Four Team Members Share About Their Time in Jinja

My time with HEAL Ministries at The James Place has taught me the wonder of simplicity. Life here is by no means complicated. The same five meals are served each week, all the washing is done by hand, and electronics are nowhere to be seen. Yet every single person here - the staff, the children, the team members - is filled with such profound joy. Here at The James Place, happiness is fostered by relationships, imagination, and the love of Jesus Christ. A child can be entertained endlessly by a stick and an old tire; a personal conversation with a staff member always trumps TV time; and simplicity is the key to a joyful heart. Maybe if we make our complex lives look a little more like life here at The James Place, then we could come to know this simple happiness too.
— Abby Sparrow, 12th grade
Abby Sparrow at The James Place

Abby Sparrow at The James Place

God is up to something incredible here at the James Place. Love, joy, faith, and hope fills the hearts and souls of all the staff, women, and children. The children here are the sweetest, most well-behaved, and most beautiful kids I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know. This place has quickly and easily become my home, and it is the result of the kindness and friendliness that floods the James Place. I am going home with a piece of Jinja in my heart, and I hope to spread the love that I have found here to as many people as possible. I have realized that the people here focus on the things that are truly important: family, friends, and love. These things have brought them true happiness in the simple lives they live. I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the family at The James Place. My time here has been a reminder to me that God is present, God loves, and God HEALs.
— Abby Anderson, 12th Grade
Abby Anderson at The James Place

Abby Anderson at The James Place

My time at The James Place has been incredible, and I’m so sad to be leaving Jinja. My favorite part about this trip had been the relationships I’ve built with both the kids and the staff. From the first day to the last, everyone’s smiles have gotten brighter. We have learned all their names, and they’ve learned all of ours (for the most part). I had to learn to respond to “Stacy” because the kids don’t quite grasp the concept of my name being “AC”. The name change is just another way for me to remember my time here in Jinja. The way that the kids run towards us when they see us will always hold a special place in my heart. I can’t thank HEAL enough for letting me come here and build these great relationships.
— Anna Clark Harrison (AC), 11th grade
AC at The James Place

AC at The James Place

There is no greater gift than being surrounded by joy and learning, and that is exactly the gift my time with HEAL Ministries has been for me. HEAL provides a safe place for abandoned women and children to learn and to succeed. It was eye opening to be a part of this organization for a short couple of weeks and to see the ways HEAL changes lives. A special program that HEAL has created is a weekly event called Kids Club. Every Saturday afternoon, children from villages in Jinja walk miles to come to the James Place where they are welcomed with open arms. Some of the kids are malnourished and come from rough homes, however Kids Club provides a great source of happiness and comfort for them. It’s really amazing to see the way the children light up because of this simple act of acceptance and generosity. It’s acts like these that have made me truly enjoy my time in Jinja with HEAL. I’ve learned that joy is an easy gift to give with a great return. Not only has the joy of The James Place influenced these children, but it has also influenced me and I am so grateful.
— Helen Riley Lazenby, 11th grade
Helen Riley at The James Place 

Helen Riley at The James Place