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.

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