We’re Back from Uganda…Great Trip!

Thank you very much for your prayers. Greg, Randall, Moses, and I got back to The Lord’s Servants Home in Kitale, Kenya last night just before dark and we had the nice non-rain weather and safety all during our trip that we were praying for. We were out of touch with Cheryl as we left her alone back at the Lord’s Servants Home with 60 kids. Us 3 guys laughed about what kind of condition we would be found in under that circumstance but Cheryl is awesome with the kids and would have had it no other way.

The Stream of Hope Home in Nawantale, Uganda is so much better now than it was in February that I can hardly describe it. Greg and I remember these pitiful kids huddling together looking scared, hungry, and lost yet now they are a happy family with a home, valued kids that are fed, clothed, and sent to school, and beautiful children of God that worship Him with all their hearts. I wish everyone could have seen the transition that Greg and I have.  An outpouring of love, kitchen with food, latrine, clothes, shoes, school, and beds seem to have made the difference.  All praise to God.

We worked on the new church building and when we left, the roof trusses were all up and the roof sheets purchased. This week they merely need to paint the trusses and install the roof sheets and they will be worshiping under roof and out of the sun and rain for the first time in 4 months. This is a big deal since services last 4 hours. I got my head sunburned giving a message Sunday.

Greg bought lanterns, pots, water containers and supplies to immediately improve their lives. Dr. Randall served a lot of people and changed a few lives with glasses and help. A couple of ladies were reading the Bible in Church with their glasses that otherwise would not have been able to.  I helped 6 people in severe pain by removing some teeth. We gave them clothes, underwear, books, medicine, book bags, tooth brushes/paste, candy, and other things. We installed a tetherball, volleyball net, and soccer balls and played with them. They did not know how, sadly, but caught on. Moses was a great encourager and mentor to them.  There was lots of singing, drumming, and dancing and we left them very happy and loved and able to look forward with hope.

It is a long trip to get there, over 10 hours each way, and it was a struggle with some mechanical difficulties, border crossing, and delays, but we were blessed…and we have stories…lots.

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Most of the kids at The Stream of Hope Home

Church structure with trusses installed

Church structure with trusses installed

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Pastor Paul and the kids playing tetherball

New sport here, volleyball

New sport here, volleyball

Dr. Randall checking eyes

Dr. Randall checking eyes

Dr. Randall, Greg, Pastor Paul, Pastor Moses, Me, Pastor Chua Moses

Dr. Randall, Greg, Pastor Paul, Pastor Moses, Me, Pastor Chua Moses

Pastor Paul and the kids dancing and singing worshipfully.  New shirts and handmade dresses.

Pastor Paul and the kids dancing and singing worshipfully. New shirts and handmade dresses.

 

Heading into Uganda to visit The Stream of Hope Home

We leave first thing in the morning tomorrow on an 8 to 10 hour road trip to the Uganda border at Malaba, through Jinja on Lake Victoria, then north to Nawantale.  We will arrive tomorrow evening, spend Saturday and Sunday there, then return on Monday.  We will not have internet access, so I will next report after we return.

While passing through Jinja, we will visit one of our kids, Diana, who is ill with Sickle Cell complications and in the hospital there.

Saturday we plan to help roof the new church structure, conduct eye exams, perform dental work, deliver supplies brought from the US and Kenya, and picking up needed items to improve the conditions at the home.

Sunday, we will worship at the church, share a message and encourage them, continue with eye exams and dental work, administer some medicine, and have some fun with the kids.  We have soccer balls, a tether ball, and a volleyball net.

Monday we will visit the kid’s school and head back to Kitale.

We are bringing all the supplies we can fit in our truck.  This includes 80 pounds of medicine, 50 pounds of clothing, 50 pounds of books, and lots of balls, book bags, underwear, and very importantly, a bundle of letters written from individual kids at The Lord’s Servants Home in Kenya directly to individual kids at The Stream of Hope Home in Uganda.  How cool is that?

Please pray that the weather is good and it doesn’t rain so that we  will have travel safety and successfully roof the church.

 

Trip Update, Thur. 8 Aug.

We’ve had a great couple of days and all are doing well.  First of all, praise God for His timing, we could have come here a week earlier or a week later and been in trouble…the Nairobi airport had a major fire yesterday and is shut down to International travel for an unknown period.  We leave through there over a week from now and should be OK.

We’re enjoying the kids who are now out of school.

Here’s a few highlights…

I'm drinking water from the tap in Kenya thanks to our well and chlorinator.

I’m drinking water from the tap in Kenya thanks to our well and chlorinator.

Greg installed a hot water heater for the shower and we have enjoyed a real luxury of a hot shower.  It has been cold and rainy here and the warm water is appreciated.  This is a long way from the bottle of water and bucket we used a few years ago.  (No photo available 🙂  )

Randall and kids doing some home beautification projects.  Our 4x4 Isuzu is in the background.  I love it.

Randall and kids doing some home beautification projects. Our 4×4 Isuzu is in the background. I love it.

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People from the community waiting for Dr. Randall to inspect their eyes as a service.

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Caroline, Cheryl, Dorothy, and Mama Rose. Cheryl’s project installing an oven and expanding the kitchen opens up a new world of baking to the home. She is going to try a cake today.

Centrine and Bridgitt are leading a worship time on Monday night, all by themselves.  Really pretty and joyful sounds.

Centrine and Bridgitt are leading a worship time on Monday night, all by themselves. Really pretty and joyful sounds.
Movie time...they love The Jungle Book!

Movie time…they love The Jungle Book!

Greg leading a team to improve road drainage and eliminate mud near the orphanage.

Greg leading a team to improve road drainage and eliminate mud near the orphanage.

Places to Bath and Toilet make a good home…

The term “Home Improvement” means a project to improve the house to us but at the Stream of Hope orphanage, it literally means an improvement to make it more like a HOME.

I talked about the exciting gift of new beds for the kids in my last post….Just as exciting to the kids, and something we take for granted, new toilets and bath houses were built for the boys and girls dorms.  I personally used the old 3 foot tall, doorless latrine and the well ventilated 3 sided bath stall so I know how much it is a valued improvement.

The community is taking notice about the blessings that God is bringing to these kids.  Better floors, latrines, bath heigyne, beds, and mosquito nets, shoes, medicine, and a food budget are adding up to these kids feeling valued and being healthier.  Thank you for your prayers and support!!

New latrine and bath house for the girls

New latrine and bath house for the girls

Pastor at the new boys latrine and bath house

Pastor at the new boys latrine and bath house

Old doorless latrine and bath areas

Old doorless latrine and bath areas

 

Nothing says “Home” like a bed!

For the first 6 months since opening in December, 2012, the 40 kids in Nawantale, Uganda that were housed in the new Stream of Hope Home slept on the floor in crowded conditions.  They were safe, fed, and went to school but were on an unfinished floor with just a blanket.  Sickness spread easily among the children and Malaria was common because mosquito nets were not able to be used.

Recently the children were moved into two buildings and separated boys and girls.  We purchased 14 new triple-decker steel bunk beds for all the children and 2 double-decker beds for the caretakers as well as new mattresses, blankets, sheets, and towels.  Mosquito nets were then installed to protect the kids at night.

I can only imagine the feeling of warmth, peace, comfort, and security that these kids must have felt, sleeping for the very first time in their own bed.  It is a privilege to provide something so simple that we take for granted, beds will make these kids feel at home and valued as well as keep them healthy and rested.  Thank you all for your prayers and support….and praise God.

New Triple-decker beds and bedding

New Triple-decker beds and bedding

Mosquito nets to help prevent malaria

Mosquito nets to help prevent malaria

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Kids celebrating their beds

Kids celebrating their beds

Kids giving thanks to God

Kids giving thanks to God