Divine Care Ministries offers the chance for these people to access the care they need.
It was a day of rejoicing at Divine Grace School as the older boys and girls received the shoes provided by their sponsors as belated Christmas presents. We are happy that every child in the program was able to have "new" shoes. Actually the ministry buys "previously owned" shoes (from Europe for example) which are better made and more durable than the new shoes sold in Uganda. The new shoes are either made cheaply in China or made with a very heavy sole of local material which the children don't like.
The children were very happy and I saw many smiles. We had a good time thanking God for His blessings and for the generosity of the sponsors. Many of the children talked about how they pray regularly for their sponsors (and I am convinced that they really do). I wish that all of our supporters could experience joyous times like these.
It is always moving to hear the testimonies of the children. I just heard a most remarkable story that I would like to share. Olivia was 13 years old when she left home. Her parents are alcoholics and abused her seriously. An aunt realized that the situation had reached crisis level and she intervened. She talked to Olivia and told her she feared for her life. The aunt's solution was to send Olivia to Kampala (about 3 hours away by car) to work as a housemaid.
One of our staff members was needing domestic help and arranged for someone to come from the village to work for him. He was surprised and dismayed when he arrived at the taxi park to pick her up and found that she was a young girl. He discussed the situation with other staff members and they organized a trip to visit the girl's home. What they found there was terrible. There were many other neglected children in the small community. There was also a lot of alcoholism and abuse. Olivia's situation was discussed with the family and the local authorities. It was agreed that she would come under the supervision of Divine Care. She was taken to Divine Grace School and placed in the dormitory for housing.
Before too long someone from middle Tennessee chose Olivia for sponsorship. When the sponsor visited Uganda she generously showered her with love. A dramatic transformation occurred in Olivia; you can see it in her countenance!
Our staff continued to visit the community and rescued other children. They identified a pastor and his family who lived there. We began working together to bring the gospel to the community.
We are now sponsoring about 13 children from the area. The children as well as the pastors wife (pictured in the yellow dress) were at our recent youth rally at Divine Grace School. To show their gratitude they presented us with a goat as well as potatoes and beans from their gardens. We demonstrated our appreciation of the gifts by eating them the following day. They were delicious!
Transformed lives and transformed communities are goals of Divine Care Ministries.