Don't you all agree that the word "journey" describes life in the broken world we're currently living in? When troubles weigh heavy on our hearts, we can only find comfort in the knowledge that He protects us and we must trust Him. That's what all of us are doing at Home of Angels right now.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that we have some disturbing news. Ebola has now hit our city of Jinja. It's moved north over the past month from the capital city of Kampala, but we knew it would only be a matter of time. Edwin was asked to be on the "Eradicating Ebola" team for Jinja, helping to prepare posters, equipping vans with loudspeakers explaining to the people about Ebola. They did the same with COVID and it made an impact. This team will travel a radius of approximately 100km. Edwin can only help with decisions because of the workload he and Precious currently have at home.
Schools will be permanently closed on November 25th and there is no word yet regarding churches. Parents cannot afford school fees without working so this means no wages for the teachers. We're able to stay open because our children are secure inside our walls and the new home is almost finished allowing the staff who teach throughout the week as to not expose themselves outside the walls going home.
With global warming, the wind and rains have been continual throughout this past month. Edwin and Precious have tried very hard for pictures but it hasn't been easy. We've never missed a blog in 14 years so whether we're dealing with diseases or climate change, the blogs will go on with flashbacks.
It's been decided by the community committee what to name our church and they chose "Center of Grace". It will open on Christmas day, pending restrictions, and an estimate of over 500 people will attend. If all goes well, our plan is to utilize everything we have for a Christmas service. We have the bus to pick up the elderly and challenged plus all the equipment to operate, but most of all we know Jesus will be attending. Dr. David Jeremiah's team has sent us a digitally downloadable video of "Why the Nativity" and it's possible to have it put into the Luganda language. Thank you Dee!!
A few years ago we planted 15,000 conifer seedlings on our compound where the primary school is now. We were given a piece of land in Muyauge to transplant them at the stage close to what you're seeing here.
It will be another 15 years before they are mature.
I did get permission for this picture by the way... In the past, when I was there, I took this picture of Edwin washing the floor. In Canada we have the luxury of using special equipment to wash but for Edwin and Precious, it's using your hands. I always thought that the clothes were difficult. Each child must wash their own clothes daily before they go to school.
This is George. He has polio which is very common in Uganda and came to our gate asking for help with food and a little money to survive. For any of us in the Western world, we would never hesitate. He literally crawled in the gate and was so humble.
This was taken when Global TV had lent me their camera. Usual procedure: Bring in poles, drop them on the ground, leave them for 6 months, come back again and dig the holes. Leave, and back again in months later to attach the wires. They came to HOA on Friday morning, cameras rolling and I'm excited telling them they will be on Canadian TV. Off come the poles, holes dug, poles all standing in 5 hours. Gone!!
We came back Saturday morning to make sure they weren't stolen and the wires were up and all was working. Our neighbours kept calling wondering how much we had to bribe them. Apparently a miracle had happened.
This is our latest picture of the house being built for our girls phasing out at 18-year-old. Due to Ebola, the plan had to be changed. The stage of the girls to move in here will be another year so the teachers will be residing here so our schools will be able to stay open. It's almost day by day changes now.
One thing very traditional at Home of Angels is our Christmas party for our kids and 200 neighbourhood children. They wait all year for December 25th because they get to have a full meal, a balloon and most of all a soda pop. To finish off the party, they watch the Jesus video. Some of these kids attend our nursery school. They go home when the day ends and eat dinner currently speaking English. Parents want to learn and they now are being taught a few words by their own children.
We were donated the funds from the sale of "Faithful the Cow" to be used to drill a borehole at HOA. When our electrician was finished hooking it all up and many children were lined up with their jerry cans, he turned the hose on them. The mothers were shocked....how can they waste water when we have to walk 8km a day to fetch it??? After the initial shock wore off, the laughter was overwhelming. None of them had ever had water on their bodies like this. We continued to let them play until the mud was up to their ankles. To this day we are still pumping 5,000/litres per day. Thanks again Laury and Tom!!
None of these children know the date when they were born except for Hope and Desire. They had the chance to pick a date and every year, when possible, they would frost the cake any way they chose. The water was next....we don't do this but when the birthday child was sitting ready for everyone to sing, a brother or sister would sneak up behind them and pour a bucket of water over their head. It was great!
I know many of you are aware of who Hope and Desire are. They were the first children that were here before the land was finally cleared to build HOA. They ate weeds off our land for food. Long story short, they were both accepted into YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in a town 11 hours north of us. They are close to finishing now and Hope (white sweater) was in the top six in her exams which means she will get a passport for travelling. The destination chosen for her is Canada but it's not before she attends YWAM in Kenya. For Desire, the story is a little different. We don't know what happened. She was always the top student but she will still be OK because we'll make sure of it. She will have a trade or maybe work in our church. Time will tell.
Wow for a blog I had little information to share, this was amazing. Pays to be old and a "Chatty Cathy".
We would like to ask you for your prayers for the safety of our Home of Angels and the people in Uganda. Please also pray for Edwin, Precious and our team of people currently holding it together. No matter how chaotic the world may become around us, we can find quietness and strength in our Heavenly Father's love and power.