Venture Stories

A Surprise Visit

I made the journey to the remote village of Mokpangumba to meet my sponsored child, Alfred, about two weeks into my summer in Sierra Leone. As I wrote in a previous post, it was an adventure I’ll never forget. Still, after returning to COTN’s ministry center, I wished I could see Alfred again. But I knew my team wasn’t planning on making the trek back to Mokpangumba before we went home.

My Sponsored Child Gave Me a Name

I sit here on the porch, smiling and praising God as I watch the African sun go down over the rolling hills in the west. The clouds shift, constantly changing from striking golds to deep purples. 

Fruit Trees Will Bless Generations of Children

It was raining in Uganda, but that didn’t dampen the girls’ plans. As soon as class was dismissed, they ran out to a patch of land where a Venture Team from Southern California was working hard.

A Surprise from My Sponsored Child

I had probably looked at those brown eyes more than a hundred times as I opened and closed my refrigerator door where his photo was clipped. Every single time, I thought about meeting Mphatso, the little boy I began sponsoring earlier this year. 

The Sound of Happy Feet in Uganda

Shoes are very important to children in Africa. Without shoes, children are exposed to dangerous parasites and sharp objects that can cause serious wounds and infections. However, in Uganda shoes are often too expensive for families to buy for their children. 

Surprised By Sponsorship

One of the biggest surprises about the Dominican Republic was how much I fell in love with the people. They are always in motion, always smiling, always joyous ... oh, and pretty loud.

Building a Future for Children in Haiti

Despite the thick, humid air, the team presses on. They want to finish building the classroom roof before it rains. 

Teachers Teaching Teachers to Teach

Kim Killinger and her fellow Venture Team members watched as the Malawian teachers opened their gifts. “The twelve teachers slowly peeked into their bags,” says Kim, “and quickly erupted into cheers, African chants, singing, dancing, clapping, high-fiving, and praising.” When Kim and her friends had filled the bags with school supplies, they had no idea just how much those supplies would mean to the Malawian teachers. Kim let tears run down her cheeks, realizing this was more than just a celebration—she’d been a part of something really special.

God Looks at the Heart

As a child in elementary school I don’t recall ever being chosen first for the daily kickball games that took place on the playground. My less-than-amazing running and kicking skills led to my demise, so it made sense why I was usually chosen last. I guess I just kept holding out hope that someday maybe someone would do the unimaginable and choose me first. 

Taking My Talents to Africa

We all have those magical moments, those keepsake memories that shape who we are. For me, one of those moments happened in preschool when my teacher poured a cup of blue water into a cup of yellow water—and suddenly there was green! Today art is what I do for a living, as a graphic designer with Children of the Nations (COTN). And this summer, that job led me to a place I never expected to go—Africa. 

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