Joy loves a good story, and why shouldn’t she? After all, she’s living a pretty great one thanks to her generous sponsor.
Today, Joy sees her world through the lens of her camera. But 14 years ago, she got to look at life through a different lens as a member of the Children of the World International Children’s Choir.
The year she spent as a choir member changed everything for Joy — and gave her the vision and drive she needed to return home and begin to transform her community.
Growing up as the daughter of a teacher, Joy understood the importance of education. But having a teacher as a mother wasn’t necessarily a one-way ticket to success.
Joy grew up in one of Uganda’s poorest communities, and while her mother was educated, her father was not. He struggled to find work, and although her mother did the best she could, teachers in Uganda make very little money.
Joy had no hope, and no real future. Thankfully, her story didn’t end there.
In 2003, the 8-year-old girl was sponsored and given the chance to attend one of the best schools in the area. And a year later, she was chosen by the school staff as one of the few students to travel to the U.S. and join the Children of the World choir. Soon, she boarded a plane and watched as the red dirt roads of Uganda shrank from view.
For Joy and the other choir members, the tour was a unique experience. They were able to meet new people and see places and things that they never could have imagined. They polished their English and continued their education while touring the country.
But perhaps most importantly, they learned that God can use anyone to share the Gospel — even a little girl like Joy.
“My time in tour was really fascinating,” Joy shared. “It was a mind opener, and I learned how to serve God and how to really get intimate with God because they trained us how to worship. Leading many people at a young age, it makes sense right now that I know God and I am born to serve because someone out there picked me and saw the value that I could add in the kingdom of God.”
When Joy returned home to Uganda, she carried more than just the memory of a bunch of songs and dance moves, and a backpack full of mementos. She also carried a vision for where her life could go.
While on tour, the choir traveled to churches and schools around the country to share the value of child sponsorship. In between songs, they shared stories about what God is doing around the world through sponsorship and reminded people that there are children who still need help.
Joy discovered that she loved storytelling. As she settled back into school and life with her family in Uganda, she began to form a plan for how she would use her gifts and passion for storytelling to advance God’s kingdom.
Today, she has decided to pursue a career in filmmaking and has started a ministry that allows her to give back.
“Right now, I focus on advertising for people because I believe in the world there are good people, but they don’t always know how to express themselves, and their works cannot be seen,” Joy said. “So, my vision is to make sure that I target those people who make good things — hidden treasures — and are working so hard but cannot afford TV ads. I go to them and make it as affordable as it can be so that they can get their works known. And with that, I’m seeing the impact. I’m impacting the kingdom. I call it a ministry because I’m helping different kinds of organizations and people. It is my stay in the U.S. that has caused all this, and I want to give back to this community.”
Joy’s long-term goal is to impact as many people as she can through short films, movies, and advertisements. She hopes that by sharing other people’s stories, her community will be transformed.
Right now, there are many children around the world who still need sponsors. Just like Joy, these children have dreams. They want to be teachers or pilots or pastors or doctors or musicians. They want to change the world, but first they must be given a chance — a chance to escape poverty.
Joy’s sponsor gave her that gift — now you can do that for another child in need. All it takes is $35 a month to help rescue a child through sponsorship. You’ll be providing educational opportunities, nutritious food, medical care, clothes, and a safe, loving environment in which to thrive.
Joy is giving back to her community through her filmmaking, and who knows what your sponsored child will do for the kingdom of God!