Three Uganda volunteer experiences:

Rein Jones, 2017 Short Term Volunteer

The first morning we went to God’s Hope Primary School, we were greeted by a festival with all the primary students shouting and screaming with so much joy. It touched my heart as soon as I saw them at the gate, and I held back tears so they wouldn’t think I was sad. But wow, the joy on these little kids’ faces was so infectious and life giving. They were so eager and happy to see their “Muzungu.” Unlike we might think, these kids know that they live in poverty, know how great and prosperous America is, and yet still never show any pity for themselves or lament how disadvantaged they are. In fact, they abound with joy pretty much 24/7. They were so thankful and just full of love toward us, and it was extremely genuine. That is something that we Americans can learn from these great people: genuineness. Whether in speech or in action, everything these kids say and do is genuine. They don’t say they love us to make us feel good; they say they love us because they actually do. They love us so much, and they go out of their way to make sure we know that. It’s an amazing reflection of the love of God for us, his children.

To these young Ugandans, education is respected, revered, and regarded as of the utmost importance. These kids are so intelligent and hardworking. During a regular school week, students typically get up at 5 a.m. to study before classes, go to their classes, and then revise their notes after class and study until dark. In addition to that, when the student who was telling me all of this was speaking, she was not speaking to me with attitude of complaint, but rather with a happy and grateful demeanor. She continued to tell me her study habits and how they have about 14+ subjects they study at one time. The more she told me, the more astonished I was at how disciplined these kids were. I told her that if she was in the U.S., she would blow Americans out of the water because of her amazing self-discipline. I told her about how I sometimes will procrastinate with my work, and she immediately scolded me. She told me that it is never good to wait to do your work, and that I should be studying many, many days before a test; it was a good scolding, I must say :-)!!!

You see, education is what allows these kids to get out of unimaginable poverty, and so they cherish it so much more than we do in America. They thank God so often for education and also for us who they say “have hearts of gold.” This broke my heart when I heard this. They thought that we Americans have hearts of gold! They may think this of us, but they have no idea how greedy, wasteful, and self-serving we Americans really are. But even if they did know these things about Americans, I’m sure they would still only see the best in us!!! I love these people!

Many of these young Ugandans are already taking their Christianity extremely serious and actually have an impressive understanding of theology. What’s so amazing about this is how young some of these kids are and how they already have their own steady relationship with our Heavenly Dad. I could write so much more about the amazing character of these people, but I’ll leave it at this for today! Going to Uganda and God’s Hope Primary School has filled my heart with so much love and just gratitude to have been among these amazing, beautiful, and joyful kids. There is so much reflection of Jesus there and in those kids, and I loved it – and part of my heart will be in Uganda forever!!!

Riley Eryn, 2017 Short Term Volunteer

Joy and Love are the words I would use to describe my trip to Uganda. The atmosphere completely changes when you walk into the gates of God’s Hope Primary and Secondary School. The kids instantly run up and grab your hands or give you a big hug; to them you are not a stranger, you are just a new friend they are excited to know. The kids have taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. It has no boundaries or expectations. Uganda will forever hold a piece of my heart.

Jamie Steadman, 2017 Short Term Volunteer

This summer I was blessed to be able to return to Uganda, Africa, a second time. I went with Simone’s Kids to God’s Hope School. One day definitely stands out in my mind as the most incredible day. We began the day by going to church. Laura and I went to a different church than we had been to before. Pastor Joseph was so energetic! I don’t think I have ever seen so much dancing and singing at a church service before! The service was so amazing! After that, we walked on a dirt road to a clearing in a field. We trekked through a muddy path to a little creek. There were SO MANY people standing up on the bank. That day, over 90 students and people from the community were baptized! That was such an amazing thing to witness. We were all muddy and hot and sweaty, but I wouldn’t change a thing. To see all of those students make that commitment to God was so powerful.

To learn more about our trip opportunities please email Mason Satterfield at

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