There are many things that a person in the Western world would never understand about an orphan in our area. Every time I've gone back in the past 10 years, there is always something new to learn. How they have had to eat weeds for most of their lives and that's the reason they cannot learn as quickly as the other child... because their brains haven't developed the same.
Also, a large number of AIDS-related deaths amongst young adults have left behind over a million orphaned children and many of these children have never had the chance to fend for themselves with their parents deceased. So there are many tragic situations, but in time, you learn to put the heartache aside and try to make a difference in their lives. Edwin and I can see that happening now. Yes, we can see the devastation they've had to go through, the bed wetting for years because of trauma, the walking around the compound all night by themselves (always watched by the guard) because they were told that the spirit gods from the smoke of a candle would kill them in their sleep. But now we see more and more dry mattresses and the school grades increasing because they are more confident. Things are changing and we know that God has played a big part in all of this.
From left to right, meet Eddie, Alan, Chloe, and Precious. I promised the sponsors to get an updated picture of their child and this is a beautiful one of just a few. I still can't believe how happy they are.
Most people go to the shoe store to get shoes, but for us, we are able to have a man selling shoes come to Home of Angels. He fits them all individually and makes sure their feet are comfortable. This is where the book "When Helping Hurts" really makes you understand that Uganda or most other countries have everything we have and we must try and help their economy by purchasing them locally.
Meet Paul, our movie star Yasin in the middle and on the end, Silas. Our friend Doreen, in Canada, made each boy a shirt at Helping Hands and believe it or not, they are still looking clean and smart.
A common sight in our area is for young girls to be searching for wood for cooking. If it's not a 20-liter jerry can of water on their heads, it's surely going to be wood. The women and children work very hard to survive here. The men, if any, are elsewhere trying to find work.
A few years ago, she and her son Alex had nowhere to live. Thanks to Uncle Edwin, he found them a place. She built her own home out of mud and now, with this last storm, it was torn apart. Our staff decided to help her to construct a new one. Mutesi and her son are now safe and dry.
This is Mutesi's water source. Sula helps her to get water to make the mud.
Sula, James, and Cheeza are helping Mutesi build a house for herself and her son Alex. We replaced the iron sheets on the roof so that the rains won't come in and she is so very happy.
Our Cheeza started working for us 9 months ago. At first, he spent day after day picking up little stones and never complained. I have to tell you that this young man grew up at 6 years old working in a distillery. He drank alcohol day after day with little food. The alcohol was his payment. Over the years, he was the laughing stock of our community. He had a bath once a year "yes" you heard me right, once a year. Edwin found him sleeping in a ditch one day, woke him and told him we needed someone to chop our wood. Would he do it? Since then, Cheeza has committed himself to Home of Angels. He recently bought his very first clothes and shoes in the market and is working towards earning enough money for his own mud hut to live in. We feed him for his work and have called him back every day since. The community was absolutely shocked at his transformation. This had never happened before but when God intervenes, wonderful things can happen. We have proof.
Meet Vic Wiens from MB Missions, now changed to the name "Multiply" and have their office in the same building as Northview church. Vic visited Home of Angels for one day with Pastor Robert and I was privileged to spend some time on Skype with them along with Edwin and the children at their praise and worship service. It was an amazing time and the children are still talking about it. Thanks, Vic and Robert for loving on the children the way you did. They won't forget you.
Apparently, we've been on the radio twice a week, letting people know about our Morning Star nursery school. I can just imagine why....this gate. Edwin showed it to me and all I could think about was "how did he pay for this beautiful gate?" Well, the answer to that is that Edwin and his friends painted the existing black gate themselves. Great job!!
Some of my board members and I will be going back to Uganda to attend Edwin's wedding in May. If you have a sponsored child that you would like to send a letter to, I'd be more than happy to take it for you.
Thanks so much once again for helping these children feel loved and have a chance to make something out of themselves in their future. We can finally see how excited they are about life
and you must know that many of you are the reason just for caring and loving them.