Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Grateful Hearts

There has got to be a word stronger than "GRATEFUL".  Edwin and I have been overwhelmed with this word in Uganda, North America and abroad.  Lets start with Uganda.  Here we have a man named Jenson, our contractor, who has 27 men working to build our compound.  Jenson pays these men every day to build for him, but for Edwin and I, we cannot reimburse him for these wages and Jenson does not ask.  He just takes pride in what is happening and knows one day Ugandan children will benefit.  Well.....if you don't think this doesn't make me shed tears, it sure does.

We then have James... sleeping on the property every night, guarding it with his trusty machete as his family sleeps only footsteps away.  On his own, James planted our vegetable garden, all the flowers and now an entire hedge encasing the inside of the wall. He also never asks for anything as he is so proud to be apart of this home.

We have Global TV on this side of the world.   Because of this professional team of people, we were exposed to many who continually come forth to help.   I am sure that without them we would not be where we are today and also believe that the entire Province of B.C. watches them by the responses we receive.  Thanks Global...

We have Save-on-Food whom I  cannot say enough about.  Every time I need to bake more banana bread, they are there for us supplying all the ingredients.  This enables our construction to continue daily as we  build loaf by loaf and brick by brick.  Thanks so much Mark, Gord and your entire teams.

And then we have our donors....oh my goodness, how can we ever say enough thanks to all of you?  As many of you want to be anonymous, I won't say names but you all know who you are.  Thank you so much for your contributions of shoes, clothing, medical equipment, Bibles, children's essentials and so much more.  To my Board of Directors who has had such a huge impact in so many ways.  We could not provide this dream without any of you.

Thanks to all of you who sponsor the children we already have.  To the Grandmas in Canada who have taken on the Grandma and Grandpa in Uganda to help raise their grandchildren.  To the kids here helping kids there by sending their piggy banks to us to buy their new friends a colouring book or a pair of shoes.  To everyone who sent money to send a child to school for a year and to all the schools who participated in raising money.  I could go on and on, but I will stop now.  You all know who you are and Edwin and I feel very blessed to have you in our lives.  Thank you.

I would like to show you the latest pictures of our beautiful compound that you all took part in creating.

Meet "Angel"o

Angelo is our new mascot for Jaaja Barb's Home of Angels and was designed  by a wonderful women named Lottie.  Lottie has been an inspiration to us as she continues to help the Grandmas and Grandpas in our area. She gives them hope by helping them start a business to provide for their many grandchildren.  Thanks Lottie for your loving heart. 

Meet Jenson our contractor.  God placed this man in our lives for a purpose and we will be forever grateful.  Honestly, I have never met anyone like him and to know that he pays all these men daily and never asks for reimbursement is humbling.  We are able to purchase enough concrete blocks, mortar and other things it takes to keep building, but he knows we can't pay the wages.  There will come a day where he will be rewarded, so thank you Jenson from all of us, you truly are a wonderful human being.  You will never be sorry my friend.

Thanks Richard for painting the house for us also.  Another gift from the heart from Edwin's friend. 

Our children's home is getting a facelift.  Jenson, our contractor thought it would be a nice touch to have rounded pillars and more designing on the front.  The next time you see this picture....the home will be painted on the outside.  The excitement is building with so many changes.

Ohhhhhh, this is difficult to look at.  Simon, you are my hero.  These concrete blocks weigh a lot and we have another 1000 coming in tomorrow.  I cannot imagine what it feels like at the end of the day. Thanks to all the crew who are now working with enthusiasm as they can see big results happening. Check out the grass in the background.

For those who don't know, this is Barb's Lane that leads out to the main road.  At the end
of it will be the large steel gate at the entrance.  The wall has now reached this area and in the next week will continue down the east side of the property.  The entire wall will be 8' high with concrete covering the blocks.  We have only the south side to complete with an estimation time of one month and 200 banana breads.

This is another one of James creations.  A vegetable garden with green peppers and egg plant.  You can also see the entire west and north side of the wall at the first stages of building and climbing higher every day.

Oh James....our trusty guard, flower and vegetable gardener and now.....hedge designer.
When this is all finished and in full bloom, it will be spectacular.  James loves this home and takes great pride in making sure everything is perfect.  When we were there, we watched him picking up the garbage, planting anything he could and just taking pride in our Home of Angels.  Thanks James

The gutters are on the roof and the extension into the community tank is completed.  This tank will be for the village outside our gate.  These people have been a big part of our lives as we build and we want to try and help them in every way we can.  Water is crucial and they will not have to walk so far now with a pumping station outside our wall.  We also have the idea, if we get funding, to fix their roads that we have basically destroyed with heavy trucks coming to our compound.  It would take so little.  Our future plan.

Do you remember Joseph?   We almost lost him more than once due to HIV but God had other plans for him.   Simone and Olivia....I hope you are so happy to see your sponsored child here looking so content and well.  Edwin visits him regularly to make sure he is OK and has everything he needs.  He really loves these kids and makes sure every one of them are not suffering.  We count the days until they can come and be at their new home.

Jimmy is clearing the 2 acres that we recently purchased.  Because of the donation of the pig that was given to his family, he works very hard each day to say thanks.  This lush area is large and there are many stumps to remove before we put in the chicken and goat pens.  We estimate raising 50 goats along with broiler and layer chickens.  Thanks to so many people who gave of their hearts to help us start a sustainability program.  We are not finished but this is a great start.  Thanks to all of you who contributed.

There isn't enough thanks to give.  So many of you email me every day asking what you can do to help make it go faster or what you can sew and purchase.  We need one thing from you all and that is a prayer for a container.  My good friend Amanda has allowed us to use her basement as a storage area in case this dream comes true and since we believe in the power of prayer, nothing will be turned away if it will benefit the compound and the children.

God bless you all.