Today we are honored to have guest bloggers from the team. Since I am with the widows everyday I’ve asked team members to participate and give me pictures and blog. I hope you enjoy their stories. rachel

Building a mud kitchen by Christine and Cody:

In addition to playing with the children, today included an intense session of mudding. Mudding is how homes are built here. We mixed mud with our feet, before rolling it into bricks, tossing it into the hut and layering it up into walls. After about 6 hours the kitchen hut was nearly finished and we were completely covered in mud. Mama Grace was so pleased and even gave us bananas at lunch for helping her with her kitchen.

Caring for the widows by Carolyn:

For the last two days, Rachel and Wendy led a group to visit widows. Monday was in the bush less than a mile from the True Vine site and Tues was in Malaba, a town nearby. We prayed with them, talked directly with them or through interpreters, we told them about our love for them and for Jesus. Oh and did I mention, we had a tea party?

Monday in the bush, we gathered out under a tree in front of Victoria’s house, an amazing 88 year old widow with an incredible smile and spirit to match. By bringing thermos’ of hot water, we were able to give each of the widows a cup of tea and a local sweet bun, similar to a donut without the hole. And oh, did I mention we gave manicures and pedicures? For us to come to their homes, throw a “party” and serve them in the name of the Lord was a first. We brought new plastic basins and filled them with soapy water, which we also brought with us in jerricans. As the ladies soaked their feet, they giggled and thanked us over and over again. We felt the privilege was ours. We even had an ipod with instrumental praise music..

Tuesday in Malaba, we met in a widow’s home. Her two room home was filled with 14 delighted ladies who spoke some English( several were quite fluent) as well as two local tribal languages. As we prepared our tea party, they sang awesome praise songs. Their harmonized voices were exuberant and we got busy with the colorful nail polish, rubbing oil on their feet and even taking turns letting them enjoy the battery operated foot massagers. In an area with hundreds of widows, where the day to day needs are so great, taking two hours to celebrate them, pamper them, share our joy in Christ as sisters was simply indescribable.

“One of the widows I met today told me through an interpreter that she had been a widow for 20 years,” said Carolyn Griebe, a widow of six months who is on her first trip to Uganda. “She said God has taken care of her all this time and encouraged me. Despite the language barrier and cultural differences, we were truly sisters in the Lord at that moment.”

After we had soaked, oiled and massaged their feet, polished their fingernails and served our tea, Wendy brought out scarves donated by friend in America. Each woman was thrilled to get these gifts as they wear headscarves each day. Hope4Kids also gifted each woman with saucepans, the basin and rice. At both parties the women heard the Gospel message and were given the opportunity to accept Christ.

It is hard to put into words this environment of poverty and joy. The women are so strong and beautiful. Their hands hardened from so many years of hard work and sacrifice. Their gratitude and over the top love of the Lord is nothing short of inspirational.

Tomorrow a new adventure with more widow “tea parties”.

Student display walls by Dave:
Blankmeyer and Gaumer LTD, builders fabricated and installed 4 complete student display rails on solid masonry walls in record time of 7 ½ work hours—no inspection required.

Tomorrow I hope to hear from Rich’s team who has been visiting area schools.

We were all sad to see Elizabeth leave today. She is such a vital part of this ministry and we understand that her family wanted her to go on vacation with them but we are going to miss her! Please pray for traveling mercies as she flies back to Arizona.
Also pray for the Sea Side group as they start to Uganda on the 20th.

Today’s blessing:
May God bless you with discomfort. . .
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

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