Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Three Years of Gems!

What a joyful three years it has been since we opened our doors and what a celebration we had!

The day was filled with a feast of local food, praise and worship, singing and dancing, face painting, bouncy castles for the Gems, cake and even an award ceremony for some of our staff who have gone above and beyond!




It's hard to imagine that it has been three years since 
our doors opened on July 10, 2014.
Our once empty arms were suddenly brimming full 
as we welcomed home 11 little ones the very first day! 
Literally overnight cribs filled, wheelchairs raced through the grass, 
crawling matches began and Gem laughter filled the rooms!
What a joy!

As we celebrated we also honored some of our most astounding faithful staff members!

Our team of cooks:  Harriet, Jennifer and Mackline each received a certification of appreciation for their dedicated love and service to our Gems, as well as a gift certificate to take their families out for a meal at KFC!!  They were all shocked and overjoyed! 

Our security guards have been with us the longest -even before our home opened!  They each received chickens to take home to their families!  Our guards were so excited!  Culturally a chicken is a very big honor to receive!  


{The security guards smiling with their chickens!}


Unbeknownst to me, my sweet husband surprised me with a bouquet of flowers!
Gosh I love that husband of mine!



                               
We’ve seen His glory displayed and celebrated time after time!

{Bethany singing a solo during the celebration!}

Over the years we’ve rejoiced, we’ve celebrated and 
we’ve grieved with the loss of some of our Gems.

One thing remains the same - God has been so faithful through it all!

We started out small with just a staff of 9 people who were learning.

 {Jane}                                                  {An intern & 
                                                       Mercy enjoying the bouncy castle!}

Over the years we’ve changed shape and grown and grown.
Now we are a staff of 47 people who are passionate about caring for the special needs children of Uganda.

We also celebrated our latest Gem birthdays...singing to the kids and then they cut the cake!


Over the years we have now had the joy of caring for over 39 children!

Wow!

If you were to tell me that years ago I would never have imagined 
what God would do through our ministry!
Only God!
People have asked me how we do what we do.
Honestly all I can say is that it's all God!

Some of our children have only been in our home a short season and four have been reunited with family.

Praise God!


Highlights of The Gem Foundation's last THREE years -

Partnering with Watoto Childcare ministries to care for special needs orphans in 2014.


{Jesse and Nanny Susan!}

        Cooking over 33,852 meals in just one year - our cooks are truly amazing. I always tease them that I cook just one meal and my kitchen is never as clean as the Gem kitchen! Seriously!!  Our cooks are amazing!

Over the years we've had five precious Gems learn to walk.

Thirty-three children have had access to special needs education 
Thanks to our two amazing teachers!


{Nanny Eva and Mattie - enjoying the party!}

We have five children learning to type 
- thanks to our motivational coach.


Over 10,950+ loads of laundry since we opened our doors and that’s not even counting when we didn't have power and had to wash by hand!  We are so thankful for our caretakers who wash laundry with such diligence and care.

We’ve seen little ones come in severally malnourished weighing 
only 6 pounds at 9 years old. 
We have truly seen miracles take place as healing appears in their eyes, heart and body.


Oh what a joy it has been to see the Love of
 God transform and renew each Gems life. 


We can't wait to see all that God will accomplish in our 4th year and 
all the years that will come.



Most of our staff, volunteers and children! - 
One of our Gems is currently still in the hospital undergoing brain surgery!


God has been so faithful through it all.
All glory to God for great things He has done!


“At the Gem foundation 
we envision a world where no one with 
special needs is left behind!”