Bursting with Pride

Many of you participated in our R4TL Uganda Virtual Race as our team and the girls from Christine's House ran in Uganda. Read on as President Tim Spaulding shares how each and every action and donation can make a lasting impact in the life of one. 

Friday was a long, hot day in Gulu, and many on the team have the sunburns to prove it! In spite of the scorching sun, it was one of the most amazing days you could imagine.

More than 200 people gathered at Christine’s House to celebrate its first reunion. Girls from the first two years at Christine’s House came back to join with the current group of girls, along with many of their parents, news reporters, government officials, and locals who support the vision to celebrate three years of rescue and restoration through Christine’s House. Throughout the afternoon there were games, dancing, speeches, and great times of fellowship over a meal.

A few moments from today stand out in the minds of my team members but there was one  that did not register on anyone else’s radar, and yet it cut me to the core and overwhelmed me with emotion.

This moment was when I realized that the young Ugandan woman walking confidently toward us was one of the shy young girls I’d met two years ago.

After she sat down, I walked over to speak with her. The girl, who two years previous would giggle when spoken to and was too embarrassed to use her very limited English, looked me in the eye and confidently said, “I remember you.”

A smile immediately spread across my face and my eyes welled up with tears as we spoke about how she has been doing since leaving Christine’s House. My heart was bursting with the pride I feel as a father—like when my 3-year-old daughter recently learned to ride a two-wheeler—as Winnie told me how she’s practicing the baking skills she learned at Christine’s House to make and sell bread in the Gulu market.

Two years ago, Winnie was a shy, self-conscious girl who was just beginning to heal from the trauma of sexual violence. Today, that girl was nowhere to be found. Instead, I found a strong young woman who has persevered in the face of adversity because of the donations from hundreds of individuals like YOU.

Will you make a difference right now for girls like Winnie who stand for freedom and justice? It costs $166 a month to provide shelter, food, counseling, and vocational training for one girl at Christine’s House. Be her hero today by giving at www.Freedom424.org/give.