I know I needed this today. How about you?
We have four different types of bananas on our property plus a staple here called matoke. It looks like a banana but is very dry and they basically steam it in the leaves. It is becoming ripe right now so Salima brought 13 widows to receive our first ripe ones. The last picture is one that couldn’t come, her grandson is holding her head up she is so feeble. So glad to be a blessing to them.
I’ve missed two Mondays at the prison because I was sick with typhoid so it was good to be back with the women. The last time we were there we had brought Bibles but they hadn’t been given out so we were able to give them out. The ladies were so excited! We spent a little time helping them learn how helpful it is to know the order of the books in the Bible to be able to find scriptures quickly. Then as I was teaching some of the ladies would take turns reading the scripture. Some got Bibles in English and some in Luganda.
In June we brought Maama kits for three pregnant women in the prison. One had her baby two nights ago in the prison dormitory so it was a great blessing she had all the things needed to have a safer delivery. We are thankful for the people who enable us to get and give the kits. There are two more ladies about ready to give birth.
The lady that gave birth this weekend was in court with her baby (yes, two days after birth) when we were there so we didn’t get to see them. But Salima went back later with another Maama kit and some blankets and baby clothes and Hope kits but Praise God the mother and baby had been released!
To read more or donate for the kits please visit themandate.com They can truly be a matter of life and death for mother and child.
The kids are home for their break before the last term of the year starts in September. They alerted so excited to see us and we are excited to see how happy they are. And growing like weeds! I got to hold Elisa (the youngest) during church. He fell asleep so he wasn’t really awake when I took the pic. I won’t be able to hold him much longer, he’s getting big, almost six. And he usually prefers Chris’s lap but he was preaching so I even traded one of the twin babies to hold him. He hasn’t had a mama to rock him, his died right after he was born.
They are all doing so well at school and seem to be developing more of a relationship with their father, which is something we have prayed for. It’s amazing to see such joy in children that have had it as rough as they have in their young lives.
Christian met with a Pastor yesterday that we are friends with. He is also Headmaster at a Secondary school and Christian was asked to be a guest speaker last month at a school function. The Pastor told Christian that a boy that had been there with another school walked 10.5 miles and showed him his phone with a video of Christian preaching. He said “I want to be like him. How can I be like him?” Christian cried as he told me the story. The Pastor got the boys information and is going to try and mentor him and also contact the boys school or church and he and Christian go there to preach. So many times we all wonder if we ever make a difference in someone’s life. Most times we don’t get to see it. For us here it can often be discouraging and I can say that Christian has been down this week until that. Hope is always there, and just when we need it most God gives it. We just need to recognize it! We don’t know the boys name but pray with us that he will stay in touch with Pastor and that God will put more men of God in his path to guide him into growing into a Godly man.
This week we were able to visit one of the largest government schools in our village. Going in to it I did not know this. There was a big miscommunication and I was given the number of girls as ninety. Salima and I took one hundred kits “just in case”.
They called the girls to come and they came. And kept coming. I start sweating it! After we were all in this thirteen by fifteen foot room we counted 260 girls! I had to run to the car and tell Christian to go to the house and get all the rest that we had!
It is amazing what God does with us. How we are welcomed into what is mostly Muslim students and teachers, the school is right on the grounds with the large mosque. But they welcomed us and were not offended when I gave them the message that Jesus loves them and God has made us just the way He wants us. After I gave them a talk about how they are “wonderfully and fearfully made” we educated them about menstruation. They asked very good questions and were free about talking about things they’ve faced. Shame, fear, terror when they didn’t know what was happening to their bodies. Jenifer threatened them beforehand that this was a safe place and no one should leave that room gossiping about anyone else so I think that gave them the feeling of freedom to talk. We also talk a little about boys (pretty much stay away from them!), safety and self-defense. Salima is so helpful as she is an example of what staying in school and hard work can accomplish. She encouraged them to not focus on boys and sex but in getting an education that will enable them to have a better life.
It was a huge blessing to be there and give out the kits. And as always the boys were fussing that they had been left out of something so we gave the school two soccer balls for them. That appeased them!
We are so thankful we are given these opportunities with open arms and the teachers tell us so many times how appreciative they are for the education part. I gave the head teacher our flip chart so that she and the other female teachers can educate the girls further.
Thank you to all who have donated time and money to help us keep girls in school. A big thanks to ladies in Leesville/Anacoco, Louisiana for their contribution that allowed me to have the extras we needed with that large group because of course the teachers also asked for kits!
We now have two seamstresses that are busy each month making more kits! They are so happy to be receiving a good income every month!
If you feel led to help us help young women stay in school, learn how to defend themselves (which is really important here also) there can never be too many kits. 100% of your donation goes to the kits and to the seamstresses that make them go to https://themandate.com/campaigns/hope-for-girls/
And a great big I love you to Raelee who was my photographer for the day! She has a natural talent and I have been encouraging her as much as possible. She has moved up to an intermediate Nikon camera but still gets reigned in for too many selfies and pics of her kitten! She really stepped out of her comfort zone for this one – that many people makes her (and I!) very nervous but I had coached her beforehand of the specific pics I wanted her to make sure she got. She nailed it!
Early on Raelee and I wanted to get a baby goat. They are “so cute and funny” when they are little. We got a male and female. Over the last two and a half years we have had babies and either the mother or baby or both died. We have had nine die over the two years. No one can tell us why. We believe that some of it is not from “natural causes”. Our whole goal was to have babies, enjoy them until they were old enough to then give away to widows. Finally we are at a point of seeing that this project hasn’t gone to plan. Maybe because that was “our plan” and not God’s plan. I don’t know. But this week we were able to finally give two females away to two widows who have no one taking care of them. They weren’t told they were getting a goat so they were a little hesitant as to why Salima was bringing them to our place. Once they were told they were amazed and so excited. Having a goat is like having money in the bank here. They will hold on to it until there is an emergency or are in great need of money. If they have friends or neighbors that have a male they can breed and have more in their “account”.
We have a male, but we are told it will be better for us to trade it for two females and give the females away. So we are in the process of doing that.
I’m not sure the orphaned baby goat – Sylvester – will be given away. When you’ve gotten up every four hours for a month to feed him, and he now feels he is one of the dogs, you get a little attached. A little – he is about ready to stay outside all the time. As for now he sleeps in our bathroom but when let out is jumping up one everything. No one wants to eat on a table a goat has pranced on!
After the joy of these ladies, I wish our project could have gone on, and maybe we will have another opportunity to try again. But for now, we can’t wait to give the gift of two more!