The children lined up and sneaked smiles, sometimes nudging the boy or girl next to them before breaking out in a fit of giggles. They wiggled and squirmed, trying their best to remain still as the head teacher welcomed us, sending greetings to the United States. When finished, he stepped nimbly to the side and cued the group with a quick nod.
The singing began in the back, one girl charged with leading the choir, instantly joined by the rest of the students. Elementary boys kept time by beating 5 rhythms on 5 different drums in the back.
'We are happy to see you, visitas! We are happy to see you today.. We are happy to welcome you, visitas, on the campus of our school!'
The children stayed mostly still during the first verse. Then they hit the first note of the chorus, wide and big, stomping and swaying as one. All wiggling and squirming gone, the gestures, facial expressions, pounding feet, all combined to welcome us wholly and completely to their community.
It put our off-time clapping to serious shame.
The childen are taught to cherish education and exemplify extreme respect - one girl even knelt and walked on her knees to serve a Coca-Cola to a church elder. However, poverty has driven many parents to send their children away because they cannot afford them. Sometimes, the child will go to a relative's home and work as a servant to provide for themselves, others aren't so lucky.
Children of Promise and Colleen Stevenson changed that for Uganda. With the foundation of local pastors and teachers, the Church of God has over 200 schools in Uganda, and countless children provided for through the program. And because of Children of Promise sponsors, families can stay together and get an education. A sponsorship pays for food, school fees, school uniforms, and various other expenses, effectively changing the lives of the people of Uganda.
While we witnessed firsthand this powerful ministry in Uganda, its influence stretches all
over the world into many different countries. Every day, the staff and sponsors team to alter a child's path toward opportunity, all the while telling them of Christ's love and plan for their lives.
For more on this amazing ministry, go to echildrenofpromise.org