Written by Kyndall Reid
God tugged on my heart for a couple years for me to do something more…. specifically to go to Africa….but I told Him that He MUST be crazy. I heard about Sozo in 2015 by posts and “shares” that my friends had made on social media, so I decided to check them out. I absolutely couldn’t resist their story or the precious faces of those kids, so I decided to sponsor Andrew last October. I was over the moon, and I fell in love with this child. Every month I waited like a kid at Christmas (and still do) for my monthly updates of Andrew….pictures, report cards, letters, crafts, etc. My heart swelled with pride and pure happiness every time I received something. I already cared about him as if he were my own, and I never knew I could love a child this much whom I had never met before. I mean, I had seen him in pictures, on a computer screen, and written to him in letters, but I felt I already knew him. Crazy right?! I began praying for Andrew every day, all the while still praying about this whole “go to Africa” thing that God hadn’t let me forget about. A couple months later, after much time in prayer, I decided to take the leap of faith and GO in March 2016. My first thought was “okay God, whatever you say…” but my second thought was about meeting Andrew. I was excited to say the least.
March rolled around and I was finally on Ugandan soil. Later that week (I was in love with Uganda and Sozo by day 1), I was taken to Andrew’s school to surprise him and pull him out of class for a minute. He did not know I was there. When he came outside and saw me, he immediately came running to meet me. With my arms open as wide as they would go, I was wrapped up in the biggest bear hug of my life. My heart felt like it literally exploded in my chest as he said “Thank you. I love you so much.” I have never experienced such love and gratitude from someone who didn’t know me. To know on paper how big of a difference you’re making in someone’s life is one thing, but to see this child in the flesh and witness that difference in person is a feeling of pure joy. But little does Andrew know, I am the thankful one. I am thankful that I am able to be Andrew’s sponsor. I am thankful that God provides me with what I need, so that I can help provide Andrew with what he needs. It is an honor to be his sponsor. I am thankful that Andrew has impacted my life far more than I could ever hope to impact his.
Now, I was told that he was quiet, which seemed to be true from our skype session we got back in January. But boy were they wrong! Andrew has the biggest personality and the funniest sense of humor….and the biggest smile you have ever seen! He is also mischievous at times and likes to play jokes, especially when he gets around his best friend in Sozo named Benja (typical boys). They are inseparable. Andrew also has a kind heart and a huge love for Jesus. I wouldn’t have known most of this had I not met him and gotten to know him over that week in Uganda. It is amazing to watch all the Sozo kids grow and succeed in their environment, and to see how much they love the Lord. I just thought my heart was full before. Uganda, Andrew, Sozo, and everyone I encountered throughout the week changed my life and set my heart on fire for Jesus. (So yes, I cried like a big weenie when I left, and came back to the States kicking and screaming). But sponsoring a child and, in addition, having the means to be able to meet them is a feeling you will not find anywhere else. It is a God thing. Now the question is….when can I go back?!