New Direction

God has put on our hearts a new plan for our ministry. It has been a great encouragement to us to have a plan to have some self sufficiency. Christian and I have struggled and prayed for God to show us His plans for the ministry here.

We are mapping out one acre of our property to plant maize to make posho to give the widows and schools we support, eggplants and beans. The plan is whoever is, for example, already growing eggplants will trade some for tomatoes and so on.

Soon we will have a training center set up in one of our buildings where tailoring will be taught by one of our girls we helped support through training and soap making. For the tailoring class we want to start girls with fabric so that as they are learning they will be making school uniforms to give away to families that struggle to pay school fees and supplies, to teach the girls in the program to bless others as they have been blessed. Each school uniform costs approximately $3. After they have the skills we will supply the local fabric so that they may start making clothes they can sell to support themselves. We feel that if they pay a couple dollars it will give them more incentive to learn. We are also praying that at the end of the course the one with the best grade will get a sewing machine. The cost of one sewing machine is $150 and we would like to start off with four. The other graduates will get a starter kit with measuring tape, scissors, and fabric to get started on their own business. We believe this is Gods plan, and most will be self sufficient but we still need donations for sewing machines and fabric. As they graduate they will also have the chance to be seamstresses for making the Hope for Girls kits and earn income for themselves. Each kit costs $10 and that includes payment for the seamstress.

Salima and I will also start a girls club for older girls besides giving the Hope for Girls kits. So many girls are married off at very young ages or have to quit school and we would like to teach them about God and how important it is to follow His plans for their lives and to mentor them in learning skills so that they can support themselves and their family so that they don’t feel their only choice is to marry. It will also help them encourage each other with strength and esteem.

We also have 30 ready to give away chickens we have raised and have more chickens laying. We’ve had to buy our eggs for the past few months so we could have chickens to give away but it is worth it to be able to bless the widows and those in need. Chickens, eggs and goats are like money in the bank, kept for times they need money. The goal is for them to then give back one chicken so that we are able to give to someone else. The ones who don’t give back will be marked off of our support list as incentive to give.

We are excited to have a plan for some self sufficiency so that money raised may be used for Hope for Girls kits, Bibles, our prison ministry, bore holes and helping schools that are supporting and educating orphans.

We know that these are hard times for many in America but anything you can give goes directly to the ministry. And you will be a blessing and make such an impact on the ministry. We are blessed to be the hands and feet of Jesus and you will have a part in that.

2 Corinthians 9:8-11 says:
Besides, God is able to make every blessing of yours overflow for you, so that in every situation you will always have all you need for any good work. As it is written, “He scatters everywhere and gives to the poor; his righteousness lasts forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the farmer and bread to eat will also supply you with seed and multiply it and enlarge the harvest that results from your righteousness. In every way you will grow richer and become even more generous, and this will cause others to give thanks to God because of us,

Life Skills

Today Takia was back at making masks. She is also teaching Raelee on the big sewing machine. She was very proud of the mask – and even the ties – she made today! She was really proud when she showed me that she even sewed the pocket to put a tissue in. Takia is very patient, and very good at teaching. Some people can be excellent at a skill but not so good at teaching it. She is quick too, last week she made around seventy-one in three days. For the boda drivers in our village I think they need about eighty more. She should have those done by the end of the week. The drivers were very surprised last week and very grateful for the gift!

Raelee challenged Salima she couldn’t hand sew a house. As she was watching Salima, Raelee started cutting and hand sewing eyes and mouth for an owl. Takia helped her cut wings and Raelee sewed them and the body on the machine! She was so excited at what she had done!

Raelee’s owl
Salima’s house!

Almost Four Months!

Can’t believe that June will make four months quarantined in our compound. The only contacts we’ve had with are our workers, Salima, our kids, Salima’ sisters and Richard. Our village has been fortunate in a way that since they are mostly farmers they haven’t felt a great impact on their livelihoods. The ones that have felt the most strain are the boda drivers who really can’t work. Some public transport opened today but bodas still can’t carry people. Taxi vans can run at half of their capacity of people and have to be registered. And they can’t travel and pick up near border towns. I’m not sure if they were told they would have to do that ahead of time or if many just waited but there were long lines to get registered so not many on the roads yet. In our town because it will take time registering they cannot travel outside our area. I think it’s a good thing and they are trying to implement a system similar to city busses/bus stops so that there isn’t so much congestion with them stopping just everywhere.

So far Uganda has faired well as far as spread of the virus because of the quick response of closing the airport and at first borders. But there have been growing numbers now as they get some border points covered with the testing machines and stop cargo trucks then trucks from other borders have started bringing it as their countries covid numbers rise. We are still blessed, under three hundred hospitalized as of now, since the first cases in March there have been around eighty recoveries and no deaths. I commend the Ministry of Health and their diligence in testing. I pray that as the country slowly opens up, especially transport that the numbers stay down.

We aren’t sure when children will go back to school but have been so grateful and proud of both Salima for teaching and the children for being such good students for her! She keeps them busy both with school work and Bible study. They were reciting scripture to us today and explaining their understanding of what the scripture means. It’s not enough to just memorize, Salima is doing a great job in teaching them how we are to live them out.

Our bananas are ripening, one tree at a time! Sometimes there may be fifty or more on one tree and we can’t eat them all fast enough! So today Salima gave bananas to children around her house and to some of the widows.

We are getting a little stir crazy but really it isn’t as big of a change as for some people. I never know what day it is! I usually know my days by Sunday’s children’s services and Monday’s going to the prison. So that part is disorienting! Thankfully Richard has been able to provide us with all the food and supplies we need. We are just praying that the sacrifices of everyone for these months were not in vain and they can get back to normal soon.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1

Studies And Fun!

Salima has been teaching our six children so they won’t fall behind. She has started teaching in our big building. The government also has classes on TV twice a day according to their grade levels that they watch at her home. We are proud she has taken this on by herself. We don’t know yet how schooling will be handled once quarantine is over since children have missed pretty much an entire term. And they also have Bible class. The girls were telling me so many scriptures and stories in the Bible today. Salima brought them to clean the apartments next door – she usually cleans once a month so it doesn’t get overrun by spider webs. She said they need to learn how to clean!

She has them separated by their grade levels
Phiona at the board, Naomi and Becca watching
Elisa and Musale
Masale and Becca
Having fun after classes! Elisa (the youngest) is such a funny little guy!

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Out of 97 confirmed cases there are only 18 active cases right now, others have recovered or where sent back to their countries (truckers before the countries they are from wouldn’t let them come back – making Uganda treat them) No deaths. 2080 finished 14 day follow up from quarantine. Under follow up 808. So far so good I think for an impoverished and vulnerable country of over 50 million people! Thank you Lord and President Museveni

Birthday Girls

Thursday was two of our girls birthdays. They are sisters five years apart but share the same date! Their older brother and sister share a same birthday also. It was the first day we have seen them since we quarantined almost two months ago so it was a joy to see them. We got to visit for a few minutes but it was the highlight of the last two months! They are both (along with their sisters) are the sweetest girls, always joyful and have a huge love for Jesus and for their community. And us! They bring us joy but Salima is such a great and close friend to me. I think I might have been the happiest to see her!

Salima turned 25
Takia turned 20