Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving Day!

On Thanksgiving day, we are about to head off to grandma's house and a giant feast!  But, we are also thinking about the many other things we are very thankful for.  We have so very much.  Most of all, we are thankful for our family and to be able to share what we have with other people who need help.  Today, our blog is not about thanksgiving for what we have, but for what other people are doing to help... and for the children of Our Own Home.  Here is one of their stories:

ANGELINA’S STORY… At the age of six, Angelina weighed only 16 pounds!

BEFORE - All Alone at age 6
Angelina had not known a feast in her entire six years.  She lived in a crude hut put together with sticks and mud, barely keeping a breeze out, let alone the heavy African rains.  She laid on a dirt floor, starving and sick.  Her mother fed her locally brewed beer in order to keep her in a drunken stupor, so no one would hear her cry.  The shame of having a child with AIDS overpowered even the sympathy or compassion that a mother might have afforded her starving child.  So Angelina lived, hidden in a corner, without love and without hope.
NOW - living at Our Own Home
Some dear missionary friends Some dear missionary friends discovered Angelina while working in her village.  At the age of six, Angelina weighed only 16 pounds!  She was unable to even sit up on her own.   They promptly gave her the medical care and food she so desperately needed, and arranged for her to live at Our Own Home.   A month later, she weighed 22 pounds and had a roaring appetite!  The weight she has gained shows in her rounding cheeks and belly.  She now sits up on her own, colors and plays with the other children… and, as you can see, offers BIG SMILES!

We are thankful for Our Own Home and for everyone willing to help!

Please check our our Double Matching Gift program by clicking on the Double Matching Gift tab!  All donations go to help the children of Our Own Home!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

MOSES led us to them...


When I first met Moses, he was in a different orphanage.  It was a nice orphanage by Africa standards, but he was very sick and no one would hold him.  He wasn't diagnosed HIV positive, but everyone knew.  He was all alone in the world... no mommy or daddy... no grandma or grandpa or brother or sister... alone... ALL alone.

The caretakers bathed and fed him, but no one LOVED Moses until a year later when he was sent to Africa Our Own Home.  Here's an excerpt and a video from when I first met Moses back in September, 2009.

"September, 2009 - These kids really need to be held and loved... and many are very sick. Moses is very sick and I'm worried about him.

Some are HIV positive and some have tuberculosis. Some of these kids were dropped off at the orphanage and others were just found in a pile of trash. It's so sad sometimes."

We kept track of Moses through a friend and when he found his way to Our Own Home, he was truly one of the lucky few to find a home where he received all of the care he needed and more LOVE than he had ever dreamed of.  So now, we are helping Moses and "Mommy Holly" and "Daddy William" and 48 of his "brothers" and "sisters" who NOW know what it's like to feel REAL love!

Thank you Mommy Holly and everyone that is helping to make the world a better place.

Our BIG dream is to raise enough money for you to buy that 4 acres of land you found.  Our BIGGER dream is to help raise the money to build you a home for ALL of your kids... and a medical clinic... and a school... EVERYTHING!

God BLESS Mommy Holly and William and everyone willing to HELP!  Check out our  Double MATCHING GIFT page...

- Carly

Sunday, November 7, 2010

One Person at a Time

One Person at a Time.

Have you ever had an obstacle to overcome? I’m sure you have. Most people do in their life and if you haven’t, I’m sure you will. Most of the time when something doesn’t exactly go the way you planned, you just have to do you best to overcome whatever obstacle you encounter.  We had to overcome cancer in my family, but we got lots of help from friends and doctors.  It was scary and hard, but we got help from so many people.

In Africa, they have many different problems.  In America, when we’re thirsty, we just take a cup and fill it up from the sink or at the refrigerator.  When we’re sick, we go to the doctors or the emergency room and get what we need.   If we have trouble in school, most of us go to our parents for help.  But a lot of kids, especially in poor parts of Africa, don’t get to go to school and many of them have lost their parents from sickness.  They didn’t get to go to the doctor or the emergency room.  Simple things like clean water might be miles away.

Sometimes I wonder why I grew up in America, in a great family with a great house when other kids grow up in poverty, some with awful sicknesses like HIV and tuberculosis and AIDS.  Why do some parents and some kids die of disease, while my mom survived cancer?  Is there an answer to this? Well, partly there is.  I was born into a world of access… access to school, clean water, plenty of food and medicine and great parents.  We have access to almost anything. 
I  think the answer to the poor both here and around the world is people like you and I.  You and I may not be able to help everybody, but we can make the biggest difference to someone.  And, if everyone supported one person in need, then maybe we could help everyone… one person at a time.
Right now we're helping to buy land and a new home for HIV/AIDS orphans in Uganda.  They are no different than we are except they have some serious obstacles to overcome.  Last year we raised money for a van to get them to school and to see the doctor.  I think we can build them a new home too.  Here's a picture of the van and the kids.  The little boy in the front with the red shirt is Moses and we sponsor him too.  Won't you help us?
- Jack

Reflections From Africa...

I will really miss these kids!

Today is my last full day here in Uganda. Tomorrow we are flying to Nairobi to spend a week there with the Warrens and visit the African Leadership schools in the slums of Kibera.

It's 2 PM and it's already been one of those days. It's burning hot outside too. I was lying on my back in the grass with a toddler lying on my lap, two sitting around me, two lying down on my legs, and another one trying to lie on my face. Then Dan came over and was crying. I sat up, and took Benja out of my lap, who started crying too, because I put him down. Then Moses began crying because he wanted up. Now William is pushing Jamima because he wants to lie down on my face. I sigh, and make everyone "tula" or "sit." Now all of them are crying, and I'm wondering,"What am I supposed to do now?" I ended up just going back to the hotel for a short break. Moses has grown to like me, so when I left he was crying. Nathan was crying because he wanted me to pick him up and I didn't, and Benja was crying because he wanted up too. And even though I didn't really know what to do, I knew that I would miss this wonderful group of crying kids.

I'm about to go back to Amani (the orphanage). I have spent time thinking about how I will say goodbye, and how all the kids will react. I realize that they are little 2-4 year olds, who will probably forget who I am. It makes me sad, but its probably true. It makes me sad that they are so starved for love and attention that I can become so important, like a mommy, to them.

And for me, why have I become so attached them? Why did I even start going to the orphanage and why am I spending all my time there? Why am I attached most to sick, sick Moses and not to cute Benja and Patrick? I don't really know, but I do feel like God is calling me to help his least fortunate children. Why am I drawn to Moses? I think its because he looks so needy and I want to fix him! Today one of the Mama's asked me when I wanted to take Moses home, to adopt him. I said," MMhhh...yeah, well... I'm only 12." But, what if I could? Would I?

The first day I went to Amani, I specifically went to see Matthias Joseph and Daisy. From the moment I walked in the gate, I was swarmed by little hands and faces. The first one to get to me was Benja. Now that I think about it, there have been some really funny times there. Great, now I'm sad again. Asher (the Keck's adopted boy) just came over to show us the snake that he drew, so that lightens me up a little bit. I miss all of my friends+family, but I will miss the orphanage+ Katie's family too. One day I'm going to come back and adopt or work as a volunteer. :-)

My dad says that whenever you go to help someone else, it always blesses you more. I know that's true for me this time.

     - Carly