Sunday, April 28, 2019

Preparing for the Wedding

We're counting down the days before we leave for Uganda to take part in a very exciting occasion.  Edwin and Precious will finally make their special day a reality by getting married in May.  Because of the deaths in Precious's family and situations at the Home of Angels that needed attention, they have had to wait longer than expected.  Finally, everything is set and our cameras are ready to take pictures to share with you soon.

This blog will be more about the Canadian side of things.  It's not been easy to take pictures in the torrential rains they've been having near our home and we thought it would be fun for a chance to read about the amazing people who are helping Home of Angels from this side of the world and from Hong Kong.

We are so grateful to those who continue to support us.  You will never truly understand the impact you have on these children and their lives.  If anyone would like to sponsor a child, please let me know and I will set this up for you.  Costs are rising in Uganda, as they are all over the world, and we need to provide them with three meals a day, medical, school fees and living items.  To meet these financial needs, it's necessary to find 5 sponsors per child.  Please pray for these children as they continue to grow into wonderful adults and who will, in turn, help others as you have helped them.

Edwin and the children were blessed to receive guests for a day in early March.  Vic Weins from "Multiply" and Pastor Robert from Uganda visited for the day, taking in all the sites of our community, praying over the poor and enjoying the children.  I was able to join them by Skype in the evening at the children's praise and worship gathering before bed and saw how happy they were with their guests visiting.

Thanks Joweli, I almost forgot to pack the soccer ball pump

Once again our "banana bread manager" invited us to have a fundraiser in his store in North Vancouver.  It was fun to have his daughter Lauren help along with Linda Aylesworth and her friend Iza.  Between both Lauren and I  baking, we sold many loaves and honestly, between the three of them and the banana, we sold out in hours.

I hardly had to do a thing.

OK, this is something I have to explain.  I'm holding a card in my hand.  So, this man comes in, buys 2 loaves, tells us to hold them and he'll be back in 15 minutes.  He comes back, pays for the bread and hands me a card.  I am not to open it until he leaves.

I'm still laughing.....

We all laughed and figured out that he was a well-known cartoonist.  Since then, he has sent me a cartoon of a banana snake and a banana bird and has offered to help me with a project I need to have done for the children.  The blessings just keep coming.  Thanks, Graham.

A little background!  In our community, we have approximately 20 deaths a month due to malaria.   To receive a test at the hospital, it costs around $7.00 USD but the people don't have that kind of money.  They can't afford a test and eventually, malaria develops into stage 4 which is the brain.  They die.

Also, burn victims.  We have many situations of both children and adults being burnt with hot water.  I bring Polysporin and Ozonol with lots of bandages but Edwin keeps running out.  Why??  Because they call Uncle Edwin for help.  They can't afford a doctor to do it.  He literally bandages them in our grass hut and sends them home, one after the other.

Our dear friends in Hong Kong wanted to help Edwin by donating enough money to set up a house where we could provide help by testing for malaria and treating burn victims.  It will be called the "AID House" and help our children and the community medically.  This funding will also include hiring a nurse that will live there full time. It brings tears to my eyes to know that there is still so much good in this broken world.  Thank you, Thomas and Tom.

Here is Uncle Edwin treating a man who worked in a factory and the pipes exploded, burning him.  He was in so much pain that Edwin heard him crying from his mud hut in the morning and brought him home to help treat his wounds.

On a happier note, Desire and Hope came home from boarding school on their holidays to be greeted by their brothers and sisters.  Holidays are special.  Many children go home to families with a mom and dad, but our two girls go home to brothers and sisters who call our Home of Angels, their family.

Global warming is everywhere.  The problem is, in our community, they've never heard of it.  The torrential rainstorm that happened a few days ago left over 500 people homeless and there were 19 deaths.  This woman in the picture lost 6 of her family, with only her surviving.  Edwin has been attending as many funerals as he could, all the time worrying about the starvation ahead.  We know we can't save everyone but please, if any of you want to pray for these people, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again to everyone that has stood behind this project over the past 10 years and for making a difference in the lives of children who call our Home of Angels their home.  We know we have been truly blessed and we are excited to share each new story with you in these monthly blogs.

I would also like to thank the people that sent Edwin funds to help build their new home.  I will be bringing both Precious and his cards of thanks home to mail to you.  God bless you for doing that.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Our Angels Journey

Our sweet little angels often speak about the journey in their broken lives encountering highs and lows, joys and sorrows with a lot of heartache and solitude.  They couldn't see the road ahead, so they have had to take it as it comes.  Since they arrived at our Home of Angels, they've never had to face this journey alone.  They've learned that Jesus is always with them and there is nowhere they can go that He is not holding their hand.

There are many things that a person in the Western world would never understand about an orphan in our area.  Every time I've gone back in the past 10 years, there is always something new to learn.  How they have had to eat weeds for most of their lives and that's the reason they cannot learn as quickly as the other child... because their brains haven't developed the same.

Also, a large number of AIDS-related deaths amongst young adults have left behind over a million orphaned children and many of these children have never had the chance to fend for themselves with their parents deceased.  So there are many tragic situations, but in time, you learn to put the heartache aside and try to make a difference in their lives.  Edwin and I can see that happening now.  Yes, we can see the devastation they've had to go through, the bed wetting for years because of trauma, the walking around the compound all night by themselves (always watched by the guard) because they were told that the spirit gods from the smoke of a candle would kill them in their sleep.  But now we  see more and more dry mattresses and the school grades increasing because they are more confident.  Things are changing and we know that God has played a big part in all of this.

From left to right, meet Eddie, Alan, Chloe, and Precious.  I promised the sponsors to get an updated picture of their child and this is a beautiful one of just a few.  I still can't believe how happy they are.

Most people go to the shoe store to get shoes, but for us, we are able to have a man selling shoes come to Home of Angels.  He fits them all individually and makes sure their feet are comfortable.  This is where the book "When Helping Hurts" really makes you understand that Uganda or most other countries have everything we have and we must try and help their economy by purchasing them locally.

Meet Paul, our movie star Yasin in the middle and on the end, Silas.  Our friend Doreen, in Canada, made each boy a shirt at Helping Hands and believe it or not, they are still looking clean and smart. 

A common sight in our area is for young girls to be searching for wood for cooking.  If it's not a 20-liter jerry can of water on their heads, it's surely going to be wood.  The women and children work very hard to survive here.  The men, if any, are elsewhere trying to find work.

Mutesi...our wonderful Mutesi.  Why do bad things always happen over and over to the good people?
A few years ago, she and her son Alex had nowhere to live.  Thanks to Uncle Edwin, he found them a place.  She built her own home out of mud and now, with this last storm, it was torn apart.  Our staff decided to help her to construct a new one.  Mutesi and her son are now safe and dry.

This is Mutesi's water source.  Sula helps her to get water to make the mud.

Sula, James, and Cheeza are helping Mutesi build a house for herself and her son Alex.  We replaced the iron sheets on the roof so that the rains won't come in and she is so very happy.

Our Cheeza started working for us 9 months ago.  At first, he spent day after day picking up little stones and never complained.  I have to tell you that this young man grew up at 6 years old working in a distillery.  He drank alcohol day after day with little food.  The alcohol was his payment.  Over the years, he was the laughing stock of our community.  He had a bath once a year "yes" you heard me right, once a year.   Edwin found him sleeping in a ditch one day, woke him and told him we needed someone to chop our wood.  Would he do it?  Since then, Cheeza has committed himself to Home of Angels.  He recently bought his very first clothes and shoes in the market and is working towards earning enough money for his own mud hut to live in.  We feed him for his work and have called him back every day since.  The community was absolutely shocked at his transformation.  This had never happened before but when God intervenes, wonderful things can happen.  We have proof.

Meet Vic Wiens from MB Missions, now changed to the name "Multiply" and have their office in the same building as Northview church.  Vic visited Home of Angels for one day with Pastor Robert and I was privileged to spend some time on Skype with them along with Edwin and the children at their praise and worship service.  It was an amazing time and the children are still talking about it.  Thanks, Vic and Robert for loving on the children the way you did.  They won't forget you.

Apparently, we've been on the radio twice a week, letting people know about our Morning Star nursery school.  I can just imagine why....this gate.  Edwin showed it to me and all I could think about was "how did he pay for this beautiful gate?"  Well, the answer to that is that Edwin and his friends painted the existing black gate themselves.  Great job!!

Some of my board members and I will be going back to Uganda to attend Edwin's wedding in May.  If you have a sponsored child that you would like to send a letter to, I'd be more than happy to take it for you.

Thanks so much once again for helping these children feel loved and have a chance to make something out of themselves in their future.  We can finally see how excited they are about life 
and you must know that many of you are the reason just for caring and loving them. 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Reason to Smile

We all have families.

Some of us are blessed to have families who love and support us.  For others, it can be difficult.  Whatever our family's role in our lives may be, it shapes our identity and teaches us what we know about love, the world and each other.

Our "Angels" have faced the most horrible human conditions possible.  They have lost their families in ways most Westerners couldn't comprehend.

Together with a group of dedicated staff, we have given these children a safe place to live where they can trust the people who care for them.  These children have dreams, wonderful dreams of what they want to be when they grow up.  Even more importantly, they know what they want to be now: a blessing and a force of good in their community.  They have a profound understanding of who Jesus is and with His help, they will fulfill their dreams in life.

True, this grandmother is white and lives in Canada, but to my second family in Africa, I am Jaaja (grandma).  I may only visit a few times a year, but I always feel that a deeper bond has developed within the family each time I return.  Edwin's father has been living at Home of Angels when he isn't in the hospital and the family will even be getting bigger when Edwin and Precious get married in the summer.  They have made plans to live with the children until their home is constructed.

We intended to take pictures of all the children but because the mumps has crept into our compound, we can't show you the little ones who recently contracted it.  Our prayer request to all of you is that these children will beat this disease as they recently did with the measles and chickenpox.  Thank you!

Meet our "Radiant Rachels", two UBC students, who for these past years have devoted their Christmas holidays baking and selling banana bread along with recipes from their own website.  Every fair was unique and decorated to their own taste.  Last year they raised enough to finish building part of our new nursery school and again this year to help supply the necessary equipment to accommodate the students. With almost 4,000 followers, I can see why they sold out.

In our area of Mpumudde and beyond, there is little chance of getting medical help due to poverty.  This child has the mumps and charcoal has been rubbed around the neck with the belief that it will heal her.

Before I show you pictures the children today, I'd like to share a few pictures of the time before they arrived at Home of Angels.  On the top left, we have Paul, Barbara, and Silas.  Eddie is on the right.  Shakira is on the far left bottom with Joanne in the middle and of course our little movie star that was filmed in the documentary "The Human Project", Yasin.  See below...

Meet our new Yasin

From left to right, we have Ratisha, Eddie, Betty, and James.  Eddie in the green shirt has been with us the longest with the other three coming in from the abandoned Agape orphanage.  James, the most recent child has thrown himself right into teaching the little boys their daily chores.  He is so grateful to finally have a permanent home where he is really loved.  Most of his friends that were also abandoned went to the streets.

These 4 little boys also were abandoned from Agape.  Elijah in the green shirt is on the left.  David is in the purple shirt with Yiga or Yahigha as most people call him, with the big smile.  And then we have our little Sam, aka Sambo on the end.

This is Joanne, Tracy, Mariam, Zakia, and Eva.  Tracy in the red shirt was another abandoned child but now is very happy with her new big sisters and family.   She is now officially one of "God's Little Angels" and helps the other children on Sundays to do something nice for the impoverished in our community.

Look at Junior!!!  It was just yesterday that he was the size of his buddies here and now he's a giant at almost 6'.  Sam is in the yellow shirt, Eric, Ivan, Junior, and Frank.  Our official Home of Angels football team.  If I don't remember to bring back soccer balls and a real pump, I might as well give in to old age.

Here we have Shakira on the left with Bridget, Annet, and Lovisa.  Lovisa and Yasin were the two chosen to be in the documentary with Aunty Joy. 

Desire is our first on the left and I can see a sign of mumps on her face.  She looks very different.  Beside her is Barbara (coming in the gate with her 2 brothers at the top), Joweli, our English whiz at 3 years old, Precious, my banana bread helper and at the end is Hope.  Both Hope and Desire will be going back to boarding school as soon as they're cleared of any mumps.  

If you are a sponsor for Alan, Yasin, Silas, Paul, Jimmy or Chloe, they're in bed, but I promise to update you when they're better.

We've reached the 10-year mark and want you to know that without many of you and God in our lives, it wouldn't have been possible.  Thanks again for all you've done to make our Home of Angels such a happy place in the lives of these children.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Child of Whom the Angels Sing

At our Home of Angels, we've had many dreams over the past 9 years, all of which were thought to be impossible situations.  If you've been following the blogs, you will have seen that every one of them has been accomplished to date.  All the projects so far have been constructed and run by Ugandans.  We feel it's very important to help their economy and support their families by giving them the work.

The wisest idea we had, was to build a grass hut that holds 150 people.  The community is invited to watch the Jesus video on weekends and all special events are hosted in this one area.  But, the best part about our grass hut, and what the children are at this moment preparing for, is Christmas.  They will sing a song about "The Child of Whom the Angels Sing" and we all know this is Jesus.  It's Jesus that helped them all to be in the situation they're currently in and they thank him EVERY night at their praise and worship in the grass hut before they go to bed.  

I recently arrived in Uganda to find them all waiting for me with Uncle Edwin coaching them to be goofy and making them laugh.  What a welcome.

I had to leave 2 weeks later because of business in Canada but while there, I took pictures for all of you to see their growth and the amazing changes I had witnessed in just 5 months.

I hope you enjoy these pictures and for those who sponsor one of these kids, thanks for helping them celebrate life with such happiness.  We are still looking for sponsors for 4 of the new children if anyone would like to join our team.

When I arrive in Uganda now, I go into my friend's hotel for the evening and a driver will pick me up in the morning and take me to Jinja.  Because it's such a long drive home, I would rather arrive during the day and be able to give lots of hugs.  How could I not produce a tear or two with this unbelievable welcome?

Everyone gets a hug but it's not so easy anymore to do the twirling.  I have to find a way to be 20 years old again...  Any ideas?

This is our new sign for Morning Star Nursery School.  You will notice Day Care, but it's not the same there as in North America.  The children go to Baby and Top class which is for the little ones and they too learn but take naps in the afternoon.   The older kids told me that the little ones speak better English than they do.

The next morning we went to school

I had brought lots of school banners, posters, and learning material.  Here are David, Yiga and our little Sambo preparing to give them to the teacher Aidha.  I cannot put into words how proud these kids are of their new school and their new teacher.  In just a few months, she has taught them not only mathematics but English.  Little Joweli, age 4 can now communicate with me.

Meet teacher Aidha.  She has decided, because the children did so well in their last term at Morning Star school, that she would give them an end of year party.  We bought sodas, had a professional graduation cake made and blew up lots of balloons.  This is why our new school is doing so well.  We have a teacher that really cares and because of that, the quality of education is high. Many families are now wanting to enroll their children in the future.

"30 Hours of Banana Bread" was created by Stephanie Reddicopp.  She provided the act of kindness movement to be spread all over the world and that's just what it did.  There was no money involved, just a gesture of kindness to people who would enjoy a loaf and put a smile on their face at Christmas time.

Even Banana Bread Rayah got involved and learned to make loaves of bread to hand out to the needy.  What a Christmas blessing this has been.

Here we are back at Home of Angels sorting beans.  Every day, this must be done.  Sorting the beans and also sorting the G-nuts (peanuts).   This is Eva helping Hadeja with the work.  Hadeja has made a huge difference to the workload for the Aunties and the children respect her, as tough as she is.  When you have these many little people, toughness with love is the key.

It's departing time for Jaaja Barb.  Everyone starts crying but I now have a new weapon.  We play a game and I have to cry the loudest and they must follow.  By the time we're finished, there are only tears of laughter.   I must tell you though, it's very difficult to leave them all.

Uncle Edwin with Joweli and Sambo

I hope you enjoy their song for you.

All of us at Home of Angels would like to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a joyous Year 2019.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

30 Hours of Banana Bread

Hi everyone,

I would like to start by apologizing for missing my first monthly blog in 10 years.  There has been good and bad happening on both sides of the world and because of the sickness and deaths in Uganda, our blogs have had to be put on hold until I get there next week to help Edwin.

In the meantime, I wanted you to see what my dear friend Stephanie Reddicopp is doing again this year to promote the name of our Jaaja Barb's Home of Angels.  Last year she baked banana bread for 30 days and raised $12,000.

This year she's up to an even a bigger challenge that doesn't necessarily mean money but loving on people and giving them blessings at Christmas time.  I'll be leaving for Uganda soon and won't get a chance to experience her 30 Hours of Banana Bread but I'd like to share it with all of you before I go so you can follow her on Facebook or maybe even help her.

30 Hours of Banana Bread

An act of kindness movement inspired by Banana Bread Barb!

Be BOLD & BAKE and BLESS others!!!!!  I think Barb’s story is inspiring and worth sharing. I also think Banana Bread is worth sharing!  I want the banana bread to be shared all over the world as an act of kindness and for Barb’s story to be told!

Last year I endeavored 30 Days of Banana Bread… it was AMAZING!!!  I baked every day and was able to raise over $12,000 for Jaaja Barb’s Home of Angels.  This year will be a bit different.  
30 Hours of Banana Bread is going to be an incredible world-wide movement that involves you!

              How to participate: BE BOLD & BAKE banana bread & BLESS others by giving it away!  I want to encourage people all over the world to join me to bake banana bread during those 30 Hours.  The goal is to bake banana bread and give it away to someone who you think should be blessed by it.  As you give it away, you tell Barb’s story of building the Home of Angels.  I will have a little story people can print off at home and attach it to their loaves when they give it away that tells Barb’s Home of Angels story.

              When: Starting at 6am December 14th  - Finishing at 12pm December 15th (during those 30 Hours)

You can bake with your kids or with some friends or by yourself, and then give it away!  My house will be open for anyone who wants to join me during those 30 Hours. Come for coffee, mash some bananas … let’s bake some banana bread!  Most of the banana baked at my house will be donated to the Cyrus Centre a shelter for at-risk and homeless youth in Abbotsford and Chilliwack, BC.
And, of course, some banana bread will be available for you to take home with you (by donation).  

              Share: Visit our 30 Hours of Banana Bread page on Facebook all updates and hashtag your banana bread photos and videos with #30hoursofbananabread

              Share Barb’s inspiring story by printing off the story attachment that tells Barb’s Home of Angels story … then GIVE IT AWAY and BLESS someone with it.  

More updates will be coming… 
Join us at stay connected and to prepare for this incredible opportunity!

Thank you!!!

~ Stephanie Reddicopp ~  

Edwin and I are just humbled by an event like this and we both want to thank everyone for helping us make a difference in these children's lives.  Thank you, Stephanie, for all you've done for others now and in the past.  This is a huge undertaking but you know that God is with you and you will never fail with Him walking beside you.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Peace In Our Hearts

When we put our problems in God's hands, He puts His peace in our hearts and that's exactly what He's done these past few months for Edwin and I.

I'm sorry for not creating a blog sooner but with the issues Edwin has had to deal with lately, we've had to focus on those instead.  As you know, Edwin's fiances' parents died in a head-on collision recently.  Her grandmother died soon after and now, Edwin's father is in the hospital. They had planned to get married in a few months but with all the current worry and sadness, only time will tell.

In our country Canada, it's normal for us to have had shots for measles and chickenpox as a child, but in poverty-stricken countries like Uganda, the people cannot afford them.  When we bring in the children to our Home of Angels we have little history about them and we realize, because of poverty, they would probably never have been able to afford the shots. Long story short, we now have children suffering from both measles and chickenpox at Home of Angels.  Because of your kindness, we have been able to have a doctor come in and inoculate them and the ones currently suffering are going to be fine.  No matter what is thrown at us, we know we are in God's hands and we trust Him to heal every situation.

We'd like to share some events with you that have recently happened. 

Two years ago, 20 women and their mentally challenged children came to us for help.  I was blessed to have witnessed this and will never forget them.  They had no way to survive.  They tried selling bananas and jackfruit on their heads, but all in vain.  They had nobody to leave their children with and as a result, no one would buy the fruit because they said the children were dirty. They really needed help, so Edwin and I rented land for them to plant for one year and the crops they produced were plentiful.

A few months later 4 motorcycles (boda-bodas) arrived.  Each one had maize and g-nuts for Home of Angels. These families wanted to thank us for helping them survive.  This is what it's all about and how God uses us to help the people of our community, Mpumudde.  They would never take it for granted.  They would give us their last chicken to say thanks for helping them.  For me, a white Canadian grandma, this was very difficult to understand how they could do this when they themselves were hungry, but I finally learned to say a simple "thank you" and be gracious.

Storing the food in the container

This blog took me 2 hours because of this one picture.  The kids are singing as they prepare the g-nuts and I tried to download it for you, but it was too long and it wouldn't work.  They are singing Stephanie Reddicopp's song "Psalm 42".  Stephanie, our dear friend wrote this song for the kids along with "Psalm 138" to learn in English and sing in Uganda.  They mastered it and I cannot believe that I can't attach this for you to listen to.  I'll figure out a way eventually.

The nursery school children model their new sweaters and shorts for you to see.  These are some of our youngest children attending our new school.

Our children take great pride in helping prepare the land donated to us for planting maize.  Maize is the main staple here and there is enough land for helping our Home of Angels and also the kid's "God's Little Angels Ministry".  

Look at all this hard work accomplished.

Meet James Kriunda.  He is one of our latest children to join our Home of Angels.  He was one of the kids abandoned from Agape Children's Home. I'm looking forward to meeting him soon. We thank Richard and his family for helping them until they could move in with us.

Meet Eric Muganda.  Eric has had a very sad life living alone but now, living at Home of Angels, he will have a chance to be happy with a loving family.

Thanks again to everyone that has stood behind this project over the past 10 years and for your prayers.  We have been truly blessed and we don't take a minute of it for granted.  I will be in Uganda this year at Christmas and will capture some great pictures and videos for you.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Genuine Appreciation

This is our 106th blog and a very different blog from what I've ever written before.  It's always been about pictures of the children and events at our Home of Angels, but because of bad network and the children so settled in their school studies, I thought I would put a different twist on it for a change.  There are many wonderful people that we would like to thank and even though we can't put everyone on here, please know that we truly are grateful to all of you.

When I go to Uganda, it's usually at the end of the school term when holidays are starting.  We are able to take lots of pictures and enjoy the time together.  But when school is in session, it's a different story. A normal day is to rise at 5am...chores until 6:30am...breakfast and off to school by 7am.  Home of lunch and dinner but back again until 9pm.  This happens 6 days a week with Sunday attending church and 4 hours of play time in the afternoon.  That's the norm for the older children.

Now that we have our own nursery school, we have changed all that for the little ones.  Because we have a nap room, the younger children go from 7am until 4:30pm only and love every moment of it.
When dinner is ready they ask Aunty Joy if they can do their homework first.  For kids who grew up starving, this is amazing for us to hear.  They love school and focus only on being the best student.

We would like to introduce our new "Morning Star" nursery school.  The grass is growing and thanks to Cheeza, our new employee, we are looking smart, as he would say.  Not a piece of garbage anywhere.  Cheeza spends hours a day just picking up rocks and making sure the kid's shoes have no mud on them.  He cleans the latrine daily and never asks for anything.  A perfect employee.

Our little Joweli...the star because she is the youngest and seems to get into every picture.  She wanted to show you that she looks like the picture on the wall.  This little girl is already speaking some English words thanks to our amazing teacher Miss Aidha.

It's exam time and believe me, these kids are really put to the test.  No one on the school compound can speak their traditional language, Lugandan.  If they do, they leave.  The strict rules are already starting to show an impact on these kids and they love school because of it.  Edwin tells me that when I come, they will be so proud to show off all the English words they've learned.  We will definitely work hard to encourage them.

It's time for planting and all the children must participate in helping.

Oh my goodness, I just recognized this woman.  It's Precious, Edwin's fiance.  She's helping the kids prepare the land for planting.  Edwin's friend has given us an acre for maize and beans and they will start planting as soon as it's tilled.  Precious is now with us at HOA every week encouraging the children and being a mentor to the big girls.  God has answered prayers.

Does anyone know an 84-year-old dumpster diver???  I do and she's the most amazing woman I know at her age.  Every month, Cory sends us money from the proceeds of her cans.  The word has spread and if it's not her family, her many friends are delivering them to her home.  If anyone would like to help Cory, just let me know and we'll set it up.

I've been told to get a team together before it's too late.  I think maybe I'm getting old or something, but I'm listening and I found my first team member.  As many of you know, Save on Foods sponsors us and with their help, we've been able to build our home in Uganda for orphans.  Now....finally, Lauren, daughter of the craziest Save on Food's manager I know, is baking a better banana bread than I can.  It's now a father-daughter team with Lauren baking and dad in his banana costume greeting the customers as they enter the store.

Not sure how this happened, but all of a sudden I heard the bagpipes at our fundraiser.   The banana leads them into the store playing this amazing music, along with many people who ended up buying groceries and purchasing our banana bread too.  A win-win situation.  Save on Foods is such a huge support for us and we are very grateful to all of them.

The Gleaners is a very special organization that supplies food around the world to the hungry and I am honored to be a part of this organization by volunteering.  We have been blessed to have had bags sent each time we go and we distribute them to the neediest.

The most needy indeed.  We know a grandma that has 16 grandchildren, but she has no way to feed any of them.  When she can provide rice, she cooks that and puts it on a large tray in the middle of the dirt.  The children race to get it, eating so fast, they only swallow and have never learned to chew.  This food was a real treat for them, so thank you, Gleaners, once again.  You are making a huge difference in this world by providing this food and the people who spend hours cutting it, will never really understand the impact they are making unless they witness this. It's heartwrenching.

Sorry if I've already sent another version of this picture, but every time I look at these faces, I miss them so much.  I'm not sure what Uncle Edwin did to make them all laugh like this, but they are the happiest bunch of kids I've ever known.  We all know that without Jesus, this wouldn't be happening.  He has also brought so many of you into our lives to help provide a good life for these children and we thank you all so much for caring.

Do you remember my wonderful friend Stephanie that baked "30 days of banana bread" this past Christmas?  She raised enough money to build a septic, sock pit, latrine plus much more.  With every loaf sold for HOA, she also made one for the Cyrus Center to help feed the homeless and vulnerable youth in Abbotsford.  She also wrote a song for Psalm 138 and Psalm 42 and sent it to our kids in Uganda where, in turn, they memorized the words in English and learned to sing it on their own.

Stephanie is again helping to raise funds for our Home of Angels and I'd like to share this with you.  If you go to her website and to "Banana Bread", you'll understand how she is blessing us again.

Stephanie is a professional singer and has her music available through the attached website, as well as through Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.  You can also follow her on 

Thanks again to everyone who worked so hard to make a difference in our home and provide for the children.  We all appreciate everything you do for them, but when I think about it, it's not only the children.  God had bigger plans.  Providing food and boreholes for thousands of people that were on the brink of starvation.  Hong Kong sending hundred's of solar lights for people never seeing light at night before or when the market burned down; how someone sent enough to help many women purchase a sewing machine, as this was their livelihood and they could still provide for their families.

I did mention that this was a different blog but I never intended it to be this long.  😊 

God bless ALL of you who also gave from your hearts over the years.