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November » 2007 » Hope 4 Kids International Blog


Last Day in Uganda
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Sun Nov 18
Our Last Day
Today was our last day in Tororo. These two weeks have flown by. We can hardly believe it’s already time to return home. What an amazing trip! The last day is always very busy finishing up last minute details before the long journey home. This morning our teams started out the day worshipping at different churches. George and Donna went to Pastor Justice’s for service and presented a Proclaimer to his church. Elizabeth, Carla, Bonnie, Angie, Chris, Dena went to Pastor Peter’s for a 4 1/2 hour church service. The rest of the team went to True Vine to worship with Pastor Wilber. Pastor Wilber has started a men and women’s prisoner ministry so when we leave, any clothes donated by the team will be given to the prisoners.

The team got an opportunity to meet with their orphans at True Vine after church during the afternoon. Kelsy got to spend the day with her orphan Evelynn who is actually two years older than she is! Some team members helped Carla, Elizabeth and their field workers finish presenting shoes, goats and toothbrushes to the orphans at True Vine. We finished training the field workers on the Palm Pilots that they will use to monitor the children in the sponsorship program.

In the evening, Mr. Grograni hosted our team at the Tororo Country Club for dinner. Yonah and Eric from the CHDD joined us for dinner along with the pastors of True Vine. We played snooker, darts and had a great time fellowshipping together. It was a wonderful way to commemorate our time together in Uganda.

Mon Nov 19
From everyone who has been given much, much will be required.
We are packed and ready to begin the 40+ hour journey home. During family time this morning, Tom shared with us the effects of re-entry when we return to our families especially this time of year with the holidays.
From Luke 12:48 “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.” He challenged us to see how much we could be and how God wants to use us after visiting a country where so many are affected by extreme poverty and disease.

Today, we left earlier than we usually do, because the Queen of England will be visiting Uganda tomorrow. They blocked off many roads to Kampala to ensure the roads are safe for the Queen. On the way to Entebbe, we visited The Nile River for a boat ride and shopping and we ate the famous “chicken on a stick,” the best chicken in Uganda, next to Pastor Agree’s.

Well, the time has come. It’s time to leave the country and the people we love. Our time here is precious and always special. Amazing memories filled with little God moments have been made and will forever be cherished. Our team got to experience things that pictures and words cannot do justice. They got an opportunity to leave their imprints in the hearts of the Africans. They have created long-lasting relationships separated by miles but bonded by God’s love.

Thank you to another A+ team! Your generosity was appreciated and felt by so many. Thank you to everyone who sponsored a child; supported someone to go to boarding school, fed a village, brought a smile to a child or sat and held the hand of a widow. We hope your experience has opened your eyes and changed your heart. We look forward to you or your family members traveling with us on another trip. Thank you from all of us at Hope 4 Kids International! God Bless.



Saturday in Uganda
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Bonnie Sponsors a Family to Attend Boarding School

Everyday our teams have been giving it their all physically, emotionally and spiritually. Giving 110% everyday eventually will take its toll on a body. Some of our team have become a little under the weather including Hannah, Brian, Jordan, Rick, Elizabeth and Chris. Yesterday afternoon a few of our team members decided to take it easy in the afternoon and stay close to the hotel. A little rest will hopefully help our team become fully recovered.

Today, Dena went out with Rita by herself to visit the widows. A group of women were waiting for her and sang and danced as they greeted her. The widows all had prayer requests for shelter and food. Dena and Rita handed out beans, rice and mattresses to the ladies. They also visited an ill blind widow that went out for a short call and fell and broke her leg recently. All the widows that received the mattresses gave Dena lots of hugs and smiles. She said it was really beautiful and an awesome experience!

Debbie, Rachel & Lindsey, Kelli, Kristina & Leah visited the Salvation Army kids with Patsy. The kids from Salvation Army made the kids from True Vine look like they were middle class. Many of the Karamong tribe children suffer from scabies. The team spent the afternoon cleaning their wounds. Like the Gypsies in Romania and the Untouchables in India, the Karamong tribe children are discarded, thrown away and forgotten members of society. Rachel visited with one of these kids named Rlijah who grew up in Northern Uganda. He is proud that he now attends school and helps Patsy look after the younger children that the Salvation Army sponsors.

Michelle, Brian, Rick, Jordan, Kelli, Kristina, Lindsey, Rachel, Dena & Leah all painted a widow’s house today. Bonnie and Chris went with Elizabeth and Carla for the orphan outreach distributing mosquito nets and toothbrushes. Angie filmed our sponsorship video with Tom, Elizabeth & Carla.

Four siblings that we visited today were disserted by their mother that went off digging for an undetermined amount of time. The oldest child is in P5 and she is 10 years old at the most. This girl has taken on the responsibility to care for the other three kids. Every morning she digs up potatoes so the children will have something to eat when they return from school. This is a perfect example of a situation where the children desperately need to be attending boarding school. Boarding school will provide a good education along with full room and board. Taking one child out of this situation would not be beneficial to the other children of the family. All of the children need to be sponsored to go to boarding school in order to stay together. These kids really moved Bonnie’s heart during this orphan outreach. Bonnie has graciously volunteered to sponsor all of these children to go to boarding school! Because of sponsors like Bonnie Dirks, these children will be lifted out of the plight of extreme poverty. They will now have a roof over their head, three meals a day and a good education! Thank you Bonnie for blessing these children!

Janet, the lady the girls stayed with overnight, got tested yesterday for HIV. She received her results and said “Yesterday “I was HIV negative, and today I am HIV positive.” She walked over to True Vine to inform the girls of her positive results.

Kaitlyn, Ken and Cheyrl went to Godfrey’s village for lunch today and Ken delivered The Proclaimer to him. Godfrey’s village is very remote and no evangelical churches are around. Other than the well located in Godfrey’s village, the nearest well is located over the hills. When people come to his village to get water, they will hear about Jesus. When they come to the clinic for medicine, they will hear about Jesus. Kaitlyn shared that when these villagers come for water they will get the Living Water.

Michelle, Tom, Carla, Ken and Angie finished off the evening at Pastor Agree’s for his famous chicken! Pastor Agree shared with us when he first met his wife. He said when he met Rosemary, “his spirit started jumping!”


Visiting Bupoto
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From Chris Russell:
Today we headed out on the most amazing journey to visit the orphans of Bupoto and Bugobero. Before our start we drove into town as most adventures in Uganda begin, to buy supplies, get gas and pick up more Africans! When Kirk from Seaside Church in California realized we’d have 15 people in a 10 person van he offered to get another vehicle. We did not realize how truly thankful we would be for that gesture.

As we set off on our 4 hour journey into the mountains of Uganda it was hard to forget God was with us. No words can express the beauty and wonder we saw on this ride. For most of this trip we drove along the mountainside on a road fit for only one car. The view was breathtaking with lush valleys of green groves, modest homesteads where people and children greeted us with smiles and hello’s as if they had been waiting for us to arrive for years. The hillside was filled with banana and coffee trees and if your mind began to wonder you’d think you were on a secluded island in the tropics.

We arrived at Pastor Issah’s in Bugobero. The church was very modest as all of these churches here are. No matter how modest, the village people were so proud to have us there. Chris Russell’s orphan Allen lived in this village and she was able to see her again after meeting her last year. The team gave the children mosquito nets, shoes, teddy bears and goats. The children and elders were very thankful to everyone and as it began to rain we said our good-byes and continued on our journey.

The next part of our journey took us to the highest mountain in Bupoto. As we climbed the hills we realized that visitors were very far and few between in this area. As we continued we did not know we had reached our final destination until we heard the songs of the children on the hill. As we looked up we could see them dancing and jumping and singing. It was so overwhelming you could not help but weep. This place was so magestic, so spiritual that you knew only our heavenly Father could create such an amazing place. When we exited the van the people and children continued to sing louder and louder for their thanks and love for Jesus.

We entered their church and the pastor read us a formal greeting and introduced all of the people who work in the church. From there Elizabeth introduced each of us and with every introduction they praised each of us. Ken Jensen was able to visit his orphan Becca who was very happy to see him. We gave out our gifts to the orphans and mingled with the villagers while the Hope 4 Kids team filmed a video. They served us a feast that was equivalent to a Thanksgiving dinner and we headed on our journey home.

The trip home took us on another route which included more warm curbside welcomes. We came upon a bridge that was falling down and had the village children not stopped us we may have attempted to cross. We took another route down a very rural road.

After this long journey which easily could have been exhausting and tiresome, the only thing we could say when we returned to the hotel was “Amazing, praise be to God!”

Debbie Murphy gave a wedding dress to Jane, Wilber’s wife and as she gave it to her, Jane held it to her face and said “how blessed am I that I can behold something so beautiful that I am only able to see it in pictures”.



Thurs Nov 15
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The Big Day Has Arrived!

So, the day has arrived! Chris, Elizabeth and myself (Angie) planned on starting our adventure at 4:00PM until 4:00PM the following day. Elizabeth and Carla got an early start to visit orphans the first half of the day while Chris and Angie picked up some last minute items. We also stopped by the police station to pick up our permits. We needed a special permit to stay someplace else other than The Rock Hotel. Along with those permits, we were joined by two security officers and their intimidating AK47s. Brian mentioned that he was going to come over and TP (toilet paper) our mud hut. After he saw their weapons, he nixed that idea! We were all a little anxious, because we had no idea what was in store for us.

4:40PM (4 o’clock African time) came and we were packed and ready to go. Janet, Okware and the rest of their 40+ member family greeted us with open arms singing and dancing. Janet started off by giving us a tour of their compound. There are several huts along with a latrine and a bathroom for bathing. After the tour, we all gathered around an open fire including four generations of Okware & Janet’s family along with Pastor Peter and Michael, our driver. As the women finished cooking, Okware started off the evening with introductions and testimonies by firelight. Before dinner, we were in for a special surprise! The Mammas, Okware’s Mother and Aunt (two wives of his father) danced an old tribal dance –topless! The Mamma’s used to cut themselves with razors because it was considered sexy back then. They would use this dance as a way to attract their husband. It was crazy! This was the first time, the fourth generation of children ever saw their grandmother’s dance. We celebrated with a delicious dinner and finished off the evening with roasting marshmallows! What a treat! Isaac, Janet’s son, whittled us great sticks for roasting. We assembled our smores with chocolates and bisquits and passed them around. The Africans loved them! Everyone was sticky and you could see traces of marshmellow on everyone’s faces. What a wonderful way to end the evening! Time flew by and we were all exhausted. It was 1:30AM and time to retire to our hut. We had a big day ahead of us!

Fri Nov 16

Janet & Okware living with HIV together

The rooster, our first African alarm clock went off at 4:30AM. The second, Janet, started singing at 5:00AM! She continued with fervent prayers, weeping and more singing. Just after 6:00AM, it was time to wake up the kids! Chris, Elizabeth and Angie sat under our mosquito nets and laughed and laughed! We began working in the fields immediately hoeing and heaping. By the time we arrived in the fields, the kids had already completed half a field. After we heaped, Elizabeth left our adventure to visit our orphans and Chris and Angie continued working in the fields. By noon, we had hoed and heaped in the fields, planted potatoes, foraged for firewood and picked greens in the garden. We were completely exhausted and we did not work nearly as hard as Janet. Janet showed us how the African woman multitasks. She tied a baby around her back, carried a bundle of firewood on her head, carried a hoe on her shoulder and also carried a large basket of greens! It was amazing! We sat down and processed the greens while Janet shared with us her testimony of her life with Okware, living with five other wives, living with HIV/AIDS and her faith in Jesus Christ.

Her story is an extraordinary one that is still being written. She was a Christian. He was a Muslim. She was the first wife of six. In the early nineties, Okware discovered he was HIV positive and failed to tell Janet until 2000. All of the wives contracted HIV/AIDS and five of them died. Most, if not all of the fifteen children produced by the six wives have HIV. Their symptoms so severe, that other villagers abandoned them and whispered that their family would vanish. Through the love of Jesus Christ, Okware became a Christian and surrendered his life to God. Their family today is living strong and healthy. They give all the glory to God. If it wasn’t for Him, their family would have perished.

Janet has taken four HIV tests that have all showed that she is negative. She says that she and Okware are living together with HIV even though she is negative. They are ONE body, one body in Christ, so a positive result does not matter to them.

Later on in the afternoon, we all walked to the well for drinking water. The well was located almost three miles from her house. Janet, along with the children carried a jerican of water of their heads. A jerican holds five gallons of water and each gallon weighs eight pounds! These Africans are truly amazing in every way! Our adventured came to a close as we watched the children playing soccer in their make-shift soccer field. Our 24-hour adventure was so much deeper and amazing than we could have ever imagined. We felt so blessed to have this wonderful experience!

Everyday our teams have gotten an opportunity to separate into various ministries. One of the wonderful things about going on a Mission trip with Hope 4 Kids is that you can do whatever your heart moves you to do. Everyday, we have medical, widow, orphan, dental & eyeglass outreaches everyday. Over the summer, Tom partnered with Mr. Grograni from the cement factory and this week, many team members have been visiting his plant testing people for HIV and giving vaccinations. We had a really good turn out. More than 75% of the employees (200) came for a HIV test and they could get their results within 15 minutes. The eyeglass ministry has been advertised on the radio and we’ve had many people stop us in town wanting to know where they can get their glasses. Elizabeth and Carla have been taking groups of team members out into the field almost everyday delivering goats, toothbrushes/toothpaste and shoes. Jane, Pastor Wilber’s wife has also been taking groups out everyday to visit various widows.



Latest from Uganda
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From Michelle:
Visiting Orphans: Several team members traveled with Elizabeth and Carla to five villages to meet orphans and hand out mosquito nets, toothpaste, toothbrushes and goats.

At the first village, Michelle was reunited with her sponsored orphan, Edwin. As she was coming off the bus, Edwin spotted her and said, “Mommy.” Michelle said, “Are you Edwin?” to which he replied “Yes, you are my mother.” It was a wonderful moment of reconnection after not seeing each other for one year.

At each village visited, the orphan children received their items and enjoyed having pictures taken. They all love to see their image displayed on the display screens of our digital cameras. After visiting all of the villages, we walked on a muddy path to Pastor Justice’s home for a meal. It must have taken hours to prepare all of the food, keeping in mind the difficulty involved in obtaining and paying for the ingredients, as well as preparing it for over an open fire in a mud hut without electricity.

Many of the team members had never eaten in a mud hut. Brian likened the experience to camping-he was out of his comfort zone not being able to see what he was eating.

From Kelsey:
Eating in a Mud Hut
This whole trip has been an amazing heart warming experience. Being invited to the pastors mud huts, you walk in and think how could they ever live like this but yet they are so proud of what they have and that you have taken time out of your day to come to their home. We walked in and saw a huge table of food that they have prepared for us. They rarely have 3 meals a day, and we are eating 3 meals along with many snacks a day. The money they have is not a lot and for them to prepare that much food for us was just an irreplaceable experience to sit down and and eat the food that they need to last them a few weeks. We ate in 5 minutes and it showed me how much I have and how much I can do to for others. It is a feeling I will never forget.



Tues Nov 13 uganda
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Delivering The Proclaimer to Mumbatumba

There’s never a dull moment in Africa. Everyday is a new adventure. Our team separated into different groups today. Ten H4KI members went on a widow’s outreach while Tom took others to visit the plant manager and finance manager of the Tororo Cement factory. Tororo Cement is the largest grossing company in all of Uganda.

Elizabeth and Carla went to Kampala to buy some more shoes for the orphans they are visiting this week. Bryan and Angie visited Alex’s (from the Dot Spot Café) college on a picky-picky (motorcycle) while Denise worked in the lab in the hospital with Ester.

Over the last few months, Hope 4 Kids has partnered with a ministry called Hosanna- Faith Comes By Hearing. They developed The Proclaimer-a solar-powered New Testament that is spoken in the country’s heart language. Hosanna graciously provided us with six Proclaimers this trip. They have offered to give us Proclaimers for every one of the 51 villages in Africa, additional villages in Romania and the barrios in Peru. Larry, John and Kirk delivered one to Pastor Jessica in Mumbatumba today. The village went crazy and shouted and danced with all of their might! George and Donna brought one for Pastor Martin. Even though Pastor Martin is rather feeble and sick, he was able to understand and appreciate the gift that he and his church received.

From Kristina:
On the morning of 11-13-07 we went into Tororo to buy supplies to deliver to five widows. We bought soap, sugar, beans, rice & petroleum jelly. Kristina, Lindsey, Hannah, Dena, Cheyrl, Leah, Rachel, Kelsey, Kaitlyn & Kelli went along in a van to deliver the supplies. The first widow we visited was 59 years old, lived in a small mud hut and was raising two small grandchildren. We raised enough money to pay four months of rent, which is eight dollars per month. She was so happy and relieved! All of the widows were very grateful! Most of these widows are raising orphans. They all sang songs and prayers for us. They would go out to neighbors homes and get chairs for us. They are all so grateful!

Wed Nov 14

Tip of the day: Do not eat fish when spending the night in a mud hut.

It is so exciting to wake up and just see what God has in store for each and everyone of us. Everyday is filled with new connections, deeper relationships and wonderful God moments. We started our day at 7:00AM. That was American time, not African time. Today was the day we climbed The Rock in Tororo. The weather was crisp and clear. We couldn’t ask for a better day for a hike. Cheryl kept us entertained on all the way up and Chris Russell celebrated when she got to the top. Way to go Chris! We knew you could do it! We took several group pictures and ran back down. The race was on and Kaitlyn & Kelsy laughed as they ran pass Tom back to the hotel!

After family time & a hearty American breakfast, team members conducted a vaccination outreach, worked in the eyeglass ministry and visited more widows out in the bush. Elizabeth and Carla took half of the team out to the Busia district to visit orphans and distribute shoes and goats. They visited five villages! We stopped by Smile Africa today to visit Pastor Ruth and to see Janet, the lady whose is hosting us for the documentary. The Seaside guys purchased lots of necklaces and material to wrap presents in for Christmas. Pastor Ruth gave us the most valuable tip for spending the night in the hut: “Do not eat fish. If you do not wash your hands thoroughly, rats will come and bite your fingers!” She said, “Do not worry. Janet stays every night and she is whole!” Meaning, Janet didn’t have any bites. Kirk reminded us not to use any hand sanitizer that fish oil in it. Thanks Kirk! Larry, John and Kirk headed home today. We were all sad to see them go. They were such an instrumental part of our trip and everyone loved their company. We pray you reach well! We grabbed Janet after lunch and headed to the markets to buy supplies for the documentary that will begin filming tomorrow while Debbie ordered shoes for the nurses. Afterwards, we headed to Janet’s village in the jungle to drop off our supplies and preview her family’s village. We were all expecting reasonably modest mud huts, but we were just so amazed when we arrived. Turns out, Janet and her family live in one of the most beautiful areas we have ever seen in Uganda. Her village is a beautiful lush green area located in the jungle. It is surrounded by banana and palm trees tucked away behind the mountains that separate Uganda and Kenya. The documentary really called for a 3-star mud hut but we got a 5-star mud hut! I guess we will just have to wing it! Janet grabbed our hands, got on her knees and thanked God for the opportunity to host Muzungus. Nobody ever in her sub-county has ever had a white person stay in a mud hut. We were the first. She also asked God for this opportunity not to fill her up with pride, but for it to be a testimony to others. Isaac, our little friend told his Mom that having us there is the highlight of his life. He is nine. It was such a special time and we were only there less than an hour. Any fears or reservations we had completely vanished when we arrived. We are really looking forward to tomorrow!

From Denise:
Today was a great day! I and two others from our team (Bonnie & Hannah) Rita & MaryLynn for the women’s center to take food to the widows. We had to go to town first to buy rice, sugar and soap. At our first stop we were more than heartily greeted by several widows who were so excited to have come. I was so overwhelmed by the way they welcomed us. I was also blessed beyond words when Rita prayed for these women. She prays with such fervency and faith believing always God will provide for their needs. The only other stop we made where we found someone home to a widowwith seven children. This women’s husband died of AIDS and she was also infected, but has been healed of all symptoms. Some of her children were there and had no clothes from the waist down and had no shoes. There is such a great need here, yet these people live with such joy in their hearts and with much faith.

Hannah mentioned that in America, everyone is quick to ask God for things, while in Africa, everyone is quick to give God praise!




Sun. Nov 11 A baby is born on a dirt road
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During family time today, Tom gave a little history of our Africa project and how it has exploded over the last four years. After family time, Tom took the guys from Seaside back to Mumbatumba. Pastor Larry and Pastor John spoke during the five hour church service. Tom spoke twice! They passed out shoes and celebrated with a wonderful meal afterward. They all said it was their favorite day ever in Africa!

The rest of the team went to Pastor Wilber’s church at True Vine. The service was as powerful and moving as ever with lots of singing and dancing! Chris, Angie and Waterman even danced together! The congregation and the team loved hearing the messages from Pastor Ken and Pastor George.

During the service, Pastor Wilber called for all the medical personnel on our team. A lady was having a baby on the dirt road leading to the church. She was on the way to the clinic with her husband and she did not make it time. Her husband left her and went for help. Debbi, a midwife on our team along with five nurses from Minnesota (Rachel, Lindsey, Kelli, Kristina, Leah) and Angie rushed outside to her side.

When we arrived, we found the lady whose name is Juliette laying on her side. She had just given birth and the baby was under her skirt with the umbilical cord still attached. Debbie and the girls were fantastic. Debbie cut the umbilical cord and finished helping with the delivery. Debbie said the baby probably would not live because it was premature, only 7 months along. The baby was quiet, not crying and gasping for air. A gentleman from the hospital rushed and grabbed the baby and ran the baby to the hospital. We waited until someone from the village brought a skirt for Juliette. The nurses changed her clothes and we helped her in the wheel chair. Rachel pushed Juliette a couple hundred yards to the hospital with the nurses alongside. We expected to hear grim news concerning the baby. To our surprise, we heard the baby crying when we entered the hospital. The baby was okay! The brought the baby into see Juliette. She had given birth to a baby boy! Praise God! We ran back to church and finished the end of the service. God had answered our prayers and we had something really to be thankful for!

Later in the afternoon, we went and visited the city hospital of Tororo. Bobby, our driver, picked up our translators along the way. We expected six, we got twenty! All of True vine is here! We took up a collection from the team and purchased passion fruit, sugar and soap for every person in the hospital. Amazing John, and Hillary organized and distributed all the items. We walked with the Africans and distributed throughout the Men’s Ward, Women’s Ward, Children’s Ward, Surgery Ward, New Mother Ward. The team prayed for everyone and took photos of all the patients in hospital. The patients loved having their picture taken!

Afterwards, Eric gave one of his profound speeches outside. We returned to hotel for food and fellowship only to find that Carla and Elizabeth had returned from Kisumu! They brought Kelli and Bryan’s orphans all the way from Kenya. Bryan and Kelli really enjoyed meeting and connecting with their orphans for the first time! We had another amazing day!


Sat November 10 Amazing Mubatumba
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From Pastor Larry, Kirk & Pastor John

Pastor Johm Pastor Larry and Kirk went to Mumbatumba, the village that Seaside Community Church sponsored this past year.

Pastor Jessica warmly greeted, (hugs galore), this trio and took great pride in showing of all the improvements that have done since Seaside was there this past June. The group was excited to see the changes at Mumbatumba. When we left in July, we celebrated their first Sunday worship service in their new church. In only four months there has been so much progress.

Mumbatumba is absolutely beautiful with grass, flowers, corn and other foods being planted throughout. There was a great amount of corn planted, which will provide quite a harvest for the church.

Larry was especially pleased to see the newly constructed chicken coop with presently over 200 chickens enjoying their new home. Next to the chicken coop was eleven pigs in their pin and feeding on the grass and weeds on this and the adjoining property.

Pastor Jessica’s vision for the community is expanding as she finds new opportunities to share the gospel throughout the entire village. As always, Pastor Jessica and much of the church congregation made John, Larry, and Kirk feel right at home and truly blessed.

In family time today we discussed valuing people and that “the bruised reeds never break. While John, Larry and Kirk went to Mumbatumba, Michelle, Chris and Angie went to True Vine. We loved reconnecting with old friends around the site and singing with the kids. Angie Interviewed Pastor Agree & Patrick the orphan worker on the Love of Jesus & the flooding in Uganda while Chris and Michelle sorted 600 pairs of eyeglasses. Pastor Wilber picked us up and went into town-bank, bought some balls for kids & water. We went back to the hotel to help with check-in & luggage for the rest of the team. My bag arrives! Tom’s bag is still missing. We brought Simon and Inno back to the hotel for lunch. We learned during lunch, that the team had an awesome safari. They even saw a leopard hunting in the distance! Ken overslept by a couple of hours. The team was on the road for over an hour when he woke up! Fortunately, for him it was his lucky day! Tom was still at the airport and was able to pick him up in the luggage van. We hurried back to the site for the team to get united with their orphans and favorite friends from trips prior. Tom gave the grand tour of True Vine. Every time the tour is longer because so much is being constructed every day! Thunderstorms roll in and everyone hurries in the church for shelter and to listen to the band practice for Sunday service. The team and all the kids danced & singed together finishing up with a Conga line! Pastor Eric commented that he loved our “American strokes!”



Africa November 2007 blog
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Arriving in Nairobi
Thurs, Nov. 08

WE ARE ‘HERE – YA!” After a “nightless night” of several uneventful flights we landed in Nairobi safe and sound which is by far the most important thing. The second most important thing is arriving with your luggage. Arriving anywhere out of the country with 60 out of 62 bags is a pretty good percentage until one of those bags just happens to be yours. And it was…my bag. I was content with that fact that my luggage may arrive taped up holding together the blowout on the side of my bag. The thought of not making it at all was a completely different story. Surprisingly, it didn’t bother me much at all. The first thing that ran through my mind was the small gifts I had inside for my African friends and the second- my sack of electronic adapters, cords & converters that technology would allow. An overwhelming sense of peace came about not having my clothes. Was it because I had already been here twice before or the fact that convenience and vanity didn’t live here to begin with? The fate of my bag was in God’s hands and the employees of the airline.

Bobby, Pastor Hillary and Mateo met us at the airport and took us to the Silver Springs hotel for a few good hours of sleep before our adventures began the next morning. My pajamas for the evening- a Hope 4 Kids t-shirt of course!

Fri, Nov. 09

“The night became morning” within minutes it seemed for those headed on an early flight to Kisumu. Elizabeth, Angie, Carla, Michelle, Chris along with John, Kirk and Larry (from Seaside) flew to Kisumu, Kenya. Carla and Elizabeth would stay in Kisumu for two days to check on our orphans while the others drove to the site of True Vine – several hours away. Tom sent us off at the airport but not without checking on our lost bags. Tom’s H4KI bag was the other bag not accounted for. No luck. We went our separate ways with Tom leading the rest of the group to Lake Nakuru for the Safari.

Klephus & Jane met us at Kisumu. Jane led us back to True Vine with Klephus taking the girls. Wilber was supposed to come meet us but he was feeling week from a lot of traveling from the week prior.

Pastor Wilber traveled Amuria, the affected area hit hardest by the floods in North Eastern Uganda. Fourteen members of True Vine joined him. They brought and distributed 14 tons of food along with bags of seed for the villagers to begin growing their gardens again. The twelve hour emotional and physical journey took a toll, so he decided to play it safe and send his wife, Jane to pick us up.

We arrived at The Rock Classic Hotel at 2:00pm. After settling in, we headed straight to True Vine, our home away from home. We waited in anticipation to see all the familiar faces we have grown to love. Kids and adults were waiting for us with big smiles giving us the ‘double wave’ as we drove through the gates. Our intimate team enjoyed walking around greeting old warm and loving friends. We started with the hospital in hopes on seeing a baby that was born at 5:00AM. When we arrived, we disappointed to find the new mother and her baby had already returned home! She had a safe, normal delivery and returned home with her new baby boy without any complications. Praise God!

We visited the well where Waterman was waiting with open arms. He led the kids around in special songs for us. They were so happy to see us!

As the women’s choir of True Vine were sitting in front of the church practicing their songs, Pastor Agree came up for a visit. A rainbow appeared and Pastor Agree shared the promise of God’s love along with repentance, purification & righteousness. He could share the love of Jesus for a month straight without taking a breath given the opportunity.

Angie gave Pastor Wilber a PDA exactly like the ones that will be given to the orphan workers. Chris and Michelle met up with their some of their favorite friends- Lorie, Sylvia and Sarah while the guys visited with Pastor Wilber in front of the grass. Just before we left, who shows up? Inno & Emmanuel! It was so great to see them! The boys have grown so tall! What an amazing day. Having a small intimate team was a really special way to start the trip!




Uganda Trip – November 7 to 20
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Team leaving tomorrow. Please pray for safe travels.


Hope 4 Kids International is 501c3 faith-based non-profit committed to help children around the world that are suffering from extreme poverty through Dignity, Health, Joy & Love.

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