Changing the Way We See Poverty—in Africa and at Home


After playing hard, young Monica fell asleep in Steffanie Heringer’s lap. COTN’s Uganda staff told Steffanie that Monica felt safe in her arms. This was the first time Steffanie met Monica, the girl she and her husband, Dan, had been sponsoring through Children of the Nations.

Dan’s first trip to Uganda was in 2007. “During that trip,” he says, “Africa got into my blood. I loved the people, the culture, and their faith.” The Heringers later became involved in COTN Venture trips through their church, Real Life in Valencia, Calif. Real Life Church has supported COTN for several years, including sending out multiple Venture teams.


Dan and Steffanie love visiting their sponsored children in Uganda. Through their involvement with COTN, Dan and Steffanie say they view people in need (in the US and abroad) through a different, more positive lens.


Through Venture trips, the Heringers have been able to meet their sponsored children, Daniel and Monica. Dan notes, “What’s been really great is being able to see them grow year over year. Monica was four when we started sponsoring her. She lives in the full-care homes, so we’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with her. Daniel lives with his grandmother about one-fourth mile from the school. We’ve gotten to meet his grandmother and their family that lives with them. Last time we were there, Daniel got to show us his new hut. He built it himself, and he was very proud to show it off.”


Dan has been taking yearly Venture trips since 2009 and has been leading trips since 2014. He says that because of being involved with COTN, “I have found that I view those in need differently both here and abroad. These kids are in the positions they are through no fault of their own and want to get to a better place; they need love and support and a path to get there.”


Dan adds, “I’ve gotten to where I look at others in need here at home with the same frame of mind. No matter how they’ve gotten to where they are, they deserve to have access to love and support and a path to get to a better place. James 1:27 says, ‘True and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune. . . .’ Through our involvement with COTN, I feel I am looking at all in need (physically and spiritually) through this lens more than I have in the past.”

Discover how your own Venture could transform you (or even your church)!