The Season For Matoke

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.


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.

Ms Joyce

Isaiah 1:17 says ““Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

We try and meet the needs of widows in our community. Ms. Joyce is one of our more colorful ones!” She tells us (through an interpreter) some pretty funny stories! And she is persistent that I open a medical clinic to take care of people. All I do is give her Acetaminophen for her aches and pains!


Persistence and Perseverance

We have been breeding and raising rabbits now for over two years. Change is hard to make in this country so it has been a slow and some times hopeless road in getting people to see the benefits of rabbit raising and eating the meat. When everyone is just looking for a way to make money it has been disheartening to not get the message through that a person can feed their family healthy meat that is easy to raise with little cost in it. Much of the unused part of crops already grown can be used as food for the rabbits. It is very hard to understand why so many children are malnourished when they have chickens everywhere but each egg is sold to buy “Posho”, which is just a flour made out of maize having no nutritional value because mixed with water and made into a thin porridge it will go further. Even though one egg a day will benefit the children so much more. It is the same with the rabbits. Even if they have enough rabbits that they could sell and still eat meat every day they are going to try and sell each one. Education and getting fees paid for school is the main goal for everyone in our village. And that is important. But what they don’t get is if your child is malnourished they aren’t going to learn as well as when they are healthy and getting the vitamins and nutrients that they need.

The market for rabbits has been growing but very slowly. As for now there are more farmers in Uganda than there are buyers. But our neighbors in Kenya have been successful in the spread of eating rabbit meat and the Chinese can’t keep up with the demand for rabbit meat. So slowly there have been buyers from Kenya coming to buy rabbits in Uganda. A problem, as we faced, was everyone bred and had many rabbits with no buyers and not enough room to house more so they had to quit breeding. Then the buyers from Kenya come and are ready to contract with breeders to supply tons of meat each month and have bought up all there was available. So breeding has started again. But it takes about five months until rabbits are ready to be sold for meat. Our prayer is contracts can be kept as breeders are breeding and raising more rabbits to sell.

Just when I was praying whether to give it up, after two and a half years of not getting interest in our village, not selling even though many of my days were spent reaching out to everyone, including restaurants and supermarkets and not seeing results, God sent men from Kenya who want to work with us. Our main goal is to fight malnutrition but I would also like for the rabbit farm to bring in enough money to pay the workers that care for them. Whatever money we can bring in through the rabbits is money that can go to hiring more workers and helping our neighbors with different projects. It would be awesome to make our farm self-sustaining and the rabbit farm is one of the ways we are trying to accomplish this.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

We have had a sign of hope over the last week, a group of eleven people from a neighboring village came and would like to form a co-op raising rabbits for food and profit and would like training. This has been one of our goals also, to train others so that they can be successful. They will be coming back for training and help in choosing crops to plant and how to build cages. We have been successful in growing all of our own crops and making our own pellets for the rabbits. So we will be able to make pellets for them with the crops they grow.

Even though there have been times when I’ve wanted to give up I’ve held onto the knowledge that God gave me this idea and He will not let me down. Not everything happens in the timing we would like but when you know God is in it persistence and perseverance will pay off in furthering His kingdom. And just when you are at your end He takes over and gives you hope!

Preaching To The Forgotten


Every week Christian goes to the prison on the town near us. It’s been almost a year of going every week and there have been hundreds that have asked for salvation. For many it is a true change of heart, accepting the Holy Spirit to come and live in them. For some it is just a hope that going down and saying the words will get them the things they want. And some that come are just there to have a break from the dull everyday life in prison. But for all they hear the truth of God’s word every week.

It is always hard for us with everyone that asks for things, we know the needs are great everywhere and we can’t help everybody but especially in prison. And although most are there for breaking the law it is a lot different inUganda where at times you can be held for years without trial for something minor. Or if you have enough money to pay and families agree on an amount to give them you could have murdered someone and get out. The poverty is so great and jobs so few here so it is really hard for people to feed their families and pay for their children’s education. So many turn to crime.

Of course everyone says they are innocent and beg for help in getting out. It is very hard and very wearying to have to say no week after week to some of the very sad stories. Many of these prisoners families have abandoned them so they have no visitors and no help with things they need. There was one young man that Christian really felt for and finally gave him the little money to make bail and get out. The next week when Christian went back that young man was back. He had only made it on the outside three days before breaking into a pastors home looking for money.  So we have to say no to everyone, how does one know who to help, who is going to use the opportunity given them to further their life. There have been a couple of men that were saved on prison and became leaders of Bible study, they were “Pastors” in the prison. They have now gotten out and left a hole there for men to seek guidance. We pray God lifts up more saved leaders on the inside.

What we can do is pray that Gods Word penetrates hearts, and changes those hearts. And provides those who choose HIm a way to live when they get out.

Another Pastor that goes every Week is trying to gather funds to open a type of Christian halfway house with discipleship, technical job training and literacy programs. We are in prayer with him that God will provide the way for this. We were a part of prison ministry in America and speaking Gods words to the prisoners was important, but we also knew that they needed someone to help when they got on the outside. One of the things I did with the women was teach them how to fill out job applications , how to handle themselves on a job interview. Here, they still need skills when they get out, a network of people who can hold them accountable. If there aren’t these type things set up a person that was already living a life of crime is going to go back to the only thing they know.

We ask for prayer for these men and women in prison, that God will touch them, they will accept Jesus as their Savior and He will lead them and their families to changes lives. Prayer for Christian and all of the men of God that go to minister to the prisoners. Prayer that needs are met in the prison and that also guards and workers at the prison also receive and react to the calling of Jesus in their lives.

Jesus said in Hebrews 13:3:

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”

Loving God’s Children

Every Sunday we have anywhere from 110-160 children attend Sunday School. On holidays and kids days where we have games and activities we have had as many as five hundred attend.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

On Sunday mornings the little ones, under five, usually number close to one hundred. They hear Bible stories that are told using the flannel board with pictures that go with the story. We all sing together and I speak a few words and then separate the children that are over nine years old. I am able to teach them more of the Bible and living and loving the way Jesus commands us. They love coming and so many really learn and take what they are taught and put it into action in their lives. There are so many mixed messages they hear everyday so it is important to give them something they can see is real, has a real effect in their everyday lives. It is sad to hear the things they face everyday. I have had many parents say they have seen such a change in their children.

They love when I do any kind of object lessons or activities. In school where we are rurally they don’t get the opportunity of coloring or painting or anything of that nature. So it is a great joy when they get to do hands on things. I try to make learning about Jesus fun and not feel like school. We also give them sweet biscuits for a snack and I think that’s the only reason some come, but even so they are hearing God’s Word and that Jesus loves them.

At Christmas and Easter we give out some kind of gift, I know for many that is the only gift they will get for the year. It has caused problems in the past, once the Word was out we gave out gifts one Christmas we had about five hundred children show up on New Years expecting something and it really upset the children that faithfully come every Sunday. So now we are a little tricky about it, we don’t do the gift giving the Sunday closest to Christmas!

I know we can’t change the entire country, we can only affect the ones around us but I fully believe that children getting the foundation of Jesus early on and letting Him have control of their lives can make them one day great influencers who can change their world. I believe these children are the future and I am honored and blessed to have been given the opportunity to share in their lives. As I am trying to be a blessing to them I am much more blessed by their joy, their thirst for more of Jesus and the hope that it gives them.