Lately the days are long and full of work, piano, school, tennis, horses, and visits to the rock wall. With a traveling husband and missing in action driving teenagers I’m back in the swing again. I’m a little ashamed of the number of visits we made to chickfila this week. But I’m not one to beat myself up when I’m doing my best to prioritize and get through. I know we can just push ourselves and it won’t kill us. But, as Craig and I stood in the bathroom one night, wilted and slumped, we mumbled and agreed, “this is how people age.”
We are leaving this week to go to Uganda again. All the rush and push is to get us free to go work with our Kirabo Seeds family. Craig is joining us for the first time this year. I’m excited for our children to see how involved he really is with our ministry. He’s the mysterious fellow always at work so we can pay the bills and keep the ministry running. Now they will have the pleasure to know him as a daddy who desires greatly to teach them about the wonderful love and sovereignty of Jesus. The jjajjas in the community are eager to meet my handsome husband! I don’t usually like to announce my travels to Uganda because I travel alone with my young children and I personally know a few wolves who could interrupt our paths. But I feel so secure and safe traveling in the care of my husband, it is my pleasure to share our upcoming journey.
We are going to have a wonderful day of teaching with the jjajjas (grandmothers) and their community. Our children are preparing to lead the children from their village in activities and devotions, as they are able to do in our home every day. Our children will go back to their community and share what Jesus has done in their lives with the other children. This will be a mutual blessing for all. And it might just cause me to shed a few tears. When I think back to the skinny, timid, ornery kids we first brought to our home, who always argued and used foul language but now to see them now so healthy, educated, and well mannered sharing what they are learning with more children, well it gives me a bursting heart of gratitude. They are eager to share, not show off. They are so full of gratitude they would like to see the blessings spill over to others.
We are purchasing 40 bibles in Lugandan. I wish we could buy more, but it costs $500 dollars to do this. As we teach the adults who join us from the community and share a meal with them, we want to ask everyone attending to write their name, phone number and prayer request on an index card. Then we will have a drawing for the forty bibles we can give. This is a new idea for them and it will help make it feel fair since we cannot provide for everyone who comes. With the cards we’ll have the children pray for these needs in their daily devotion times with Phiona, Robert, Kenny and Kiah. And next time we come to town we can call them ourselves to join us for bible lessons. If you would like to donate and help us buy bibles, it cost $15 dollars per bible and we would be so thankful.
I am so excited and happy to be the mail man for our children. The sponsors have all sent greetings so every child will receive a letter! They work hard to write beautiful letters to their sponsors, and now I’m going to have the pleasure of giving them responses. I personally handle the sponsor program for our children and over time it has developed into a sweet and intimate exchange. The children love to get to know the people who care so much to help them go to school and get good medical care. The children write letters every time I travel to Uganda. When I share the letters with the sponsors I try to give a personal and private update of how the child is really doing with some of the inner struggles as each child is learning to work through some hardships from their past. I would never write here in public what the deep issues are, but the sponsors know, they care, and they can most importantly pray.
I have a minimum of $25 per month to participate as a sponsor, but those who are able often determine between God and themselves what they would like to give to help us provide for the needs of these children. Keeping a family of 17 children and seven staff is a very expensive operation. But all this time God has provided in one way or another and we are so grateful to be able to work for the good of these children.
Personally I am so encouraged by the sponsors as I toil with the work. They care so much, and they share the great love we have to do God’s work of orphan care. This week it feels like Christmas as surprise boxes arrive with goodies for the children. Their Christmas outfits are looking beautiful! The tradition in Uganda is to wear a brand new outfit on Christmas day for church and a feast. They don’t exchange presents, but they love to show up looking their best. I love that.
My suitcases are loaded with books, crafts, gifts, prizes and activities. So many little gifts have come to us that we put them in the reward closet. We have a system of managing behavior in our home so good behavior can earn tickets and then they can trade the tickets in for a prize. We have jump ropes, beanie babies, legos, jewelry, purses, playing cards and such for them to earn. Even belts! They love fashion and are eager to go find something new in the prize closet when their behavior has earned it. I’m so thankful to all the people who have donated these sweet gifts.
If you are interested in participating in our program we would love to have you join the family! You can email me when you are ready to make a commitment: firstname.lastname@example.org