A Home and a Bed: Oscar's Story

02/23/12

War broke up Oscar's family.  Born in the middle of a rebel war that destabilized northern Uganda for over two decades, Oscar was abandoned by his mother at only two years old.  His father was a soldier and couldn't care for him, so he brought Oscar to live with his grandmother.  Oscar never saw his father again.

For the next four years, Oscar barely survived under the care of his elderly grandmother, who couldn't provide for his basic needs.  When Children of the Nations (COTN) established its full-care Children's Village for orphans in the war-devastated region of Lira, local leaders identified Oscar as a good candidate to come live there.

Today, nine-year-old Oscar is in second grade at the COTN school, just down the road from a circle of brick homes with blue metal roofs that Oscar and his fifty-seven "brothers" and "sisters" call home.  Oscar lives in one of the homes with twelve other boys, and his house mother, Sarah.  Oscar's favorite activity in the home is making his bed.  Before coming to the Children's Village, Oscar didn't sleep on a bed, and having clean sheets and a warm blanket is a luxury for most children in his region.  Oscar makes his bed each morning with pride.

Oscar says he likes his teachers at school, and he enjoys learning.  He hopes to become a doctor one day.  "I want to help the sick," he says. He also enjoys playing soccer with his friends.  "I like the social life here at the Children's Home," he explains.  Oscar's house mother and other COTN staff have been teaching him about Jesus, and Oscar shyly shares, "I have learned how to worship God."

Oscar's life truly looks different today than it did before he came to COTN.  His sponsors have made this new life possible.  Oscar has always been grateful for his sponsors, and has prayed for them daily.  Last year, he actually got to meet one of them.  Jennifer Lance of Oklahoma City signed up to sponsor a child after her first Venture trip to Uganda in 2010.  In the summer of 2011, Jennifer returned to Uganda, anxious to officially meet her sponsored child.  At first, they had a little trouble connecting, as Oscar is very quiet and shy.   But he immediately knew Jennifer was the reason he went to school, ate every day, and had a bed to sleep in, so he trusted her.  "Each day he would bring me his work from school to show me," says Jennifer, explaining how Oscar warmed up gradually.  "He took me to the well to see him pump water to do his laundry.  He sat by me and colored with chalk.  He sang songs with me."  Jennifer soon discovered that her shy sponsored boy was full of surprises.  "He showed me how he can walk on his hands," she exclaims. "He really can!"

By her last night, Oscar and Jennifer had formed a strong bond.  "On the last night in the village they had a big farewell ceremony for our team," Jennifer recounts.  "There was music and singing, and dancing.  Oscar found me in the crowd.  He grabbed both of my hands and danced with me the entire evening.  I looked around.  I made a memory … holding Oscar’s hands.  He knows I am his sponsor.  He was happy to dance with me.  Getting to dance with your sponsored child in Africa: priceless!"  

You can change the life of a child like Oscar.  Sponsor a child today!