Monday, May 31, 2010
Beautiful has been the word for this trip!
Thank you all for praying for this team and this trip. God is answering our prayers!
Saturday, we got to go out to Lulwanda Children's home. This was such an amazing place - so clean so full of love and the view of the mountains there is awesome! These kids are so well taken care of! It is clean and these kids have it made!Darby got to meet her little Davis, whom she sponsors. What an emotional moment for her! Wow!
Two little girls, Shakira and Rita latched on to me immediately and gave me their own tour of their school. They loved my photos of Loren and Luke so much that I let them keep them. They told me they loved Loren and Luke. They cherished their photos!! They want me to come back next year!
Sunday, we got to attend Covenant Church (Morris & Aidah's church). It was an amazing experience! Worship in Africa is incredible! You do not sit down, you do not stand still! It's great. Again, the joy was astounding. I was hoping to hear Morris preach but they had a guest Mzungu speak, from the Colorado church plant team. He was good!
I had the privilege of teaching the ladie's Sunday school class, teaming with Darby. We encouraged them and let them know that they are worthy and they are special. Many of them are single moms. We hugged each and every woman there, individually! Beautiful!
I saw my little I Choose You kid, Mudua Irene there at church. Her momma was on the front row but she came back to the back to sit with me. She held my hand, patted my leg and tried to pull my moles off of my arm. They are just fascinated with Mzungu's white skin! She just snugged right up next to me the whole time. She loves me and I love her!
Afterward, we served lunch to all of the 30 I Choose You kids and their families and then we set out a little "store" for the kiddos where we had out all of the things that we brought for them: shoes, clothes, school supplies, toiletries, jump ropes, etc. They each got to take a turn and go through and pick out things for themselves. It was awesome. They were all so thankful. It was so humbling!
We also got to paint toe nails and fingernails of the kids. They could not get enough of that! I painted several little girls fingers and then one boy, who was simply begging for me to paint his nails! I just could not say no to his sweet little face. He was thrilled! I painted my little Mudua's toes and fingers and then her sweet momma came over to have hers painted as well. That was a beautiful experience. We should have thought in advance to give these women full on pedicures. Their poor, worn out feet! Next year!
They performed a little song for us that they came up with just for I Choose You. We all balled like babies! We video taped this. Ted - you're gonna love it!! It was so special. Aidah recognized the kids who were leaders of their classes, doing the best in their classes. All of the top students at Covenant Primary School are I Choose You kids! Incredible that just a year and a half ago, these 30 kids were chosen, from their village, not in school, with no future and are now leading their classes! One of them did not even speak English and one year later, is at the to of his class! God is good!
Then, they each got their monthly supply of flour, sugar, vaseline and soap and headed back down the trail to their village of Namatala, with their huge flour bags on top of their heads.
Today was all day in Namatala. We went to the huts of all 30 I Choose You kids to see where they live. This place was unbelievable. Poverty on the most extreme level. Lots of naked, very dirty, but happy children. It is astonishing that people actually live this way, but they do. It is their way of life. I am so glad we got to see the I Choose You kiddos at school, so happy, before we saw where they actually come from. My heart was broken in two! It still amazes me that, at school, they are so, full of joy. It is hard to picture them living in these conditions. It's no wonder they love coming to school and many of them come 6 days a week! What a difference I Choose You has made in their lives. These kids went from hopelessness and no future, to hope, a hot meal every day and an education. They are the future of Uganda!
The huts in Namatala are about the size of my bathroom - I'm not kidding! And totally dark as they are made of mud. It appears as though they basically live outside and just sleep in their huts. We had the opportunity to pray for several sick women who have Malaria. We prayed for a few others as well.
I went to Mudua Irene's house and saw where she lives. It was cool to see the little dress that Loren had sent her, in her house. Got to see her momma and her grandma once again. I am now developing a relationship with them, without very many words. Mudua, while she does speak English, hardly talks - neither does her mom. But, I know that they love me and I feel like God has given me a new daughter in Africa! She and her family are precious to me. It truly is an amazing thing for a child to actually get to meet their sponsor! Wow!
Darby spent another day in the sewing room with the ladies. She had an awesome day! They are learning so quickly! The really cool thing is there are 4 other girls who just arrived here a couple days ago from Colorado and they will be here for 6 weeks. They have been hanging with us. One of them knows how to sew and has agreed to help oversee the sewing project and encourage the ladies, once Darby leaves. Amazing answer to prayer!
We went to a crusade this evening at the church plant site that a team from Colorado is planting. It was an interesting drive. Thankfully we made it, down the questionable road and all the way to the new church plant building before getting stuck in the mud as it was in a deep, deep, deep village. Again, it was great to see them all dancing in worship.
Tomorrow, we go hut to hut all day in Namatala, sharing the gospel. I will be with my precious team member, Emilie and our interpreter. Praying that God really speaks through us and gives us both a spirit of evangelism. I can't wait! It will be so cool to see what God has planned!
Keep the prayers coming! We are feeling them. God has been revealing Himelf in so many ways, there just isn't enough time to share all of it now. He is here with us and we love it!! We are totally safe, and totally accomplishing what He sent us here to do. We are serving our LORD, being His hands and feet. He is loving these kids through us and we are having a blast while doing it! What a fun group of ladies to be with in Africa. God put this team together so beautifully!
God bless you all back home!
I Love you and miss you, Loren, Luke & Tony! Hope you guys are having fun at Grandma's house. Tell everyone Hi for me! Tony - pet Gwendolyn for me!