Monday, March 30, 2009

Our Photo Safari

Queen Elizabeth Park boasts thousands of acres where elephants, lions, waterbuck, water buffalo, wart hogs, hyenas and other creatures roam. Innumerable species of birds flit from tree to tree and glide above the earth. We drove through the park and caught such sights as a family of wart hogs running with an apparent purpose in mind. There was a big one in front, three babies in the middle and another large wart hog bringing up the rear. We’d round a bend and once again spot the family running as quickly as their little legs would carry them. They were so adorable!
Later when we stopped for lunch Joan and I bravely sneaked up on a warthog snoozing and had our picture taken.

We took a leisurely boat ride along the channel among the crocs and hippos. We were thrilled to see a lion sleeping beneath a tree along shore. Our captain managed to get near enough for us to photograph him. It was difficult to see him through the shadows of the branches so you can imagine our delight when he stretched and sauntered away allowing us to take great shots.

A small band of elephants were frolicking in the water and as we neared the eldest trumpeted and slapped the water with his trunk driving the group up the bank and to safety.

This was Pastor Ruth’s first boat ride and although she was reluctant to go she soon relaxed and enjoyed the ride. She would jump slightly when an alligator slithered out of the water or the hippos snorted and came to the surface a little to close for her comfort.

We all were pleased with our enchanting day in the park and as we returned to our guesthouses wondered if Elizabeth had an equally enjoyable day photographing and registering 100+ children for the sponsorship program;)

Landing in Uganda

We landed in Entebbe Uganda late in the evening and stepped into the refreshing cool air. We had arrived! It was so good to be in the land many of us have grown to love. For Jonathan, Doug, Joan and John it was a first step toward a new and glorious adventure.

Pastor Ruth, Andrew—our tech guy, and our driver Bobby, met us. After an exciting exchange we loaded the bus and headed to our hotel and a bed! Oh how good it felt to lie down flat after hours of flying!

We were up early the next day and drove to Fort Portal. What stunning countryside! We ooohed and awed most of the way. There are mountains and valleys and everything is so richly green. Joan and John are from Colorado and agreed it was similar to a Rocky Mountain high. Each time we rounded a curve the view was amazing!

We pulled up to Evelyn’s house of Outreach to Africa just in time for lunch. She showed us her school and shared her vision for the future of the school with us. We met students and teachers and were amazed with the quality and how cheerfully decorated everything looked.

Outreach to Africa is a fairly new partner for Hope 4 Kids International. We will be sponsoring children within their school. Evelyn does so much to reach out to the community around Fort Portal. She constantly holds crusades, conferences and humanitarian efforts to those rejected by society. She crosses the river to the Congo and reaches out to the Pygmy community. Evelyn writes of their efforts: “So far we were able to give them clothes, hoes, axes, seed, soap and salt. These are basic needs, which are like an unreachable dream for them. We have hired 2 teachers and 1 pastor. They have adult literacy classes as well as educating the children. They are using a temporary building made of mud, sticks and grass for a church/school. The Gospel is being preached and several have given their lives to the Lord.”

There is a chance the November team will have the opportunity to meet these special people. Watch for more details.

From there our little group met up with the bishop and his son James. We toured land purchased for Sunshine House by friends of Hope 4 Kids International. Like the rest of the country it is breathtakingly lush. We stood at the site where we will be drilling a well. This well will be located near a school and will serve the whole community.

We saw where James and his family live and met his son Sam, named after our Arizona Senator, Sam Crump. Arriving at last at Sunshine House where we support 52 orphans. They delighted us with songs and the girls laid out their handcrafts offering us the opportunity to purchase necklaces, purses and hats. Each girl pointed out what was made by her and we made certain we bought something from everyone.

Our weary cluster was dropped off at two different guesthouses and Elizabeth had the privilege of staying at Evelyn’s.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm in Uganda

I’m in Uganda. It was kind of a last minute opportunity and I kept as quiet as I could about it because I wanted to surprise Pastor Ruth with my visit. It worked. She thought she was meeting my brother at the airport and was totally shocked when she saw I was with him.

This is my twelfth trip to Uganda in a little over five years. This is the first trip without Robert. I hated to say goodbye to him but he was unable to accompany me this time. We will skype and keep in touch as best we can.

It’s a challenge without Robert. He does everything for me—brings me coffee in the morning, packs my lunch. . . we keep bottled water in our room refrigerators and I noticed I was down to one bottle and it confused me as to how that happened. It occurred to me that the refrigerator isn’t restocked automatically! Robert usually does it!! So now I have learned to get my own coffee and stock my own frig!

I’m here with my brother Tom—founding president of Hope 4 Kids International, our sister Joan and her husband John, Elizabeth—Hope 4 Kids International director of sponsorship program; and two friends-Jonathan and Doug. Our group of seven endured the LONG trip and are anxious to play out our roles.

You will find my personal experiences here on my blog but if you click on my book in left side of my blog it will take you to the homepage of the Hope 4 Kids website. On the homepage if you look toward the left bottom half of the page you will see a link for trip blog and trip photos—that’s where I will be posting most of our photos. I will also be sharing information/ updates on the other team members on the h4ki trip blog.

The internet is challenging so after being here almost a week I'm finally able to post a few things.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pillow Case Dressses for the Children of Uganda

I just made this dress from a pillow case. Isn't it great? I will be taking pillow cases to Uganda and will teach the women in the tailoring programs to make them for the many little girls who desperately need clothing. If you would like to be a part of this program and can send pillow cases, bias tape, and/or elastic please let me know.
Also if anyone has ideas/patterns for making something for boys out of these pillowcases please leave a comment and I will get back to you.
Thank you for helping clothe the children of Uganda.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pastor Ruth meets the President of Uganda

Representatives throughout Uganda gathered to hear the president speak on the memorandum of understanding with the government. Pastor Ruth was asked to give the opening prayer.

After the speech the representatives from each town were to gather and pose for a photo with the president. For some reason Pastor Ruth was delayed and when she arrived outdoors to the photo shoot was told, “The representatives from Tororo have already taken their photos. You missed it.”

Pastor Ruth is not one to take things meekly and began to argue with the people in charge. The president was standing beneath a tree within earshot and asked his aide, “Is that the woman who gave the opening prayer?”


The president looked to Pastor Ruth. “You haven’t taken a photo?”


“You come,” he signaled to her.

As Pastor Ruth stepped forward everyone stood aside for the president had given her the invitation to approach him.

“You have this rare opportunity to have a photo with me. Just the two of us.”

Pastor Ruth stepped forward and shook his hand and the photographers snapped two pictures. What a thrill for her that day.

Divine Intervention of Prostitutes Program

Pascalina has started school! If you remember she was forced to drop out in fourth grade in order to help support her family. She wanted desperately to return to school and didn’t mind that she is 26 and will be in class with fourth graders. The school tested her and placed her in the sixth grade. She catches on quickly and is eager to learn.Doesn't she look great in her new uniform and school shoes??

Fiona is doing well as she waits for us to open the hair salon so she can begin her training. She agreed to change her phone number in order to cut herself off from the past company/customers. She works around the house and visits Pastor Ruth’s tailoring classes.

Gladys is excelling in her tailoring lessons. She’s a single mother and is always on time for class and is so excited to be a part of the program. I’ve not met her as she is replacing Annette whose boyfriend was her pimp and wouldn’t release her to attend our program.

Jessica was a prostitute until she met the Lord. When she heard about our program she offered to mentor the girls. She does the purchasing of food and supplies each month and has been very prompt in sending reports of the expenditures.

The girls are attending church and learning that God loves them and is on their side.

If you have not read about this exciting program scroll down to “Seven Prostitutes. . . “