The Trees are Running


We had completed our 5th King’s Kids home in rural Uganda and 10 needy orphan children were chosen out of a sea of hopeless, helpless, precious young ones, to become the children of this new King’s Kids’ home. This is a heart rendering task for our program administrator, Glenn, and the local Pastor to choose only 10. Before the children move into the King’s Kids home, they have to have a medical check-up and they must shop for clothes and shoes. They probably had never worn shoes before and certainly never slept in a bed or worn pajamas. Can you imagine the excitement and perhaps some uncertainty as Glenn gathered the children into the van for their first car ride into town? Their big brown eyes must have been enormous as the van picked up speed and drove away from the village. They were headed into unknown territory to places they knew nothing about. And they were about to see things they had never seen before. As grownups, that would scare many of us. How much more for four and five year-olds? So after a day in town, they are treated to something else they’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing, lunch at a restaurant and…ice cream! I imagine there hadn’t been much laughter in their young lives, and I only hope that this was the beginning of giggles and smiles and contentment.

But to me, the story that stands out from that day is one of amazement, a reminder to us all to find the miraculous in the everyday occurrences. When Glenn was driving down that dusty road toward Mbale, one of the little boys was staring out the window and was mesmerized by the passing scenery and shouted out “Uncle Glenn, Uncle Glenn, the trees are running!” How adorable is that? Did he think the trees were moving as fast as they were? What an imagination. And now, three years later, we see that newfound imagination beginning to develop into even greater things as the children can now imagine a future, one filled with hope.

Construction Complete

February 2017
King’s Kid’s homes are duplexes built next to the pastor’s home on the church property. One side of the duplex is for 4 girls and the other side for 4 boys. A special “mamma” has been chosen to live with them and care for them as her own. A latrine/bath house, and a separate kitchen house are built also. There is a well on the property, but no running water or electricity.

February of 2017, two King’s Kids Homes were completed, all the beds, tables and chairs were delivered and the most vulnerable, needy children began to experience a safe, family environment for the first time in their lives. Most children were hungry, and dressed in rags, and many required medical attention before moving into King’s Kid’s Home. We met these children through the pictures and bios that our case worker, Glenn, sent us, and we were blessed to find family and friends to sponsor them.
All the children had their medical check-ups, were taken shopping in the nearby town to buy clothes, and then they enjoyed their first-ever ice cream.

We were so excited to meet them all in person, and began packing trunks full of clothes and toys, books and toothbrushes, and counting the days until we were able to love on them.

The Great Manager

Our Board of Directors includes some of our dear forever friends – wise, praying, believers who seek God’s direction in their lives. We are truly blessed to have them in our lives, and on our King’s Kids Africa Board of Directors.

As we moved forward with our plans to build homes for orphans, we knew we needed to create a management committee in Uganda to oversee the building process. Because we are working under the Presbytery of East Africa, and with Pastor Morris and Aida, they began the search for a strong team to lead this committee. The process began by considering pastors and elders from 120 different churches and choosing six devoted leaders among them to lead the King’s Kids Management Committee.

One name on the list made us stop and wonder if it could possibly be Chuck’s interpreter, Ernest. Was Ernest a common name in Uganda like Bob is in the US? We didn’t know. It had been 4 years since we had seen Ernest and even a current picture of him compared next to an earlier picture of him left us unsure. What was the chance that this was Chuck’s Ernest?

After much investigative work and many communications back and forth, the truth became known. It was Chuck’s Ernest! The same one who walked the dirt roads with Chuck and prayed over so many villagers, and interpreted as Chuck shared the gospel message to crowds of eager listeners. Ernest had become Chuck’s friend, and now he was serving on the King’s Kids Management Committee.

God brings people into our lives each year to bless us and He gives us the joy of blessing them. We don’t always know God’s plans and motives, but we do believe what His word says in Jeremiah 29:11 :

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We never could have imagined in 2010 and 2011 when we were in Uganda with Ernest, that God was laying out His plans even then. What a beautiful story He writes.


My Interpreter – My Friend


An exciting time for each of us was the morning when we met our interpreter for the first time. Young men, who were students at the local Seminary, would gather in Mbale to greet us and offer their time and linguistic talents for the week to come. I remember meeting my assigned interpreter, Peter, for the first time. This tall, young, soon-to-be pastor with a wide smile and a friendly laugh would be my companion, and soon my friend. One day, as we walked along the dirt trails from one remote village to the next, we came across a very vocal pet goat that was all tangled up in its rope. Peter, quite use to this scene, thought nothing of it, and proceeded to just walk by. But I stopped and pleaded with him to please rescue the poor thing. That day Peter received a famous nickname from me – and is now known throughout the region as “Peter- the saver of goats.”

Chuck’s interpreter, Ernest, was a local teacher who had come to serve our team. As they walked through the cornfields heading toward a mud hut, they came across a farmer who happened to be aiding a goat in the birthing process. Chuck’s role was to soothe the goat as she gave birth, and now, my city-slicker husband  has a kid named after him in Uganda.

Peter and Ernest were our interpreters for two years in a row and together we shared the message of Jesus Christ with many remote villagers on the outskirts of Mbale.

God Redeems the Time

While going through the process of applying for Recognition of Exemption for King’s Kids Africa, Chuck had asked how long it might take. The attorney’s response was longer than Chuck had hoped for, (8-9 months), so the question was rephrased and instead he wanted to know what was the fastest time that any non-profit organization had received their 501 (c )(3) status. This answer, 3 months, was easier to deal with, however; Chuck felt assured that we would receive it even faster than that. He was right! In 2 ½ months and tons of paper work later, we received our 501 (c ) (3) non-profit status for King’s Kids Africa. Hallelujah!!!

Please Don’t Send Me to Africa

Many years ago I had the honor of directing many beautiful children in a stage play entitled, “Please Don’t Send Me to Africa”. We all learned so much during that show and we prayed that our hearts would follow wherever God called us. Guess where God called this Director???

When we first arrived in a rural village of Uganda, Africa, children came running from every direction to greet us. A few younger ones were reluctant, because for them it was their first time to see a Mzunga – a white person. But they quickly warmed up to us and swarmed us wherever we went. So many children, but where were their parents? 5 year olds were in charge of babies, carrying them on their backs. Many chewed on days-old corn cobs, all were barefoot, and most were dressed in rags.

At first I though how sweet they were to greet us, but it soon became obvious that they were starved for attention. Their bellies were empty too, (some swallowing paper just to fill their stomach), but their biggest need was for someone to notice them.

How could we help but notice them? Those precious faces, and those big brown eyes looking up at us. We were smitten, and then saddened when we learned that we were in the midst of orphans. They had no parents to love them, to feed them, to tuck them into bed at night. That’s when our hearts began to break for these needy, beautiful children. We returned again and again, and always there was heaviness in our hearts each time we left them.

Then God grew a vision and gave us a hope – a hope that we could make a difference in the lives of these orphans and in their villages. And our journey began. It became our desire to bring hope to these children by sharing the love of Jesus with them, giving them safe, loving homes, nearby schools and churches, and empowering them to become the future leaders in their villages.

Romans 10 says:

“And how can they call to Him for help if they have not believed? And how can they believe if they have not heard the message? And how can they hear if the message is not proclaimed? And how can the message be proclaimed if the messengers are not sent out?”

God has called us to bring hope to these children, and we have trusted that He will give us the ability. At first we simply offered Him our availability, and simply and humbly said, “Here we are, send us.”

Our hearts were touched, and King’s Kids Africa was launched.

God has shown us great favor and now, one year and many answered prayers later we now have a strong Board of Directors, a devoted building committee in Uganda, and currently two duplex orphan homes under construction in two different villages. Each home will house eight children and a momma. The houses will be completed by the end of this year and 16 very needy children are about to have their lives changed forever. We can’t make a difference to all the orphans, but we can make a difference to these.