A Grateful People

Internets, today I played Throw The Ball And Run AGAIN.


I’m telling y’all: somebody needs to read Ephesians 3:20 out loud for the class. Because if I am throwing and catching and running and whathaveyou IN THE MIDDLE OF UGANDAN FIELDS, we need somebody to TESTIFY to the Lord’s faithfulness up in this interweb right now. God can do anything, oh yes He can.


We spent most of today in a village about ten miles outside of Kampala. To say that the ride was bumpy would be a huge understatement; in fact, at one point I looked over at Shannon and Anne and said, “Funny. I didn’t know that my calves could jiggle.”

But let me assure you: they most certainly can.


We visited a Compassion project that’s run through a local church, and the children there absolutely made my day. In fact, we had no sooner parked the bus than this little fellow ran over to us and reached up toward the window for my hand.


Just try to look at his sweet face and NOT smile. You can’t do it.

There’s a remarkable difference between the children we’ve seen who are sponsored through Compassion and those who don’t have a sponsor yet. The Compassion kids have light in their eyes; they have hope. They have adults who love them and disciple them; they have a support network for their families; they have food and medical care and clothing – all provided through their sponsorship.

These kids live in unimaginable conditions, but I’m telling you, when you see their faces? It’s like God turns up the sunshine to full blast.




We were able to play with the kids for most of the afternoon. Shannon and I actually sang “Jesus Loves Me” three or four times with a group of about ten kids, and they knew every single word. Then I showed them how I like to say “YAYYYYY” once I finish singing a song and how I sometimes take the “YAYYYYY” to new heights by clapping for myself.

Needless to say, they thought I was absolutely insane. But for whatever reason, I think this particular group of Ugandan children appreciated my crazy. So obviously I will be moving here in the near future, just as soon as I can get home and round up my people to come back with me.

And by the way, we yayyyyed and clapped like nobody’s business.

Because the children, they need to know these things.

A few hours after all the yayyyying, when we were just about to leave the project, a little boy – he was about 11, I’m guessing – ran up to me and started saying a name over and over.

At first I thought he was introducing himself to me, so I smiled and told him my name.

He shook his head – and then continued repeating the name.

I finally realized what he was saying, so I looked at him and asked, “Troy? Are you saying ‘Troy’?”

He nodded like crazy – with a smile so wide that I wondered if his face could even contain it – and as he looked me straight in the eyes, he said, “Yes. TROY. USA. Is my sponsor.”

And in that moment, it hit me.

Troy – whoever he is, wherever he is – is that boy’s link to the world. Through his sponsorship, Troy bridges a gulf of human indifference that separates those of us with the means to help from the kids who so desperately need it.

And while Troy has no idea, make no mistake: there was a child in a remote village of Uganda today who was shouting his name in gratitude.

I just think that’s extraordinary.


Every child needs a Troy. Every child deserves that.

Every single one.

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  1. Mmmm….powerful stuff Boomama.

  2. Beautiful pictures. Love the story about Troy. Huge impact. And jiggly thighs? I often have those. :)

  3. wow BooMama,

    I am following your travels with amazement and alot of interest, I love the photos.

    the part about Troy made me cry. I’ve always kind of wondered if the sponsors are actually paired up with real kids..or if it was symbolic…I guess I have my answer now.

    just wow.

  4. See…THIS gives me hope! I have never sponsored a child because I don’t know who to trust! Who knows where my money is really going? But to see it in action is awesome. To know there’s at least one truthful group out there that is actually making a difference gives me hope that I could now sponsor a child through this group and it would help someone.

  5. We sponsor two children and I have traveled to Tanzania several times… I have seen those kids and have been to Compassion centers…

    So (although I was excited for your trip) I didn’t expect to be as emotionally impacted as much as I have through these blogs.

    Thank you. Your words and pictures are making a differance.

  6. Sarah Kate in WA state says:

    Wow. Many times over the past few days your (and your teammates’) posts have left me speechless and with tears in my eyes. Thank you for this first hand glimpse into a world so easily forgotten in the busy-ness of our comfortable American life. We have one child we have sponsored since we were newlyweds (over 10 years now), but I’ve been challenged to see what can be cut from our budget so we can do more.

    You are all in my prayers! (And my hat is off to you and your recent God-given surge of athleticism (is that a word?)….you’re a better woman than I am!)

    God bless!!

  7. You know what BooMama? You and the Lord have changed me! I was somewhat sceptical when I first heard about your trip – like, what difference is that going to make? Would there not be a better way to spend money than on flights, hotels etc to fly a bunch of bloggers to Uganda.

    But I was very wrong, and I am sorry. This whole experience, and the ability to follow it through the eyes and blogs of so many, has been a priviledge.

    So last night, I discussed it with the family, and today we will sign up to sponsor a child through Compassion.

    Through this experience you are changing the lives of many.

    So go exercise some more, jiggle a bit more, and come back and share some more.

    Hugs and prayers.

  8. Jessica R says:

    Boo seriously. I am in bed with my seven prescriptions and I can only take so much of the crying. I am going to have to start scheduling my major illnesses around your international sporting events.

  9. Boo, you have changed my perspective on this whole situation. I always assumed that sponsoring children in another country was sort of a gimmick, but by you actually being there and reporting of the impact we have in these children’s lives, my opinion has changed.

    Thank you for enlarging your heart and your comfort zone for those children and for me.

  10. “Troy. USA.”
    just made me ball like a baby…

  11. Oh, sponsoring a child through Compassion is no gimmick! I’ve been a sponsor for 7 years, and I’ve learned to love my Leya in Uganda. My thoughts and prayers are with you numerous times throughout each day, Sophie.

  12. Sweet sister in faith and jiggling! I made my DH listen to this one – I knew the scripture ahead of time because in our lives – HE already has done, is doing and we believe will continue to do immeasurably more – thank you for your commitment, stamina and hey – we need to see a flat Howard picture girl! I need something else to cry about while I’m trying to catch up with y’all!

  13. Well I’m glad I read this today BEFORE I put my make-up on – because you have made me ruin it every other day with all the crying!
    We signed up last night to sponsor a little boy – I couldn’t BE more excited!!!!!

  14. I was doing okay until Troy. Thank you, Sophie!


  16. God bless you Troy USA and every single sponsor across the globe! Sign up today people if you have not.

    Bless you Sophie! We are praying for you!

  17. I can barely see to type, so I echo what Fran said up there . . .

    God bless y’all!

    Praying for you, dear Sophie.

    “jiggly calves” = Giggly Pam : )

  18. I love reading your perspective on the trip…I almost feel like your blogs are audio posts.

    Thank you for giving your time to let the world know what is going on in Uganda…how easily someone could impact one of those beautiful children…and their whole family.

  19. I have always been drawn to missions and now I know why. What an amazing testimony – thanks for sharing!

  20. Beautiful. I’ve got goosebumps ALL over after reading this. Yes, we can make a difference! Those kids are so precious! Thank you for allowing us to share your journey with you!

  21. YOU need a tissue alert @ the top of your blog.

  22. Oh man. I didn’t expect to be crying THIS early on Valentine’s Day.

  23. OK, I was doing pretty good until I read “Troy. USA. Is my sponsor”.

    Nothing cleanses the soul like a heart wrenching cry on Valentines Day.

    YAYYYY for Troy.

  24. I’ve known about Compassion for years, but have never made the move to support a child. Your blog post did it for me.

    Little five year old Omongot Ambrose in Uganda has a sponsor now.

  25. Thanks for telling us about this trip – I’m enjoying reading every post here and at the other blogs. Oh and Troy made me cry too.

  26. Between your posts and my hubby’s sweet valentine card I’m a weeping mess. Thanks for making Uganda so real and personal. You are doing a great job Sophie…Yaaaaay! Go God!!!!

  27. Our family are proud new sponsors of
    Kyakusimire Shivan in Uganda (9 year old little girl).

    We are thrilled!

    Keep the blogs coming, we follow with anticipation.

    Kelly in Michigan

  28. Oh Sophie I am just so blessed by your trip.

    Thank you for going – you and the other bloggers are doing an amazing job of making this all so real to those of us who sit comfortably across the world from you.

    Thank you for your sacrifice. Because of this my family is so excited to begin sponsoring children.

  29. God bless Troy

  30. Dang Girl! You really got me with that one! I don’t know how y’all keep from scooping all those kids up in your arms and hugging them to pieces.

  31. Awww, God bless Troy. I hope he gets to read this and be blessed by this!

    Sometime, when you have time, could you tell us a little more about the difference between the children with sponsors and the ones who are still looking for sponsors? I’ve seen it mentioned in a few of the blogs now and am interested to know more. It doesn’t have to be right away, because I’m sure you have had so many experiences that you want to write about. Just when you have some time. :) Thanks! I hope you continue to have a great trip.

  32. YAAAAAAAYYYYYY! That was a GREAT post. Classic BooMama – clearly for Jesus. chills.

  33. Wow. You know, I love your post–I couldn’t help smiling at the descriptions of the children’s joy. I just feel horrible that Troy may not ever get to visit his own adoptee and see the light he’s given.

  34. You’re so right – impossible not to smile! I’m praying that Troy will somehow stumble on this blogpost and be encouraged. That would just be cool, right? And I think we have a God who is in the business of “cool”.

  35. Crying. Amen!

  36. YAYYYYY for this fabulous post, Sophie! The children are gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous.

    “Every child deserves a Troy.” That line just took my breath away.

  37. Thanks for the Troy story, BooMama. Oh, and tell Shawn Groves that yesterday, I was standing in the Mac store admiring a computer bag that was practically screaming “buy me” from the shelf and that cheeseburger story he blogged about came flooding back to my memory. My oldest son and I sponsor a 5 y.o. girl thru World Vision, but I think it’s time for my daughter and I to sponsor a child thru Compassion. Oh, and wouldn’t it be VERY COOL if I could encourage moms and their daughters to sponsor a child together at all my upcoming “You and Your Girl” events? Have them sign up right then and there? Phooey on computer bags.

    You are precious…keep the posts coming, dear one.

  38. Yayyyyy Boo-Mama!!! I’m so proud of you for getting out there and playing with those kids like nobody’s business! And you are so right….God can give us the energy we never thought we’d have. I wish Troy could read this post…I know it would make his day, wherever he is. Continued prayers.

  39. Gayle Ferguson says:

    I read this story and cried and went to the website.There was a child who had been waiting 6 months for someone to sponsor him. I looked at that precious face and thought, why did he have to wait so long for someone to sponsor him?So I am now the sponsor of Thembo Joram.None of those beautiful children should be waiting for someone to sponsor them.People spend more on coffee from Starbucks in a month than it costs to sponsor one of these children.Thank you for posting this,I will keep going back.
    God bless you,

  40. Here’s to all the Troy’s of the world. Those children love you!

  41. Oh my word. I am just a crying wreck. That is the sweetest and most touching story. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  42. I subscribed to the whole group’s blog feed and am loving all of your updates! If you should happen upon a very tall Ugandan named Kepher, who lives in Kampala, tell him hello from Shauna! (Even if it wasn’t the right person, it would be amusing!)

  43. Will you stop it already! The people at work here thing that I’m loosing my marbles because I sit here and cry everyday at your posts.

    Really moving stuff. Great job.

  44. I am so loving these stories of the children!

    Jiggling calves? I’ve known of those for years!

  45. I hope Troy USA gets to read this post somehow. Wouldn’t that be a miracle?

  46. We cancelled Netflix yesterday. We sponsered three year old Emmanuel from Uganda today.

  47. I couldn’t look at their faces and not MELT! Now a little girl named Naomi in Uganda has a Troy – and it’s me!

  48. Awesome post. It is so encouraging to see there is hope. God is so good. Thank you for being our eyes! Blessings.

  49. Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience. You have definitely given some credibility to this organization. I didn’t even know about them until you and the others started blogging about it.

    As a result of reading about your journey I just signed up to sponsor Muwanguzi in Uganda. He and our 4 year old were born on the same day and he was the only one with that birthday.

    What a blessing you are.

  50. Amazing things are happening on the internet this week, and I just had to post after reading Laura’s above, that we did the same two days ago: a darling 6 (almost 7) yr old girl named Irene, exactly five years older than my daughter (same birth date) — I pray that we can show her the love and support that she obviously so desperately needs, as well as teach my children about COMPASSION!! Hugs!!

  51. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    I’ve been anointed Valentine Fairy & you’ve been Valentined!


  52. Wow. If I had not already wanted to sponsor a child, I do now. I will be discussing this with the hubby this evening.

  53. Carole in AL says:

    Thanks for this one, Sophie. Thinking about you and praying for you daily.

  54. wow, that is simply amazing. to see the number of bloggy ladies here who’ve stepped up to become a troy simply takes my breath away!

  55. Crying here. This was a beautiful post. I so agree. Every child deserves a Troy.

  56. Precious. That’s all I can say.

    That and I think we might move with you.

    Those children, they are so dear!!
    Praying for continued blessings and health for all of you.

  57. “YAYYYYY” (clapping hands) for the work y’all are doing.

    “YAYYYYY” (clapping hands) for Compassion and all of the Troy’s out there who are sponsors.

    “YAYYYYY” (clapping hands)!

  58. Oh the tears!
    I hope that dear Troy, USA knows how he has impacted a sweet little life in Uganda.
    And those faces! Oh, they are just darling.
    My dear sister adopted two Haitian children, so I have a warm place in my heart for chocolate babies. (said with all the affection in the world, so don’t flame me for my term of endearment.)

  59. Every day I read about your journey’s and EVERY DAY I cry…

  60. Waaah. Just Waaah.

  61. Your posts just get better every day. Thank you, thank you, thank you for showing us this part of the world and for being Jesus to them. They will never forget it, and neither will I. Love you!

  62. I know you’re changed forever…and your team…

    But your words are affecting me and so many others.

    Keep going…

    (thank you)


  63. i know three troys. i’m going to hug them all today.

  64. The picture of you on Shaun’s blog is amazing and heart wrenching.

    Keep up the love!

  65. Absolutely Beautiful!

    God Bless Troy!

  66. I have a child born on my son’s birthday that we sponsor through World Vision, but these posts are just so moving and the stories of change so absolutely precious that we just sponsored one through Compassion as well.

    Thanks for going out of your comfort zone so that we could see and hear about these children. How happy God must be for the work you’re doing for His children this week! Go BooMama Go!

  67. Hi Boomama,

    The little boy in the camouflage looks so much like the boy I just signed up to sponsor a couple of days ago! His name is Erick and he lives is in the Budimo Village in Uganda and is 3 years old.

    These posts have been so amazing! I’ve considered sponsoring a child before, but it’s been through reading your posts that I just couldn’t take it anymore and wanted to go to the Compassion site and sponsor them all! Thanks for sharing this journey with us! I’ll be praying for you all and the hearts of the kids and families you encounter.


  68. for some reason, your page has been EATING my computer at work this week. i think it’s all the pictures, but i hesitate to tell you that for fear you’ll stop posting so many :P so i decided today to copy and paste into Word, so i can read it without the screen freezing.

    and let me tell you, for some reason Word underlines “yayyyy” as if it were a typo! someoen should look into that! i am emailing Microsoft as soon as i hit Submit on here.


  69. *speaking of typos…

  70. Good grief, I’m am turning to mush every time I read one of these posts! I am an adoptive mom of four biracial or african-american children, so when I look at the faces in these photos my heart stops because sometimes they look like MY kids. It makes me want to hop on the next flight to Africa and bring every single one of them home with me. Thank you so much for what you are doing. It is amazing to experience it all through your eyes.

  71. Sophie,

    Thanks so much for sharing with us. I have looked forward to reading your update each day. Thank you for putting a face on needs of these children. Your being there and reporting it first hand are making a difference. YEAH for all the Troys in the U.S.A.


  72. Chill bumps.

  73. What precious, precious pictures. I just love living this through your eyes and words. We have a little boy in Albania. How I wish I could visit him and see him face to face. This is almost as good!
    Blessings on all of you!

  74. Oh my goodness I just cried at the Troy USA comment and yes that little boy made me smile SO big!
    I just have such a heart for these children and it is moving my hubby and I to great lengths.
    I want to rid myself of my American ego and ideals and live only for Christ!
    Thank you Sophie for this journey into these precious little lives!

  75. Thank you for sharing. You are expressing yourself so well. You are painting wonderful word pictures. Your post made me laugh and then I cried too, the Troy story got to me. Praying for your safety and the safety of your family at home. Praying your jet lag will not be bad when you come home…..Blessings

  76. You are reaching so many people by telling these stories! I have been telling everyone about your travels, and I pray that we will not stop talking about these children! Thank you again for sharing!

  77. BooMama – I have been sharing your stories with hubby. The stuff you are doing and writing. One word POWERFUL. Hope I can soften his heart so we can sponsor a child as a family.
    Praying for your team.

  78. All I can say is WOW!

  79. Sophie, I just left Shaun’s blog and saw the picture of you with Sharon .. and I am still crying .. how BEAUTIFUL! I will NEVER forget this moment …. my feeling inside and Sharon’s sweet, sweet face. God IS speaking … thank God for you stepping out of your box to share these children with me and my family.

    Still praying …

  80. You just reminded me how jiggly Africa is– I’d forgotten. And those precious children…

  81. I sponsor a child through World Vision, and I completely agree that sponsoring a child is very rewarding. And, hearing about the boy knowing his sponsor’s name and trying to get to him through you validates my experience. (I don’t know your thoughts on World Vision…I chose them because I’d heard of them through work a few years ago). I’m really looking forward to this year’s picture of my sponsored child. I hope she’s smiling this year!

    Again, thanks for sharing! You’re doing great work, God’s work.


  82. I’m surprised no one has mentioned my favorite part: all those precious babies singing “Jesus Loves Me” together with you guys. It’s just such a testimony to the fact that God’s love is a universal language.

    That was so powerful. I guess I’m living in the Dark Ages, but I’ve never heard of Compassion until you began talking about your trip. I just know that there’s a little one in Uganda that God has for my family to sponsor!

  83. You guys need to come back soon because you leave me a blubbering mess every time you post. Not that that’s a bad thing! God works through blubbering mess!

  84. Whew… this hit a little close to my heart. I’m thinking maybe my little Troy needs to grow up knowing that there are other little ones in this world who are just as precious as he is and that even a little guy like my Troy can make a difference. This is good stuff, Sophie. We’re praying for you every day…

  85. This child knows only a few things about TROY:
    •That TROY knows who he is
    •That TROY is wealthy beyond his imagination
    •That TROY cares for him and benevolently provides for him
    •That TROY has brought HOPE to and for his life and makes his life better every day
    So while he has never seen TROY’s face, this child declares TROY’s name and shouts it with joy, even to strangers.
    What a life lesson!

  86. Oh my…incredible. It so amazing what a difference a little sacrifice can make!!!

  87. Howard will be so happy upon your return. Not to see his mama, but because Mama will be able to teach him a new game!