Why Today Was Spectacular in an Ordinary Way


Even though I’m the older sister I always make my little sister do things first. She started a blog first, she wrote a book (three books) first, she went on a Compassion trip first. She tests the water because she’s brave and then if it’s fine, I’ll follow along. It’s been that way for a long time. My little sister is the leader.  If she’s Andy, I’m Barney Fife.

We are here together because even Shaun Groves knows that there is no other way on this earth that either one of us would ride anymore micro planes without the other. It’s day four on this Compassion blogger trip and that means we are all feeling crazy and forgetting how to spell our names. Today was just a normal day in Uganda. Nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary happened and all I have to show for it are these average, everyday photos…

Compassion Bloggers Uganda 2014 - Day Four

We went to Rose’s house and she greeted us wearing a white wedding dress. Her son Joseph is in the Compassion program. He’s 11 and she hopes he becomes a lawyer, naturally.

Compassion Bloggers Uganda 2014 - Day Four

I’m sure everyone who lives in the slums of Kampala takes the time to put clean white doilies on their furniture.

Compassion Bloggers Uganda 2014 - Day Four

We read a few letters from Joseph’s sponsor. Letters from 2011, letters from 2013–Joseph keeps his letters, even in a one room house.

Especially in a one room house.

His sponsor, Rachel lives in the United Kingdom and sent photos of fireworks and Christmas lights and told an 11 year old boy she had never met how happy she was to sponsor him and how proud she was of him for doing good in school. Nothing spectacular about that.


I gave Joseph a baggie full of 10 different bracelets that one of my boys made. I told him he could keep a few and give some to his friends. Fifteen minutes later Joseph had given away all the bracelets but one. He even gave away the baggie I brought them in.

Two hours after that I noticed that the one bracelet that Joseph had kept, was on Papa Wess’s arm. They sat together on the bus. No explanation needed. Nothing spectacular about a little boy who has close to nothing living in a one room house giving all his little gifts away. No big deal.

Compassion Bloggers Uganda 2014 - Day Four

Too bad they couldn’t speak the same language. Clearly there was no connection whatsoever.

Compassion Bloggers Uganda 2014 - Day Four

My favorite photo from the day. It’s a shame it’s so typical. Even Mike, the photographer commented how he’s so tired of photographing 6’2″ Uganda women wearing wedding dresses stirring pork and beans in the kitchen of a police academy. It’s so overdone.

Compassion Bloggers Uganda 2014 - Day Four

Every child in the center has a folder full of health records, school records, home visits, staff notes, and questionarres filled out by the staff and child. They invited us to look at everything and ask any questions. Wess speaks up and says “If you lack integrity, you’ve got nothing”.

That’s not remarkable at all.

Compassion Bloggers Uganda 2014 - Day Four

I’m so glad I got to spend a regular, uneventful, non-spectacular day in Uganda with my sister.

belongs to such as these

Compassion is simply following through with the remarkably obvious responsibility to protect and care for the children of the world.

You can make a significant difference in the life of a child today by partnering with a responsible charity that values integrity.

There’s never a perfect time. Grab the whole family and have fun deciding which child’s world is about to change for the better. Will you sponsor a child today?


Since Emily and I visited the same home today, she’s sharing a little more about Joseph and his mom and what we need when we are uncertain

Compassion Bloggers Uganda 2014 - Day Four


There is SO much more to read about today:

Shaun’s latest post–with video: A Message From Pastor Amon to You (hint, he’s 13!!)

Keep up with the latest posts from the delightful Joy the Baker here. I love her so much.

Jeff’s perspective is always thoughtful, and he is surprisingly funny in real life, read his posts here.

And the darling, Brianne is posting daily at the Compassion blog.

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  1. Yup, there’s nothing ordinary to saying yes to what God calls us to do or share. You’re doing a great job Nester, and we can’t wait for you to come home safely and rest. XO

  2. the most beautiful, ordinary day ever. the picture of Rose & Papa Wess? oh my word.
    love you friend!

  3. I absolutely adore this post … It opens the door and lets us into the remarkable, extraordinary “thing” God is doing there. In that place. In their home. In their space. Thank you for doing what you do. And for taking us along. Xoxo, Dianne

  4. everyday, after you post, i exhale with you. i know it’s so exhausting, but you have no idea how your art is changing us. love you to pieces. thank you for saying yes. and making me cry every single day this week.
    sleep well, my friend.
    here’s to ordinary days.
    may we cherish them every one.

  5. Oh, I want to have a heart as generous as Joseph’s. Love that y’all are there and sharing your experiences with us!!

  6. God takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. Thank you for this post.

    I sponsored a little girl in Uganda today. I’ve been sponsoring for 19 years, but have never had a child from Uganda. Now I do.

  7. Guess what? We’re going to sponsor a child! I just talked to my husband about it last night. I’ve been feeling like our family needs a ministry project, and I think this would be just as good for our kids as for the one we sponsor. Thank you for all of your posts. Praying for a safe trip home.

  8. And I’ll never forget that beautiful woman stirring the pot while in a wedding dress.

  9. I’ve been following along on your and Emily’s journey, and I promised myself that I won’t cry. Because I am a crying baby and if I let myself, I’ll be crying at every single post. But this one, made me cry. No wonder Joseph is a kind, giving boy. He has a mother who wears a very special dress to greet her guests (important stuff). This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  10. i love how you do what you do.
    i love how you tell the stories. profoundly. sweetly. and with humor.

  11. Beautiful.

  12. Ordinary or extraordinary? I think the latter. Thank you for going and sharing the extraordinary things the Lord is doing across the ocean.

  13. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find words to form after your posts. I want you to know how you are telling these precious and rare and raw stories with honor and grace. Both of you.

    I’ve been praying for y’all something fierce today!

  14. Beautiful. Oh, how I long to have an ordinary day like this. :) I hope to one day meet the child I’ve sponsored. Thank you all so much for sharing this journey.

  15. Just Beautiful. I don’t know whose lives have been changed the most through Compassion International, mine and my family’s, or the precious one we sponsor, our sweet Margrate’s. If anyone is on the fence as to whether or not they should sponsor a child, I strongly encourage you to GO FOR IT!!! Your life will never be the same and it will be the BEST $38.00 you spend every month. Compassion= to suffer with. I urge you to share in the sufferings of children in need just as Christ has done for us. Together with CI, we can all make a difference! Praying for you, Emily and the others on this trip. God Bless!

  16. I love the picture of the lady cooking in the wedding dress.

  17. so beautiful. and simple. beautifully simple. thanks for sharing your words and lovely pictures.

  18. Steve Jones says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for the heart you have spilled all over this blog this week and I am sure all over the children of Uganda. What a gift. Blessings to you!

  19. Yes!! so beautiful friend. Thank You! xo,keely

  20. Carol Hamilton says:

    Hi Myquillyn! I was surprised and happy to see you on this site. I wish I had known you were going to Uganda…I have a sweet child there that I would have asked you to find and give a hug for me…she truly is special. Her name is Kiai Margret and she attends the Compassion program at St. Stephen’s Kumi Child Development Center. I went to Uganda several years ago and many people that I met there were very joyful and loved Jesus with their lives in spite of some tremendous challenges. So glad you are there to speak for us and tell our sisters and brothers there that they are loved!

  21. We picked William. I knew when I read yours and Emily’s first posts that this was going to happen. I made my husband read the posts as I stood in the doorway all teary-eyed. He didn’t even pause. He just said, “Okay. Let’s do it.” So my 10-year-old son chose 9-year-old William after looking through page after page of kids. He said he just “felt a connection” with him.

    We’re excited. : )

    • Scooper, your comment is making me choke up. This is incredible. I traveled with Myquillyn to Tanzania about 2 years ago (with Compassion) and I can proudly tell you — your sponsorship is breathing LIFE into sweet 9-year-old William and his family. Thank you so much for saying yes to sponsorship. xoxo

    • no words. thank you Marian. xoxo

  22. Oh my, this made my laugh and cry. Of course!! — “6’2″ Uganda women wearing wedding dresses stirring pork and beans in the kitchen of a police academy. It’s so overdone.”
    What an amazing journey you are on with your sister! Thank you for serving for those precious children!

  23. It was that wedding dress comment that put me over the top. Thank you for your beautiful writing.

  24. Anonymous says:

    You have done an outstanding job this week. I have loved every post. Praise God for you and for your obedience. I sponsored my second child, Sheila! I love her already!

  25. So beautiful, doing God´s work is the best thing ever, we also travel doing missions, loved your site. Blessings!

  26. 3 cheers for this beautiful, ordinary day, and 3 cheers for all the ways God is working through your glorious words, Myquillyn. Endlessly thankful for you. xo

  27. I never never save blog posts. Read and delete. I saved this one because it is encouraging and inspiring and mostly just makes you feel good about people. It also makes you forget the mundane and trivial parts of life and embrace the important stuff. Bless you for posting and for being where you are.

  28. My eyes burn with tears and all I can say, over and over, is “Lord, put my hands to work for Your Kingdom.”

  29. Your blogs this week have let God speak to me and stand firm in my heart that when my children are older, what YOU are doing is what I am supposed to be doing down the road. I cannot wait to take my PASSION for Compassion’s Children–visit them and love them in person, bring that love back to the USA and change the privileged here to impact the world for God’s Kingdom! Thank you for impacting so many with your powerful writing this week.

  30. Michelle R. says:

    Wow. Words escape me…. Thanks for what you wrote.

  31. Angie Davis says:

    WOW.. Just WOW!! I think I’ll go write my sponsor kids now.. Blessings..

  32. SPECTACULAR post, Nester – thank you, thank you. You and your sister have outdone yourselves on this trip. Every single post has hit it out of the park. Such talent. Such commitment. Truly lovely.

  33. It’s been so great reading all of the posts from everyone on the Uganda Bloggers Trip! I love seeing all of the different perspectives and how they each relate to each ones unique blog and personality! I will be going on a trip in May to visit my sponsored child in Peru and I am so excited! Thanks so much for sharing with us all and letting us to see parts of your heart.

  34. I love this post so much. Between seeing this woman stirring beans in her wedding gown and Joseph giving away all his gifts; well, there are no words. I just shared on your sister’s blog that I’ve been so moved by the posts this week by each of you who went on this trip. I asked my husband what he thought about sponsoring and he agreed without hesitation. But, oh my goodness, it was so hard to choose. But we did and she is a precious 12yo girl named Katusabe Hellen. She lives with her parents and 8 siblings. I can’t wait to write to her! Thank you for inviting us to be a part of Compassion.

  35. Spectacular photos – spectacular day. The photo of the lovely women in the wedding dress stirring the pot, oh, be still my soul. And the little boy giving his gifts – sigh, that we would be so willing…

  36. “It’s so overdone.” Just made me laugh. Thanks for that. And thanks for going to Uganda, you and your dear sister. You are both amazing in your oh-so-ordinary kind of way.

  37. Ugandan woman cooking in a wedding dress, my mind is seared. Thank you for showing us Uganda.

  38. Especially love every picture, thanks for sharing. So want to meet the child we sponsor.

  39. Beautiful! Thank you.

  40. I absolutely adore the photo of Joseph smiling at Papa Wess!! Priceless!

  41. Dear Nester,

    I usually don’t comment on blog posts I read (especially not in English :) but today I just HAVE to say thank you for all these wonderful articles about your time in Uganda. I don’t consider myself a very religious person, however I’ve always been looking for a trustworthy charity organization I could support. After reading your blog posts this week I’m convinced that Compassion is exactly what I’ve been looking for. You can’t imagine how happy I was when I found out that there is a German branch of Compassion! So I sat down, read what felt like every single word on their homepage – and decided to sponsor the cutest little girl you can imagine. Her name is Percy, she is 4 years old and lives in Kabweri, Uganda. I can’t wait to send my first letter! Thanks again for helping me to become part of her life!

    Hugs from Germany (hope you are safely home again)!

  42. She wore a white wedding dress. Oh, Father, that we would show such love and honor to one another, that we would serve others as serving you. This post wrecked me. Thank you for sharing the beauty of a (not so) ordinary day.

  43. I love seeing you and your sister together! There is no better best friend than someone who has known you your whole life! Thank you for sharing your adventure. An extraordinary adventure!

  44. I. LOVE. THIS. xo

  45. Thank you so much for sharing these priceless pictures of God’s love and grace. They say so much and thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  46. Warmly recommend watching “God Loves Uganda.”

  47. I’ve been following your update posts, and have been so moved by your words and the stories you’ve shared of your time in Uganda. Today, due in large part to what you’ve shared, my 5 year old son and I picked a 3 year old boy named Nashon to sponsor from Uganda. Thank you for bringing awareness to such an awesome organization and cause. I’m so excited to see how our family is blessed by sponsoring this adorable little boy.

  48. You are an inspiration! I have read your posts, through tears, all week. I have talked to my husband about Compassion every night, but wanted to wait and select a child together. Tonight we picked Elinah, in Uganda. Thank you for sharing your story and giving me this opportunity. We would not be sponsoring a child if I hadn’t read your posts. You have made a difference in our lives and Elinah’s. Praying for your safe return. I can’t wait to write to her :)

  49. I haven’t had a working computer…finally got a new one and here I am to see what’s going on. My eyes are leaking reading this. I will have to go back and read about your adventure from the beginning. How many women would dress in a white wedding dress and adorn chairs with white doilies for guests? And how many children in the U.S. would give away all their treasures to others? This is such a heartwarming read! Thank you so much for sharing and God bless all of you.


  50. Thank you so much for sharing your trip and especially this post. We have sponsored a Compassion kid for several years. His name is Darwin and he is the cutest {not-so-little anymore} guy ever. I often think my letters to him sound so “lame” and wonder if he really cares if he gets them. You have just given me a glimpse of what the reality of my letters mean to him. I can’t thank you enough for that.

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