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April » 2011 » Hope 4 Kids International Blog


Eyeglasses, Medicine and Sewing Machines
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Various dates, April 2011

By:  Angie Simon/L. Butler

Even though our team has returned home, the love and blessings lavished on our African friends continues on in our absence.  We had so many team members giving so much of themselves in so many different places during our visit, that it was hard to keep track of everyone and the wonderful outreaches they were participating in.  So………….here are a few more to share with you.

On Wednesday, April 13th, about 7 of our team members from Church of Joy visited the village of Sabinga.  They delivered 3 sewing machines – no small feat to transport this incredibly simple, but life-changing equipment to these precious and eager villagers – as well as a HUGE box of medicine ($400 worth in American money which buys an enormous amount of goods in Africa).  Pastor Isaiah greeted them with a warm smile and such love.  He gave them a tour and showed them the 3 primitive rooms (P1,2 and 3) where the overflow of children meet when needed.  P4, 5, 6 and 7 meet under the trees in good weather and in the church when it rains.  The African children are so happy to just get to attend school that they willing endure classes outside.  They also saw the medical center, one of the best and most efficiently run centers in all of the outreach churches.  They have served 1,426 outpatients and over 300 patients have stayed overnight in the small room they provide.  The generous supply of medication delivered from Church of Joy will help supplement their meager amount of malaria medication – which can mean the difference between life and death for many children and weakened adults.

On Sunday, April 10th, the availability of reading glasses was announced after church and 75 pairs were given away in less than 2 hours.  The reading glasses project has handed out over 650 pairs of eye glasses to True Vine, Smile Africa and various outreach villages.  The team left 132 pairs to be distributed by the medical staff at True Vine.  In November 2009, only 13 pair were not given out.  What an amazing donation to give the gift of improved sight to our brothers and sisters half way around the world so their daily lives can be that much brighter.

Thank you so much to all of our creative, resourceful, generous, kind and loving team members who gave so much of themselves and their resources to their African family.  You are the BEST!



Celebration in the Yum Yum Garden
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Thursday, April14, 2011

By:  Rachel Eggum Cinador/L. Butler

Today was an extra special day as we had the chance to join our African friends in celebrating multiple blessings from our Creator God.  Robert Cinador (my husband and Tom’s brother-in-law) has been instrumental in bringing victory gardens to the people here in Uganda, as well as to the Congo.  Victory gardens were first conceived during World War II when there was a shortage of workers to plant and harvest fruits and vegetables.    People were thus encouraged to plant their own gardens and harvest the produce.  The end result was not only a great moral victory, but the amount of grown produce equalled the amount of all commercial produce – it made a BIG difference.  And the same can be said for the victory gardens here in Africa.  It is a wonderful way for villagers to help themselves and their community by growing food to  help meet the needs of their family and friends. 

Robert has also started a co-op with some young men who are creating demonstration gardens, experimenting with herbs and vegetables from the United States.  Demonstration gardens use education and research to enlighten the participants and their communities with knowledge that will improve horitcultural practices.  These enthusiastic young men are sharing their ideas, seeds and information with women who can then grow these vegetables to provide food for their families.  It is a fun and encouraging process to see what new types of food will thrive in the climate and soil of Uganda.

One of the demonstration gardens is called the Yum Yum Gardens – a title that needs no explanation.  : )  This project is expanding by including women who can sell the vegetables in the marketplace and to restaurants and thereby provide financial resources for the purchase of other daily necessities.  Those involved in the Yum Yum Gardens invited our Hope 4 Kids team to a celebration in the gardens.  We were rejoicing not only for the dignity and hope the gardens bring to our Ugandan brothers and sisters, but also for God’s mighty provision of healing Robert of cancer.  It was a great day as we were entertained with songs and dancing, followed by a HUGE meal they served us which included wonderful, delicious vegetables from their gardens.  We were blessed and honored to share this bountiful provision together.

We were also treated to one of the best and cutest vocal ensembles you will ever have the joy of hearing when the “dress a girl” singers arrived arrayed in their finest pillowcase dresses and sang the dress-a-girl song for us.  You can see what we mean by watching the performance on our Dress A Girl website:  – it is on the home page.



From Tororo to Fort Portal
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Friday, April 15, 2011

By:  Angie Simon/L. Butler

Most of our team had an extra early wake-up call today so we could be on the road by 6:30 am.  We bid farewell to our home in Tororo and set off on the long journey to Fort Portal – from the eastern edge of Uganda over to the western edge.  We feasted on chicken-on-a-stick for lunch (twice in one trip – double blessings) and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the beautiful, lush terrain of Western Uganda.  In Fort Portal, we had the awesome privilege of visiting Sunrise House and Outreach to Africa.  Some of the team has sponsored orphans here at Sunrise House so they got to spend some one-of-a-kind time with their kids.  Meanwhile, our other team members got to engage in the sheer, incredible joy of playing with children who relish this time together.  The children had prepared a special program for us and what a blessing it was.  It is hard to articulate how amazing it is when you see such lovely children, who have endured unimaginable hardships in their very short, precious lives, perform with such joy and enthusiasm.  It never fails to produce smiles, applause and even a tear or two.  

Kent and Laura visited Busowa with Pastor Charles and Pastor Peter.  They spent the entire day enjoying each other’s company and fellowshipping together – something that produces immeasurable blessings, but that we so often don’t allow ourselves the privilege of doing back home.

Back closer to Tororo, Angie, Rachel, Pastor George and Donna Comstock embarked on an adventure of their own as they headed to Sigulu Island with a quick stop on the way in Lugala.  Many Africans were travelling with them, but along the way Pastor Wilbur’s car was not strong enough to make the journey, so he, Babra and Pastor Aggrey had to stay behind.  Wandera, Pastor Hillary, Zac and Pastor Godfrey accompanied the team.  When they arrived at the port in Lugala, Angie, Rachel, Hillary and Moses (their boat captain) dressed all the little girls with new pillowcase dresses from Dress a Girl Around the World.  These simple garments, each one made with love and compassion, produce the most heartfelt smiles and unbelieving looks of astonishment and delight every time they are placed on a sweet little girl.  They also brought the World Water Day Walk t-shirts from the walk in Phoenix sponsored by Starbucks.  One cup of coffee at a time they are raising money for a well for this wonderful village.  They took lots of photos and shared the joyous and exciting news that they will soon be receiving the gift of fresh, clean water from a borehole in their village.

After gifts were delivered and pictures taken, they loaded the boat with all of their gear and supplies.  Pastor George and Donna had purchased posho, rice, sugar, oil, flour and salt to give to the nine pastors on the island and they also brought clothes and cross necklaces.  It was quite a chore to load  all of this in to the large, wooden boat via a sturdy metal ladder that you climb up to get in to the boat – there is no dock.  It always reminds us of what it might have been like when Jesus embarked on boats on the Sea of Galilee.  Then they were off for the one and one-half hour boat ride across Lake Victoria to the island.  Unfortunately, the journey can be a bit wavy and bumpy and Donna felt a little seasick, but she was not to be deterred from visiting the island and delivering all of the gifts from Southside Church in Spokane.  Pastor Joram, their sponsored pastor, greeted them on the shore of Sigulu Island and they walked up to his modest mud hut for lunch – a feast had been prepared with chicken, posho, chipate and of coure, fish head soup!  In the corner, the family had delicately placed their water filtration system.  On this island, despite being surrounded by water, access to a clean water source is not available since a borehole would only reach the contaminated lake water.  Therefore, the filtration systems are a life-line for these hardy villagers.  Angie and Pastor Hillary interviewed several families to see how the filtration systems were working and if they were helping improve the health of these people as they hoped they would.  Up at the church the villagers held a program and our team delivered the food to the pastors and dressed another 100 girls with new pillowcase dresses from Dress a Girl Around the World.  Small gestures with big impacts.

They headed home a lot later than they had originally planned – it’s always a challenge to tear ourselves away from these kind and generous people - and found themselves on the water with dark skies gathering above them.  Although they had a bit of light rain, the major rain held off until they reached the shores of Lugala.  And as an extra special reminder to them that God does not forget His people or His promises, they were greeted with a rainbow.

Tomorrow we are off on safari!



Smile Africa and a Visit to Prison
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

By: Angie Simon/L.Butler

Every morning Raul from Lord of Life Church has been leading us in some amazing worship.  He even created special Ugandan music books to help us sing along.  There is nothing quite like starting your day by raising your voices to God in praise and worship – especially in the beautiful country of Africa!

Today we got to experience the special blessings of seeing some of the ministries of our partners from Smile Africa.  We started out at the Smile Africa at the Bison village where Rachel and Wendy held a special ceremony for the women who had graduated from the Women Sponsorship Program.  There were lots of laughter and tears as women gave their riveting, heartfelt testimonies of where their lives had been and where they were now.  One lady summed up their amazing resilient and hopeful spirits when she said, “All of this glitter that is on us is because of the love of Jesus.”  All of the ladies received new purses with makeup bags and beautiful necklaces.  They were so very proud to graduate and Wendy and Rachel honored them by taking them out to lunch at TLT – a real treat and a well-deserved one.

The team had the oppportunity to shop at the Women’s Store for lovely handmade items.  It is evident that much hard work and patient perseverance goes in to their crafts and we were thrilled to have the chance to not only take home some souvenirs, but also support their efforts.  At one o’clock we travelled the short distance from the store to the Smile Africa site where we helped feed 420 Karamajong children.  These very precious kids come here 6 days/week and the consistency and basic provisions they receive are working miracles in their lives.  We took a tour of the ever-changing site at Smile Africa with Pastor Ruth, one of the most amazing women you will ever have the privilege of meeting!  Since our last visit, in addition to the school buildings, nursery area, clinic, showers, kitchen etc. that were here, they now have a beautiful and comfortable boarding school house for boys (so long to what used to be the chicken coop), a drip system for irrigation to the victory garden and even brand new playground equipment donated by Jay and Jennie O’Hara – and it was most definitely NOT sitting idle!  Our Lord is raining down blessings on all these beloved children and those who care for them.

At 2 o’clock, many of us piled in a van and headed off to the Ugandan prison in Tororo for an outreach.  We brought soap and razors to the prisoners – it might seem unusual that we can bring razors in to a prison, but the men incarcerated here are often accused of minor infractions and the razors are very helpful with their hygiene.  Eric Sabittit stood up and gave his personal testimony on how he was imprisoned unjustly for 30 days – something many of them can relate to.  We worshipped and visited with the prisoners and Pastor Raul and Pastor Larry gave beautiful messages of hope and Christ’s love.  Before we were through, 61 men came to know Christ – praise be to our Saviour!

Elizabeth, Tommy, Andrew and Loise left this afternoon for Mityana to check on our sponsored kids with Patrick and Eva’s ministry.  They will spend a couple days with them and then head up to Fort Portal.  We are looking forward to  meeting up with them there.


More Opportunities for Outreach
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

By:  Angie Simon/L. Butler

Today was similar to yesterday, and yet also very different, as each village we have the privilege of visiting is unique and special in its own way.  Some of the team joined us for two more well dedications today.  It is sometimes hard to fathom how immeasurably life-changing these wells are to the people in these villages.  It truly is historic for them to not only be able to have water available right in their village, but also to know this water is clean and will not make them sick.  The well in the first village of Butote was sponsored by First United Methodist Church in Minnesota and Glen, his daughter Nicole and Ron were with us representing this church.  This well, fondly referred to as “Jacob’s Well”, is the second of three wells sponsored by First United Methodist!  The team got to go down and see the original water source – a contaminated pond – where we saw women collecting tainted water to take home to their families.  At the dedication of the borehole, the villagers greeted us under a beautiful tent covered in an orange tarp and they performed songs and skits for us.  We opened up the well to thousands and thousands of villagers in need – what a joy!  We were again able to dress sweet girls in pillowcase dresses from Dress a Girl Around the World – darling, darling, darling.  We also gave out 100 mosquito nets to boys – such a small, simple thing that allows these innocent children to sleep peacefully and protected from harm.  And Pastor Hillary continued his invaluable lessons in hygiene and basic sanitation.

Village number two was Bukharebula and it seemed a little more remote.  To look in to the faces and eyes of these precious villagers was  like looking at a lifetime of suffering and sorrow.  This amazing gift of fresh water for these desperate people was sponsored by Donna Katzen in honor of her family that passed away.  What a life-saving impact this memorial will have as a tribute to Donna’s loved ones.  More dresses made with love, more protective mosquito nets and more hygiene/sanitation lessons added to the encouragement and blessings for these villagers.  Our whole group got involved in the action as Stevie performed her “Hungry Caterpillar” puppet show and Sherri sang songs with the kids – they LOVE to sing and laugh.  Glen had the privilege of passing out the mosquito nets, Wendy and Cindy sorted and prepared the dresses in the bus for the lovely, little girls and Rachel, Mae and Dr. Kerry got to be the ones to slip the dresses over their beautiful heads and watch their faces light up.  It was a fantastic day!

The other half of our team got to go with Elizabeth to the scenic village of Bupoto to deliver much-needed mosquito nets to our children out there.  Rain and lots of foliage can add up to lots of mosquitos, so these kids and their families will now be well-protected from the life-threatening diseases mosquitos carry.  We were SO thankful the rains held off and we got to enjoy a perfect day playing and visiting with the villagers.  The team enjoyed eating in a mud hut, the generous hospitality of these kind people and the fun and laughter of playing soccer in this idyllic setting.

Blessings abound no matter where we go, but it is hard to decide where to go when our days are so jam-packed with amazing serving opportunities!  Tomorrow there will be even more!



Wonderful Well Dedications
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Monday, April 11, 2011

By:  Angie Simon/L. Butler

Today we had lots of amazing opportunities to serve and celebrate here in Uganda.  Many of us got to experience two wonderful well dedications in the Namayingo and Bugiri districts.  The first village we went to was Nasinu and the well was sponsored by Mary Lee in memory of her father, Ed Arnsten.  What a special gift to celebrate the life of a loved one by giving the gift of life through clean water to so many others.  This incredible village has a special, sweet spirit that was evident in the way they greeted us and even decorated the borehole!  We felt like Palm Sunday celebrations had come early as the villagers sang and danced with palms upon our arrival.  They had also decorated the borehole with pink bougenvilla and potted plants.  This is a historic event for these people as they recognize the hope they now have for themselves and future generations to thrive with the availability of fresh, pure, clean water to drink.  We said a special blessing over the well and these beautiful people, and then the borehole was opened up for all to drink!  This well will provide life-saving water for the next 30-50 years for the village of Nasinu.  We also got to pass out 100 life-saving mosquito nets to the boys and dressed 100 girls in the cutest, prettiest pillow-case dresses from Dress a Girl Around the World.  The nets will protect the children and their families at night from deadly mosquitos carrying malaria and other diseases.  And for the precious girls, this is the first new dress many of them have ever received.  Before we left, Pastor Hillary taught the village about hygiene and sanitation – such incredibly valuable and necessary lessons for them to learn so they may continue to help themselves be healthy.

Next we went on to Wanenga to dedicate Cindy Craig’s well from American Lutheran Church in Prescott, AZ.  Cindy was responsible for getting her church and community to raise over $65,000 for fresh water wells in Africa!  Thousands and thousands of lives will be spared through this incredible gift.  In fact, thousands of them greeted us with loud music, great dancing and much love when we arrived!  Even Sadam, the LC3 (a political leader) in the area came to the well dedication.  It truly was a special day.  As part of the celebrations, two village men dressed up and performed a funny skit for us and Sadam and Tom even joined in the fun by getting up and dancing.  Everyone laughed and enjoyed this time of joyful thanksgiving.  Sadam, knowing how desperately the area needs churches, more boreholes and medical clinics, gave a special appeal to us.  Although we were so very excited to see all the precious children that came out to greet us, we had to leave the mosquito nets we had brought with Sadam to distribute to the neediest villagers, since we did not have enough for everyone.  We also didn’t have enough dresses, but on the way home we found a special village where we were able to bless a dozen little girls dressed in tattered clothes with lovely, new dresses.  Oh to see the beaming faces and smiles in the faces of these little ones.

Glen and Donna had their own adventures today as they accompanied Elizabeth to the village of Pasikula, where we have nearly 100 kids in our Child Sponsorship Program.  Glen sponsors a child in this remote village so he was doubly excited to go along and have the chance to meet his child in person.  Donna Katzen has been busy raising money for goats over the past several months, so to be able to participate in delivering the goats to the children was an extra special blessing for her.  And there is always lots of fun, excitement and usually a bunch of tangled ropes whenever goats are involved!

Finally, Pastor George and Donna Comstock from Southside Church in Spokane, WA, had a fantastic day at the True Vine campus teaching some small groups.  It is always a blessing to get to spend time in these type of warm, personal settings with our African friends.



WOW Worship in Uganda
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

By:  Angie Simon/L. Butler

We started our day with a Spirit-filled time of praise and worship at church on the True Vine campus.  And what a time of worship it was!  God must delight in how His children praise Him all over the world and here in Africa it is often expressed with singing, dancing, clapping, hand-raising, kneeling, chair-lifting and praying.  And from the youngest to the oldest, it is all done with exuberant, joyful, God-glorifying actions and humble, passionate, reverent hearts.  Our sweet, beautiful friend Judith led worship with her powerful voice and we were treated to local tribal dances performed by members of the congregation.

Tom preached a few words about Moses and how God used Moses, a man who epitomized humility, to build His kingdom.  Then Tom brought Robert(Rachel’s husband and Tom’s brother-in-law) up to the front of the church to show the people an example of humble servitude that God is using to advance His kingdom today.  Robert, a retired electrician, has poured his life in to three young African boys to teach them not only how to become electricians, but how to become godly men.  Then Tom surprised Robert by presenting him with the Hope4Kids 2011 Global Hero Award for using his gifts and talents to advance God’s Kingdom!

After that power-packed morning, we took a team to visit the Tororo City Hospital in the afternoon.  This visit is often one of the most extreme in terms of both seeing hardship and experiencing blessing of all those in Uganda.  Although the situation at the hospital has improved over the last several years, it is still hard to see people suffering in a place where they must often share a single bed with other patients, or lie on the floor and they must bring their own food and buy their medicine.  And yet, having the opportunity to provide them with a small measure of joy in the soap and sugar we gave them, as well as the immense privilege of praying with them and for them, is an experience like no other where we truly see what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our world.

In other activites today, Raul delivered soccer jerseys to some of the footballers at True Vine – a serious piece of equipment for these serious contestants.  Then the community came together to watch and cheer on a soccer match.  Raul was the goalie and our African friends Timmy and Andrew played offense.  A good time was had by all!

Tom and Dr. Kerry toured the True Vine Boarding School cottages.  Many boys and girls have the opportunity to stay on sight when they attend school which is an immense blessing to them and often to their family as well since their food, shelter and other basic needs are taken care of.  Dr. Kerry was so moved after his first visit to Uganda that when he returned home, he raised $100,000 to build these cottages.  God has multiplied the blessing of this donation many times over in the lives of these young people.

Rachel and some of the ladies spent the afternoon unpacking and organizing the team bags we brought with us so we are ready for all the different outreaches this week, beginning tomorrow as we will have the chance to attend a well dedication.



A Day at True Vine
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

By:  Angie Simon/Liza Butler

Today was a special day for many of our team members as they had the opportunity to meet with their sponsored child at the True Vine campus.  Elizabeth always does a wonderful job of working out all the details for these visits to occur.  Sometimes children live on sight at the boarding school, others go to school here but live at home and still others must be brought in from villages farther away.  It takes lots of time and coordination, but it is always worth it when you see the children and their sponsors together.  There is nothing like looking in to the eyes of your child, seeing their beautiful face and engaging smile, holding their hand, seeing their joy at the small gifts you can bring for them, sometimes meeting their siblings, talking to them about their family and school and things they like to do - in short, forming brand new heart connections that will be what you think of each time you look at their picture from now on.

The kids were treated to an extra special day when Stevie Bender performed “The Hungry Caterpillar” puppet show for them, with Dr. Kerry Johnson helping.  Oh to watch the giggles and laughter as they see the caterpillar continue to get bigger and bigger - and then their delight when it turns in to a butterfly.  Stevie also received an extra special blessing when she got to see her sponsored girl, who she hadn’t seen in several years.

Some of our other team members also got to play games – Cindy Jarvis, Donna Katzen, Cindy Craig and Stevie got out the big, colorful parachute.  Children everywhere absolutely love to shake the brightly colored material, run underneath it, hold the sides and make it go up and down - they could do this for hours and still have wide, happy grins on their faces.  Even the boys like it, although when Raul and Larry brought out the soccer ball, many of the boys scampered away as if drawn by a magnet.  Football is very popular in Africa, even before the World Cup, and these kids not only know all about their favorite professional teams, they are very skilled at the game themselves.  They can usually run circles around us muzungus (white people) – quite literally!

In the afternoon at True Vine, Rachel and Wendy hosted a Women’s Tea for 30 widows.  One of the most incredible experiences from these events is washing the women’s feet in small, plastic basins.  To hold these lovely women’s calloused, rough feet in your hands and lovingly wash them and put moisturizer on them is truly an amazing, humbling experience – just imagine how many miles they have walked and how many hardships they have experienced in their lives.  And what an awesome reminder of how Jesus washed his disciples feet during this time of Lent – and how we are charged to serve others in the same way. 

Wendy had a hard time even finding enough water to put in the basins because water has been extremely scarce in the area.  Unfortunately there was an issue with the electric company resulting in the electricity being temporarily turned off.  The electricity is needed to access the water pumped from our well in to a tank.  The women did get to experience something they have probably never witnessed before in their lives, when Dr. Kerry Johnson stood up and apologized to them for any mistreatment they had received in their lives by men.  Even with scarce water, God blessed these ladies in such a tender and compassionate way today with his words.

Painting was the other order of business today.  Raul, Larry, Ric and Cindy Jarvis painted the medical clinic in Bukaya and it looked fantastic - right up until the rain washed it off!  Our team got caught in a MAJOR thunderstorm - the kind where the skies open up and you are reminded that God is in control and we are not!  Kent also utilized his artistic skills today as he went back to Juba to paint the temporary classrooms for the Vision Primary School. 

Tomorrow we are looking forward to praising our Lord with our African brothers and sisters!



Juba Nursery School Kids Graduate
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Friday, April 8th, 2011

By:  Angie Simon

We started our day with a continental style breakfast here at the hotel followed by our first “family sharing time” around 8 o’clock.  During this time, Tom shared some wonderful information and insights into the different projects we are involved with here in Africa.  He also gave us some terrific pointers about engaging with the children and people we will meet during our stay.  Elizabeth also talked to us about how to interact with our sponsored child.  This is always an exciting time, both for the child and the sponsor.

After family time, we boarded our buses and headed over to Juba, a village only a few miles away from our hotel.  Here we met Pastor Peter and had the amazing privilege of attending the graduation ceremony for the Visionary Nursery School children from Kingdom Preparation.  We were greeted with smiles and hugs and an incredible performance filled with songs and dance and much joy!  These sweet, adorable kids were the epitome of “cute” dressed up in their graduation caps and gowns, all sewn by Pastor David who is the worship leader for Pastor Peter’s church.  They were very excited to receive their graduation certificates brought by Ken and Laura Dirks from Lord of Life Church – many thanks for this extra special gift!

After the ceremony, several team members had the chance to connect with their sponsored children.  We also toured the campus at Juba and saw the new temporary classrooms P3, P4 and P5 next to the new church site.  We saw the chicken coop – this is a source of income for this village and they take immense care and use a great deal of caution in looking after the chickens.  They have visitors dip the bottoms of their footwear in a disinfectant so they don’t track in bacteria that could harm the chickens and they work very hard to preserve a quiet, tranquil atmosphere – happy, relaxed chickens lay more eggs!

In the afternoon, the team had 2 choices of how to spend their time.  One option was to accompany Rachel (Tom’s sister) to a women’s tea in Juba where they gave the women manicures, pedicures and dressed them in beautiful scarves.  These resilient women are always SO very grateful for these small, loving gestures that we always come away incredibly blessed for having had the privilege to serve them in this tiny way.  The Juba women were very emotionally moved when some of the men from our team participated and also when the men gave them shoulder rubs.

Our other choice was to go with Angie to Seka, one of our sponsored villages.  When the team arrived, over 200 children and villagers greeted them with abundant smiles and joyful hearts.  They toured the village and went inside the church to help with a sanitation/hygiene lesson led by Sam Oketch.  It is so incredibly important for villagers everywhere to understand how they can lesson their risk of deadly disease, from things they cannot see with their naked eye, by following these simple procedures.  The villagers were very attentive and asked many questions afterward.  We also got to deliver school supplies that had been collected by team members to the nursery and primary schools – what a wonderful gift for these children who have so very little.  Unfortunately, we were caught in afternoon showers, so we didn’t get to actually play soccer with the children, but we left the soccer balls for them – they will undoubtedly get MUCH use.

Our day was not over yet, as many of us went to nearby Awingo House at 6pm this evening.  A retired engineer from Connecticut moved here over 5 years ago and bought this tract of land and built 3 houses on it – one for boys, one for girls and a third that is rented out to some missionaries.  There are about 25 orphaned children here that are sponsored by Hope4Kids and each visit they graciously host us for a time of worshipful singing unlike anything you have ever heard.  These amazing young men and women sing about the name of Jesus and not being discouraged with absolute purity and heartfelt devotion.  Everyone was incredibly moved and humbled.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to some time at the True Vine campus, but for now, we are looking forward to some deep, restful sleep.


We’ve Arrived in Tororo!
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Thursday, April 7th, 2011

By:  Angie Simon

Well, we have finally arrived in Tororo – hooray!  We left Entebbe at 9am today and arrived in Tororo at 4pm.  Along the way we ate “chicken-on-a-stick” and warm chapati bread – yum!  This is some of the best chicken you will ever eat in your life – it is worth coming to Africa just to have some – really.  It is just what it sounds like – cooked pieces of chicken on a wooden stick.  Where we stop to get it alongside the road, the people selling it all run up to our buses holding several sticks in each hand, all trying to be the one to sell to us (since there are so many of us, it is a big sale for them).  Thankfully, the Africans with us do all the negotiating and buying as it is a little overwhelming to have so many eager salespeople approaching us.  The warm, soft chapati bread, with just a hint of smoky flavor from cooking it, is also heavenly.

We also stopped at Jinja, the source of the Nile – very interesting as you can ride in a wooden boat out to a very tiny island not far from shore and see the exact spot where the underground spring bubbles up to the surface.  All along the steps down to the water are people selling handmade crafts – lots of different jewelry, carvings, drums, etc.  It is amazing how the people here can take many things we would consider throwing away and turn them in to beautiful handicrafts.

Near Jinja, Angie, Pastor Wilbur and Pastor Hillary went to a village named Wabulenga B to gather information and video for a well-drilling event.  They met Pastor Jameson, the father of Charles, who told them his daughter was in the hospital because she contracted typhoid from drinking the current contaminated water source.  The villagers even walked with them 2 kilometers to the current water source where they have to go to get water, telling them along the way how desperately they need safe water to drink.

We were hoping to get to tour the True Vine site (walk around it) when we arrived, but instead we saw it from the bus since it was raining.  We did get to see the new, fresh coat of paint on the boarding school buildings, which looked great, even in the rain.

We are looking forward to a great night’s sleep in our cozy beds here at The Rock Classic and a busy day tomorrow!


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