How we are

I got on to our workers this morning, they all laugh and ask if we have corona, they call it Toyota too because here we have corona Toyota’s instead of Corollas. I told them that many people are dying around the world and we should be very thankful we don’t have the spread of it here so far and I think when you are laughing about it you aren’t taking it seriously. And when you aren’t taking it seriously that’s when the sickness starts. Christian made Jenifer hand sanitizer to take with her because she still has to go out and check on women that have given birth and give family planning shots. Salima too since she has been going to the hospital to visit Ndianga and visits widows. (It is stressing me out about the hospital) Ndianga has surgery last week and had to have some of his intestine cut out because it was dead. He is here in the Government hospital.

But we face many diseases here so most people are more careful than say America. We are already taught to wash, wash, wash and don’t touch your face. But since Raelee can’t remember to do these things she can’t play with her friends right now because they are out and in contact with many people. That’s the hardest part. She went into the apartment to give Salima something and didn’t come right back. I made her come back in and I hate it but we have had very little contact with the outside but Salima has. We of course talk to her and our workers but keep our distance and don’t touch. I gave out lunch money and came right back and washed my hands. (I always try to remember to but sometimes you forget after shopping…) Raelee asked why. I told her that money goes through a lot of hands and is dirty. Everything Richard has brought us that can be washed I have because a lot of it is imported, especially from China and India. These are things I don’t usually do.
So, we are praying for everyone around the world and especially America where all of our friends and family are. (Except Daniel and family but praying for them also because where they are doesn’t have the greatest medical facilities ). I am thankful we have a safe place to be and even thankful now that the thing we have hated before – isolation- is now a consolation.
Be safe, everyone. No matter what God is still on the throne and has not forgotten about you.

Prison Ministry

For months now Salima and I have been ministering to the women in our local prison. It is really heartbreaking to hear some of their stories. Women here are treated so badly, very few rights, mistreated by husbands. There is one lady that because her husband stole something and then ran away they have arrested her. If they are accused of not paying back a debt the accuser can come every week and give money to keep them in, which adds to the total they owe. And no way to earn money while on the inside. Currently there are three babies in there with their mothers. It’s been rainy and cold and these babies have no clothes so Salima took $15 and bought clothes and blankets for them.

For the past few weeks there has been a girl there that at first they said they put her in because she previously sold fries for lunch in front of a bar and then started acting crazy. So they thought maybe she was on drugs and were waiting to see if she would “dry out”. But after three weeks now she still hasn’t changed. I was sick and unable to go Monday so Salima and now because we have given her courage, the wife of the Pastor that has gone for years and preaches with Chris goes with us.. The story they now have gotten – and we aren’t all clear about it – was somehow she was doing some kind of “errands “ for some men for a while but one day they called her to come and she was accosted by a group of men and since then has been out of her mind. Crazy acting which is understandable if she can’t work through what happened to her. They haven’t found family and there isn’t much help for girls or women that are attacked in that way. She has been on my heart these weeks but right now we don’t know how to help. I want to bring her home but unless God is leading we don’t know all the consequences that can bring or if we could even help her. So please pray for this young lady. Prison is no place for a victim like her.

It is hard for me at times, anxiety of speaking to a group, sometimes feeling like a hypocrite when I go and speak and my relationship with God isn’t going so well and sometimes the heartbreak and helplessness I feel is too much to handle . But just showing up and loving these women have made a change in them and to me. So please pray for me to have strength, courage and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as I speak to these ladies. I am so thankful to Salima and now Rebecca for going with me. I can relate to the ladies in many ways just as a woman but they can also add to what I speak about in a way that speaks to them culturally also.

$13 worth of clothing for the babies. Salima stretches every bit of money we give her to get the most out of it. I am so thankful for her.

Visitation Day

Saturday we got to visit our kids at school. We haven’t seen them since the end of January. They are all doing so well and we had a great day. The youngest is Elisa and he is a character. We’ve been caring for them since he was just a baby. He keeps us laughing! They get excited because we bring lunch, goodies, and pocket money for the canteen! I want to commend the school for taking precautions, before we could enter school grounds we had to get out of the car and wash our hands.

The oldest, Phiona will be leaving primary school at the end of the year and we have to make decisions about where she will go next. She has struggled all through school and is now 17 and is in what we would consider about the seventh/eighth grade. Secondary school is tough and we don’t think she’d do well so she is thinking about going to tailoring school instead. She wants to be a clothing designer. And luckily we have already put Takia through tailoring school so she could be a great mentor to her and she won’t be far away. It is going to be very hard either way for her to leave her siblings because she has been mother to them for the past five years since their mother died. We were encouraged that their father had started to come around but were just told he married his third wife and left. He left the second wife with them (here on the village) and she doesn’t like them. When they are home for holidays she cooks her own food and the girls have to prepare food for the six of them. Pray with us about Phionas future and the decisions we will have to help her make.

For once I am not just behind the camera!

Elisa put so much food on his plate!
He stuffed it in a bag for later and put it in his locker. Hopefully he ate it that night!
Salima gave them cookies and juice!
They are all growing so much!
“Posing” with the three girls! Rebecca, Naomi and Phiona
Elisa the wild child. He opened and drank from three sodas for the kids lunches before we caught him!
Naomi is the second wild child, so hilarious! She is trying to use each of Salimas fingers to unlock her phone. They love to take our phones!

As it is harder to make blog posts there is sometimes more stories on FB. You can follow us on The Mandate Uganda on Facebook.