World Down Syndrome Day

It’s World Down Syndrome Day and we couldn’t let it pass without highlighting our precious girl Noel. Noel is a sassy bundle of fun, an even brighter light shining her joy in our Gem home. One of our children Noel We are so thankful she is a Gem! #NothingDownAboutIt #TheGemFoundation

Sharing Our Dreams for the Future!

As we enter this most exciting season in the history of The Gem, I thought I would share my heart, because this dream has been in the making for a really long time!

When I was just six-and-a-half-years-old God laid upon my heart a desire to become a missionary to Africa. By the time I was eight, Uganda was my focus. My parents have a video of me, on my 8th birthday, telling them that when I grew up, I was moving to Uganda to care for the orphans! I longed and prayed for the day that it would become a reality. In July of 2008, my feet touched Ugandan soil for the first time, and I knew I was home. Over the next 5 years I would travel to Uganda primarily leading mission teams with my dad, but allowing me to get better acquainted with this beautiful country I now call home.

At the same time, over the years God began to burden my heart specifically for special needs. Time after time God would place a child on my heart, and I knew I had to do something. I was confidant that He was calling me to open a home for abandoned children with special needs. A home that would specialize in caring for children with special needs. We would strive for excellence and to be the best at what we do. We would offer education, therapy, medical treatment, most importantly love and teach them about Jesus. We would show them that they were chosen, valued, and loved by God.

One day I heard God speak so clearly that I would call the ministry “The Gem Foundation.” In Uganda and many parts of the World, children born with special needs are seen as a curse, and because of that, they are often abandoned. A Gem is something that is valuable, precious and priceless and yet often it’s value is not known. For us, we want, together, to restore that value and impart to others the infinite worth of each little Gem.

Joshua and EmmaLee Quisenberry

In just one month I will have the joy of celebrating my 5th anniversary of permanently moving to Uganda and calling it my home. What a journey it has been! After living here for two years, God called my now husband, Josh, to join my side and together we’ve had the joy of caring for over 48+ children with severe special needs.

The Gem has been renting a home in Kampala, and it has served its purpose well, but its space is limited. Also, the air of Kampala makes it difficult for our tube babies and those with lung and heart issues. We knew the Gems needed a permanent home!

Knowing the need, many of you generously gave to help The Gem buy land. Now that the land has been purchased, a team of architects and engineers (EMI) came from all over the world and worked for weeks to draw up the master plan. Every night they asked us questions as they tweaked the plans to best suit our Gems many needs. We told them that we dream of the day when our Gems have clean air, a space that is fully accessible to wheelchairs and a village where there are no limitations. We long for the day where we have homes with just 12 children in each home. We don’t want to be an institution but more of a family. We dream of a medical center for our children to receive treatment. We dream of a school where there is a place for every child to go to class!

Architectural rendition of a future Gem home
Architectural rendition of a future Gem home

They heard our hearts and worked hard. The plans have been drawn up and are ready to go! But now we need your help!

Would you partner with us and make this Christmas wish a reality?

Be a part of giving our Gems a place to call home! Every gift makes an impact and helps us reach our new home.

Ways you can be a part:

Share with your church and get your church involved. Share our posts and tag friends so more people can see and partner with us to make this wish a reality! Host an event or bake sale to raise money for the homes for our Gems. Unable to give financially? That’s okay! We also need prayer partners!

Thank you for being a part of caring for our precious Gems! We couldn’t do what we do without you!

Lots of Love,

Joshua and EmmaLee Quisenberry,

The Gem Foundation and all 39 of our precious Gems:

Tony, Joram, Zeke, Pearl, Francis, Hannah, Haura, Justin, Johnie, Hamza, Mattie, Joshua, Bethany, Anita, Joey, Shafik, Zachariah, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Jesse,Isaac, Elijah,David, Elizabeth,Hudson, Moses, Jonah, Caleb, Jane, Collin, Josiah, Latif, Sandy, Shakira, Mercy, Noel, Zoe, baby Esther and baby Amos!

Jackson is Joyfully Resettled

In August of 2014 Jackson was transferred into our home. He has brought us such love and joy. We believe that caring for each treasure is a privilege wether they be reunited with their family, with our home for a short season or with us longterm. Every Gem deserves a safe, protected and loving home. Jackson came into our home as a tiny one with several mild special needs. He is gentle, kind and loves to be held and cuddled. He quickly stole our nannies’ hearts. When Jackson first came into the care of another children’s home it was because the situation with his biological mom was not good. Later on his biological mom passed away. Soon after, Jackson was transferred to The Gem Foundation to better care for his many special needs. At The Gem Foundation – we do diligent investigations into a child’s background to trace and see whether a relative may be known that would be able to care for them. We know a family is the best place for a child to grow and thrive. Sometime ago we were approched by Jackson’s biological Grandma. She inquired,along with his uncle, if she would be allowed to care for him.Jackson has grown through love, care and therapy and we were overjoyed that his family had come forward and not only accepted him with his special needs but they love Jackson, and they longed for the day he would be able to come home to them. It is with great joy and happiness we share with you that after many assessments and careful months of preperation and planning Jackson has left our home here at The Gem Foundation and been resettled with his Grandmother. He is surrounded by relatives and family who truly love and care for him. Praise Jesus for the great things He has done! There is no greater joy than seeing Jackson thrive in his family and in life! We had the incredible opportunity to travel there for his welcoming home party. It seemed as if the whole village attended the celebration! There were speeches, a bonfire, lots of delicious food and so many hugs! God has been so faithful and we are so excited to continue to watch our precious Jackson thrive. He will always be one of our Gems and although tears were shed and we miss him – we rejoice seeing him in his family where he belongs! Please know we will continue to support and be there for Jackson’s family as he grows. We share this story with you with great joy!