In Robert Lupton’s book “Toxic Charity,” he draws on his experience with charitable work, stating that, “Becoming a neighbor to less-advantaged people is the most authentic expression of affirmation I know—becoming a real-life, next-door neighbor.”
Let’s face it, we are a society fixed on instant gratification and quick results. We want to see the immediate impacts of our actions—tangible outcomes. This can often lead us to focusing on projects, rather than people and relationships.
We, at Sozo, firmly believe that the best way to serve people is by working alongside them in community—trying to understand their needs rather than guessing and partnership rather than dependancy. This is why we model our organization around the idea of empowering leaders within Uganda. Our children are raised by Ugandan caretakers, we encouraged our kids to giveback to their community, and we hire locals in our Village Project efforts.
For the past seven years, we have been building meaningful relationships with vulnerable communities to share the love of Christ and break the cycle of poverty. We seek to empower the gifts and talents that are already present in the communities through intentional, Ugandan led ministry.
A few years ago we met Florence through Family-to-Family, which is our outreach where Sozo Children have the opportunity to share the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ to families living in our village.
Florence and her husband, Yasin care for six children who attend Sozo’s Kid’s Club, near the property where we are building our new children’s homes. Through Kid’s Club and consistent visits to their home, our Ugandan staff learned that Florence gave her life to Christ as an adult, but Yasin grew up Muslim and was not a believer. In 2016, after hearing Bible stories at Kid’s Club, Florence and Yasin’s son, Ali, approached his mom with his desire to accept Christ as his personal savior. At first, he was fearful of losing his father’s favor, but Yasin said he supported his son’s choice because of Sozo’s consistent ministry. Yasin explained he trusted Sozo because we became deeply rooted into the community, showing consistent love for their children, family, and neighbors. One year after his son’s salvation, Yasin accepted Jesus too!
If we are here to a create a long-term, sustainable impacts than we must focus on being real-life, next-door neighbors—working together, for each other. Because of Sozo’s dedication to empowering vulnerable children to become thriving leaders for Jesus Christ—communities are being transformed and hearts are being changed.
Yasin, Florence and their children are one of hundreds of families Sozo is empowering through community outreach. This families’ transformation began with one young boy saying yes to Jesus through Kid’s Club. The story doesn’t end there. They will impact other families, who will share with others—until the ripple effect reaches an entire community.
If you’re interested in hearing more stories of transformation like Florence’s family, you can be a part of the journey by becoming a community partner. Your partnership ensures we continue in our vision of seeing all children thriving, all communities transformed. Visit sozochildren.org/community-partnership for more details.