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 She was sick, withdrawn, and scared.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?
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.
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!
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
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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
Have you met Mattie yet? If not, please allow me to introduce you two!
When Mattie first came to The Gem Foundation he was rushed to a hospital in eastern Uganada which specializes in brain surgery. He was operated on and although it was tough for him, it was successful and he pulled through like a champ! Cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus can’t keep him down.
As of today, Mattie loves life. He loves to smile, play with his toys and you can usually find him laughing a lot. His whole being is filled with tenderhearted joy that oozes out of him. We love you Mattie and are so thankful you’re a part of our Gem family!
PS: We chose the name Mattie (or Matthias) is because it means gift from God and that’s exactly what we think he is.
We are so excited to share with you the progress of the construction going on at Gem village! The construction team has been hard at work and the foundations have been dug, mapped out and are being prepared for bricks and cement to be poured!
We are rejoicing that so very soon our precious Gems will have a place to call their forever home! All thanks to our generous friends and supporters who have given to make this vision and dream a reality of a place to call our forever home.
From the bottom of our hearts and all 44 of our precious Gems, thank you, thank you, thank you! We couldn’t do what we do without you!
Love from Uganda,
EmmaLee and Joshua Quisenberry and all of our precious Gems and team at IVO
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