Guest Contributor Post today from our friend Jen Knapp at Project HOPEFUL
Our team had been asked to collect so many different donations for all of the organizations and people we could bless while in Uganda. My husband, Brian and oldest daughter, Sahara and I will be heading West to Fort Portal for a separate 3 day trip from the rest of our team. It is here where we will be exploring the opportunities to learn from and serve alongside Carol Adam's ministry, Y.E.S. [Youth Encouragement Services] Uganda and Manna House. These two ministries together care for some of the most forgotten and neglected orphans in the region due to HIV.
When I looked at the list of needed items, I kept glancing OVER the request for shoes. In my mind, all of the items already given seemed like they were going to fill up the 9 suitcases my family is allotted to bring. But God was not looking over the shoe request. He clearly wanted to work all that out through a 20 year old named Cody working at a Costco in Grand Rapids, Michigan!
I work at this Costco. And last week, Cody had inquired about the trip I was going on. I shared with him a brief itinerary and really didn't think he thought any more of it. Until this past Sunday, he approached me and handed me an envelope with my name and a smiley face on it. Inside the envelope was $500.
Cody told me that he wanted me to take it to Uganda and buy shoes for the kids we would encounter [he had no idea that shoes were a request on our donation list]. He proceeded to tell me that he was abandoned by his mom years ago, and although he knows his situation can't compare to what these kids are against in the face of poverty, disease and suffering, he knew he was supposed to do something to bring them hope because something was done for him when he was in trouble. I asked Cody where he got this money. He shared it was half of his savings. And then he told me he doesn't know where this thought came from to do this because he's only known me at work for 3 weeks...but he trusts me.
On June 19th, myself, along with a team from Project HOPEFUL, will be departing for Uganda. I am coming with a 20 year old kids' $500 so that Hope that was given to him can be passed on. This $500 will be making close to 50 shoes via Sole Hope. Can we blow Cody's HOPE up and have all the kids at Y.E.S. Uganda receive a pair of shoes? We need 190 more shoes to make Cody smile like there's no tomorrow! That's $1,900. He doesn't know we are doing this!
With much gratitude from my family, Project HOPEFUL and Y.E.S. Uganda!