By Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 7/16/2015

Each year at Vacation Bible School our children present their offerings during the morning assembly. A cause is chosen where these offerings will be directed, and our children gauge their progress each morning. It is always a meaningful part of our VBS week.

This year, the hearts of our VBS children, faculty, and parents were touched as we focused on giving our offering to help refugee children in Uganda to be able to go to school. Missy Ward
Angalla, CBF field personnel, serves in Kampala, Uganda, where she operates a refugee ministry center. Missy works with individuals and families who are in crisis and provides holistic rehabilitation through discipleship, counseling, education, and vocational training. Some of the families in this ministry program have received the skills to get jobs to support their families, but they are still not able to support their children to attend school on their own, because of the expense. It costs $400 for a child to attend school in Kampala for one year. That is the equivalent of three months’ wages. The sponsorship of these children is a very big blessing to these families who could not afford this opportunity otherwise.

Through Missy, we were introduced to two children who need sponsorship for school. Janvier is a 7-year old boy who loves to play soccer and blow bubbles. His mother tragically died, and he and his six other siblings are being raised by their 19- year old sister. The second child that we met was Shami, who is only 4 years old. She loves to run, laugh, color, and play tag. One of her favorite treats is lollipops. Shami and her mother are living in the women’s shelter that is part of this ministry center.

Our children set a goal for themselves to raise enough money ($400) to provide sponsorship for one of these children. By the last day of VBS, our offering total was $474.31! Harambe! The goal had been met and the children were so proud of their efforts. But our hearts said that this wasn’t enough. We knew that our church could do more. We could certainly provide sponsorship for both of these precious children, so on Friday evening, we shared our hope with the parents and friends who had come to attend the VBS Closing Celebration. Our gathering that night contributed $388.28 for a grand total of $862.59! 

“Harambe” is a Swahili word that mean “woohoo” or “hooray.” We give a shout of harambe! to our VBS children, faculty, and parents for their generous giving. Let us join our hearts in praying for these two children that their lives will be strengthened through this offering.