Monday, January 26, 2015

Outcast




{Holding Tony and his buddy Opio leaning behind him}

Today I am able to officially introduce you to my precious ‘Tony’

Many of you have been praying for healing for our 

newest little Gem -

Tony. 

 He was rushed to the emergency room with a horribly high fever and a
 much higher than should be heart rate
{even with a high fever}.

Thank you for all who have loved him, prayed for him and asked others to pray.


Tony is now home safe and sound! 

We missed him and it is so good to have him home again.

Our precious Tony was our Christmas baby! 

He arrived just days before Christmas.

When I first met him, tears filled my eyes.

I never had before seen with my own eyes such trauma and abuse.

 Covered in bruises and bedsores his little body of 13 years old struggled to survive.


His eyes tell a story that I long to hear...

He had been through so much!

An outcast.

Some days he would be beaten,
laying in his own waste,
days would pass and all he would know was hunger.

His body, overtaken by Cerebral Palsy, wouldn’t allow him to be free.

So day in and day out he was at the mercy of others.

I never had seen such mistreatment, horror or brutality,
just struggling to survive at 13 years old. 

And then God began the beautiful story of redemption.

As soon precious ‘Tony’ would join our home.

He has made so much progress as his body relaxes and
realizes he is now safe.

For being 13 years old he weighs so little,
and only wears a size 4T...
all from being sickeningly malnourished and abused.

We are so thankful to have him part of our 'Gem' family.

We can't wait to see God's miracles transform his life
as Tony heals and learns what love really is.

Would you please add him to your prayer list?

He is so weak and so fragile.
Would you prayerfully consider joining his team and
being a part of sponsoring our Tony?

If your interested in sponsoring him -

Send us an email at:

office@thegemfoundation.com

make the subject 

"Tony"

Above all else please be praying for healing for our precious boy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2 Years Living In Uganda


Two years ago I hugged my precious family goodbye,
as I moved to Uganda.

I can still remember the feeling as my feet touched the soil and
knew I was finally Home.

Little did I know all that God would have in store. 

I never would have imagined two years would go by and I
still wouldn't see my family or friends.

Although missing them is harder some days then I can bear,

One thing I know to be true,

God is faithful and He is always there.

In the first few months of living in Uganda,

life would have its ups and downs.

I'd conquer my fear of being alone,

As I journeyed through the city by Boda {Motorcycle}

Each time I would be reminded that God is always there with me.

In my darkest nights and when the loneliness would settle in,
He'd gently whisper that I am never alone.

I found my Jesus more and more each day.

I met Precious James and Nakato and would share their story with you all.

God would move the financial mountain and James would receive the
 life changing surgery of a shunt.

Today almost 2 years later James walks and he talks. 

Only God!!

God would begin whisper to my heart that our home needed to be
opened sooner then I thought.

We'd take the first step and begin the paperwork process to become an NGO.

I'd spend every moment I could sharing with the street children,

We'd spend days together, holidays and special moments as we'd sit on
 the side walk passing out breakfast.

Little by little God would move our mountains and soon we were fully registered!!

~

We prayed God would direct us to the house He had for us and soon we moved in.

Repairs were made, walls painted and

Soon our home awaited the arrival of our precious 'Gems'.

On July 10th - the long awaited day would finally arrive!


Soon our arms would spill over with 'Gems'


Best Friends would be made...


And we'd fall head over heels in - love in more ways then one..



~
Our hearts would break and ache as our Precious Arthur met Jesus.


Not a day goes by that we don't miss our sweet boy.

In October our home would ache again as our sweet Jason would meet Jesus.


So much grief and pain that I could hardly breathe. 

I'd never known so much pain and loss as I held my babies earthly bodies,
 in my arms for the very last time.


We'd grieve and we cling to Him knowing that their bodies no 
longer struggle to breathe.

But now they breathe heavenly air.

No more pain for their bodies.

Yet we miss them and we grieve.

~


Soon our home would rejoice again as we welcomed home 'Gem' after 'Gem'...

Little ones who are severely malnourished,

some rescued from horrible abuse that is unimaginable

would find our home filled with hope and healing..


Our Jonah would find the courage to smile again.


Our Zeke would heal from his abuse.

~

Laughter would fill our home with Joy and friendship..


We'd have dance parties!


Our Staff would grow and grow!



~

So much Joy and Love.




My heart overflows...

He is so faithful to us!

He has taken our ashes and turned it into such beauty.




I am so humbled that I have this enormous honour and privilege of 

caring for His most precious Gems.



I never would have imagined all that God would do.

Two years from the day I moved to Uganda,

24 precious gems sleep soundly downstairs.


{My two newest 'Gems' arrived yesterday.
Both suffering from severe abuse and malnutrition.}

Tears fill my eyes.

I'm so humbled that I get to,

I get to love His treasures.

If someone asked me if I'd do it all over again.

I'd say yes a thousand times.

My Gems are worth it.

And even more.

xo


Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Gems Need Your Help!



Before we opened...


While preparing to open The Gem Foundation 

my best guess was that we would add Gem upon Gem

ever-so-slooooooowly.

I thought that probably in the first year we would have

 six or so sweet Gems to love and care for.

Our first Gems arrived!



Imagine the surprise when Watoto contacted

The Gem Foundation and asked me if we could

partner with them!

Before long they gifted us our first 11 Gems!!!

Wow!! 

I was in shock to say the least!!

Of course, we were smitten with each of the 11!!

Definitely looking forward to a bit of pink sometime

in the future,

but things were busy and the rooms were

nearly filled - already!!

Before we could even get really settled with the 11,

a call came for one who needed a home.

Before long we took the "extra" room we had for supplies

and the nurses station and moved

a sweet girl gem into there.

Then there was another call.

And then another call.

Every room available was now overflowing.



But what would we do?

Turn our back?

Never!!

The needs have been enormous!!

Bigger than we could have imagined.

More beds ordered as quickly as possible.

One coming from the far west.

One coming from way up north.

Many severely abused.

One left naked and tied up in public.

Horrific malnutrition.

Desperate situations.

Indescribable needs.

More cribs ordered.

Squeezing in here and squeezing in there.

And the calls keep coming.

With every addition our hearts have welcomed

and embraced each new Gem.

All fitting in to our precious Gem family.  

Personally, I have been so humbled and amazed by all that God

has done in our life and ministry.

He has blessed us and provided again and again.

Now just five months later, we have had the joy of 

caring for 23 precious ‘Gems’!!

Little did we know that in the first five months,

 we would not only have tremendous joy and blessings

but also such sorrow and grief

with the loss of Arthur and Jason.

When we first began I joked with friends that we’d grow little by little.

Little did I know that God had other ideas and soon our arms

would spill over with His precious Gems.


.



Tonight downstairs twenty-one precious Gems snooze in their beds.

My eyes fill with tears.

 His goodness never ceases to amaze me.

Yet  several months before we opened

 God began to whisper to me that someday we’d need a place

 to call our forever home.

I thought that maybe that day would come in a few years.

And with each phone call and new referral for our home

I realized "someday" might be sooner than I had imagined!!

As we have grown we quickly came to understand that

our home is just not big enough.

We’ve rearranged rooms more times then I can count as

we’ve added each new crib.


But friends - we are more than out of room!

We must do something to change that.

The need is still too large!

With much prayer we began to dream of our own place to

truly call our forever home.

A place where our Gems can heal, learn and grow.

We're dreaming of a place that we no longer struggle

to bath our kiddos, 

but a place with wheelchair accessible showers.


We're even dreaming of a place with land to run and play -

to plant and to grow our own food.

We are dreaming of a place to see our Gems thrive and

take their very own steps.

We dream of a village of special needs children growing to adults

because some will grow with us for a short season,

some will be resettled

and

some will live with us long term. 

Would you prayerfully consider joining us 
in making our forever home a reality?

Here are just a few ways you could partner with us...

First, would you please pray with us?

Ask God to direct your steps...

Then - 

Perhaps you would host a fundraiser 

or

 have a cupcake sale

or

organize a multi-family yard sale

or

have an auction...

or

even get your church involved...


There are so many ways you can be apart of

The Gem Foundation's Forever Home!!!

If you or someone you know is interested in partnering with us:

Send us an email at:

office@thegemfoundation.com

You can also be a part by donating now.


DONATE



We need you!

Will you help us??