Agape Children’s Village (by Dot)

We have received a warm welcome from the precious children at Agape Children’s Village! We have had a late-arrival Mama-Grace-style dinner and are settling into our rooms. Tomorrow we will enjoy worship at Agape Church. We are excited to spend time with the children here at the orphanage as well as 20 of our scholarship students who will arrive to visit for the afternoon. More wifi is available so we hope to send the many stories that have touched our hearts.

Sunday:
When you wake up with 42 children surrounding you, life is good!! Sunday morning was  such a blessing worshipping at Agape Church. It is a short walk uphill past the pineapple plants. Shaggy from the children’s village sang a duet with Martin! Beautiful!
The Team has promised to blog tonight and tomorrow but until then I will update and send pictures for the Gallery. Each team member is so gifted in the area of children and they just can’t stop talking, holding, playing and encouraging!!

After lunch we had a wonderful time with 23 of our scholarship students who were bused from secondary boarding schools to visit us at Agape Children’s Village. We talked about their interests and future and they continued thanking us for Embrace Uganda support, enabling them to get an education. We gave them each a new book bag and some toiletries. They were grateful. Each day continues to be filled with stories…Ugandan experiences we will not forget.

Filling up hand-sewn bags for the children at Agape. They are going to be so excited!!

UnknownThank you WF Baptist Church quilters for the wonderful children’s bags! We’re filling with school supplies, toiletries, and a toy!

Mama Dot

A Glimpse of Heaven (by Sydnie)

Sunday morning the team attended Agape Church along with the children at Agape Children’s Village and area community members. The church service was the icing on the cake to the refreshing reminder from the last week, that our God is a global God. He is alive and well, working and moving all over the world, including here in Uganda. The entire service, including worship songs and the sermon, were conducted in two languages, English and Lugandan. This beautiful time of worship gave us a small glimpse of what heaven will be like one day…”a great multitude, that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…” (Revelation 7:9).

Sydnie

A chasing after the wind (by Tyler)

IMG_0869I am so thankful I decided to join Embrace Uganda on this trip. I had never left the country or been on a mission trip before so I really didn’t have any clue what to expect. I just knew that I wanted to help people somehow and I figured this would be a great way to do it. The poverty and culture change shook me up a few times during my first couple of days here, but once I adjusted to my surroundings I started to feel this incredible sense of peace. I came to Uganda to help others but strangely enough, I think perhaps the people here have helped me more than I’ve helped them. Witnessing firsthand how Embrace Uganda impacts the lives of everyone here by providing clean water, education, and health care has inspired me and given me the perspective to enjoy every blessing God has given me. I’m one of three members of the team staying for 6 months. In just one week I’ve seen countless lives touched and I’m excited for the remainder of my trip!

Tyler

Last Day in Koreng (by Mama Dot)

Exceptional week in Koreng! We were able to accomplish so much at all 3 schools this year! Each head teacher, staff and students were so grateful.

Photo Jun 30, 4 34 35 PMThe rest of the mattresses were delivered to complete 80 in the community and 20 for the boarding school students at Koreng Primary. The solar panel project is complete at Kamailuk Primary now to cover all three schools.

The big soccer tournament finished up today and Kaimaluk won the “Embrace Uganda Cup”!! The donated soccer uniforms worn by the players made them look so “smart.”Photo Jun 30, 4 10 47 PM

The final numbers for students and community seen by the medical staff added up to over 620. Many still test positive for malaria.Photo Jun 28, 1 21 48 PM

Goodbyes were hard. They are family. Tomorrow morning we travel towards Agape Children’s Village with a stop at Jinja for lunch and a short boat ride at the source of The Nile.

So proud of the hard-working Team!!

We have only had about 20 minutes of wifi each night, so we hope to send more blogs in the next couple of days.

Mama Dot

“Eyalama” (Thank you) for the Support (by Jake)

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,

Jake

First Impressions- A Muzungu’s First Day in Africa (by Lydia)

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!

Lydia

It’s a good tired!! (Mama Dot)

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.

IMG_0239 IMG_0212 IMG_0200 IMG_0130

Mama Dot

Mission Trip 2016 (by Jason)

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.
IMG_0091The 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.

baby house BHTF 3IMG_0073IMG_0070Of 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).

IMG_0074The 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!

IMG_0090
Jason

Letter from Kadacar (by Stephen)

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.

Thank you
 Stephen Okurut”

(by Michael)

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!