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.