Right now our trees are becoming ripe with bananas and matoke. More matoke than our little bananas unfortunately! We don’t eat the matoke ourselves but we love the tiny bananas! And I am thankful we are able to give it away to those who don’t have any. Before, our workers would often take it, along with mangoes and avocados. I haven’t seen an avocado or mango of our own in a year. We will watch and watch a tree ripen and then “poof” the tree is bare of any fruit and no one knows where they went! Haha! But we’ve had to add some more rules and crack down and let go of some of the help so fear has led them to make sure we get the matoke.
Salima was able to give more to the widows this week. They were so excited. She has also gone to get all the requirements she needs to register her own community based ministry. She plans on counseling parents on proper nutrition for their children and why vitamins and a good diet are important while pregnant. She also wants to do what she can for the widows and to help out orphans with school supplies. In the future she plans to have a training center for seamstresses and have classes for soap making. Her sister Takia was able to go back to her instructor for more training so that she can teach women here in our village. I am proud of her for taking both my and Salimas advice about continuing to learn. While she is getting extra training she is sewing clothes for the children at church for Christmas. And sewing some adult clothes we are going to try and sell, especially to the Mzungus! She made me pants and I already have orders from America for them! There have been many expats in Kampala asking where they can get pants made out of the fabric that is made in Uganda. So I have her working on that right now. I pray that they are both successful in their chosen fields.
I think she gave matoke to twelve widows total. Different ones than the last time. She is learning as she is helping. We give her advice that we have learned over the past four years. Try and help all widows, if they have already gotten solar or other things, move on to others and try to help. She said she learned from the last time she gave out the matoke, we weren’t here or I would have said something (I’m not shy about pointing things out and trying to teach others). But there were two “widows” that seemed to be quite young – probably in their twenties. Before I could say anything about it she came to Chris and told him she thought she made a mistake but tried to correct it. She said after realizing these two were young, and they were quite rude, trying to pick out the best looking matoke, she told them they are young enough to get out and grow their own food or find a new husband! We told her that it is hard to be discerning and have to tell some people no but we are so glad to see that she is aware and humble enough to admit her errors and come to us for advice.
And here I am modeling the first of Takia’s pants she made for me. She said her instructor told her the Mzungus like to wear pants! And it is very hard to find pants made from the fabric made here, which is called Kitenge. A lot of white and foreign people buy this style pants in Jinja as souvenirs from Uganda but they are all made in India! So I pray we can sell many pants and also her other designs in dresses and children’s clothes. I sent her back to school to make at least six more pair, with and without elastic at the bottom. (I prefer no elastic but fell in love with these pants!)
Please pray for Salima, Takia and their sisters. Haria just found out she passed her exams – we knew she would! And Salima will officially graduate Nov 7 with her degree in Social Work. Takia graduated and they have another sister in nursing school. They are all good girls with a love for Jesus and making their community a better, more educated place.
Psalm 5:12: For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.