It was a long, incredible day for the team yesterday. We started with a devotion lead by Scott that was encouraging for all of us. Sometimes it is difficult for team members to fully grasp the impact they have during their visit. We all found encouragement in the reminder that God uses each of us in unique ways, every day. Blessed to be here - for sure!
We made the 45-minute drive to Kamuli first. What a gift that is; when Pastor Chuck and I first came to Uganda in 2005, this was a 4-hour drive, due to the condition of the roads! The paving is complete and the drive flew by (sometimes, it seemed, literally!)
There are 106 sponsored children in Kamuli and almost everyone of them was there to greet us, along with 250 other students in the school. We toured the grounds and saw where a piece of land has been purchased with some of the school fees; it will be used to relocate the latrine.
Packets were delivered and projects were completed with the kids. I love watching this team go into motion! They have lead the projects several times now and they know their jobs well! We also made bracelets with the women while the guys played volleyball and threw out ANOTHER 20 Lang Insurance frisbees! :)
We had a chance to buy some crafts from the women and enjoyed lunch with them. One of my favorite lunches is always in Kamuli - they make potato chips and they are DIVINE!
All too soon, it was time to leave. Those of us who sponsor kids here struggled with leaving just a bit; it is never easy. At the same time, it is so encouraging to see the health of these children and the quality of their school improve every time we are here.
We made visits to two other villages in the area after that. First stop was Buwaiswa. There is a small structure set up on borrowed land where they worship on Sundays and have started a school. The excitement in the air when we arrived was absolutely electric; so much joy. We visited for awhile and handed out bags to the women, frisbees to the kids, and sweeties to everyone we could find!
Next stop was Nakakabala. What a wonderful congregation and school! Again, very bleak conditions but so many smiles. We had t-shirts donated from Lutheran High - St. Charles, Messiah Lutheran Church in Weldon Spring, Salem Avenue Baptist Church in Rolla, MO, and many other friends. They were all represented in the massive t-shirt handout that took place in Nakakabala! We also had 20 pillowcase dresses to give to some deserving girls. There was a lot of celebrating.
We made the short journey home and "freshened up" for our visit to the All Friends Pizza Kitchen for dinner. Several of our staff joined us and it was a beautiful evening of good friends and good food. Some of the team opted to ride back to the hotel in the back of Charles' truck; Chuck and I were the only passengers for Julius on the bus. I have no control...... :)
We are making repeat visits to Kainagoga and Nakabango today. It will give us some time to visit with kids and the women, but it will be a tough day because it is our last in the villages. Please continue to pray for this team and those we are serving!
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.