Hey all, Uganda is amazing. Seeing the joy in each of the children’s faces as we arrived at the school has been one of the most fulfilling sights I have ever seen. Even the joy of children waving and yelling “Muzungu” as we drive past them is a breathtaking experience. AS a first time team member, it has been very evident that Embrace Uganda is a blessed partnership; and it is one that I am blessed to be a part of. On Tuesday (June 28) morning we provided blankets to the children at Koreng Primary School. The excitement and cheerful joys were loud enough to warm anyone’s heart. I also had the opportunity to serve in the Medical clinic this week. It was convicting to learn the children only see doctors because of Embrace Uganda; which is was only able to be funded at a rate of 1 time every 3 years for each school, until this year. On Wednesday, I got the opportunity to hand out mattresses, beans, and posho to the elderly and sick. Little children would be laughing and giggling as they walked down the path behind us. As we walked down each path and around each hut to hand out the mattresses I couldn’t help but be anxious to see the reactions as each recipient expressed such gratefulness and joy. The joy I saw in these people is a joy I hope I express daily, reflecting the knowledge and joy I possess from knowing that a risen savior made the ultimate sacrifice for me. God is moving here and I am blessed to have received the support I did from Embrace Uganda, friends, and family to see it.
Mashed taters and gravy,
Hey ya’ll, yoga noi! (that means hello in Ateso). Today was our first full work day at Koreng Primary School and spending a substantial amount of time with the kids. AS soon as we pulled up the bus was swarmed by 600 children. Kids were running up from all sides, and some even started chasing the bus about a mile back. Never in my life have I received such a warm and genuine welcome. The kids were singing and waving and jumping up and down. When we got out of the bus they were all trying to touch our hands, our face, anything. That was probably the coolest part of the day. I was initially a bit nervous that a bunch of Muzungus (foreigners) would be looked at negatively; however, all of that subsided immediately after seeing the kids. They were curious, and excited and as eager to get to know us as we were them. Once we got settled we began playing with the kids. Although the younger ones have a limited understanding of English, we were able to establish a sort of unspoken relationship through games such as tag, tickling etc. The welcome also demonstrated to me how strong the partnership is between the school, the Embrace Uganda local team, and the Embrace Uganda USA team. There is a true love for the village of Koreng and an effort to empower its citizens. There is good work going on here, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of our week has in store!
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!