A Story from Jessica Koberling, ROTOM Water Tank Sponsor
Many of you may know my mom, Julie Gee who has been an integral part of ROTOM USA for many years. Our family first became involved with ROTOM 20+ years ago through our close friends from Uganda. I would like to tell you a little bit about the first ROTOM senior we sponsored who was named Ezekiel. Because we are from Cleveland, Ohio, we gave him a Cleveland Indians baseball hat. In exchange, he shared with us that he proudly wore his new hat in the letters he sent us throughout the years. It was always fun when we gathered around the dinner table and read a letter we received from Ezekiel – knowing of his big heart and closeness we began to feel for him. Unfortunately, our dear senior friend Ezekiel went to be with the Lord many years ago when I was younger, but that experience has stayed with me even as an adult.
So in 2016, I wanted to become a sponsor to my own senior in Uganda, Naris Kubihigire. We have written many letters and kept in contact ever since. In our letters he tells me about his farm crops, his house, about his family and wife Josephine, their son Sunday. During the first part of the pandemic in 2020, God laid on my heart to provide a ROTOM water tank for Naris and his family. I heard about other ROTOM seniors receiving this gift and I felt that God wanted me to make this a reality for Naris and his family as well.
As a Physician’s Assistant, it has been a privilege to go on many medical mission trips around the world. I have witnessed firsthand, what so many people outside the United States go through to get clean water. I have also seen the devastating effects of what happens when people do not have access to clean water. In light of all that happened during the Covid pandemic, and my own experiences in the field, I know the water tank was an appropriate gift for this man who had become a dear friend of mine. I deeply desire for Naris and his family to experience the benefits of access to clean water. A luxury we oftentimes don’t consider here in our country.
During Christmas time that year I gave my family a card with Naris’s picture on it with a simple note asking them to please donate toward a water tank, in lieu of giving me a Christmas gift. They were happy to indulge me, and before long, I was able to send ROTOM those funds to cover a new Water Tank for Naris. I was delighted to be able to share a beautiful letter from Naris with my family, thanking us for the gift of clean water. Even writing this now brings tears to my eyes, knowing that this simple but necessary gift, would have a huge impact in the lives of his entire family! Here’s a thankful note from Naris.
“Sometime back before I received a water tank, my family members had gone to the garden and left me alone at home. That day, I had to cook and carry the food to where they were working. Unfortunately, there was no water and I had to go and fetch the water first from the water source. On my way back home, I slipped and fell and the jerry can that was full of water broke. Fortunately, my body was not injured but I will never forget that day. I am so very grateful to have a water tank at home now.”
Thank you ROTOM for giving us this opportunity to be a blessing to each other.