To Uganda And Back: Reflections from a Mother & Son
America World / One Orphan are privileged and humbled to send out people of all ages. Read this special mother and son testimony from their recent One Orphan trip to Uganda.
This past December I started thinking and planning to go on a mission trip over the summer. I was initially looking into just going myself but then decided that it would be a great opportunity to take my teenage son and get him outside of this bubble of privilege we live in and experience a different culture while serving some kids whose lives look very different from his. Although the cost of both of us going was daunting, I’m so glad we didn’t let that stand in our way. What ended up happening was that God moved in my son’s heart in such a powerful way that I will let him share with you in his own words:
“My name is Grant and I am fourteen. A couple weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to take a trip to Uganda. The trip was life changing for me in so many ways. Upon arrival, the first thing that stuck out to me was how poor the whole country was, and how little everyone had. The drive from the airport to Canaan Children’s Home was eye-opening for me. I don’t think I really expected the condition of the country to be as sad as it was. As we got closer to our destination the people had close to nothing. I was amazed that they were able to live this way.
The next day we got to meet all the kids of Canaan. I have never felt so much love in my life! They loved us all just for being there and getting the sense of knowing that people really do care about them. As the week went on I began to realize that these kids were not much different from me at all. I started to make real relationships that I hope to keep with them forever. I loved hanging out with every single one of them. Even though I was the one serving them, I believe that they did more for me then they will ever know. Just seeing how little they had yet how much joy they had every day was amazing to me. The people of Uganda have stolen my heart and I want to get back as soon as possible! I feel like God is calling me to do something in Uganda even at such a young age. I want to be able to make a difference there and be able to help my new found friends and family.
The hardest day for me was the last day I was there. On the last day, we had a big party for all the kids. I have never seen so many kids that happy! Over the course of the party, they were all telling me that I couldn’t leave them and that I had to come back next year. I did not want to leave these kids knowing that there was still so much to be done. The hardest part was having to say goodbye. Some were crying and I did not want to leave any of these kids behind.
I don’t think the trip really started to set in until I had been home for about week. I started to think about them every day and wanted nothing more than to be able to talk and see them again. There is nothing that I want more than to be able to help out all my friends at Canaan. I will do as much as I can while at home to help them as I patiently wait for God to tell me when I will go back.”
To hear your teenager say that he feels God calling him to make a difference in the lives of orphans makes this mama’s heart almost burst with joy! Uganda was a life-changing trip and has truly left a deep impression on both of our hearts. We found the people we met to be so beautiful, full of love and joy, and yet our hearts were broken over and over for the overwhelming needs we saw and especially for the children. Knowing what we now know we can not just leave this trip in our memories but we will continue to pray for God’s provision for the children’s homes, share our experiences, and do our part to help meet the needs we can. I would encourage anyone interested in traveling with their families, especially those with teenagers, to consider a trip like this. The experiences and new perspective it will give your child is truly priceless and there is no telling how God will use it in their lives. We are so thankful for the opportunity He gave us to be His hands and feet in Uganda.
We invite you to join us on a mission trip this year. CLICK HERE to find an opportunity that works with your schedule.