Thursday, July 19, 2012

After receiving and sending off people who are your friends becomes had some time sad.i must say that we had wonderful time with you guys, we love so much and we are waiting for you again.great job done by you all guys.May God bless you all.

Having fellowships together and meals was really wonderful  time here in the village.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Uganda adventures continue.....

It’s been a few days since you’ve heard from us…  so much has been going on.  We’ve been working hard at the Village finishing off many jobs and repairing all houses, as well as laying the drainage, sewer and water supply system for the left side of the village.

On Monday we were able to help with a home visiting ministry run by a great couple we have contact with in Jinja. They are living and working in a community, helping to develop the community by small enterprises, women’s groups, and a home visiting ministry.  We split into 2 groups and were able to go in to the homes of people to encourage and pray with them, as well as give them gifts of soap and sugar.  The excitement and appreciation was very apparent!  That evening devotions with the kids at the village was also highlight.
Luke and Elaine also joined us yesterday and have settled quickly into our team and it’s great to have them.  Luke has quickly found his place back behind the camera.  Can’t wait to see the results.
Today, we were able to visit the men’s and women’s prison.  The guys went to the men’s prison and the ladies to the women’s.  Us men were able to share a message with the prisoners and then pray for them.  Very touching!  The ladies all had to preach a short message… we discovered a few dormant gifts!!

This afternoon and evening we spent time with the students at Hope Community High School.  A volleyball challenge first, where we won one and lost the other.  We discovered competitiveness on both sides!!! This evening we joined in devotions and dancing with the students.  Awesome!!

Today we also were able to purchase a new Boda Boda (small motorbike taxi) that will be given to a family in need to enable them to earn an income.  Quite different than riding a motor bike in Australia!!

The challenges of getting the container released, and other things keep us busy too, and we would love you to keep praying for us.  Pray that we stay healthy, as we get more tired as well.  We’re enjoying a great place to stay and great food, which we’re so thankful for, and those that thought they might lose weight have been sadly mistaken.

Till the next update….

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Michaels house and Welcome Home!!

Over the course of the last three days we have worked, visited orphaned babies, and experienced heaps of different emotions. Thursday and Friday were both days of work in the village of hope. We slopped more poo on the walls (applied more render to the houses) and finally laid the pipes in the trenches that the men have been digging, but the big event was completing the farmer’s house. The farmer and his family moved into their newly completed house on Thursday with much excitement.
Our new home!!!
Ready for our furniture!

We visited the AIDS baby orphanage early on Saturday morning. We enjoyed a tour from the director, Mandy, and we were able to see the loving homes these kids are now able to live in. We all broke off into different groups and went to play with the different age groups. Some of us went across to a big field where the older kids were playing. We loved seeing the smiles on their faces as we kicked the soccer ball, threw the Frisbee, and just played with them. Another group went to the ‘toddlers.’ These kids were beautiful, extremely co-operative, and they loved playing with us. The third group was in the babies’ room.  Some of these poor babies had some sort of deformity or were very sick.  It was great too see that they were in good hands.                  
…..A post written by Sam Staunton…

A big challenge that we are still faced with, is trying to get the container that was sent from Australia 6 months ago released!  The law has changed here in Uganda and containers are taxed on the value listed on the manifest.  This means that they want to tax us around $13500.00!!  We have had 2 meetings now with our local MP (one in Kampala and one here at his home in Jinja) but are still in negotiations.  The President will be in the region next week and if we could get an audience with him, he may authorize tax exemption.  The other avenue our MP is following, is to get the customs department to ‘re-value’ the cargo and so drastically reduce the tax.  We would appreciate all your prayers.

Pray too for the team, as we continue to adjust to life here in Africa, and as we get involved with Ugandans in many different ways in the next week….

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cow-poo, Electrocutions and Birthdays!

Our second day of work started out much the same as the first, with two exceptions: Andrew was sadly absent due to an early appointment in Kampala; and it was the very special occasion of John’s birthday! A birthday card as a placemat was the beginning of much cheer for “Old” John (as opposed to “Young” John or “Tall” John!).  We enjoyed rolexes, chapattis, and rolls with Nutella. After three days, the jar is already half-empty!

Andrew spent the first part of the day in Kampala, meeting with government officials to try to release our container full of supplies without paying the enormous tax. Unfortunately he was unsuccessful. This is a definite prayer point for those praying at home – pray that a way will be made to get the container without paying enormous fees.
Closed mouth only work!!

For those remaining at the village, the same tasks were on the agenda today: rendering, digging and painting. We are becoming quite the experts in our various tasks! The trenches were completed and pipes are soon to be purchased. The doors and windows of the farmer’s house, along with the steel frames of the water tanks were all painted. The interior of the farmer’s house was rendered, along with some repairs to the other houses. The renderers are becoming very skilled in their job, learning all sorts of special techniques. The first skill we all mastered was that of keeping our mouths closed… otherwise we would learn of the gourmet taste of cow-poo, mud and tar. Yummy!
Ladder makes the job easier

Meanwhile, back at Suubi House, the painting of the deck railings was interrupted by a scary event… Jaz accidently stood on a temporary live wire and was given an electric shock. We are very grateful for all your prayers of protection, for Jaz is completely okay and back to her normal self.

We all enjoyed the company of the children again this afternoon. Although we are definitely more productive in the mornings, when most children are at school, it is a joy to spend time playing with the kids. Sam in particular spent time teaching the kids (and adults!) how to kick a Sherrin. Important skill to know.

Candles all out... time to eat
Dinner was eaten in a festive atmosphere with balloons and streamers festooning the walls. John’s birthday cake was a tall tower of cinnamon buns, and with Jaz’s help he managed to blow out the abundance of candles! Tomorrow will be a day of finishing off the various rendering and painting jobs, and we hope to complete the farmer’s house ready for Michael and his family to move in. We’re looking forward to it and we’re having a great time!  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Getting into it at Village of Hope

The roosters woke us at 6.30 to the smell of the chappatis and rolexs well underway for our breakfast. We were all keen and ready to get started at the Village, so we headed off with energy and enthusiasm. The focus for the day was 3 main tasks: rendering and painting the farmers house and digging trenches for the drainage and sewerage. 
Get that slop on!!
Rendering has a new meaning in Uganda. No tins of ready-made product from the shop. Rather a combination of bitumen, good red Ugandan dirt, a bit of lime and the magic ingredient cow poo, made a delightful mixture to slop on the walls.  The aim was to make a mixture that resembled ‘runny yoghurt’. If the mixture started to dry, very helpful and brave Ugandan men would come and rehydrate the mix with some diluted cow poo. Our main objective became avoiding the inevitable splashes as the broom heads hit the walls.   
Anyone can paint here....

Painting the house was a much safer task. We needed to paint all the metal surfaces to avoid rust: doors, window grates etc. A great job for the younger kids to really get into.
Those who can, show their muscles..
Those of us in the team that were feeling extra strong tackled the digging of the trenches. Eager to keep up with the energy of the Ugandans and armed with shovels and picks, they worked hard to move the sticky red dirt.
Feeling the love...
Great progress was made on Day 1. We relished in the chance to contribute something to the Village. But for many of us the highlight was meeting the preschool children after lunch. As we entered the gate, we were flooded with the most beautiful children, all full of smiles and joy. They clung to our hands, and didn’t let go. They showed us their beds, the farm, the swings. Their excitement to see us was overwhelming!   We came home tired, really dirty and really happy…ready to go again tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It's the end of our first day here in Uganda and even though it's only 8.20pm, most of the team is getting ready for bed.
After a great Ugandan breakfast of 'rolex's' and chappattis, we headed up to the village for the first time to check it out.  The men looked at the trenches being dug by muscle bound Ugandan men and nodded knowingly (like they approved of the work), only to admit later fear of being able to keep up with our Ugandan men for more than 15 minutes!  We checked out the other jobs that need doing, looked at the almost completed farmers house to see what we needed to do to finish it off and decided to get ourselves ready to do some rendering on some houses too.  We met all the mothers and checked out the houses and the kitchens.
We finished off sitting in the prayer shelter to have a devotion and pray together for our time here in Uganda.

Off to a wonderful lunch of fresh baked rolls that Lucy had prepared for us at Suubi house, and a relax while waiting for the bus to take us to town. Unfortunately we had to leave Ben and his mother Tash behind as Ben was feeling a bit under the weather.
Once in town we hit the banks to see if our cards would work and give us some of the local currency.  Much needed, because then we all went to the souvenir places and our friend Angelo the painter to order some genuine African paintings.  A quick look at the supermarkets and and refreshing drink at one of the cafes whilst getting our phones working on the local network, then we were off to an early supper at '2 Friends' which is a lovely local restaurant.
Relaxing and chatting
Our ever faithful bus....
All in all a pretty relaxed and gentle entry in to our African journey.
Tomorrow, reality hits as we get on the tools and get into some of the much needed work.  Tonight should see the sleep deficit caught up so we're all hoping to go full speed ahead.

We'd appreciate your continued prayers for our health and for opportunities be a great blessing here in Uganda and for HopeBuilders....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

So we've arrived!!

Well, after many hours in the air and on the road, we have arrived to a warm welcome to Suubi house (our wonderful guest house). A great Ugandan meal and now relaxing and getting our beds ready... Tomorrow we'll try to upload a few photos and write a bit more... For now, sleeeeepp!!!