Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What is Uganda Hope Shoes?

It has almost been a year now that God first laid Uganda on my heart.  Ever since that day, I have not been able to stop thinking about Uganda and my passion, burden and love for this country has only grown stronger every day.  It all started with this video that a pastor by the name of Francis Chan (author of Crazy Love) took while he was in Uganda, it's just a very simple video with nothing special but precious little orphan babies.  That is when I first started hearing about Uganda and after that video, Uganda kept popping up EVERYWHERE I went, looked or read and most of all, I couldn't get it out of my heart!

...and then as I started praying for God to show me more of His desire for my life, what He would want Jim and I to do, He led us down the path of Adoption yet at the same time growing my desire for Uganda.  Now we are in the process of adopting our first child here in the states domestically and Lord willing next year we would like to start the process of adopting our second child from Uganda, we already have our Uganda homestudy done and it's good for two years!

While we are in the process of adopting our first domestically, I have been praying and seeking the Lord concerning what He would want me to do with this love for Uganda/orphans/missions that He has put in my heart and where He is leading me!  Well, last week I feel I got a glimpse of just the beginning...

On Friday morning this man pulls up playing this awesome African drum type music in his car that just automatically made me want to start dancing!  He gets out and has the traditional African type shirt on with a very thick African accent.  We saw him picking up a few pair of children's shoes and he said he wanted to buy them to bring back to the children in his charity over in Africa.  I was so excited that instantly I told him he could have all our shoes for free because well that was the very least we could do.  I have been praying for more and more opportunities like this so I could not pass it up!  We had LOTS of shoes, he took away at least 4-5 bags if not more, filled to the top with shoes for children!  He said he was from Ghana! So I am praying all those shoes make it safely to many little pairs of feet and that even if for one day, it will put a smile on their faces!  I was so blessed that God gave us the opportunity to give and of all things, God brought along someone going to Africa, the same place that God has been putting on my heart so strongly.  Just think, God could have brought along anyone from anywhere in the world that needed shoes for kids but He choose Africa!  It just confirmed in my heart how God is working in it, giving me a passion, burden and love for Africa, specifically Uganda.

That's where Uganda Hope Shoes comes in!  As I was praying a few nights ago asking God to show me why He was putting Uganda so strongly on my heart and what to do first, immediately the guy from above who wanted the shoes for the children came to my mind.  I believe God might be working in my heart to at least first start with raising funds and doing things to raise money for shoes and bring in donations of shoes to take over to the orphaned children and the poor children over in Uganda and in doing so with each pair of shoes I hand out, we can hug them and let them know Jesus loves them and hopefully give them some hope.

I believe this is just a small little part, of helping God's children by serving them! It's a start, I pray it involves into so much more than just shoes, I would love to raise enough to even buy mosquito nets and food to pass out while I'm there!  I have seen COUNTLESS pictures from friends over in Uganda of children that either have no shoes on, shoes with holes or mismatched shoes that do not fit their feet well.  It breaks my heart because a simple pair of shoes could help give them a smile, comfort, block their feet from getting all sorts of diseases and so much more!  I remember one blog post Katie wrote about having to dig out these little bugs/worms in a little childs foot because of them having no shoes.

We are at the VERY beginning stages of this and we still do not know exactly what all God will lead us to do but this is a start and many times God wants us to step out in faith following Him and then He will guide us each step of the way!  He may not give me the big picture right now of how He wants to use the Starkey's for Uganda but for now, we just want to love and we just want to serve!  In doing so, we pray we will be examples of our Savior and can help show many people around the world, the love that God has for them.