What a joy to worship with Butangala Lutheran Church yesterday! Immanuel Lutheran Church in Wentzville, Missouri partners with Butangala and we had the pleasure of Pastor Jason getting to preach at the service. Also, the team had "rehearsed" (i.e. sang it twice on the drive), "Here I am to Worship" and sang it as the anthem as well. Violet insists we "nailed it". At any rate, our hearts were in the right places. It was a beautiful service.
Afterwards, we moved to the new latrine and had the official ribbon cutting. The five members of Immanuel ceremoniously cut the ribbon and viewed the new structure. Truly, these latrines are a huge step towards better hygiene in the villages and schools.
Entertainment was next. These kids can sing and dance! Part of the Christmas gift from Immanuel was new costumes for the dancers. These will be used in the competitions they participate in. We received a great explanation of the various instruments the kids play; they blew us away with this newly acquired skill.
Packets for all the sponsored students came next. This team was SO ORGANIZED! They were running on all cylinders yesterday and the process went smoothly. We are letting the kids use some photo booth props for their photos this time; you will LOVE the result, sponsors!
At the same time, MIchelle, Lauren, and Julie A. went with Mariah to meet with 25 girls who were receiving their Days for GIrls kits. These kits provide girls with feminine hygiene items that allow them to attend school all month. This is another means of improving both educational performance and health and wellness in the schools. The ladies did an awesome job during the training and the girls were all smiles afterwards.
Distribution of bedding kits to the 25 most-recently sponsored students came next. These include a mattress, mosquito net, and a blanket. Donations were again from Christmas at Immanuel. After seeing where some children sleep the day before, this gift meant even more to the team as they each presented the kit to the child and their guardian.
Lunch was next; it was hot by this time. We crowded into the small school office and felt a bit like a pizza in an oven! Our team pic was last - bad team leader for that scheduling! :(
We got back to the hotel around 5:00 and showered in time to catch the boat for a ride on the Nile by 5:30. After a brief erroneous walk to the railway bridge, we found our driver and had a lovely evening cruising the Nile. And we saw monkeys; that's always a good day.
Wow, it was a jam-packed day. Kudos to this team for their energy and passion for what we are trying to accomplish. They are rock stars in my mind and quite willing servants.
Thank you for the continued prayers for safety, good health, and productivity!
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.