Today a fabulous team of men and Cindy went to the jungle to build a new hut for Cadija. Andrew, Robert’s head electrician gathered some of his Ugandan friends and told them “We have to help the widows. We must all sacrifice and do this thing.” Rather than buy the poles they went into the forest and cut their own and did all the prep work. Cindy and Bill walked a mile carrying the poles to Cadija’s. Kent, Robert, Paul, Greg and Jim cut poles and helped construct the hut. You can see Kent balancing himself atop the frame winding the small poles around the roof. When the widow’s team arrived the frame was finished and Cadija was sitting on the ground gazing at it, smiling and laughing. She kept thanking us over and over. She said, “Everyone has forgotten me but you did not leave me here for my house to crumble and fall on me.” She is Muslim but says they don’t bother with her anymore because she is old and they think she is crazy. “But YOU have not forgotten me!” We gave her a small bag of beef and our conversation was over. Some people have gone years without tasting meat and she was very anxious to go inside her hut and cook it.
Gwen, Wendy, Sam, Laura, Jen and I delivered mattresses and beds to three widows. We rented a small truck so most of us had to ride in the bed on top of the mattresses. It was more fun than riding in a Suburban! (Jen doesn’t want her husband to look at the picture of her riding on top of the mattress because he might think she has forgotten about seat belts. The driver was very careful).
The widows were also were given a small bag of meat. Natecha, whom we put in the hospital last week was sitting outside and still looked very ill. She greeted us weakly but when we brought out a new bed and mattress she jumped and shouted in jubilation as her despair turned to hope.
Elizabeth took a team way out into the bush to see orphans and to give out shoes and goats. Team member, Sam has a seven-year-old son, Josh. He and his first grade class made posters, putting them around his school asking for jerseys for the boys in Uganda. He collected 122 jerseys and you will see in the photos how energized the boys were who received some today. Colleen found another orphan to sponsor and Stephanie couldn’t decide between three children so took them all.
Pat continued with his music program. When our truck rolled onto the site he had a little marching band outside. It was so cute but by the time I fought my way out of the truck they had gone inside and were putting the instruments away. Perhaps tomorrow. . .
I can’t begin to describe how it feels to meet your sponsored orphan. You feel such a connection and when you meet this child and know that his/her life will be different because you are giving $26 a month (about what some of us spend on Starbucks each week) waves of emotion sweep over you. There is something about actually sitting with them, hugging them and having them call you “mommy” or “daddy” and seeing their joy. They have stood helplessly by watching their parents die and now here is someone who came all the way from America to say: “You are special to me. Even though I live thousands of miles away I think about you, support you and pray for you. You are going to have the basics in life PLUS you won’t have to drop out of school because you can’t pay the school fees or you don’t have a uniform. You can be whatever you dream of becoming.” Several of us have experienced the connection this week. I met our granddaughter today (sponsored by our daughter, Lisa). She’s soooooo cute! She goes to True Vine preschool so her education has already started. Typically the children are shy when we first meet them but once they understand they are special to you they began to smile and the next time they see you will run up to you and grab your hand and not let go.
Mae and Audrey continued giving out reading glasses and Kristi worked hard in the medical center today. DJ remained faithful to his paint project. I wasn’t around the site enough to catch Mae doing anything crazy but. . .
I was around the church long enough to catch Pastor Dave’s afternoon inspirational message. He’d gone to the radio station to speak but their system was down and they were unable to broadcast.
Keep the prayers going!
Colleen knelt in front of Cadija and asked a teenage boy, “do you speak English.”
When he said he did she said to Cadija, “God healed me from cancer so I can come here and lead you to Christ.” She told her how Jesus loved her and wanted her for His child.
Aquati, who gets one day a year off had taken today off. He knelt next to Colleen and asked what she was doing. Colleen said she wanted Cadija to know Jesus so Aquati talked with Cadija and said; She’s ready. She wants you to pray with her.” After they prayed together Cadija was so happy and immediately said\; ‘ My new name is Wazemba-I’m Cadija no more. The old is gone. I’m a new person. You brought me tea, you bought me rice. People who are not even from my tribe are building a house for me. My Muslim friends have left me but you keep coming.”
As neighbors dropped by to watch the hut being built Wazemba told them all, “I am saved. I am Cadija no longer. Call me Wazemba!”
Colleen then asked of the children who were standing around, “Do any of you want to receive Jesus as savior?” Seven said “Yes!” It was a day of rejoicing! Later when Jenn, Tom Flynn, Janet and I went by to check on the progress Wazemba said, “I’m saved and I have a new name-Wazemba.” She didn’t want to keep her Muslim name and wanted a Christian name.
Wazemba’s house is coming along nicely. The team feels one more day of work will finish it.
Liz took a team into the bush to again hand out goats and shoes. What a fun day they had! They were greeted warmly and Justis church fed them a beautiful buffet lunch.
The triplets have been hospitalized once again. They were so dehydrated they had a very difficult time putting the IV’s in. Finally through much prayer and perseverance Kristi managed to hook them up.
DJ is diligently painting with team members dropping by to help when they have time.
There is so much activity I can’t keep up with it all.
Continue with your prayers as we see God’s Spirit moving through this place.