January 12, 2015

Heart of Amazima: Meet Joseph

Joseph comes from a large family and is always full of joy and life. He loves to sing and dance and he has even danced at several school competitions. He also loves playing the drums during worship at Amazima's Saturday program. …Did we mention how full of life he is?! 

Joseph has dreams of becoming a lawyer so he can, "help in exercising the law in his community." He demonstrates his strong drive to go into law through his excellent work ethic at school. Joseph would like to say thank you to Amazima and his sponsors for sharpening his future, and for giving him and many other students in the program a reason to smile.

December 24, 2014

Dance Our Way to Christmas

Every year, we celebrate Christmas on our land in Buziika with the children in our Education Sponsorship Outreach and their guardians. This past Saturday, 1,200-1,600 children and guardians came to do just that… celebrate.

In Uganda, dance is almost always present in celebrations. So, it’s only fitting that the children in our sponsorship program performed a variety of traditional dances, creative songs, and even a skit. After their performances, we recognized students with outstanding academic achievement. We loved seeing the proud faces of parents and guardians as students accepted awards. After diving into a feast prepared by our incredible kitchen staff (it took them two days… talk about dedication!), we passed out gifts to all of the families represented in our sponsorship program. They all accepted their gifts of matoke (plantain), soda, flour, pineapple, royco (seasoning), sugar, cooking oil, ground g-nuts, tomatoes, salt, irish onions, and a basin.

Every part of the day was beautiful in its own way, but perhaps the most striking scene was seeing the children perform their songs, dances, and skit. Oftentimes it’s easy to get caught up in the stress and busyness of Christmas. And maybe their carefree, lighthearted performances could serve as a reminder to us... that we ought to dance, not hurry and stress, our way to Christmas and through Christmas. We pray the next couple of days are not a race to the finish line, but somewhat of a dance… a sweet aroma of praise and thanksgiving unto God, a celebration of Christ and the life we have through His life, death, and resurrection.

December 16, 2014

Heart of Amazima: Meet Gilbert

Gilbert lives with his parents, siblings, and cousins in a village called Bukaya. He is inquisitive, always asking one question after another. When he comes home from school, he is full of stories and loves sharing what he learned that day with his mother. 

Gilbert likes going to school because he enjoys learning and playing with his friends George, Kisembo, Marvin, James, and Ivan. In his free time, Gilbert also likes to play with his younger brother Innocent. He watches over Innocent, and even shares jackfruit - a big, sticky, delicious fruit - with him. 

December 8, 2014

The Joy of Empowering

A little over a month ago, we hosted a Farming God’s Way field day at our farm in Buziika. We had an amazing time with a little over 150 visitors, some of which drove 8-9 hours to come be with us.

To kick off the day, we brought our friends to the Demonstration Garden. At the Demonstration Garden, we are able to show people the drastic difference between Farming God’s Way practices and traditional Ugandan practices. When visitors see the incredible results, they start asking questions. We are then able to share techniques and costs with them. When the tour is finished, instructional materials for Farming God’s Way are available for purchase.

There is great joy in fruitfulness, but there is even greater joy in empowering others to be more fruitful. We believe we are called to invest, not hoard, what we have been entrusted with and we thank God for the opportunity to do just that. 

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16 

December 1, 2014

HIV-Positive and Full of Life // Anna's Story

There is a lot of bad stigma associated with HIV in Uganda, Africa, and around the world. Some believe people contract the disease through witchcraft, some believe only prostitutes can contract it, and some believe HIV is a death sentence. Though these assumptions aren’t true, they are still widely accepted throughout Africa. Because of that, many people who are HIV positive live in shame. 

We would like to tell you about Anna, recently employed by Amazima Ministries. She is HIV positive and full of life.

At one point in her life, Anna was terminally ill and bedridden for two years. Even after surviving that, she would travel up to 5 hours away to pick up her meds because she didn’t want anyone to recognize her at the ARV distribution clinic in her village. Through counseling and God’s grace, Anna decided to stop living in shame. “Having HIV is not a death sentence, people are going to die with HIV, and others will die without HIV,” Anna explained to us. 

Today, Anna makes home visits to different community members and counsels them on how to best live with HIV. She has been able to get several clients to open up and share with others about their sickness, which ultimately allows these individuals to receive better care. Because Anna understands where her clients are coming from, she is able to bring great comfort, encouragement, and wisdom to them. Through Anna’s struggles, including watching her own 10-year-old son live HIV positive, she has grown closer to God. She has great strength works everyday so that she can bring hope to others and provide for her family. “I am working for their (her children’s) future, so they have something to lean back on when it is my time to go see our Father in Heaven,” Anna explained to us. 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” Hebrews 12:1 

How we love watching you run this race, Anna.

November 13, 2014

Heart of Amazima: Meet Betty

If you met Betty, you might consider her to be timid and shy, but after spending time with her, you’d soon change your mind. While Betty can be shy at first, she actually is quite talkative once she gets to know you.

Betty grew up on a homestead (two small huts on the same plot of land) in the village of Butema with her grandma, stepmom, sister, and other family members. She often helped her grandma, but now that her grandma has passed, she spends her time as her stepmoms house and she is very close to her sister Esther.

Betty is playful, yet respectful, and dreams of being a nurse in the future so she can, “give injections to little children to keep them healthy.”

November 7, 2014

Triple the Love

As their mother diligently cleans the compound and keeps the nurse’s office spic and span, these three little cuties are never far out of site. They love to come sneaking into the nurse’s office to great our Musauo (nurse), and to see if anyone has a treat they are willing to share.

Their story is one similar to many sponsor children in Amazima, but thankfully now with a little extra support, their hard working mother is able to rest assured knowing that her children will be able to go to school and be counseled in the way of Christ!

We are so thankful for these little ones and for their mother, Juliet Nolongo. She is a kind a gentle spirit who is hard working and self-sacrificing. We always stand in awe of God’s redemptive hand that fits our needs as a ministry with the needs of those around us. We love being able to offer employment to those close to us. They always bless us ten fold in return!