Saturday, May 18, 2013
Dear Friends and Family: We had another great day with the children and volunteers, we feel like we are now making long lasting connections. As we discussed yesterday we are feeding all of the orphans, a few sponsors and volunteers while all of the children are here. In our effort to build strong relationships with the villagers we are purchasing as much of the supplies as possible from local vendors, and individuals, and they show their appreciation. As we have written in our previous Blogs, all of the children have been at the centre for two days. It is a good feeling to see the older children bond together as most of the older group is now at Muko High School. Children like Boaz Junior who was by himself at Good Hope are now becoming part of a larger group of sponsored orphans.
Our group split up today, with Karen, Dave and Elizabeth going to the village and Christopher then returning to Kabale with Tito and two AG team volunteers to pick up John and Michelle as they are working in the Kabale area today. Unfortunately Kelsey was not feeling well and stayed behind at the hotel, but she was feeling better by the end of the day and should be able to attend church with us on Sunday.
Upon our arrival, we were treated to welcome songs and dance from the children. Francis, Boaz, and Haward “attempted” to teach Dave the African dance. While he did pretty well, he found out after about 5 minutes how strenuous their dancing is! Elizabeth enjoyed singing hymns with Saddath, many of them familiar, some new, but all full of meaning. Some of the ladies from the village who are involved in the MEP program stopped by, bringing more of the beautiful baskets they made and which we will be bringing back with us. Francis and Haward helped lead the children in a recorder class. It’s wonderful seeing them take a leadership role, because when we return to the States, THEY will become the teachers. Afterwards, Karen and Josiah led the MukoHOPE children in a great discussion. The children seemed fascinated by the stories of our American life. We will save many of them for our presentations, however, there is one we can’t resist telling you about. Our sponsors often ask if the children have pets and we asked them if they name their goats or cows. They said if they have a cow it is “Cow”. If they have a goat it is “Goat”. Then they asked me if we name our goat! So we told them we don’t have goats or cows at all unless we live on a farm, we just go to a big store and buy our food, often never knowing where it came from or how it was prepared for our dinner!
We tried to open their eyes to opportunity and one of our orphans asked to be considered as a foreign exchange student. Several seemed interested in American university. We underlined to them the challenge of learning to read, write and speak English very well.
The violin students are doing excellent work. Haward and Demas (Haward’s friend) recorded a video of “Amazing Grace” which we will forward to Holt Presbyterian for their service on May 19th. Let’s see if our technology is successful!
While activities at the Muko Center were ongoing, John and Michelle went to fish farm in Kabale. They met with an innovative man who is working hard to figure out the most effective way to capture fish. After joining up with the team for lunch, they went to a potato storage facility and learned about what seems to be an amazing cooperative. Afterwards, Tito was given the opportunity to fully show off the garden behind the ACT center. John and Michelle were extremely impressed with the hard work that has been put into the garden and the possibilities it provides.
The team is working late tonight preparing comments for the churches tomorrow, as we will undoubtedly be asked to speak at the churches. Kelsey and Elizabeth will be attending the Pentacostal Church, John will attend the Anglican Church, Michelle will be attending the Catholic Church, Dave and Karen will attend the Ikamuiro Church. We will all be accompanied by various Ugandan friends. Pray for Dave as he has been asked to give a 30-45 minute sermon! He made a “panic call” to Rev. Kirk Miller, the pastor at Holt Pres today who reminded Dave that with a translator he could possibly cut the time in half! Kirk also gave Dave some helpful pointers! More on this tomorrow…
The last word of the day is how grateful we are that our team is so compatible. In addition to all of us contributing to our daily blog, each contributes in their own distinct and important way. Michelle is delightful, competent, and warm with everyone. She has already received several proposals! John has been a great spiritual leader with meaningful devotions and music to bring our focus back to God. Elizabeth documents everything with photography and video and in addition, has a great talent for talking with everyone and making friends. Kelsey has a huge heart and has been so valuable with the music training. It is not surprising that we have mostly young men studying violin! Dave keeps us amused and does everything for everyone. Karen is a very talented and gifted teacher who is greatly appreciated by our gifted students. However, for many, she is so much more than just a teacher, but gives the orphans a mother figure that too many of them lack. What a blessing to have so many laughs together!
We miss you all and send our love!