rebelling against low expectations

Kristiana Puckett, Age 18: Building an Orphanage in Uganda


(Decatur Daily) – On her first trip in April to a remote Ugandan village, Kristiana Puckett, 18, walked in front of her car as it motored along footpaths and helped push bat-filled bushes out of the way.

practicing what she preaches

Then she strolled behind the car, joining her mother, Nicole Puckett, two native women, her friend, Susan Acen, and her mother, while a man named Moses drove.

The duties this time weren’t as dull as they neared the end of their seven-hour ride. They handed out Smarties candy to a group of trailing children.

But emotions stirred in Kristiana Puckett as she came face to face with the reason she wanted to be there: to help poverty-stricken orphans Acen had told her about.

Later in the village of Onyerai, where an estimated 400 orphans reside, she met a boy named William, who wandered from house to house asking for food.

“That was the way he lived,” Puckett, of Decatur, said. “After William, I met more orphans, then I spoke with relatives who are caring for some of the children. They told me their stories, and I was broken. I knew I couldn’t go home and pretend I didn’t know about the need.”

J.D. Thorne, pastor of Point Mallard Baptist Church, where the family has been a member since September, praises Kristiana Puckett and others like her.

“She’s one of those young people who not only wants to talk about her faith but also wants to put it into practice,” he said. “She’s part of a younger generation who wants to see the gospel impact the world.”

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • Orphanages are NOT the answer. support activities that keep children in communities not orphanages… and the orphanage named is not even licensed with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development according to the rules in the Approved Home Regulations. Also, let’s stop stigmatising children by using labels such as orphan, which is not only offensive in an African context but also is usually inaccurate. From the baseline study 2012 it was found that very few children who have lost both parents are in orphanages in Uganda. Fantastic that Kristiana is so passionate about children at risk but supporting orphanages is not the way forward.

  • God bless you… He’s using you. 🙂 I helped in the building of an orphanage in the Asian/Indian countries. I got to meet those kids, and, I’m not over exaggerating, they all became MY kids! I loved them, and now the only thing I want to do is help them out and bless them… all in the Lord’s timing and will. 🙂 🙂 🙂

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →