What is it like to visit Otino Waa?

This summer we have had incredible visits from families, friends, and churches. Have you ever thought about visiting? Read this post and plan a trip. You are invited to see what God is doing at Otino Waa.

This post was written by Rebekah Pearson and Haley Vradenburgh. They visited Otino Waa in July 2018. 

We have been asked to put our experience at Otino Waa into words. While this is a near impossible task, we will try our best to recapture all that we have experienced in our two visits. We first visited Otino Waa with a large team in the summer of 2016. After that short visit we knew Otino Waa was a special place that we had to come back to again.

After much prayer and preparation we were finally able to return July of 2018, nearly two years later. Our first full day in Lira we traveled to Restoration Gateway, a school similar to Otino Waa. Here kids from both schools got the opportunity to participate in an American football Tournament. Jeremiah Washburn, the Offensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins, donated his time and resources to teach the kids American football and host the tournament. Throughout the day we were able to watch the kids grow in their character through leadership, sportsmanship and teamwork. Throughout the day we started developing relationships with several of the kids and we knew it would be a special week.

During the week we ate lunch with a couple of different houses. There are four different circles with about 8 houses. Each house has 8-10 kids and a “mama”. The kids always welcomed us as their visitors and had perfect manners. They would always serve us first and would help their “moms” prepare and serve lunch. We also got to sit in on some classes. Bee-keeping, carpentry, catering, commerce and agriculture are just a few of the classes offered. Otino Waa aims to prepare their kids for life outside of the village. You could tell that the teachers genuinely cared for each student and for their success and well-being. Everyone that worked at Otino Waa viewed each child as their own.

The best part of the week was getting to know different kids and moms and getting to hear their stories. These people have been through some unimaginable circumstances in their lives. They are truly resilient people. Despite the hardships they have endured they have so much love in their hearts. They prayed with us, sang praises, and were unashamed just as Romans 1:16 calls us all to be. Above it all their love for Jesus was truly inspiring and it overflowed in the love and kindness that they showed to us.

We got the opportunity to go out into the community and visit the homes a few of the students and pray with their families.  Being able to witness firsthand the work that Otino Waa does to provide the means and opportunity for at least one child in the family to receive an education and have the chance at providing a stable life for their families is truly a powerful ministry that we pray the Lord continues to bless.  We also got the chance to meet a few former students that are now either working or attending University in the fall because of the impact that Otino Waa has had in their lives.  We have been incredibly blessed by the students and staff and pray that the Lord continues His work in this ministry for years to come through the generous support from sponsors and donations in the U.S.