Friday, April 6, 2012

HODASSU: Jeremy Byrnes

Last year, Jeremy Byrnes traveled with Fount of Mercy and worked with one of our Ugandan organizations, HODASSU, working with the blind and deaf. Below is a bit from him about his experience.

"Wow, I can't believe it's actually already been over a year since the trip to Uganda. Not a day has passed where I haven't seen pictures or thought about the people and the kids there. It was most definitely the most amazing trip of my life.

While I was serving with Fount of Mercy, my job was to teach sports to the blind and deaf. Sounds like a challenge to most, but to me... it was an experience of a lifetime! It was the most fun thing I have ever done! My job was teaching sports, but in the end, I became a student and really got to learn so much about these kids and the struggles they face every day. I came away from the trip with a much better understanding of what goes on in Africa for those that are blind and deaf.

At first, I struggled with how teaching sports was going to help these kids in their lives, as compared to the education and vocational training our team was also providing. But, the day I taught kickball was one I will never forget. Teaching the blind and deaf to play kickball is no easy task, but the kids were just as excited as I was to play. They had so much fun and with just a simple game they were able to master, they found reason to keep moving forward and to know that no matter what is before them, they can accomplish anything.

I am so blessed to have been able to go to Uganda and meet such amazing kids and people who work with them. I am so ready to go back and when I am able to get the time to go back I would love to go. My perspective was greatly changed, not only on how I saw the world, but on how I saw my own life. Probably my favorite memory was playing with Zane and just earning his trust and playing soccer with him, or running around with all the kids, or twirling them up over my head, or even the relays, and soccer and football. It was so much fun! I hope and pray that all of the kids that I was able to meet are doing well.

Jeremy E. Byrnes

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