Sunday, November 15, 2015

Kid's of all Ages

I usually send out a blog about this time every month, but right now, with the rains and lack of power
in Mpumudde, it has been difficult for normal communication.  They are telling us that most of the power must be reserved for businesses and factories.  Homes like ours are now regulated outside the city of Jinja so we had been praying hard for a solution.  Last week our prayers were answered by the Timothy Outreach International Society.  They so generously donated an Inverter system that will suffice both compounds when our power is turned off.  We thank TOIS so much for all that you have done for us throughout the years.

The International Committee for the Rotary in Tsawwassen has decided to pay the entire shipping cost of one 40' container going to Uganda.  What a blessing this is for us as we won't have to worry about the same experiences as last time when we lost so much.  We have been allocated 1/3 of this container to get the things needed for the kids and our ministry.  Thank's to all the Rotarians involved for helping us make this dream come true.

I also want to thank the hundred's of kids that are helping us around Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. I spoke to the British Columbia Student Leadership Conference last month and from that, many of these students went out and created their own fundraisers within their own school.  I would like to thank the many schools that have made it their mission to help us at our Home of Angels.

Meet Annet, our latest and our 20th child.  Annet will be our last child  until 2016 to let the kids adjust to each other and to the routine of their new exciting life.

This is a day I won't be forgetting!  Save on Foods had a fundraiser with the firefighters barbecuing  outside.  We sold out of banana bread as usual but when I wanted to leave, they wouldn't let me.  They brought me into a room and presented me with a rose and the money they had raised from the barbecue taped around the vase.  It's days like this that humble me into tears. the way, I wasn't the only one.  I love you guys so much for helping us make a home for kids that have nothing.

McMath Secondary school in Richmond is having a Zumba concert on November 25, 2015.
They are baking banana bread as a fundraiser for this event, and once again....Save on Foods
has helped them with the ingredients to increase their profit.  Thank you so much SOF for your huge heart for the impoverished and sick, not only in our country, but around the world.


They baked almost 100 banana breads at school for their fundraiser.
I am so proud of our kids in Canada.

The kids wanted to make their own sign to thank Northview church for their new girls home.  They made it themselves with photocopy paper and wrote the words "Thank you Northview church for supporting the Home of Angels.....Bless you".

It's the boys job to take care of the goats each day.  They wanted to show everyone they have a total of six new kids now and soon all the children will have their own.

It read......
"Thank you to the Ames Family Foundation for supporting our Home of Angels. Blessings to you all".  It was important to them to do this themselves.  They all wanted to be a part of this but 2 of the younger kids have malaria and stayed inside.

I'd like you to meet my friend Betty.  She saw that someone had donated little cars for the boys so she started making little black baby dolls for the girls.  I also want to thank all the other people who knitted both toques and dolls for the children.   You are all amazing and we are so grateful.

Thank you M.E.I. High school for hosting another Mom/Daughter sewing event.  These two beautiful girls made twin pillow case dresses with the help of their Mom.  There were a total of 40 dresses made that afternoon. Thanks to Christina and Kim for dedicating so much time and effort into their pillow case ministry.

I started this blog with only a few pictures due to problems with power in Uganda.  At the last moment, Edwin got some through so we are both happy to be able to share the updates both in Canada and in Uganda.

There are so many people to acknowledge.  We truly want you to know how grateful Edwin, the children and I are for everything you do for us.

God bless you all

Monday, October 12, 2015

Eyes of Love

I went to my friends school the other day to speak to the 1st and 2nd graders in her class and while there, I got some great tips on how to teach English to our kids in Uganda.   I also had the privilege to speak to the "Me to We" kids who represent the leadership team in Miller Park Community school.  They wanted to know how a 69 year old grandma could make her dreams come true because they, at ages 9 and 10 also have a dream to help others in and outside their community.  They are presently raising money to help the families whose co-op apartment recently burned down on October 7th.  I am so proud of our kids here in Canada as so many want to make a difference.  Another example of eyes of love.

We wanted to also let you know that presently in Jinja, the power situation is not good.  They have been turning off the electricity to residents during the day to conserve it for businesses and factories.
Edwin has tried his best to send updated pictures but for now we don't have as many.  I can tell you that we will soon house 20 children.  We are looking into the circumstances of a 3 year old little girl that comes from a nearby island. We have been blessed with help from Dr. John Paul who specializes in Kwashiorkor and Marasmus (malnourishment) and his wife Maurine, a social worker that works with lost children.  She has found this child for us and is now in the process of making sure there are no relatives to take care of her.

Stella, our newest arrival is also 3 years old.  We actually find it difficult to really know their true ages, as time doesn't seem to be a factor when the children are born.  She was living in the care of her ailing and homeless grandmother, but in the state she was in, she found it difficult to feed her.  She asked us to help raise little Stella as there were no other relatives.  But because she is so ill, we felt it in our hearts to help this elderly woman too.  We asked our dear friend Mutesi if she would help as she had 2 rooms in her hut.  The answer was yes and grandma was taken there the same day by Edwin.  We want to thank Marlaina for always helping the elderly and for providing food for both these ladies.  God has blessed us with a wonderful team of people who truly care.

Meet our new little Stella.

You may have seen Mutesi before.  Her son Nathan died a few years ago from AIDS at age 7.
Mutesi found it in her heart to help Stella's grandma and also an orphan she found sick and homeless.

God's Little Angel's Ministry is still hard at work.  They wanted to take a mattress, mosquito net and wash tubs over for grandma.  She came with only the dress on her back.  They also delivered the food that Marlaina so kindly purchased.

Plaque on our new latrine

Try and explain this saying to a Ugandan

It is our dream to have a fundraiser one day.
Both these beautifully hand-made rocking horses
were made by Sim.  Thank you so much for
your continuous love and caring towards us.

Our tomato fields are overflowing.  Moses, Sam and Ivan's duties are to pick them when the aunties request them for dinner.  And yes....Sam, being a typical boy,  had an accident and hurt his forehead by falling off the top bunk...lesson learned.

My very favourite picture.  If your wondering what the quilts around their waists are for, its because they are learning traditional dancing for the guests we will hopefully be having in the future.  
Shhhhh..... I wasn't supposed to tell.

On Sundays, when the kids have some free time, you can hear singing in our compound.  They are learning to be a choir for the Jesus videos being shown to our community.  It ceases to amaze me how so many kids never argue, share everything and consider....what's mine is yours.

I also want to share a video showing all the kids learning the words to "Here I am to Worship" for
their new choir.

We are currently designing a website for our Home of Angels.  Because so many wonderful people are wanting to learn more about us, we needed to provide this site.  The blog will be linked into it so I will always have the opportunity of updating you with current information.

God Bless

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Hope Within

For the few years that I've been a Christian, my life has been a roller coaster.  Someone recently said to me "Stop looking outside of yourself for the strength to carry on and start looking to Jesus...He will carry you through" and that is exactly what has happened.  He has carried me through.  He lives in me and without Him, I could never make this all work from my side of the world.  Edwin feels the same way and relies solely on His strength too.  Just wanted to share that.

Lets go to Uganda.  The amazing things that are happening in our Home of Angels are more than words can express.  We have 7 new little ones since January and one more to come before 2016.  The latest being a 2 year old little girl named Stella.  It works perfectly.  Because we have developed a home and a family, the older kids take it upon themselves to help the little ones which allows the aunties to do their duties also.  They all work as a team and from what I saw this past month, it is an amazing home full of love.  I can't wait to go back in December and really excited that we may have the opportunity of hosting a team from my church for a few days while I am there.

In the meantime we have lots of work to do.  Between working on a website and speaking everywhere from schools to shopping centres, like is busy.  The 700 Club in the United States showed our story when I was in Uganda (link below) which brought many of our US friends into our journey.

Can you imagine being almost 70 years old and having all this to look forward too?  Exciting......

"John's John" is almost finished.  All we need is a paint job and the marble plaque installed to thank the Ames Family Foundation for their donation to build it.

Meet our new kids Lovisa, Eva, Sam, Maureen, Ivan, Bridget and Yasin.  The only one missing is our newest child, Stella.  I promised them to thank you Northview for the Bibles you gave them, so a big "Thanks" from Uganda.

This is our newest little one....Stella.  She is 2 years old and has no other relatives other than a 75 year old very sick grandma.  They both have been homeless and Stella needs to have a home where she is cared for and not on the streets.  Grandma was so grateful she would have a home now as she can't physically look after her anymore.

Aunty Joy receiving the kid's milk for the day.

Lunch time.....Mariam is handing out hard boiled eggs to the little ones with aunty Joy serving the
lunch at the same time.

This trip to Uganda was short but very "fruitful".  I met a man on the plane from Vancouver that lives also in Kampala and owns Amfri Organic Farms, the biggest organic farms in Uganda.  He visited us with his team and later took Edwin and I to see one of his operations outside Kampala.  It was absolutely amazing to see over 1000 acres full of every fruit and spice available for the markets around the world.  The car was filled with fruits for the kids when Edwin arrived home and the children were so grateful.  Thank you Nazim.

Every morning there are chores to do.  Maureen, Bridget and Lovisa are now best friends and do it together always laughing and singing.

It's hard to believe that these two beauties were just recently little girls struggling to smile.
They may be the oldest but without them, I can't imagine. They teach the new little ones how
to work and assist the aunties whenever they are needed.

This is Doctor John Paul, a specialist in malnutrition.  We have been blessed to know him as he
has helped Edwin so many times with our own children needing medical treatment.  Our little Ivan with Kwashiorkor has suffered so much in his little life.  Doctor John Paul comes to our Home of Angels to help him and finds us Plumpy Nut to feed him for his strength.  We are so blessed to have people in our lives that we have both in Canada and in Uganda and will never take it for granted.

The staff, guards and children came together the other night to prepare a big dinner with the Jesus video to be shown after.  Over 100 adults came which was out of the normal.  Usually many children would arrive but not this time.  Food was served, a prayer was said by a guest to say thanks and also for the opportunity to see a real Jesus video in their language.  Three hours later, everyone went home happy.  For those who wanted Bibles, we were able to give them one thanks to a wonderful donor in Canada.

The following is the link to the 700 Club.  This video was made by my church when we were in the early stages of building.

Thank you once again for all your donations, prayers and encouragement.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Slow Boat to Uganda

This past trip was a very difficult one.  Our plane set off to Dubai but had to return due to technical problems.  Long story short, our delay was 33 hours in Seattle as parts had to be flown in for repair.   The good of it was I met some amazing people and the bad of it was listening to their anger.  In any event, we made it and I was welcomed by Edwin, Dolly and Nadine at Entebbe airport.  The drive to Jinja took 5 hours because of an accident on the highway, but all was made good when I arrived.  Since no one knew I was coming, I laid on the back seat floor as we drove in.  I made it without being seen.  I opened the door and all of a sudden I couldn't get out, as everyone flew down the driveway yelling my name.  I will never forget that scene.  I met 6 new children and fell in love with every one of them instantly.  We are now at 18 children.

The pictures below will give you a good idea of the projects currently being worked on and the love and happiness within our Home of Angels.

It was so good to come back to my second home and see these beautiful faces I missed so much.
The struggle getting here was immediately forgotten.

Meeting the new kids while the others sang a welcome home song.

Eva is 10 years old and was responsible for finding food for her little brother Sam and her older sister that is physically challenged.   All her other family has passed away.  Sam is also living with us but the older sister wanted to live with the local leader in their village.  Eva struggled to be the adult of the family but it was too difficult for her.  We are so happy to have them both at our Home of Angels.

Little Ivan is now living with us.  His mom tried to poison his father and since disappeared.  Edwin found him in a mud house staying by himself and we decided to bring him into a home as there were no other relatives. 

Meet Hadeja, a 6 year old child from a northern village who doesn't speak English or Luganda.  She is adjusting well and learning quickly.  At the time she arrived, her name was Hadeja but she recently informed us that she has now changed to a Christian name....Lovisa.  This was a decision made by herself which is pretty amazing at her young age.

We now have 18 children living at our Home of Angels.  We had a meeting with the kids and the aunties to decide on 2 more children.  It was the consensus that we bring in 2 more little boys between the ages of 6 and 7 years.  We will stop at 20 children until early 2016 and let them all adjust into the family.

Finally....a picture of the 78 goats in Malindi village.  We had not been able to drive to this village as the roads are impassible from the rains.  We hired a man to go on a 3 hour boat trip across Lake Victoria with a camera to take pictures for us, but I can only show you one of many.  The female goats are now starting to produce kids and we expect 100 by January.

"God's Little Angels Ministry" were excited to pass out mosquito nets again.  These nets were donated by Lynda and Marlene in Canada.  We went to a village within our community that was familiar to our children.  Over the years they had watched their friends die of malaria and seen the devastation of bed bugs.  They were so thrilled to be able to help them now.

Thanks to Northview church, Edwin has finally been blessed with an office.  A place where business can be done privately.  This office is within the 2nd children's home that will eventually house 30 kids.

Thanks to a wonderful group of people in Canada for funding our new septic latrine.  The men physically did everything by hand to build this and I realized how easy we have it in our country
with machinery.  They have little equipment but do an excellent job.  This latrine will be named after a gentleman named "John" so we have ordered a marble rock with "John's John" to be placed outside.

The passion fruit are on their second season.  When the rains come again, we will have many to feed the kids.  This time, tomatoes and kale were planted beneath which will help the white blood cells in our HIV/AIDS children.

I have been here for 3 weeks and it feels like 2 days.  The work load is heavy but our staff are all doing extra work to help Edwin.  We have been so blessed by these people...they have been with us for 5 years and never let us down.  They focus on doing only God's work and that is to raise these children to be leaders.  The results are already amazing.

Thank you to all that have been a part of this.  Thank you to the new sponsors and to Global TV for airing our story on the local and national news.  Thank you again also to Save on Foods for helping us with ingredients for the banana bread and to our local bakery for helping me bake.  We cannot find an end to our thanks because it spreads across the world with other countries now participating.  All of you are amazing and all of us here in Uganda are very thankful to you.

Monday, June 29, 2015

God's Little Angels Ministry

Edwin and I have always talked about raising a next generation of Christian leaders with Biblical love in a family style environment.  To date, we have taken the most vulnerable of these children, provided them with Agape love and seen the amazing results.  Did you know that Uganda has the largest orphan population per capita of any country in the world?  It does and there are many wonderful organizations around the world trying to help these kids find their way.

When we make a decision to take another new child into our home, we have a family meeting on Skype.  We include the children and by doing so, they feel valuable and are excited to help that new child feel welcome.  I don't know how to say this exactly...we are not exactly like an orphanage...we are more like a loving home.

God commands us to protect and care for orphans and widows.  This is what Edwin and I are teaching the children.  Each chance they get, they go into a community with him providing food, mosquito nets to both AIDS women and to the children.  They are making special trips into the community to pray over the sick and most importantly, they are showing the Jesus video to many in our grass hut.  Did you also know that more than half the children under 5 years old have the malaria parasite present in their blood?  Across the country, anywhere from 25,000 children under 5 years old die of malaria annually according to Doctors without Borders.  All it takes is a $5.00 mosquito net.

We are focusing on our God's Little Angel's Ministry in this blog.  They asked us a year ago if they could do this ministry and we doubted they could accomplish it.  Boy....were we wrong.  Here are some pictures of them in the community doing God's work.  We are so very proud of them.

Maureen and Yasin give HIV/AIDS women mosquito nets.

I'm not sure who is more happy....the kids
or the widows.

These women are our neighbours.  They are afflicted with HIV/AIDS and we want to make sure they are getting enough protein.  For Maureen and Yasin, even at their young ages, to help them was very important to them.  They know that eggs is a high source of protein.

This picture is very special to me personally.  Our girls and Joseph found a woman named Rosemary to help.  She is very weak with AIDS and they wanted her to get protein like they are getting.  They also brought her some sugar and a mosquito net.  This is what it is all about....this and the picture below say it all.

They not only gave Rosemary a mosquito net, sugar and eggs, they prayed over her.  Her 7-year-old
grandson behind watches on.  He is the provider of all food as his grandma Rosemary is too weak.  We will be back here in the future to help both of them.

Edwin bought 50 mosquito nets with his wages.  As many times as we tell him to save his money, he feels God wants him to provide for the orphans and widows.  He is trying to teach the younger ones how important it is to follow God's word.  Each time they go out, they are very excited and want to know when they can do it again.

This is another village up north where the people are sick and very poor.  The Moms were so happy to see their children receive a mosquito net as they could never afford one.  

Our kids giving out mosquito nets to children less fortunate

 Shaban might not have functioning legs due to polio but that doesn't stop him.  He is with the kids every day cutting grass to feed their goats on our farm compound.

We will be building a structure for the kids goats soon.  Each child will have a goat to take care of and will learn about responsibility.  They realize also that if needed, they will have to give their goat up for food but they will do this when the time is right.  So far we have 6 goats with 2 mamas pregnant with 2 kids each.  Total soon will be 10.

The passion fruit are recovering after the draught and will be picked at the end of July.  This again will be given to our kids and the poor in our area.  So far there are 1000's of them hanging.

Remember "Faithful" the cow?  We are so blessed to have Laury and Tom in our lives to have provided the sale of Faithful to put in our well for water.  Not only have they provided water for our children and compound, they have provided water for the community.  4 years later and after testing again, we are still pumping 5000 litres/hour.  This is our neighbour girl that brings water to her family when she can.

We may be suffering from extreme heat on the westcoast of Canada but isn't it ironic how across the world suffers from extreme rains.  God is in full control and we must work with whatever He provides.  Whether rain or shine, the kids are doing what they feel they must do. Edwin and I are
so proud of all of them and cannot wait until we can bring more children into our Home of Angels.
We are waiting for just a short time due to the elections.  We will let you know when the next children arrive.  If anyone would like to sponsor a child, let me know and I will share the details with you.

We would also like to thank all the people who supported us in the past month to continue building and making a healthy home for the children.  Thanks for the new latrine and septic tank provided by
"John".   We would also like to let Thomas know that we are up to 78 healthy goat in Malindi village.  As soon as Edwin and David can get though the muddy roads, he will be getting pictures for you.  Thank you once again for your kind heart to provide these goats to us and also to everyone else who sponsored children and took it upon themselves to help us.