I Lift My Eyes Up To The Hills

This afternoon we went to another Compassion project solely for the purpose of playing with the kids. Since I usually do not excel at activities where there are 1) lots of strangers and 2) the possibility of participation in any sort of athletic activity, I was more than a little hesitant when we stepped off of the bus.

There were about eight girls playing a game I’ve come to refer to as Throw The Soccer Ball And Run, and Heather immediately joined in. Anne and I followed her lead, and for about 45 minutes, we all played Throw The Soccer Ball And Run with great abandon. We had a blast.


Look! I’m participating in a physical activity! On concrete! Without breaking any of my bones!

Jesus is alive and still in the business of miracles, my friends.

There were probably 50 kids at the project this afternoon, and their joy was absolutely contagious. Truth be told, they did my hurting heart a world of good.





The poverty here in Uganda is so profound that it’s almost impossible to process rationally, and this morning there was one point in particular when I thought the only proper response to what I’d seen was to get back on our bus and bawl my eyes out. It all seemed indescribably hopeless – more desolation than any person or community or state or country could possibly overcome.

But the good news is that there is a very practical way to help, and I saw that help firsthand this afternoon. Thanks to the work that Compassion is doing throughout the world, the kids we saw today – and so many others – can be released from poverty. You can help to release a child from poverty in Uganda or any other country you choose – just click on the picture of the little boy in my sidebar or go here to find out how.

And you know what else?

These kids? They rock.



I’m forever grateful for the privilege of meeting them. They don’t know it, but they changed my life today.

So here’s to hoping – and praying – that we can change their lives, too.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. Soph, I love you, and I know those kids do, too!!! I’m so glad to hear from you and actually see you. Glad all is well. Keep up the good work…

  2. I can only imagine…
    LOVE seeing all of the pictures!

  3. Thank you, thank you for doing this! My girls are praying over which child we should sponser. I had never even heard of the Compassion program before you. You’re changing lives Sophie!!

  4. HALLELUJAH! I’m excited Sophie! I’m excited about lives being changed already and then in the future. I’m praying for my new girl that we are sponsoring now….sweet little Sophia out there….this momma loves you and prays daily for you!

    You go girl. Their eyes and smiles speak volumes.

  5. Look at you and those kids!! What an amazing site to see this morning. You are still being lifted up in my prayers.

  6. Glad the Lord is looking after you and kept you safe during the dangerous persuit of physical activity :)

    I believe your trip will change your life and the lives of many children, and many of us reading it online too.

    Hugs and blessings.

  7. Sophie, you’re an inspiration. I’ve been waiting all morning for your update. We’re deciding from where to sponsor a child. Stay strong. What you and the group is doing is so important. God Bless you all.

    On a side note – your purse is too cute and yet practical with it’s long wide strap. :)

  8. Sophie, you are so pretty.

  9. I wondered how this whole blogging from Uganda thing would work, but I have to say, it’s far better than I anticipated. I appreciate your candor and thorough consideration. I respect your honesty.

  10. Oh my heart just skips a beat as I read this with you! I went to Kenya a few years ago and had the same effects on my life!! You’ll NEVER be the same because of them……their little faces make my heart melt!! God’s using you Sophie!! He truly is!! Praise Him!!

  11. These pictures are incredible. Thank you for blessing me with them. May God bless you with safe travels.


  12. Aw Sophie, you are just plain beautiful inside and out. I’d bawl with you, and then I’d do exactly what you are doing–tell everyone the way to help. You ROCK!

    Continuing to pray for you and the group, but especially for those precious and beautiful children.

  13. I’m so enjoying keeping up with you while you are on this life-changing journey! Thank you for including me! You are in my prayers!
    To borrrow an old phrase from my 10 yr. old who thinks it’s new:

  14. This is a blessing to your readers. Thanks for sharing.

    Take care and safe travels.

  15. Those children are beautiful! They make me want to break out in “Jesus loves the little children……………”

  16. And to think I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself. I’m ashamed.

    Bless you, Sophie.

  17. I remember leaving you a note after I saw you were going to Uganda that said how your life would forever be changed. My trip to Nicaragua was a eye-opener and a heart expansion for me! Soak in all you can and let us hear from your heart! I am praying for you, Sophie!

  18. Oh the beauty of these sweet people! We all should be used by God to bring about His change in this world. And I’d totally be bawling with you…

  19. I’ll never forget that little girl in the red dress.

  20. Sophie, you are doing an amazing job. An amazing job.

    Praying for your safety, your health, and your journey.

  21. Sophie, you have been on my heart and in my prayers since I discovered your website…yesterday!!!! via Travis C.’s blog! I have not been hiding under a rock, I’m just new to the blogging world! As one Southern belle siesta to another, bless your heart for letting God work through you. What an awesome experience to love on these babies as you exemplify the body of Christ. Oh, girl, I wish that I could be there too! Enjoy this wonderful opportunity. Looking forward to your next blog!

  22. I love seeing these kids! This morning I read one of the other blogs and was moved to sponsor one of the kids, but when I went to the site I was overwhelmed with how do you pick out a child when right now we could only sponsor one. I couldn’t do it at that moment, but tonight when I’m home from work and can talk to my girls and let them see some of the pictures we are going to sponsor one.

    Thank you for all the posts on everyones blogs and making my heart very tendered to the need out there.


  23. Hey Boo,
    Wishing you would run into My adopted parents who are also there ministering. They are on a compound out in the thickets in villages so you may not. I am praying for your team, and that you will help many while there.

  24. Thanks Sophie…beautiful, beautiful children.

  25. I absolutely love the picture of the girl in the red dress.

    And I’m so captivated by all the bloggers on this trip. You are spilling over with great work — each in your own individual voices. I pray for you constantly — even in the middle of the night as I’m nursing the baby. (Maybe especially then.)

  26. I am praying for you every day. And for your family back home. If you meet a little girl named Namasinga Nasande give her a hug from her family in Oregon!

  27. Oh Thank you for showing the difference Compassion makes – my heart is breaking over the ocean of pain and poverty but you showed the life raft that Compassion offers. I didn’t think I could quit crying while reading the entire 16 bloggers’ entries – but you gave me back my heart. Thank you Sophie – my eyes hurt. BUT – please please please people who aren’t sponsoring yet – it is SOOOO little to do to change the entire universe of one precious soul.

  28. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Last night I was looking for something in the attic and I randomly found a picture of my husband from when he went to Uganga at age 18. It was just fun timing to see that and know you are there right now. I hope you get some good sleep tonight and wake up with tons of energy and hope for your next full day.

  29. Incredible journey. You are truly opening eyes and hearts.
    Lots of love and good wishes being sent your way for strength (physical and emotional :)

  30. I LOVE the last picture of the little boy skipping down the road. One thing I have always heard from people that go on trips like these is that poverty does not steal joy — rather that these people in their poverty often have a level of joy that seems to be unattainable for most Americans.

    Why is that? you might ask yourself. Who receives the greater blessing — those who have material wealth (and the burdens that come with it) or those who are burdened by the simplest of necessities: finding food, clothing and shelter? The latter group seems to have less trouble praising God and finding joy in life. Why?

    Thank you, Sophie, for the images and the ocmmentary. You’re changing so many lives beyond your own.

  31. Wow! What an incredible experience.

  32. What an amazing story! I have read all of your “Africa” posts, and I just welled up with emotion, not even able to comprehend the things that you have seen. The photographs are beautiful and touching, and at the same time so very sad and full of despair. I’m so glad that there are people like you who are doing something to help the children in impoverished countries like Uganda. We are blessed that God has given us enough increase that we are able to support Children’s Hunger Fund. The stories are so overwhelming sometimes, but if everyone were to get involved, it would truly make a world of difference.

    God bless you!!!

  33. Beautiful.
    Well done, Sister.

  34. Thank you for blessing these children (and us!) with your gifts of words and photography and compassion.

    My daughter and I spent a long time looking through pictures of little ones yesterday. We sponsor a little girl with World Help and are praying about which one God wants us to help through Compassion. Soooooo exciting!

  35. Thank you for this message of need AND hope!

  36. Praise God Sophie!! I am so glad you guys are there. I am sure it is so much more humbling for you and that God is going to work yet another miracle in your sweet heart!

  37. Thank you so much for this. Thank you for your willingness to go. I have been truly blessed already. Keep it up.

  38. I’m so proud of you, Sosobee! Thank you so much for doing this. I can’t imagine how tough/amazing/heartbreaking/wonderful it is to witness everything firsthand. I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  39. I can’t help but think “He has brought you there for such a time as this”….your obedience and soft heart will help to “set the captives free”! You inspire me.

  40. We adopted a Ugandan child this morning. A little girl names Esther. K picked her because of the blue beads i her hair in the picture. Then she asked if we could send her some real bows with our money. :-)

  41. I am really enjoying following you on your journey. Your words and photos are beyond moving. Thank you for sharing.

  42. Hey Boo…

    God bless your sweet, tender heart. The pictures are beautiful. The children beautiful. I am so grateful you are sharing your journey with us. You already are changing their lives one smile at a time – and by the way – getting the word out is so important. I remember last spring when we selected our compassion child it was so hard, but we settled on an older girl since there were a lot of them and the younger cherubs were going quick. Her picture is in a frame on my shelf in the office cubby where I can see her regularly. She is so beautiful, my compassion child.


  43. these children are so beautiful and bright…thank you for sharing. Give each one a hug from little old me in Idaho!

  44. The Lord is certainly going to use this trip in many ways. I love that He will use our obedience to affect the lives of others. He is so awesome! Thanks for being obedient to His call.

  45. Incredible!!!
    Keep up the awesome work, we’re praying for you back here at home!


  46. These pictures are absolutely gorgeous and heart-wrenching! I cannot wait to sponsor a child! I love seeing through your eyes and hearing through your words!

  47. Beautiful, just beautiful! All of it–your words, those faces (including yours!), and the impact y’all are having on these precious ones just by loving on them. Praying for you all!

  48. You are touching my heart.

  49. Could those children BE any more beautiful???? I think not. Blessings to you on this journey.

  50. … Where does YOUR help come from? YOUR help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber;Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you. The Lord is your shade at your right hand; The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; The Lord will watch over your coming and going – Both now and forevermore.

    Just had to finish it, because it was very appropriate. Yes, your heart is hurting … but it is carrying a very strong global message through your words.

    Still praying for you.

  51. Keep it up, Sophie. God is teaching us through you.

  52. It makes me cry just to see the pictures, you are doing a wonderful thing.

    A friend of mine worked with the children in Uganda for a few years but had to return due to ill health. He arranged for the African Children’s Choir to sing at our church and to stay in our homes. They were so beautiful, all of them orphans…so sad; but God was so in their lives they shined with Jesus.

    Blessings and prayers for your trip.

    Sarah x

  53. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. My husband and I began praying this week to see if sponsoring a child through Compassion is in God’s will for us. I pray that it is because I have fallen in love with the sweet faces you have posted for us!

  54. BooMama,

    What if we’d like to give in other ways? Donating books, book bags, toys and clothing. Can we send them to the headquarters for Compassion to distribute them as necessary?

    Praying for your team!


  55. the back of that head can be none other than Carlos Whittaker. Man, between him and anne, you are in intense company, my friend!

  56. Hello, I’m sooo excited that you are all over there in Africa bringing awarness to the situation! It may seem like there is nothing you can do to really make a difference but you ARE! By writting here about what you see and sharing these experiances with us… you are changing us and touching so many people! And i pray that we in turn will touch other people’s lives for good. It’s like a ripple effect on a pond. You are the pebble that was thrown into the pond and those ripples keep getting bigger and bigger and they will reach into eternity!

  57. God bless you all for what you are doing, and opening up our eyes to their lives and helping us to help them. I am so anxious to get my package for the little boy I’m sponsoring! Praying for ya’ll!

  58. Oh, I am so glad that I found my way here, via another blog (Linds in England). You are doing an amazing thing with this trip and God sent you straight to me today, I know He did. You are in my prayers, that this trip might be a blessing and be used for His purposes. I am going to check out sponsoring a child right now – how can I not be moved by the beautiful smiles, the big eyes and the huge, huge need? ((( HUGS ))) to you, my new friend and inspiration.

    (I agree – you are in some pretty amazing company!)

  59. There is NO crying in ThrowTheSoccerBallandRun!!

    This is a total Ugly Cry type of scenario.

    We’re holdin’ it together on this end. Barely.

  60. little liz says:

    Soph, I am so proud of you and the work you are doing over there! I’m praying for you; thanks for the moving pictures (and I did enjoy the pic of you playing soccer!) I love you!

  61. In God’s perfect timing, I spent yesterday and today with a guest speaker for our school who is survivor of the Rwandan genocide. He speaks about his experiences in order to inspire young people to act on their passions and convictions, especially with regards to helping others. He was amazing and inspiring, and the main things I took away from my time with him are “anything you can do for Africa will help” (things that seem insignificant to us can be life changing for them) and “if you don’t do it, who will?” Wow–if not me, who??? Between that and reading about your experiences this week, my husband and I can really feel God calling us as a family to DO SOMETHING. Sponsor a child through Compassion, help our daughter raise money to dig a well in rural Africa…I don’t know–our thoughts are flying right now. But we know that we have to do something and we have to do it now. I am praying for your journey and thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  62. Psalm 122. I’m memorizing that as I go through Beth Moore’s Bible Study Stepping Up. We just listened to an entire message on that passage tonight. Cool! There is hope! It comes from the Lord and thankfully He can use you and the rest of Compassion as a vessel to minister to the needs to so many. I’m still praying!

  63. Oh my gosh, I would love to take some of them home, hold them like flowers, and raise them and give them a good home cooked meal or four. I’m so proud of you for doing this, you’re an angel.

  64. Okay. I’m in. I have to do more.

  65. Jessica R says:

    That picture of you with the two sweet girls and a big grin on your face is the most beautiful picture of you I have seen. I wish I could be there to hug them with you!

  66. I have been trying to direct my engineering research towards poverty related issues after meeting a dear family from Papua New Guinea. I have since been to Kenya twice and Uganda once and I know the poverty you are talking about. It is heart wrenching, but the people are so loving. Go BooMama!

  67. Thank you for the pictures .. the bright AND the sad ones. My prayers continue.

  68. You rock, too, Sophie! Thank you for sharing all of this with us. I’m blessed.

  69. I would say you have a few more than tens of people checking this out every day & I am thankful…because not only do you have a great blog to read, you are lifting up an amazing mission. Thanks for inspiring me to share my story.

  70. His Words to you are not idle words, they are your very life, Sophie! He will change their lives!

  71. Deut 32:47 my prayer for you as His Word gives His Life to others through you.

  72. They are so adorable. What a great thing you guys are doing with this blogging.

  73. Could it be not so much that the poverty in Uganda is so profound but that the excess in America is so profound? Or, could it be both? I hope that doesn’t sound as critical as I think it might. I want to lift these children and their families up, and I’d like to live more simply myself, and I have to give up some of my excesses to lift a child up. Yin and yang, anyone?

    I’m glad you’re there, and I’m glad you’re sharing.

  74. Those children are absolutely beautiful- each and every one of them. The joy and hope that shines in their eyes makes me wish I could sponsor them all. This is such a worthwhile ministry.

    We support children through a couple of other organizations, and each time we receive newsletters and photos and letters, my heart just breaks. I wish we could do more. I wish I could meet them and love on them as you are getting to do.

    Blessings on the rest of your time there!