Celebrating A Life Fully Lived, The Life of Rick Murrill

This past week the Cherish family lost one of our founders, Rick Murrill. Rick battled cancer with the same tenacity that he lived life and unfortunately for us, He is now with our Lord.

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Rick has invested an untold numbers of hours into the people and ministry of Cherish Uganda through praying, working, counseling, strategizing and planning. The numbers of people, generations really, whose lives are changed and different due to Rick’s leadership and influence is immeasurable. He never sought any glory or credit, but put in his all in order to allow Cherish to truly impact Uganda for the Kingdom of God.

The village of Cherish was first named Akaloosa village, meaning a sweet and pleasing fragrance. There was a Muafu tree on the land at Cherish that gave off a sweet and pleasing fragrance. This tree was tall, strong and could be seen from all over the peninsula. Through some unfortunate circumstances this tree died. Despite the fact that this tree is not present anymore, Cherish continues to bring the sweet and pleasing fragrance of Jesus to all who come in contact with us. Rick was an instrumental part of the dream and genesis of that fragrance.

As a symbol of the sweet and pleasing legacy that Rick has left, and the picture of spiritual strength that he was, we are planting a new Muafu tree in the exact location of the old one. It will stand as a testament to who Rick was as a man of God, a leader, a visionary and a friend. It too will put out a sweet and pleasing fragrance that is very similar to who Rick was as a person. This new tree will truly stand as a memorial to the life and impact of Rick Murrill.

-Brent Phillips

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Rick Murrill and his legacy has and is still being celebrated all over the world, at Hunter Christian Church in Australia, at CGI churches in the UK, in the US at Newsong Church, and through tree planting in Uganda. The next celebration will take place at Skylark Church on April 30th in Chelmsford. We are honored that, even during this time, the Murrill family is living a life beyond themselves, and asked for donations to Cherish rather than flowers at his memorial services. Our prayers and thoughts are with Bev and the Murrill family during this time as they come together to celebrate a life fully lived.

Frankie, a Great Big Brother

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Frankie arrived to live at Cherish Homes in July 2013. In almost 4 years, we have been blessed watching Frankie grow from a young boy into a wonderful big brother. 

This 12-year-old aspires to be a doctor in order to help fix people, but for now, you can find him operating on bicycles around our Cherish Homes. 

An older Cherish boy, named Topher, was like a big brother to Frankie. Topher taught him how to ride, and repair, bikes.

Last year, Topher moved on from Cherish Homes to attend vocational school, so Frankie is now filling Topher's shoes, caring for the other Cherish kids. His eyes light up when he explains how he has fixed other childrens' bikes, and he beams with joy when showing off his big, blue bicycle. 

As he rides away from his house, down the bumpy hill to the road, his house mom shouts from behind “MPOLA MPOLA BAMBI!” meaning “SLOW DOWN, slow down, please!"

In the afternoon, you can find Frankie patiently trying to teach the younger children how to ride.

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It's not only during play hours that you will find Frankie being a great big brother.

Our Homes staff loves to share one of Frankie's recent shining moments, when a boy in Frankie's home was adopted by a family from America. The adoptive parents came to have dinner with the boys' home and pick up their new son this past January.

You can only imagine the emotions filling up the room; the adoptive family yearning to embrace their new child, and the house mother and boys feeling a bittersweet excitement as they say goodbye to their friend.

Rejoice with those who rejoice
— Romans 12:15a

Dinner was over and the boys lined up. Frankie courageously stepped forward to set the tone of saying goodbye, speaking on behalf of his younger Cherish borthers. 

Tears swelled up in everyone's eyes as he spoke directly to the American family. 

He encouraged them in their choice to display God's love through adoption. With graceful language, he thanked God for providing a family for the boy and he wished the family well, promising to pray for them. 

Frankie and a few of his Cherish brothers

Frankie and a few of his Cherish brothers

Some of our Cherish children have spent years in our homes, some are able to be reunited with family once their health stabilizes, and a few of our kids' stories end in adoption. 

Like Topher, Frankie too will eventually move on from our Cherish Homes, but thanks to our supporters, children like Frankie are able to find a loving sense of family at our Cherish Homes. 

Thanks for supporting Cherish Uganda so that these kids can have a caring mom to remind them to "slow down," friends to teach them how to ride a bike, and big brothers to inspire them. 

 

Help give kids a chance to call Cherish 'home' by sponsoring a child. Learn more about our sponsorship program, The Six Three Exchange, here or sign up to sponsor a child below! 

The name in this story was changed to protect his identity


Cherish Homes consist of 7 family-style homes (3 boys homes and 4 girls homes) where children living with HIV live. Cherish Uganda helps rehabilitate these children for typically 2+ years, before the child is resettled back into communities with extended families. Learn More

Year Two: Awakening the Legacy at CHS

Secondary school boys moving into the boys' dormitory 

Secondary school boys moving into the boys' dormitory 

Year Two: Awakening the Legacy at CHS

CHS students gather for morning snack on the first day of school

CHS students gather for morning snack on the first day of school

We are now into our second year of Cherish High. We've grown from 16 students to 42! They have come from all over Uganda and we have 10 dedicated teachers who are excited to be a part of this pioneering school.

The dynamic is different than last years', it feels like starting over from the beginning as each child adds flavor and challenge. Each young and unique person ready to learn, but with their own set of footprints already taken in life. Each story with familiar accents of joy, sadness, abandonment, hope. Then comes the unraveling of emotions , the awakening of acceptance, the understanding of boundaries.

The shaping has begun and new stories are being written in hearts and minds. Our motto at CHS is 'Awaken the Legacy'  and we are praying that hope and embracing of a promising future is awakened in them. 

Written by Larissa Rwakasiisi

Senior 3 students taking the classroom outside

Senior 3 students taking the classroom outside