I believe it was 2003 or 2004 when I heard the very first choir from Uganda sing...
They came to my church in Simi Valley, California.
It was a group of children from Africa Renewal Ministries...located in Gaba Uganda.
I remember the concert they gave, along with the testimonies they shared of their lives and challenges.
I can truly say that something changed in me that day.
My heart felt.
My eyes saw.
And my hands wanted nothing more than to give.
It was then that I knew I HAD to go to Uganda.
It was then that I also knew I needed to do something that was outside of myself.
After the concert, I went straight to the sponsorship table and signed up to help one of their children who needed school fees.
I choose a girl.
Her name was Nakibuuka Deborah.
I met Deborah a few years later, in 2006. I didn't know my heart could love so much.
I met her again in Dec of 2007 when I volunteered in GBI's library.
And ever since our initial meeting, I think about her all the time. I pray for her and truly love her as if she was my own child.
Since I have been here though, I had not seen her...that is, until today.
I was in the GBI library this afternoon, the very same library I had volunteered in back in 2007, and I heard a small voice ask if Lena was there...
I assumed it was a student, or staff member, coming to ask one of their usual questions when from around the corner came Deborah.
I couldn't believe it! I was so excited!
She has grown up so much from the first time we met back in 06...now she is 15 years old, such a grown up compared to the 8 year old whose picture I choose after the conference!
She hugged me and told me that she had heard around town that I was working at GBI again, and she wanted to come and see how I was doing.
It was so sweet that God linked us together again!
I look forward to spending more time with her...
To finally meeting her grandmother, and sharing a long awaited meal with her once more.
It was a flash back of sorts, one that flashed me back to that concert in 2003...the one that really did change my life...
I thank God, that I will never be the same because of it...
He has changed me for the better, and for that I am eternally grateful!