Sharon and Steve Burke are a recently retired couple who have decided to devote some years to mission work before settling into full-retirement life. They decided to spend the entire month of February in Uganda with Simone’s Kids! The Burkes served in several areas while they visited. Sharon was placed in the primary school to help with development and Steve helped coach the secondary boys’ soccer team.
Sharon spent most of her days with the primary students and staff. Sharon is a retired school teacher, so she was able to tap into her love and talent for teaching with our students. Sharon was able to spend quality time in each of our primary classes. She devoted her time and efforts to a different classroom each day and was also able to pull some students out of the classroom for one-on-one instruction. Sharon told us that she was so impressed with the overall work ethic, discipline, and positive attitude our students displayed. It was refreshing for her to see students who are so eager to learn, and how diligent they are in their studies. Sharon had many special moments during her trip, but one highlight was sharing the gifts they brought with them. The Burkes were able to bring several suitcases filled with school supplies, games, and activities. On one of her last days, Sharon set up centers for the pre-school students using the supplies and she was amazed to see their eyes light up with joy and excitement as they interacted with the activities.
Steve worked closely with our soccer team and helped the administration at the secondary school. Steve was a collegiate soccer coach for many years, so we were excited and blessed to have expertise poured into our team for the month! Steve was able to spend quality time with the boys on a daily basis, working on foot skills, teamwork, and character building. One of Steve’s highlights was their last night in Uganda when they hosted a team dinner. The entire soccer team and some of our administration joined Sharon and Steve for a meal at the local hotel. They were able to feast and fellowship together. Steve said it was amazing to be surrounded by this group of young men. Many of them stood up to give speeches, and they ended the night by standing over Sharon and Steve in prayer. It was a special way to send-off the couple.
Sharon and Steve cannot wait to come back to Uganda, and to continue investing in the students of God’s Hope. The Burkes have a call to ministry and want to fulfill that even more when they return. Steve enjoyed getting to know the boys’ soccer team and is hoping he’ll be able to spend more personal time with the team when he returns. He would love to help with the school’s outreach program and incorporate more ministry development among the players. Sharon would also like to spend more intentional time with our primary-aged girls. She envisions starting small bible studies and prayer groups. Sharon wants to create a safe environment for young girls to lean on each other and to allow the gospel to truly be a part of their everyday life. Sharon and Steve are ready to return and continue to serve the community of Nakaseke, Uganda.