Friday, December 20, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Isn't it amazing how God creates such beauty?  I look out my window at the snow falling ever so gently, covering the ground with a thick blanket of white.  Children in the distance laughing and making snowmen.  At the same time, I am listening to Edwin and the children telling me about their special Christmas party that they had celebrated yesterday.  How the weather was so beautiful and how they ate turkey for the first time.  They told me about the story when baby Jesus was born and I was so proud of them.

Christmas was celebrated early at our Home of Angels because of the traditional custom to visit their village at this time of year. The few that do have living relatives will spend a week or two with them and return.  Because they have bonded into this amazing family unit within their new home, the thrill of a Christmas party together was very special.  Thanks Uncle Edwin for all the extras you provided.

Before I show you the pictures, I have to tell you a cute story.  Edwin came home holding a big
turkey last week.  One of the kids said "Uncle Edwin, you should have bought two turkeys."thinking he was going to breed them.  They had no idea it was a surprise for them to eat at their party.

I don't know if anyone can spot this…but I think Alan is moving into his mischievious 3's.  He is afraid of nothing.  Ummm, wonder where his shoes are…...

Uh huh…gotcha 

This is their special turkey dinner Ugandan style.  Of course along with the pop which is a very big
treat.  Maybe when our oven arrives, we will have cake for dessert next year.

Meet my prayer group….Catherine, Pam, Christina and Kim.  They have been working hard to make pillow case dresses, not just the kids at our Home of Angels, but also for the less fortunate in the communities around us.  I am so blessed to have these women in my life.
Thanks for all your hard work.

We are so happy to have received 100% of the solar lights donated from Thomas and his people in Hong Kong.  These are gifts to the poorest of the poor and are being distributed as we speak.
Thanks also to Moses for the good job he did releasing them from Customs at the airport and getting them safely to us in Mpumudde.

Meet Rachel (on the left) and her friends from Heritage Wood Secondary School.  Rachel is the daughter of Thomas who donated the solar lights above.  These girls worked very hard throughout the year to raise money by baking banana bread.  Jennifer, another daughter is at University back East and is helping us also.  Amazing family….

This is Genia, Chris and Erika from McMath Secondary school in Richmond.  I had met Genia
at Rock Ridge Canyon at a speaking engagement where the top leadership kids in B.C. attended.  From that  event, we were chosen by the Interact Club of McMath to be sponsored as an International charity and in turn, they are sponsored by their local Rotary Club.

I don't think I could ever put into words the happiness you have all created at this home.  Whether is be your prayers, your donations or just your encouragement as a sponsor, they are entirely different children.  They now consider themselves brothers and sisters, they are improving at school and they are starting to love life for the first time.  Thank you Lord for this amazing gift of life you have placed with us.

Edwin and I would also like to wish you and your families a special season filled with the joy of Jesus.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Good and The Bad

Nothing is ever easy.  You try to make a difference in this world and when you think you are on a roll, it crashes and you get discouraged.  Isn't that what life's all about?  The good and the bad?  Well, there is no way that the bad is going to discourage Edwin and I from proceeding forward.  By the Grace of God, we will continue this journey to the end as He has always gotten us through the difficult times so far.  Presently, those tough times are mostly medical.  Either our littlest guy Alan (2 1/2)  is in trouble with severe phenomena, or our dedicated worker, Sula has been almost beaten to death for a crime he had nothing to do with.  On the other side of the coin, we have two new children.   Dan, age 5 and Saika, age 6.  We had to put them into detox as they had been living on the streets for a year and sniffing glue was the only way to combat their fears.  They were totally addicted.  It has been a rough ride for them but now Saika, the oldest has become such a happy little boy.  His little brother Dan is staying close to him hoping to pick up on these new feelings he sees in his brother.  Thanks Elliot for sponsoring them both.

Tomorrow is parents day at school.  Again, Edwin will attend for 6 hours watching them sing and perform their hearts out, but loving every moment as he watches as a proud Uncle.  
They have come so far and like Edwin says, the most amazing thing about this new family is that they really consider themselves brothers and sisters.  When a new child comes in, they all stick together supporting that child, making them feel comfortable and at home.  Bed wettings are common as most are suffering severe trauma, but no one makes fun…they all understand.

Our two biggest supporters, Save on Foods and Global TV have never left our side.  Global recently filmed as the Gleaners loaded 500,000 meals into our donated container and it will possibly air this next week on Channel 11 with Linda Aylsworth at around 6:30pm.

If it wasn't for Save on Foods always there whenever we need ingredients to bake banana bread, we could never have continued this journey. They invite us to have fundraisers to promote our Home of Angels and invite the firefighters to even help us.  We have been very blessed by these two organizations.  

Recently, I was fearing for this child's life.   He developed severe pneumonia but when Edwin and his brothers tried to find help, there was no respirator available.  Eventually, they did find one at a hospital not too far from our compound.  With the help of a wonderful women doctor and the love of our Aunty Aidha, Alan is now doing well.  

Meet Saika and Dan, our two newest family members.  They were abandoned a few years ago and Edwin found them living on the streets of Jinja.  Because they were addicted to glue for survival, we thought very seriously about bringing them into our Home of Angels.  Because of their young ages, we decided to help them by detoxing them for 2 weeks as they were young enough to change.  Saika the 6 year old adjusted more easily than this brother Dan. Saika is so happy living with us but Dan has a little more adjustment ahead of him.  They will be just fine.

So happy to see this smile

Two little boys from the streets who found a home that loves them

One day my doorbell rang….. Rob, the Manager of the Sumas Save on Foods store had arrived to deliver an order of banana bread ingredients.  When I saw his arm in a sling, I couldn't believe his dedication to us.  Gord, the Manager of Whatcom Save on Foods has also made this same door to door delivery in the past.  This amazing company goes far beyond the normal to help make a difference in this world.  They are there for all of us….Children's Hospital, Salvation Army, the Food Bank and many in need. That is what Save on Foods is about…."Helping Others" and I need to share that with all of you so that you will understand the heart behind this company.  Whether it's an orphanage on the other side of the world or the sick children right here at home, Save on Foods is a blessing.

Meet Carly…Carly wanted to do a school project and Save on Foods let her do one for us promoting our banana bread.  She organized, had meetings with the Manager and set out to make it a huge success on the weekend.  Every loaf was sold…….I need to be writing a "Kids helping Kids" book. 
Good Job Carly

First of all, I would like to say thank you to Lois and Larry by donating their farm for our container to sit on for 7 days as we loaded.  What a job that was.  I want to thank our team from Northview  including the wives for there help.  We had two prayers… one was no rain and the other was that all we collected would fit.  It had poured for one week prior to the day we loaded but the morning of the big day, the sun arrived.  Everything fit…everything and when we closed the doors, the rains came again with a vengeance.  I would say someone was listening to our prayers.

Barry Kenna and his wife donated this container.  But, before we saw it, Barry went to the container yard and constructed 32' of shelving built to spec for the size of our boxes.  He wanted this to stay on our property in Uganda as a storage/office space as we would really get a lot of use of it.  Thank you Barry… We all appreciate you both so much.

Global TV arrived as the 500,000 meals were being loaded into the front of the container.  Can you imagine how many people this is going to feed?  Please go to and see the good work they do for millions of hungry people around the world.  We feel very blessed by knowing
these wonderful people.

Thank you Gleaners team for all your hard work to load the 500,000 meals into our container.  This is such a wonderful place to volunteer and when you see first hand the results on the other side of the world, it makes you proud to be a part of helping.

All I can say is…..I sure am so blessed with wonderful people in my life.  Lois had prepared a delicious lunch for everyone including homemade cinnamon rolls.  This amazing group from Northview church volunteered their time to load the remainder of the container and because of them, we had room to spare.   A special thank you to Northview for the two ovens donated.  We are now set to bake banana bread in Uganda with the 200 banana trees donated by Edwin's family.  Never in my wildest dreams did I see that coming.

The chicken house is almost finished.  The roof is on and the structure is complete except inside.  All we need to do is purchase the chickens and have them start laying.  For our kids and the medical issues they have, these eggs will help them health wise but not only that, the excess will be a profit for us to operate.  We are finding that the operation is more difficult than we thought with the kids living here now, but like I said before, God is with us and He doesn't abandon His orphans.

Every morning the children wake and do chores.  They constantly work hard on cleaning the red dirt of everything but I do know how happy they are to live here and they think nothing of doing this.  Our Aunties are teaching them to work and grow.

Our Home of Angels is becoming a real home.  We may only have 11 children out of 58, but as we slowly grow, the children feel the love and the results are incredible.  When a new child arrives, they band together as a family and welcome them.  They all have their own issues to deal with but no matter what those are, they focus on the situation presently in front of them.  As a result, the new ones feel the love and adjust quickly.

I am so proud of Edwin and the team over there.   I might be on this side of the world and watching it all happen on Skype, but in reality, he is doing an amazing job and these kids are going to succeed in life.  They are now slowly overcoming their past issues and only looking towards the future.

Thank you EVERYONE  for your donations, your prayers and anything you have done to make this wonderful home grow into a reality.  A special thanks to our anonymous donor that orchestrated the donation of sending this container in the first place; to Barry and Dorothy for purchasing it; and also to Erich and Gord at ACGI for all the work they did to help me with the paperwork and getting it to the ship on time.
Also to Katie and Jenese for never giving up baking

God bless you all