Today we began at the office meeting Stephen and David who recently graduated from High school and are hoping to attend University this upcoming new year. We are so proud of them! We then took off for home visits in Serere to visit 15 children. We are thankful for our driver, Moses, who has been driving us for the past 6 years on many roads that aren’t really roads, but look more like a trail surrounded by brush or the red dirt roads with super sized pot holes. He also puts up with our crazy ideas such as piling 30+ mattresses on the back of our vehicle to deliver to the families in Omalara for two days in a row.
It was once again a joy to visit each child’s home today. They are so grateful for the continued support. So many mothers, grandmothers, and aunties who are caring for orphan children have expressed that they could not do it without the support of AH and we then tell them it is God who gets the glory! He has continued to open doors to show His love and support to these children and caregivers!
One highlight today was giving out a solar audio Bible to the grandmother of Lucy who is also her caregiver. She shared that she never went to school and never learned to read or write. It is loud enough for a group to listen and you can see the photo below of everyone crowded around this new device. She had the biggest smile.
There is a story in each home we visit and we are amazed at the courage of these children and their caregivers. Today we heard from Michael and Sarah’s mother who expressed how thankful she is for the support and encouragement Arrows and Hope has been to her family. She was chased from the land passed down to her and her husband by her husbands father, which is cultural in Uganda. They were 1 of 3 families who this happened to. The land was not just where they lived, but also how they survived. The crops they grew on this land was how they fed their family of six. The father ended up leaving their home after this because life was too hard and he is staying with another woman. When we asked Michael what we can be praying for him, one of the things he asked for was that his father would return so they can once again be a strong family. One of the relatives of the mother gave them a house to live in, but there is no land to farm, so they need to work in neighbors gardens which pays very little.
The same story was told at Tom and Moses home. They were also chased from their land and are working in neighbors gardens for 3,000 to 6,000 per day. This is equivalent to less than $1.00 – $2.00 per day. They were excited to show us the small portion of land they are living on which their uncle is selling to their brother. They have already paid one cow for the land and still need to pay 300,000 Uganda Shillings which is equivalent to less than $30.00.
The last visit of the day was in the home of Jorem, Judith, and Michael. They are all 3 total orphans which means they have lost both their mother and father. They are living with an aunt and uncle who have 9 other children they are caring for, which makes a total of 12. The previous home they stayed in, they were mistreated. We are thankful it seems they are loved and cared for in the home they are in and we are also thankful for Claude and Susan who visit these children to ensure they are safe.
We ended the day tired but with full hearts. Our team was given several chickens as gifts from the families we visited, so those also joined us in the car for the ride home. The people here are beautiful. Their courage is inspiring and we always learn so much from them. We are so grateful for the team here; Claude, Sophy, Susan, Sarah who have worked so hard to ensure each child in the AH program is supported, visited, and shown the love and hope of Jesus.
It is midnight here in Uganda and we need to get some sleep. Enjoy some of the photos of our day!