Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
Clean water is especially good news to the thirsty in Uganda. When we began developing the land in Lugazi, our first project on the property was to become a home for abandoned babies. As construction on the home began, we realized there was a pressing need for access to clean water.
One of our board members had a family connection to a church in Pennsylvania, and they put up a flyer on the bulletin board in the church to let parishioners know about the vision for the El Shaddai Village, in which the first project was a Babies’ home. Warren Miller, a funeral director, noticed the flyer while at the church one day and was led to call to ask about the project. In a move of unprecedented generosity, Mr. Miller made an extremely generous donation to fund a clean water system sufficient to supply current and future needs on the site. The donation was made in memory of his son, Bennett Tyler Miller, and a bronze plaque on the side of the pump station commemorates the selfless contribution that supplied a complete clean water system on the site!
In the process of construction, a new mandate that prevented the opening of new babies’ homes led to a shift in use of the house. What at the time felt like a defeat became a critical turning point in the ministry. While our vision was to rescue abandoned children, the government restrictions led Acts 4 Uganda Ministries and 141 Impact to re-envision how to care for the children. In 2016, the Child Development Program was born. Now supporting 161 children through school fees, basic needs, mentoring, and more, the transition to using the house and water system to support the CDP means many more children have had the opportunity to benefit from these amazing resources. What we initially saw as a roadblock in helping abandoned children became the impetus to give families hope through child sponsorship—which empowers families so that they can care for their children! We still remember the day in 2016 as we sat atop the underground water tank with the first group of parents, many of whom had infants or were pregnant; God showed us that He was rescuing babies—He was simply doing it before they were abandoned! As the children of the CDP gather for Center Days on Saturdays for fun, discipleship, and learning, thanks to the generosity of the Miller family, they have clean water to use for drinking, cooking, washing their hands, and even some good, clean fun!
"And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward."