Children running around, squealing with delight. An endless group of kids, clumped in front of the camera, pushing each other to catch a glimpse of themselves in a photo.
It’s a crazy scene whenever a bunch of kids live together, but especially when people are visiting from another country.
I was one of those special visitors in July when I travelled to Uganda and Kenya to visit the Droplets in a Stream partners.
It was a blessing to see the heart behind the work being done, but one memory stands out and even now as I reflect, it brings me to tears.
Amidst the busyness at St Paul’s orphanage in Kyampisi, there was one orphaned child sitting alone, distant from the other children. He looked distressed and upset.
There were tasks to do, discussions to have, but that didn’t stop Peter Michael (a DIAS partner) going to a quiet corner to hold this child in his arms. He sat there with a tenderness and love like a father would cradle his own child.
I think it’s often easy for someone like me, as a visitor, to be moved with compassion when you visit a place like Kyampisi. But I saw Peter, a man who has so many things to do, stop and love these children. For him, this ministry isn’t a job or just an orphanage to run. It’s his heart to see these children cared for because each one matters deeply to him. I was blown away by Peter’s heart and compassion. And it’s something that moves me to tears each time I relive it.
Another memory that will stay with me was watching the DIAS leadership team in action. Right from the start, it was clear that Rod (Director) and Andrew (Board Member) don’t serve with their own agenda, but their sole purpose is to support the partners and their projects. They don’t seek any recognition for what DIAS does… it’s about doing what’s best for the children. In particular, I saw just how selfless and humble Rod is. I feel it can be easy for organisations to seek a ‘crown’ for their work, but I witnessed none of that on this trip – I was deeply moved by their heart!
It was such an honour to travel to Africa – to meet the partners and see the projects DIAS is funding and managing. And it was exciting to witness firsthand how these disadvantaged children are being touched, their lives changed one at a time.
By Grant Edwards, DIAS supporter