The children in Uganda at our orphanage saw a dentist this weekend for the first time! Adams and Elitia found a group of dentists who would come to the orphanage and set up a clinic in the church and clean teeth. They also made a long list of work that needs to be done. We are waiting for the report. This is such excellent progress from a few months ago when I waved good-bye to the children and returned to America. The amount of need and work to do was so overwhelming at that point. I can only say God provided me help and one thing to do at a time. Bit by bit, day by day we are chipping away at that pile so now we can see excellent progress. Here’s a sparse summary of all that has changed since January:
- They are brushing their teeth
- They have new mattresses
- Bunk beds are coming
- 4 new Tables are coming
- The chickens are going to lay eggs soon
- The cows are making milk
- The children will all begin school in May
- They have seen a dentist
None of this could have been accomplished without the help all of you who provided by means of financial and prayer support. Thank you again and again.
Elitia has been explaining that the prices of food in Uganda have nearly doubled since December. And Craig even read in a newspaper that Uganda has been struggling with inflating food prices with as much as a hundred percent increase. The price of petrol is so high there that people are beginning to riot in the streets. In December it was five dollars a gallon, so I can’t imagine how expensive it is now. This definitely poses a problem for feeding the kids at the orphanage.
My philosophy from the beginning of this adventure has been we will give a lot of helping up with as little handing out as possible. This means we’ll invest in ways to generate money rather than pay for everything. They are all such hard working people so we are happy to set up businesses and ways to earn. Some of the ideas have been to purchase a welding machine so the older boys can learn to weld furniture and sell it. Purchasing a motorbike, boda, to provide taxi service is a good way to make money in Uganda because it is the preferred transportation. We would like to have a small dairy set up to sell milk and yogurt. We also want to purchase some land now that is close by that can be used to grow food. It makes good sense to purchase some roaming chickens and a rooster so they can eat chicken regularly while they keep reproducing.
There’s little pleasure on this earth for me apart from seeing these children enjoying a variety of good food. When I see a child happily holding a cabbage like it were the best toy it makes me melt. I want them to eat well so they can be healthy and develop strong immune systems.
It is critically important to me that everyone there works together to think of ways to earn money so they can afford to feed the children with a variety of good nutrition and a quantity that is happily satisfying. What I don’t want to do is write a bigger and bigger check every month without anyone changing a thing in their work style and ethic. Food comes from hard work and this increases self esteem. The whole goal of this project is to get the group we love to become self sufficient in their earning and providing for one another. In a few years they shouldn’t need us at all to help with the food. Education is another matter, we will always keep them supplied with caring sponsors, but food can be worked for, grown and earned. So, we have a lot of brainstorming to do to come up with ways to earn money to buy food for the kids. What I wouldn’t give for some good ideas… anyone?…anything?…