Archive Featured Angel
In April of 2010, I was turning 21. I decided I wanted to do something memorable to mark the occasion. I had heard about the amazing work Watoto does through my mum, as she had been a part of the 2009 build team, something in the passion she held when describing her experience and what Watoto does to restore broken lives, caught my heart. I had to go.
I didn’t hear from God in flashing lights that this was what he wanted me to do, I stepped out and trusted that God would provide – and that he did.
Among the many things we learnt on our adventure, God provision was high up on the list. You couldn’t help but see his provision amongst the desperation. From the miracles that came to get the team out there to the provision of basic needs that make Watoto a success.
The main point of our trip was to build a classroom; I don’t think any of us truly understood what it was we were going to, we were just a team of people ready and willing to get busy doing what we could.
Building in the heat of Africa was tough, but we learnt to focus on the bigger picture of what we were doing. The bricks we were placing were going to house a class of 30 + children, that were going to be given the chance to become the leaders God had created them to be. But there wasn’t going to be just one class in our building, these structures were going to last for years to come, holding many classes in the future. We were helping facilitate the education and transformation of generations to come.
The overwhelming thing about Watoto is that they look after the children they rescue, from birth all the way up to adulthood and beyond. We had the privilege of seeing what Watoto does from start to finish. Our first stop was Bulrushes, the Watoto Babies home; we were able to spend some time with the babies feeding them, playing with them and hearing some of their stories. It was heart breaking to hear about how these precious babies had been abandoned and abused; it was a blessing to know that there was Hope and that these young lives had a future thanks to Watoto.
A significant day in our trip was when we visited a government funded boarding school. Hundreds of traumatised young people live in this school, there was a lack of basic amenities and individual care. The thing that struck me about these young children is that they just wanted to be touched, weather that be a hug, holding their hand or simply a hand on their shoulder. We spent the afternoon playing parachute games, ball games, painting their nails and loving on them. Again we had the opportunity to listen to some of these young people stories. It is unreal to hear what children as young as 12 were forced to do in order to survive. Before we left a group of children started singing ‘ I am not forgotten, God knows my name, father to the fatherless, hope to the hopeless, he knows my name.’ The levels of faith that these young people had blew me away, despite their pasts they were able to stand tall and know that God was their father and he knew their name. Again the sense of Hope resonated throughout these children’s lives. Knowing that there was a God that loved them regardless of what they had done, that there was a God that would never abandoned them even when their families and communities did gave these children a reason to live.
It was obvious from the onset that God has his hand on Uganda and that greater things are yet to come. There was a passion that radiated from everyone we met, a passion for God, a passion to see these people’s lives restored and transformed and a passion for their country.
Every moment we had in Uganda was precious; it was truly a life changing experience, I don’t think enough words on a page can truly capture the essence of my trip and the impact it has had on my life.
When you hear stories of broken lives being restored, looked into the once lost eyes of young boys who have been tormented, bullied and tortured and see a sparkle of hope, listen to young girls who have been sexually abused and devalued but their dignity has been restored, you can’t deny that we have an amazing God. But what’s also amazing is that there is an organisation- Watoto – that is being the practical hands and feet to facilitate these transformations. Not everyone can fly out to Africa (if you are able to, don’t hesitate to go, you really wont regret it) but we can all do something, even if it’s just spreading the name of Watoto, having seen where the money goes and the difference it truly makes, it inspires me to go further and do more.
God has called us to love one another, this isn’t just exclusive to gorgeous babies in Uganda, there are the people in our street, in our office, college, universities and school gates. We can all play a part step out and do something, a smile, a hug a cup of tea. Whatever you can do, you could be amazed with the response.
The Featured Angels are the Urban Angels from Belfast, who put on a fantastic dress swap party , and raised nearly £2000 for Urban Angels!
Below is some of the feedback we received from the girls that went!
A relative rang me this morning. She is from a catholic background. She said “Is your church like that”? If so I want to come if it’s anything like the event last night. She went on to say I think I’ll encourage my daughter to go as she doesn’t go to church.” This is way church should be nowadays instead of all this division with catholics and protestants”
Another friend stated that she would love to host an urban angels event in her church. She thought that the way in which the evening was presented was superb and would love to hook up with us to get some tips of how to pull off a similar great event.
Others said ‘ I had such a great night, thank you for inviting us , we had an absolute ball!’ ‘Im still on a high – people in work are still talking about it, Im still talking about is, even the guys are talking about it!’
Well done girls that’s amazing, sounds and looks like you had a great night and you did and awesome job raising money! Wow!