At an abandoned gas station at 4AM in the morning in Harare, Zimbabwe, my life changed forever.
I still vividly remember the scene as I hopped out of the van. I was immediately surrounded by dozens of homeless orphan kids. One in particular grabbed my arm, looked me in the eye and said the following words:
“Sir, thank you for visiting my country, I’m sorry it’s in the shape that it’s in. I don’t want to beg you for food, but I’ve had nothing to eat for days. Is their anything I can do, to work for you, so I can get something to eat?”
I was speechless, confused and tired. I looked this boy in the eye and said, “No, I have nothing for you.” We got back in the van and drove away.
I was devastated.
I am still devastated.
As we drove away, I committed in my heart to “fight for the orphan” for the rest of my days! That was end of 2007; by mid-2009, we had launched Help One Now.
We have been serving orphans in Zimbabwe for 5 years through our amazing local leader. We have also started working in Jinja, Uganda. Just this year, Tim and Genessa moved their family to Uganda to lead our operations in Africa.
The Team is going!
This trip will be different. Two of our team members, Lamar Stockton and Scott Wade, are coming with me. I am excited that they will finally get to visit Africa and meet our leaders and kids.
We will be spending time praying and dreaming about the future of Help One Now in Africa with our African leaders and staff. We will also focus on some key storytelling opportunities.
It will not be all fun and games. To be honest, the trip is going to be a travel nightmare. My itinerary is: Raleigh to London, London to Uganda, Uganda to Ethiopia, Ethiopia to Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe to South Africa, South Africa to London and London to Raleigh – all in 12 days! I think we spend 50+ hours on a plane.
We do get to spend 12 hours in London and raft the Nile River. So, that is pretty cool!
This trip is long and tiring. Please pray for strength, wisdom and patience for us. Also, in 2012, Zimbabwe was considered one of the “worst” places to travel. Sadly, the people of Zimbabwe are amazing, but the infrastructure is broken and the government are not fans of the West.
So pray that God will go before us, that we would find favor and that His will is accomplished. I cannot wait to return home with a fresh vision to help serve vulnerable children and orphans, by empowering and resourcing local leaders and seeing communities transformed.
Our hope is to crush extreme poverty and see hope and opportunity arise for our friends in Zimbabwe and Uganda.