As I sit here in this sweltering heat gathering all the pictures and events that took place this past month, I am also thinking about the snow back home and it being so cold. Such a contrast from one side of the world to the other. Presently in Uganda we are waiting for the rains to come so we can start the planting season and get rid of all this red dust.
I also want to share some exciting news. Our kids….these beautiful little "Angels" who have come from such terrible circumstances to a home that loves and nurtures them have a plan.
First of all, let me tell you that each night they come into our main home, sit on a mat and watch a Jesus video that Stephanie bought them back home. They are learning the Bible and are like little sponges right now. They also have been coming with us as we go from village to village and around our own community to help the poor and feed the starving. They are always included in each activity.
They have now decided that they want to have their own kid's ministry to do things on their own. All of them have watched and learned and feel they are ready, so the first thing to do was to choose a name. They came up with "God's Little Angels Ministry". They made their own agenda and first on the list will be to buy the donated projector as soon as our money comes. They would like to show the same Jesus video in the grass hut to their friends in the community. From there it will grow into having the community join with the adult version. They also want to go to the elderly home down the road and plant seeds for them so they can have food, wash their clothes and sweep their rooms. Just a few ideas to start with.
The Peace these children can produce far outweighs the trials we endure trying to accomplish our dream. We know that God is always with us and He is our only strength. Doesn't matter if we change one life or fifty lives, we just do the best we can with what we have and never give up.
Meet Aunty Joy. She is our newest Mama to the children and they have so much respect for her.
Together with Aunty Aidha, they make a perfect team teaching each child as if they were their own.
We would also like to introduce you to Mark. We have had to hire a guard during the day and with Mark's expertise in security, there will be no worry about strangers walking in during the day.
Thank you Northview for our ovens. Dennis, our electrician along with the help of Edwin have made life so much better in the food department. I just have to learn where to buy the ingredients but thanks to all my new "Mzungu" friends, I am quickly learning. Mzungu meaning "white".
We were so happy to have Dolly, Welli and the kids visit from Entebbe. They had moved indefinitely from Abbotsford a month ago to work for Word of Life in Uganda. Our kids performed their traditional dance with Shaban on drums and sang their famous "Welcome" song. We feel very blessed to know this family and share their love of the Lord with them and hopefully we will be a big part of each others lives in the future. We already miss them.
Meet our little Joseph. We decided to have a physically challenged outreach program and Joseph is the first of the younger children. He suffers from Down's Syndrome and in this country, these children never have a chance. Joseph has always had a dream to go to school and thanks to the Germaine family in Abbotsford who decided to sponsor him, his dream has now come true. Thanks also to The Pin Cushion Collective group, as we were able to give him a backpack to carry his books in. Thanks Michele and your group for all the backpacks you have given…they are all so appreciated.
This is a sight which is very common on our compound. Baths….and more baths. With all this red dirt, we need to wash frequently. As soon as we can, we are going to install the showers into the lateen, but the underground pipes must first be fixed to the tank from the well. That will be done along with the electricity into the children's homes as the power company has just recently put in the pole with lines.
As most of you know, the container we received had 500,000 meals of Gleaner soup mix in it. This food has been very well received and with our Aunties teaching the community how to cook it Ugandan style, they love it. One bag is feeding 75 people and each family received 2 bags. This is one of the events held in the grass hut and we will be doing it again in the near future.
We live within 10 minutes from the only "Old Folks" home in Uganda. No one could imagine this place….inundated with rats, bats and bed bugs. No assistance from anyone….no nurse, no visitors, no nothing. Average age is 80+. It is situated on 2.7 acres with no crops except a tiny patch of Kale. The clients have no soap to wash clothes or bodies with, no seeds to plant with and heaven only knows what else they lack. The kids, Edwin and I went to visit, taking food and teaching them how to cook it.
We took a wheelchair and solar lights from our wonderful friend in Hong Kong who donated lights for the poor. They can now get to their rooms safely down the dark halls. Thank you Thomas for helping them. We had hospital sheets, blankets and towels (100) donated from Langley. When we gave them those for the beds, the 3 staff requested that it would be better to donated them for when they passed. That way they could be wrapped in white to give them dignity before they were taken away by motorcycle…yes motorcycle because there is no money for transport.
I have to be honest and say, I have seen poverty at its worst but this is more than unbelievable. These men and woman are the elders and are the backbone of Africa. Three men are with them every day dedicating their life to helping them with nothing but love.
Oh yes, and we also gave them new shirts and some pants that were donated by Power to Change. It was the first new clothes in a very long time. This is Zakia explaining to this gentleman how to operate his solar light. Each one of the kids took an elderly friend and helped them.
Our chickens are almost ready for market. They are at 1kg dressed which means we need a little more weight on them before we sell them. We have a big market for them in town with the restaurants and schools but all we have are 600. As soon as we can purchase more chickens and finish the second house which will be the layers, we will have a good business going for them to help finance our project. We have clients driving as far as Kampala for the birds and then, with the eggs from the layers, we will be able to sell them easily within our 125,000 people in the community. People here are so happy for us and because we always help them, they want to support us. That is God at work again…...
OK, so little Alan fell asleep but for the others, they are watching the Jesus video on their mat. Edwin is helping them to understand as they put their hands up to ask questions and then at the end, he quizzes them. It is amazing how they are learning and want to know the entire story so quickly.
Our dear friend and sponsor, Catarina, will be here in little over a week. We will be going to 5 schools in the Busoga region which is about 120km north of us to teach the young girls about feminine hygiene and becoming a woman. At that point we will be teaching the local women how to make kits for their young girls with the sewing machine provided in the villages. We have many community projects to do while Catarina is with us and you can be sure the kids will all be involved too.
Thanks so much for supporting us on this journey both in donations and prayers.
Barb, Edwin and the kids