The James Place means so much more than it seems

HEAL is a ministry that means so many different things to me. It means early mornings, yes. It means dirt stained clothes, yes. It means crying babies, yes. It means language barriers, yes. It means long days of work, yes. BUT…It means early mornings where I get to teach fourteen precious children who call me ‘teacha katie’. It means dirt-stained clothes from all the hugs I get and the time I spend playing. It means crying babies that I get to scoop up and love on. It means language barriers that I see overcome with smiles and laughs. It means long days of work that end with children going home to their mommas. It means so much more than what is seen from the surface. HEAL has become a place for healing for some women, a place where security has been found, and a place where children can receive food to fill their bellies while filling their minds. The James Place is special, just walk through those gates and see!

I have so many stories that make my heart smile here. Each day we come in from work giggling about the day or moments that have marked us. I am one lucky teacher, I will tell you that much! Not only do I have the chance to work alongside and mentor a very special Ugandan teacher and teach fourteen students, but also I get to work one-on-one with several students after class who need a little extra. Everyday I count down till 11:00 a.m. That is the time where I work with my special friend. She is going to P1 in January and has had some delays in her learning due to some circumstances with her health. Oh! But that is not going to stop her. She is diligent, hard working, focused, and passionate about learning. I have loved watching a girl who would barely speak, showed little interest in learning, and who was timid-turn into a typical five year old who runs over to me wanting to talk, begs me to go work on ‘letters’, and who has overcome much despite previous expectations! I am so tickled everyday when I think about how far she has come and how far she will go. We have formed a special bond, and I am so proud of her!

Want to know what ‘a day in the life’ is? Even though everyday is a little different and sometimes unexpected…here’s a go at it!

Wake up-Class with whole group & small group lessons-Prep for small group lessons the next day-P.E.-one on one tutoring [yay!]-Kid’s lunch-Kid’s bath time [yes, all 60+ kids!]-Carry the children to nap time-Staff lunch-Chores/lesson planning-Wake the kids up-Pass out fruit for snack-Office administration work-Afternoon tutoring-Story time-Watch all the babies go home!

That is a little peek into my heart and ‘life’ here at the James Place. The Lord is sweet for allowing me to serve, and I am thankful to be His hands and feet here [covered in Ugandan red dirt and all!]. 

-Katherine Christopher, Volunteer Long Term Intern