Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What have I been up to?

Oh man, I have said it before and I will say it again… sometimes life is too busy living to have time to post anything on the blog. But I do love being able to share what has been going on with you. So please forgive the recap version of the past 2.5 months. (and in no particular order nor fullest detail)

When I arrived in February, it was the middle of dry season. Dry season is no joke. Dry, hot, serious sunshine, no relief. 

But dry season also brings some oasis of beauty….
(now the rains have come and hardly a day passes without a huge downpour.)

I was welcomed back at Lulwanda with lots of warm hugs and this special surprise that warmed my heart.

Last year's P7 finishers began secondary school. I helped to take some of them to their new school and to get settled in their dorms. This year most of our secondary students are within the general Mbale area, which makes it much easier to go visit them or even bring them home for special events.

In previous years, my house-helper would do my weekly shopping for me while I was at work, but this year I am doing my own shopping. Mbale has a wonderful, huge, new market that opened last year. This is a million percent upgrade from what it has been.

Inside you can find all sorts of dry beans, lentil, peanuts, and many fresh fruits and veggies. 

You can also find meat and fish, (or a live chicken if that is what you want for dinner). The health code standards are quite a bit different here than they are in America. But a half kilo of beef is only 6000/= shillings (about $2).

I have had a real struggle with internet connectivity since being back. Oh Uganda. So in attempts to figure out if getting an internet signal at LCH was possible, I found myself out at our farm-land with the  internet providers. While we were there, a train passed by. This is only the 4th train I have seen since living in Uganda. (and annoyingly enough, the farm gets 3G signal but LCH does not!)

Since I hadn't seen most of the secondary students since being back from furlough, most of my Saturdays in March were spent traveling to the four different schools that we have children in to see them during their visitation day. It was so fun to catch up with them. It was also surprising to see how much some of them had grown and matured in the time I was in the USA.

Every Tuesday morning I meet with these ladies (and a few others) to share what is on our hearts and pray for one another. This is one of my most treasured times within the week.

Mbale is going through some MAJOR road work. 
Each day is a new surprise as to which diversions there will be on your way through town.

 I mean major! And now that rainy season has started it is a bit of a swampy mess. As I have said to my passengers multiple times while driving on the wrong side of the road or making my own diversion, "No rules in Mbale!"

This also means that there seems to be more traffic jams in Mbale, since some of the roadwork has caused lane closures. But it makes for interesting things to see.

I have had a great time reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. The missionary community in Mbale is growing by the day and really in a neat place of being a true community of believers.

As always, I love Tuesday evening game nights.

We had a wonderful Easter, celebrating at Lulwanda. I am overjoyed at how the Lord moved in the hearts of the children and how it laid a foundation for our kids to be thinking about the Good News and their own Salvation. May the Lord continue to draw these children's hearts unto Himself.

To read more about the Easter events at LCH, feel free to read (and sign up for) our LCH newsletter.

Easter evening was spent at a community BBQ.

But this blog does not really do justice to the exciting ways I have seen God working and the upcoming changes that will be happening at LCH. Many administrative details are not picture worthy, but I can tell you first hand that we have been working hard at many BIG TICKET items that have been on our office to-do list for awhile….
               - advertise for/short list/interview for new social workers (we received over 40 applications
                 and interviewed 14 people)
               - many preparations are being made for Lulwanda Tendo
               - house parents interviewed for Tendo
               - meetings about Tendo rules/policies/schedules

But the most exciting has been the preparations for the ten new children who will join the LCH family (hopefully by the end of April). I spent over a week moving to villages all around the Mbale area doing "social inquiries" of 21 different homes of orphans. Sometimes you have to ask many questions to many different people to get the real story and feel a bit like a detective. Sometimes the story (and ultimately the reality) of these children's situation is so obvious you just want to put them in the van that day to take them to their new home.

Honestly, I can't wait to have them with us. I can't wait to watch the Lord restore their malnourished bodies first, but then reach their heart with love, His love. I have 108 stories I can tell you of hope restored. Soon that will be 118!!!!

Will you consider being a sponsor to one of these ten new children? If you would like more information about sponsorship, please visit our website HERE.

Also, did you know that I write a report as the Program Coordinator EVERY MONTH?! So if my blog is going through a dry spell, check out the report and photos that tell about the month's happenings at LCH.  You can view my PROGRAM COORDINATOR REPORTS here and recent photos here.

Thank you for faithfully praying for me and the children at Lulwanda. Really, thank you!

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Sweetest Statement

I walked into my office today (having been out of the office doing various duties for the past 2 weeks) to this greeting by Marion (in the dead middle of the photo)

"Teacha, I am now a Christian!"


How sweet. And my smile grew as the rest of these little ones each wanted to tell me themselves:
"I am a believer." "I have trusted Jesus."