Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hope...A powerful emotion

The kids you see in this blog have “HOPE".  They often come to watch the construction and each time they feel a little closer to the day they will live in their new home.  It feels so good to see the happiness on their faces.  I promise to make that day available to all you by creating a blog with lots of pictures.  I want to show what you have done for these kids over the past 3 three years and to feel like you are all participating as they move in.  So many of you have helped to fund us and donated many of the things it takes to run these homes.  I haven't acknowledged some of you yet because it hasn't happened, but I know who donated for each thing and when we buy the item, I will.  Just know that 100% of your money arrived to Uganda.

I wasn’t going to put the gate on the blog until it was finished but I have to show you the progress.   Once the wall is plastered and the gatehouse completed, the children will be able to move in soon after.  In the meantime, we have decided to finish the main house so that Edwin, Dr. Isaac and David can make this their home.  The next step will be the plastering of the wall and the furnishings to follow.

We started this project in June 2010 and even though it feels like a long time baking 1000's of loaves of banana bread, it has relatively been a very short time.   I also want to thank everyone for buying my banana bread and also to the people who have helped me bake.   The biggest thanks must go to Save on Foods.  They supply all the ingredients to make this project grow and we are very grateful to them.  Results of last months fundraiser was 90 lbs sold at Whatcom and 1,400 lbs at the Sumas store.  You helped make a simple thing like a banana bread create a miracle.  Nothing is impossible.

Because of our wonderful friend, Natasha, who took it upon herself to find an online fundraiser to raise money for our Home of Angels, we raised almost $8,000.  We have received the money and I would like to acknowledge all of you that donated.  Thank you to my daughter and her many friends who came on board to make a difference in our project in both Canada and United all made a huge difference to so many little lives. We want you to know that you are welcome to come and visit us at any time.

Thanks also to Janita, who made and provided all the brochures for handouts.  Thanks to Joyce for donating the labels that go on each banana bread loaf.  What would we do without you both?   It made such a huge difference for promotion and enabled many people to contact me.  

So many "Thank you's" to such an amazing team.  God bless you all.

This is the entrance to our compound.  The guardhouse has to be finished and more concrete to be put
on but when I get there in a few weeks, it will be fully completed.  The outside of this gate has some
special designs thanks to John our contractor, so I have a surprise waiting.  This Jaaja is getting very excited to see and counting the sleeps.

The inside of the house is painted and now comes the base coat on the outside.  This will be also
completed when I get to come.

The concrete road curbs have been placed around the gardens to separate the grass from the paving stones soon to be put in.

The crew are building a retaining wall with stone slate along the front of the main house.  Steps are being built along the entire wall leading to the road and pathways to the children's home.   We have a problem when the rains come and with the work done in this area, it will be controlled for the future.
Sometimes these things have to be done for the longevity of the compound but at the same time, gives a beautiful appearance.

I would like you to meet Catarina and her friends, Lourdes and Julie.  Catarina volunteers with Days for Girls in Coquitlam making sanitary kits for young girls.  She has made us 50 kits to take back to Uganda so the girls won't have to hide one week out of each month.  These young women living in the remote villages do not really understand what is happening to their bodies.  I have learned to teach the women how to make these by hand and will have clinics in our community to show them.  In the meantime, we are very grateful to Catarina for all her hard work and Lourdes and Julie for helping to assemble the kits.

Here is a sample of what is in each kit.  It has a washcloth, pair of underwear and a shield that holds the pads.  The shield snaps under the panty.  To wash them, there is a small bar of soap with a giant ziplock bag to use a their mini washing machine.  A pretty drawstring bag holds everything inside.

We will be having a fundraiser when I get back in January and there will be a silent auction.  A very devoted couple who have supported Dr. Isaac with all his medicine to help the children, decided they
were going to take it a step further and donate something to this auction.  Carolyn has made a beautiful Fairy quilt and it is lovely.  Thank you Carolyn for all the work put into this.

Hadeja, Maryanne, Olivia and Jaaja

Grandma and Grandpa in the Lusoga language means “Jaaja”.

Jaaja and his three grandchildren really tug at my heartstrings.  Jaaja lost his daughter and also his wife a brief time later and was left to raise his 3 grandchildren at 91 years old.   We promised we would help him by taking the three girls when we opened.  Jaaja has been a Muslim for 91 years but because of all the gifts given to him by a wonderful lady, he is now a Christian.  He couldn’t understand how so many people were so kind to him and who was this Jesus that gave him food occasionally?  Wow, this is what it is all about.  Thanks to Melody and her family for sponsoring Maryanne and another thanks to Barbara for sponsoring Hadeja.  They are so happy you care about them and they promise to make you proud.

Alex and his Mom Mutesi

Alex has been through so much.  We have seen him lose his father, his brother Nathan and now Mutesi his mom is very sick with HIV/AIDS.   Nathan was our first little angel and he was taken last year by cancer.  We thought he would pass with AIDS, but the cancer was the cause.  This little boy will always be with us and never forgotten.  My daughter and her family sent money for a bed for him to be comfortable on at the end.  His brother Alex will come with us when it is time.  Thanks to Amanda and her family for sponsoring him and making him feel loved.  He treasures your pictures and letters you send him.

This is Jowan.  She has been separated from her brother Dennis and sister Jowell for some time now as she lives at Agape Children's Home in Mpumudde and her siblings are living with people further north.  We made the decision last year to reunite all 3 children and have them live with us.  Jowan is a gentle little girl who has been through so much but she still continues to put that beautiful smile on her face.

The word "Hope"....this is where that word is really felt.  This is Joseph and he has been very ill.  When Marian and Laury came with me earlier this year, we almost lost Joseph twice.  He was in rough shape due to loss of blood but now he is looking forward to moving into his new home and feeling like he really belongs somewhere.  It's that word "Hope" that is keeping him going. He is not able to go to school yet, but I believe in time, he will.  His neighbour looks after him for now and what a wonderful caring woman she is.  Edwin brings him to the compound so that he can watch the construction and he lights up every time.

Well, the time is coming soon when I will board that plane and head on a long journey across the world.  I am excited to spend Christmas in a part of the world where there is little but where the
people celebrate the birth of Jesus in such a simple and wonderful way.  To bring all the children together and spend time with them and give them one present each.  Probably the first they have ever received but they will be very excited no matter what it is.  Another new experience to humble me.

Thanks to all of you for continuing to follow this journey with us.

God bless all of you.