Thursday, September 7, 2023

Helping Others Through Darkness

 The greatest disease and the greatest suffering is to be unwanted.  Without a doubt, we are currently living in a community of poverty and brokenness.  It's been a difficult year for everyone through many days of rain, homes washed away, few crops planted and now the people feeling as though they're travelling through uncharted territory.  There is no more wood or charcoal for cooking, food and fuel is terribly expensive and there's very little work.  Officials are also receiving intelligence that terrorists are interested in planting bombs in churches.

With all that's changing in Uganda, we still continue to have some really good stories.  Two of our girls passed YWAM.  Hope excelled in her grades and will be coming to Canada with her team soon.  We have three more girls phasing out of HOA at the end of 2023 that will also attend YWAM and hopefully in 2024, two more girls will have the same chance. We have three more new orphans coming in as soon as they pass their medical and have their jiggers removed from their feet.  Each blood-sucking parasite I've been told carries 1000's more if not removed and burned.  

Because it rained for many months, the septic tank for the church collapsed underground.  The smell was so intense that church services had to be held in the Bible school.  The new tank has been rebuilt underground so  services will continue very soon.  This room will hold 500 people.

This is Alex and he's in the last stages of AIDS.  His mother, Mutesi recently passed away and his little brother died in 2013 of the same.  We were very close to this family and Edwin checks on him regularly.  Alex knows it's a matter of time now but he wanted to say goodbye to Jaaja Barb. Broke my heart but I know I'll see him again.

Yasin is delivering food to a neighbour that hadn't had food for some time.

This is the first new child we will currantly be taking into HOA.  She has had the jiggers taken out of her feet.  She lived with her Grandma until she recently passed and then off to the streets looking for food.  

This picture makes me so homesick.  Look at these "not so little ones" anymore.  It's been almost five years since I've been to Uganda and honestly, I struggle to know who some of them are.  I'm very excited to be going back for another Christmas with the kids and our neighbours.

Edwin and the police wanted to help the men in addiction in our area, so Edwin organized and brought together the police, community leaders and camp leaders.  There are 4 camps, each with a very organized leader.  The men and women were nervous to come when they saw the police thinking they were going to be arrested but Edwin explained to them that wasn't the case.  It was a good meeting. The police spoke kindly to them, explaining if they wanted help, they had professionals ready if needed and not to fear them.

Our LOVE project is amazing.  These children are physically and mentally handicapped.  Precious and Edwin went for a visit taking clothes for the children.  This little one and many others there can only crawl on the ground.  Their Mamas are providing everything they need by working hard to make soap, bricks, chalk for schools and anything new they can learn.  They have a community bank account and each family is putting in money monthly.  Precious is the Treasurer.  

Precious took him over to try some clothes on him and he was so happy.

Look at this smile!
This father has four handicapped children.  His wife left him for another man but he never abandoned them.   He of course struggled for food so we helped him out with porcho and soap..  

Everyone received a new shirt.
I love this expression!

The older girls are in another school off-site but when I go at Christmas, I'll be sure to update you.

Thanks again to all of you who've been a part of this wonderful story.   The sponsors, the donors and you prayer warriors who never stop praying for health and safety.  


Friday, July 7, 2023

Global Warming in Jinja, Uganda

 There is no doubt that global warming has swept hard across the entire world increasing its devastation as each year passes.  Unfortunately, heart-breaking events continue to happen again and again and we ask the same question:  Why do bad things happen to good people?  God's plan may not always be apparent to us, but He's promised to never leave us, and give us strength to get through our struggles. 

There was so much water causing most of our neighbours to have to watch their mud huts float away and having no where to go for shelter; our schools and homes had no electricity and the church couldn't be opened.  Then there was our borehole. We had no water.  Instead of driving to get water, the mud was so deep on our road that our car couldn't get out, so thanks to a friend of Edwins, who came daily on his boda (motorcycle), made it through 100 times per/day carrying a full 20 litre jerry can each time.  And for Edwin to communicate with me, he had to walk to the nearest gas station to charge his phone.  He never missed a day!

When we worry over these challenges facing those we love and fear the situation won't change, we should never underestimate the power of prayer, for our loving God hears our pleas.  We thank the Ames Family Foundation for a donation to purchase a 900kg (almost one ton) generator for us to return to normal and be able to start operating again.

Ptarmigan schools were also effected with no electricity and the fact the teachers and students couldn't reach us with the roads destroyed. We want to also thank the Ptarmigan Family for helping us get back on track again. With the weather improving, the principal is continuing to interview for applicants to attend. Precious and Pastor Richard are interviewing pastors as religious education is mandatory in Uganda.

The rains may continue but with the generator we can proceed with our dream of raising orphans, and teaching the community who God is.  We now have the land to build hostels for students coming from a distance and a trade-school to teach trades for when they complete their education at HOA.

This is a church not far from us and apparently this woman had no where to go when her home washed away.  We helped many with a tarp and a metal pot for cooking but it was impossible to help everyone.

This is Mutesi and our Sula who has been with us for 15 years.  He's prepared the mud with his feet for her to attach it to the poles on the hut.  This is not an easy job.  A visiting team from Canada volunteered to help her also to build another hut and it was exhausting.

Mutesi starting to build her new home.

The truck arrived from Kampala with an 900kg, almost one ton generator.  

It took 20 strong men to unload it and Dennis, our electrician worked more than 12 hours setting it up.

A generator deserves a celebration.  Lovisa, Eddie and Bridget are preparing Matoke which is a favourite  meal with everyone.  I even liked it and I HATE bananas, just saying 😉  

Edwin sent me this picture 15 years ago when he found this family on the street.  Hope, Desire and Sammy, their little brother, who we think was abducted.  Jaaja was blind and these three children looked after her and another blind Jaaja who was at home.  I met the girls picking weeds on one of my first trips.  Edwin explained that as caregivers, they came every day for food for the family. 

This is Hope 15-years later at her graduation at YWAM in Arua, a town in northern Uganda almost on the Sudanese border.  She did so well that she was awarded not only her diploma but a visa to come to Canada in the future. Edwin and Precious were able to drive 13 hours north to attend her graduation and have pictures taken with her so she would always have a family reminder.

We are all so proud of Hope.  This is quite an accomplishment for a child that started out the way she did.

We'd like you to meet Annet, Joanne, Zakia, Mariam and Eva. (left-right)

Three of these girls are currently writing their Secondary exams and will be finished early 2024.  The other two girls will be following one year later and all of them were ecstatic when Edwin and I told them we were sending the to YWAM when they finish.  They realize it's not easy and know that Desire didn't make it even though she tried so hard.  They've all come from horrific backgrounds and they deserve this chance to show the world that if your desire is great enough, anything can be accomplished.

Thanks to everyone who helped us to raise these children.  They are amazing kids that will be making a difference soon.  With that said, it's time to bring in more little people and that's the plan for the very near future.  Also, to open the church.  We've been ready for some time but with the rain and roads, it was almost impossible to anyone to walk or drive to us.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Love in Action

Heartbreaking events continue to happen again and again throughout our world and we wonder why bad things happen to so many good people.  Where we live in Mpumudde, an area north of Jinja city, life is currently very difficult because of the rains.  Yes, those rains are still falling.  Many of our neighbours have lost their homes, children have lost their families and death is widespread.  Because burials are a challenge for many; diseases are on the uprise with epidemics of mumps, measles, cholera and of course malaria.  Malaria has affected all our kids but they are blessed to have treatment immediately.

For fifteen years we've faced the good and the bad and as rough as it currently is, we want to focus now only on the good.  God promises to be with us always, protecting us from the storms of life and we know, as our foundation, we can stand firm trusting that our destiny is safe in His hands.  So...instead of bad news, we want to share some rewards that have recently happened at Home of Angels among our own children.  

Do you remember our little Alan, the one that was always in trouble?  Peeling paint off our homes, catching birds and spying on the girls?  Mom died giving birth to him in a swamp.  Jaaja pulled him out of the water and took him home.  A few years later, we found her struggling to raise the many children she had inherited, so we decided to help by bringing Alan home to raise.  Aunty Joy pulled 52 jiggers from his feet and I remember Edwin taking him to the hospital many times with pneumonia. He had a rough start.

I have to say, he did grow into a handsome little guy, but full, I mean full of mischief.  So much so that we had to send him away.  Edwin's friends in the police academy suggested they take him into their school for children on the base.  This was very happy news for Alan.  He bragged to everyone how he was joining the police force and when they came to pick him up, he was all packed ready to go.  He waved to his brothers and sisters and off he went for 3 months.  When he came home for spring break, he was a completely different child filled with respect.  

Alan's mentor.  Sam was the very first boy to live at HOA.  He actually was there to help build the boys home and in 2012, made the move into his very first bedroom with 7 other children.  Sam is a part of Alan's story as he volunteered to upgrade Alan's grandma's home who recently passed, so the others would have a roof over their heads.  And Alan would have a place to live once he phased out of HOA.  

The recent rains have washed many mud homes away or made them unliveable.  What I'm trying to explain is how close the children are as brothers and sisters.  Sam came back to help Alan, his little brother to have a home for the future and possibly for his other siblings currently on the streets.  He was our first success story.

When children reaching age 18-years must phase out of any orphanage, they usually have no where to live.  We made the decision to build a Trade school and to teach them a skill on the outside so they would survive. But, where do they live once they have to move out?  We couldn't have it on our property so Ames Family Foundation helped us by building a home on a piece of property across the dirt road from us. There is another wall around this home also for protection and our guard close by to monitor them.   Thank you so much to our friends at Ames Family Foundation for caring that the children had a place to live while they learned a skill for survival.

This is Alex with Edwin.  Alex is the brother of Nathan and son of Mutesi.  Nathan died at age seven from HIV/AIDS and Mutesi, his mom recently died of the same disease.  Alex remained alive and lived in the mud hut his mom Mutesi herself had built.  Because all three suffered with HIV/AIDS, my daughter Kim was kind enough to purchase a comfortable double-bed for them.  Alex has now been hospitalized with only days to live.  I'm telling you this because Junior, our latest boy to leave HOA has been by his side in the hospital day and night.  Our older kids who phase out of HOA, take care of each other no matter what.  Alex was like a brother and knows the Lord well. I sent him the "23rd Psalm" for Edwin to read to him and when he finished reading it, Alex said "Goodbye Jaaja".  That was difficult.

Many of you know Junior, our most recent boy to leave us.  He's been working for our contractor building homes and he's always on stand-by when Edwin needs him.  These kids grew up with brothers and sisters they love and call family.  They might all be orphans but in reality, they are an amazing family.

This is Jaaja and she's 100+ years old.  A rare age for anyone in Uganda but she, like other Jaaja's are responsible for their grandchildren when the parents die.  In the latest rains, her house collapsed on top of her with the bricks damaging her foot and arm.  She hadn't eaten for 3 days so when Edwin and Precious brought her pain medication, sugar, porcho and soap, she broke down and thanked God.  She has three grandchildren who at that time were out trying to find food for them all.

These are her beautiful grandchildren ages 5, 6 and 7 years old.  Full of jiggers, ringworm which is very visible and other things unidentifiable.  We would like to take them into our Home of Angels and raise them in a home where they will be loved.  Edwin will start the process soon but first there must be an internal medical check done.

I wanted to let you know that I had to cancel my trip again in July.  Many of you have sent letters and small gifts to the children you sponsor and they will receive them, but not until I'm able to leave.  I will keep you all updated and I also want to thank the many of you who have stood strong with us for so long.  You've made such a huge difference changing so many lives these past years and I'm so happy to be their voice to tell you on this side of the world how grateful they are. 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Unfinished Works

We've thought about that phrase "Unfinished Works" for 15 years and wondered if we would ever be able to say "Accomplished".  All Edwin and I wanted to do was provide a small home for a few children from the garbage dumps; give them a family who cared about them and teach them what the word LOVE meant.  That's it!!  The light at the end of the tunnel is now peaking thru.  Over the years it's been a wonderful journey full of the good and bad, but believe me, without many of you, it could never have been accomplished.  God was always there to guide and strengthen us in whatever trials we faced and we know now that we have been in His amazing hands the entire time. Of course, another wonderful part of this story is Uncle Edwin marrying Precious and together making the perfect team.

To put this next part in a nut-shell, Ptarmigan school qualified for outside students to write their secondary exams at HOA because of our standard of education.  The media picked up on this and parents started calling from across Uganda.  A meeting was announced for 220 and over 1,000 people arrived.  This included the Minister of Education from Kampala, Chief of Jinja Security, Chief of Firefighters, a policewoman in charge of family affairs and one official representing the President of Uganda.  Thank goodness the police were there to handle cars on our muddy road.

We are currently at 278 new enrolments aiming for the maximum of 500 students.  Families at a distance are asking for housing and willing to pay.  They are also asking for their children to be trained in the trade school and again pay.  This will be the answer to our dream for eventually becoming self-sustainable.  

We only have one problem. The rains have flooded our area for so long now that even the telephone poles have fallen.  HOA is hoping to raise $10,000 USD for a generator that will take care of all electrical problems such as charging phones, classes not interrupted and for the children to do their homework at night.

These children have a big place in our hearts.  Remember Alan, our little one whose mother died in the swamp giving birth to him?  Jaaja was there and pulled him out because Mama died.  Jaaja raised not only Alan but 12+ others also.  When mothers pass on, it's the Jaaja's responsibility to raise their grandchildren.  Jaaja has now recently passed on and these little ones are left.  We feel in our hearts that these are the children we want to be helping.  To be continued:


With the constant rains causing such massive floods, our neighbours who live in the swamp has also lost their home.  Most homes are like this right now....uninhabitable.

And then you see these beautiful girls who were once like the children in the first picture.  From left to right are Eva, Mariam, Annet and Zakia.  These girls will be phasing out in 2023 and 2024.

This building started out as two chicken houses.  All 1000 died of the avian flu and the entire land was made into a garden full of fruits and vegetables.  When we decided to build our Morning Star school, all our children attended it until the President made a new law that only one school per property.  We are now using this building for training students in a trade for their future.  And by the way....they have mastered banana bread. 😊

We currently have 19 teachers but will be increasing the count to 26 in the near future.  Pastor Richard is standing beside Edwin and the principal is at the end in the vest.

These are stickers made for the meeting for parents to learn about our schools. The parents paid for all the clothing and the cake.  I hope the boys cutting the cake got to keep those little suits.  Our HOA girls are dancing on the bottom and it's a combination of everyone in the top picture and middle picture.

The Bible school was packed with parents who had come from all over Uganda wanting to enrol their children.  We want you all to understand that not all students will be from the upper class. Many are also enrolled from the lower classes too.  Our mandate at HOA is to help the poor and that won't every change.

Because of different class times and commitments, it's difficult to get all our children together.  When I go back, I plan to take many pictures to bring home and share with you all, especially the sponsors.  I was there when most of these kids arrived and now, to see this picture almost brings a tear.  They're so happy!

Thanks everyone for your kind hearts and caring for the less fortunate.  I also want to thank you for your patience in receiving pictures and information.  With power out and heavy rains, it's been difficult to drive the roads to update us.



Monday, February 6, 2023

Enduring the Storm

These are very uneasy times throughout our world and Uganda hasn't been spared.  Because we live in the Western world, we can understand why the uneasiness, but in Africa, this is a different story. Many people where we live outside Jinja, don't understand why the seasons have changed; why they can't walk to the market to purchase food because of COVID, or why they can't plant food because the rains will wash it all away.  And where did the hot season go??  Many of our neighbours homes washed away recently and there was no place to lay their heads at night.  It's like Edwin and Precious say, "When troubles of this world become heavy on our hearts, we can find comfort knowing He will always protect us.  He encouraged us to trust Him, remain faithful and not to ever give up hope.  I'm so proud to know our children are growing up with this understanding. 

Then there's COVID and now Ebola but Doctors Without Borders are saying that has eased up.  Also, in 2019 there were very few COVID shots sent to Uganda and now, the WHO has sent enough for 47,000,000 people.  We even have enough to open our church as soon as we get the green light.

Remember our "LOVE Project"?  The 87 families with mentally and physically challenged children?  Well, another 65 families has also requested to come and live with their handicapped children.  Precious is still in charge of that and monitors the incoming money from sales to be deposited.  With that money over the past year, they were able to purchase their first own small piece of land for planting.  Amazing!


Edwin and Precious are on their way to the marriage introduction for one of Edwin's family members.
This is the traditional dress code for such an event.

The children's Christmas party was different this year because of the rains and also not knowing who might have come into contact with Ebola from our neighbourhood.  There are 200+ children outside our walls that know what this day means and also look forward to celebrating it with our Home of Angels family.  Precious still made it special by having a cake made and of course a bottle of soda to go with that cake made everyone happy.  

We all understand what's happening with global warming but in places where we live in Jinja, they don't understand why it's rained since October 15th until now.  The amount of rain over this period of time has washed away most of the mud huts.  Edwin shared with me this morning that many banana trees have also come down.  Over the years these people have become like family to us so we didn't hesitate to help them.  We purchased tents for cover and pots to cook with for each family that we could.  

I just wanted to show you the type of homes that were affected.

It's the custom in Uganda for the grandparents to take care of their grandchildren if the parents should pass on.  For this family, Jaaja's struggle has been very difficult but she did receive what was needed for these amount of children.

Here again are Edwin and Precious presenting our little Yahigha with a special gift.  He was awarded for all the effort that he put into his studies to become one of the top students in his level at Ptarmigan school.

This is Hope, now 19 years-old and has phased out of  Home of Angels with her sister, Desire.  Both girls attended YWAM in the north for two years and currently are on mission trips in Uganda and Kenya.  Hope was one of the top six students to graduate and was honoured by receiving a passport for travel outside Uganda. It's very possible she'll be coming to Canada in the future. Desire will still be travelling with her team within Uganda.  What an amazing accomplishment for two orphans who survived on a daily meal of weeds before we found them.   FYI - We've gathered many pictures of each child living at Home of Angels over the years and are making an album for when they depart so they won't forget their family.  

We've always had it in the back of our minds that possibly, in a few years we would be able to operate on our own. Honestly, we could never have had that thought without your prayers and help.  We realize now, because of the tight restrictions in the Ugandan school policies, that we have a good chance of accomplishing this. We started with our own children and slowly graduated to others in our area who could afford the school fees. Now, with the number of enrolments, for 2023, there's a good chance of accomplishing this by bringing in 500 students which we are in the process of doing. The count today is at 225.

The Ministry of Education, together with the Jinja Health and Jinja City Educational Inspector has now qualified us for providing Uganda's national exams to be written at Ptarmigan school. It's a start. If we can enrol children from across Uganda that have the funds to come to a school that values a high education, we could possibly make this work. 

BUT, we can't forget our first dream and that was to house fifty homeless children. Three have left, all with jobs and eight more will be leaving in the next couple of years.  All we would need to do once we get rolling, is find sponsors for the new children.  By then, everything hopefully would be in place for them to go forward operating a home for the homeless and providing an education that will carry the children into a good life.  Everyone has certainly proved themselves these past years and we are very proud of them.

Please pray for us so that we can fulfil this dream.  A dream that is changing so many lives. Thank you.

Monday, November 14, 2022


Don't you all agree that the word "journey" describes life in the broken world we're currently living in?  When troubles weigh heavy on our hearts, we can only find comfort in the knowledge that He protects us and we must trust Him.  That's what all of us are doing at Home of Angels right now.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we have some disturbing news.  Ebola has now hit our city of Jinja. It's moved north over the past month from the capital city of Kampala, but we knew it would only be a matter of time.  Edwin was asked to be on the "Eradicating Ebola" team for Jinja, helping to prepare posters, equipping vans with loudspeakers explaining to the people about Ebola.  They did the same with COVID and it made an impact. This team will travel a radius of approximately 100km.  Edwin can only help with decisions because of the workload he and Precious currently have at home.

 Schools will be permanently closed on November 25th and there is no word yet regarding churches.  Parents cannot afford school fees without working so this means no wages for the teachers.  We're able to stay open because our children are secure inside our walls and the new home is almost finished allowing the staff who teach throughout the week as to not expose themselves outside the walls going home.   

With global warming, the wind and rains have been continual throughout this past month.  Edwin and Precious have tried very hard for pictures but it hasn't been easy. We've never missed a blog in 14 years so whether we're dealing with diseases or climate change, the blogs will go on with flashbacks.  

It's been decided by the community committee what to name our church and they chose "Center of Grace".  It will open on Christmas day, pending restrictions, and an estimate of over 500 people will attend.  If all goes well, our plan is to utilize everything we have for a Christmas service.  We have the bus to pick up the elderly and challenged plus all the equipment to operate, but most of all we know Jesus will be attending.  Dr. David Jeremiah's team has sent us a digitally downloadable video of "Why the Nativity" and it's possible to have it put into the Luganda language.  Thank you Dee!!

A few years ago we planted 15,000 conifer seedlings on our compound where the primary school is now.   We were given a piece of land in Muyauge to transplant them at the stage close to what you're seeing here.
It will be another 15 years before they are mature.  

I did get permission for this picture by the way... In the past, when I was there, I took this picture of Edwin washing the floor. In Canada we have the luxury of using special equipment to wash but for Edwin and Precious, it's using your hands.  I always thought that the clothes were difficult.  Each child must wash their own clothes daily before they go to school.

This is George.  He has polio which is very common in Uganda and came to our gate asking for help with food and a little money to survive.  For any of us in the Western world, we would never hesitate.  He literally crawled in the gate and was so humble.  

This was taken when Global TV had lent me their camera.  Usual procedure: Bring in poles, drop them on the ground, leave them for 6 months, come back again and dig the holes.  Leave, and back again in months later to attach the wires.  They came to HOA on Friday morning, cameras rolling and I'm excited telling them they will be on Canadian TV.  Off come the poles, holes dug, poles all standing in 5 hours.  Gone!!
We came back Saturday morning to make sure they weren't stolen and the wires were up and all was working.  Our neighbours kept calling wondering how much we had to bribe them.  Apparently a miracle had happened.

This is our latest picture of the house being built  for our girls phasing out at 18-year-old. Due to Ebola, the plan had to be changed.  The stage of the girls to move in here will be another year so the teachers will be residing here so our schools will be able to stay open.  It's almost day by day changes now.

One thing very traditional at Home of Angels is our Christmas party for our kids and 200 neighbourhood children.  They wait all year for December 25th because they get to have a full meal, a balloon and most of all a soda pop. To finish off the party, they watch the Jesus video.  Some of these kids attend our nursery school.  They go home when the day ends and eat dinner currently speaking English.  Parents want to learn and they now are being taught a few words by their own children.

We were donated the funds from the sale of "Faithful the Cow" to be used to drill a borehole at HOA.  When our electrician was finished hooking it all up and many children were lined up with their jerry cans, he turned the hose on them.  The mothers were can they waste water when we have to walk 8km a day to fetch it??? After the initial shock wore off, the laughter was overwhelming.  None of them had ever had water on their bodies like this.  We continued to let them play until the mud was up to their ankles.  To this day we are still pumping 5,000/litres per day.  Thanks again Laury and Tom!!

None of these children know the date when they were born except for Hope and Desire.  They had the chance to pick a date and every year, when possible, they would frost the cake any way they chose.  The water was next....we don't do this but when the birthday child was sitting ready for everyone to sing, a brother or sister would sneak up behind them and pour a bucket of water over their head.  It was great!

I know many of you are aware of who Hope and Desire are.  They were the first children that were here before the land was finally cleared to build HOA.  They ate weeds off our land for food.  Long story short, they were both accepted into YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in a town 11 hours north of us. They are close to finishing now and Hope (white sweater) was in the top six in her exams which means she will get a passport for travelling.  The destination chosen for her is Canada but it's not before she attends YWAM in Kenya.  For Desire, the story is a little different.  We don't know what happened.  She was always the top student but she will still be OK because we'll make sure of it.  She will have a trade or maybe work in our church.  Time will tell.

Wow for a blog I had little information to share, this was amazing.  Pays to be old and a "Chatty Cathy".

We would like to ask you for your prayers for the safety of our Home of Angels and the people in Uganda.  Please also pray for Edwin, Precious and our team of people currently holding it together.  No matter how chaotic the world may become around us, we can find quietness and strength in our Heavenly Father's love and power.