Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Meet Our 'Gem' Justin



I'm excited to introduce you to our Gem number 10!

This little guy has stolen all of our hearts!

Meet Our Precious,

 Justin

He is our little love bug!

He loves to be cuddled and talked to.

He also enjoys also listening to music and being read to.

Justin has Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalous.

   He also has Epilepsy and he feeds through a feeding tube.

Due to his Epilepsy he frequently has seizures.

 He also has severely high fevers and has trouble gaining weight.

Justin continues to see his many doctors as we continue to seek medical attention for his future.




If there was one word used to describe Justin,

I would call him a 

fighter!




He never gives up and is continually pushing on!

It is our prayer that Justin's seizures would stop. 

We also pray that he will be able to come off the feeding tube 
and take food orally.

We are so in love with this little guy!

 We look forward to seeing a miracle take place in his life as he begins to heal.

If you are interested in being part of Justin's team,

please email us at:


Please make the subject:

"Justin's Team"

   We have just one more 'Gem' to introduce,

And we are so excited to share his face with you!

Check back tomorrow to meet......

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Today is Your Wedding Day...


Today, little brother, is the day we've all been waiting for -

 today is your Wedding Day!

I can hardly believe that we are all grown up.

 It feels like just yesterday that we were playing dress up.

Walking down the aisle of our living room - 

I was the bride and you were my groom.

How quickly time passes!

Remembering and cherishing the sweet childhood memories.

Since the day you were born we've been the best of friends.

The best little brother a girl could ever have!

Memories flash through my mind of our childhood days.




Like the time I tried to get you to catch me as I jumped off the fridge,

or the time we built our own clubhouse in the woods.

How about the times we played Army as we tossed mud clumps at each other?

As we grew up our bond continued to strengthen - 

you've always been there for me.

My encourager and confidant and role model - my little brother!

We then entered high school and all of the ups and downs it would bring.

Yet together we faced all of life's challenges.

Remember the times we'd eat Taco Bell for breakfast, just because?

Remembering those times we'd spend in the studio writing music?

And singing together at church -

such sweet memories.


~


{The Great Wall of China together!}


I still remember so clearly the day you turned 16 years old!

{Finally officially dating age in our family!!}

You made a phone call that would forever change your life.

You asked Savannah out on your first date and the rest is history!

Today not only are you getting married,

but today I am gaining another sister!



I couldn't be more overjoyed for this exciting journey 

that you two are about to embark on!

I'm so proud of both of you.

I wouldn't have ever guessed when I hugged you goodbye

bound for my Uganda

that I wouldn't be journeying home for your big day.

Yet I shared with you my heart and that it didn't look like

 I'd be coming home for your wedding day.

No doubt, with my sweet 'Gems' just arriving home,

there was no way to leave.

You, again, encouraged me as only my brother could!

You said there would be other memories and we would make up for it...

When God called me to Uganda, 

I stepped out in the unknown and all that it would bring.

I didn't see the sacrifices that would have to be made.

The birthdays and holidays I'd miss with my family.

But I'd do it all over again in a heart beat..

Each one of my 'Gems' downstairs are worth it.

And in this season I have such peace.

Although my heart longs to be there,

I take comfort in His Embrace.

So proud of you little brother as you go to the altar

with your beautiful bride and say 

"I do"

I'm so thankful for technology so that I will witness this moment -

via Skype with, no doubt, many tears..

I love you both so much and I am so thankful for the bond that we share!

Thank you for always being there for me and encouraging me,

for {literally} being my shoulder to cry on, my confidant and my friend!

You're one of a kind and the best little brother a girl could ever have.

I love you so much Gray!

Happy Wedding Day from my Uganda and all of my 'Gems'.

Always missing you...

-Xoxo


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Meet Our 'Gem' Hudson


I feel so much love for each of our 'Gems' that have joined our home.

It's been so hard to only introduce you to one a day!

My heart is just overflowing for these precious 'Gems'

and truly, each one is so worth the wait and introduction!

This little guy has stolen a piece of my heart!

Meet Our 

"Hudson"

Although he appears shy upon meeting him,

he soon is overflowing with smiles and laughter.

Hudson is so full of life and love.

He loves to be snuggled and enjoys being rocked to sleep!

He also enjoys running around the grass with assistance.

His giggle fills the air, such a sweet sound.



Hudson has Cerebral Palsy,

yet it never stops him from enjoying every moment.

He also enjoys running around the grass with assistance.

Hudson is such a tender hearted little guy!

If you are interested in being part of Hudson's team,

please email us at:


Please make the subject:

"Hudson's Team"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Meet Our 'Gem' Joram



I'm so very honored and excited to introduce  you,

my sweet friends,

to the oldest in our home,

Meet our 

"Joram"

This handsome boy has such joy that cannot be contained.

There is no other way to express it.

But our Joram is filled with 

JOY!

He loves to smile and is always filling our home with his sweet sounds!

One of Joram's favorite things is to be outside!

He loves the fresh air and the sunshine and wheeling around in his wheelchair!

Just yesterday I snapped this sweet picture of him sporting a doo rag.




It totally cracked me up - one of the Nannys had dressed him up,

and he was pretty proud of it!

Joram has Cerebral Palsy with Spastic Quadriplegia.

But even his special needs,

cannot contain the sweet  JOY  this little guy has!

He is always facing the day with a smile and continually

filling our home with his joy!

It is our prayer that Joram 
will be able to one day communicate with us and
that he will be able to eat solid foods!

If you are interested in being part of Joram's team,

please email us at:


Please make the subject:

"Joram's Team"

Monday, July 21, 2014

Meet Our 'Gem' Jesse




I am so very excited  and feel so honored

 that I have the privilege to introduce you again to one of my boys!

Each one of our eleven are so very precious!

I've fallen in love again and again and

 each time another part of my heart is stolen.

My sweet boys,

 I'm so very thankful for each one of them!

~

Meet 

"Jesse"

He has stolen a part of my heart!

With his sweet manner and attitude -

it's hard not to fall in love when you meet him!

One of his favorite things is to be cuddled and held.

Jessie is a determined and adventurous little guy -

He is always  exploring the World around him and finding new things!

Jesse has Cortical Blindness,

He also has Cerebral Palsy and  Reflux Disease.

Because of his blindness,

he loves to crawl around the floor and 

observe the environment with sounds and feelings of different things.



Such a sweet heart this little guy is!

It is our prayer that Jesse's vision will be healed,

and that he will be able to one day communicate with us.

We know that some would say it is impossible,

but we have a mountain-moving, miracle-working God!

If you are interested in being part of Jessie's team,

please email us at:


Please make the subject:

"Jesse's Team"

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Meet Our 'Gem' Johnie




I'm so excited to have you meet one of our youngest here at


It is with great honor that I introduce you to our precious

"Johnie"

This little guy has stolen our hearts!

{Of course, I keep saying that - I guess by now
you've noticed that they have all stolen our hearts!}

His favorite thing to do is to be held and cuddled.

He has his Auntie Macey wrapped around his little finger!

Macey is a longterm missionary serving here at
The Gem Foundation.
 I am so grateful for Macey's love for special needs treasures,
 her helpful heart and her friendship!
She makes a great addition to our team!

Isn't Johnie's sweet smile the greatest?!




He enjoys being talked to,  being read to and listening to music!

Johnie has Severe Spastic Cerebral Palsy,
Hydrocephalus and Reflux disease.

He also suffers from Epilepsy and frequently has seizures.

Due to his reflux,
Johnie eats through an NG Feeding tube.

Because of Johnie's severe special needs,
he has trouble staying awake and often sleeps.

It is our prayer that Johnie's reflux disease will heal and that he
will be able to be taken off feeding tubes and 
begin to take his food orally.




We are so very excited to watch God heal his precious little body!

If you are interested in being part of Johnie's team,
please email us at:


Please make the subject:

"Johnie's Team"

Friday, July 18, 2014

Meet Our 'Gem' Caleb



I'm so very excited to introduce you to another of our 'Gems'.

This little guy's name is

"Caleb"

He has the sweetest personality! 

Caleb has Cerebral Palsy and clubbed feet.

Yet he never lets that stop him!

Caleb is known to pull himself into a standing position,

and will even roll his way to you!

He plays the 'big brother' role to all of our 'Gems'.

He enjoys helping out whether it's feeding baby Arthur
or passing his best friend Collin a toy.

He is never far from his best friend and is always checking
to make sure he is okay!

He is such a tender-hearted little guy!


Collin,  Big Jaja {Grandpa} and Caleb!



It is our prayer that Caleb will learn to feed himself,
and even learn to walk!

He is a determined  little man and will even walk and even run
if his waist is supported.

We are so excited to watch Caleb thrive and heal!


If you are interested in being part of Caleb's team,
please email us at:


Please make the subject:

"Caleb's Team"

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Meet Our 'Gem' Collin


I fully intended to introduce each of our Gems daily, but I didn't bargain in 
the mix the regular power outages we have
{and yes, we just had another one}
nor did I figure into the mix that two boys would become very sick with 
very high fevers {one's was 104.9!} and I would be at the hospital 
with them three days in a row!

The boys are feeling better, one had to have IV fluids as he was extremely 
dehydrated but both are feeling much better.  

Please would you pray for health for our home 
as we come to mind?

So far we have introduced three of our precious "Gems"  
but we still have eight more to go and let me tell you they are darling!

I'm absolutely dying to just share them all with you! 

But I can't just yet and I'm sure the anticipation is killing you!

Oh my,  Sweet friends, 

It is with a great honor that I introduce you to yet another
one of our "Gems" 

Meet

"Collin" 

He's the smiley guy of our bunch!

Collin has severe spastic cerebral palsy but he doesn't let that stop him!

This little man is rarely seen without a smile!

He loves to laugh and enjoys every moment,
well except when it's bath time!

His laugh Is contagious - his sweet sounds fills the air and
you can't help but smile too!

 It is our prayer that Collin will learn to feed himself and 
also that he will learn to communicate.
We are praying for a miracle for Collins  - he is one determined little guy
and we pray that he will learn to walk!

We serve a miracle-working,
mountain-moving God and we know that through 
Him all things are possible 

If you are interested in being part of Collin's team,
please email us at:


Please make the subject:

"Collin's Team"



Monday, July 14, 2014

Meet Our 'Gem' Arthur




I am so very overjoyed to introduce you to our youngest 'Gem'.

This little guy came to us as a surprise!

Let me tell you what a joyful surprise he is...

Long before we opened our home here at 


 we had been praying for months

 that the Lord would direct our steps to the children who needed us most.

When we partnered with,


They sent us a list of referrals for our home.

As I read the precious names that would be joining our home.

I knew that all of those precious names belonged here at home with us.

A few days later I went with our social worker 

to meet Watoto's social worker

and to go over the transferring details for our 'Gems'.

As I shared with them that we simply couldn't choose 'who' but that 

we felt it on our heart that all of those precious names belonged here at home with us.

To my surprise they questioned, 

"So you are also going to take the baby?"

I was shocked there wasn't a baby listed that I had seen.

But oh what a sweet little bundle of a surprise was he!

It is with a great honor that I introduce you to our youngest 'Gem'.




His name is 

"Arthur"

He is truly our tiniest 'Gem' and has stolen all of our hearts!

Arthur has severe cerebral palsy.

He suffered severe brain trauma in birth.

He is also blind.

But we are believing God for a miracle and we are placing our Hope in 

the one who made Arthur as we 

are looking forward to seeing first hand 

miracles take place in his life.

Arthur loves to be cuddled and is starting to respond to movement when it is near him.



His favorite past time is to be carried and cuddled in my sling!






Please be praying for Arthur and for healing for his precious little body!

If you are interested in being part of Arthur's team,
please email us at:


Please make the subject:

"Arthur's Team"

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Meet Our 'Gem': Jason



               I am so very excited to introduce you to yet another one of our 'Gems'

here at our home:

The Gem Foundation

~
Most are able to readily understand that
care for a special needs gem is entirely 
different than those without significant need.

Due to this reality,

The Gem Foundation 

has created a "team" for each Gem
which will consist of several 
team members who contribute to their
Gem's care. 
Each team member will be sent 
regular updates, pictures and information
that will give each team member 
the joy of personally 'knowing' their gem.

~

This little man stole a piece of my heart from the moment I met him.

His name:

Jason

He's one of the oldest in our home at 11 years old.

He is beyond adorable.

I met him several months ago

before I even knew he would be joining our home.

I was continually reminded of  Jason and his precious face!

When I found out that Watoto wanted to transfer him to our home,

I was overjoyed!!

I just love the way God was working behind the scenes!

Jason has severe Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy
and he also suffers from Scoliosis in his spine
making it painful to sit.

His Scoliosis causes Jason to have trouble breathing.

Jason faces each new day with determination and fights on.

He has good days and he has bad days.

He communicates using soft moans and is always looking
for another kiss or rub on the forehead.

Jason eats through a feeding tube as he has trouble gaining weight 
and keeping food down.

He loves to be cuddled and to be read to and
he really enjoys hearing other people sing.

We are so excited to see Jason thrive in our care,
as we pray for healing for our sweet boy!

We know that with God all things are possible and we cling to hope,
that someday he will eat solid food without a feeding tube.



If you are interested in being part of Jason's team,
please email us at:


Please make the subject:

"Jason's Team"


Friday, July 11, 2014

Introducing our 'Gems': Joey




My heart is overflowing with such incredible joy I am not sure how to explain it.

I don't think there has been a moment that I haven't been smiling.

It was such a joyful day of Celebration as we officially opened our home 

and

 welcomed our 'Gems' home.


 I didn't feel that it would do justice if I introduced you to them all in one post,

after all each of our 'Gems' are so valuable and each have their own story and personality.

 I am just dying to share each one of them with you
individually!

I know they are surely going to steal your heart!

So my Sweet Friends over the following

11 days

I will be introducing you,

to one of our most precious 'Gems' each and every day.

"Boy oh Boy!" 

That's right sweet friends,

We have been blessed with all 11 boys!

~

Most readily understand,
care for a special needs gem is entirely 
different than those without significant need.

Due to this reality,

The Gem Foundation 

has created a "team" for each Gem
which will consist of several 
team members who contribute to their
Gem's care. 
Each team member will be sent 
regular updates, pictures and information
that will give each team member 
the joy of personally 'knowing' their gem.

~


It is with a great honor that I introduce you to one of our 'Gems',


"Joey"



He stole my heart the moment I laid eyes on him.

He has severe Cerebral Palsy resulting in several other special needs.

He suffers from an unknown disease that we are desperately trying to identify.

We were so heartbroken to learn that the treatment and testing he needs
 isn't found here in Uganda.

However we serve a mountain-moving God and we are believing that
God can work a Miracle in our
Joey's life and we look forward to seeing him thrive in our care!

He has the most beautiful smile that lights up the darkest room.

Due to his unknown special needs he sleeps a lot.

However if I call him 'Joey' and tell him to look me in the eye

he will open his eyes and bat his eyelashes and smile.

His smile is infectious - after all look at his precious face...




If you are interested in being part of Joey's team,
please email us at:

office@thegemfoundation.com

Please make the subject:

"Joey's Team"

Please be praying for Joey's healing,

as we strive to find out the cause of his unknown disease.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Our 'Gems' Come Home!!



It is with a tremendous Joy that  I share with you my sweet friends...

Our incredible story of welcoming our 'Gems' home.

I am in absolute awe of all that God has done...

Since I was just a little girl I dreamed of this very day.

Here fourteen and a half years later and that dream has
finally become a reality!

I am so very humbled that God would use me to care for His most precious 'Gems'!

Several months ago through a series of events,

an Incredible Organization heard about us at


and at their own initiative
asked me to go to coffee to hear more about our work.

Little did I know all that God was truly doing behind the scenes.

I shared with them how we were still in the process of our paperwork
to become a licensed home to care for special needs treasures
and
 that would be the first special needs home here in Kampala.

As the months passed after that meeting
we were continually praying that God would direct
our steps to the 'Gems' that needed us the most.

As we continued to prepare our home,

God continued to work behind the scenes.

My sweet friends,

God is truly amazing!

It is without further ado that I share with you our partner organization,


Since I was just a little girl and first heard,


 come and sing at my church,

I was deeply touched and ever since have
respected and loved this organization!

Watoto has a deep passion for caring for the Orphan,

and I consider it such an honor to be partnering with them

to care for their special needs treasures!

~

Some of you may have noticed the subtle hint I shared in the last post.

It went something like this,

"Boy oh Boy!"

and let me tell you sweet friends,

"Boy oh Boy do we have boys!!" 


Excitement was in the air this morning as our Staff both morning and night shift

 showed up bright and early anxiously awaiting our 'Gems' arrival.

We started off our day by praying and dedicating
this ministry to the Lord.

We are so excited to see the miracles and transformations
that will take place here at our home.



The real Celebration began when the van and truck pulled through our lane.

Our 'Gems' had finally, after years and months of praying for this day -

they had finally arrived!




And then, my sweet friends, 
our 'gems' had finally made their debut!



Our arms and hearts were overflowing.
















What a beautiful day of celebration this has been! 

There's only one more thing to say -

"Welcome home sweet 'Gems', welcome home!"


PS
Tomorrow,
Lord willing, we begin the introductions -
you will be smitten - 
we all are!!