Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sharing the Blessings

Christmas time is almost here and we hope that you are preparing your hearts for the amazing gift of Christ's birth and all that it means.  Whether we celebrate in a country blessed with everything or in an impoverished nation, we must never forget that we have received a priceless gift and to remember all that He has done for us.

In our 2012 Christmas blog, I wrote about the snow falling ever so gently in Canada while in Uganda, it was so hot.  This year in 2015, we have rain and lots of it on both sides of the world.  In Uganda, it has been devastating.  One report had warned that Uganda and other East African countries would experience an El Nino effect from October 2015 until February 2016.  Cholera and malaria are threatening the lives of many people and Edwin is not just standing by.  He has taken his wages to try and help some of the hundreds of kids in our area by purchasing mosquito nets and distributing them.  Like he says...who knows of a rich man that has a child dying of malaria?  These poor children are losing their lives because they have no protection and people like Edwin reach out to help.  I have witnessed the horrors of poverty there and I try to imagine watching it daily.  To go to 4 funerals in one day with children dying under 6 years old due to lack of a $10.00 mosquito net is mind boggling.

Edwin and I both realize we cannot help everyone and we know we need to concentrate on helping our children first.  We are working very hard to find operating costs for 2016 and that has to be a priority.  I do understand why he has tried to help and I am very proud of him for doing God's work at this special time of year.

Two kids from a village north of us that came to receive a mosquito net.

Edwin, along with Moses, Ivan, Bridget, Lovisa and Annette walked 1 1/2 hours into the bush and found kids living with no parents.  Edwin picked one child from each group and brought them back to our Home of Angels compound.  Our kids then presented each one with a mosquito net and walked them back 1 1/2 hours to their village.  The reason why they did it this way was to prevent a stampede as we had witnessed in the past.

Thank you TOIS for providing a way for us to get electricity when the City of Jinja cuts us off.  The people with homes suffer due to the demand used by businesses and factories.  We now have an inverter with batteries so that when the power goes off, we will have a stand-by system.  This is a wonderful gift to have as communication between Canada and Uganda is so vital in our operations.

Play-away in the U.K. has been raising funds for a playground for us for the past few years.  They are now installing it and the kids are so excited.  Thank you Rachel, Mark and all your team members for wanting to put a smile on the children's faces.

Kid's playing

African Relief Club

This group of "amazing" students at Chilliwack Senior Secondary School, along with their teacher Steve, have opened a food kiosk within their school to raise money for their organization in Nigeria.  They decided to partner with us at Home of Angels in Uganda and share all profits made annually between both of us.  Their African Relief Club is making a big difference in both of our organizations and I wanted everyone to see what I mean when I say "Kids helping Kids" is the best part about what we are doing.   I was brought to tears when they presented us with this cheque.

This is a village very close to our Home of Angels.  The village where our little Nathan lived that died of AIDS.  The children have basically nothing including clothes or food but always have a big smile.

One day when the kids were at school, Edwin found clothes in our container and decided to give them a present.  Smiles even got bigger.

Because we have been blessed with a donation from the Rotary to share a container, I won't be going back for Christmas this year.  It is very important to put this together so I will wait a few more months until our team from Northview arrives.  The children are already working hard on a welcoming performance with the odd Skype visit to show me what they are learning.  I am so proud.

Thanks to all of you who supported us in 2015 and made it possible to grow in the way we have.  Our farm is doing well with the chickens and vegetables along with the goats thriving up north.  If it wasn't for all of you, none of this would be happening.

Merry Christmas with blessings to all in the New Year 2016.