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danika

DENNIS DANICA MUTEBI

Growing up without a father and a mother affected me so much in the sense that I always had questions of “Why me? What can I achieve in this life? Why did this have to happen to me?” In this process, I could see my elder brother struggling to find something for us to eat. He was young to be the one responsible to make sure we survived. Everything that our parents had was taken away from us. We were left with nothing in this world. This is the normal circumstance for most families when the parents die. Fair enough, my grandmother took us in and tried her best to care for us. Later she found an organization (Watoto Child Care) which took us in and gave us a new home, education and spiritual discipleship which changed our lives completely.

This raised more questions in my heart. “Why did God rescue my life? Why did He educate me?” I came to a point where I realized that it wasn’t just so I could have a nice job and sit and work for myself. I realized there are many children that are going through the same experience of losing both of their parents from many causes: political instabilities, wars, disease, abandonment, dumped in toilets and pits. These children need love. They need someone to care for them and give them hope for the future. They need the same love that I received, the same love that changed my story.

In 2005, I began to pray about how I can give back and help kids have hope for the future. As I was praying about these things, the Lord put the passage of Isaiah 61 on my heart: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring the good news to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives.” This spoke to my life and changed my life. I started to see the beauty that was lying ahead of me, the purpose, the reason that God has rescued my life.
In 2012, God brought me to a place where I met a young girl that had a story like mine. She lost both of her parents. She has never seen her dad and her mother died at her birth. She was living with a great aunt. Her story touched my heart, so I started paying her school fees and helping to meet her other needs.

I became more and more aware of the needs of children, especially when I visited the island of Makusa. I saw the overwhelming number of kids that need help. And back on the mainland, I met more and more kids and as they shared their stories, it confirmed over and over again what I needed to do. So I began by sharing their stories whenever I got the opportunity to speak. Just as God changed my story, I am glad I can now be part of changing other people’s stories. These children are calling out for love, for someone to talk to them. They need a family to belong to, someone to call Daddy, Mommy, Uncle. Some to say, “I love you.” And that is why we formed Asifiwe Child Care Ministry, to show love. Because we believe that love changes our story.

julliane

JULIANNE HEILMAN

When I was a young girl, I struggled with feelings of loneliness often, despite growing up in a large family and having everything I needed. When I came to realize the nearness of God through the love of Jesus, it transformed my life. As I grew in the love of God and became settled in Him, He began to open my eyes to realize that there are many other children who also need to know the love of God. The Lord brought me in contact with children around me who had very hard lives and lacked many things. I remembered the pain I had felt and realized that their situations were far worse than my own. They need the love of God to come into their broken lives and give them peace and hope. As I had been changed, I also desire the same for them.

In 2005, on a mission trip to Russia, I met a young orphan girl called Yana. She was quiet and shy, just like me when I was young. Immediately our hearts connected and we spent hours together enjoying each other’s company. When I had to leave, she put her arms around me and hugged me like she would never let go. I can still feel her arms tightly around my waist. I felt her loneliness, like the loneliness that I experienced as a child. And from that time on, I knew I had to give my life to children like Yana, children that are desperate for love.

When I came to Uganda in 2013, I came with the strong calling to love the children. Some people go to the mission field with a calling to preach the Gospel, to plant a church, or to reach certain people groups like Muslims or Buddhists. But my calling is directly to give the love of Jesus to children who have been deprived of love. I came knowing that there are many children in need of love and care. As I encountered these children, the Lord began to open my eyes to their pain and point out individuals who are especially hurting, who desperately need the love of God to transform their lives. I knew I came to be part of their lives and to be a vessel of God’s love for them. From my own experience, I know just a small portion of the pain they are living in and it gives me a great desire to help them to find the abundant love of God found in Jesus.

I am blessed to be part of Asifiwe Child Care, to be able to fulfill the calling on my life to minster and care for children, to point them to Jesus and allow His love to change their stories.