Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Genuine Appreciation

This is our 106th blog and a very different blog from what I've ever written before.  It's always been about pictures of the children and events at our Home of Angels, but because of bad network and the children so settled in their school studies, I thought I would put a different twist on it for a change.  There are many wonderful people that we would like to thank and even though we can't put everyone on here, please know that we truly are grateful to all of you.

When I go to Uganda, it's usually at the end of the school term when holidays are starting.  We are able to take lots of pictures and enjoy the time together.  But when school is in session, it's a different story. A normal day is to rise at 5am...chores until 6:30am...breakfast and off to school by 7am.  Home of lunch and dinner but back again until 9pm.  This happens 6 days a week with Sunday attending church and 4 hours of play time in the afternoon.  That's the norm for the older children.

Now that we have our own nursery school, we have changed all that for the little ones.  Because we have a nap room, the younger children go from 7am until 4:30pm only and love every moment of it.
When dinner is ready they ask Aunty Joy if they can do their homework first.  For kids who grew up starving, this is amazing for us to hear.  They love school and focus only on being the best student.

We would like to introduce our new "Morning Star" nursery school.  The grass is growing and thanks to Cheeza, our new employee, we are looking smart, as he would say.  Not a piece of garbage anywhere.  Cheeza spends hours a day just picking up rocks and making sure the kid's shoes have no mud on them.  He cleans the latrine daily and never asks for anything.  A perfect employee.

Our little Joweli...the star because she is the youngest and seems to get into every picture.  She wanted to show you that she looks like the picture on the wall.  This little girl is already speaking some English words thanks to our amazing teacher Miss Aidha.

It's exam time and believe me, these kids are really put to the test.  No one on the school compound can speak their traditional language, Lugandan.  If they do, they leave.  The strict rules are already starting to show an impact on these kids and they love school because of it.  Edwin tells me that when I come, they will be so proud to show off all the English words they've learned.  We will definitely work hard to encourage them.

It's time for planting and all the children must participate in helping.

Oh my goodness, I just recognized this woman.  It's Precious, Edwin's fiance.  She's helping the kids prepare the land for planting.  Edwin's friend has given us an acre for maize and beans and they will start planting as soon as it's tilled.  Precious is now with us at HOA every week encouraging the children and being a mentor to the big girls.  God has answered prayers.

Does anyone know an 84-year-old dumpster diver???  I do and she's the most amazing woman I know at her age.  Every month, Cory sends us money from the proceeds of her cans.  The word has spread and if it's not her family, her many friends are delivering them to her home.  If anyone would like to help Cory, just let me know and we'll set it up.

I've been told to get a team together before it's too late.  I think maybe I'm getting old or something, but I'm listening and I found my first team member.  As many of you know, Save on Foods sponsors us and with their help, we've been able to build our home in Uganda for orphans.  Now....finally, Lauren, daughter of the craziest Save on Food's manager I know, is baking a better banana bread than I can.  It's now a father-daughter team with Lauren baking and dad in his banana costume greeting the customers as they enter the store.

Not sure how this happened, but all of a sudden I heard the bagpipes at our fundraiser.   The banana leads them into the store playing this amazing music, along with many people who ended up buying groceries and purchasing our banana bread too.  A win-win situation.  Save on Foods is such a huge support for us and we are very grateful to all of them.

The Gleaners is a very special organization that supplies food around the world to the hungry and I am honored to be a part of this organization by volunteering.  We have been blessed to have had bags sent each time we go and we distribute them to the neediest.

The most needy indeed.  We know a grandma that has 16 grandchildren, but she has no way to feed any of them.  When she can provide rice, she cooks that and puts it on a large tray in the middle of the dirt.  The children race to get it, eating so fast, they only swallow and have never learned to chew.  This food was a real treat for them, so thank you, Gleaners, once again.  You are making a huge difference in this world by providing this food and the people who spend hours cutting it, will never really understand the impact they are making unless they witness this. It's heartwrenching.

Sorry if I've already sent another version of this picture, but every time I look at these faces, I miss them so much.  I'm not sure what Uncle Edwin did to make them all laugh like this, but they are the happiest bunch of kids I've ever known.  We all know that without Jesus, this wouldn't be happening.  He has also brought so many of you into our lives to help provide a good life for these children and we thank you all so much for caring.

Do you remember my wonderful friend Stephanie that baked "30 days of banana bread" this past Christmas?  She raised enough money to build a septic, sock pit, latrine plus much more.  With every loaf sold for HOA, she also made one for the Cyrus Center to help feed the homeless and vulnerable youth in Abbotsford.  She also wrote a song for Psalm 138 and Psalm 42 and sent it to our kids in Uganda where, in turn, they memorized the words in English and learned to sing it on their own.

Stephanie is again helping to raise funds for our Home of Angels and I'd like to share this with you.  If you go to her website and to "Banana Bread", you'll understand how she is blessing us again.

Stephanie is a professional singer and has her music available through the attached website, as well as through Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.  You can also follow her on 

Thanks again to everyone who worked so hard to make a difference in our home and provide for the children.  We all appreciate everything you do for them, but when I think about it, it's not only the children.  God had bigger plans.  Providing food and boreholes for thousands of people that were on the brink of starvation.  Hong Kong sending hundred's of solar lights for people never seeing light at night before or when the market burned down; how someone sent enough to help many women purchase a sewing machine, as this was their livelihood and they could still provide for their families.

I did mention that this was a different blog but I never intended it to be this long.  😊 

God bless ALL of you who also gave from your hearts over the years.