Internet is sporadic and VERY slow ~ ~ ~
First of all, I need to correct myself about the last sentence of my last entrance:
"Let the fun begin!"
How naive was that!
While I am still absolutely LOVING it, how can I speak of fun when it feels like we're watching an ocean of people drowning ~ and we can do pretty much nothing to save them...???
That's how I felt at the end of our first day.
Pastor Lydia was great - we saw and learned heaps - and came away heavy-hearted - the poverty and desperation here is even more than I imagined!
One of the needs she told us about was for 25 orphans in a near-by boarding school who need bed-sheets and blankets - for a total cost of US$250 - (which we don't have - we're keeping the money for the water tanks - next week with the YWAM ministry)
While we were having lunch at her very humble home - she is married with 2 small children, her husband doesn't speak English - a young man from the church came by. He's a teacher and trying to start a school in a near-by neighbourhood that has no school, struggling majorly financially, even though the wage of a teacher is only US$50/month.
We visited the school and were SHOCKED at the conditions ~ ~ ~ photos/video when we have faster internet ~ pulled out a miserly big pack of coloured crayons and some pens (donated by Bank of NZ) - it felt pitiful - but you should've seen the immense smiles on the faces of the teachers and children - very humbling.
We prayed for the teacher and encouraged him, telling him God was going to come through - yet reminded of the Scripture that says not only to wish somebody well without doing something about it... argghhhh -
Yesterday was AMAZING! We visited a WONDERFUL ministry "Operation Uganda"!
A community centre right in a slum of Kampala, being JESUS there - orphanage, church, continuous outreach, micro-enterprise for widows, lots a love and warmth, gorgeous children and staff!
Came away VERY touched and encouraged that SOMETHING CAN BE DONE - just took 1 couple from Aussie to start this... and they're making a difference! Saving a few from the ocean of despair and hopelessness!
VERY humbling to sit in 3 of the widow's "shacks" - tiny, just a bed and tiny floor space, several kids. Sad stories, yet HOPE, as they're part of a necklace-making/discipleship programme that has changed their lives - where they can now survive. At least here it was easier praying for them and ministering the love of Jesus, as we knew that they were being helped in a tangible way and they were going to make it.
Hanging out with the kids at the orphanage - amazing how peaceful and harmonious they were - singing, playing, Rich treating some wounds. Just fell in love with the kids and the staff! Even got to hold my first baby - she went to sleep on my arms as her older sister kept struggling to get on my lap, too. So sweet!
HIGHLIGHT in the evening: got to meet Richard, our Ugandan son, for the first time!!!! VERY VERY VERY special - and humbling once again! He's now a handsome young man of 20, studying mechanics (we've been sponsoring him for years and he considers us his family).
He was only a bit shy, mostly exuberant and overjoyed! Said he'd NEVER forget that evening!
He remembered every detail of the few letters we've written him over the years and in the first 5 minutes of meeting him he thanked us for an extra gift we'd given him just before Christmas 3 years ago. There had been some mistake and too much money was deducted from our account at that time. We told the organization just to bless him with it for Christmas, not thinking much of it.
We'd completely forgotten about that little thing, but for him it was HUGE - he kept thanking us over and over again, saying HOW WONDERFUL and SPECIAL that was for him! He was able to buy some clothes with that money, buy a dress for his sister and treat his family for a good Christmas dinner (he lives with his Grandmother as he's been an orphans since he was 8).
Oh - the love - - - we do love him very much - love at first sight - hehe!!
Today, we're planning on visiting his grandmother with him. He's just finishing his end of the year exams and will then go back to his grandmother's until school starts again in 3 months.
He mentioned that he doesn't have a mattress at her place. When we asked about his mosquito-net (at the boarding school), he said it's pretty "wholly".
We'll get a mattress, mosquito-net and some food for grandma - should be interesting.
She has no idea we'll be coming and we can't contact her...
Before that, visiting another orphanage in the neighbourhood - just a short visit.
Got invited to preach at Pastor Lydia's church tomorrow - asking the Lord to allow us to give out "fresh bread and water" to the brothers and sisters there... exciting and a bit "daunting", too :)
If you've read up to here - wow! Thanks for your interest and continuous prayers!
We've been feeling them - and need them!!!!