“Thank you for everything you have done since you came into my life. I am so grateful. May the Lord give you whatever you want in life and may He give you everlasting life. You are like a parent to me. You mean everything. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know what I would have done. Thank you so much.” ~ Dorothy, Sponsored Student of Matthew and Danielle Bass
It’s been about four years now since Matthew and his wife, Danielle, learned of the opportunity to provide a faith-based education to a child who might not otherwise know the love of God and decided to sponsor a student at Rock of Ages Community School (ROA) through Hands4Uganda (H4U). At the time Dorothy was just 9 years old. She lived with both of her parents, but like most families in the poverty-stricken village of Mbiko her parents couldn’t afford to send her or her siblings to school. As a sponsored student of ROA, she now attends school free of charge and has a chance to escape the stronghold of poverty.
Matthew had the amazing opportunity to meet Dorothy in person when a door was opened and he faithfully, though nervously, stepped through believing that God would provide. In 2019, Matthew joined a H4U men’s mission trip and headed to Uganda with no idea of what to expect or what he would be doing. Though helping with the construction phase of the new ROA school building was a large part of the mission itinerary, meeting Dorothy was the highlight.
Making the same long walk that Dorothy made each day from home to school and back again, Matthew met Dorothy, her mother and two brothers at their home. “I imagined sever poorness and visiting Dorothy’s home confirmed my thoughts and made me realize just how sheltered we are here in the US. Most of us can’t even imagine the living situation that I witnessed there,” conveyed Matthew. “But what really struck me the most, what really stood out as I surveyed the meager living quarters of Dorothy’s family was that their attitudes were not poor at all – they were sincerely full of joy, a joy that can only be found through the love and hope of Jesus,” Matthew continued.
Joy would be Matthew’s as well. When he presented Dorothy and her family with a few small gifts that he had brought from home she gave him a necklace that she had handmade in return – expressing just how appreciative she was of his sponsorship. “I was delighted when she presented the necklace to me, that moment was really special,” Matthew proclaimed.
At school, Dorothy was studying for her Primary Leaving Exam (PLE). The PLE is a test that is taken by all 7th graders in Uganda to determine if they are eligible to go on to secondary school.
Matthew informed Dorothy that when she passed her exams he would make sure that her sponsorship continued all the way through secondary school. In November, Dorothy passed the PLE in the top division and is now attending ST Joseph Namgunga Secondary School.
“I was really honored to be able to increase my sponsorship of Dorothy ensuring her continued education,” stated Matthew.
Matthew and Danielle also sponsor an 8-year old male student, Absolom. Though Matthew wasn’t able to meet Absalom’s family, he was thankful for the opportunity to meet him in person at ROA. “We may not have our own biological children but we do have kids,” Matthew affirmed. “Their names are Dorothy and Absolom and I am so grateful to have witnessed the hope that they receive through our sponsorship with Hands4uganda. It’s truly life-changing for them.”