Donate to Streams of Mercy | Changing the lives of orphans #StreamsOfMercy | tweet bout us! See our videos page on YouTube 'like' us on facebook Streams of Mercy Blog

Ten Thousand Home, The History behind the home
The Foster Family Network began in the 1990's when 8 members of Sam Kisolo's family died of AIDS in one year, leaving 14 children orphaned. Sam's family was plunged into the world of orphans, and it deeply impacted their lives.

About 5 years ago, a friend introduced us to Sam Kisolo and the Foster Family network. I was immediately struck by his quiet strength, and his passion to help orphaned children. Many talk about the needs of orphans. Sam and Irene live to change their lives.

 Sam & Irene Kisolo Have 'Adopted' 37 Children!
"How many children do you have, Sam", I asked? "Well, we had 4 biological children and then my wife and I adopted 27 children" was his shocking reply. But that was several years ago. A few months ago, I talked to Sam, and he just 'mentioned' that he and Irene were adopting 10 more children. "Where do they come from"?, I asked. An orphanage was closing in the capital of Kampala. The children would become part of the Kisolo family, or they would go to live on the streets. That left only one option for the Kisolo's. Sam and Irene now have 41 children.

We smile when we talk about Irene Kisolo. She is very dignified, very calm, and totally in charge. You have to be with 41 children! Sam gave great insight into their philosophy of Child-raising. He said, "We don't just teach our children to work, we teach them to love work. Only by loving work, can they break the cycle of poverty".
Challenging Others To 'Do Something'.
One family is very limited in what they can do. Sam and Irene have challenged many other families to adopt orphans in their country. Many families have responded by adopting children and becoming part of the Foster Family Network. The Network also helps widows, whose husbands have died of AIDS. Those families are adopted into the network, and are called 'Satellite Families'. We met two of the Satellite Families on a trip to Uganda several years ago.

The families are two women who both lost their husbands to Aids.  The women are both HIV positive, and between them, they have 16 children.  Both were desperately poor, and living without hope, in mud huts with dirt floors. That all changed when they were adopted into the Foster Family Network. Now, the women and their children live in brick homes with concrete floors, and are lovingly cared for. The children are well educated, and have unlimited futures.
Shaking The Bones And A Celebration Of Joy
We started the day with the semi-annual celebration of the Foster Families.  What a life-changing day!!!  The families and children sang for us, worshipped, and danced their way into our hearts. There is an amazing dance in Uganda called "Shaking the Bones". It's a celebration of life and joy.  Seldom have I EVER seen anyone dance with such joy.  I honestly did try, but realized right away that my bones just don't shake that way.

The Foster Family Network cares for about 200 children and adults in 27 families.  Gratitude for Sam and his staff flooded all of our hearts when we saw these bright, articulate young people share their dreams for the future.
Medical Clinics
We arrived at the Medical clinic about an hour outside of Jinja, Uganda.  The clinic is impressive on it's own.  It's a place for the poorest of the poor to receive excellent medical care, counseling and love.  The staff REALLY care about the patient's medical conditions, but they care much more for them as people.  If I was to describe what the medical clinic staff provide most, it is dignity.  The clinic takes care of most treatable illnesses, and a new facility has recently been built for pre-natal care of expectant mothers.

Photography by Nathan Golden.