Amy surrounded by children in Moyo.

Amy surrounded by children in Moyo.

MOYO, Uganda – Amy Compston’s first five days in Africa have been busy and full of blessings. There have been way too many to count.

The Amy behind the Amy For Africa movement has been overwhelmed with the welcoming attitude and kindness of the people in the Moyo district and surrounding area. She is learning first hand at what has been happening through United Christian Expedition since 2010 and through AFA since last May.

“These people love the UCE and anybody associated with it,” she said. “We are making a difference in this Moyo area. It’s been amazing, awesome, incredible … I don’t have the words. My heart breaks from the poverty of the region but these people are working to make life better. They are trying to help themselves.”

UCE and Amy For Africa have been the bridge to making life better. The fifth Penne Paris School will be starting in September. It’s only through the generosity of God’s people that any of this can happen, Compston said. There were only two Penne Paris Schools before AFA was started.

“God has been with these organizations and is using them to make a difference in lives,” she said. “These precious, precious children just want to reach out and touch you. They are so loving and sweet. Every day has been a blessing.”

It has been no vacation for Amy but more a fact-finding mission where she can catch the vision of what needs to be done. While much has already been accomplished, so much more is left to be done, she said.

A typical day on her first trip to Uganda has been to wake up at 5:30 a.m. and run (of course). It’s much safer to run in the daylight because of the road’s bumpy terrain. Her day continues non-stop, much of it riding in a car, as they have visited the four Penne Paris Schools. They return to the compound before dark.

She has been able to share her testimony and it resonates with the African people like it does here. Amy tells them through a translator she was a drunkard and how God rescued her from that life.

“They know what a drunkard is and they have the same problem there,” she said. “I didn’t know how my testimony would be received here but it’s been amazing. The people understand and have reacted to it.”

Compston is used to her testimony getting reaction in the United States after speaking at more than 40 churches and other venues in the last 15 months. During that time the AFA organization has raised more than $75,000, which has energized the UCE in Moyo. Forty-two medical clinics have supplies, one hospital – the only one in the area – has supplies and teachers at the Penne Paris Schools have had salaries paid for 2014. She visited the Moyo Babies Home, an orphanage, and met the nuns that AFA has helped support.

Much of that has come about because of the Amy For Africa mission and the generous hearts of those who have listened and reacted to how God has stirred their hearts.

“I wondered how well the teachers could teach these students here,” she said. “What I’ve found is they are excellent teachers. Children who are 3 and 4 years old are learning to read and write and read and write well. You see them teaching these children and see how receptive the children are to learning and you just praise God. These are loving people here and, with the help of UCE and AFA, they’ve been given hope, given a chance. We’re not trying to change their culture, we’re trying to make life better for them.”

Wherever Amy has gone in Moyo, she has been greeted with song and excitement. They introduce her as Amy For Africa world-class athlete before she speaks. The children run up to her, wanting a touch from this friend from the United States. She has been more than willing to hug as many as she can.

While Compston has always had a heart for missions in Africa and what the UCE is doing there, it is bigger than ever now. She has five more days on her trip and is taking in as much as possible.

“I’m overwhelmed every day,” she said. “I can’t even describe the feeling. I want people to know they are making a difference and to keep supporting Amy For Africa and UCE. These people love Floyd Paris (president of UCE) and Gabriel and all those who have helped them.

“We don’t understand how blessed we are in the United States until we visit a place like Moyo. I love these people so much and want to help them in any way I can. To God be the glory.”

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