We pulled inside the gate, parked the car, and were immediately greeted by George, a young man who had a mental handicap but a heart of gold. As we walked inside the house, we passed by two elderly ladies sitting on mats on the ground. One clipping toenails, the other so happy to see us. The sloppy, wet kiss on my neck was evidence of that. George followed us into the living room and sat with us as we looked through the family photo album.
The morning meeting we had with Sam was incredible. At the local coffee shop, we heard him talk about his heart for the children of Uganda and how God led them to “set the lonely in families” rather than start orphanages. God spoke to him and his wife, Irene, to be family for children who had none. They’ve taken in around 40 children over the years, and as I heard him tell his story, I realized that this man didn’t just have a desire to see children have a roof over their head and a plate of food to eat. His desire is for them to experience family, to see them dream and find their personal calling in God. He wants to see God use the forgotten to bring transformation to every sphere of society.
“You must have HOPE to see transformation.”
That was it. Without hope, transformation doesn’t happen. You must have hope, and the place for these children to receive hope is in family, through love.
I heard all this, but those couple of hours we spent with Sam and Irene (and George) made his words come to life. I saw children come home from school and kneel to greet their father in the traditional Ugandan way. His response was beautiful. He grabbed their hand, pulled them up to him, and cupped their faces ever so gently. I saw every generation from wandering babies to wandering grandmothers toddling about in everyday life. This was the norm, and it was beautiful.
Sam and Irene started the foster family network in Uganda, also known as Orphans Know More. They, along with countless other families, are changing the destinies of these children, the ones the world might forget.
To change a nation, love the children.
That saying that is printed on one of our Ten Thousand Homes t-shirts is one that Sam and Irene are living out. They are changing the nation of Uganda by loving these children and fostering the God breathed dreams inside of them.
They are HOPE and HOME in Uganda, and it’s making an impact on the rest of Africa.