Thank you so very much for your prayers as we journeyed to Uganda for the first time in over three years. It was a great trip! God assembled an amazing team that worked, sacrificed, and persevered through some difficult situations to make a lasting impact on our community there. The trip was exciting, fulfilling, challenging, heart wrenching, and at times even a little sketchy with the challenges of a desperate, desolate country. Here are just a few of the things I wanted to make sure to share from the week.
One of the most emotional moments for me was when we walked through the gate at Victory House and saw the completed third and fourth floors where many of our kids are boarding. The dormitories are clean, welcoming, cozy, and an incredible place for our kids to stay who have come from very difficult living conditions. Each child has a trunk for all their belongings (they have pictures of their sponsors taped to the inside of the lid!) and a sturdy bunk bed with nice bedding and mosquito nets. These dorms were only a distant dream when we were there before, but to see how God has made it a reality was overwhelming. So, so grateful!!
Victory Primary School
Victory Primary School, just like our ministry, continues to grow taller and stronger. It was amazing to see the third and fourth floors of our school rising on the horizon when we pulled up there for the first time on this trip. These levels still need flooring and finishes and paint, but it’s all looking so good. We have 235 students enrolled in our school this year (80 of them are V127 children), so the additional classrooms and bathrooms will be a huge blessing. The large multipurpose room on the top floor is critically needed. We actually used it in its current state for a women’s meeting on Thursday evening, and for children’s church on Sunday morning! It will be so much nicer once it has an actual floor! That project will be hopefully finishing soon, as God provides the funds.
Our Scholarship Recipients
It was one of the greatest blessings of my life to spend time with some of our students who were in our very first group of V127 children, and who are now in vocational school and college. Angel was telling us that she is the only woman in her class studying electrical engineering, and she is loving every minute of it and so grateful for all she is learning! Judith shared that she is one of four women in her civil engineering class at Ndejje University, and they call her “Little Engineer” because she is so small. Judith has been telling me since our first trip there 6 years ago that she would be an engineer, and her hard work is making that dream a reality. I’m so proud of her! Also, Pius shared how he is very excited to start vocational school to study journalism. These kids have come from the depths of extreme poverty to be intelligent, kind, amazing young adults who are realizing their dreams. It’s such a privilege to watch it happen. Our scholarship fund is enabling over 30 kids to board at secondary school, and around 15 to attend vocational school and college. Thank you to those of you who are helping us with the scholarships needed to make that possible!
Teachers and Supplies
Our teachers were so excited when we opened the six duffels of supplies that we brought with us! They were playing with the puppets and learning new board games, loving the crafts, balls, and educational materials we brought. They clapped at everything we showed them! Thank you so much for helping us to provide them with many new toys and games that will enhance their teaching. They were also very excited about new name tags and personalized bags to carry to and from school. We are so grateful for our hard working teachers!
I was incredibly sad to see the condition of the playground at our school. The fence is falling down and the equipment inside is dilapidated and broken. It’s a safety hazard and I asked Pastor Herbert to please take the equipment out before someone gets seriously hurt. We are hoping to enlarge it and get new sturdy play equipment as one of our next projects. That will cost around $5000, a significant sum when we’re still working to fund finishing the third and fourth floors of the school, but elementary kids really need a safe place to play! Please pray with me for God’s provision.
I spent a lot of time with our kids talking about you. They wanted to know everything I knew about you! Derrick was asking how Jesse’s leg was feeling, Aaron was proudly telling me the names of every family member in his new photo, and Anisha couldn’t wait to show me where she put Charity’s photo in her trunk in the dormitory. They were all so excited about the letters and photos you sent. Thank you so much! They love you, they pray for you, and they are incredibly grateful for all you do. (And they read your letters over and over again)
Here’s an excerpt of a letter that our Jemimah just wrote to her sponsors. I was so touched by her words.
“Thank you for the love you have given me. I never expected to be loved by anyone since I am an orphan. I used to see myself as useless and not needed, but when you came into my life, that chapter was closed. You are always in my heart.”
The needs are vast and what we are doing is only a small drop in a very big bucket, but we will continue to do all we can to help those that God puts in front of us. I hear the Holy Spirit whispering in my heart “Just be faithful, one day at a time, and trust God to lead and guide you.” I believe He is whispering that to each one of us.
Thank you for journeying with us, for your prayers, and for being such an integral part of this ministry.
P.S. Our team also put together this video recap of our trip to share even more!