i’m not going to tell you another sob story

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. director of family ministry at st. edward's episcopal church. president of fistbump media, llc.

January 6, 2014

Ugandan Girls | World Help

The blogosphere doesn’t need another “fly in the eye” story about how bad it is for orphaned children in third-world countries. I don’t know about you, but these stories just beat me down, leaving me with a bad case of compassion fatigue.

And honestly, when I pack my bags and go on mission trips like the one I’m about to leave on, it’s not the doom-and-gloom that fires me up and keeps me going back for more. You’d consider me a glutton for punishment if I were to merely immerse myself in the tragedy of extreme poverty for a week or two at a time.

I don’t like to be sad.

It’s a tricky balance though. Hope can’t exist unless there’s some state or condition from which people need to be redeemed. So it’s not that the ugliness of the world doesn’t exist. And I can’t ignore it completely. In fact, my (and your) personal testimony is powerful because of the muck that we’ve come out of.

But it’s when we get to the part about the redemption which comes from God moving in our lives that makes my soul shout, “PRAISE GOD!” The junk before it only shows us how far God can reach, and there’s nothing out of His reach!

So when I get on that plane next week, and make my way to Uganda and Rwanda, I go fully knowing the tragedy we’ll encounter. And it will be extreme.

We’ll meet and make art with children who were left abandoned in the slums of Kampala.

We’ll hangout out with people affected directly by Joseph Kony’s LRA and his child soldiers.

We’ll hug nd pray with survivors of the Rwandan Genocide.

And we’ll meet the people who have dedicated their lives to sowing hope and life into these people.

When I get there, I don’t want to tell you about how you should feel sorry for any of them. Instead, I want to look into the eyes of children who have been rescued from tragedy, and tell you their stories. I want to tell you about the dreams they have. The dreams that wouldn’t be possible without the sacrifice of others. I want to tell you about the things they do that make me laugh and make my soul sing.

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As I go, you have this promise from me. I’m going to be fully awake and focused on the people we’ll meet. I want you to meet them too, and know them. I promise to use the best words and images I can to bring you close. I want you to connect to their stories of hope and redemption.

To me, this is what it means to connect to the Gospel of Christ. When we connect with the stories of what He is doing trough each of us, then we grow closer to Him. It’s what fellowship is all about. Better yet… I love the Greek word, koinonia.

Koinonia is about communion, joint participation, and a state of fellowship and unity within the Christian Church.

I’m praying for koinonia for our team with them, for our team with you, and for you with them. 

I pray you’ll join us. We have three ways you can link arms with us on this journey.

  1. Follow the trip online. Keep up with everything our team is doing. We’ll be writing every day we’re there. And I promise, you won’t want to miss a single post.
  2. Join the World Help Bloggers. If you blog, then sign up to get more access to the stories and resources from World Help so that you can tell your readers about this important work being done around the world.
  3. Help us build more rescue homes. Fundraising for phase 1 of the project is already about 50% complete! Make a donation of any amount, or buy some cool items online to help us expand the projects that bring so much hope.

And please pray. Pray that God uses our team to bring more glory to Him for the amazing work He’s doing in so many people’s lives. Pray that we can reach our goals for getting the rescue homes completed.



  1. Emily Wierenga

    YES! As you’ll read in my post tomorrow, this is exactly what God has been putting on my heart too Dan!

    • Dan King

      aww, yeah! you rock, em! and i can’t wait until we get on our connecting plan together headed for kampala! God is stirring some amazing stuff up for this trip! it’s exciting to be a part of it with you!

  2. Michele-Lyn

    “And we’ll meet the people who have dedicated their lives to sowing hope and life into these people.”

    Hope and redemption…
    “Choose life…”
    “I’ve come to give life and life more abundant…”
    “You know death, but I know life. I am the Resurrection and the Life…”

    This is the Good News. This is Gospel. This is Jesus…

    You did so well, here, Dan. It’s a real honor to be a part of this with you. Love your heart, focus, passion, and compassion!

    • Dan King

      Thank you, Michele. Can you believe we’re doing this? Just wow. And amen.

  3. Joanna Sormunen

    May God Bless You during your mission trip and keep you safe! I pray that your stay will also be a blessing to everyone you meet there.

    • Dan King

      Thank you Joanna! I SO appreciate the prayers, and I hope to be a blessing to the people there too! I pray you’ll follow and enjoy the stories from our team!

  4. Melinda Todd

    Very cool! I will be praying for your whole team! It’s not easy to look into those haunted eyes but I’m so thankful for the folks who live there, side-by-side doing the work of helping to heal broken hearts. Looking forward to all of the upcoming posts when you all return.

    • Dan King

      Oh Melinda… when we return? We’ll be writing and sharing every day that we’re there… while everything is fresh! This is going to be exciting, and I can’t wait to hear what you think about each of the stories from everyone on our team!

      • Melinda Todd

        That’s awesome! I so badly wished we had some internet access while there so I could capture things in the moment. But being unplugged completely was pretty awesome too. I did journal the old fashioned way. We experienced new life and death while there. If your are at all interested, here is that particular story: http://melindatodd.com/when-haiti-breaks-your-heart-part-one I’m now a blogger for World Help too 🙂 Excited about that!


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i’m not going to tell you another sob story

by Dan King time to read: 4 min