So, why Uganda? Why not another country or why not even right here in America? The answer is simply... I don't know... All I know is that we prayed that the Lord would give us specifics about what orphans we were to focus our energy on and the Lord answered our prayers. He placed Uganda so deeply on our hearts, we cannot help but feel responsible for caring for these children in as many ways as we possibly can.
The facts about Uganda and their orphans are staggering.
Uganda is one of the worlds least developed countries. It is resource poor with an estimated 90% of it population living in rural area’s. It has a current population of 24.7 million (census 2002) and an orphan population of over 2 million set to rise to 3.5 million by 2010 (UNICEF, 2002). This creates an environment in Uganda where 10% of their population are Orphans, and the percentage will only rise.
With that in mind, one of the ways we have chosen to contribute to the orphans of Uganda now is to combine two of my passions and fill a need where there is one. And the best part is, I'm asking you to come along side of me!
I will be sewing and gathering quilts for an orphanage in Uganda and once we have enough quilts for an entire orphanage, we will be shipping them directly to the children. I have spoken with several orphanages and they run anywhere from 30-50 children.
Why quilts? In Quilting for Peace: Making the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time, it explains: The world can be an especially frightening place for its youngest inhabitants. But simple things can have an almost magical effect on anxious children, and quilts seem to hold extra-special comforting powers. Linda Arye, founder of Quilts for Kids, explains it this way: "Somehow, when you get under the covers, the whole world goes away, and it's just you in safe haven. And I guess that's what the quilts do. They provide a safe haven for these kids."I am aware that a quilt isn't going to change their lives, but many have said that donated quilts are often the only long lasting possession that orphans have to call all their own. So if I had to give them one item of comfort, I can't think of anything better than a quilt.
My goal is at least a quilt a month, so if you do the math, it would take me years to finish alone. So, in faith, I am starting my first quilt this week and asking my fellow sewers to join me. Even if you only make one, or just sent me a quilt top or donate some fabric or send a few dollars to help out with the supplies and shipping, it will help.
The future of our family is completely uncertain, but what I do know is we serve a God who has a heart for the orphans and widows and cares about their lives...and we should too. So, until we get a better glimpse of God's heart for our family, I will sew my love into some quilts for these children that have become so dear to my heart.
This is where the rubber meets the road and I'm beyond excited to see where God is going to take this. Will you consider joining me?