Friday, April 01, 2011


Sulait in Kyengera, Uganda - age 4

I know that I shared on my blog when our friends Craig and Tonya LaTorre first stepped out in faith on their adoption journey to Uganda.

I don't know that I ever shared the amazing end (beginning, really) of that story!

They did indeed adopt and bring home a pretty and precocious toddler daughter named Kira (short for Kirabo, which means "gift" in Lugandan.)

But in addition, they "adopted" an entire orphanage in Kyengera, Uganda. You can read that whole story on Tonya's blog, here:
In a way only God could have planned, during their time in Uganda they were introduced to a group of children living with a godly pastor and wife who opened their arms to them when they were orphaned and had nowhere else to turn. Their situation was desperate. God made it very clear to Craig and Tonya that they were to be used by Him to assist these precious ones, and so they have.

From purchasing pregnant milking cows and 200 baby chicks, to providing mattresses and clothes, the LaTorres have responded faithfully to meet the needs of these children and their caregivers. Perhaps their greatest endeavor has been finding sponsors for each of the children in order that they might be able to receive formal schooling. The sponsorship program provides a child with his or her uniform, shoes, supplies, two meals a day and tuition for the entire year at a cost of $275 USD (one time a year.) Their desire is that sponsors will become involved in their child/ren's lives and foster a relationship with them through the years. Of the forty-seven children at the orphanage, approximately fifteen are still awaiting sponsors.

To this end, the LaTorres have established a non-profit organization called Kirabo Seeds. As Tonya writes:
Having Kirabo Seeds makes it easier for us to include everyone in helping these children in Uganda have a future outside of loneliness, crime, poverty, ignorance, prostitution and sorrow. Planting seeds is a help up, not a hand out. There’s fruit ready to grow in each one of these children’s hearts, and we are going to work to see that happen.
Beautiful Sulait (pictured above) is a 4-year old Ugandan orphan. Both of his parents died of HIV/AIDS when he was very young and his elderly grandmother is unable to provide for him. He was embraced by the family at Kyengera, where he says he really likes playing with his friends at the orphanage. His favorite game is soccer. Sulait is our sponsored child.

Tonight when I shared with my three older children about our commitment to sponsor Sulait, they were alight with joy and hopes and dreams for him. I was not surprised that their first instinct was to wish to adopt him, but I gently explained that this will be an "adoption" in our hearts only. We will pray for him, and provide for him from afar. And then I shared my greatest dream, which is that someday our family might travel to Uganda and meet him. Craig and Tonya intend to organize regular mission trips to Kyengera, beginning this summer with a medical missions team visiting the orphanage.

We are thankful for this opportunity to open our children's eyes and hearts, and pray that God will raise up a generation of godly Ugandan leaders through this very special ministry! For further information on child sponsorship, participation on a missions teams , or how to make a donation to the orphans at Kyengera, please contact Tonya directly through her blog.

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