Well, I have to say that this past month has been all about kids...both in Canada and Uganda. Isn't that why we are on this journey? To help the children who have nothing in a country where poverty is all they have ever known? I want to share some stories about our kids in Canada. We have children that feel the pain of other kids who have nothing and they are fighting to help the impoverished in their own way. I am proud to live here and be a witness to see what God has done in their lives to change the world. And then there is Uganda. The children in Uganda are no different. They are not so blessed to have what we have, so they must do it in a different way. Usually, it is to fight for something we take for granted, such as education or food. Nevertheless, they are willing to work hard for the chance to improve their lives and not just be on the take. Edwin is giving many of them the opportunity to earn school fees or just to have food, but most of all giving them the chance to feel worthwhile.
The compound is slowing coming together. We have made the decision to finish the interior
of the main house before plastering the wall. This is a huge job as there are so many rooms to sand, undercoat and then paint. Thanks to a team of 7 people who are working hard to finish this difficult job. The plumbing and electricity are completed. When the house is fully painted, doors installed and glass in the windows, Edwin, Isaac and David will be able to move in. The main gate will be finished in another week, so we felt that this would be wise to move our people in to prevent any vandalism.
At that point the entire wall will be plastered and we can move on to furnishing the homes.
I would like to show you some recent pictures taken on both sides of the world.
We wanted to show you a sample of one of the 19 doors to be installed.
Edwin is cleaning the plaster off the tiles in the kitchen. The floors are finished and all that must be done now is the installation of the glass in the windows and paint....and of course MY OVEN. We have had requests from different groups to come and help us. This will provide a little of our own culture with the oven and make a huge difference for me.
All the plumbing has been hooked up including the showers
Meet Richard. Richard is a 15 year old boy from a poor family that can't afford his education. Edwin has given him the opportunity to work to pay for the upcoming semesters. He is learning self worth and also attending school by working very hard. I have to tell you....this is a nasty job but this boy is grateful for the chance.
These kids are from Agape Children's Home. They have had no water for 3 days and Edwin opened up our pumps for them so that they could fill their jerry cans and take water back home. Agape houses approximately 80 orphans and we always try to be there for them. We made a decision that we would take Jowan from there and reunite her with her brother Dennis and sister Jowell to have them all live with us. Dennis and Jowell are living with neighbours until we can open.
Little Hope is at it again. Hope helped us in the children's home also. She lives outside the wall but whenever there is work to do, she is there. This little girl has 2 baby sisters that she takes care of. Honestly, I think she wants to be with us sometimes to just have a break from babysitting. We love her so much. Rhys and Sebastian help feed her family. See below
Speaking of Hope..... meet Rhys and Sebastian. These two boys gave their allowance to provide food for Hope and her family. This is the second time they have taken their money and brought it to my home so that I would be sure to take it to them when I go in December. A big "Thanks" to both of you. I promise to take pictures when Edwin and I deliver the food.
Meet Christopher. Christopher had his 11th birthday party recently and asked all his friends not to bring him any presents. His request was that they bring a donation for Jaaja Barb's Home of Angels instead. He donated all the money to help the children and we all want to say a huge "Thanks" to him for his very kind heart. What a message he is sending to other children around our country.
Look at these lovely pillow slip dresses. A wonderful supporter named Trudy arrived to my
house one day with 15 of these to take to the kids. Thank you Trudy for your kindness and all your hard work. They are beautiful and will make 15 little girls very happy.
Today, I was invited to a home to watch our quilters in action. These 9 women, plus many more in the past, decided that after they saw the Global TV story in February 2010, they were going to make 32 quilts for each one of the children. They have completed 27 to date with 5 more to go. Michelle, who leads the group is a school teacher and her Grade 12 graduating class made a quilt themselves. Each square tells a special message to each child at Jaaja Barb's Home of Angels. It brought tears to my eyes how a graduating student would find these words in their hearts to express. The quilters have named themselves the Pin Cushion Collective and they are amazing...all of them . The first quilting day they had over 20 people helping but they realized it was too big. I have to say, that when people hear about a charity that they can participate in, they come, which goes to show...the hearts are out there, we just have to reach them. Thanks to all of you for your determination and caring for the kids at our Home of Angels.
The Grade 12 student quilt will be hung in a special place to show that the kids in Canada want the kids in Uganda to know they are loved. When it's finished, I will post it for all of you to see.
A few of 27 quilts already finished by our Pin Cushion Collective friends
If you look at our new blog, you will see in Events, the 2 fundraisers held this week.
The first was held by Lana from Quik Pik Flower shop in Chilliwack. She decided to hold a fundraiser in a very special place on a dairy farm where approximately 60 women attended on the rainiest night of the year. Almost everyone showed up in this storm and learned how to create flower arrangements. It was enjoyed by all and everyone took their own arrangement home. I want to thank Lana for having this fundraiser and all the women for their generous donations. It will make a HUGE difference for our building process and Edwin and I are very grateful.
The second fundraiser was with Save on Foods. For two days we promoted our Jaaja Barb's Home of Angels and sold banana bread in two local stores. Save on Food donated 10 cents for every pound of bananas sold in both stores. Without Save on Food, I cannot imagine our growth. They supply everything for us to bake and are always there for us. This time we had a nice surprise. Glen Clarke, our past Premier came to our booth to see what we were doing. Hopefully he likes the banana bread we gave him.
In the next week will be busy with many speaking engagements and churches to visit.
I have to say to all of you, that without God helping Edwin and I, we would go nowhere. He has stood by us from the first day, and without Him, I cannot imagine getting this far. We just keep having Faith and doing all of us in His honour.
You know, my biggest fear about doing this blog is forgetting to thank someone. Always remember to pinch me if I did because I would never intentionally do that. We are just so blessed with so many wonderful people, I am bound to make a slip. Bless you all and thanks for following our story. Many of you have been with us since the beginning and have never stopped encouraging us. It is really appreciated.
Barb and Edwin