“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NKJV
Me: My name is GennMarie. For years I have struggled with mild depression that mostly affected my feelings of worth and caused a deep sense of hopelessness that robbed me of my motivation to accomplish any of my dreams. Over time, my depression worsened until one year ago; I was stuck in a deep state of depression and experiencing terrifying anxiety attacks. It was affecting my work, my relationships, and completely robbed me of a social life. In February 2018, I was in such a state of emotional distress that I started using self harm as a way to cope; this simply caused more problems and more emotional distress. I was prescribed antidepressant medications and was told I would need to take them for at least 2 years. Three weeks later I received a miraculous healing from God and soon started having reactions to the medications. The antidepressants that I was told I would NEED for 2 years, I suddenly couldn’t take anymore after 7 weeks. In the 9 months since then, God has not only restored me to a healthy mind, but has given me a hunger for life that I have never had before, and a deep desire to share His love with everyone I can. God is sending me into the world to pour His love out to His people. It’s hard for me to believe that, in less than a year, I have gone from being afraid to attend work meetings to walking fearlessly into Uganda to share the love of Jesus, and to remind people that there is nothing to fear when you trust that God is with you. In God, I am FEARLESS.
Visions of Hope: I will be traveling with a small group from Visions of Hope ( https://visions-hope.org ). Visions of Hope’s mission is to “provide opportunity for inmates to support orphans in unique ways while engaging YOU and applying God’s love to the process.” You read that right, inmates and orphans. With Visions of Hope, I have had the privilege of entering 3 different prisons in the state of Oregon over the past 6 months. These visits gave me the opportunity to interact with inmates who have been part of the Visions of Hope program and have been sponsors of children in the Otino Waa Children’s Village in Uganda ( https://www.otinowaa.org ). These inmates are learning from and teaching each other art skills, sharing a positive message of hope and purpose with other inmates, engaging with communities around the state of Oregon through art shows (inmate art is sold with 100% of proceeds directly supporting Otino Waa Children’s Village), and interacting with orphans in Uganda through sponsorship and letters. These inmates have shared with me the positive impact that this program has had on their lives, and the new empowerment they have to make a positive impact on the world. Consequently, the children in Otino Waa are greatly encouraged by the care and support they receive through the sponsorship from the inmates. These children often say that they feel like they have a parent again who loves them and takes care of them.
Our primary purpose for this trip to Otino Waa is to strengthen the relationships between the children and their sponsors. This will be accomplished through letter writing campaigns, video messages, and photography of life at Otino Waa; some of these materials will also help with future fundraisers for Otino Waa. These relationships are so important, for both orphans and inmates who are inspired to hope, and a greater sense of self worth as they share the love of Jesus with each other. We will also be spending time with the House Mothers and other staff members at Otino Waa to provide encouragement, love, and support. Additional projects in the nearby community may also become a possibility as planning the trip continues.
This trip is planned for April 2, 2019 thru April 16, 2019. Airfare needs to be purchased no later than the end of February.
Most of our time will be spent at Otino Waa Children’s Village. Some time will also be spent with 2 of the local churches. There is also a strong possibility for some time to be spent helping at the the Babies Orphanage in Lira as well as at the Hope for Humans facility ( www.hopeforhumans.org ).
The purpose of this trip is to provide encouragement, for those at Otino Waa and in the Oregon prisons; to strengthen bonds between sponsors and orphans; to share the love and hope of Jesus; and to serve as the Lord leads.
When a donation or sponsorship is sent to Otino Waa, 100% of those dollars are used to directly support the children by providing a safe home, regular healthy meals, and one of the best educations in the region. When a prisoner makes an art donation, 100% off the sale price of that art goes to Otino Waa. That means that both Otino Waa and Visions of Hope are run completely on volunteer power and any donations earmarked by the donor for operational expenses. This also means that neither organization uses any of the donations for travel expenses for a trip like this. So here is where you come in, with the purchase of a tee shirt, sweatshirt, or tote bag you are helping me pay for my travel expenses as I carry a message of hope, healing, love, and identity in Christ to the children in Uganda.
Thank you for any support you can provide, even if that is just sharing the story, and the link, so your friends and family can see it. Thank you.