Friday, January 27, 2012

From Rain to Drought....Follow with us to our Home of Angels in Uganda

Where has the time gone?  It seems as though I just sent Edwin $100.00 for the first load of bricks....exactly 10 banana breads, which by the way, took 2 1/2 days to make when I was working.  After many more and with donations from all our wonderful friends, we have finished the children's home, the latreen and now the staff home and community grass hut.  Next....the 8' wall.

I am very happy to be travelling with two special people on this trip  Marian Vanderwal and Laury DeGroot.  Both women are on my Board of Directors and this will be their first experience to Africa. Edwin and I have been blessed with these two women and their families.  They have given so much of themselves, and when things go wrong,  guess who is there to pick up the pieces?  Yes, you got it.  You will remember Laury and her cow "Faithful".  Tom and Laury donated the sale of their cow for all our water.  My oven blows up after baking approximately 5000 loaves of banana bread.  A convection oven arrives within hours, but I am sorry,  I am not allowed to tell you who sent it...Anonomous.  You get the picture.....

Back in Jinja, Uganda,  I would watch the men on skype working every day.  I would converse with Edwin regarding the successes and the problems, watch the rains continually belting down on the men with no boots in the mud and two months ago my screen turned black....Edwin cut me off from watching. 
Why?  Because they have made our home look very special and they want it to be a surpise.
The plan is to blindfold me as we walk down Barb's Lane and when I am directly in front of the home and beside the grass hut, Edwin will remove it.   Everyone will be there, including some of the children that will be living with us.  Marian will be filming as this happens so you all will see it on the blog.  I bet this girl is awestruck.  Maybe for the first time, I don't speak for awhile...wouldn't that be a treat. 

I want to thank all the people who hand made so many beautiful items for the children.  We will be taking pictures for all of you and send them in the next blog.  I really want to stress that without you all, we just couldn't make this special for them.  Also,  thanks to (anonomous) for all the medical equipment that will help Dr. Isaac treat the kids, the toys and sports equipment and so much more.  Our many suitcases are packed and we will make it happen.

I have one last request.  We would ask that you please pray for our journey.  Pray for our safety, our health and that we will choose the right children out of so many suffering. That we will know who they are and be able to bring them home to us in August when we open and help change their lives.  To teach them about Jesus and show them how much they are loved by Him and ourselves.  Thanks so much.
We hope you will follow our journey to Uganda in February of 2012 as we will be blogging with everything that happens...Oh, and I forget to tell you...Edwin has his birthday on February 5th...big birthday party in the grass hut and David and Maureen are getting married in the grass hut the second week of February.
We are loaded with balloons......and streamers.

God bless you all and see you in Uganda...

Packing Day

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year

As 2011 quietly passes into history, we are facing a year of incredible blessings.  A year filled with the most amazing people that God has placed in this journey of ours.  Edwin and I watch in disbelief as doors are opening far and wide to keep our compound in the building process.  Volunteers in Uganda coming forth to help us with landscaping, watering the grass, assisting the workers and all out of love for the Home of Angels.

In our country, we watch the children coming forward wanting to help in their own ways.  How can they help a child who has virtually nothing, they ask.  The call for these little ones is as strong and deep as it is for us adults....they figure a way out on their own.  We have kids wanting to start "Kids helping Kids" clubs in their schools, bottle drives are in progress, piggy banks are being emptied and the word is spreading.  This is a "God of Wonders" in full control and we just sit back and be his legs.

On behalf of Edwin and his team, myself and our Board of Directors, we wish you a wonderful year 2012 and we thank you all for your support, both mentally and monitarily.  We are a huge team of people who have gathered together to make a difference in the lives of children, not just in Uganda but in our own country as well.

"Kids helping Kids".........

This is our grass hut under construction.  It will be finished by the first week in February as we
are going to initiate it with a "wedding"... a real Ugandan wedding with Marian, Laury and
I attending.... We are so looking forward to this,  to watch David and Maureen unite in marriage.

The main house is almost finished on the exterior with a projected 3 more weeks of construction.
You can see on the right, our rock gardens forming thanks to Mohammed.  He has volunteered all
supplies and time to Home of Angels but what he doesn't know is, we are bringing him a little something
to say thank you for all his hard work and love.  When someone asks for nothing, it gives you more
reason to thank them, right......

This is a view from the front and you can see the light green plants.  These will grow to a hedge
size and are so beautiful.  You can see a walkway forming from the children's home to the main

In the rear of each apartment, there is another veranda.  The men are working hard to finish this right
now and you will be quite surprised to see the end result.  Sometimes I just cringe when I see the
scaffolding and ladders.  They are experienced workers and thank goodness still safe.  Good
job you guys...7 men who have worked very hard on the interior and exterior of this home.

This a view of the children's home.  You can see the pathway leading to it and you can see Sam,
Edwin's brother watering the newly planted grass.  If you look in the front of this picture, you can see
a brick they call "pavers".  These pavers will run alongside each home, the path connecting and also
down Barb's Lane which leads into the compound.  Sowob which sounds like Sobee is making 15,000
pavers to accomodate the entire compound and it's pathways.  

One of the bedrooms is almost full, besides the ones outside the house.  Sowob is making around 800
pavers a day and soon will be finished.  I cannot wait to see what this is going to look like.  Edwin, Isaac
and David....your vision is amazing...Thanks

Look at the tiny palm tree Edwin planted in honor of a Katie and Kaitlin of a
"Little More Good"'s growing so fast

I would like to also tell you that Laury and Marian, both of whom are Board of Directors for Jaaja Barb's Home of Angels are coming to Jinja, Uganda with me in February.  We are going with Edwin, Isaac and David into the remote villages to find the children who are in most need to come and live with us.  We have 8 children now with Nathan's passing, but we hope to find enough to make a total of 15 children to start. If any of you find it in your heart to want to sponsor one of these kids, please contact me and I will explain how.

We have also made the men PROMISE us that it will be our job to paint the kids rooms....We'll see how that goes over, but all in all, we will be very busy for our time there.  We have a wedding to help with, probably have to do a few of those tribal dances to celebrate and we promise to send you all the pictures and stories. 

Get ready for 2012 because this is where you are going to see alot more of God's work happening.