In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35
The week before last was a busy but very blessed week. We had the return of a church group from the States, which for us was a good sign that our first ever time to host a group last year made an impression on the group and not only did some of the same people come back, they also brought new friends. It was awesome to see ones we met last year and to make new connections with great people this year.
Leading up to the week of their coming I had had surgery about two months before and was just starting to be up and about some. I am so thankful that our girl Salima had finished school and was doing all the housekeeping – especially filling everything with water since I couldn’t lift much. She was excited that I was going to teach her to cook and I showed her how to make Natchitoches meat pies and we each made twenty. After that she made about sixty five more by herself. And did a great job. In between all that she did shopping for our projects we would be doing, investigated widows that were the neediest and checked on Raelee and her schoolwork.
Hospitality is not one of the gifts God has bestowed on me. I want to have a welcoming home, I love to make people happy but it doesn’t come easy. So the thought of hosting thirteen people when I still wasn’t feeling myself was an overwhelming thought for me. And when satan knows God is moving and getting ready to do great things he knows just what buttons to push. This year I was very organized, I and Jenifer had calendars and she and I and Salima had many talks and organized the Hope for Girls kits. I patted myself on the back because I thought I had it all under control! Ha! So many other areas started to fall apart. The smooth sailing started to get a little bumpy! But with every bump we recognized it for what it was and prayed and got through it.
I hope to have pictures and stories coming soon from the group – because I was so organized with the food and the projects the women and I would do, this year I was blessed that I could spend more time getting to know these awesome people that came because of their love of Jesus and their desire to spread that love here. There were three women and we were able to be the first women to ever have permission or to even ask permission to visit with female inmates at the prison Christian goes to every Monday. I have been given permission to go each Monday and went last Monday with Salima but that first time having the three American women gave me confidence and it was such a moving experience. We were able to visit one school and give out over one hundred girls kits and speak to them about their worth and puberty – plus this year was great because one of the women visitors was able to give them some tips on personal safety. The men built benches for our Sunday School class that we have been asking for for two years! That caused great excitement with my kids! The also put in thirteen solar light kits for widows. Some of their stories are to come, there are some that are very sad and the impact two little lights made on them was more than you can imagine.
There were many challenges, some sickness, locked truck that tied up half a day, lost luggage (ours that they were bringing but was found! Praise the Lord!), drama among our workers but their were so many blessings, for us, for our village and for the group that came. I am happy that we were also able to have one day of fun and to show them the Nile River and other parts of Uganda.
We or the group may never know how much impact was made while they were here but I know on us personally it was huge. To have women that I barely know stop what they were doing and pray for me as I was trying to keep everything running smoothly for them but also putting out fires and answering to “Mama Raelee” constantly meant the world to me. I was told today that it was such a blessing for the school we visited with the Hope for Girls kits and they have made such a big difference for the girls there. I know for sure there were many seeds planted with every contact the group made. We even got the Chairman to one of the devotions we had every evening. I may not have told him when I gave him the time to come and meet the group but he stayed and heard about Jesus!
With a grateful heart we thank you Celebration Church for your support, your love of Jesus, and your willingness to go out to many different countries to be His hands and feet!
(Thank you Brandon for this photo!)