What is God doing?

Just when I think I have it figured out....Just when I think I really have a good grasp on what God is doing in Uganda....He blows me away.  Every. Single. Time.

I apologize for the delay in this blog post.  It's long overdue.  We returned from our trip 2 weeks ago and I'm still a little behind.

We had another amazing trip.  The first part of our trip was spent with Sole Hope.  Oh how I love this ministry.  They are making such an impact in so many lives by the simple and humbling act of footwashing....and the not so simple act of jigger removal.  Friends, here me when I say removing jiggers out of a child's foot was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  My heart broke as these children cried out in pain because of the pain I was inflicting.  It was so necessary, but truly heartbreaking.  All the children received new shoes (240 pair were distributed), they were educated about how to take care of their feet and left with smiles on their faces.

The next part of our trip was visiting our HOPE+ sisters.  If you don't know about this amazing ministry, you should.  It's through Project HOPEFUL and the changes in the lives of the women has been tremendous.  I think my moment I was  most impacted by was visiting Edith.  Edith used her funds to start her own hair salon.  She has done so well and we are so proud of her.  We discovered during her visit that she had not had her children tested for HIV yet.  As the tears streamed down her face, my heart was so burdened for her.  She was truly terrified of finding out that one of her children might be positive.  We encouraged her, prayed with her and pleaded with her to get her children tested.  Several days later, Mama Jesca received a text message and said "Mama Dawn, do you know enough Luganda to read this text?"  I looked at it and didn't even need to read the Luganda when I saw the word NEGATIVE in the text.  We simply rejoiced.  

Another thing we had the incredibly privilege of doing was visiting City of the Lord church.  City of the Lord church is the church that many of our HOPE+ sisters attend.  I've visited this church on many occasions but the last time we visited, well....it got a little crazy.  It's a very, very small and dark building.  When we got there we got stuck in a hail storm.  It was so bad and we were scared enough that one of the team members said "we need to pray".  Later, Mama Jesca shared with me that she feared the roof was going to collapse.  3 years ago, Pastor Dan created a budget to build a new church building.  When we were there in January, he shared with me that the budget they had would take 13 YEARS to finish their church.  13 years.  This is the old church.

In October 2013, a donor offered to fund their new church building.  We visited the church on January 23rd.  On February 2nd, they had their first church service.  Many villagers who had never attended church came and 4 PEOPLE ACCEPTED CHRIST AS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOR.

Again.  I'm just blown away.

We also visited Bibbo school and church.  In April 2013, a team visited Bibbo school.  Steve Sanchez was very moved by Agnes, a widow who is running the school and felt drawn to fundraise to finish both the school and church.  In just 4 months, the funds were raised and construction immediately started.  This was one of the original "classrooms".

This is their new classroom.

How awesome is our God?  Bibbo school isn't finished quite yet and we hope to raise funds soon to build the last buildings.

We also visited the beautiful new church.  This photograph of Cathy & Richard inside the church is one of my favorites.

We we asked to plant trees near each of the new buildings.  What an honor that was.

Now I want to tell you about Sam and Ronald.  They are brothers who attend Bibbo school.  Sam had one of the worst cases of jiggers.  After most of the children left we spoke to Agnes about these boys.  Their father is a single parent.  He sells charcoal and is gone all day long.  The boys are left to fend for themselves and Ronald does the cooking.  Since he is 8 years old, he only knows how to cook posho which is basically corn meal cooked like mashed potatoes.  The boys are lacking in nutrition and many other essentials.  We have committed to finding sponsors for these precious boys.  Sponsorship is $35 per month per child.  If you are interested in helping with these boys, please email Cathy Clark.

I did update the Project HOPEFUL blog while I was in Uganda, so if you are interested in reading about some of our other experiences, please be sure to visit it.  They start just after the Fundraising posts.

Looking forward to 2014 there are definitely some things that God is putting on our hearts such as more child sponsorships, Village of Grace (more info coming soon) and finishing Bibbo school.  A team of men will be traveling to Uganda the end of April and will be building a latrine for one of our HOPE+ sisters as well as visiting some of the newly constructed churches.  In June a team from Project HOPEFUL, including 2 board members will be traveling to Uganda as well.  We are so excited about this awesome opportunity. 

If you would like any additional information about the work happening in Uganda, please email me.  We are so excited about all that God is doing and look forward to sharing it more.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

In Christ,