Voices from Uganda

Our joint TVE-Franklin College trip to Uganda has just returned and the travelers are eager to share some of their favorite stories and experiences. First up, Natalie Unger, who shares her memories of connecting with a resident at St. Jude’s Children’s Home.

I would say one of the most touching experiences for me was spending time with 15 year old Janet at the St. Jude’s Children’s Home. Janet has been blind since birth, but she does not let that get her down. Janet is one of the sweetest, most kind and meek spirited persons I have ever had the opportunity to know. I asked her what her favorite thing to do was, and she told me that it was to sing. So she sang me this song called “Jesus loves me” and it simply says “Jesus Loves me” repeated throughout the song. It was so simple and so beautiful to see her faith.

She then showed me around the orphanage and to her bed. Janet was very excited to show me her Bible. It was in braille, and she read to me from John 9: 1-4, ” As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day.'”

I just thought, wow! This verse totally relates to her and how awesome that it happened to be where she randomly began reading. As I talked with her previously, I just kept thinking how it must feel to be blind and how easily you can be left out of things. But Janet is passionate about life and about helping others. That’s why this verse is so perfect. Through her blindness, Janet was able to display the light of God through her character. She did not let her disability bring her down, but instead encouraged others. We ended our conversation with song as she taught me her “Jesus loves me” song in her Acholi language. I was very humbled and blessed in my time spent with Janet, and I will always remember her.”

Join us for your own moving international experience! TVE is traveling to Guatemala March 12-19 to work on rural development and urban education initiatives!