i did a little light reading this summer.
& it completely wrecked me.
i picked up this book several months ago but life got busy 
 & it got returned to the library. unfinished.
then one of my good highschool buddies sent me copy
saying it had been a life changer for him.
life changer indeed.
i have never read a book like it
i actually started it months ago & trying to be all cool and a literary genius
i tried to read it simultaneously with a few others
but it grabbed my heart and attention.
i began to feel like an idiot for ‘not knowing’.
for not knowing how millions, MILLIONS, of people live.
maybe i’m just too wrapped up in my safe & cozy
white slipcovered life of luxury
consumed with trips to target and playing my hobbies.
but now i know.
i may only know a little 
but i know
i know statistics
& i now know that while i may never be a world changer,
i can certainly change the world for one person.
one person at a time.
( i read ‘kisses from katie’ too which will also blow your mind. i’ll share about that later)
i have followed compassion bloggers on various trips.
earlier this year i followed nester and her own life changing trip to tanzania.
i would lay my head down on my computer as the emotions just overwhelmed me.
i have a place in my heart for uganda.
i’ve been praying for months that somehow, someway
i’ll travel to there.
many of our artisans are there & i want to meet them
hear their stories, take their photos &hug their necks.
there’s also a special little fella there.
his name is brian…
i spent hour after hour on the compassion page
looking at the faces of so many beautiful children.
i figured we’d sponsor a girl
but as i looked only one little fella
was listed as living with his father only.
in an area with such a high percentage of HIV,
 i assumed maybe his mama had passed away.
well it was mother’s day here in the states & i thought
clearly, he’s the one we would sponsor.
meet brian, our little fella from uganda.
the day our packet of information arrived
i went to staples and printed his picture & made bookmarks for each of us 
i want us to commit to praying for him and his family every day.
a few weeks later our first handwritten note arrived from him!!!
we read about the ages of his sibling & with whom he lives.
he told us his favorite foods & what he loves to play.
and want to know another awesome thing?
now compassion has email set up
so you can email & send pictures!!!

he sent another letter last week
where the interpreter wrote that 
“brian and his family are thanking you for sponsorship and said that God should
bless you abundantly”….
bless me?
our little fella in uganda prayed that God would bless me?
how can that be?
i sat there all choked up and humbled
& tried to soak in the significance of those few words
and prayed that i will always carry the name of Jesus
& that brian will carry the name of jesus.
i prayed for his health & education
i prayed that God would reveal himself in a mighty way in the life of brian.
i prayed brian would be a leader in his community
i prayed. one more time.
that one day i’ll find a way to carry his name to uganda
& maybe 
just maybe
see the face of this beautiful child there
who prayed for me too.
August 8, 2012 - 11:52 am

Kerri - Bless your heart! You are one of the sweetest, kindest people I know. A mom to four beautiful girls, a wife, a blogger, a photographer, you keep a beautiful home, I could go on! And yet you ALWAYS put others first whether it is family, friends, bloggers or complete strangers! Thank YOU for being here for us! XOXOXO

August 8, 2012 - 1:05 pm

my2twins - This is why I love your blog. You touch my heart through your blog, and that must be one of your callings. I'm so glad you are still blogging, I always look for yours first.
One thing I have learned with families/children, is that we all go through the same struggles (albeit some worse than others) .I hope yours is short lived, there is light at the other side.

August 8, 2012 - 1:07 pm

Johnson Party of seven! - You are so inspiring, Paige! I love that you made bookmarks for your whole family! You are an amazing Momma.

August 8, 2012 - 2:28 pm - Tears in my eyes and chills all throughout my body. Such a beautiful post, Paige. You're an amazing person and I truly admire you.
I'm going to look into this. I'd love to do this and I think my son who is eight would also enjoy it.

Thank you for being you.

August 8, 2012 - 3:07 pm

Deborah - Sponsoring a child is life changing, not only for the child but especially for the sponsors. I've had my sponsor child (a little girl named Muri) for a year and a half now and believe me, it doesn't take long for them to be complete family members. I hope to make it to Ethiopia in the next year so meet mine face to face.
I look forward to hearing about your trip in the future.
Have a blessed day.

August 8, 2012 - 4:41 pm

Alecia - I have tears in my eyes. It reminds me so much of the sweet letters the children in Kenya gave me saying that very same thing. Their hearts are so big & I believe with all my heart they are praying for me. I pray, pray, PRAY you'll get to meet him one day. I was fortunate enough to meet the kiddos I'm going to sponsor in Kenya while I was there…it's a sweet sweet gift!

August 8, 2012 - 6:02 pm

Holly - oh I wish you could come on my trip to Uganda! You could have whipped out your awesome nursing skills with us! I'm hoping to go to sierra leone next year to meet my sponsored girls!!

August 8, 2012 - 7:21 pm

Colleen - I was so moved by Nester's blogs of her trip to Tanzania, we immediately sponsored an 8 year old boy through Compassion. My 11 year old son looked at many photos and chose Hamad. We have now been blessed with 2 letters from him and are so thrilled we made the decision to do this.

August 8, 2012 - 9:47 pm

janet - What a heartwarming story..It is amazing how someone can live with so little and be so rich..We are too spoiled here..A friend of mine sponsored a child for many years and eventually his sponsored son came to the states and lived with him and his wife and went to college here..He graduated two year ago..What a dream come true for them and him..Have a wonderful week..

August 9, 2012 - 12:57 pm

Michele - Awesome,Page. I find it remarkable that books have the power to change our minds, open our hearts and our eyes to the world around us and far beyond – it is why I'm hooked on the library.

If you loved Kisses for Katie I can highly recommend Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. It chronicles the true life of Dr. Paul Farmer and the amazing work he started in Haiti and is now global. Walking sometimes twenty miles to find a patient when he could have safely remained in the comfort of Harvard – you won't believe it unless you read it. We sponsor his mission.


August 12, 2012 - 1:40 am

Between You and Me - It's 9:40 on Saturday night…and I'm crying.
I love that you are sponsoring a boy…praying for him, even now.

August 13, 2012 - 2:05 am

mollie's mom - I hope you get to take your trip someday… I went to Haiti, as I mentioned in my blog, and it was an amazing experience. I can't wait to go back… and Kisses from Katie is a favorite read… I also love Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools. It is amazing what people accomplish in these little corners of the world. Marcie

August 13, 2012 - 2:27 am

Brad - Hi Paige,
Do you have any pictures of the new little print/art you purchase on your beach holiday? Would love to see it.

September 24, 2012 - 9:56 am

bookmarking submission - hV9ONa Thanks for the blog.Really thank you! Want more.

February 28, 2013 - 4:10 pm

you have empowered us~~~~ » simple thoughts from Paige Knudsen Photography - […] times the desire of my heart is to go africa, primarily uganda  and meet jalia ( and my compassion little man brian). to put my arms around her. her face, her voice , they are to me the face and voice of so […]