Gathering Hope

Uganda-Jan

My very first post on Rachael Gathers was What I Gather About the Death of Namuda.  It was written after learning that the orphan our family sponsored had died.  Since then, I have been working more with my good friend Linda to promote the Helping Hands Project, finding sponsors for the hundreds of orphans at Hope Refuge Schools in Uganda.  (You will hear more from Linda on Rachael Gathers soon!)

Their situation is dire.  The staff at the orphanage estimates that approximately 50 orphans in their care (out of about 1100) are dying each year, due to malnutrition and preventable/treatable diseases.  They are eating one bowl of rice a day.  Many of the older kids skip their bowl of rice so the younger children can eat.  Fifty orphans a year comes out to about one child a week, dying on my watch.  I know there are those of you who will say I shouldn’t carry that kind of load.  Let me ask… if I don’t, who will?  Yes, there are others working diligently to get help to this orphanage.  Josh Wilson, Faith Apostolic Church and the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ have raised thousands of dollars for buildings, to build a well and for immediate needs.  Refuge Ministries has purchased land and is working on farming initiatives.  Linda Burke, at an age when many are nearing retirement, is spending thousands of her own dollars each year to get to Uganda and run the Helping Hands Project, not to mention the countless hours she volunteers here at home.

Yes, these people are carrying the load and thank God they are.

But their activism does not give me the right to remain inactive.  I must do what I can so that no more Namudas lose their precious life on… yes… MY watch.

When I wrote about Namuda, I was moved by the response.  We didn’t get a lot of sponsors from that blog post, but I was moved by the compassion of those who did respond.  An acquaintance from high school who lives in another city contacted me, and had this to say….

“I find this project very inspiring and I am very touched and affected by these children and this woman, Linda, who you have described as being so dedicated.  Maybe it is recently becoming a mother myself and thinking of orphaned children who have no food, starving, dying with no loving arms to hold or comfort them.  I don’t know what it is.  I am moved.  I have just been very inspired by you, Rachael, and I feel very compelled to help.  I hope that at some point we can give more than $35 but for now we’ll do our best.  We are just so conditioned as Americans to be skeptical of these type of efforts (or at least I am…there are a lot of people out there claiming to help and not really living up to their promises) and I really trust and believe in you when you say the money helps these children.  I wish there was more I could do.  So thank you for bringing attention to this project.  Sleep well tonight knowing you have inspired one cold-hearted skeptic, haha! 

That being said, can I help you advertise?  Post some info on FB?  Word of mouth to family and friends?  And if I get some interest, can I direct them to you?”

These are the kinds of people who are going to change the world, one child at a time.  These are the people who don’t just think “I should do that someday” but dive in and HELP!  I am thankful beyond belief to have these kinds of people in my life.

I’m not very outgoing, I don’t have a lot of pull with a lot of people.  I don’t have lots of money to offer or know executives with influence and funding.

What I do have is a God who has placed a burden on my heart…. and I have a blog with some pretty fantastic readers.  So, I’m using Rachael Gathers to try to find 10 SPONSORS.  I believe we can do it, and as a sign of my faith in and commitment to this project, our family is going to sponsor the first of the ten.  This is the second orphan we are sponsoring.  His name is David (just like my dad) and you can see his photo when you follow the link below.

Do you think we can make this happen?  I am daring to hope that we can cover all ten orphans and more after that!  Will you join me?

If you are interested, please go to the Sponsor an Orphan link here.  There are ten photos, nine of them available for sponsorship.  You can contact me directly or simply comment on this post who you would like to sponsor, and we will get the information out to you right away.  And remember, 100% of your donations go directly to the Helping Hands Project and your donation is tax exempt as a charitable donation.

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