One day to go.

Hello again from Uganda.

Three saints from the US have come to celebrate the Women of Hope retreat and to learn more about Divine Holistic Ministries. They have been such a blessing! I look forward to continuing our relationship back in the states.

It is Friday. The Friday before the Saturday that I fly home.  I have so many mixed emotions. Above all, I feel so blessed to be able to come here and be a part of such a wonderful ministry.

I can’t wait to tell you all all about it.

Yesterday we followed a meandering foot path up a steep hillside to visit on of the WOH’s home.  It is a mud and stick house that is in poor condition.  This women has raised 6 children in this tiny 2 room mud house.  She asked us to pray for her and her children and grandchildren.  She is a widow and live is very hard.

We visited several homes

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Rice

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Putting the rice and sugar in packages

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Widow’s home

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widows house

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another home in the village

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WOH dancing

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Distribution

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Sunrise Uganda

and prayed over and for the families. We prayed for God’s provision of a safe home, food, work and health. So much need, but such love for God and faith in His provision.

 

Yesterday, we distributed a package of 5 kg of rice and 2 kg of sugar  per woman, to a group of Women of Hope.  For the women it would make about 3 meals for a family, but you would think it was so much more. We danced, and celebrated.  Each women came and thank each one of us individually.

The ladies began to make their long walk home with their packages, some came up and asked us to pray for them.  What an honor and thrill to be used by God in this way. Soon many women came.

 

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Happy 4th of July!

Sorry for the laps in time here.

The Women of Hope Retreat 2018 was a huge success.  We were all blessed to see such joy and jubilation among the attendants.  The President of Uganda did not come but there were many governmental official and candidates for the local mayoral office there along with around 1200 to 1500 women.IMG_0984IMG_0987IMG_0989IMG_0970IMG_0965IMG_0962IMG_0961

The women began coming around 8:30 and kept coming until around 10 am. The ministry paid for transport for many of the women in villages far and near.  The taxis came full of women dressed in their finest clothing.  Most had gomas’s in bright colors.

The cooks began cooking the night before and were cooking well into the afternoon.  Everyone had their fill of matoke, peanut sauce, cabbage, spinach, beef in a tomato sauce, chapote (a fried flat bread).

There was 3 small cakes that were cut for the celebration. It was cut and shared among all that wanted some.

The Lord blessed us with good, cool weather. No rain during the event and a gentle breeze all day.

We have been busy going to primary schools and giving them soccer balls and pumps.  My heart is full to see all the beautiful children and their joy at receiving gifts from afar.

It is fun to shout “Hey Muzungu” and wave and give a big smile.  I will miss that.

Last night at the Home of Hope we tried to learn how to use the set of children’s hand bells.  It was quite fun and noisy. There was a heated discussion over who would be in charge of caring for them. Hopefully they will learn many songs and play them in church as part of their worship.

Not sure if I will blog again before I fly home Saturday. Thank you for your prayers and see you soon.

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One Day until the Retreat

June 29

One day until the Women of Hope Retreat 2018.

The cow has been dispatched and it’s meat is resting on a floor of banana leaves awaiting the large cooking pot. Women of Hope have converged on the Divine Holistic Ministries campus to peel mountains of matoke (similar to a plantain), 100 lbs of “irish” (potatoes), lbs of yams and sweet potatoes and 20 chickens are waiting their fate in the shade of the dinning area. A small truck load of fire wood was delivered earlier this morning.  They will be cooking all night.

The tents are in place and the stage is set. Over 2000 women from 20 different regions will come in their finest Gomas to sing, dance, and give short skits. The event will start around 9 and last until 4 or 5.

God is mighty and greatly to be praised. His wonders to behold.

I have heard some of the stories of these women and it will break your heart.  How can they still have hope? How can they still praise God? They believe in their God with all their heart, they believe in the healer of past pain, tragic circumstances, death, sickness, disease. They believe that God will supply their needs according to his riches in glory.  They have seen and experience God’s provisions every day.  When they pray for their daily bread, they really mean it.

We all need to learn from the faith of these women.  Some are grandmothers caring for their grandchildren because the parents have died from HIV/AIDS, often times sick with the same disease.

They have strength beyond normal human strength given by hope in a savior and belief in the one true God.

June 28

I woke up to the smell of the fire pit burning not so far from my bedroom window. The solar charged battery charging station is not working and most of my electronics are dead.

For the first time, I heard the cow moo, or it might be the sad, sad, new dog that is not happy to be the new member of the security team.

Today Fred and I visited his mother in his home town village.  We brought sugar, posho (porsha- a corn flour based meal that is a staple in the diet) and rice. She was very gracious to have a stranger come visit.  The minute we arrived she began to build a fire and put a pot of tea on for us. She “buttered” bread and fried eggs for us as well.

Fred showed me the home that his younger brother (one of the 9 children of his mother) had built for her, the kitchen that he built for her and the 4 room mud and stick house that was built over 50 years ago where his mother raised 9 children. The whole mud house was not much larger than two  rooms of our in our homes.

We walked the property where his mother keeps chickens, goats, and a pig.  She also grows coffee, and most of the fruit and vegetables she needs to survive. I watched as a few hens and their biddies scratching around the property.

As we went to leave his mother cut some of the maze growing on the property, grabbed a large bag of fresh dug peanuts and presented me with a chicken. Another example of the kindhearted, generosity that I experience time and time again with the Ugandan people.

June 27

We went to Kalagala Falls today.  It is part of the Nile.  What awesome powerful beauty. You might notice in the picture of me on the high rock , me grimacing.  I have problems with high places and the water was rushing with such force, no one would survive that fall. Glad for the picture though.

Went to one of the Women of Hope members home to watch how they made bar soap for laundry and dish washing. This is one of the income producing project that the Women of Hope have started along with candle making, liquid soap making, mat weaving, Vaseline making and of course the jewelry making.

They chattered and did a little dance and song when it was time to pour out the mixture into the frames for drying.

June 26

Fred and I visited Njeru Primary School. He is on the board there and his key roll is to encourage the staff of 13 toward excellence in education and to strive to bring the children’s academics up to standard to help the children pass the entrance exams so they can proceed to Secondary or high school.

Fred wanted to present 3 of the soccer balls and a “boom ba” ball pump to the school. The whole school 500 + assembled on the grounds in front of the school.  3 ball for so many, but the joy and excitement was thick. The balls will be kept by the staff under lock and key when not in play for fear of them disappearing.

I was asked to speak to the assembly, the children speak and are taught English early on, so I was confident that they would understand me. So I gave a short speech about how they needed to put God first in their life, study hard, be kind to each other and that I loved them.  All clapped and after the head teacher said something that made the whole group roll in laughter.

I asked Fred what that was about and he said they didn’t understand my accent! That made me laugh too. Southern English!

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Chocolate cake and pineapple smoothie!

June 25, 2018

Happy Anniversary to my husband of 29 years! It takes a special man with special talents to put up with this hard headed, single minded, scatterbrained women that I am.  Thank you Lord for the miracle our marriage is everyday.

I am here at the Keep again to update this blog.  I have Chocolate Cake and Pineapple smoothie for a treat. Yummmmm

Enough about me. We have been so busy with the children’s celebration on Saturday, giving out the dresses, shorts, tee shirts and feeding the children of the Divine Full Gospel Church in Njeru and Butema. We estimate 250 children attended. Some of the older children in high school were unable to attend. Pictures of each of the sponsorship children that attended were taken to update their folder in the DHM office.

The day began as the children arrived from all over the area by taxi bus, boda boda, or walking, with singing, music, and great leadership of the youth pastors of the church.

30 kg of rice and 20 kg of beans and 2 kg of ground meat were cooked and served.  All the children had their fill. Then it was time to give out the donated clothing.  The children were called by there villages they live and schools they attend.  They held their enthusiasm for new clothing well, but it was still overwhelming trying to get the right sizes to the children.

Most all the children received a new item of clothing.  Some of the older children- now adult size were given Upward tee shirts and shorts. The church choir received Upward tee shirts so they could have matching “uniforms”. The children’s choir, Divine Sunday School choir received Upward tees and shorts for their uniforms. They both looked “smart” as they say here, in their uniforms on Sunday morning.

We went to the hospital to check on the boy from Maligeta. The young boy that fell from a mango tree and went to the hospital waited 2 days for x-rays.  When we arrived we found many people outside on the lawn of the hospital and we wondered if there were so many there that there was no room inside.  Later we found out that the patients were forced to be outside on the lawn and sidewalks because they were cleaning the rooms.

Hospitals are very different. This one was a government run facility.  Sorry no photos were allowed. People have to pay before any treatment, emergency or not, bleeding or not, child or old.  You may have to wait for days before you get x-rays, and only if you can pay.  If you need medicine you have to take the prescription into town to the drug store and purchase it.

They released the boy without x-rays.  I claim God’s healing power healed this boy and he is home.  He has been told not to climb the tree again.

Sunday, I enjoyed hearing Pastor Fred Kiwanuka preach.  God is good All the time.

Continue to pray for the Women of Hope Retreat on Saturday.

Blessings,

Nita

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Catch up time

June 17, Sunday

Intersession prayer started at 8:30

The children’s praise team sang and danced for 30 min. then Sunday School for 1hr, then praise and worship for about an hour, offertory, testimony, then preaching. Done about 1pm, time for lunch of rice and beans and fresh pineapple, then a nap.

What a wonderful time to spend praising and learning and worshiping.IMG_0246

June 18, Monday

Went to Butema Divine Preschool to meet the children and teachers. Juliet is the child that is crippled and uses wooden crutches. She is the one we have raised funds for a wheel chair and making the potty excess able. We talked to the mother who also is one of the teachers. She said that the best thing for Juliet would be a walker and potty chair.  She said she would go to Kampala to the hospital there and find out how much it will cost, where we can get it and report back.

There are several special needs children there in Butema Preschool.

June 19, Tuesday

We went into Jinja town to the fabric/ tailoring store to purchase material to make an official Gomas for me to wear at the Women of Hope Retreat next Saturday. Dropped the material and buttons by the tailor. She laughed when she was told to have it made by the retreat, but she said it will be done.IMG_0387

Got some popcorn for munching, some more antibacterial wipes for hand washing, some Pringles too.

Met with another Women of Hope group and brought soccer balls for a team that met at the same place. It was great to see the women walk from long distances to come and fellowship together.

The “boys” had quite a boisterous discussion when the balls were given.  I am not sure but I think the discussion was who would keep the balls safe for playing.  It was like Christmas and I felt like Santa.IMG_0399

The cow for the retreat was purchased and walked to the DHM campus.IMG_0442

June 20, Wednesday

The retreat is coming quickly and preparations are at a fever pitch. Lots of trips into town picking up this and that.  Talking to all the groups.

We went to Maligita to the Divine Preschool today.  It was late so the children were not there but the Women of Hope group that is learning tailoring was there and Judith chatted while Fred told me about the property and his vision for it.

Air time is short so that is all for now. GOD is Good.

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The Keep, Breakfast and WiFi

Divine Preschool
Divine Preschool Children
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It is Saturday, June 16, 2018.  I am learning that internet access and data, and phones, and email all act differently here. So bare with me if I don’t post often.  It seemed so simple when my daughter Faith did it for me in 2015.  
Fred and I are at a restaurant having breakfast and time on WiFi.  The YWAM team has left to spend 2 more weeks in Kampala helping in a preschool there.  Two of the team will be leaving on the plane for home. Henry and Melissa are leaving today. Henry’s wife is expecting any day now and he is excited to be home for the event. They are such a blessing and they will be missed.  Judith is in Kampala today to work out plans for the Women of Hope retreat.
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Fred gave me permission to give one of the soccer balls to the children that live on the DHM campus and the Home of Hope.  Photo to follow.  

IMG_0040this picture was taken riding into Jinja town. Goat anyone? Notice the boda boda just outside the car zooming by.

Many more pictures and stories to tell. Love to all at home. I am truly blessed to be here among such a beautiful place and beautiful people.

This is a bridge being built over the River Nile in Jinja. This was taken from the top of the DHM property near the preschool. IMG_0057

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Technology challenged!

I am HERE and All the Bags are TOO!!!!

I and the baggage arrived in Entebbe at 10:30pm on June 10. The only issue I had other than sitting for hours at a time on the plane was getting to the right gate in the air ports. Note to self: get in better shape for the next time.  Sprinting with a full back pack and carry-on is a challenge.

Got my Visa without problem. After the bags were unloaded, they were re scanned and one was pulled. I had to talk to one of the officers on duty and he said because I was bringing all of this stuff to help the people of Uganda, he would let me go this time.  He wanted me to other papers from the Commissioner of Commerce next time. Fred said that since DHM was an NGO that it was not necessary.

June 11 Happy Birthday to my daughter Faith!

Because it is unsafe to travel at night, Fred booked the Backpackers Inn. My room was simple but comfortable, With a Shower.  The electrical wires connected to the shower head looked a bit iffy so I decided to forgo the “hot” shower.

We had breakfast and then traveled during rush hour through Entebbe, Kampala and then to Jinja. Atlanta has nothing on Kampala traffic! We arrived at the DHM campus around 1pm, greeted by a tearful Judith. She was so happy and I was greeted with a bowl full of fresh bananas, pineapples, oranges and mangoes!

June 12

I am reflecting on how very blessed I am that I have a big God, and people that believe in the mission of Divine Holistic Ministries.

I awoke to the sound of red dust settling rain.  Soon the myriad of birds called to the rain to stop and began to sing their morning songs.

Soon I could here the pat of the Kiwanuka children, Joannah and Frances getting ready for school.

I could hear the Divine Preschool children reciting their morning songs and prayers and allegiance to Uganda. What a blessing to here the happy voices of the next generation, safe, secure and blessed by good teachers.

June 14

Finally figured out how to get on here to blog.  Tried to load photos but it failed.  I will keep trying.  Judith spent the morning in Kampala talking to the presidential authorities about having the President attend the Women of Hope Retreat at the end of June.

I am out of battery and time right now.  I have so much to tell and great pictures to show.  Pray I will be able to.

For now, Thank your for your continued prayers.

 

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