The last few days have been full of goodbyes. Today was no different. We said many goodbyes after church today.
There were many new people at church today. The picture is of one of those new visitors. He was so thankful that he could be there today. He cannot walk upright. He drags himself across the floor with his hands.
The missionaries here prepared lunch for all of us today. We leave tomorrow, and the Ukrainians who have been visiting will leave on Tuesday. It was a sweet time of fellowship with some very delicious lemon pie.
If it be the Lord's will, we will be in our home church next Sunday! We love you all!
There was another record number of children at Esangalo again today. The previous record was 2,228, reached only two weeks ago. This week there were 2,550 children!
After the children were fed, James and I sat down in the shade. It wasn't long before we were surrounded by children.
Today a young man at the medical center sent us a very sweet email:
"I have really enjoyed the time I have been with you and for the short period I have had with you, you have been my mentor and am so down on hearing that you are soon leaving will always miss you, you have been so inspirational looking at you as my mom and I will always remember you forever. When I look at you sharing in the devotion I see Christ in you and wishing to be like you. Wish you the best and may the almighty God grant you and James journey mercies back to states. Sent from the bottom line of my heart , what I feel though i have always feared to approach you in person and i wanted if possible to take a photo with the two of you before you leave."
So I promised him a photo, and it turned out to be a 30 minute group event. We had such a great time with them.
James was scheduled to do the devotion at the medical center today. He did a good job; God gave him a good message. His Scripture was from Luke 9:51-56. He talked of how James and John had a spirit of revenge and the need for forgiveness. He also talked about the fact that even though Jesus rebuked them, He still used them. Even if we have made mistakes in the past, God can use us. Praise God!
This morning was bittersweet. I felt like we were back at Flat Creek before we left. The employees of the medical center used this time to tell us what our time here has meant to them. Many of them are single, and they wanted to know the secret to our marriage. They expressed that they would like to have a good marriage one day. I told them that James and I have never been so happy as when we put Jesus in our marriage. We encouraged them to put Jesus first.
They wanted to know how we met. James and I met at the Chevron station one Friday night. So we told them to go to the Safari Fuel station and hang out. It was too funny.
We have really made some good friends here. We hope and pray that others have seen Jesus in us.
Today was a blessing. I was allowed to help with the process of giving out disaster relief baskets. I escorted recipients from one station to the next. Many could not speak English, but those who did were so thankful for the help.
I have learned to say "How are you?" in their language. I said it once. That was a mistake. She thought I could speak the language, and she began a whole conversation in their language. I need to learn more.
The picture is one family loading their food on a bicycle. They were receiving a bag with rice, posho flour, and sugar which weighed around 50 pounds. They also received a bag of beans which was probably around 25 pounds and a bottle of oil. Some carried it on their bicycle, some had a bota bota (pronounced boat-ah boat-ah). A bota bota is a motorcycle taxi. Others simply carried it, mostly on the top of their heads.
Today another baby was taken to the hospital. I'm sure there are more than I am aware, but they look so pitiful.
The mama with the malnourished daughter was back today. I was worried about her because she didn't come to the village yesterday. She was back today, and I was so glad to see her.
Today James and I were changing out a screen on a window at the cottages. We had the screen on the porch. Two of the guys who work at the village walked up to talk to James. One of them picked up his multi-tool and began opening all the gadgets. They were amazed at the things in it. He would open one and show it to the other guy. They would both laugh, then he would close it and open another one and laugh. It was funny to watch them. We take so many things for granted.
This is our shopping place for fruits and vegetables. James traveled today with one of the drivers to Busia. He had to pick up some plumbing supplies, and he did some grocery shopping for us. This is surely not Harvey's or Wal-mart grocery, but this is where to get fruits and vegetables. This picture is the best looking side of the market. Tomatoes were very plentiful today. He also got pineapple, bananas, onions, green peppers, and potatoes. Hopefully we have enough to finish the week. We are counting down the days now. We leave next Monday.
One of the youth groups did a dramatization today of Phil Vassar's "This is God." It was very good. I did not know the song, so when we got home I looked up the lyrics. Some of the lyrics say, "Hey, this is God. Can I please have your attention. There's a need for intervention." In the chorus it says, "Oh all I'm asking for is love. I've seen you hurt yourselves enough. Oh I've been waiting for a change in you."
My heart is heavy. I told you earlier in the week about a lady whose daughter is very malnourished, and she works around the cottages. On Friday James and I were headed home and passed her. James had to stop at the school to make sure it was locked. I saw her walk up to the church and then turn to go home. I remembered I had not seen her come to be paid that afternoon, so I asked James if we could hurry to catch her before she went out the gate, so I could pay her. She was so thankful and said, "God bless you madam." I was so thankful that she did not go home without her pay. I can't stand the thoughts of them not having food.
Today she was in church. Many had gone to the front to get prayer. She was sitting on the bench, holding her baby. She had the tie scarf up to her face and was visibly crying. I felt the tug of the Holy Spirit to go pray for her. I asked God to comfort her and give her peace. I don't know if she knows the Lord, but I am thankful that she was in the right place to receive what she needed. Please say a prayer for her.
These are the helpers for Esangalo. They meet every Saturday morning for prayer and devotion to prepare for the day. Some of these are teachers. Some are class helpers; the classes are so large. Some collect tickets while some collect plates and cups when children are finished eating.
Today there were two little boys who had their younger brothers with them. One of the younger little boys was kicking and fighting one minute, and the next minute he was sucking his thumb and looked as if he needed a nap. I tried to get him to let me hold him, but he would just scream every time he looked at me. The two older boys tried to get their younger brothers to sit with us, but they were not having it. They would scream when they looked at us. The older brothers thought it was funny.
People here are so hungry. There has been a drought, and crops are few. It shows when there are record numbers of children at Esangalo. Helping Hands Foreign Missions has given people the opportunity to purchase Emergency Relief food baskets with rice, flour, beans, sugar, and cooking oil. Almost 300 baskets will be delivered on Monday. Praise God that 300 families will have food next week.
This is the devotion room in the medical center and the people who I have come to love. They have made me feel very welcome. They have taught me O leo o ti, "How are you?" The answer is Ndeo, "I am fine." The spelling may not be correct, but maybe you get the idea.
They have allowed me the opportunity to do a devotion each week. This week I was put on the schedule twice. Patrick said he was resting, so I had double duty which was fine. God is faithful and gives me words to speak.
Today I told them that God has a plan for each one of them and encouraged them not only to look for the earthly plan, but the Heavenly plan that God has for them. We can only see limited amounts with our eyes, but God can see much more. He sees what He can do through us.
This baby was at the medical center this afternoon when we went to get the keys. He looked very sick. They took him in the ambulance to a hospital. He needs prayer.
I really want to fry this rooster some days. James said he would be too tough to fry; we would have to put him in chicken and rice. He will stand in the courtyard and do his cock-a-doodle-do over and over and over. One day he went door to door crowing. When he crowed at one door, he would move to the next door and do it all over again.
We went to the medical center this morning to take the keys and stayed for devotion. The message was "depend on God". After the message one of the girls asked a question. She said, "If someone has been praying to become pregnant, and God has not answered, so she goes to the witch doctor and afterward gets pregnant, did the baby come from God or Satan?" I waited to hear what would be said, but when one answered that it was from Satan, I said, "Lord, give me the opportunity." My heart was about to beat out of my chest. When the speaker said is there anyone else, I jumped in. I explained to them that it only appears that Satan has that kind of power, but only God creates. The Bible in Genesis said God created. He is the creator. I also reminded them that in Job, the devil could not do anything to Job without the permission of God. The child comes from God, not Satan.
I know the Holy Spirit was working today. I could not have come up with an answer that quick without Him. I praise God for His Spirit. James and I praise God for the opportunities He has given us to share about God and share the love of Jesus. Please continue to pray for us. We love you!
The Village of Eden employs many people to cook, take care of the grounds, clean, make roads, and put up fences. The people work with their hands and with hand tools. There is one sweet lady whose daughter is extremely malnourished. She brings her daughter every day to be fed. She works around the cottages for extra money. She has been hoeing around the edge of the cottages where the mowers cannot mow. Look how straight and even. She is a very hard worker.
James and I have lived through a time when we were in need, although not anything like these people. We had people who helped us, but we would much more like it when we could work to receive than to take a handout. I think a lot of these people are the same way. They work so hard for their wages, but they are willing to do it to take care of their family.
A young girl, who was our interpreter the last time we were here, asked if we had any laundry for her to do. We have been doing our own laundry, but I let her do some for us. While she was washing our clothes, I offered her a cup of Coke Zero. She finished drinking it in my kitchen and asked if she could have some bread. It had not occurred to me that she was hungry. I had a full loaf and a partial loaf. I gave her the partial loaf, and I thought she was going to sit there and eat it all in one sitting. I told her she could take some home if she wanted, so she did.
James and I have gone through a rough financial season, but we never knew what it was like to be truly hungry. We invited her back to do our laundry this weekend. We are well able to do our own laundry, but I want to help this girl. She is the one who asked for the Bible while we were going hut to hut last summer. Some of you may remember that story. Please pray for her and her family.
Today my heart has been overflowing. A few weeks ago God's message to us was that He would fight for us. He has surely done that and answered a prayer.
We are so thankful for the time we have had here in Uganda. We have two weeks left, and we are sad. We miss our church family and our family, but God has truly placed Uganda and its people in our hearts.
James and I could never thank you all enough for making a way for us to do what the Lord has called us to do. We still have objectives to meet before returning long term, but God has been working on our behalf. We cannot wait to get back here.
At the bush church last night, the team handed out clothes to the children. This little girl could not wait to put on her new dress.
This is the church from which they took the couches and benches.
Today we traveled to Osapiri Church, another bush church. Our van was able to make it through the mud, although at times we thought we would have to push.
Church was held outside, and we were thankful that the rain held off. They had speakers and microphones run from a truck. They brought out couches for us to sit. I always feel really bad because they want to put us in a place of honor and give us the best seats. I know this is their way of making us feel welcome, but I would rather give those best seats to them. I have seen how hard they work; even here we live leisurely in comparison.
These are the singers.
These were some children sitting in the window behind me at the bush church.
Sunday afternoon we traveled to Buyala church in the bush. Before we arrived the rain began, and we were late. The church was already packed, and the worship was in full swing.
beside the road
It is not uncommon to see baboons beside the road. There were several beside the road today while we were traveling to a bush church.
The team gave the children bubble wands. They had a wonderful time blowing and catching bubbles.
Sunday was a packed day. The team from Kentucky did a youth event with the younger children of the village after lunch. They were so cute and energetic. This is a picture of them singing.
We had a record number of children for Esangalo on Saturday, 2,228. It has rained every day for the last week, Praise God. Before it was so dry. People are really hungry because the crops were not growing. There is a corn field next to the medical center which is looking a lot greener now. Maybe the crops will be successful. Helping Hands does great work here, but the need is so great.
The picture is of a little boy who slowly slid over between us and held my hand during praise and worship.
I apologize that we have not posted in a while. We have tried to participate with the team from Kentucky. Our schedule has been more active than normal.
On Thursday night the Kentucky team did a Bible study with the mid-aged children who live in the village. They played games, did a craft, ate popcorn, sang, and acted out a Bible story. It was fun.
On Friday night they did the same thing with the older teenage students who live at the Village of Eden. This is a picture of the game for this group. The students had to attach a rubber band to a balloon and put it around their ankle. The object of the game was to pop the balloon of others and be the last one with a balloon. As you can see, the teenagers really loved this game.
When we arrived home from work today, a missionary team from Kentucky had arrived. We were serenaded by these children. Some were beating on some 50 gallon drums while others were singing. You never know what will be going on around here. :-)
More about bugs
These are the wings that the white ants shed. One of my coworkers said people were all over the ditches up to Busia digging for the bugs. When James went to the market this week, he saw bags of them. People had dug them and were selling them. It is a very exciting time here in Uganda.
My coworker said he did not eat the white ants, but where he is from they eat grasshoppers. They roast them first instead of eating them alive. The grasshoppers here are the large ones we sometimes see at home.
This is a picture of the new road. It will be nice once it is completed. Dump trucks bring in the meram (rocky clay); workers spread it with shovels. It is a slow process.
When I posted a picture of Brenda's classroom a few days ago, I realized you could not really see Brenda. We sat behind her in church yesterday, so I asked her if we could take a picture with her. This is a better picture of her.
Esswa - White Ants
On our way to church this morning, there were things on the grass that looked like wings from a bug. We were not really sure what they were. They kind of looked like the Pine tree seeds that fall, only larger.
After church several children were digging in the grass around the school where the wings were. I asked one of them what they were looking for. A little girl showed me some large ant-looking bugs.
Later we passed a group of children with a cup of the bugs. I asked them what they were going to do with them. A little boy, Ronald, said, "Eat them. They are sweet!"
Yuk! They laughed and said something about Mzungus (that's us). Later I was talking to an older student who lives at the village. He said Mzungus never eat the bugs. He promised to bring some, so I could see him eat them. Yay! I cannot wait!
He told me they eat them alive. I asked if they could feel them crawling around, and he said no. They chew them before swallowing. Great!
Another missionary said a child had offered her one to try. As he was telling her how sweet they were, a bug was crawling out of his mouth. Oops! Forgot to chew!
I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.
On Saturday when we got up to start our day, it was raining and had been raining since 10:00 pm the night before. That made the road muddy and wet. We had three places to go and one car. The mule we use sometimes was broken down, so we headed to Esangalo with supplies to unload. We were going to drop it off at the church and then go to the medical center to open it up for the day. When we got to the church, the car was smoking and had a frozen pully, so it was down. We walked the rest of the way to the center.
When we got back to the church, they were trying to start the fires to cook, but it was still raining. The wood was wet, and it was outside. We walked on to the cottages to meet the choir that needed their stuff carried to the school for practice. The only vehicle available was a pickup. That would mean that all their stuff would get wet. Before we loaded the pickup, one of the vans pulled up, so that was solved.
When we arrived back to the church, it was still raining, but they had the fires going to cook the beans and posho. There still weren't very many kids there. This was around 10:30, and it usually starts at 9:00. At that time we walked on to the medical center to lock it up for the day. When we got to the medical center, they had one more patient to see. As we waited we could see children begining to walk towards Esangalo. When we got back to the church, there still weren't many children there, but everyone kept going as if the church was full.
When the rain cleared to a light drizzle, you could see them coming on the road. They kept coming, and the number was around 1800 hungry children. They got the Word spoken to them and a meal. If the people that work with Esangalo had said, "It's raining. There won't be any children to show up." Or "The wood is wet and will not burn." Or "You can't cook outside in the rain." 1800 children would have missed the Word for that day, and some that week and maybe the only meal for that day or for several days.
God blessed those that were determined to do His work with around 1800 children fed in the rain. Isn't God good?
We have tried many recipes while living here this past month: some good, some not so good. I can truly say that we have had some fantastic food this week.
A group went to Kenya last week, and we gave them a grocery list. We asked for chicken breasts, and they brought back a small whole chicken. We decided to put it in our pan with some cabbage, carrots, onions, and spices. We baked it for five hours. It was very delicious.
Last night James made shepherds pie. It too was very tasty.
Maybe we are getting the hang of this cooking thing.
Workers are working very hard to rework the road that runs through the Village of Eden. They spread the rocky clay with hoes and shovels. The road to the medical center has been blocked this week, and we have taken a road at the back of the property. I noticed some large mounds of dirt and asked James what they were. He said they were termite mounds. I really didn't believe him until I googled termite mounds and saw some pictures. Sure enough, they are termite mounds.
There were a lot of giggles and squeals outside the cottages just before dark. I went out to see what was going on. The children had water guns and balloons, and they were having a ball with them. These children love to play, and we love to hear their laughter.
Today James and I had to get some flour from the storeroom and bring it to the school. When we arrived Brenda came out and invited me to her classroom. She wanted me to share a picture of her class with my friends at Flat Creek.
We have been here a month and only saw Brenda for the first time on Friday. She asked how everyone at Flat Creek and Brushy Creek was doing. She remembers our churches. She was the teacher with the Children's Choir last year. We had special prayer in the social hall for her mother.
Brenda says, "Hi!"
Today James began making some items for the orthopedic doctor. This is a step exercise mechanism. ( I have no clue what to call it. ) This will be used for patients to exercise their legs. It will lay flat on the floor. The cross pieces can be removed, so that the step areas are larger or smaller depending on the size of the patient. They will step into the open spots. It causes them to raise and lower their legs.
James and I have been praying about a particular situation. This week the Lord has shown us twice, "The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." Exodus 14:14. Today in church, this Scripture was part of the message. We really were blessed by the service today, and we know what to do: stand still.
The picture is of the current kitchen and the kitchen being built. There is cooking every day. Cooks not only cook for Esangalo, but they cook for the workers on week days and also the children's choir on Sunday. The new kitchen will be a blessing.
Saturday is by far my most favorite day of the week here. I get me some sweet smiles and loving at Esangalo. This Saturday there were 2,201 children who came to be fed spiritually and physically.
The girl on the right grabbed my hand as we were walking to the church and never let go. She sat beside me the whole time. She would lean her head on my shoulder and look up at me with the sweetest smile.
The little girl on the left really touched my heart. We were about to begin serving food, and she was walking by our table. Alloys, who could speak her language, asked her what she was doing. She told him she was hungry. James asked if we could go ahead and give her a plate; he said we could. She ate every bit and drank the juice.
These children really touch my heart.
Friday's are busy in accounting. We are preparing payments and paying casual labor. After work James was still waiting at the church for the driver to bring a door lock from town. A door lock had been broken on a storage room, and he wanted to fix it before we left to go back to the cottage. Sometimes waiting is frustrating, but sometimes waiting is a blessing. While waiting we had time to look at the pineapple plants growing behind the church and visit the prayer garden. We also watched some birds. It was a peaceful time.
Uganda is a place to where people come to watch birds. I was told that they have the most species of birds.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding."
Today as I was going about my daily routine, I was asked if I would go to a funeral for an 18 month old. The child was the grandchild of one of the house mothers at the village, and I said yes to show respect for her. Before time to go they found out that the grandmother was taken to the medical center. She has malaria and could not even go to the funeral herself.
There was another child that is 21 months old; her legs are maybe the size of a quarter. Her hair won't grow, and she is very small for her age. She has severe malnutrition. The lady that was feeding her was so happy when the little girl ate one small egg. When I asked how much she needs to eat, I was told that she would need almost the same protein intake as an adult to get where she needed to be.
I wondered why so many children are in that situation. As I watched I saw that as the children are fed, the mother is also fed the Word of God, so they can become closer to the Lord, even though it is one egg at a time.
Once a week we receive an email from Helping Hands called the HHFM Prayer and Praise. As I was reading it last night, I was so blessed. James and I were working at the Easter Play practice and had no clue that God was working on the other side of the curtain. I had asked some of you to pray for the message of the play: that someone's life would be touched.
Here is a portion of the HHFM Prayer and Praise:
Eleven year old Julianna was being treated at Mulago Hospital for cancer, and she passed away on Saturday. The sovereignty and love of our LORD's hands were seen in the events that took place on Sunday! The mother came around 3:30 to the VOE church to inform the staff of her daughter's death. The Easter play practice was in full swing, so as this mother sat and waited for Robin to arrive she was watching this play about the HOPE found in our Savior, Jesus. This family is Muslim and she was hearing the Gospel as she waited. The only person Robin could find to translate was a former Muslim. After talking with her a few minutes, knowing she is Muslim, Robin asked the translator if he would share some of his story about converting to Christianity and the hope he has found in Christ. She listened very intently, and even said that she could feel peace as soon as she walked into our church. She had been to many Mosques in search of hope for her daughter and never found any there. In fact, when they would pray for her at the Mosques, they even requested money from her. So we shared with her, prayed and encouraged her. She did not accept Christ yet but the seed of the Gospel was planted in her heart. Please pray that God will nurture the planted seed and this entire family will come to know him as Savior.
Today we traveled to Busia, a town about 15 minutes away. We had to take our passports and our phones to get our Uganda sim card registered. We passed this truck that was hauling logs; James said it had overturned and was in the road on Monday when he and others traveled for some groceries. It takes much longer to accomplish anything ; everything is done by hand.
On the way home from Kampala a week ago, we saw another truck overturned. Men with ropes were attempting to pull it back upright.
James and I fell in love with the mountains about 20 years ago when we traveled to Tennessee. We have always thought we would like to live in the mountains. These mountains rise just beyond the Village of Eden. They look small here, but when you get closer, they are not small.
This is the cloud that was brewing at the time of the championship game today. That did not stop the crowds from appearing to support their team and see who the champion would be. The winner is: Namuwombe! They are the village which borders the Village of Eden.
A young man testified at the Medical Center devotion on Tuesday how God had worked in the tournament and also with the preparation. He said that God gave them the idea as a way to spread the gospel. When they began too ponder what was needed, they were perplexed. Where would they get the money for balls, prizes, and coaches? But God provided. They shared the vision, and people began to give. Forty-five souls were saved during the tournament. He said that the tournament is over, but the work has just begun. These new Christians would need to be discipled. Pray for the new converts.
The church was decorated today for Easter. The tomb scene was painted by a young man who is one of the musicians of the church. He is very talented. He is also the director of the Easter play.
This picture is of my shadow this morning at church. He was not very smiley, so I tried to dance with him during the praise and worship dancing. He still did not smile, but when all the other children went to their classes, he stayed with me. After a while his little head began bobbing; he was so sleepy. I was blessed to get to hold him while he slept. He was so sweet.
We had some time off today. The day did not start off well; we had a flat tire on a car we were driving to the medical center. But it ended up to be a relaxing and refreshing day. We were able to video chat with both our boys and got some rest.
We still did our laundry, and these little guys kept trying to sneak around and get into the cottage.
Today was a holiday at the Village of Eden. Because school was closed, it was decided to use the entire day to practice for the Easter Play which would be held on Sunday. The day was hot, but the practices went fairly well.
This picture is of the sunrise we can see between the cottages this morning.
Our devotions at the Medical Center this week have been about Easter, Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. They want their families to know that Easter is not just about the food and having a good time. One shared a prayer request for all the people who would be traveling, that they would be safe.
I was touched by the prayer of a young man this morning during devotion. He thanked God that He had given them jobs. He spoke of many who did not have jobs and said that God had placed them in that place for a reason.
How many times do we forget that God gives us our jobs? We take our jobs for granted and hate to go to work some mornings. I am thankful to be a part of that devotion group. It is a blessing to see their heart full of thankfulness.
Fruits and Vegetables
On the way home from Kampala we stopped to purchase a vegetable bin. Then we stopped at the open market. We pull off the side of the road, and women run to the car holding bags of vegetables and fruits. They poke them in the car windows and start yelling, "Mama, bananas! Papa, carrots!" Before you know it you have piles of bags at your feet.
On this trip James was in the front seat, and I was in the middle row. It was all happening so fast that we didn't know what the other was buying. We ended up with plenty. We even had some to share.
As we were driving back from Kampala on Tuesday, I saw a motorcycle taxi that was carrying two sheets of plywood. It made me think, "Am I doing everything that God has asked of me?" The answer is probably not. As the motorcycle drove in front of us, it hit me that he was willing to do whatever to get his job done.
I see people in fields making rows for corn, potatoes, or beans with only a hoe, and I think, "Have I ever been that willing to do what is required?" Those people in the field will wave and smile as you drive by.
God never asks you to do something easy. If it was easy, we could do it on our own and where would the Glory of God be in that? Only with things that are impossible for us will God show what can happen when you depend on Him fully and totally. Let Him place your feet on the path that He has laid out for you; you know that you can't do anything on your own, but He can do great things through you, all for His Glory.
Are you willing to do what God has asked of you?
Our meeting went well today. We were also able to do some shopping. The best parts of the trip are the hot showers at the hotel and we get to eat out. No cooking or washing dishes. It was nice, but we are ready to get back to the Village of Eden. The city is crowded and noisy.
The picture is one that I took on our way to Kampala. It was taken not far from the Village of Eden.
The Lord's Day
Today was a great day in the Lord. I am so thankful for the Spirit which we felt today. Although the service is translated to English, I find myself concentrating on trying to understand what is going on instead of focusing on the Spirit of the Lord. We struggle with the accents in understanding what is being said.
Today while the prayer was being prayed in their language, I prayed and asked the Lord to please show up in this service. I really wanted to feel His presence. One of the groups which sang, performed Lord, I Lift Your Name on High in English. I was so happy.
The group pictured always sings a song which is fast. When they come onto the stage, the young people head to the back of the church, so they will have room to dance. This is an enjoyable time for them; smiles are all over the church. Today, after the dancing, the group sang a song in their language but it was While on Others Thou Art Calling, Do Not Pass Me By. I sang along with them (in English of course). You could feel the Spirit of the Lord so Strong in the place. Praise God!
After lunch we traveled to Kampala to prepare for a meeting on Monday. When we arrived at our hotel, we looked at FaceBook, and Flat Creek's sermon had been recorded live on FaceBook. We felt like we were in church at Flat Creek. Praise God! What a wonderful day in the Lord.
Saturday means it is laundry day. We get up at 6:00 am to have our quiet time. Then after breakfast it is me, James, two buckets, and a clothes line for an hour. We then go to Esangalo. I love to watch the children coming through the gate to the church. They keep coming; it is a steady stream of children coming.
The picture is James filling water cups. This is one of four stations of water cups. We stack plates and fill water cups. Then we help dip beans and hand out plates.
The stage extension for the Easter play is complete. This will be used to allow more people on stage during the Easter play. The young people of the church have been practicing for several weeks. Last week they watched a movie in their language which showed the crucifixion of Jesus so that they would better understand what they are portraying.
Although our Village of Eden team is out of the tournament, they are not out of the game. A young man told after devotion at the Medical Center this morning that 40 players had accepted Christ since the tournament began. He testified that sharing the Gospel was the purpose for the tournament. There is still a week left in the tournament; there is no telling what God will do in that week. Please pray for those who accepted Christ and those who are sharing the Gospel.
The girls in the picture were our company during the soccer game.
Our Village of Eden team played again in the soccer tournament. Although the game ended with a 0-0 tie, our team still scored. At half-time the Gospel was shared with the players.
The building in the background is the Village of Eden church.
I love the sounds you hear in the mornings. James and I get up at 5:00 am to begin our Bible reading. Around 6:00 am the people begin to stir. The rooster is crowing, the birds are chirping, and the children are beginning to play in front of their cottage.
On the way to work I can see and hear the children on the porch with their house mother, singing. A little way down the path I pass the school. Children are already at school, running and laughing. When I pass the church, workers are gathering with their good mornings. A little further down the path is the storage shed. One of the cooks was there singing as she prepared for the day. Then I arrive at the medical center where we start the day with God's word.
This picture is of some children who are banging on the drum and xylophone that is in the playground.
We are eating very differently than we did at home. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the main part of our diet. No fried chicken or banana pudding. We have had to get creative. We can't just run to the Huddle House any time we don't want to cook. This is one of our creations: cabbage, tomatoes, and onion. It kind of turned into a stew and was fairly good. We have also fried eggplant and have had fresh pineapple which we both love.
These are available here: bananas, pineapple, passion fruit, apples, avacadoes, mango, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, onion, carrots, green beans, g-nuts, greens, eggs, peppers, ginger root, watermelon, and eggplant. We haven't tried them all, but we have had many of these. There are also some tiny silver fish in the open market which really stink. We have NOT had any of those.
The 2018 Children's Choir is already practicing. You can hear them singing when you walk by. They sound great. We met a few of them at church on Sunday.
My heart is so full. Today at Esangalo there was a little boy who looked unsure about what to do. He was not in a class, so I was afraid he wouldn't get a ticket. They give them tickets in their classes; they turn in the ticket to get a plate. Another little girl walked up, and one of the workers asked if he could give her a plate. They said yes, so I asked about the little boy. The little boy is the one on the right in the picture. When I helped him get settled with his plate and cup, he kept turning back to look at me as if to say, "Thank you". When he had finished eating, he brought his plate back to me. His little face looking at me just blessed my heart. I praise God for all those who have made it possible for us to be here. I thank you so much. There is so much need here, but I praise God he allowed me to share His love with this little boy today.
Last night around 8pm, Dr. Brenda gave a young boy, who lives in the village, a picture of Caesar she had printed. This morning when we awoke, the drawing was back. He had drawn the picture on an art board to be used in the Easter play. He is very talented.
Today, instead of walking, I was able to ride! James has been using the mule the last few days to haul tools around, and today he was going the same direction as I was! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
James began working on a stage extension for the Easter play today. The wood here is very hard, and he has to drill a hole for the screws. He had broken two bits by lunch.
We had devotion and prayer time with the team this morning. I really enjoyed it.
A soccer tournament began today. The VOE (Village of Eden) team played against the team from Namuwambi (a village just outside the Village of Eden. We had a great time of fellowship although the VOE team lost by one point.
People from around VOE came to watch. They really get into the game.
Mark 14:26 "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives."
I have been blessed to attend devotion at the medical center each morning at 7:45. This morning the devotion was by one of my coworkers. He used just this one verse.
Even though Jesus was facing the cross, He was singing a hymn. It doesn't matter what we are facing, we can still praise and worship God.
I was so encouraged by the hunger of most for the word of God. Their understanding is so amazing. That is the work of the Holy Spirit: sending understanding of the Scriptures.
One man testified of what God had done for him. He had had trouble with his eyes. The doctor who examined him had told him that his eyes were ok, but that he had stress. He told how he prayed to God, and his eyes are getting better. Praise God!
This is a picture of my office.
It rained on Tuesday night. We are so thankful for the rain; it has been extremely hot. However, it makes the roads muddy. It's difficult to choose a spot in which to walk that is the least muddy. I slipped in the mud a few times, but thank the Lord I did not fall. When I arrived at work, my shoes were covered in mud, and I was pouring sweat. Everyone else looked fresh and clean with no mud.
James hung security lights in various places.
We had Bible study on Wednesday night. All the team gathered for prayer and the word. There were testimonies about people who had been saved at the church and the lives that are being changed. For that we are here.
Off to work
Getting to work was a little bit different today. I walked 0.9 miles to work at the accounting office in the medical center. James was all over, walking and toting tools. It's a far cry from driving and hauling tools.
We both had a productive day, but I think James outdid me in completed tasks.
He hung a baby swing, hung fire extinguishers, fixed a door, and put up some monkey bars. As you can see, the monkey bars were a hit.
Today started with Sunday School and church. After lunch we helped with the Easter Play practice. We hope your praise and worship was as active as ours! ;-)
Village of Eden
We arrived at the Village of Eden on Thursday around 5:00pm (10:00am GA time).
Friday was spent resting, unpacking, and organizing,
On Saturday we attended Esangalo. We celebrated the 4th birthday of Esangalo.
Two thousand, one hundred seventeen children attended and were fed today, spiritually and physically.
When we arrived at Esangalo, this was our welcoming party. They greeted us with hugs, handshakes, and smiles.
Some have asked about communication. The best way to communicate would be email or Facebook messenger. There may be a delay in our answering; we will be seven hours ahead.
Getting Ready to Go
We have a "go" date for our Mission Trip to the Village of Eden. We will be in Uganda March 21st - May 22nd. This will be our trial period. We then will return to Nashville, GA for a month or so, and then move to Buford, GA for several months of training before going to Uganda long term.
James and I desire your prayers. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
We need God's strength, courage, and wisdom. Thank you all for your love, support, and encouragement.