Friday, May 2, 2014

Headlines & Details

One eyebrow cocked itself up over its partner when I read the inquiry.  The email originated from Georgia.  Have I ever been to Georgia?  I don't think so?  Do I know anybody from Georgia.  Yes. But, the only ones I am aware of live just across the street from me ... here in Uganda.  And for only several months out of a year.

I discovered that the author of the email became aware of Next Generation Ministries by reading a blog of a young girl who had lived with the Hunters in Uganda, which lead her to this blog. What she read caused her to think she might want to join us for a couple of months and live some life with us ... here in Africa.

Someone in Georgia.  Someone who loved adventure.  And someone's parents who were willing to let their adventure loving, 17 year old daughter travel half way around the world to live with someone they/she had never met.  Risky?  Unadvised?  Crazy?

It depends on whether one believes that God is a personal God and is in the DETAILS OF OUR LIVES.

Morgan's brother Max & her sister Becca
Morgan Jeffries raised the money for her airfare and upkeep in Africa by selling tee shirts.  She arrived on February 26, 2014, with little idea of why she was in Uganda.  She liked the relational nature of Next Generation Ministries and enjoyed reading the stories posted on this blog.  Beyond doing what the household was doing, she was yet unaware of some of the reasons God brought her to Africa.

A month later a short term mission team arrived from Pocatello, Idaho to work with Next Generation Ministries.  22 people (14 from Idaho), living together for 12 days with the intent of extending the glory of God in whatever small way they could.  Pastor Josh Robinson was the team leader.  It was his third trip to Uganda and second time as team leader.  In fact, the previous year, Josh was with me when a local witch doctor, Pharidah, denounced the demons she had served for years and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord.  Pharidah and her husband, Kalima, were the parents of a 6 month old baby named Grace.

Kalima & Pharidah ... Easter 2013
At the age of 30, Pharidah passed away on March 17, 2014.  Kalima had to remain at  home with little Grace and this challenge soon became known by us.  As we talked it seemed that the Lord was moving in the hearts of Kalima, Josh, and his wife Jen ... AND in Morgan to do something about the need to care for this child who was left without her mother.

Morgan talked with me about the need of Gracie.  Morgan is adopted herself and is aware of the huge difference good adoptive parents can make in the life of a child.  She was wondering at what age a person would qualify to adopt a child.  At the same time, Josh and Jen spoke with me about the possibilities of becoming the adoptive parents of Grace if there was not a good option for Kalima within his family, friends, church, or nation.

Kalima, Grace, Jen and Walter the monkey
Early April 2014
Deliberate conversations began between Kalima, the Robinsons, the Hunters, and a Ugandan attorney. It was obvious to Kalima that he would be unable to work to provide for himself and other children born to Pharidah if he had to remain at home to care for an 18 month old girl.  The process began.

What is amazing is that everyone turned their eyes on Morgan to see if she would be willing to become the care giver for Gracie while legal procedures where carried out in both Uganda and America.  She was MORE than willing.  Recently she celebrated one month of being the one who is now called "Mommy" by Gracie.

Grace & Morgan May 2, 2014
Additionally, though Morgan was scheduled to travel back to Georgia on April 29, 2014, Delta Airlines suspended her return ticket and is going to allow her to stay in Uganda up to February 25, 2015 at no additional cost!  The Airlines learned of the circumstances of the adoptive process and has given this length of time in order for it to be completed and the Robinsons can take Grace home to Idaho.

HEADLINE:  17 Year Old Georgina Girl Experiences Life In Africa

DETAILS:  God had it all covered.  He arranged for Josh Robinson to be involved in the family of Grace long before there was any idea that a need would arise that would involve him and his wife being a solution. God prepared the heart of a teenager to play an integral role in the story of Grace that is absolutely necessary.  God allowed an international airline to be sympathetic to the needs of Grace to allow Morgan to stay in Uganda for up to one year.  And, God knew that having Grace running around in the base house of Next Generation Ministries would be a blessing to ALL of its housemates.


  1. Wow now i know why Morgan was there! Tell Kalima i am sorry for his loss he is a good man and i will pray for him and his children. I enjoyed seeing his smile each day we worked together on the well at the farm.

    1. Thanks Justin. And, Kalima is doing pretty well. He now has his own boda boda and is learning how to increase his income each day. It has removed him from some of the negative surroundings and made him diligent to make his own way. He is a hard working man and we are trusting this is going to be a big turn around for him.

    2. Thank you for this interesting article. I am just wondering, since Kalima now sounds like he is doing really well at rebuilding his life, is there any possibility that Grace can remain in Uganda, either with her father, with other family or with other community members. It sounds like Morgan and your team have done a really great job of caring for Grace during a crisis period but it seems a little sad to me that she will grow up not knowing her own father, siblings and culture.

    3. Those are good wonderings. Since it was Kalima's decision to give up his daughter in order for her to have the life he believe he can never provide for her there are no other options. It was the decision of the High Court of Uganda that his desires and request be honored since they also believe his choice to put Grace with Josh & Jen is her best option.

      Additionally, your impression that Grace will grow upnot know her own father, siblings, and culture is mistaken. The plan is for Grace to make regular visits back to Uganda to maintain her relationship with her biological father, half siblings, and experience life within her birth culture.

      Finally, all parties involved believe that this option has the fingerprints of God all over it.

      I trust that this lays to rest some of your wonderings. Thanks for taking time to consider other options and to voice them.

  2. Great post Paul! Love that smile, can't wait to see little Gracie again and Morgan, YOU are amazing! Miss you girlie :) God is good all the time!

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement. Morgan is so easy to have here with us and she has NEVER complained about being the care giver for little Gracie! We admire her and are so thankful that she came to Uganda.

  3. Morgan, you are an inspiration to all of us here. Thank you for the selfless care you are giving Gracie. You are both a delight to have here sharing life with us! - Uncle Dale

  4. Morgan - Are you sure you are only 17? You have the maturity of a woman far older. We love you! The Snyders Family


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