Considering I was only in Uganda for 10 days of December, things were fast and furious. Here is a recap of what has been going on at LCH and in my life:
Lulwanda Children’s Home Primary school finished off the school year with great success. We have a great group of teachers that are not only dedicated to teaching the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also have the heart to invest spiritually and emotionally into their lives.
There are many activities that the children look forward to during
the holiday times. Kites were a big hit.
Congratulations to our GRADUATES!!!
(Phoebe Namono, Flavia, Esther, Davis, Samwiri, Sarah Mukwana, Joel)
We had a wonderful graduation ceremony for our Nursery students that are moving to Primary school next year. They were so happy to have a day that celebrated them and their hard work. We pray all success over them as they will join Teacher Rebecca’s P1 class next year.
Happy Birthday Lulwanda!!
That’s right. Lulwanda celebrated its 6th birthday on December 1st. We invited some important local figures, Pastor Morris, the parents of the school’s community children, and all of our staff and children to join in a day of appreciating and celebrating all that God has done in the past six years.
One thing I really love about living in Uganda is that there are many opportunities to meet new people, share about what you are doing, and then visit their ministry or have them visit you. Of course, I take every chance I get to boast in what God is doing at Lulwanda and invite people to come see for themselves.
1. Friends from Made in the Streets: In October, I met my housemate Jennifer in Nairobi, Kenya to visit MITS, a ministry that works to get children off of the streets and trained in a skill. I had the opportunity to share the gospel with some street boys in downtown Nairobi (bottom left). For multiple reasons, life has “forced” them onto the streets, usually falling into the habit of sniffing glue or jet fuel. It was heart wrenching to see so many kids, with such potential, just wasting away on the streets. MITS has a community center downtown and for those children who show continued commitment to change their lives, they are then selected to go to the “farm” where they are taught basic literacy, math, and computer skills and are then trained in a skill (tailoring, catering, woodwork, hairdressing, or mechanics). I spent two nights at the farm and met Phiona, Laquita, and Jess. They then took me up on my offer and took the 12 hour bus journey to visit LCH and me in Mbale. We had a really fun week together.
The MITS “Farm”
2. Friends from Revolution Ministry: I heard of this ministry from a friend and was able to connect with three wonderful ladies who came from Kampala to teach our oldest two classes about what God says about sex before marriage. Walk Pure: Learning to save your most special possession for the right person. I am so grateful that the Lord opened this door for the kids to be taught the truth about sex and how God views it, especially since it seems to be an avoided topic in this culture. Although beginning shy, by the end of the 3 day seminar, the kids did not want these ladies to go. Naster and Sylvia even called me aside and asked if I could call their boss to request them to stay for another week. Ha. I know that our children also captured the hearts of these ladies. They had nothing but praises to give back for what is happening with and in our kids. In a world that seems to push the idea that sex is “cool” my prayer is that the information that they learned and the value God places on purity would influence their lives and their decisions as they continue on to secondary school. Please pray with me.
3. The P7’s visit their village: All of our P7 graduates had an opportunity to visit the village where they came from. Many of the children have not been back since they first came to LCH, so I can only imagine how surprised their family members and neighbors were to see how healthy and hope-filled they are. It was fun to hear stories of who they got to see, how they helped fetch water or work in the garden, and how they felt about life in the village. Despite the nice visit, all of the P7’s still concluded that life in the village is very hard and they are so glad that God has brought them to LCH where they have many more opportunities.
Other things at LCH:
The new girls hostel is well on its way. I can’t wait to see it finished when I return. And, I am even more excited because as 20 of the older girls move into the new building, that leaves room for 20 new girls to come and ultimately, 20 more lives to be changed for the glory of the Lord. God is so good!!
There is always time for fun at LCH.
I really don’t know why this chicken is pink. We received it as a gift and after asking 3 boys, they all promised me that it
born pink and not painted. I still think they might be pulling my leg.
One afternoon I was making bread with some of the girls while the other children were playing outside. I started hearing shouts, “Wamusota! Wamusota! Wamusota!” The girls then said, “There is a snake outside!” At this point, I heard stones hitting against the side of our metal building. Walking outside and approaching the corner, I saw a big snake slither into the main hall. At this point, the uncles (who were retrieving hoes and machetes) arrived and killed the snake. Sick! I hate snakes! We went back to our baking but about 5 minutes later I hear shouts again and the girls said, “Teacha, there is another snake.” What?!?! Sure enough, in the same spot, Enock killed another big snake that looked like his friend. We decided that we should pray against the schemes of the enemy and thank the Lord for his protection. Please continue to pray that God’s hedge of protection would be within the fence of the LCH property and that nothing meant to harm any of us would. The thief comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy, but Jesus came to give life in the fullest!!
CHRISTMAS-TIME IN UGANDA
Tis’ the season to be jolly. Whether in America or Uganda, there are certain touches that can help put you in the holiday spirit. I feel like this is especially important in Uganda, seeing as the weather in December is quite the opposite of cold. Actually, December and January are the hottest and dustiest months in Uganda (reaching up to the 90s- when we usually live in the mid 70s).
We also had an expat Christmas pageant, complete with carols, special music, and the children acting out the story of Jesus’ birth.
L: My sweet friend Tiffany
Below: My housemates- Jennifer and Emily
Below: Uriah, Emilie G, Me, Tiff, and Zoe
I left Uganda saying, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”. As I told the church before I left, “I feel blessed to have two homes. I am leaving home (Uganda) to go home (Texas). Yet while I am at one home I always miss the other home. That just gives me a bigger push to pray.” So, I love you Uganda. I will miss you greatly. And I promise to be a voice to boast in all the God is doing in you!
I will be in America (mostly Texas) until the beginning of March to enjoy a chilly Christmas, to spend quality time with family and friends, to speak to groups and churches as an advocate for LCH, and to do personal fundraising to allow me to continue my mission in Uganda. Thank you for continuing to follow me in this journey and may God bless you for all the prayers you have lifted up on my (and my kids’) behalf.