if you like what you see...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


This is Bumpi. Jason, the kids and I started sponsoring Bumpi in February 2010. One of the highlights of my trip to Uganda was getting to meet and spend time with Bumpi. I immediately picked her out of the group of children who were waiting to sing to us. She must have seen the excitement on my face because she picked me out, too (she had never seen a picture of me). She pointed to herself as if to say "Me??". I said "Yes! YOU!" and motioned for her to come over to me. She ran over and I explained that we are her sponsors and showed her a picture of our family.
I am struggling to find the words to correctly describe this. As I sit here and think back on it, and look at the pictures, I can feel the butterflies in my stomach again. Bumpi lives in the slums. I walked through her slum. I smelled it. I tasted it. It was scary, it was dirty.
I thought when I met Bumpi I would want to bring her home with me, to "take her away" from her slum, the dirt, the smell. But after meeting Bumpi, Pastor Richard took us to meet her mother.
This is Elizabeth Naomi, Bumpi's mother. In this picture, we are at her store, where she sells prepared food. As soon as we got there, she immediately asked us to come to her home. As we followed her, I noticed she has a pretty significant limp (what? no Medicaid? no Welfare? no Disability???). I had so many emotions trying to come to the surface but I really wanted to live in the moment...to experience this...to allow this woman to share her hospitality.
We came inside her home (only 3 of us could fit) and she explained how proud of Bumpi she is. She said Bumpi is a hard worker and studies hard. She told us about the plans she and her husband had for this home before he died of AIDS. My heart broke but at the same time, I was amazed by the hope. Elizabeth Naomi SHINES with hope. She RADIATES Jesus (she explained how she was Muslim but found Jesus). Her home is just that...HOME. Home for her and home for Bumpi. If I were to take Bumpi home with me...what would that do to this family? To this slum?? Bumpi needs to stay right where she is. God has a plan for her and it has nothing to do with what my rich American mind thinks is "normal" or "safe" or "clean".

Elizabeth Naomi said Forgotten Children changed her life. She told us how the sponsorship money for Bumpi alleviated so much need in their lives that Elizabeth Naomi was able to expand her store...and she has hopes of expanding even more. Not once did I hear her say "I want to live somewhere else.". That struck me. She doesn't want to leave...she wants to improve and make due with what she has...because she knows this life and this world is temporary. She is storing up her treasures in Heaven. And from what I saw, I am confident Elizabeth Naomi has a beautiful mansion on a hill in paradise...and a crown made of jewels.

There are millions of children like Bumpi. Children with parents who want the best for them but can't find a way because they're dying from AIDS. Children without parents who live with relatives who can't afford to feed them. Children without parents or relatives who are merely surviving...maybe huffing glue because it kills the hunger pangs, or eating rats. But there is hope. I know this is hard to believe, but only $25/mo literally saves a life...and not just one life...the lives of a whole family...of a slum...of a village...and yeah, eventually maybe even a country. God is doing BIG things. And He wants to use you.

If you would like to save a child, and in turn cause a ripple effect that goes past your imagination, click HERE. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of your monthly $25 contribution goes directly to your child. Not many organizations can promise you that. And of course it is also tax deductible. For the price of pizza once a month you can save lives. You can make a difference.


Keetha Broyles said...

Everything about this is beautiful.

Lisa Cook said...

Hi Keri! Rose told me about your blog also and I'm so thankful she did. This was beautiful to read about and the pictures are stunning. Thank you for sharing!


Ben said...

Keri, you are every bit as inspirational as Elizabeth and Bumpi, and that's really saying something.