Sunday, August 28, 2011

Team 10

Yes this is us - the Next HopeBuilders team getting ready to head of to the Village of Hope

In a little under 3 weeks this lovely crew of 12 will be touching down in Jinja Uganda ready to serve the people at the Village of Hope. Some of us will be staying the whole time others of the team will be in the Village for a short time and then heading of to Rwanda to contribute to the work the Vanderzaag family is doing there through REACH. At the end we will all get together and finish off with a safari together.

Last night we had our last team meeting followed by a great Bon Fire night at Robert and Lyn's. This was a fundraiser to help contibute to the work that we will be doing at the Village. Some $1500 was recieved so thankyou to all those who chipped in!!!

We look foward to blogging from Uganda telling the stories of our teams adventures. Please pray for us.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where are we up to?

(more pictures to come)

As this ‘correspondent’ prepares to leave the country for a few weeks, I thought it would be a good time (well overdue) to update you all on where things are at at the village.

We are preparing the house 5 & 6 combination for the next intake of children to come in, hopefully at the end of September / early October. The houses are almost finished, although there is a bit of finishing off work for the next team that is coming in mid September. The kitchen is getting there, with the pre-slab plumbing finally happening this week to allow the slab to be finished, then the walls of the toilet / bathing rooms can go up. Then the roof can go on - just a cinch now that I have put a couple of house roofs on. We think that we will have no trouble making the deadline on these. So, tht gives more opportunities for you to sponsor a house. Check the hopebuilders website for details on how to go about this.
House 6 is the last to be built along that side of the block as it is near the front gate.

The water project has progressed a little since the wonderful Hank Noorbergen left. We have added spouting to Mama Rose’s house, and it now is collecting water to fill the 10,000 litre storage tank. Tomorrow we will use this to connect into the village supply, our first “free” water.

Suubi House is almost complete now. Since our first ‘guests’ left (Andrew’s team) we have completed all of the plastering of outside walls, furnished the living area, have hot water on tap, will have the painting finished in a day or so, and then should have the front yard landscaped by next week. ‘The rains have come’, so planting of grass and some shrubs in the garden is about to happen to beautify the place even more.

We have purchased a vehicle for the village, to allow all of the transport issues to be resolved. We thought about a dual cab ute, but the prices were prohibitive, and when an opportunity to purchase a taxi, (Toyota Hiace van licensed to carry 14 passengers - often with about 18) we thought that it could prove more useful. We have had it renovated a little, and with the back two rows of seats removed and a roof rack it has more load space than a dual cab, and still has seats for 8 passengers. When a team comes and we want to get around we can just put the seats back in. All this for less than half the price we would have had to pay for a dual cab ute!

The most exciting news of all though is that today we grew to 33 children. When the first 16 children came to the village a little over 2 years ago - yes it has been that long - two sisters were expected to come. One of them decided at the time to remain with the grandmother who had been caring for them as well as three of their cousins. We’re not certain of the reasons she decided to stay, but suspect it was out of concern for the grandmother. We have met this girl on several occasions this year. Recently, she came to the village with the grandmother to visit her sister and cousins. Whilst she was eating some lunch, totally out of the blue she said to me, “I would like to come and live with my sister”. We checked with the grandmother, who was happy for that to happen, and so Ivan has done the necessary work with the probation officer to allow Rehema to join us at Village of Hope. She came today and within half an hour was out learning to ride a bicycle with plenty of help from the other children.

Just last week I was in Bugembe buying some meat for one of our “Dinners with the Kids”. (We have had all of the children, and mothers, come in small groups for a meal and tour of Suubi House) A gentleman approached me and asked about the slogan on my Hopebuilders t-shirt - “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty. “How are you doing that?” he asked. It was great to be able to respond with some of the things that are happening at the village, and the impact that we are having on the lives of these children. And by ‘we’ I mean the whole Hopebuilders community, not just those of us who are here at this time. And it’s not only the kids, but the people in the community around, and the impact has spread out across the country in small but significant ways. We don’t know how many lives have literally been saved by the people who have come as part of teams to Village of Hope, but it is many. This is not an exaggeration. Sometimes giving someone as little as 5000 shillings, less than $2, for medical treatment has actually saved a life. People here are soooooo grateful for the help that Village of Hope / Hopebuilders are giving.