What a great day! Today we arrived in Butangala around 11:00am, ready for a full day. We were greeted with waving branches and cheering women and children - they know how to make us feel welcome!
Butangala is a village that has come a very long way in the past few years. About 2 years ago, the congregation was meeting under a tarp and school was held in a very small brick building with a tin roof. Now, following a partnership with Immanuel Lutheran in Wentzville, MO, they have a much larger structure where school and church is held, as well as much more land that they can cultivate and use to benefit the village.
We began the day by walking the property line of Butangala, with several sweet children in tow. The leaders showed us where maize and beans are planted in the "school garden" and several rows of eucalyptus trees that will also benefit the village. Most of the crops from the garden are harvested for lunches in the school. What a great plan!
After our walking tour, we listened to reports from several leaders of the village. There is great progress being made and they are so grateful for the partnership with Immanuel Lutheran in Wentzville.
After reports and some entertainment, we began the process of meeting with the sponsorship kids. This time, we let them pick from a variety of hats and headbands which made for some darling photos that will be sent to sponsors. After pictures, kids began opening their packets. We cannot stress enough how huge a deal it is for these children to receive something from their sponsor. They treasure every gift, every picture, and every word that is sent to them and they are so grateful for the support they receive!
Sponsorship chaos was followed by a few crafts. We let the older kids paint some pictures while the younger children did a project with craft sticks and also a project involving some finger prints - all turned out darling! The love the attention they get from us and we cherish those little moments with them working together.
We also got a chance to visit the homes of a few members of Butangala. It is humbling to see where the children go after the fun of the day is over, and the women were so proud to show us their homes.
We are so impressed and excited with the progress that is taking place in Butangala. There is much work to be done but we are excited for continued growth!
The team is doing wonderfully. Each and every member has the "whatever-it-takes" attitude, which is a huge blessing. Thank you for your all your social media comments and continued prayers! - post by Madeline Stroder
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.