Thursday, March 30, 2023

Unfinished Works

We've thought about that phrase "Unfinished Works" for 15 years and wondered if we would ever be able to say "Accomplished".  All Edwin and I wanted to do was provide a small home for a few children from the garbage dumps; give them a family who cared about them and teach them what the word LOVE meant.  That's it!!  The light at the end of the tunnel is now peaking thru.  Over the years it's been a wonderful journey full of the good and bad, but believe me, without many of you, it could never have been accomplished.  God was always there to guide and strengthen us in whatever trials we faced and we know now that we have been in His amazing hands the entire time. Of course, another wonderful part of this story is Uncle Edwin marrying Precious and together making the perfect team.

To put this next part in a nut-shell, Ptarmigan school qualified for outside students to write their secondary exams at HOA because of our standard of education.  The media picked up on this and parents started calling from across Uganda.  A meeting was announced for 220 and over 1,000 people arrived.  This included the Minister of Education from Kampala, Chief of Jinja Security, Chief of Firefighters, a policewoman in charge of family affairs and one official representing the President of Uganda.  Thank goodness the police were there to handle cars on our muddy road.

We are currently at 278 new enrolments aiming for the maximum of 500 students.  Families at a distance are asking for housing and willing to pay.  They are also asking for their children to be trained in the trade school and again pay.  This will be the answer to our dream for eventually becoming self-sustainable.  

We only have one problem. The rains have flooded our area for so long now that even the telephone poles have fallen.  HOA is hoping to raise $10,000 USD for a generator that will take care of all electrical problems such as charging phones, classes not interrupted and for the children to do their homework at night.

These children have a big place in our hearts.  Remember Alan, our little one whose mother died in the swamp giving birth to him?  Jaaja was there and pulled him out because Mama died.  Jaaja raised not only Alan but 12+ others also.  When mothers pass on, it's the Jaaja's responsibility to raise their grandchildren.  Jaaja has now recently passed on and these little ones are left.  We feel in our hearts that these are the children we want to be helping.  To be continued:


With the constant rains causing such massive floods, our neighbours who live in the swamp has also lost their home.  Most homes are like this right now....uninhabitable.

And then you see these beautiful girls who were once like the children in the first picture.  From left to right are Eva, Mariam, Annet and Zakia.  These girls will be phasing out in 2023 and 2024.

This building started out as two chicken houses.  All 1000 died of the avian flu and the entire land was made into a garden full of fruits and vegetables.  When we decided to build our Morning Star school, all our children attended it until the President made a new law that only one school per property.  We are now using this building for training students in a trade for their future.  And by the way....they have mastered banana bread. 😊

We currently have 19 teachers but will be increasing the count to 26 in the near future.  Pastor Richard is standing beside Edwin and the principal is at the end in the vest.

These are stickers made for the meeting for parents to learn about our schools. The parents paid for all the clothing and the cake.  I hope the boys cutting the cake got to keep those little suits.  Our HOA girls are dancing on the bottom and it's a combination of everyone in the top picture and middle picture.

The Bible school was packed with parents who had come from all over Uganda wanting to enrol their children.  We want you all to understand that not all students will be from the upper class. Many are also enrolled from the lower classes too.  Our mandate at HOA is to help the poor and that won't every change.

Because of different class times and commitments, it's difficult to get all our children together.  When I go back, I plan to take many pictures to bring home and share with you all, especially the sponsors.  I was there when most of these kids arrived and now, to see this picture almost brings a tear.  They're so happy!

Thanks everyone for your kind hearts and caring for the less fortunate.  I also want to thank you for your patience in receiving pictures and information.  With power out and heavy rains, it's been difficult to drive the roads to update us.



Monday, February 6, 2023

Enduring the Storm

These are very uneasy times throughout our world and Uganda hasn't been spared.  Because we live in the Western world, we can understand why the uneasiness, but in Africa, this is a different story. Many people where we live outside Jinja, don't understand why the seasons have changed; why they can't walk to the market to purchase food because of COVID, or why they can't plant food because the rains will wash it all away.  And where did the hot season go??  Many of our neighbours homes washed away recently and there was no place to lay their heads at night.  It's like Edwin and Precious say, "When troubles of this world become heavy on our hearts, we can find comfort knowing He will always protect us.  He encouraged us to trust Him, remain faithful and not to ever give up hope.  I'm so proud to know our children are growing up with this understanding. 

Then there's COVID and now Ebola but Doctors Without Borders are saying that has eased up.  Also, in 2019 there were very few COVID shots sent to Uganda and now, the WHO has sent enough for 47,000,000 people.  We even have enough to open our church as soon as we get the green light.

Remember our "LOVE Project"?  The 87 families with mentally and physically challenged children?  Well, another 65 families has also requested to come and live with their handicapped children.  Precious is still in charge of that and monitors the incoming money from sales to be deposited.  With that money over the past year, they were able to purchase their first own small piece of land for planting.  Amazing!


Edwin and Precious are on their way to the marriage introduction for one of Edwin's family members.
This is the traditional dress code for such an event.

The children's Christmas party was different this year because of the rains and also not knowing who might have come into contact with Ebola from our neighbourhood.  There are 200+ children outside our walls that know what this day means and also look forward to celebrating it with our Home of Angels family.  Precious still made it special by having a cake made and of course a bottle of soda to go with that cake made everyone happy.  

We all understand what's happening with global warming but in places where we live in Jinja, they don't understand why it's rained since October 15th until now.  The amount of rain over this period of time has washed away most of the mud huts.  Edwin shared with me this morning that many banana trees have also come down.  Over the years these people have become like family to us so we didn't hesitate to help them.  We purchased tents for cover and pots to cook with for each family that we could.  

I just wanted to show you the type of homes that were affected.

It's the custom in Uganda for the grandparents to take care of their grandchildren if the parents should pass on.  For this family, Jaaja's struggle has been very difficult but she did receive what was needed for these amount of children.

Here again are Edwin and Precious presenting our little Yahigha with a special gift.  He was awarded for all the effort that he put into his studies to become one of the top students in his level at Ptarmigan school.

This is Hope, now 19 years-old and has phased out of  Home of Angels with her sister, Desire.  Both girls attended YWAM in the north for two years and currently are on mission trips in Uganda and Kenya.  Hope was one of the top six students to graduate and was honoured by receiving a passport for travel outside Uganda. It's very possible she'll be coming to Canada in the future. Desire will still be travelling with her team within Uganda.  What an amazing accomplishment for two orphans who survived on a daily meal of weeds before we found them.   FYI - We've gathered many pictures of each child living at Home of Angels over the years and are making an album for when they depart so they won't forget their family.  

We've always had it in the back of our minds that possibly, in a few years we would be able to operate on our own. Honestly, we could never have had that thought without your prayers and help.  We realize now, because of the tight restrictions in the Ugandan school policies, that we have a good chance of accomplishing this. We started with our own children and slowly graduated to others in our area who could afford the school fees. Now, with the number of enrolments, for 2023, there's a good chance of accomplishing this by bringing in 500 students which we are in the process of doing. The count today is at 225.

The Ministry of Education, together with the Jinja Health and Jinja City Educational Inspector has now qualified us for providing Uganda's national exams to be written at Ptarmigan school. It's a start. If we can enrol children from across Uganda that have the funds to come to a school that values a high education, we could possibly make this work. 

BUT, we can't forget our first dream and that was to house fifty homeless children. Three have left, all with jobs and eight more will be leaving in the next couple of years.  All we would need to do once we get rolling, is find sponsors for the new children.  By then, everything hopefully would be in place for them to go forward operating a home for the homeless and providing an education that will carry the children into a good life.  Everyone has certainly proved themselves these past years and we are very proud of them.

Please pray for us so that we can fulfil this dream.  A dream that is changing so many lives. Thank you.