Thursday, January 31, 2013

Phase One Nearly Completed

Hello everyone

I returned home from Uganda 3 weeks ago and since then, mountains have been moved in the construction. Even though I couldn't be there to watch it, Edwin makes sure we all get pictures.  I need to be here on this side of the world to hopefully keep it going, bake the banana bread and speak wherever people will invite me to come.  Thanks to the many that have already invited me.  We are so blessed to have all of you in our lives that care enough to make this home happen.  We know now that this dream is really for the kids.  They come over every day to watch and imagine what it will be like to live in a real home, a wall to protect them and never worry about water.  Thanks to all of you...their dream will come true.  


The wall is plastered on the inside and the top has also been been prepared for the razor wire.
This razor wire has been purchased and is ready to install as soon as the men complete the entire perimeter.

The property on the other side of the completed wall is our sustainability land where we plan to house 500 broiler and layer chickens.  Also, there will be an acre of gardens planted.  I know that many of these avocado and banana trees have to come down but it has to be done to provide food for the kids. That will be Phase II.

We love the colour of our windows...

After the painting of the rod iron, all windows were installed...

When I was in Uganda this Christmas, I watched our crew put in this stone slate.  They worked so hard to make it precisely balanced and I think they did a great job.  The paving stones will go everywhere else in the compound but because of costs, we decided to use stone slate in front of the main house.
It is much cheaper and I think much more beautiful.

What would we do without Sula and James?...These two men that have been with us since the beginning have worked so hard for so little.  Sula is planting grass again...One tuft every few inches and before you know it... a lush green area again.

We need to make approximately 3,000 more paving stones to complete.  Each one is hand made.

James is washing our new stone slate patio

This is where I really get excited.  Meet Hope and Hadeja, two girls moving into our home.  These kids have bonded so well and even now, before the time comes to move in, they are the best of friends.  I am so happy they care about each other and I think these two girls will be the role models for all the little ones to come.  They have been given hope and their attitudes have completely changed.
If your wondering what is on their faces....they are stickers that were supposed to be used for the many thank you cards they wrote to all of you that helped them...

And then we have their two little sisters, Maryanne and Desire.  They seem to have bonded also.
Sure do love these kids....and miss them terribly.

My last day before I came back to Canada, Edwin and I went to the project early in the morning and noticed these kids outside our wall.  They were just sitting patiently while their mother and father were digging across the street.   When we came home late afternoon, we noticed again they still were in the same spot so Edwin and I went to our well and filled water bottles for them.   They probably had no water all day and we felt in our hearts we had to do something. valuable in these parts.

We will be returning July 24th to open the home for the 12 original children.

This will not be the time for the Grand Opening as there is still Phase II to complete.  This new phase
is for a home we are building for approximately 40 more children and the sustainability program.  We are not sure who those children will be but we have the room to accommodate approximately 50-60 more and we are going to utilize it.  When you see homeless kids and the need for just food, how can we not do this?  Edwin and I have come to an agreement that we will try very hard to make this happen.  God has always been with us and we know He will not abandon us now.  We just ask that all you pray for a way to keep them fed and in school.  We have the original 12 all sponsored.  If anyone would like to sponsor one of the new kids we will be taking in, just let me know and I will put you on the list.  God bless you all.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

More Angels to Arrive

Yes, we are growing by the day...not just in the compound but in children.  I tried to send another blog out in Uganda but because of the power continually going off, I couldn't complete it. I am in
COLD Canada, telling our story of the past month.  When I arrived at the compound early December, I just stared and could not believe what had been done by all of you.  The wall is up and plastered on the inside, the home is almost painted and the lawns and flowers are thriving.  The stone slate is almost finished in front of the main house and the paving stones are almost all made.  The stone slate has been put here for water control because the rains are heavy.  We have directed it out of the compound with pipes flowing to the back of the property and the slate in front of the house will protect the house from any damage.

So many people have donated particular items.  We are slowly purchasing them and even though we cannot show them all at once, we want you to see what you requested done with your money.  We also had a real Canadian birthday party for Edwin.  I found a friend from the USA to make a cake and with the candles lit and balloons everywhere, Edwin was in 7th heaven.  Everyone, including some of the kids coming to our Home of Angels and his very large family participated in singing Happy Birthday.

Thanks to Barry, we were invited to visit Watoto in Kampala.  We feel very blessed to have been given  such wonderful advice to go home with.  Watoto was started by two Canadians in Toronto and now have become world known.  They planted many seeds with Edwin and I and now it's our responsibility to go back to Jinja to water them well.

The biggest news is....we have decided to build another home for children.  32 kids was the original number but when there are so many suffering, we decided we are going to house 50- 60 kids.  Why wouldn't we!  We have the land to live on,  we have the sustainability land and even though we cannot help them all, we definitely can help more than 32.  Please pray for us to find a way to feed them because that will be the main problem.  We have been blessed to find good sponsors so far and the kids chosen can already go to school, but if anyone knows someone that would like to help a child get the bare basics including school, would you let us know?  It will take $40.00/month and because we have a doctor on the property, that would cover it all.  We would be so grateful to you.

Here are some pictures of what is happening at the present time.

This area is in front of the main house.  Because the rains are so heavy, we have had to run the water away from this area with pipes underground.  On the top we decided to put stone state but for it to 
be effective, there has been a special soil put down and the roller is packing it before the stone is laid.
Not your typical roller but they work with what they have.  We are so blessed in our country to have
a much easier way of doing things.

The men have started to lay the stone slate.  I will have a completed picture in the next blog, but 
for now you can get the idea of what it will look like.

You know, I never said anything before, but I always wondered what this was on the ceiling of the sitting rooms.  Each apartment has one of these and they are flowers.  Now that it is painted, it looks quite beautiful and ties in with the colours of each room.

The wall at the back of the house has been completed and you can get an idea how long it is.  They are
now going to plaster the outside and it will be finished.  The rolled razor wire will then be placed on the top, at which time we are then close to moving in.  At a later date we will be bringing a team of kids in from Canada to paint the entire wall.

Edwin is planting a palm tree in honor of a mother and father of one of our biggest donors.  They have since passed but these two people taught their children to always help the less privileged and give when needed.  We want to honour them and for the children to watch it grow as the years pass, remembering the lessons they were taught throughout life.  Thanks Doug and your family for caring about the kids.

This is our Hope and Desire...two children coming to live with us.  The Pin Cushion Collective women
donated 32 quilts to the kids coming into our Home of Angels.  They were all inside a back pack so that they also would have something to carry their books to school in.  I could only take 5 back with me because of the weight issue but with others coming this next trip, we will be able to bring a lot more.  Thanks Michelle and all the women who spend 100's of hours sewing these beautiful quilts.  We love you all for this and the kids say thanks also.  They made you a special thank you card that I will bring to you later.

This is my favourite village where Jaaja is taking care of our baby Alan.  By the way, Jaaja means Grandma in our language.  This little one will also be coming to our Home of Angels.  His mom died giving birth to him in the swamp and Jaaja is watching him until we can open.  Alan smiles when he sees me now instead of screaming at the colour of my skin.  He is our youngest.  Thank you Marlaina and Ron for sending enough money for her and her grandchildren to eat for 3 weeks.  Jaaja danced around the whole village doing a tribal dance she was so excited.

This is Alex and he also will be coming to live with us.  His little brother Nathan was the boy who recently passed of HIV/AIDS and cancer.  He was only 8 years old and Alex's mom, Mutesi has the same disease.  When she leaves to go with Jesus, this special boy will come with us.  His sponsor
sent him cards, letters and pictures and Alex just stared at them for hours.  He finds it difficult to believe that a total stranger would care for him.  Thank you Amanda and family for loving this little boy, he
truly loved everything you did for him and especially the school enrolment.


Two churches donated 50 chairs for the grass hut.  St Mary's in Vancouver and the Clearbrook Mennonite Church in Abbotsford.  Thank you so much for your contribution as we have used them
every day including Christmas, New Years and teaching classes both for the community and the children.  Thanks to Nina also for the tables where we could sit everyone at. 

This is our first refrigerator donated by Sandra.  What a difference it made to keep the food
cold.  Thanks Sandra so much from all of us, you are a special "angel" for doing this.  The local
people are not normally fortunate enough to have one of these.

Edwin had his first birthday party.  My friend at Ozzie's Restaurant made a giant chocolate cake.  We invited everyone including the kids living close by.  His family came and many local residents.  Of course there wasn't enough cake, but everyone got a taste.  The fun part were the candles as this is not a tradition used there.  Most people don't know the exact day of their birthday so you can bet they will be trying to find out if this is what happens.  Edwin really felt special this day and after all the work he does for everyone, he should feel special.....he is and we all love him.

Here is 91 year old Jaaja sitting beside Edwin wondering what in the world was happening.  This was a first for all of them.  Maybe we can start a trend to make each person feel special when we start into operation.

I arrived home yesterday and so much has happened already.  The Abbotsford Christian School is hosting a large event on January 24th and requested enough banana bread for 300-500 people.  If any of you are in the area that evening, please stop by and have a piece of banana bread and join in the fun.

Edwin and I are now concentrating on building this second home as it is our wish to house these
children.  Edwin and his brothers will do as they did before and go out into the community and find the most needy.  If anyone would like to help us accomplish this task, we would be so grateful for your
help.  We are going to need more sponsors and funds to build so if you find it in your heart to either
purchase a banana bread or send a contribution, you will receive a tax receipt.

God bless all of you who read this blog each month.  We couldn't do it without you and people such as Global TV and Save on Foods.  You all inspire us to keep going.  God is always in full control and I witness that on both sides of the world.  If you trust and have faith, He never lets you down.  We are proof of that by what has happened out of a simple loaf of banana bread.

Thanks everyone...the next blog will have many new things to share with you.