabitha has life.”

So with that gist, we continued helping her. But we didn’t know that God has his own plans and had a beautiful life for Tabitha. When I saw Tabitha lying on her bed, on her deathbed, I just saw the beauty of God in her face. I didn’t get scared, people used to get scared of dead bodies but when I looked at Tabitha I smiled and told [her] mama, “You know what? Tabitha is with Jesus. Where Tabitha is she is happy.” I know the God who has taken her, is going to take care of these children. These children will grow up, knowing there is a God who called them up, knowing there is someone there loving them, knowing that there is someone who is embracing them and I believe that those children are not going to suffer, because there is a God who stood in for the mother, and he is the one who is going to come take care of them.

Why are you so passionate?
It starts form what Christ has done in us. We look at the love Christ shows, when he left all the glory and left his power, and came to see how we human beings behave in the world. How painful it is to face the things in the world. He also said I want to go and feel how it feels like to move in the world. Look at that passion that Christ had for us! And in the end, because of the pain he had for us, we were going to be all destroyed. But he said, “God no, let me go and redeem them.” He left His glory, left everything, more over he is God who created us but He left everything and came to earth for the beauty of His name and came and died for us. I want Christ to have the love in us that is why I embraced the love Christ showed in us. I embraced that majesty that he showed in me. I said God, if you are for me, the love you gave onto me, I want to share it with others. So I asked one thing from God, that, “Lord, give me the love that you showed onto me, that I can also share it with others.”

Want to get involved with the Amazima sponsorship program? Learn more here >>

February 7, 2014

Hygiene, Life Skills, and Empowerment Seminar

In January, 150 secondary school students sponsored through Amazima gathered together for a seminar. The seminar involved discussions such as hygiene, life skills, HIV education, and empowerment.

We kicked off the day with a prayer and small worship time.  It was beautiful to see these children come together over God's word and promises for us.  It was a wonderful way to start the day and prepared everyone for what was ahead.

Our speakers presented powerful messages about our intrinsic value, how to behave as a child of God, and how to make life decisions. 

Benard Mukama, Amazima's Community Health and Development Officer who facilitated the seminar, shared with us:

"We are looking at our environment, and the children that we are serving. Our environment has a lot of things that are exposing them to behavior risks such as drugs, HIV, peer pressure, etc. These things are affecting their behavior or how they behave. They construct things from what the environment around them gives and that is not the ideal of what Amazima wants for them. We want to give appropriate information, other than the misconceptions that they have. We want to give knowledge and skills about social etiquette, communication, and relationships. We want them to be in a position to make right choices and live healthy lifestyles."

It is our hope that through these seminars, Amazima children will grow to know how much they are valued by us and by their Creator. We pray that this time will encourage them in their walk with the Lord. 

Please keep all of these children in your prayers as they head off to secondary school! We pray that what they learned at this seminar will be applied to their daily lives during this term.

January 27, 2014

Health Wall

All the children gathered around to watch the presentation.  The bright colors captivated the youngest ones while the oldest absorbed all of the content.

It was a simple concept, hand washing, which was being taught, yet all of the children seemed to be completely engrossed in what was going on.

The health wall.

Recently, Amazima has hired a local artist to come to the Buziika land once a month and paint public health messages on the front end of the chapel.  Our topics change monthly and range from HIV and AIDS facts to hand washing to malaria prevention.   Each week after the bible message is complete, a few minutes are devoted to discussing the monthly topic.  The presentations are led by our Community Health and Development Officer, Benard.

Although some may take the information presented for granted, others simply are not aware of the topics that are discussed. By training them in relevant health topics, these children go back into their communities and become teachers themselves.  What better way to empower and educate the surrounding communities than to let Amazima children do the teaching?

We are so excited for our health wall and are looking forward to changes in the community because of it. We love empowering our children to go forth and change their communities.