Full day, awesome team – all are feeling great, its a good tired!!
- Started the morning with giving out 600+ blankets to Koreng primary
Medical Clinic, 184 primary 1 and 2 children had check ups and were given medicine.
- Mattresses, 21 mattresses were taken to elderly in the village – one village at a time.
- Stories and Games – Lessons and songs were enjoyed by over 120 of the primary children 1200 smiles and giggles by the children at both Koreng Primary and Kadachar Primary schools.
Hope this finds you well. As I’m sure you are. Things have gone extremely well here in Kaihura and I will miss all of them.
The baby orphanage is coming along oh so well and moving quite fast. So cool to watch it as it gets built. The guys that are engineering it all are so nice fun to chat with. I let them know how much we appreciate it. I am thinking of maybe buying them sodas or something before I leave as a thank you. I have taken some progress pics.
Of course there is my baby, Cooper, who just arrived. Love him to pieces. There is also another young boy, about one, that just arrived. Their biggest needs right now are more funds for milk/diapers, another crib (as the # of babies has grown, right now 2/3 babies are sleeping in each crib), and another house mother would be perfect (I couldn’t agree more).
The children’s home is quiet (well I don’t mean that literally) at the moment. The kids left for boarding school two weeks ago. It was so great to catch up with all of them and show them some love. The babies are taking over! Home Again now has a blind girl (Christmas Ruth) that they took in. Her story is so sad. They are currently looking for a school for her to attend. Plenty of twins are running around and such.
The clinic has been working HARD! Malaria has hit just about everyone in the community it feels like. Luckily it doesn’t last more than a few days. They are so lucky to have the medical clinic and have it so close by. Every Tuesday and Friday they hold a clinic for the HIV patients. They give out the treatment and ensure they are doing just fine.
Much of my time here has been focused towards a new program that I am hoping will grow over the next year. The program is called Hope With No Limits. The focus is towards eradicating poverty in the surrounding counties by helping the poorest household to generate income and become sustainable. I have completed phase one with a group of about five other staff members from BHTF. I had leaders from the local council identify the poorest families in their community. We have about 150 families at the moment. To start off with a sample, we visited 25 of those families and distributed a questionnaire. We prayed for them and toured their home. The need was HIGH. I went ahead and took care of one guy with HIV. He basically wanted to die and so he stopped taking his meds. I moved him in a room close to Faith’s home and admitted him to the clinic. I purchased a bed, mattress, and other items so he could live on his own and be observed. I am hoping to have them move on to phase two while I am away. That phase being a conference with those families and local leaders on how we can improve things. I am hoping EU will be able to help somehow!
Here is a letter I received from Stephen Okurut who is sponsored by several sponsors allowing him to receive his Masters Degree. He is a upcoming leader in the the Koreng area we serve and his heart if for children’s education. Stephen is a personnal friend of mine.
“I salute all of you in the Great name “Jesus Christ” I love all of you like the way Christ loved the church, each one of you plays a very important role in Kadacar, Koreng and my life and family am so happy extremely very happy to God and to you for the wonderful working relationship and support that made Kadacar shine as its school. Our motto reads “Rise and shine”. Embrace Uganda and ACEM have made my leadership every recognized and appreciated by every one and I promise to work with you at every level of my work at the district. Rev Michael told me to make a name and the rest will follow indeed Rev. I have done it and as a result it has placed me in a better position at the district as shortlisted now for Inspector of Schools Bukedea district with effect from this month as result I recommend my Deputy Headteacher Akope David will be the Acting Headteacher who will be guided by me and Mr.Okolimong Martin. The purpose was for me to move closer to to the planning desk at the district so that we can build Kadacar together in terms of classrooms and furniture and its possible now. I appreciate what your great hands contributed and still contributing as Gods Blessings to me and Koreng and Bukedea as whole. I will also work with Martin to ensure that Koreng parish benefits greatly from Education office. The story is long but I attribute this to Gods plan because He knows His people.
What is on my mind? Siting in Kamialuk Primary school where we are conducting a medical check up for over 700 children. Thinking of Paige Hamp on her birthday and the best gift God gave us the Okwakols in 2006, of our other family, the Hamps. They came into our lives and through them we have come know and love many who are now the Embrace Uganda family. This blessed bunch of people have helped us to make our return to Uganda very purposeful. I am thinking of Jane, their daughter, who worked hard to raise the money for this medical check up. The story of this little girl has grown from a big story to a great story. I believe God is turning her trauma to her triumph! May God completely get you Jane out of the trauma to see your triumph on the many children who are now getting medical check ups, blankets, uniforms, clean water etc. Your story is making history!!!
God bless you Jane Hamp!
Imagine yourself immersed in the culture of Uganda…loving on orphans, teaching students, roofing teachers’ houses, delivering mattresses and mosquito nets, refurbishing an orphanage…RESTORING HOPE.
That’s what a first-hand, on-the-ground experience in Uganda looks like. We learn their names…and listen to their stories.
Perhaps you want to invest in a team member’s opportunity to go or donate toward the $14,000 we raise for our projects on the ground. Please visit http://www.embraceuganda.org/donate to donate.
We will have two teams going this year, a Short Term and Long Term team.
- Short Term Team (June 25 – July 9, 2016) Focus Koreng with visit to Agape Children’s Village
- Long Term Team (June 25 – December 20, 2016) Kaihura, Agape Children’s Village & Koreng
Embrace Uganda has partnered with www.bonfirefunds.com and is selling t-shirts to raise funds for our 2016 summer mission team’s projects. The money raised from T-shirt sales will go towards mission projects such as clean water wells, medical clinics, solar panels, and educational scholarships for orphans. Check out this year’s collection of shirts at https://www.bonfirefunds.com/embrace-uganda-t-shirt-fundraiser.
Every morning we go to Hope Academy Nursery School. Jamie, Kaitlin, and I each take a classroom and I’m in charge of teaching the preschoolers- all 30 of them!
Preschoolers are messy, dysfunctional, high maintenance, and trouble. But they are also cute, funny, lovable, quick to show you love, full of energy, and in need of Jesus and God’s love just like the rest of us. Through the task of teaching them, God has been teaching me what showing His love to them looks like. Although I don’t find myself particularly good at wiping runny noses, calming toddler hysteria, teaching numbers, or keeping them from smacking the daylights out of each other, those are some of the forms God’s love takes on for these preschoolers.
Beautifully messy love.
So,those things are what I attempt to do. I have to accept that it may be chaotic and they may still write number four upside down at the end of the day, but it doesn’t really matter- as long as they feel God’s love.
Isn’t that the most important thing? God’s love. So many times I get caught up in the details. I want everything to be perfect. While it is important to create effective ministries, I’m learning to let go of this constant desire for perfection.
Nothing in this world will ever be perfect. But, God’s love is.
Let’s hold on to that.
Today we are traveling about 5 hours away from where we were ministering at Kadacar to an orphanage called Agape Children’s Village (ACV). There are no babies at this particular orphanage, it is aged from primary 1 (around 4 or 5 years old) til about age 16. Half of our team from a ministry called World Wide 127 split from us this morning and are visiting a different orphanage that has very little babies. We will resume as a full team on Wednesday.
Please pray that we would love the orphans well, see the needs and effectively meet them. Pray that we would show God’s love to them. There will be about 65-70 children that normally only have one mamma taking care of them and a few assistants.
Pray for safe journey as we are at a pit stop roughly an hour left to arrive. Pray for those who have motion sickness to be at ease and also please continue to keep Shaun in your prayers as he juggles the home upkeep and the children.
Today we will end our time at the Kadacar Primary School where we have been serving all week. It will be bittersweet, pray for us as we don’t want to leave and that we would be able to impart the love of God as best as we can to them.
Also, we have had four team members sick, please pray for healing and protection.
Pray for Shaun as he has now had the kids for a long time without my help. Also pray for us as we are really starting to miss each other’s companionship.
Thank you so much for the prayers.
We started out the day giving away blankets to all 657 children in the school. They only gave them to the children in school (we weren’t financially able to give them to the other children who came in from the villages as they heard the news) as a gift. We couldn’t financially afford to give them mattresses at this time (post on giving mattresses away sometime soon I hope!), but I couldn’t hardly handle absorbing the emotions of this experience. All the kids quietly stood in line with their classmates and waited while we un-packaged the bags that the blankets were packed in. Then it was our job to hand out blankets to children that basically own the clothes on their back (their school uniform that we provided two years ago) and hopefully one other outfit, if that. I just bawled crying while I handed them out. I couldn’t grasp that this was the only thing (besides their school uniform) that they had ever been given to have as their own personal possession for comfort– that they would sleep on the ground each night, or if they were fortunate they might have been given a small mat. But they do not even have the haven of a bed to lay their head to rest. They don’t have a mosquito net to keep the bugs from flying all over them while they sleep. They are in utter poverty and some of the happiest, most content, grateful, obedient & God-ward focused students I have ever met. Once all the children had received their blankets (notice that they waited until then)– they screamed and yelled in elation. They couldn’t believe their new present of love– they laughed and danced in joy. They hugged us and beamed with smiles stretching from ear to ear. They ran home to show their mammas– which is so insanely humbling– to think that most of these children don’t readily receive much affection- either from their parents (it is not culturally normal to have lots of physical touch) [some of whom are off working] or many of the children are orphans and do not have parents to love on them at all. The blanket is a small way of telling them that we love them as a vessel of their Creator God who loves them so much more. A blanket is a source of security and comfort– almost a physical way of receiving love. How many blankets do we have in our home (5? 15? 20?)? We are physically giving them the opportunity to receive a touch of love from God. It was so humbling. Thank you for your prayers as we are so insanely blessed to serve this incredible group of people.
Yesterday and today we had the absolute honor of providing lunch to the 657 children at the school in Kadachar. Embrace Uganda financially sponsored the ladies of the village to make huge pots of posho (it’s a white cornmeal– looks like a really thick grits– grit patties almost), beans, and what they call soup (which is really just the liquid water from boiling the beans) during our time working at the school this week. We formed an assembly line and handed out plates to one by one to the children. There are no utensils, just plastic plates- that they have to wash and re-use (wash in a bucket with a little soap for the next class to use the same plates to have something to eat off of).
It was a fulfilling experience knowing that most of the kids do not get to eat lunch at school. I spent a lot of the day with Grace and she said they usually only eat breakfast and lunch, not dinner. It sounds like the majority of their diet is rice, beans, pocho, and some fruit/veg when available. However, every last one of the kids cleared their plate and washed it– they patiently waited for their lunch, they were not picky and wasteful. It’s sad to think I’ve enabled certain traits in my children which really isn’t ideal for their spiritual growth. These children have learned to be grateful for what they are given.
I ask for prayer today that I would come back and be able to help our family learn joy and thankfulness. A praise for these precious children and their attitude that inspires the world.