In the summer of 2007, I met Jonathan Sewava and his fiance Jackie Nakabugo, while on a mission trip to Uganda. We formed an immediate friendship which God has richly blessed. Jackie and Jonathan had both been sponsored as children and this sponsorship equipped them for their future service. I have sponsored students since 1982 and have seen first hand that sponsorship works! Thus, we discovered we had much in common. Jonathan and Jackie were married a few months later.
After the 2007 mission trip, I returned home to San Antonio, Texas and two wonderful things happened. First, God placed a fabulous book into my hands called Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa that brought them together. My sixth grade students at Jackson Middle School read this book and began to dream of drilling a well in Africa. A group of students who I’d taught the previous year joined with these sixth graders and before we knew it, our dream became a reality. The students had raised the money for the well! The second wonderful thing that happened was that I met my future husband Jack. He embraced my heart’s desire to help our friends in Africa. During the summer of 2008, Jack and I traveled to Uganda with friends to see the opening of the first water well. While in Africa, Jack proposed and we were married in December of 2008. The students of Jackson Middle School continued their fundraising efforts and we returned to Uganda during the summer of 2009 for the opening of the second well. In all, Jackson Middle School helped provide 4 water wells over a 4 year period. Special thanks to teachers Terry Shell and Nancy Fields for helping to make this possible! The last two wells were placed in the Nakasongola District where Jonathan ministers.
In 2010, Jackie asked us to help them begin a sponsorship program for older students. Jackie wanted to use her talents and be a “voice” for the oppressed. Having spoken in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States on behalf of sponsorship, Jackie had been specially trained for this purpose. Jonathan preaches the Gospel predominately in the Nakasongola District and has a registered ministry called “Unreached Africa”.
We now have 42 sponsored students in African Hope Children’s Ministry with multiple sponsors. Each month we send 100% of the funds we’ve received to Uganda to support the work of Unreached Africa. In addition, Stockwell Place Elementary School of Bossier City, Louisiana raised the money for two water wells in 2013. And in 2014, Dunbar Primary and Brandon Elementary of Lufkin, Texas contributed another water well. They were helped by First Christian Church of Lufkin and First United Methodist Church of Riverside, Texas. We are so humbled by God’s provision…and so very grateful for the people He has sent into our lives. To God be the glory!
Blessings and blue skies! Kelly and Jack Witteman