SCSU Student Heads To Uganda To Help Children In Poverty

By: Ryan Atkins 0 Comments   9/7/2011

In the previous article, I introduced you to 19 year old Carly Mott, a second year student studying elementary education at SCSU. When Mott was 12, a desire began burning within her to go to Uganda at the age of 15 her youth group went without her as she was held back due to recovering from a sickness that had hospitalized her.

Despite having her hopes of going to Uganda dashed, Mott did not allow discouragement to consume her, she continued to move forward with what possibilities that were before her.

One of those possibilities was to donating gifts to Operation Christmas Child, which is an organization under Samaritans Purse.

“For over 40 years, Samaritan's Purse has done our utmost to follow Christ's command by going to the aid of the world's poor, sick, and suffering. We are an effective means of reaching hurting people in countries around the world with food, medicine, and other assistance in the Name of Jesus Christ. This, in turn, earns us a hearing for the Gospel, the Good News of eternal life through Jesus Christ,” stated in the Website.

Operation Christmas Child  (OPC) collects gifts and places them in shoe boxes to send around the globe, to places where many children receive few if any gifts.

Motts involvement with OPC began as an elementary aged student helping her mother pack boxes for OPC.

“When I was 5 or 6 my mom would have me pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, I would get to pick out the toys and tooth brushes,” Mott said.  

Organizing Shoe Boxes

Fast forwarding to high school, Mott, a 10th grader at the time, was asked by a friend of hers, to join the Spanish class on a trip to a processing center, which prepared the boxes to be sent to the various locations.

“That first time I ever went (to a processing center) I was in awe as I went through the boxes as I was starting to see, I was the last person to see that box before that child opened that box,”  Mott said.

“When I left I felt I left part of my heart there because it was really special to me to be part of that, and I had this feeling that ah Lord, I want to be able to go back and do it again.”

Mott moved to St. Cloud with her family, beginning her 11th grade year, attending St Cloud Christian school.

“When we moved here in 2008, I’m not really sure why, but I still had this incredible passion for Operation Christmas Child,” Mott said, ...I asked my Principal if could start OPC at my school because I really believed in the organization and loved kids. She (Principal said” ‘Carly, you have a lot of ideas but I’ll let you do this. You take control of this and you can do it but I’m not going to help you,’”

During the 2008-09 academic year an estimated 75 students attended St Cloud christian, which made Mott decide to do 100 boxes the first year. Mott then did the advertising and organization, which included speaking to the individual classes about OCC and organizing a group of 12 to go to the processing center in Minneapolis.

101 boxes were collected the first year, followed by 152 boxes the second year.  

Despite organizing her small high school to provide gifts for over 250 children during her two years of school, the desire to go to Uganda never disappeared. Every year Mott writes down a list of goals to accomplish before she dies and every year going to Uganda made the list.

Mott did not grow bitter or distrusting towards God, she continued to love God and love people, and then randomly in the spring of 2011, four years after watching members of her youth group live out her dream, her own dreams were about to be realized.

Going to Uganda

“I got a call from Trudy, who works in the Regional Office of operation Christmas Child,” Mott said, “‘Hey I remember we talked about two years ago... There’s a youth team going on a distribution to hand out the boxes and I was praying and I just thought of you... but the application is due in a week...’”

When Mott found out she was accepted and going to Uganda, the four years worth of wait erupted in her screaming and running up stairs, waking her sleeping parents.

Mott was one of 20 students aged between 16-21chosen nationally by OPC, who met in the Atlanta airport en-route to Uganda.

“We got to Uganda, and it was completely different experience, you walk in the airport and there’s guys with huge machine guns just standing everywhere,” Mott said. “We were the only airplane that was there, which is really different from Minneapolis and especially Atlanta.”

One of the memories Mott will carry with her, is seeing first hand how the effort she and others have placed in creating these shoe boxes truly makes a difference to the young recipient.

“The first distribution was really impactful for me, to see the real difference these boxes are making in the kids life,” Mott said. “One of the little girls was in an orphanage and she doesn’t have anything that really is her own. And we were able to give her a whole box of things. All she wanted was a Bible. I don’t think I’ll ever forget her.”

Delighting Yourself in the Lord

Despite, waiting for the right timing, instead of her own time frame, Mott continued to love and serve God despite having a huge disappointment when she was 15.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Mott continued to pursue God and through her willingness to help people, her dream of going to Uganda came true.

“Me being in Uganda was God showing me that He loved me,” Mott said. “And I didn’t have to do anything. I was just obeying Him, not trying or working towards anything, just really trusting Him and loving Him. And He would just show me that ‘I love you let you come here and that I adore you,’ the Lord could have showed that to me here that He loved me that much, but He chose to do it somewhere He placed on my heart and I think that has greatly impacted me as a person. ...not to say I won’t struggle with that same trying to comprehend Gods love for me, but I see it in a different way and I understand it in a more complex way and its really amazing to me and blows me away.” 

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