Standing in the middle of her clothing sale in Orlando, Florida, Jeanette Scott is a world away from Sierra Leone. But she’s suddenly overwhelmed by memories of this faraway country that she holds close to her heart. Jeanette was there one year ago on a Venture Trip and began sponsoring a girl named Tenneh. But that was just the beginning.
Imagine living in Africa your whole life ... and never once seeing a lion or a zebra.
For most children in our care, safaris and trips to national parks or zoos are unaffordable luxuries. So they grow up only hearing about the animals that are native to their country.
But that changed for the seventh-grade class at Children of the Nations' school in Uganda this month. The students went on their first-ever class trip—all the way to the captial city to see the zoo, Lake Victoria, and Uganda's airport.
At age eleven, Innocent was orphaned and living under an oxcart on the streets in Malawi. Today, because of people like you, he is Children of the Nations' first African medical student. He is attending medical school in Russia, and his dream is to return to Malawi to serve his community. But Innocent is not waiting until he graduates to start transforming his nation. This summer, he got a chance to return to Malawi and serve alongside a Venture Team from the United States. He writes about the experience:
For most of my life—especially after I visited Uganda for the first time—my financial gifts were motivated by an overwhelming sense of guilt. Guilt over how much I had, compared to how little the children there had. Guilt over the luxuries I enjoyed just by virtue of living in the United States, compared to the struggle that was daily life for an orphaned child in Uganda.
I had probably looked at those brown eyes more than a hundred times as I opened and closed my refrigerator door where his photo was clipped. Every single time, I thought about meeting Mphatso, the little boy I began sponsoring earlier this year.