Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Blessing of Giving

I don't know how you all feel, but I get such a blessing out of helping others.  I think I can speak for Edwin regarding this too.  No matter how we give, whether it be by taking care of someone or giving financially, it can sometimes benefit the giver more than the receiver.  We see this so many times with you who help us help these children.  But, I have to say the best part is….we are now witnessing it with the children in our home as we watch them go out and make a difference in someone else's life.  You taught them this by helping them and they really treasure the love behind "your" giving.

Speaking of "giving",  I would like to update you on Jaaja Barb's Home of Angels.
We have now re-instated our Society but are still under the umbrella of Multi-Nation Missionary Foundation.  Tax receipts will be issued by MMF at the end of each year, but donations should be sent to Barb at the address under donations at the top of this blog.   We have a wonderful Board of Directors, all professionals, who are teaching Edwin and I the business part of this huge endeavour.  Edwin is being advised on how to operate the chicken farm and to make it grow with proper management.  I am learning the accounting end of it with the help of a professional accountant to keep track of the books.  Again….all giving of their time.

I also had the pleasure of having dinner with His Excellency, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Uganda, John Nsambu.  John was visiting from Ottawa with other Ambassadors, so this was a great privilege.  He will be coming to our compound in Jinja in July to meet Edwin and see what he can do to help us.

We would also like to say "Thank You" to Northview church and it's members for raising $10,000.00 towards our project.  The act of giving reminds us that we live by the grace of God.  All of us are so grateful to you for this gift.

Edwin and I would like to show you what has been happening at our Home of Angels in the past month.

The kids were so excited when the van arrived.  This meant no more walking for medical help and maybe….just maybe... they were going to see some places within the area like Lake Victoria and the Nile River.  We had taken them out before I left in April, but there is so much more for them to see and learn about.  They also want to visit the elderly in villages once a month to help them so now we have the means.  Edwin has lined the seats and floor with a special plastic to keep it clean inside as so much red dirt is on everything.  Just look at the paving stones in this picture for example.  Smart thinking Edwin...

Most of you know Shaban, our gardner.  Shaban had polio as a small child and his legs don't function.  I met him on the road in January swinging himself on a long pole.  He told me that he came from a distant village to find work so that he could provide an education for his sister Zakia.  He gave up his own education to do this.  Edwin and I then thought that he should maybe go fetch Zakia so we could meet her.  Their Mom and Dad had recently passed away due to AIDS and they only had each other. So off he went all dressed in a suit for the long journey back to their village.  The next day they both arrived and we immediately fell in love with Zakia.  We offered to bring her in with us and we were so thankful to find a sponsor named Elliot who takes very good care of her.  Shaban was helped by our long time friend Lottie who donated his wages for his work.  Zakia loves helping her brother make the gardens look so beautiful.  Just look at the gardens below….

Because of the fungal diseases in Uganda, we must have the kids heads buzzed once every two weeks.  It was getting expensive so we invested in our own equipment.  Edwin usually does this but when he's busy, our electrician Dennis helps out.  I have to say that the one thing I love the most over there, is our trades people are a part of our family too.  They are there in a moments notice if Edwin needs them for something, whether it be for work or just helping with the kids.  Most of the time, it's done out of the blessing of "giving" again and not money.

Alan is having fun in the water…
Today, this is his bath tub and swimming pool.

                                   Don't worry, Edwin is there
                                   and only taking this picture.
                                   He had so much fun that he
                                   fell asleep.  Can hardly see
                                   any water in there…..love
                                   this boy so much.

Thank you Ames Family Foundation for our gardens.  They are thriving in both compounds and just look at how high the maize has grown.  The kids work every day hoeing and weeding so that they can have the greens for meals.  We are finally saving some money on food now so this is another way for self sustainability.  Once the chickens and gardens are in sync with each other, we will be able to provide good food to these little angels and watch their energy level increase.  

Thanks to the Gleaners for food,  to Thomas in Hong Kong with his donation of solar lights and to an anonymous donor for the van….we are now on a roll.  Look at these excited kids going into places where Jaaja's are taking care of grandchildren.  Our kids are blessed to be "giving" too and Edwin let them do it on their own while he went and did another project alone.  They could hardly wait to start their own little ministry called "God's Little Angels Ministry" and apparently did an amazing job.

Edwin is off on his own while the kids are doing their demonstrations outside, explaining to these women how the solar lights work.  He says a prayer here before he starts and then explains how to operate them.  He is in a hospital and these are nurses and women in the community who volunteer to help.  There is no electricity in this hospital so they were all so thrilled to be able to see something like this.  Maybe just one of these lights will save a life.

Outside the kids are doing their own ministry.  They are giving out food and teaching the women how they should prepare it.  They explain the nutrients in the soup and how it will benefit them for health.  They also give each Jaaja a solar light with an explanation on how to operate it along with that bag of Gleaners soup mix.  All I see are smiles here and boy oh boy am I jealous I can't be there witnessing it. Can you see the changes in these kids already?  This little guy in the green t-shirt is recently off the street and had been living in the garbage dump.

I would like you to meet His Excellency, John Nsambu.  The Ambassador of Uganda, who I had the privilege of meeting and having dinner with.  He was very interested in our project and will be going to Jinja in July to meet Edwin and making a presence there which will be an honour for us.   His dream is the same…to help his people of Uganda and I know, with God working alongside of both us, we will accomplish this.

Sometimes I just have to shake my head when I see what has happened.  We started with a one load of bricks that cost $500.00.  This was weeks of baking banana bread.  Never in a million years did we think that we would build more than one little house for a few kids.  Look what has happened.  I am thrilled that so many of our kids are out there helping and it's spreading around the world.  No kidding…the world.  From the UK to Hong Kong, to India to El Salvador….can you imagine?  "Kids are helping Kids".  Not just kids but their families too.  Kid's grandfathers who are challenging their companies to match what employees are donating.  It goes on and on but the one fact remains.  God is at the helm of this.  He is loving what we are doing and right alongside of us holding our hands.

I need your help.  Will you all put your thinking caps on and think of a brilliant way we can let people know how amazing our kids are.  Kids in general...They need to be acknowledged.

Thanks all of you…..this just keeps getting better and better.