If you haven’t watched part one please go back and watch! We were able to record and upload today so we will be back Sunday with the rest of the story. Love that Raelee took over this time and I really didn’t need to read the scriptures because she pretty much explained them!
And a PS – the cat had 4 babies in between! So no meowing in this one. It did take us four times because I kept saying the wrong words and we would get tickled. Then we would have to wait on our camera man to stop laughing!
I have to compress the videos and upload to YouTube- it still took 2 hours! So I hope the link works and you can see the videos!
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.
“Baby Christian” is growing up! He has the funniest personality. He’s been Raelee’s little man since he was born and hangs out at our house just about everyday. He’s been in Sunday School since he was a couple months old and he sings songs all the time. And loves to dance. Here he is showing off his moves!
Christian and a few Pastors from Mustard Seed Fellowship Church were able to go up to Karamojo to meet people in a few different villages. In this one, which was one of the worst, they have no latrines, they believe latrines will make them sterile so they just go wherever, all over inside their “compound”. Then with the rains it is all muddy and mixed together. They have no bore holes so the water they drink usually comes from either water that runs down the mountains and makes puddles that is then mixed with excrement. A lot of the children (even as old as 10-11 walked around in shorts and no pants. The shirts didn’t cover anything). They have a Church and a Pastor who they said seems to really have a love for the people. Please pray for the Karamojong people. And pray with us as we follow God’s leading in how we might be able to help. We also pray that God will lead someone close by that can teach them about hygiene, take the stigma and myth away from latrines and teach them to grow food on such fertile land. It is from the giving hearts like you that enables us to help people who have never seen the outside world and don’t know how to live any differently than they do.
Many friends and family ask at Christmas if they can send us something. It really costs too much to send packages. This year has been a rough year and our vacation – and I am very grateful to our organization- was spent with me having surgery and recovering for six weeks! (So thankful I had a wonderfull place to recuperate, even though I wasn’t allowed to do anything fun!) So, if you would like to donate personally to us to add to what we already have so that we can take a much needed break. Send to Rhonda Welch 207 Jimmy Olen Rd Anacoco LA 71403. To be clear this for us personally.
Or for Christmas giving we always appreciate donations to our organization so that we can keep continuing the work we do making an impact on our village. There are many different projects or a general fund that goes towards all work including bore holes. 100% of your donations go directly to the work The Mandate does. On https://themandate.com/donate/ you can see different projects you can donate to. We have been making Christmas clothes for the children this year so if you want to donate directly to that just put a note saying Christmas. Please make your check out to“The Mandate”and mail toP.O. Box 6798, Shreveport, LA 71136. Please specify the Project or Program it is intended for.
Always pray for us, and for our village ministry, the inmates we ministerto and everyone that helps us in our work.
We went to see two bore holes we have had put in two neighboring villages. One was just put in this week so it’s not quite done. The cement is still drying. The second one we put in had a well that was hand dug and there was just a trickle that would come out so they had to walk a mile and a half to get water. Can you imagine walking that far both ways – one way carrying at least one 40 pound water can. And that much water doesn’t last very long – I know because we don’t have running water! There was a lot of joy and dancing. But there was a little bitty lady that I went back to greet her because I didn’t think she could even walk. But it wasn’t long after I went back to the others that she came hobbling up to me and wanted to know if now that we put the bore hole on what is her property are we taking it away from her. We told her that’s not what we do, we give and don’t take. Then she got really happy! It is definitely better to give than to receive for us when we see how much these water wells mean. Even when they dig their own, many times they don’t go deep enough and the water mixes with sewage and just contributes to the diseases here. Each one makes a great impact on entire villages.
But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 1 Chronicles 29:14
Today was our second time feeding the kids at Global. I heard they were all excited about getting rice again but on Wednesdays we make posho (which is maize flour made in the consistency of mashed potatoes) with beans on top. Not a favorite! So we added an orange in each box. Man! That made a big difference in attitude about posho! There was excited screaming and many thank yous! I told them I knew they would t be excited about beans and posho so I gave them a treat to go with it. Then I told them beans and rice are on Friday’s it was pandemonium! I just love being able to do this! We also gave them wash stands with antibacterial liquid to wash their hands since they were eating oranges. It was a good day!
Sunday we lost a dear lady that we have loved and who has been a constant at Bible study. Her burial was yesterday. She did t make it to study Sunday because she wasn’t feeling well. She had been fine all week but by the time study was over and Christian was going to go pray with her she passed away. We are going to miss her and we are sad but we can also rejoice that she has gone home to be with her Jesus and has no more aches and pains. My favorite memory of her will be her asking for a job and jiggling when we gave her sugar money for her tea. Please pray for her family, her son lives next to her and cared for her very well, he is really taking it hard. She had many children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
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.