Hello from Uganda.Rich Stigall
Hello from Uganda.
What a great day yesterday. We started our day in Masaka with the first 30 children we brought into care in Uganda 2 years ago. It was the end of their school term. At the end of term, students have a program: singing, praise, thanksgiving. We were so fortunate to be here to see it.
I can hardly believe what 2 years of deep love can do for kids in the most difficult circumstances. I remember Day 1 for these little ones, most of whom lost their parents to AIDS. Grim. Yesterday, they were fully alive. In the program, they beamed with confidence in the love of Christ. There is a security there that they know cannot be moved or removed. That message lived out shook all of us on the team.
These kids have become pillars in their community. They’ve remained integrated in the community by serving others. Orphans serving and giving to others: how about that?
They are all from a nearby area called Mbira. Their pastor, JJ, and his wife, Harriet, have taken the lead in the care and nurturing of the children. JJ has planted a church in Mbira – a little wooden church that now overflows with 150+ members. JJ takes the kids there to serve others in this very poor community.
One person they serve is an 85 year old widow who can no longer tend her land. The kids farm her garden for her, so she has food to eat, and regularly tend to her care. That dear woman repaid this kindness by giving the church a large piece of family land. The kids farm that land and are producing maize. The church now operates a maize mill. Now the kids grow and the church processes their own staple food, from the land given by this widow.
Another person in Mbira sold 15+ acres to the church for $2500. Great land. Fertile. That site will now become a full blown children’s village around the bustling and growing Mbira church. The village will bring a school for 250 kids and homes for 100 orphans who are scuffling to survive. JJ and Hariet will move to the site and lead this effort. More homes will likely be needed. We’ll start with homes for 100. The surrounding villages (the people) will embrace this step to help their own children.
The first 30 kids from Masaka – the kids who came from Mbira – will move to the Mbira village. This is huge for them. The older kids especially are excited, as they view this as an opportunity to serve so many other kids like them in the same area where they once suffered. They now know what the love of Jesus Christ can bring – complete transformation of the heart, soul and mind. They’re not too little to understand. They’re living it.
Sorry to go on and on… It’s just amazing to see God’s work and creativity, and we want to share it with you. This work is about more than orphan care.
Today we are in Kabale in the mountains of SW Uganda. This new village recently welcomed the first 60 children. A women’s group led by Marsha Campbell funded this entire village. (Ladies, we’ll take lots of pics!)
Pure and faultless religion…
Wish you all were here with us.