Joey Haywood, a 3rd grade teacher in Lake Geneva, WI, graduated from grad school in Dec. 2007. With the raise he got from
earning his Master’s degree, he decided to start sponsoring our 10 “Kasana Kids” in January of 2008. It is amazing how quickly the love grows from simply praying for and writing letters to them. Before leaving on our trip (which involved 2 weeks in Kenya, a trip out to Musana Camps, a visit with UCF in Kampala, and 2 weeks at Kasana), people would ask our son, Jonas (age 8), what he was most looking forward to about going to Africa. Without fail, he would answer “playing football with Zephaniah and Isa” (the 2 younger NHU boys we sponsor).
Ironically it was football (soccer) that stopped us from meeting them the first time we tried coming to Africa (the 2010 World Cup spiked the airfare and we couldn’t afford to buy plane tickets for our family of 4). We were overwhelmed with gratitude when God graciously allowed us to come this past summer (2011) and finally meet each of the amazing children we had grown to love over the past 3 1/2 years! What joy it was to hear their voices, hold their hand, hug them, laugh with them, worship with them, pray with them, eat with them, and play with them!
It was truly a dream come true! Now that we better know their personalities and have gotten to know them on a much deeper level, our letters and prayers will be so much more personal! The 10 days went way too quickly and was simply not enough time with our kids; we are already planning when we can come back for the whole summer. As heart-wrenching as the good-byes were, we know it was really a “see you later”….
About the author:
Joey & Anissa Haywood currently reside in Lake Geneva, WI (they are from Indiana originally and have lived in Oregon & Alaska previously). They attend Andrea Spark’s (Musana Camps) home church. They celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary (June 2011) with a 5 week mission trip to Africa (2 weeks in Kenya, 3 in Uganda) along with their children: Alea (10) and Jonas (8). Joey is a 3rd grade public school teacher and Anissa is a Sign Language interpreter in the community (prior to having children, she was a Deaf Ed. teacher). They enjoy traveling (via road trips in their little car and tent camping) around the U.S. to see God’s amazing creation. They are a very mission-minded family, striving to raise globally-minded children and making intentional lifestyle choices so they can use the abundance God has given them in the U.S. to bless those less fortunate in 3rd world countries. They can’t wait to return to Africa to revisit the children they sponsor in Uganda and Kenya!