I had Africans in my home this week, and that just doesn’t happen every day.

Earlier this week, we hosted two Ugandan girls in our home. Gloria (age 17) and Patiance (age 8), members of the Uganda Children’s Choir with Parental Care Ministries, stayed with us a few nights, and I’m so glad they did!

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Between giving them space to rest and playing lots of Trouble and soccer, we were able to hear true stories of God’s personal, healing intervention in immense brokenness. One girl shared how He had rescued her from heartbreaking abandonment to provide for her needs, establish her in a loving new family environment, and teach her about His Son – all through Parental Care Ministries.

Have you heard of PCM? I hope you’ll take a minute to explore their website and read all about God’s work through this ministry. It’s nothing short of miraculous, if you ask me.

We’ve been involved with PCM for several years, since close to its beginning days, when my kids’ pediatrician and his wife founded it in partnership with Ugandan minister Emmanuel Nnyanzi and his wife, known as Pastor Emmy and Supermom. This Ugandan couple has been used by God to love and care for so many, and thanks to God moving through the Barrets to start PCM, we also are connected to these kids and experience ourselves God’s goodness through their beautiful lives. The Estes family has been sponsoring this amazing kid Amon ever since:

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I say amazing because he is, and I know it. I saw it every time I read one of his letters to us, and then I met him last Spring and he instantly became one of my very favorite people ever. Amon was part of the first PCM choir to tour in America a year ago, and we were blessed to have him spend a few days with us then. It was a gift I never would have imagined and I still can’t get over. A life-changing experience that will not soon be forgotten.

This is the kid that wrote several years ago to tell us he’d spent an entire day fasting and praying for God to provide a job for my husband during a season of unemployment. By the time we received the letter, God has already answered that prayer, and in awe we pondered that God had used a teenage boy in Uganda whom we’d never met to usher that blessing into our lives. All I could do was weep.

This is the kid whose love for Jesus impacted my own son’s soul; I could see God working in Jonah the entire time Amon was with us. Softening and prying open. And before Amon left the U.S. to return home, my son came to us pressed and hungering to receive Christ as his Savior. I can’t think or type through the tears to tell you all that means to this mama’s heart. My son’s life was changed for eternity, and this boy Amon was a significant piece in God drawing Jonah to himself.

This is also the kid they call “the next Pastor Emmy.” Prior to his visit, I didn’t know the extent of Amon’s spiritual leadership among the other kids until one of his teachers told me. We had no idea that our small monthly investment in Amon’s provision for physical and educational needs was also a direct spiritual investment into the many other lives Amon is ministering to and being prepared to lead. What we were told about his life convinced us God is preparing him for great things in the kingdom of Christ, and all I have been able to think is how did we get so blessed to know Amon and have a tiny part in this?

How is it possible that we are the ones blessing him?!!!?

Wouldn’t it be truer to say that Amon has given us much more than we ever expected or could hope to repay?

PCM is doing a lot of things right. They’re so effectively ministering to these kids who minister to the rest of us. How did I ever think it was mostly the other way around?? I believe strongly in the power of sponsorship for children of poverty all around our world, and there are so many wonderful organizations who provide that. PCM is close to this family’s heart, so of course I recommend you check them out. Maybe there’s a need there you’ll feel called to meet, or perhaps God just has some power to show off for you and you’ll be blessed by what you see HIM do through PCM.

If you can, go hear them sing and dance in worship to Christ and revel in what God is using them to do. For my DFW friends, you’ll find dates and locations for upcoming choir performances here on their website. You runners (AND running-haters like me) can catch them in Colleyville on the morning of May 3rd for the Carry a Jerry 5K. Wherever you see them, I know it will be a worship experience you’ll remember!

Our family looks forward to a day when we can travel to Uganda, look into the face of our African brother Amon again, and remember the lovely – and unusual – ways God works in our lives. Until then, we pray for him, we rely on God to provide what we need to send him, and we stay watching to see what God does, ready to receive the gifts that keep surprising us.

Do you have a child-sponsorship program you love too? I’d love to hear what you most appreciate about that experience. Anybody else relate to times of “serving” that feel more like a service to YOU than them?