When we began asking the Lord for the exact location of where he would want us to call The Gem Village home we prayed for wisdom and clarity! Our Staff, Board members, and friends around the world prayed with us as we searched all across Uganda.
The moment we first saw the picturesque land with its gorgeous, lush green fields, papyrus trees and pine trees (my personal favorite) we just knew that we knew! Instantly it was so easy to picture our Gems rolling in their wheelchairs, running and playing all across the land. I could almost hear their laughter and we knew that we knew this was where God was calling us!
Now please meet precious Pauline. She is a friendly little 10-year-old girl who lives with her family in the neighborhood near The Gem Village.
Because of Pauline’s special needs she has been unable to attend school. One of her needs makes it difficult for her to see. We are so excited that soon Pauline will be part of our community program! In our Gem community program families will be able to receive therapy and training to better equip and care for their little ones, like Pauline, with special needs.
We are so excited about the future of The Gem Village Medical Center, Clinic and Therapy Department! Would you help us minister to our community?
On behalf of Pauline and village children just like her – thank you! Your generosity will transform lives!
Hey Sweet Friends,
We’ve been reliving these special moments from The Groundbreaking ceremony over and over again. We are so thankful for our sweet friends who gave of their time to document our special day!
With it being the rainy season I was nervous for the day and the possibility of mud with the wheelchairs. We prayed together and God held the rain off until the afternoon! It was sunny blue skies and excitement was in the air. From the moment The Gems and Staff arrived you could hear the bus turn off from the main road with shouts of joy from our Gems! The Gem Village will be home for our kids and a place of complete wheelchair accessibility – a home and village with no limits. What that means for our Gems fills me with such excitement and joy and boy did they know this day was about them!
It was a joyful celebration as we held a ceremony with our Gems, Staff, Board members, Government officials – including the Mayor of our area and Town clerk. We also had partners and friends attend this special day! We wanted the ceremony to celebrate what God has done as well as dedicate the land to the future of The Gem Village. We asked our dear Pastor’s from Watoto Church as well as some of our closest Pastor friends to pray over the land.
We prayed, we sang and we even danced. Some gave speeches and shared the vision for The Village. In our Village and surrounding area, there are already six known families of children with special needs. God knew and I can’t help but know that He chose us to move there “for such a time as this”! We are so excited to be a part of sharing the value of every person adult and child alike!
We wanted to thank you again for your generosity in giving towards the Gem Village! On behalf of our Gems, thank you, thank you, thank you! We couldn’t have done this without you and we are so thankful for your love, prayers, and support!
Lots of Love from Uganda, – EmmaLee & Joshua Quisenberry and the whole IVO and Gem team
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We are so excited that this long-awaited week is finally here! For several years you have prayed with us and stood with us as we searched for land to call, our forever home.
Finally, after diligently searching for years – the Gem land was found! A beautiful piece of 88.8 acres with fertile soil, beautiful trees, and open spaces just longing to be called home. We were overjoyed when you gave generously to make this land a reality! In April of 2017, we officially purchased the Gem Village land and dreamed of the day building would begin.
In September of 2017, we hosted a team from Engineering Ministries International a team of engineers and architects from around the world. This wonderful team included those from Iran, America, Canada, Australia, Ethiopia, and Uganda. Each day they heard our hearts, dreamed with us and eventually developed the master plan for The Gem Village. In just a little over a week with the team, the first building designs were finished as well as a master plan. Our dream of a fully accessible village for our Gems was becoming a reality!
Then Christmas season came around and so many of you gave above and beyond and the funds to build not one but four homes!! You guys blew our socks right off!
In Spring of 2018 began the detailed designs of the Gem’s homes. This would allow us to have blueprints and officially get the ball rolling towards building!
The Engineers and architects have worked tirelessly, and the dream placed on our hearts from God is about to come into fruition and we couldn’t be more excited! This past week we hosted a team of contractors who will be making bids on the actual building, which EMI will oversee. The proposals have all been submitted and now begins the time where we review the bids and get to choose a contractor that will make this village a reality for our Gems!
This Thursday, October 11th, 2018 is the official groundbreaking ceremony! We are overjoyed and so humbled that this long journey has led us here. We couldn’t have come this far without prayer and each of you! Thank you for praying for us, supporting this vision and walking this long road with us. We are so thankful for you! We truly wouldn’t have come this far if it wasn’t for you. On behalf of our precious Gems thank you, thank you, thank you!
Lots of Love from Uganda,
– EmmaLee & Joshua Quisenberry and the whole IVO and Gem team
This past month has been full! We had a wonderful month of July with our Anniversary party as we celebrated four years of Gems! It was a beautiful time as we rejoiced in God’s faithfulness of all that he has done in our ministry.
We also had the incredible opportunity to march to raise awareness for special needs along with many other participating organizations. We were able to close one of the busiest roads in Kampala to raise awareness and share with others the infinite value of every person with special needs! Special thanks to the Special Children’s Trust for all their hard work and advocacy!
Bethany is passionate about sharing that every person has value!
Some of our staff and Gems marching to change the stigma one step at a time.
Collins was all smiles while we marched.
We were so honored to host on our anniversary celebration a member of Uganda’s Cabinet The Minister of Youth and Children Affairs of Uganda Nakawala Florance.
This past month we had several Gems who celebrated their birthdays! We celebrated our Jesse who turned 10 years old, Justin who turned 7 years old, and Jackson who turned 6 years old.
Josiah with nanny Grace
We had a birthday party with cake, gifts and lots of music! Special thanks to Jesse’s sponsor who sent money for his birthday gift. Jesse felt so loved because of you!
Jesse with his nanny Susan
Provision and favor as the blueprints are approved by the government and we are granted building permits – We wait and trust that God’s timing is perfect but we are anxious to break ground for building in September.
Wisdom for our board of Directors as our Engineering Manager meets with potential contractors to secure one for the build. We are praying for someone with a tender heart for special needs to help make this vision a reality.
Healing for Joey as he overcomes his sickness and protein deficiencythathe has struggled with.
A new reliable van for our ministry – provision and plenty of space for wheelchairs. We have some money set aside but with taxes and the increase in the currency, we do not yet have enough to buy a van. We trust that God will meet all of our needs!
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.
We are so thankful she is a Gem! #NothingDownAboutIt #TheGemFoundation
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!