Trip 20 to Uganda, Post 4

We were a small team, Gary and I, but we had many helpers!  We didn’t plan on any large projects but we accomplished a lot of upgrades, improvements, and maintenance items.  As always, the best part was doing them with the boys (and sometimes girls) helping.  Here they are…..

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Just like when I used to help my Dad….except for them not learning colorful words 🙂

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This will last them a while.

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Soccer goals were the boys favorite project.

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Security light on a pole (behind the clothes) with motion sensor to light up the yard behind the dorms.

 

Finished up the concrete work (using local labor) between buildings to eliminate mud. The cooks especially appreciated the work outside the kitchen.

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We moved the water tap nearer the kitchen and run off drain.  Added a 2nd valve for the hose.

 

We finished the rain water run-off trenches (using local labor) to route water away from the buildings.  The back 2 acres of land slopes toward the living areas and created mud during rains in the past.  Gary built his first ever bridge.

 

The kids planted 640 shrubs and trees all over the compound, along footpaths, walkways, buildings, and fences.

 

We also replaced a few failed lights, an underground wire, 6 broken windows, tetherballs, seats on seesaws, several solar landscaping lights, and several worn out valves on water tanks.  I had a great time!

The next posts will cover an outline of our next trip (in January) and MSM’s work to partner with nearby schools.

Thank you always for your prayers and support!

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Trip 20 to Uganda, Post 3

The most important objective of this recent trip to the Child Redeemed Home was to understand how well the relationships the new staff (that was installed in June) had with A) The Mission Statement of the organization, B) Each other, and C) The children, families, and community.  I was pleased on all fronts and found the home and children in a very positive state.

The Mission Statement of CRM is posted on a sign for all to see.  Everyone understands this and will hold each other accountable to it.  Past failures are lessons in caution, diligence, and grace.  The enemy is active.

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The following photos introduces the staff at CRM…an effective and loving team with a real heart for this work.

CRM Staff 2017

Back left to front right: Abdul (night guard), Prossy (cook), Beatrice (cook), Daniel (day guard), Takola (Matron), Emma SSengoba (Director), Gorreti (social worker)

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Noel (volunteer social worker) and her baby boy Gift (cool name)

CRM Staff Peter 2017

Pastor (also Teacher and Tutor) Peter

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Lydia (independent auditor/Accounting) and Emma

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Takola with Ruth (volunteer matron)  Both involved since the beginning.

 

The children are doing very well.  It is a big job to keep track of the needs and progress of 41 children.  They all are in school: 23 Elementary School, 5 High School, and 13 in Trade Schools.  Their needs and challenges vary from serious illnesses like Sickle Cell Anemia to special items like steel toed shoes for boys in Mechanic classes.  A good relationship between the staff and children is essential and similarly, a good relationship with their extended family is crucial.  CRM involves the families of older children and those that have been at the home for long periods in their school break hosting and reintroduction to their family.  We want the kids to have family support when they complete their education and enter society.  The Ugandan government calls this the “Resettlement” process.  Progress is being made with this in a positive healthy direction.

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Susan and Loyi (on the right) at the home of their family.  Jamila and Damali (below left) and Bosco (below right) spending school break with family.

 

The relationship with the local church is vital for the children.  The Voice of God Christian community church meets in the Dining Hall and is the home church and spiritual center for the kids.  The kids and staff are involved, a large part of the community are members, people are being saved, and Co-Pastors Emma and Peter preach the Word.  I love being immersed in their worship…their singing, dancing, and praying has an urgency and passion that is convicting.

 

Of course the schools themselves are important partners in successfully preparing the children for productive and purposeful adulthood.  The Balowoli Primary School, Jipra Secondary School, and St. Joseph’s Vocational School are excellent and work well with us.

 

Not least is the CRM relationship with the Ugandan government, particularly with the office of Children (Probation Office, PO).  They are involved and supportive in the resettlement visits and have notified us of 22 local “at risk” children that they would like us to admit to CRM.  They are being investigated and prayed about.

All these relationships I described, with Jesus Christ at the center is what will keep CRM in a loving state and aimed in a positive direction.  Please keep all in your prayers.

 

Next post will highlight some projects and upgrades made at CRM.

Trip 20 to Uganda, Post 2

Gary and I returned to Charlotte last night.  Ve’Neesha will remain at the Child Redeemed Mission Home in Uganda for two more weeks.  We completed the planned scope of projects and issue investigations and found the children doing awesome and the home operating well thanks to loving work by Pastor Emma, Director and his team.  I will post more details and photos soon.  Thanks for the prayers, Bob

Here are a few photos of us enjoying the visit….

God Rescued the SOH Children – 4

God Rescued the Stream of Hope, Uganda Children.   He did it 4 years ago and again last week!  Part 4

Continuing updates from Trip 19 to Child Redeemed Mission Home (Formerly SOH).

Cool Story of God’s perfect timing….Of course the water well failed and we have no water!  It was Saturday morning, Memorial Day weekend back in the US.  We were leaving in 3 days.  It had been rainy and cloudy so we expected less water from the solar powered well pump…but there was none.  It was also by chance that we discovered it because we just shifted a large amount of water to the community tank for distribution expecting the well pump to replenish the tank and had we not done that, a few days would have gone by.  Greg and I are the two people in the world with most intimate knowledge of the water system at SOH.  It has to be something simple we said…no way a major failure happens on the 2 weeks we happen to be in Uganda on an unplanned surprise visit.

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Community members getting clean drinking water from the CRM well.

We began diagnosing and eliminating possible causes.  We switched the system from DC Solar to AC Generator….of course after needing to spend several hours repairing the generator, bad gas, broken fuel line, broken starter rope.  No pumping.  We waited for the sun to shine and see if the DC Solar would work.  Nothing.  No error on the controller that would indicate a bad wire or controller.  Voltage was present at the pump wires.  Must be the pump.  This won’t be fixed until Monday at the earliest…nothing to do but conserve water and pray for rain.  It did rain which gave us enough water to make it till Monday.

The phone numbers we had for the NGO, Water Missions, provider of technical service and parts was not being answered and no one was working in the US.  We decided to drive 100 km to Jinja and go to the Water Mission office and hope to speak with a guard that has phone numbers.  We did that, the guard recognized me, and he helpfully began the process which ultimately resulted in a technician coming out Monday morning with a pump.

Eight of us pulled all 265’ of PVC pipe, wire, and pump up out of the well, finding the pump is OK but the wire is not.  We think a lightning strike on Friday (it was really close) burned out the wire enough to prevent the motor from working but left enough so the controller would not show an error.  Now where do we get 300’ of specialty wire?  We brought it with us!  We planned a project to run wire for security lights at the Chicken Coop, bringing 600’ of quality shielded wire, graciously provided by Charlotte Wire, but did not have time to do it.  Tasking that wire for this repair and reinstalling the pump, had us back in the clean water business in a few hours.

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The flag on top of the tank is a homemade full indicator we installed.

Too many cases of perfect timing and provisions for random luck.  Thank you God!

Bob Hillebrand – Director, Mission Servants Ministry

God Rescued the SOH Children – 3

God Rescued the Stream of Hope, Uganda Children.   He did it 4 years ago and again last week! Part 3.  Continuing updates of the Child Redeemed Mission Home (Formerly SOH) in Uganda following the dismissal of the Director.

As I said…Taking care of 40+ Children in a Third World country is not a simple or hands off ministry.  It is a hard and messy mission.  This is a call to stronger faith, love, and resolve, not a reason to give up.  The kids of Child Redeemed Mission have a new start and are not giving up.

There are those that say…

  • Mission Servants Ministry is too small to be effective in a Third World Country
  • Africa is too corrupt to help.
  • This always happens in Africa.
  • Quit trying to help Africa and focus on the US.

They did not say it when God provided through us and we….

  • Took over a small underfunded home of 23 kids and built it into one of the best facilities for many miles and housing 60 kids.
  • Built an 8 room school, ensuring quality education for the community.
  • Served nearly 1000 in the communities with medical help.
  • Built from scratch in 3 years, one of the best facilities in Uganda and house 40 kids.
  • Have seen Children graduating from High School and people coming to know Jesus.

What God’s word says…..

  • Psalm 27….Wait on the Lord. The Lord is our salvation.  Wait on the Lord.
  • Psalm 26….We are ready to be used and tested because we are in Jesus Christ.
  • Psalm 25….God will guide and protect us.

What is being said by those affected… No quit in any of them!

  • Community….”Thank you for coming back and handling this…we were all so upset.”
  • Neighbors…”We have watched you Mzungus work for our children for years…we want to volunteer and help now”
  • Government…”We will deal with this man….it is not our way to let good things fail because of one man”
  • Teacher…”You have inspired us much because you passed the test and did not quit”
  • Workers…”Thank you for not leaving us”
  • Children….no words necessary!

The mission statement of MSM and our conviction is still strong.  We honor God with all we do, we serve and protect Children so they can grow into what God intended for them to be, and we protect our testimony and goal to be a witness to the love of Christ Jesus to the world.  The work being done for the children will continue.  I firmly believe that God has shown Himself to be fully in control and faithful.  He rescued the children at CRM and answered their prayers.  Mission Servants will continue to honor His call to stand with these kids.  Thank you for your support and prayers.  Please contact me with questions you may have.

Bob Hillebrand – Director, Mission Servants Ministry