Hello! My name is Kassondra. I visited St. Jerome Cove Center with the Indiana group last year. I was asked to stop over here and write about my experience. I don’t even know where to start, I could tell you about baby Julie, passing out new shoes, the amazing staff, attending a beautiful funeral, teaching the children how to brush their teeth, or even just sitting in a gorgeous country that God created. These are all wonderful memories I carry with me everyday and reflect on when things get a little stressful.
I could go on and on about all the stories of Uganda but instead I want to tell you about what I learned from my trip.
It brought me closer to God
I had always thought religion was a private thing and I would shy away from talking about my beliefs. God was like a light switch I could turn him on when I needed something and turn him off when I felt like I could handle things myself.
Then came our first night at Cove. Father Tom told us he felt that it would do us good if we all went around and shared how we saw God that day. I had no idea what to say when it came to my turn. I didn’t witness any burning bushes like Moses. The others in my group had described their God sightings as smiles and the voices of the children singing to us. Something so simple but it was God sent. soon I began to seek out God. I saw him in others and in events throughout the days. I began to look forward to sharing every night. hearing if anyone else would have seen God in the same thing I did. Sometimes they did and sometimes it was in moments that no one else noticed. This became my favorite time of day during our trip. we all would end up in tears and sit for an extra hour or two just talking about how great God was.
I still seek out God to this day and I find him everywhere.
It helped me find my calling
I love Photography. it had always been a hobby of mine. I loved capturing emotions and moments that others would never have thought to do so. Family and friends told me I should make that my career but I was not confident in myself to do so. Then came my trip.
I knew I HAD to go to Uganda but I had no idea how I was going to pay for it. So I started taking family photos for a donation toward my trip. I was able to pay for my trip in no time and yet people were still asking me to photograph them. So I continued to book sessions.
While I was in Uganda I knew the best way for me to spread the word about this great organization and country would be threw my pictures. So I snapped away at everything I could. My hope is that someone will see my photographs and be moved enough to offer some sort of help.
It made me a better mother
I have three daughters. I am passionate about raising my kids to celebrate how unique God made each of them and how that uniqueness can impact their world and help those in need.
It made me want to change a life
I know how blessed I am to have food, shelter, heath and education. I don’t worry about the water my children drink or a bug bite causing death. I am able to provide the necessities for my family and also have some left over for special things like dinner at a restaurant, movies, a new outfit or ice cream.
I think of all the children we met that were still on the waiting list for a sponsor. Someone that will send over $25 a month. It would provide this child with access to health care, a great education, a safe place to live, clothes and food. The look in these children’s eyes told me that they knew how important those things were in giving them a better future.
I came home and knew I could cut back on my extra spending each month. So I printed off the paper and filled out my information to become a sponsor. One of the simplest things I could do but yet it is one of the greatest things I have ever done!