It’s 4:00 am and we are flying above the clouds over Northern Africa on our way to Amsterdam, and eventually Washington DC. It’s been an incredible 8 days in Uganda.
Your kids are amazing. We had an opportunity to establish relationships with many of them, watch them perform, hear their stories, and shower your love on them, even as they poured out their love on us. We conducted a business seminar, a youth event, visited homes and schools, spent time with our teachers, distributed the supplies you provided, and set up a computer lab. There are moments we will never forget. Here are just a few:
1. We visited the home of Rachel Aliima, mother of our Joshua & Caleb, to deliver rice and beans. She is a widow, and she shared with us that the oldest of her 5 boys was suffering from mental illness as a result of drug use. She fears for their safety when he is around, because he becomes violent. She is a sweet believer who had her Bible and notebook open on her table. We met her Jonathan, Joshua, and Caleb and they are all amazing young men. She has experienced so much heartache in her life, and even though her sandals were broken, her spirit was not. It was a privilege to join hands and pray with her, and leave her two new pairs of sandals.(made by our very own Babra Naluwoza)
2. Our Alvic, who barely knew English when we were there in 2017, has become an incredibly articulate, kind, and compassionate young man. He bravely stood up in front of the entire church on Sunday morning and praised God because his sponsor had cancer, but God had healed her. He was also the first to learn how to use a mouse in our brand new computer lab.
3. We were standing on the unfinished second floor of Victory House, when we got the news that the lot beside it had just come up for sale. We immediately prayed for wisdom, as this could be a great opportunity for continued future growth. The asking price is $9500, and we were able leave Herbert enough money for a down payment on the land. Wow! This wasn’t even on our radar!
Victory House looks great. The teachers are very excited and grateful and it was an emotional moment when we hung the sign on the wall. We are believing God for two more floors on this building, to house more teachers, provide a gathering room, 3 guest rooms, and eventually board students.
4. We were excited to see the progress of our new building for Victory Primary School. We have two classes meeting in the corners of the church building, and when there are events or activities, they have to crowd in with other classes in a very small space. It will be so exciting to be able to give these kids some basics...bathrooms instead of a latrine, an indoor kitchen instead of a tin shack, and a real classrooms in which to learn. Please pray with me for another $20,000 to complete this phase of construction. We are asking God to provide it soon, so we could have this building ready for the beginning of the new school term in Feb 2019, when we will be adding P6 to our school. We are also working on a mini-documentary that will be a great tool for sharing this arm of the ministry with others. (And the neighborhood goats are enjoying the second floor!)
5. We had a huge graduation party on Friday night for all of our higher education graduates. It was a moment I will never forget watching those graduates in their caps and gowns spread across the stage. Our ladies had worked for days to provide dinner for 400 people; they dressed us in traditional African wear, and there were even government officials in the audience. Herbert shared the story of the beginning of Victory 1:27, and each of the graduates shared a testimony about how their life had changed when hope and stability came into their lives. What a celebration it was! Their pictures are now on the wall on our V1:27 Wall of Fame, so the young ones can see what is possible and work hard to be on that wall themselves. It’s going to one day be a very big wall!
6. The children were so excited to get your letters. Those who are in schools close by sat down and immediately wrote a reply. Some of my favorite pics are of the children holding your pictures! I talked to many of them about many of you. They asked lots of questions and wanted to know all about you. You are a very important part of their lives.
We have around 30 kids in boarding schools or schools farther away that we weren’t able to see, but hopefully they will get your letters soon. Thank you for investing in this way!
7. Our team did an incredible job of accomplishing our objectives for the week. What a great group God put together for us! It is a very difficult journey of around 8000 miles just to get there. The conditions are challenging, and the environment is harsh. Just last night it took 2 hours to travel 5 miles on the insanity that is their road system. (Another reason for the importance of Victory House and having our teachers nearby). Thank you so much for your prayers.
I became ill on Sunday morning & ended up in a Ugandan hospital on Sunday afternoon. That was very difficult because I was unable to minister the last two days of the trip. The team, however, plowed on without me and did a great job. I could definitely feel your prayers and was incredibly grateful to be well enough to travel home. As I reflect on that experience, I have a whole new perspective and empathy for our children who are sick, after experiencing the Ugandan health system as a patient. God is faithful and we know that he is continually working all things for our good and equipping us for what’s next. We will just keep trusting him!
8. We have a new group of 6 children coming soon! The sponsorship is the heart and soul of this ministry, and I am so thankful to have 5 sponsors waiting for them. As the ministry continues to grow, we ask God for wisdom every step of the way. The needs there are overwhelming and what we are doing is only a drop in the bucket, but it’s the drop that God has called us to, and what we hope will become a nourishing stream. We are trusting Him to multiply our efforts and continue to effect change for a group of sweet believers who are near and dear to our hearts.
Thank you for praying, thank you for investing, thank you for loving the poorest of the poor.
As one of our children wrote in her letter..
“Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.” Psalm 41:1