Have you ever wanted to meet your sponsor child/children? Our lovely sponsor Marcella recently got to visit Marion, her sponsored child, in Uganda and we wanted to share their story with you. We love seeing relationships between sponsors and their sponsor children thrive, and are so happy to share Marcella’s account of their meeting in person after 11 years of sponsorship and relationship! Read on to hear all about their meeting and their amazing connection in the words of Marcella:
About 11 years ago, the Uganda Children’s Choir sang at our church in San Antonio, TX. The youngest choir member really hammed it up and stole the show.
After the show, the congregants were invited to a table where children’s sponsor packets were displayed. That young singer walked us up to the table and pointed to a 4-year-old named Marion, then pointed to us, and then back at Marion while excitedly speaking to a lady who translated for us. “He says he knows her and that she’s the same age as your son and that she is being educated at the same place as him.” So that’s how this beautiful doe-eyed girl became our sponsored child.
I had heard about sponsoring children but always wondered if it was a scam and if the children seen in the photos were really the children who would benefit from donors’ money. I felt so happy that the young singer knew Marion. I felt confident that our monthly donation would enable Marion to attend school and have a better life.
Flash forward to summer 2022… I joined my friend Wendy’s nonprofit organization (Ugandan Orphan Childcare Ministries) for a mission trip to Uganda. I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to meet up with Marion while there, but everything was easy to set up. One of the reasons I’ve always liked Childcare Worldwide is that they answer the phone when you call them. From that initial phone call, I just had to coordinate with Wendy and then email back and forth with one of the staff members at Childcare Worldwide. I am still in disbelief that everything worked out so smoothly.
I met Marion on the last full day of my mission trip. We set it up so that we could meet at the Entebbe Zoo. While awaiting Marion’s arrival, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning (and then some)! When she pulled up, I raced over to the car to greet her. We hugged forever, and I cried, of course. That moment was like finding a piece of my heart that I didn’t even know had been missing.
Marion held my hand everywhere we went. We looked at the animals, but mostly, we talked about girl stuff. She wanted to know everything about my life and about my kids. I’m a teacher, so I had a lot of questions about education for her and about her family and lifestyle. It’s a tough but very honorable life that people lead there. I use the word honorable a lot to help describe Uganda to others. It's not bad or better- just different. Ugandans are focused on survival and relationships. There are fewer distractions, and people are working hard with a purpose. When they have time together, it's intentional and focused and not rushed. My mission team and I referred to time there as "Ugandan time," and I've craved that so many times since returning home.
I am forever changed by this trip. I appreciate simple things like flushing toilets and bigger things like traffic lights and personal safety. I gained some beautiful friends during this trip, and I got to experience so many things- some hard and some joyful. When I write to Marion now, it takes on a whole new meeting. I can still picture her beauty, hear her voice, and feel her hand in mine. I pray I’m able to go back to Uganda in a couple of summers. I would give anything to get to see my beautiful sponsored child again.