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  • Rachel Johnston

How Far?

Do we really know the impact of our actions, our words? Could the smallest act of kindness or simple encouragement extend beyond what we can fathom? Can a tiny seed of hope grow into an organization that is teaching children how to shape the future of a country? Yes, to all of the above. We may or may not see the far-reaching effects of our choices in this lifetime, but rest assured knowing they do have a lasting impact. Fields of Dreams Uganda (FoDU) began as a spark, a possibility that was born from love in one person's heart. Love grew into passion, passion into vision, and vision into reality. This new reality is bringing hope to vulnerable children through soccer and education. It is giving them a purpose in their lives. A determination to succeed in their educations. Fortitude to stand strong for their futures. Joy in becoming leaders in their classrooms and on the pitch. And belief in themselves that they can change the face of Uganda for the better. Not just for themselves, but for future generations. This, my friends, is the power each and every one of us holds when we act in love. Love covers all things, even the direst of circumstances. It's no secret that Uganda is a third world nation. You hear news about it. You glance at an occasional picture of it. But do you really look deep? Do you listen well to the stories that are being written there? Stories of poverty, war, rejection, hopelessness, but also joy and hope? Each and every one of us has a story to tell. Is yours better than mine? Is it better than those who are different from us? Does the story matter if it seemingly has nothing to do with you? It most certainly does. We were each created for a purpose. And you can bet that purpose involves touching the lives of those around us. What is your purpose? What is the purpose in the lives of children of Uganda? What could that possibly have to do with you? If you were to visit Uganda, you would know these answers. In only a brief time, FoDU has impacted the lives of Uganda's children, their parents, their teachers, and all who observe them. Through providing school supplies, soccer equipment, hygiene kits, and character building programs, FoDU has given hope. And with each successful story, a life is forever changed. That's a long-lasting impact.

FoDU's team extends beyond its office doors. It includes every single person who believes in its mission and comes alongside the staff to plant seeds of love, hope and encouragement. A few dollars here, donating supplies there, volunteering your time, or perhaps taking a big leap and joining a team for several days in Uganda - all of these actions are seeds planted in the hearts of Ugandan children through FoDU. Why Uganda? Why not? If not there, then somewhere. If you don't plant the seeds, you won't reap the harvest. One little speck of hope brightens the futures of these children. I know because I've seen it happen firsthand. Being in Uganda and looking into the eyes of its children this past week has opened my eyes. I've seen sadness and shame, but also joy and hope. It's amazing what children teach you when you invest in them. When you take time to look deeper into their hearts, their hopes, their dreams. If FoDU's work has made such a positive difference in such a short time, then one cannot imagine the impact it will continue to make in the months and years ahead. The youth of Uganda are a harvest waiting to happen. The more seeds planted, the bigger the harvest will be. Go ahead. Start planting. And while we may not see the full effects of our efforts and sacrifices in this lifetime, we can have peace knowing we've been a part of something bigger than ourselves.

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