by Dale Russell
Continuing the report from your Visions of Hope Team is connecting our inmate sponsors and artists, the Otino Waa kids AND YOU. We knew you were with us as you prayed each day for success and well-being. Here’s what else we knew about you;
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,
as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
There is nowhere you can go that God won’t be, including Uganda. There is no one you could talk to whom God doesn’t already see, love relentlessly and have amazing plans for.
We know this to be true in the prisons. The team has now seen it on the other side of the world and that creates an interesting circle.
In 2003 Sandy and I met the first 78 kids rescued from the LRA rebels. 16 years later we are blessed by re-meeting one of them. Hannah is now one of the Otino Waa house moms. Simply amazing! Each of us were assigned a home to share lunch with each day. The first day, as I met the 9 kids and mom, I knew she seemed familiar. She revealed she was one of the first kids to live at Otino Waa (OTW)! What an amazing experience to see life for her come full circle. During the week I was able to spend time interviewing her. Stay tuned for a future narrative about her life.
2003 Mom Hannah with VOH shirt
We represented our inmate partners with all our energy and enthusiasm. The projects included video interviews with the kids, showing video from the inmate sponsors, gathering letters and art from the kids to their sponsors in prison and giving an overview and update of all things related to Visions of Hope (VOH). Now we go back into each prison to give a full report.
The last couple of days at OTW was full of impromptu messages from the kids and staff to the inmates. There were a total of 48 such video files. The strength of the connection was amazing, even to us. Here’s a quick sampling;
The new directors at OTW were chosen by God a long time ago. Russ and Rhonda have been on the ground at OTW for about three months. They have history with OTW that goes back to 2013, when Russ was one of our team members. God must have had plans long before that to choose and equip them to be natural leaders and hosts.
Russ & Rhonda with friends Winnie, Dickens and baby Francis
God loves to show up and creatively reveal Himself. Here are some great ones;
He picked this team long before we ever knew we were going. Each one was given special talents and they used them perfectly. Amazing to watch.
He wanted to be sure to powerfully encourage inmates and orphans since He has a special love for each. We found ourselves laughing and casting joyful tears about the relationship.
He kept us safe and healthy. That may sound simple, but the potential for ordeals are tremendous. Many thanks Lord.
The OTW kids are deeply engaged in relationships with God. Ever been prayed over by a young Ugandan who knows how to get God’s attention on your behalf? How many scriptures do you have memorized? The interviews with the kids were filled with such. How bold are you about sharing your faith? On a 1-10 scale the kids are 9.5.
The OTW kids love to sing. 99% of the time it is to let God know how much He means to them.
God wants you and I to know we are still moving in the right direction. There were so many examples and situations to encourage and persuade us to keep going. There is such a depth of connection between inmates and orphans AND what if YOU and I have just begun? The OTW kids know this so well, as each one is quick to give you Jeremiah 29:11;
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
NOTE: If you keep VISION & HOPE in mind you will be less likely to Spew out Buffaloes.
(Definition in the last post.)
Again, thanking God for the team, the kids of OTW, our next conversations with inmates AND YOUR important roles to create success! There is no success without God’s strength and creative plans. There is no ability without supporters (that would be YOU). If you discover both, you are totally blessed!
If YOU want to contribute to purpose, you need not look any further than the connection between our inmates and orphans. Would you consider investing in these lives?
Visit our donation page to make it simple and powerful.