Sunday, September 15, 2013

Happiness begins with a "Smile"

Giggles and laughter are the sounds you hear from early morning until bedtime.  Such a happy sound from children who had previously experienced sadness, struggles and loneliness.  Our first seven kids have made the adjustment, knowing we love them and will not abandon them.  There are rules and there is structure but if they truly want to be in this family, they will be with us until 18 years old.  We will give them the ability to go out into the world with a trade and survive.  We will give them love and a sense of belonging to build the self esteem that most of them lack.  It all starts with a hug and a smile.

Jowell and Dennis arrived on a motorcycle just before I left.  It was so nice to watch the other kids welcome them and their sister, Joanne who already lives with us, be able to bond with her brother and sister for the first time.  These two children have really suffered and it will take extra time to heal.  I have no doubt that our kids living there will bring them around, teach them to be clean and value
themselves, but most of all teach them about Jesus who will never abandon them.  It's impossible to put the word "Thanks" into words for those of you who sponsor these kids.

The school they have been enrolled in is tough.  There is no doubt they will learn here but in order to do that, we had to place all but two back one year.  When a child cannot speak any English and has a 86% on their report card, you know something is wrong.  We only want them to succeed and will do whatever it takes.  We have been blessed with a special person that has donated money only for education within our compound. Besides the classroom she furnished and all the educational material, we still have enough money left to hire a coach to help them.  Thanks so much Nina from all of us.

Arrival day for Jowell and Dennis......They came by motorcycle (boda) and were welcomed by everyone.

Can you imagine 20 of these smiles?....can't wait

Uniform day for the new ones and a special picture with the Headmaster.  Thanks to all of you who sponsored these kids and allowed them to get a good education.  It will mean their survival in the future.

Before I left, the kids created a special song for Jaaja Barb, Uncle Edwin and all of you that helped them to have this home.  They memorized the words in English and I filmed it the day before I left.  It was amazing and eventually it will be on YouTube for you to also see.  Thanks Northview for the
Kid's Ministry t-shirts....they were a special touch.

Jaaja Barb and Uncle Edwin

Each child has his/her own garden.  They have been taught to plant, transplant and take care of them.
When the wall for our two acres is completed beside us, James, Sula and the children will finish planting there and harvesting.  We will have enough food for us and also for selling within the community to help us buy the rice and beans.   

The grass is now all planted.  Below this area, along the wall, we are hoping for a playground that our wonderful friends in London England are raising money for.  They are raising it by having a bike race.
Thanks Mark and Rachel for your determination in providing a way for fun within the compound.
If anyone would like to see, please go to:

We were all working in the compound when our Contractor John asked Edwin and I if we had just one little blanket we could spare.  There was a woman directly behind us that had just had a baby and had absolutely nothing.  Her husband had worked 2 weeks for us and we had given him a t-shirt when we arrived.  The baby was wrapped in that with a dirty curtain wrapped around that.  Paper bags on the window, no mosquito nets, no furniture.....not even a pot or pan.  We went into action and brought everything we could spare to help them out, including a curtain, mosquito net and bed for Mama and baby.  Thanks to Thomas in Hong Kong, we gave them one of the solar lights he donated so they could see at night.  It was her first and she delivered him herself.  Goes to show that the birthing kits had brought from Canada will be worthwhile over here.  We believe in education for these people and we will be having classes as soon as I go back to teach the women how to make them.  

The elderly and poor.  Thanks again to Lottie and
Marlaina for helping these two families to have
food.  Grandpa is 91 years old with grandchildren
to feed.  He has a hernia and arthritis but too old
for surgery so this food is a real blessing.
Sula and his family struggle terribly as others do
there, but you also have given hope to this family.
Sula now works for us and is trying to raise his
pigs so that he can take over the role of supporter
in this family.  Both men thank you so much.

There was no water for 4 days in our community.  We opened the well last week at 10am and closed at 8pm.  Total visitors to arrive were 1,300 with an average of 3-4 20 litre jerry cans each.  Edwin was water cop and they all minded his every word as you can see in this picture.  There comes a desperation when there is a lack of water over there.  They cannot cook, wash or clean their bodies without it.  Normally, at a boar hole you must pay also....we charge nothing so they come for miles around.  The children helped Edwin to keep them in lineups and all in all, it was a very rewarding day.  God blessed us with this well.  All the water taken had no effect on the water level.  Thanks Laury and Tom for selling your precious "Faithful" to provide life to so many people.

I'm home now, baking banana bread again and doing speaking engagements in order to raise money.  We realized that it takes more than we thought to keep it operating so we are now trying to put a sustainability program together in order for Uganda to carry on in the future. We have decided on 500 chickens which will produce eggs daily and provide an income selling them within the community.  Also, we would like to build a bakery on site to provide bread for ourselves and the many people around us. We have been given a quote of $6,000 which covers even the clientele.

We value your opinion as many of you have added your ideas in the past.  If anyone would like to either help us sponsor a child or throw some ideas around, we would be very open to listening. This Home of Angels belongs to everyone who wants to help in some way.  We couldn't have done any of it without you and we want to continue showing you all the results of changing lives.  God is using you all.