Gem Village | One Month Later

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GEM VILLAGE

ONE MONTH LATER

Today marks one month since we moved our Gems home to Gem Village! We’ve had a very smooth transition and we are so thankful that our Gems are forever home.

 

Our Gems love spending the days strolling the sidewalks, playing in the sunshine and enjoying the village life!

The homes are spacious allowing our Gems to grow and thrive. Each of the three homes are fully wheelchair accessible.  Each room was designed with our little ones in mind including picture windows that give our Gems an opportunity to see the world around them.

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In each home we have 16 children. We are so incredibly thankful for these homes and all of the little details that make them special for our Gems. From pictures on the wall of each Gem in their home, to specialized bed signs to show them to their room, beautiful new blankets and sheets, towels and brand new clothes chosen especially for each Gem!  

 

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Before moving in our team worked tirelessly behind the scenes – cleaning, arranging furniture, and setting up the homes so that the transition would be as flawless as possible when moving 47 Gems!! Such excitement filled the air on moving day! We are so thankful for our team of videographers who captured the excitement and joy so perfectly! .

 

If you haven’t seen the video yet – then head on over to see it here:

 

 

To all of our donors, thank you again, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Love from Uganda,

Emma and Josh


Staff Spotlight: Meet Henry

We thought it would be fun to share a wee glimpse behind the scenes into some of the daily activities and therapies happening at The Gem.

Did you realize that we have over 60+ staff who work around the clock in shifts to care for our most precious Gems? 

One of our incredible staff is Henry. Henry has cerebral palsy and has overcome great struggles because of God’s amazing love coupled with Henry’s mom believing Henry could do anything! Henry diligently studied, devoting long hours to his education and eventually graduated from university with a tech degree! He uses his talents to teach our Gem’s lessons on learning how to type and further their communication skills. 

Throughout the week our Gems take lessons from Henry. He is a patient, kind, encouraging teacher. Bethany has been working especially hard in her typing lessons and she is now able to type and can even write full sentences and stories! How cool is that?

We are so proud of Bethany for her diligence in studying with Henry and that together with our staff’s dedicated love and support our Gems know that their future is incredibly bright!


Helping the Community Around Us

We want to thank everyone who gave to help us prepare for COVID-19. Uganda remains in total lockdown with all the borders closed and very strict guidelines. But because of your generosity it brings great comfort to know our Gems immediate needs have been provided for through your gifts! We are praising God for his protection over our Gems during this difficult season. During this lockdown not one of our Gems have fallen sick! This is truly a miracle, all glory to God!

   

Throughout Uganda, many families of children with special needs are struggling to put food on the table. With many families out of work due to the restrictions in place and the ban on public and private transport, all non-essential businesses have been closed! The result? Many families are going without food. We literally are seeing the need for vulnerable families of children with special needs going hungry and no idea where their next meal will come from.

   

We feel that we must act and do something! Let’s feed 100 families for the week of lockdown!
$20 = 1 week of food for a family of 4.

   

GEM SPECIAL NEEDS COMMUNITY OUTREACH

There are families like our precious Noah (see picture above) who was reunited with his mom this past summer need daily food. Also, remember our beautiful Leila who is thriving with her family. Our mission always has been to care of the disabled and help families with disabled children. Now is the time to act in our community. Would you consider joining us to help make sure children with special needs are not going hungry in our surrounding community? We are partnering with our friends at Special Children’s Trust to work together to accomplish this task.

$20 will provide food for a family of four for one week. We understand that things are hard for many of you, whether that’s job loss, cut hours, etc. so please don’t feel any guilt if you can’t give this time around! 🙂

We would love to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this season of uncertainty. Our goal is to raise $2,000 to provide food for 100 families for a week! Would you help us? Get involved today by giving to our community fund here:

Please share this post with friends and family and help see vulnerable children with special needs celebrated and cared for in their communities! We will keep you updated on our Facebook page! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for valuing children with special needs and stepping up to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this season!


COVID – 19 PREPAREDNESS UPDATE

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your messages of concern and for praying for our precious Gems with Josh and me. Each message was such a comfort to our souls – we are encouraged knowing you are “with us”.

March 21st the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Uganda. Open-air markets have been closed and most have gone into a rush to stock up on supplies. As of March 22nd at midnight the airport in Entebbe was officially closed to all flights coming or going and all borders are sealed.

Two weeks ago, while watching the events unfold around the world we began preparing, with extra caution, to finalize our Emergency Plan for the safety of our Gems. Because of our Gem’s special needs and the reality that many of our Gems have weakened immune systems causing them to be medically fragile, we are very cautious and want to be sure we do everything possible to protect them. Our Emergency Plan consists of nannies and other staff members volunteering to quarantine with the Gems. Did I mention how much we love and adore our dedicated staff?!? Many have volunteered to be quarantined with them should it come to that.

We believe it is wise to have 3 months of medications and other items for all the various medical needs. We have already filled our oxygen cylinders in the event of an emergency and we have been working to stock the Gem’s bulk food. We want to be as ready as possible should the government call for a full lockdown. Due to the circumstances, we do have some financial needs to cover putting the Emergency Plan in place for our Gems medical needs as well as stored food. Would you be willing to give to help us protect our Gems?   Above all else, please know we are praying for you – that God’s arms will comfort and protect you and give you peace. If there is a need that we can be praying for you specifically about, please reach out to us so that we can, together with our team on the ground, be praying for you.
The 3 month supply of medications and food will cost $10,000. Will you help us?

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge .”

– Psalm 91:2-4a.

Love from Uganda, Emma and Josh


No Caffeine Week?!

Join us February 24th for something special! We’re giving up caffeine for a week and taking the money you would’ve spent and donating it to The Gem Foundation!

There is one simple rule: if you break down and drink caffeine, you double what you paid by donating another gift (voluntarily, of course).

Sign up here


Leila One Year Later

Do you remember our precious Leila? It has now been just over a year since she came home to us in January of 2019, having been a victim of severe malnutrition and neglect. Her eyes held so much heartache.

Because of our generous donors, Leila was able to receive emergency medical care, intense therapy, and excellent nutrition. Within just a few months Leila was a completely different person as she experienced the unconditional love of Christ through Gem nurses, staff and nannies. It was amazing to see Leila’s transformation throughout her healing journey. Before long Leila began to smile, dance and praise Jesus! And what a thrill when this past fall Leila was reunited with her biological mom!

We continue to follow up and check on her and we were very excited to have her come and be a part of Night to Shine. She arrived with her Mom in her fanciest dress. If you were to look back just one year ago and see how far Leila has come it is truly astounding. God has been so faithful in bringing healing and redemption to our precious Leila!

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Tears filled my eyes as I watched her being crowned Prom Queen. God is so faithful friends, even when all hope looked lost for Leila He alone brought healing and now our sweet girl is truly a living story of redemption.

It is because of you, our generous donors, we are able to provide a safe place of hope and healing for Gems just like Leila. From all of us on behalf of our precious Gems, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Love from Uganda,

Emma Quisenberry

Director at The Gem Foundation


Leila’s Story

Leila when she arrived

Leila joined our home in January 2019 after being severely malnourished and a victim of extreme neglect. She was sick, withdrawn, and scared.

Her empty eyes held so much heartache as they bore into each person she met

Yet because of our generous donors, Leila was able to receive emergency medical care, intense therapy and excellent nutrition. Leila was able to heal as she learned how much we love her, and how much Christ loves her.

Where is Leila now?


Little by little, Leila began to blossom! Leila began to talk, walk, and the best part of all – she started to smile! She has become the life of our home with her chatting, dancing, and praising Jesus! It has been such a beautiful story of redemption and transformation right before our eyes!

After more counseling, therapy and support Leila was able to say goodbye to our Gem family as she was reunited with her biological mama! God is so good, and we are so excited to see her accepted and loved not only by her family but the entire community around her!

Think about it, at the beginning of the year, Leila looked hopeless but today she has an entirely different story! Leila is healthy, talking, joyful, loved and adored and reunited with her family! Although we will miss having Leila in our home, we are so excited about the future for Leila!

We have 45 other children, just like Leila that we care for — and are taking in new children all the time. Want to see more children like Leila healed and cared for?

Give now!
Leila after being at the gem foundation

The Gem Village | March Update

Today we are thrilled to share with you an update and video on the progress of Gem Village changing what was once just a vision to a reality… all because of YOU! The construction crews made up of a team of 45 have been digging by hand the foundation, laying the foundation brick upon brick, pouring the concrete floors and finally the walls have begun to rise up from the Ugandan soil!

The video is specifically of the walls of the Medical Center going up but we will place the Medical Center on hold until the additional funds are raised for the clinic. Don’t let the building stop here! We have a matching grant to get us closer to our goal.

Watch the video below to experience the thrill of seeing the walls of the medical clinic begin to rise out of the African soil. Each brick, every wall and all the concrete floors will declare God’s love for the Gems! We are beyond thankful for all you have sacrificed to make this vision a reality.



Financial update
  • Matching Grant: We are excited to announce that we have received a very generous offer of a $60,000 matching grant from a Foundation in California. If you’ve been thinking about making a donation for Gem Village now would be a great time to make it and to double your money! This will allow us to get closer to finishing the medical clinic.
  • Phase 1a cost: $739,000 includes 3 homes and the Medical Clinic
  • Phase 1a raised: $519,000
  • Phase 1a needed: $220,000


The matching grant will get us much closer to completing the Medical Clinic. If you know of anyone who may be able to help: your church, small group, friend, coworker – please share away. Together with God – all things are possible!

Please celebrate with us all that God is accomplishing through ordinary people in creating the Gem’s forever homes. Thank again for loving, giving and praying for our precious Gems!


Donate to The Gem Village


God Bless you All, – Dwight & Linny and Joshua & EmmaLee

The Gem Village Progress

We are so excited to share our latest update from The Gem Village. The construction team and engineers have been hard at work and we are beginning to see progress! Foundations have been dug and the concrete slab is being poured! It fills our hearts with incredible joy to see this dream and vision becoming a reality! Thank you precious friends for your generosity that is making this village a reality for our precious Gems! #thegemfoundation #thegemvillage Foundation for a home Donate to The Gem Village

Meet Our Supervisor Ritah

Today we are highlighting our amazing supervisor Ritah! Ritah oversees unit 2 of our team of staff! She is part of our administration team and works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that our home and children are cared for with excellence! We are so thankful for Ritah and the role she has behind the scenes to make our home run smoothly! #meetgemstaff Our Supervisor Ritah