New Direction

God has put on our hearts a new plan for our ministry. It has been a great encouragement to us to have a plan to have some self sufficiency. Christian and I have struggled and prayed for God to show us His plans for the ministry here.

We are mapping out one acre of our property to plant maize to make posho to give the widows and schools we support, eggplants and beans. The plan is whoever is, for example, already growing eggplants will trade some for tomatoes and so on.

Soon we will have a training center set up in one of our buildings where tailoring will be taught by one of our girls we helped support through training and soap making. For the tailoring class we want to start girls with fabric so that as they are learning they will be making school uniforms to give away to families that struggle to pay school fees and supplies, to teach the girls in the program to bless others as they have been blessed. Each school uniform costs approximately $3. After they have the skills we will supply the local fabric so that they may start making clothes they can sell to support themselves. We feel that if they pay a couple dollars it will give them more incentive to learn. We are also praying that at the end of the course the one with the best grade will get a sewing machine. The cost of one sewing machine is $150 and we would like to start off with four. The other graduates will get a starter kit with measuring tape, scissors, and fabric to get started on their own business. We believe this is Gods plan, and most will be self sufficient but we still need donations for sewing machines and fabric. As they graduate they will also have the chance to be seamstresses for making the Hope for Girls kits and earn income for themselves. Each kit costs $10 and that includes payment for the seamstress.

Salima and I will also start a girls club for older girls besides giving the Hope for Girls kits. So many girls are married off at very young ages or have to quit school and we would like to teach them about God and how important it is to follow His plans for their lives and to mentor them in learning skills so that they can support themselves and their family so that they don’t feel their only choice is to marry. It will also help them encourage each other with strength and esteem.

We also have 30 ready to give away chickens we have raised and have more chickens laying. We’ve had to buy our eggs for the past few months so we could have chickens to give away but it is worth it to be able to bless the widows and those in need. Chickens, eggs and goats are like money in the bank, kept for times they need money. The goal is for them to then give back one chicken so that we are able to give to someone else. The ones who don’t give back will be marked off of our support list as incentive to give.

We are excited to have a plan for some self sufficiency so that money raised may be used for Hope for Girls kits, Bibles, our prison ministry, bore holes and helping schools that are supporting and educating orphans.

We know that these are hard times for many in America but anything you can give goes directly to the ministry. And you will be a blessing and make such an impact on the ministry. We are blessed to be the hands and feet of Jesus and you will have a part in that.

2 Corinthians 9:8-11 says:
Besides, God is able to make every blessing of yours overflow for you, so that in every situation you will always have all you need for any good work. As it is written, “He scatters everywhere and gives to the poor; his righteousness lasts forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the farmer and bread to eat will also supply you with seed and multiply it and enlarge the harvest that results from your righteousness. In every way you will grow richer and become even more generous, and this will cause others to give thanks to God because of us,

Life Skills

Today Takia was back at making masks. She is also teaching Raelee on the big sewing machine. She was very proud of the mask – and even the ties – she made today! She was really proud when she showed me that she even sewed the pocket to put a tissue in. Takia is very patient, and very good at teaching. Some people can be excellent at a skill but not so good at teaching it. She is quick too, last week she made around seventy-one in three days. For the boda drivers in our village I think they need about eighty more. She should have those done by the end of the week. The drivers were very surprised last week and very grateful for the gift!

Raelee challenged Salima she couldn’t hand sew a house. As she was watching Salima, Raelee started cutting and hand sewing eyes and mouth for an owl. Takia helped her cut wings and Raelee sewed them and the body on the machine! She was so excited at what she had done!

Raelee’s owl
Salima’s house!

Resurrection Day Part One

Raelee and I decided to record for you the story behind why we celebrate Resurrection Day (Easter). We’ve done it in three parts to try and get them uploaded by Sunday. (Please ignore the cat, she is in labor right now and a little freaked out, we apologize! – we recorded three times and she was worse in the other two!)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=F9jxLTPfbpw

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.

Graduation Day!

It is official now! Cap and gown and party!

I have been having bad internet service so it’s been awhile making posts. This was November ninth.

Congratulations to a very hard working young lady! She has already registered her community based organization – Redemptive Ministries so that she can give back to her community. It is community based so part of her work is to get people in the community involved in helping themselves as she helps them.

She is the first in her village to graduate college with a bachelors degree in Social work so when she got back home there was a big crowd waiting for her! She said there were so many people she didn’t even know and even the Chairman came and made a speech. (We didn’t stay very long – long enough to cut the cake she wanted me to make just for her!)

I though to was very cool that the graduates sashes were like a hood and when they turned them around people were able to put money into it. She also got gifts – including a rooster and two chickens! She was blown away at all the attention. But she definitely deserves it!

I did it! Now give me my cake!

Proud Mama!

Her oldest sister who only has two more years after internship to be a licensed midwife. She’s already gone for almost two and a half years.

Proud Uncle!

Proud Auntie and niece who have encouraged and supported her all along the way!

Cutest little girl!

The Spoon

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I want to tell you about the spoon you see in the boys hand. As we were getting ready to pass out boxes the head master asked someone to get water to wash hands. I asked if they needed us to get washing stands for them and he said that would be helpful. Then Salima said “no, there is a spoon in each box so their hands will not touch their food. The headmaster raised an eyebrow and said “Really? We will be teaching something new”! And because we have a good relationship with him I said “Yes, today they learn how to be civilized”. He laughed and laughed and said that was a good thing. About half (especially the little ones) have never used a utensil and had to be shown how to use the spoon. I’m not saying this with any kind of mean spirit, but in our village most people don’t use or have utensils. And that is a very real cause of the spread of many diseases when hand washing isn’t available or the hand washing is just well water poured over the hands. This doesn’t kill the germs. So there was more thought behind “the spoons” than teaching them to be civilized! (But we will be gifting them with wash stands and sanitizer that can be put in the water for them! Especially by the latrines).

I know I have followers on The Mandate Uganda FB page and some on Instagram and here so you will see some stories more than once. Some stories that are more personal I post here. I am thrilled to say that my post on FB on feeding the children reached 3450 people this week and over 300 clicks to http://www.themandate.com so we pray that out of those there were some donations made so that we can keep up the work God has for us here!

Lunch Success!

We fed the children at Global School. Everything went so smooth, didn’t even need the restless night of worry the night before! Everything was finished early, kids fed on time and God blessed us with extra – there turned out to be less kids than we were told – so we were able to take food to Ms. Joyce’s family! Just like I would say to every classroom as we went in to see them eating “God is good” and they would say “all the time”! And He is!

I am thankful also that my advice to the cooks about soaking beans overnight worked out. They don’t always think us Mzungus know much, and we do learn from them. And they were skeptical at first but after cooking they were so excited that it took half the time to cook them! I was relieved they saw the difference!

Ms. Joyce’s family

Happy Surprise!

One of the goats we gave a widow was apparently pregnant. I suspected she might have been but said ” she just gets a two for one special of it is!” And she did! She was thrilled and we are thrilled for her!

Our Sylvester is getting big – sometimes he looks like he’s pregnant with twins he eats so much! I am driving the workers crazy because I won’t tie him up, they keep coming and telling us that Sylvester is eating ALL the banana trees and ALL the mango trees. He has been eating leaves off the growing trees but he’s not eating the whole tree. I ask them “why didn’t you come and complain when you tied the bulls next to our big banana trees and they ate them down to the ground?” Or “why, when we tried to plant our own garden you tied up your own goats right in the middle and they ate all of our growing vegetables?” (Of course that was blamed on the dogs. I don’t know about you but I have yet to have a dog who eats black eye pea vines or carrot tops!) So when I’ve seen him tied up I untie him. Until he really starts being destructive he’s free to roam. The trees will survive without a few of their leaves, we have so many grown trees anyway.

He thinks he is one of the dogs and it is quite funny that he can be down the property and if I say “Maaaa” he comes running and yelling the whole way. He still wants to come on the house (he doesn’t) and would like it if we would give him a bottle still. He is quite entertaining and his mowhawk is growing. Maybe one day we will find him a wife and try again with the goat project. But this time we’ll do it our way and maybe keep more alive!