August Update – Thankful for steadfast love! ❤

August Update – Thankful for steadfast love! ❤

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:22-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Here is the latest from Uganda


Lockdown

The lockdown has been eased somewhat, with more transportation allowed and some public places allowed to open, but churches and schools are still closed. The government has said that they will remain closed until they receive shipments of vaccines. They are hoping for some Johnson & Johnson vaccines to arrive this month. As we shared before, our rice and beans fund has been sustaining many families. Herbert told me that a group of pastors came to him and asked if they had any food to share. That’s exactly what they did! Your five loaves and two fishes have been multiplied and are feeding not only our own families, but many others as well! Thank you so much for giving to our Rice and Beans fund!


Schools

Most of our children have finished their curriculum for the end of the school year from home. This has been a difficult undertaking, but they have persevered. Please pray that they will be able to return to class when the new school year is scheduled to begin in Sept.


National Exams

I shared with you a few months ago that in March & April 2021, many of our children were taking their P7, S4, & S6 national exams. We just received the results for P7 and S4 and all of our children passed the exams! We are so proud of them! They have all worked so hard in such challenging circumstances and their hard work has paid off.

For our kids in P7, their scores will determine what secondary school they can attend. Shibah, Isaac Musazizi, Becky, Emmanuel Miracle & Joseline all received great scores with Joseline coming out on top. She has dreams of being a doctor, and is now well on her way!

Our kids in Secondary 4 (Hawa, Zula, Georgina, Jovia Namubiru, Joshua Aliima, Phionah, Zaake, Deborah Kirabo, Jovia Kisakye, David Senabulya, and Jeremiah Katumba- who had the highest score!) now have a decision to make. Pray for them as they look at their options for vocational school or continuing on to S5-6 & potentially college. Herbert and the team are meeting with each of them individually to evaluate their scores, listen to their dreams, and help guide them in the best path forward. Our higher education fund fills in the gap between the cost of sponsorship and the cost of vocational school or college. We are excited to provide our kids with these opportunities to continue their education!


Victory House Phase 3

We are getting closer and closer to having a dormitory for boys as the construction on VH Phase 3 continues! As of today, the concrete casting is done, the dormitory ceiling is in progress, and the finishing work will all begin tomorrow. It’s amazing how God is continuing to provide for this project. We just send whatever comes in each month, and trust God to multiply it and use it for his glory. That’s exactly what he’s doing! Thanks so much for your faithful help with this important project.


Exciting News!

I am so happy to share with you that Noeline Akiiki, our longtime administrator for V127 in Uganda, was recently engaged to be married! Noeline is thoughtful, sweet, kind, compassionate, diligent, smart, and hard-working and she is a critical part of everything we do. We couldn’t be happier for her as she and Joel plan their new life together. Their wedding will be Dec 28th. We sure wish we could be there to celebrate with them in person, but we will rejoicing with them from across the ocean!


V127 Grandchildren

Finally, as we continue to rejoice in God’s faithfulness, love and provision, I wanted to give you an update on our two V127 grandbabies. 🥰

Joyce was in of our first group of children in 2013. She lost both of her parents to HIV and took care of 4 siblings as a young teen herself. We watched her study and grow & become an accomplished young woman and we were so privileged to attend her wedding in Oct of 2019.

Below is a new picture of her baby girl Jada, who is blessed with two parents who love Jesus and love her! Praise God!

Annet was our very first V127 child. She was on her own, just trying to figure out how to finish school when we first met her. We watched her blossom into a beautiful young woman with an incredible gift for fashion and design, and rejoiced with her as she married Edward, the assistant pastor of Victory Covenant church. This is their beautiful Eliana, who is checking out the photographer and no doubt has a lot going on in that precious head of hers. So so grateful for the next generation and the impact they will have, all because of the love and sacrifice of each of you.


“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬


I love this passage. I look at each one of our V127 children (all 147 of them ❤️️) as our “Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor”.

So thankful for you…

Much Love,
Jan

July Update – Reminders of His Faithfulness

July Update – Reminders of His Faithfulness

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:2-4 NLT

Here is the latest from Uganda


Victory House

We have a roof on Victory House!  The trusses are up and the metal sheeting was just completed last night. This means we are one step closer to our dream of having a dormitory for boys! Hallelujah! Our construction team is working diligently and they have had some awesome additional help lately. Some of our older boys, who live nearby, joined the workers after they were sent home from school due to the lockdown!  They are working on Victory House during the day and their studies at night. This includes Pasco, Alan, Julius, Jeremiah, Joel, Samuel, & Alvin. They are gaining valuable experience & we are so grateful for their help! Thank you to those of you who are faithfully supporting this project.


Schools

After all of our children were sent home from their schools in the lockdown, our team worked feverishly to copy and print curriculum for each of our kids to finish the last six weeks of the school year at home. You can imagine the many challenges involved in our kids being home to do their work (no electricity, minimal space, lack of support, etc), but our team is doing all they can to help them succeed. Pictured below are Hannah & Hadassah Daniels (top), Rebecca Nanyonjo & Emmanuel Ssemanda (middle/left), and Derick Akampulira. 


COVID-19

COVID cases were surging as our children were sent home from school in the lockdown. Many of them came home sick, and then infected other family members. Our own Pastor Herbert and his wife Deborah have also battled COVID. They are doing much better and we are so grateful, but they were very sick and it is only by God’s grace that they are not one of the statistics. Many have lost their lives in this wave of the virus. Herbert told me that they lost 15 pastors in two weeks. Herbert also lost his brother-in-law and an uncle to COVID. He said that in a place with few ambulances, you could hear them going by every five minutes, and there wasn’t a family who hasn’t been affected in some way. Please continue to pray for your child, & for all of our children & families during this difficult time.


Lockdown

Shortly after my last email the lockdown became more strict, and our rice and beans contribution has literally sustained many families. Our team was able to purchase and then distribute rice, beans, flour, etc, as well as bar soap and they are so so grateful for our help.

Herbert has been one of the few who has been able to get around during this lockdown, because his vehicle is considered a service truck and as long as he has a good reason, they are allowing him to travel a few places. He said “Me and the Lord’s truck…not any one person can stop us moving by God’s grace!” 🙂 He is purchasing and delivering the food himself, since no one else is allowed in his vehicle. Thank you so much for all of your help with Rice and Beans!


As you can see, the challenges our Ugandan friends are facing are many, but they are seeing God’s faithfulness in living color. They are literally depending on Him for their every meal, and for their very lives. That dependence brings a joy and faith that will weather any storm. I love the lyrics of this song by Bethel Music

“Remember how our God has never failed, never failed us
Remember that his name will make a way, He’ll make a way.
From the cross to the grave, He is risen and He reigns.
O praise the Lord, and sing his praise again”

We will continue to sing and praise our faithful God, and pray for our Ugandan friends who have become so dear to our hearts.

“I see joy rising, I hear hope calling, I see fear hiding, I hear chains falling, I see walls shaking, I hear doubt running, cause my God’s on his way. Yes He is coming!”
(“Now Here” by Red Rocks Worship)

Much Love,
Jan

V127 June Update – Prayer Needed

V127 June Update – Prayer Needed

Dear Friends,

I just heard from Pastor Herbert that there has been a recent surge in Covid cases in Uganda. (They have had a very difficult time getting the vaccine there, and less than 1% of the population has been vaccinated.) As a result, the president made an emergency announcement Sunday evening that all churches and schools will be closed for the next six weeks. The children have until this Thursday to return to their homes, and then travel restrictions will be implemented. There will be no public transportation, and limited cars allowed on the road with no travel between districts. 

Our team is hard at work trying to pick up all of our children from their respective schools (some are a couple of hours away). Then our teachers and administrators will regroup and print materials for the remaining six weeks of the school year, so the children can finish their curriculum. As you can imagine, this is a very challenging time for our team & an incredibly difficult time for our families.

I asked Herbert how we can help them the most, and he asked us to first of all pray for the health of our children and families. He also said that our rice and beans donation this month will be critical to the health and survival of many. In the last lockdown food was very scarce for those who were not able to move about due to travel restrictions. I will be sending our regular June support later this week, so If you would like to help us with the provision of food through our rice and beans fund, you can do so here

We realized in the last lockdown just how important it was for our team to have a way to grow their own food to support our families. Our Noeline planted a garden last year on the rooftop of our school, and it did really well! That led us to expand our vision, and with the funds left over from the second term of school in 2020 (when our kids were in lockdown), we have been trying to purchase a piece of farmland for that very purpose. Our team found a parcel of land that Herbert thinks will a great fit for our needs, but he is still in the negotiation stage with the owners. Please pray that if this is the right piece of land for us, then God will make a way.


Construction on Phase 3 of Victory House has reached another milestone! Many of our young men are in desperate need of a bed and a roof over their heads… we already have a great team who will shower them with love! We just received an estimate that it will cost around $7300 to complete the roof of Victory House. God has already provided $2500 for the construction this month, so continue to pray for His provision for our roof. 


Many of you have asked about the National exams that some of our children took in March and April. The results are supposed to be released in July, but that may also be affected by this lockdown. I’ll let you know as soon as I get any news.

Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your help. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel. This is a scary and uncertain time for our children, so I’m encouraging you to take a few minutes to write them some words of encouragement. Never underestimate the power of your words…they read your letters over and over again! We know that none of this is a surprise to our great God. He has promised that He is always walking with us, and He will help us through every challenge. This has been one of my favorite verses since I first fell in love with Jesus…

“Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with my right hand of righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

Regardless of our circumstances, we can have confidence that God is always working, and it’s always good!

Finally, please pray for our friends and family at the Fairview Baptist Church. This is a small church in WV that has come alongside our ministry in a big way. They are sending our Shumayiya through medical school and faithfully give to our rice and beans fund and special projects. Their Pastor and Shepherd of 14 years, Mike McCoy, died of a heart attack on June 2. He was 57 years old. Please pray for his family and church family as they process their own grief while continuing to minister in their community and around the world.

The passing of Pastor Mike is a profound reminder that life is short. How are we spending our days? Are we making choices that glorify our Father and further his kingdom? Certainly the way that we are loving and providing for the neediest of the needy in Uganda is close to our Savior’s heart. May we all live each day as if it was our last, and love love love everyone that our Lord puts in our path.

Much Love,
Jan

Happy Mother’s Day from V127!

Happy Mother’s Day from V127!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of our amazing moms! Thank you for your sacrifice and for your commitment to your families. Thank you for shining your light for Jesus so brightly in the way that you love your children.

I wanted to spotlight for you today one of our courageous Ugandan mommas. Faith’s story is very similar to many of our mothers…persevering through extreme hardship to insure the survival of their children.

Faith lost her husband to HIV about 10 years ago. She also lives with HIV, as she has struggled to care for her 3 beautiful children. She sells snacks along the road and makes various crafts to try to provide for her family. They live in a a small one room house, with very little of anything, yet the joy and gratitude that exudes from them is so inspiring. Her children, Judith, Mathias, and Jonathan are all sweet, funny, thoughtful, smart, and creative. When all three kids were sponsored through V127, it was a huge relief to Faith to know that they would now be able to get an education that she could not provide for them. Judith is hoping to attend university in the fall, Mathias is in vocational school studying Building and Construction, and Jonathan is a hard working 6th grader. I will never forget the tears in Faith’s eyes and the gratitude in her heart the first time I met her. She is so so grateful for those who are helping her children.

So on behalf of all of our Ugandan mommas, I want to say Thank You for the way you are investing in their children and giving them opportunities that their mom’s could only dream of. God is richly providing through all of you and its a beautiful thing to see.

On a side note, on our first trip to Uganda, Faith’s children showed me that they each had a small plastic box to hold their possessions. They pulled out every letter they had ever received from their sponsors, and it was evident that they are precious treasures that they read over and over. Never underestimate the power of your words in your child’s life. (If you haven’t written to your child lately, you can do so here!


Construction Update


Construction is ongoing on Phase 3 of Victory House! Thank you to all of you who are helping us with this project. This third floor will be our very first dormitory for boys. We have several boys who are living with our teachers on the first floor (sleeping on the bunk beds that you provided), so they are all excited about getting this space of their own. (No one is more excited than the teachers! 🙂 )

This is a video we received this week of the construction in progress!


Farmland


Finally, I wanted to share with you that our team in Uganda has been diligently searching for the right piece of farmland for our ministry since this time last year, when God provided $11,000 for the land purchase. Herbert is very excited about a 30 acre lot they have discovered that is very fertile and has been idle for 15 years. The owner doesn’t want to subdivide, but he is only asking $990 per acre. (About half of the going price) That would mean that we could potentially get about 11 acres instead of the 5 we were hoping for.

Herbert has asked us to pray that he will find someone who would be willing to go in with him on the land purchase, and they would buy the 19 acres, while we could buy the 11. This land would be great for growing bananas, potatoes, other fruits and vegetables that would help to sustain our families and provide an agricultural education for many of our kids. Please continue to pray for God’s guidance and direction. We are trusting Him and believing the right piece of land is coming to us in His perfect timing!


I leave you with these verses that I’ve been meditating on all week…

“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭

Are we praying and then waiting expectantly for God to answer? Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4-6 that the very act of bringing our requests to our Father with gratitude in our hearts, brings us a peace that “surpasses all understanding”.
Greater faith…more peace and gratitude and joy in our hearts…that is my prayer for each of us today.

Much Love,
Jan

V127 April Update

V127 April Update

Dear Friends, 

Thank you so much for your prayers and for your help with our bunk bed project. Our first group of girls moved into the Joanne Gentile Dormitory for Girls at Victory House, and they are all so grateful to be there. Above is a picture of them in their new beds!

Two of our girls, Jovia & Precious, were living in a small shack when we first met them 8 years ago. They lost their mother to HIV and moved into the House of Hope with their 3 siblings. When their older sister Joyce got married, they moved into Herbert’s house ( It is common for Herbert and Deborah to have 6-8 extra children living with them in their small house).

This dormitory will provide them a beautiful and spacious place to live with other girls their age and adults who will continue to love and care for them.


Construction Update


We shared with you before that our next construction project will be Phase 3 of Victory House, which will include a boarding section for boys. The blocks have all been completed for the third floor and construction is once again underway. 

Thank you to all of you who are helping us with this project. Whatever comes in each month is sent to continue the work, and we are trusting God to provide what we need. He is so faithful!


In-Person Learning!


 We are very grateful that our children have been able to return to in-person learning. We have received a few pictures of them hard at work in their classrooms, and we are happy to share them with you! 

Continue to pray for your child as they are working hard to make up for lost time. Many of our kids recently finished their national exams which will determine what school they are next qualified to attend. We are hoping for those results soon.


Rice & Beans


 Our youth group here at MVC has recently adopted our Rice and Beans fund as their missions project. We are excited to help these young people catch a vision for helping those who are less fortunate. 

Their goal was to collect $35 a month to send to Uganda for food, but the first month they collect $70 and the next month they collected $170! Praise God!

Pastor Herbert made this video to share a little more about the importance of our rice and beans fund and to share his appreciation not only to the youth, but to all of you who are so faithful to support our rice and beans fund. So many of our families struggle to feed their children, and the gift of food brings not only nourishment, but most importantly, Hope.


Finally, I just want to mention how grateful we are for all of our sponsors. There is a map on the website that shows all of the states where our sponsors live. It is amazing that we now cover most of the East Coast! We would love to spread our wings farther to the west, so if you have friends and family who would be interested in investing in the life of a Ugandan child, please be our ambassadors and share the ministry with them!

Be encouraged today, my friends. God is doing a mighty work in and among us! I love this passage…

“But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and to keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:18-22

Help is on the way, and our hope is secured!

Much Love,

Jan

Bunk Bed Update!

Bunk Bed Update!

Dear Friends,

I am marveling yet again at God’s faithfulness to provide above and beyond all we could ask or think! We presented a need last week for bunk beds and mattresses for our very first dormitory at Victory House. We needed 22 bunk beds plus mattresses for our girls dorm, and 10 bunk beds and mattresses for boys who will be staying with the teachers on the ground floor of Victory House until construction of the boys dorm is completed. We were praying for God to provide a total of 32 bunk beds. 

God provided (through the generosity of so many of you) the funds for 47 beds! What makes this even more amazing is that when the boys dorm is complete we would have needed those additional 15 beds. God just went ahead and provided now for the extra 15 beds we will need in the future! We currently have the funding for all of the beds and mattresses for both the girls and boys dormitories. Hallelujah! Praise God! With tears in my eyes I encourage you today to trust your Father to provide for you in every area of your life. He loves you, He knows your need, and He longs for you to fully depend on Him. 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen” Phil 4:19-20

I am sending the funds today; our first set of 10 bunk beds will be delivered this weekend, and our first group of girls will move in to the “Joanne Gentile Dormitory for Girls” next week! Our girls dorm is named after one of our long time sponsors, Joanne Gentile. Joanne went home to be with Jesus a few months ago but had a huge heart for missions, and her memorial fund has been a sweet encouragement to the ministry.

Praising God for His many blessings, including each one of you!

Much Love,

Jan

Victory House 🏠 Phase 2 Completed!

Victory House 🏠 Phase 2 Completed!

Dear Friends,

Victory House Phase 2 is complete! Praise God! This is our very first boarding section for our school and it will be a dormitory for girls. We will be able to house 44 girls there, and there are also bathrooms, 4 housing units for our teachers and a housing unit for the Dorm Mother. Here is the layout and some pictures of the completed project!

We started this project in March of 2020 with $5000 and God has graciously provided enough each month to keep the construction moving. We were able to finish the construction for $38,000. The fact that we have been able to complete this project in the midst of the pandemic is even more amazing. Thank you so much to those of you who have prayed and given so generously. It will be such a blessing to our Ugandan family!

This is a picture of our Teacher Diana, who had 8 children living with her in her small two room unit at Victory House last year. This new boarding section will give them all room to breathe!


New Need!

We now need to purchase bunk beds and mattresses for the dormitory. We need 22 bunk beds + 44 mattresses for the girls, and 10 bunk beds + 20 mattresses for boys who will be staying with the teachers on the ground floor until we can build a boys boarding section.

The bunk beds are $120, and two mattresses are $55, or $175 for the set. If you would like to help us buy a bed, mattresses, or a whole set, go to v127.org/give and choose construction fund. Designate your gift for beds for our kids! Thank you so much!


What’s next?

As we complete one project, we are always praying about what’s next. The question that continues to guide us is “What is the greatest need right now?”. The answer to that question is a boarding section for boys. Soooo….our next project, which will get underway this month, is Victory House Phase 3! This will be the third floor of Victory House and consist of a dormitory for boys, bathrooms, a room for the dorm supervisor, a lounge, and one more housing unit for our teachers. Here are the latest plans, drawn by our very own civil engineer, Julie Wandera. 

Pray with us as we embark on this next leg of our construction journey. We are trusting God to provide exactly what we need. On our first trip to Uganda, we were so struck by the deplorable living conditions of our children. I told Herbert that we had to somehow provide better housing for our children, our teachers, our families. We also knew that we were in desperate need of school facilities, with a kitchen and bathrooms. That was in Feb 2017, and in the last four years, God has provided not only two floors of our Victory Primary School, but also two floors of Victory House where teachers and children can live in much better conditions in close proximity to the school. Providing a safe place to live continues to be a priority as we seek to better the lives of the children and families that God has entrusted to our care.

If you would like to buy a bed, or help us with Victory House Phase 3, you can go to v127.org/give and choose construction. Also, you can go to the current projects page to see the latest pictures, progress, and updates!

“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” Psalm 127:1a

Don’t forget to pray for your child today <3

Much Love,
Jan

V127 February Update

V127 February Update

“Dear Friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love each other, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:11-12

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you all feel very loved and appreciated today and every day. There would be no V127 without our sponsors and supporters. We are able to do what we do because of your generous hearts and we are so grateful for each one of you.


I’m excited to share with you that we have recently been blessed with our second V127 grandbaby! We were so privileged on our last trip to Uganda in Oct 2019 to see our Joyce Nakawesi, (one of our our first V127 children who lost both of her parents to HIV), put on a beautiful white gown and marry a kind, thoughtful, godly man named Frank. Now they have become parents to beautiful Jada Kerons! The joy on their faces brings tears to my eyes, and the fact that little Jada was born into a stable, loving home is a continued testament to God’s faithfulness. We are so happy for Joyce and Frank!


The return to school plan in Uganda has remained fluid, just as it has in the United States. You probably know by now that tremendous pressure is put upon the kids in P7, S4, & S6 to do well on national exams in order to continue their studies. Those kids returned to school in January and are in class from early until late, for the exams that are normally in November are now being held in March. Other students are being staggered in their return to classes. Pre-candidate classes (P6, S3, & S5) are returning the last weekend in February, and most other classes will return in March or early April, except for the youngest primary kids who won’t return until June after the older primary kids have finished a term. (This will enable them to maintain some social distance.) The higher education kids are all returning in the next few weeks. Everything there is nationally mandated, so our team is working hard to be compliant, and still ensure all of our children are safe & learning wherever they are. It’s confusing and complicated, much like here, so continue to pray for our team and especially our children in these challenging times.


I was so encouraged by a letter that we just received from our Edith Nakabanda to her sponsor Donelle. Here is an excerpt:

“This pandemic has changed many things. Some people have died, some have lost their jobs, and some have lost their loved ones. But I thank God that we are still together as a church. Even though people have faced a lot of challenges, I thank God that some of us have learned other activities. For example, I have learned how to prepare some meals, like baking chapati, pancakes, and samosas. I have also learned to share the little that I have with the needy, helping and teaching others to be patient & trust God who is the answer to every question. God has done miracles! Even though we couldn’t gather for church services, small groups and home cells have been introduced. We have been praying together from home, and this helps us never to forget God and his wonderful doings. I have not forgotten to pray for you and your community. I love you so much & I thank you for the gifts. You really are a good sister to me.”


Phase 2 of Victory House is nearing completion. Praise God! I am hoping to have more details and pictures for you soon, and also news on our next construction project!


We currently have 9 kids in Higher Education. If you haven’t recently, go to V127.org to see Shumayiya, Julius, Mathias, Angel N, James, Angel M, Hillary, Dorine, and Davis. They are studying Medicine, Agribusiness, Building and Construction, Electricity, Water engineering, Catering and Hotel Management, Fashion and Design, and Mechanics. We are so proud of them! All of our kids are amazing and talented and gifted in their own ways, and we are excited to come alongside them in their educational pursuits.


This recent letter from our Deborah Kirabo to her sponsor Laura, underscores just how much our Ugandan friends long for an opportunity to get an education. It’s something we take for granted here in the USA, but is a great privilege for those in Uganda, and the cornerstone of our ministry.

“How is everyone there? On my side, I am doing well at school because I have been blessed with the one thing everyone would like to acquire in this life and that is an education. Honestly, I am so thankful to God for the gift that he has brought into my life and that is Laura, who is always thinking about me, loving me, and caring for me. I want God to bless you as you continue to bless me with education, and I want God to bless us with more knowledge and understanding as we seek after Him. I received a letter from you and that relieved my heart to know that you are fine. I know that he has promised to be with us in the fire and in the storm and we shall walk and not get tired. (The pandemic) is a storm that shook all countries, but He is with us and I believe He will be with you in each and every situation as you continue to seek his presence in your life.”

We have 147 amazing kids. Don’t forget to pray for your child today

Much Love,

Jan

Christmas in Uganda!

Christmas in Uganda!

Dear Friends,

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your families and a great start to this new year! I know there are many challenges for all of us, but I’m so grateful for God’s continued faithfulness and the joy and hope we have in Christ!

One unexpected challenge for our V127 team in Uganda was that the Christmas funds did not arrive until the week before Christmas. (We’re so grateful they finally got there…Thank you so much for your prayers!) Our team leapt into action and did an amazing job of accomplishing all of our objectives in a very short period of time.

Here are some highlights!


On Dec 20th, our teenagers led three Children’s Christmas services, with around 100 people at each one. They ushered, led praise and worship, preached, and led in prayer. The children and all of those who were ministering that day were fed a hearty meal as they celebrated the birth of Christ!


On Christmas Eve, over 400 families from the community were invited to the church in shifts to receive a love gift of 5 lbs of beef and 5 lbs of rice. This was a huge outreach by the members of Victory Covenant Church to invite their friends and neighbors to come to the church on Christmas Eve, hear about the love of Jesus, and go home with food for Christmas dinner!


Also on Christmas Eve, our team invited police officers to the church so that we could express our appreciation for their service, and as an opportunity to tell them about Jesus. They were given a gift of 6 lbs of beef and 6 lbs of rice as well as sodas and live chickens! 52 police officers showed up! The new police commander in the area could not believe what was happening. He said he had served the country for 35 years and had never before experienced such a gesture of goodwill. The officers are paid very little and live in deplorable conditions, so the gift was much appreciated!


I had asked Pastor Herbert to please bless our hardworking team this Christmas with gifts for them too. They were each given bananas, chicken, rice, potatoes and soda! This gift package was also given to all of the families that we help with our V127 rice and beans fund. They were all so excited!


Our team “shopped till they dropped” for our 147 children. They assembled gift bags for each of them that included a new pair of school shoes, pants, dresses, underclothes, handbags for the girls, balls for the boys, chocolate, biscuits (cookies), and a soda!

Not all of the kids were able to be at the church for Christmas, so the team is distributing the gifts as they see them. Hopefully by the end of this month they will all have received their gifts! We are beginning to get some letters in from the kids and they are all so sweet.


Finally, on Dec 26th, our team hosted their annual marriage seminar with 75 couples in attendance. The couples attended classes on the importance and sanctity of marriage, the roles of husband and wife, and what it truly means to love and respect one another. Lunch was also provided as the final component of our Christmas project.

I want to offer my sincerest thanks for your prayers and support for our 2020 Christmas Celebration in Uganda, but these words from our V127 children say it better than I ever could.😊

From Faith K:
“Let me take this opportunity to thank you for the Christmas gifts. You’ve really made my Christmas so joyful. May God bless you for the new shoes, deodorant, purse, nickers, and the snacks. I am just too grateful…”

From Favour:
“First of all, I would like to thank you for the kindess you have shown me by paying my school fees and sending me gifts. I am so happy I got shoes, biscuits, chocolate, gorillos, and a vest! May God bless you for the work you have done for me. You asked about my best friend. I have a best friend and his name is Jesus. With Jesus I am never alone.”

From Gideon:
“Thank you for my shoes, watch, ball, pants, socks, chocolate, biscuit, and sweets. I pray for you.”

From David S:
“I want to take this opportunity to appreciate you for all you’ve done for me. The sponsorship, it is a great pillar of my today. The gifts, they are another source of joy in my life. I greatly treasure your words. May the Almighty richly bless you.”

Please continue to pray for peace as the Ugandan presidential elections are this month, and the turmoil and violence are escalating.

Our Jeremiah Katumba finished a letter to his sponsor with these words:
“I have written to thank you for the Christmas gifts you sent me. Thank you very much for everything. I believe that we can remember the birth of Jesus any day we wish, so Christmas really never ends. Uganda is voting (in January) and I expect to sit for my exams, so I request you to stand in prayer and call upon God’s mercy and pray for peace in Uganda.”

Much Love,

Jan

A Time for Thanksgiving!

A Time for Thanksgiving!

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭9:1-2

In this season of thankfulness, we are thanking God for His faithfulness and kindness, for His protection and His guidance.

Here are a few more specific things we are thankful for:


Your love and generosity as we raised funds for Christmas in Uganda this year. Our goal was to raise $10,000 and God provided $14,738 for our Christmas Celebration!

Pastor Herbert was overwhelmed at both the gift and the possibilities that it will afford. He said: “We can only pray a prayer of thanksgiving and loudly say Hallelujah to the King of Kings!” It will be so exciting to see the many ways our team uses this gift to bless others and share the love of Jesus this Christmas.


God’s provision for Victory House Phase 2.

Our team just finished the walls and is turning their attention to bathroom fixtures and tile work. In the midst of fundraising for Christmas, God also brought in $6,000 to continue the construction! Hallelujah! We are hoping that our children will be returning to school in January, and we would love to have this boarding section ready for those who need it by that time. It looks like we only need around $5,000 more to finish this project. 


God’s protection over our teachers and our team.

Last week the Uganda police came to the church and school with cameras and the press, prepared to arrest our teachers for helping our children who were homeschooling at the church. The teachers ran when they saw the police, but thankfully Herbert was there and he and Noeline spent two hours talking with the officers. Fortunately, one of the officers was familiar with V127, the annual Christmas celebration, and all that our team does for the children of the slums. They left without any arrests, but forbade our teachers from meeting with any groups of children at the school or church. Our children are now having to work all on their own, picking up and dropping off assignments once a week. Thank you for your continued prayers for them.


Our 118 sponsors, who sponsor our 147 children.

It was a huge effort collecting letters from everyone, but also incredibly rewarding to be able to send a personal letter for each child for Christmas. They will be so excited! You really are the heart and soul of this ministry and your investment in these children is priceless.

(The Gerard Family, from Holly, Michigan!)


On a personal note, I’m so thankful for new life. Our newest granddaughter, Clara Anne Crouthamel, was born on Nov 19th. She is a beautiful reminder of the new life we have in Christ! She is so blessed to have two parents who love her, and looking into her sweet face, I am more determined than ever to fight for our Ugandan children who don’t have parents to love and care for them. These children are born into unimaginable circumstances, yet are still created and used by God for His specific purposes. Every child is precious! 

We will continue to work on behalf of these children who just need someone to see them, to love them, and to give them a chance to succeed. We thank God for His many blessings along the way, and for the privilege of being a part of His Kingdom work.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭107:1‬ ‭

Praying for all of you <3

Happy Thanksgiving!

Much Love,
Jan