Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Emotional as I remember....

I am remembering with much emotion how deeply my heart was touched and challenged 

exactly 5 years ago today 

by the plight of Praise and her then 20 children in a very miserable condition

sickly

freezing at night due to lacking blankets

no mosquito nets to protect them from malaria

only sporadic food

disgusting drinking water that they had to get from far twice daily

in a village where she had moved with the children and also started a school with then 90 children.

"I had no choice. The children HAVE TO go to school"

she explained to me when I questioned her about starting a school in their deplorable condition, 
even living in an unfinished house.

"Our amazing God has turned our suffering into JOY!",

she told me yesterday as she also remembered....

If you want to read up on my blog post from that day, have a look here.


Together with her husband Moses, we are now privileged to 

provide family for 40+ orphans

strengthen families at risk of abandoning their children

educate 340 vulnerable children in our Pre-and Primary-Schools through




and impact many more people and 2 communities through the 2 churches that Praise and Moses have started. 

The churches are to become the vehicle through which lasting community transformation will be happening (working on that).

Buildings don't even come close to reflecting what God has done,

but here are 3 photos that do tell at least part of the story.


The second storey of our Primary School is just receiving its finishing touches before getting painted. The financing of it was an absolute mind-boggling miracle of God Almighty!

And - if you want a taste of the exuberance and confidence of Praise and Moses' children in particular, that thrilled me to bits during the 

BIG 5-YEAR CELEBRATION of the school

knowing where they have come from....

WATCH THIS!!!


5-Year-Celebration of Young Achievers Christian School, Uganda from Isabel Betts on Vimeo.

Monday, May 23, 2016

TADA!

I am thrilled to share with you the website of



Have a look HERE

check out the wonderful story 

all the cool happenings

and sign up for our e-news on the website

or straight here!


AND

If you are German-speaking

click HERE!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Leilani Joy

Today, a VERY SPECIAL, AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL and MUCH beloved treasure of ours is turning

  21! 

WOHOOOOO!!!!!

Leilani, you are an exceptional mixture of

pure delight

tenderness

sensitivity

compassion

feistiness

determination

and quiet strength!

What a GIFT and JOY you have been to us as parents since the moment we laid our eyes on you!

You have always known what you wanted
  (let's not talk about your tiger-fits)
and pursued it,
even speaking your first word in English as you just HAD TO find a way to get that cookie
(and I wasn't responding to your German request)!

Now that determination has taken you across the ocean
 - far away from us -
to the place where you felt called to.

Your tender nurturing heart (that was easily broken)
 has been a trademark of yours from your early days as you were caring for multiple dolls and then soon children, becoming a most cherished and fun baby-sitter for many!

How special that you have found the man of your dreams and are now a Momma already!!!!

Your servant heart stood out to us.
You were always wanting to help, serve,
and even cleaning the shower regularly
(taking the hair out of the drain - yuck!)
without being asked
when you were still very young!

"Herculena" was your nick-name as you would insist to carry the heaviest bags and do the hardest jobs - all just because you wanted to be helpful. 

"As I rainbow, I will be a good helper, pleasing Jesus every day." 
That lil phrase learned at a program at church when you were 5 became your motto.

You knew when somebody was having a bad day and you would find a way to cheer them up with some sweetness that only you could come up with.

You showed great courage and gutsiness when you walked out of a movie while at the theatres with your teenage friends because it wasn't appropriate - even at the risk of loosing their friendship!

You are kind, fun, loving, intelligent and a lover of Jesus!
You have many talents and abilities that will take you far in life and I know that you will be a FANTASTIC mother!!!

Sweet Leilani, heavenly flower, you are my sweet-heart and 

I love you SOOOO MUCH and wish you
MOST WONDERFUL, HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Miss you like crazy and wish I could celebrate with you today
and give a big cuddle to your lil angel...
 :-(

I am very proud of the radiant young woman you have become, 

Leilani, 

and celebrate beautiful YOU (inside and out!)!!!

ENJOY this little re-collection of some special moments of your childhood!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

VERY VERY SPECIAL NEWS!

Well, since pictures speak thousands of words, 

I figured I'd save you the pain of reading thousands of words.

Have a look at what 


ONLY


GOD


COULD


HAVE


DONE!!!!!


To HIM be ALL the GLORY!!!



Story to be continued, as 

MORE

EXCITING

THINGS

have been happening!


VERY EXCITING News

My - oh - my - the VERY VERY EXCITING news announced in my last blog post is now already a bit old, and has been followed by a lot of other EXCITING happenings, but for the sake of keeping some sort of record on this blog, here I go.

It IS coming

 in the next blog post,

as there is some other VERY EXCITING news I would like to share first!

By the way, I really DO enjoy writing on here, it's like a hobby. 
As you may have guessed by now, hobby-time is rare these days, but hey, how glad I am that I have written what I HAVE written over the years! 

Kylie and I have recently spent some fun moments reminiscing and laughing as we read stories from long ago, including this very first blog I started 10 years ago. 
Such a neat way to record things I would otherwise forget.
Though these news coming I for sure won't forget - EVAAH- hahahaha!

So - the first EXCITING news is that




has been renamed, as our ministry is now reaching beyond giving orphaned children
a home, to also encompass


  • a school and a soon-to-start boarding school to give impoverished children a chance for an education 

  • wholistic community development and strengthening of vulnerable families in order to prevent orphans

  • and hopefully sometime in the not-so-distant future a medical clinic in the community that does not have easy access to health-care.


SOOOO

Are you ready for the new name - and logo?


Drumroll....


IT


IS






Maisha means LIFE - and that's what we're all about - YEAH!!!

And here is our motto:

Walking alongside children and youth to achieve their full potential by impacting their lives, families and communities

Read on for the next news - which IS the VERY SPECIAL NEWS I promised to share with y'all.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Redeemed life!

As promised, here's the back-ground story of why Jesus used Erina in such a powerful way last Friday. 

A few months ago, she told Praise:

"Jesus came and sat on my bed.

He smiled at me and asked me what I wanted.

When I told him that I wanted to sing really well, 

he went and got a guitar and started singing with me. 

I then went on to do all kinds of things that really made Jesus very happy."

Soon afterwards

before she knew about it

Praise felt to give the microphone to Erina during a Sunday morning worship time at church

and this little girl started SINGING

in the most beautiful way

astounding everyone.

She sang song after song

not missing a beat

People were amazed

even at how well she knew all the words to the songs!

This photo was taken on that very day:


And if you missed reading about what happened last Friday night

When God used her to touch hundreds

(an estimated 1,000 -2,000 people were there)

Go and read it here.

Isn't God AWESOME?!!

Redeeming a life that was destined towards destruction
(she had been initiated into witchcraft before Praise rescued her)

and bringing out SUCH BEAUTY!

Here's one more photo of her - taken just this week

Erina on the right, together with her 'sisters' Shivan and Yvonne

sporting the new school sweaters we are hoping to get for all the children soon.

And speaking of school, there is some 

VERY VERY EXCITING NEWS 

coming

very

soon...


'To those who have sorrow in Zion 
I will give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.
I will give them the oil of joy instead of sorrow,
and a spirit of praise instead of a spirit of no hope.
Then they will be called oaks that are right with God,
planted by the Lord,
that He may be honoured.
Isaiah 61,3

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

INCREDIBLE VICTORY! WOW GOD!!!!!

We had decided not to take in any more children as we were at capacity and just barely able to care for the 40 children we had.

And then Praise was asked yet again to rescue a little girl from a horrific situation. 

This time, we felt to make an exception and take her in.
An aunty was supposed to pick her up soon and care for her. 
(never happened)

Fast-forward to one year later - almost exactly to the day:

Last Friday, Praise led a big all-night open-air worship and God-encounter in Eastern Uganda.

She had organised it together with Moses, who works there.

They were almost going to cancel it due to lack of funds.

Pushing through, borrowing money, they went into the night.

And things were hard.

REALLY HARD

The wind was howling,

thunder kept going off,

dark rain-clouds were threatening with rain.

And yet, surprisingly, it was clear everywhere else except at the event scene.

The sound-system was only working off and on.



Praise and the 15 children/teenagers she had brought with her, 
(they are powerful worshippers, prayer warriors and ministers!)
supported by others, 
were not able to break through into the presence of God as they usually do

in spite of praying and worshipping.



A group of young men were arrested after their plan of ambushing a local pastor next to the toilet to beat him up was thwarted through a girl over-hearing their scheming.

Then, when the presence of God finally started to be manifest, 

a man came onto the stage and started to verbally and physically create havoc, trying to stop everything.
He was very obviously an agent of the devil and after an intense struggle, 
even 4 strong men were barely able to carry him off the stage.

By that time, it was 3am.

Praise started praying again.

They heard a car drive off with great commotion.
In it was the man and a whole group who had obviously been the source of all the battles.

Then Praise felt to pass the microphone to the little girl I told you about.

photo taken at another time during the evening

Erina started worshipping.

She is only 4 or 5
(we don't know her exact age)

AND IMMEDIATELY 

EVERYBODY 

FELL SMACK ONTO THEIR FACES!

BAM!

We are talking hundreds of people!

GOD had taken over! WOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

And what followed was nothing short of a

SPECTACULAR

MIRACULOUS

AND - OH SO POWERFUL 

display of God's SPLENDOR!

While Erina continued in deep worship

SCORES of people got delivered from demonic oppression

COUNTLESS People got healed

MANY gave their lives to Jesus! 

It was indescribable!

Praise had never seen such a battle

nor such a victory!

AND

WANNA KNOW SOMETHING ELSE REALLY COOL?

When everybody left the venue in the morning,

they noticed that it had been raining everywhere all around

EXCEPT where they had been!

There had not been a drop of rain!

I know I don't write much on this blog these days,

but this HAD TO BE documented

for the GLORY OF GOD!

There IS a story behind Erina's supernatural anointing.

That will be for another post.
Stay tuned...

"Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger."
Psalm 8:2

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Farewell 2014 - bring on 2015!

Here's a little sneak-peak into our year 2014!

Click on the pause-button on the bottom right when the first page comes up and then advance at your own pace. Each photo enlarges when clicked on.

REJOICE with us over the GOODNESS of GOD!

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Email us at bettsfamily@hotmail.com if you would like to receive our newsletters 3-4times/year.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

MIRACLE-WORKING GOD!!! (part 2)

I am totally giddy as I get to share what 

ONLY GOD 

could have orchestrated about getting 

FRESH 

CLEAN 

WATER 

onto the property of




If you haven't read part 1 of this amazing story, please go back here to read it now.

It's a MUST if you want to get the whole picture of HOW AMAZING our GOD is!


In the midst of significant financial challenges at the moment, 

GOD'S

OVERFLOWING, 

SUPERNATURAL

UNEXPECTED

PROVISION 

took us by surprise.

Speaking of overflowing, here is a short video-clip about the drilling of the well and the 

FIRST WATER FLOWING!

You cannot imagine

HOW THRILLING 

the sight of water flowing is in a setting where water is so hard to come by!!!






Did you know that EVERY DAY

4,500 children die due to lack of clean water?

That is equivalent to 8 fully loaded 747s!!!

SHOCKING, aye?!

And here, 200+ children are now able to have access to this water!

IT IS GLORIOUS!


So, here's the rest of the story:

ONLY GOD...  

... knew that water was found in ONLY ONE SPOT on the 2 properties
(home property and adjoining future school property)


Miracle water!!! I love love love these children!!!


ONLY GOD...

 ... knew that in order to make a well in that ONE SPOT it needed to happen BEFORE the building of the new school building, as access to that ONE SPOT would have been pretty much impossible after the beginning of the construction.
(And now we know why the construction needed to be delayed... hahaha)


oh, these faces! so beautiful!!!


ONLY GOD...

... could have orchestrated the building of the well in such a way that it was finished and dedicated on Friday last week, with the construction of the school starting this Monday.

Talk about

PERFECT TIMING!!! 

WOW!!!!

I am still blown away!!!

ohhh - the blessing of fresh water!!!!

ONLY GOD...

 ... arranged things in a way that the actual drilling happened on a Sunday morning as it was the only time the company was able to do it. 

It did disturb the church service on the property, but could it be that
IT WAS THE SERVICE?!!!

Coincidence?

Or GOD at work, showing HIS LOVE to HIS CHILDREN?!!

watching in wonder

ONLY GOD...

... knew that water on site was really necessary for the building of the school
and it needed to be there NOW!

It will save so much hassle/work/money!

such loveable children!

ONLY GOD...

... knows the person who paid for this
(maybe one day we'll find out, too, but we really don't need to)



WATER!!!!!!!!!!


God knew, intervened, orchestrated, provided

JUST IN TIME!!!

To show HIS LOVE, CARE and GREATNESS

towards the children and those caring for them!

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!

This miracle couldn't have been more timely and inspires us with a whole lot of FAITH to believe God to move the other mountains that are before us as a ministry at the moment.

What are thousands of $$ to HIM?!!!

Really?!!!

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!

HE KNOWS

HE CARES

HE GUIDES

HE PROVIDES!

That's right!

What a monumental encouragement for the 

BIG PROJECT OF THE CONSTRUCTION 
OF THE SCHOOL!!!

Here's a short video-clip with Praise speaking about it on the grounds of the new school,
even showing the current school.

And, in case you are curious: the well will be squished between the fence and the back of the new school building. It will be accessible but we are going to start praying for a solar pump so that water can be pumped to the different places on the property that need water.


P.S.: Have I ever mentioned that my father used to own a well-drilling-company
(together with his brothers)?
Just a little detail that brings me an extra tickle!

GOD IS AMAZING AND WE GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

MIRACLE-WORKING GOD!!! (part 1)

There are times when God's goodness literally 

TAKES.MY.BREATH.AWAY and

makes me tremble in AWE of HIM!

When HE does things that SO clearly show that 

HE KNOWS

HE SEES

HE CARES!!!

I spend a lot of my time and energy raising and stewarding finances for 


in Uganda.

Besides the fact that this means hard work, long hours and many sacrifices

- even for the family -

in general I am having a blast FUN!

Just to watch GOD at work on behalf of HIS precious, beloved, children

(after all, HE is the FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS)

makes me feel like this:


HE is the one working tirelessly on behalf of the 

forgotten

abandoned

orphaned

unloved

suffering

And what do I get to do???

I GET TO come along for the ride!

Even when I pedal as hard as I can

and am out of breath many-a-times

It is OBVIOUS that it is HE who makes the bike go places!

WOHOOOO!!!

And sometimes the speed is ASTOUNDING!

Folks,

HE CARES, HE REALLY DOES and HE is at work!!!

Remember this for the struggle YOU might be having RIGHT NOW.

HE works behind the scenes on our behalf and HIS timing is PERFECT,

even though it might not look like it at times.



This post will be in 2 parts

as there is too much for just 1 post:

When I first visited Praise and the children in their 'jungle home'

2 1/2 years ago

This is where the children would get 

water to drink, cook with, wash etc

It was risky and Praise was constantly worried that they might fall in and drown

or get hurt/abused in some way on the way there and back.


Click here to see a blog post with a photo of the kids getting water from here.

Let's not even think about how disgusting yucky and unhealthy that water was,
and yes, many were sick because of it.

Fast-forward to 1 1/2 years ago, when God provided this well.



Not only for Praise and the children but the whole village.

That was ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!!

And - as God usually does things - he used people whose hearts were moved by the plight of these children and the village without a clean water-supply.

YET

The children have been walking 10-20min each way to get the water

and carrying the heavy loads is definitely not ideal for their growing bodies.

They've been walking there early in the morning (around 5-5:30am)

in the dark

and oftentimes again a second time in the day

to provide for their very basic water needs.

And many times they have had to wait in line and 'compete' with the other villagers

to even get water at all.


even the little ones are getting trained up

On the way to the well!

photo taken during my recent trip to Uganda - thank you, Sallie!

NOW

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS???

As of yesterday, October 3rd, 2014

THERE IS CLEAN DRINKING WATER AVAILABLE 


ON THE PROPERTY FOR THE NEW SCHOOL

 just a few meters/yards from the home!!!

And this well is a 

SUPERNATURAL

PROVISION

OF 

GOD

ALMIGHTY!!


Imagine this unknown (to us) company showing up

and drilling a well

without anybody that we know - or who knows us - being involved!

Not asking for even one cent for payment
(value: US$8,000)

JUST.LIKE.THAT!!!!

It is UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

But TRUE!!!

For more of the story and photos 

come back for part 2!

And believe me - it gets even better!

WOW, GOD, WOW!!!!

To YOU be the glory

GREAT things you have done!!!