Trace Jackson serves as Secretary of the VOH Board. She has served on the board since 2017. She and her husband Jon first visited VOH in 2010 and have been 8 more times since then.
How did you intially connect with VOH?
We went on a mission trip through our church. I began praying for those children during our prep meetings. I was simply going to fly there to put faces to the names I had already fall in love with. I knew before I ever even left American soil, on that first trip, that I’d be back. Turns out I was right :).
Why do you choose to serve through VOH?
Look – Jon and I never had kids. Not because we couldn’t…it’s just the way life worked out. But I felt, I don’t know…broken, for not followed “the trend” of 2.5 kids. I never wanted any of my own and I thought that means something was wrong with me. But it wasn’t until after I’d been to Uganda multiple times that God let me in on a little secret: He designed me that way! He knew we could never traverse across the country a couple of times a year the way we had if we’d been parents. Except I AM a parent. In a way. These kids…they get under your skin. You fall in love. In a rest-of-your-life kind of way. So that’s why I serve. The kids. They are my heart’s pursuit.
Tell us about one experience at VOH that is special to you.
Being there in person, for sure. But sponsoring a few of them has turned into one of the most intimate, sweet, fulfilling experiences of my life. I dreamed about the kids I would sponsor, like it was God’s way of saying, “I choose this one for you.” When you write to them and hear back from them, when you pray for them constantly, and then occasionally get to see them in person, it’s like you’re glued. You’re united in a supernatural, amazing way that only God can do! My answer? Sponsoring children.
How have you seen God at work in VOH?
How have I not? I’ve seen children who were so devastated and robotic, just “surviving”, come alive again. Become kids again. Learn to be pillars of their community! Only God can transform lives like that.
How have you used your past experiences/skills/talents to benefit VOH?
I prayed and prayed about how I could help these kids. Especially the girls. I have a heart for the girls. “How can I help them become successful Ugandan women?” was my heart’s prayer. In the middle of one of those crying-out-to-God moments, I said, “knitting. I can teach them to knot.” I said it before I even thought it! It was a total God revelation. And it’s proven so over and over, as I continue to take donated yarn and knit/crochet supplies over and teach the communities how to make things for their families or to sell.
Anything else you’d like to share?
If you ever wanted to grow closer to God, or find out what His purpose in life for you is, go on a mission trip. God to Uganda. Meet the children at VOH. You cannot leave without having a higher purpose in life, a respect for all his children and creation, and a desire to pursue God all the more.