One of my favorite memories from our trip to Uganda in August-September 2013 was meeting our sponsor child, Gift (our Ugandan daughter), for the first time.

Back in December 2011, David and I attended a fundraising event for the Uganda Children’s Project – a non-profit organization that sponsors children so they can go to school and get an education. An education can mean not only a better future for the student, but a better future for their family and generations to come.

As we flipped through the folder of so many orphaned or desperately poor children in need of help and schooling, we saw her face. There was something about her eyes that we couldn’t resist. Our sweet Gift was only 4 at the time and ready to begin her education.

We had enjoyed writing letters to her and received letter in return, but we really wanted to meet her and get to know her better. When an opportunity came to travel to Uganda to help with the project, we jumped at the chance, knowing that we would meet Gift.

DSC04169A few days in, Grace, one of the ladies on staff with the project walked 2 sweet girls over to meet us. Jennifer was the younger and smaller girl that my parents started sponsoring a couple of years ago when they came to visit us in Texas. Gift, although older, was equally shy. We chatted for a short time before getting in the van and taking them somewhere they had never been – the Kampala Zoo. It wasn’t long after we arrived that Gift’s shyness disappeared and her fun-natured personality came out – she even started hanging on to David’s arm as he lifted her in the air. Her smile and funny faces made the journey

DSC04191After some fun at the zoo, we took the girls to a Chinese restaurant. Not knowing if they would eat some of the strange food, we ordered fried rice. All the other food came first, so we gave them some chicken with green beans to try. They devoured it!

My favorite part of the evening was when we gave the girls their very own Bible, and we asked Gift to read some. She started at the beginning. Slow, but well spoken, she read “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” She continued on, only needing a little help with some words for severals verses. I felt like a proud mamma, and almost cried.

Meeting our Ugandan daughter is a moment I never want to forget.

At most of our illusion shows, we have a bucket on our merchandise table to raise money for Uganda Shoe Trees – an organization that not only provides children in Uganda with school approved shoes but helps plant the much needed trees.