Our last full day in Soroti was today. The time has gone so fast. We arrived at the Arrows and Hope Office around 8am this morning to meet 12 children who we knew we would not have time to reach at their homes. We met with each child and their caregiver in Claude and Susans office so we could have time with each one individually.
One of the children we met with at the office is named Ernest. He has the sweetest personality and a smile that lights up a room. He is deaf and attends a school for the deaf which his father shared he is missing very much. We had taken along a poster of the American Sign Language alphabet for our team to familiarize themselves as we have 2 sponsored children who are deaf. Claude held it up for him to see and his face lit up. He then proceeded to go through the alphabet and sign each letter which he did easily and perfectly. His father is a diabetic and he is really struggling. He showed us the sores on his feet which make it very difficult for him to even walk. He also shared that he gives himself insulin shots in the morning and then at night. He goes to the local hospital to check his levels only 3 times in a week because it is too expensive for him and the medicine is also too expensive. He was recently admitted for a week and the bill was over 1 million shillings which he could not afford. He has some friends who help a bit but it was still too much for him. Prior to his health worsening, he was a business man. When his wife found out about him being diabetic and his health began to decline, she left him. It is only Ernest who lives with his father. When he was admitted to the hospital he was the one who attended to him. In Uganda they do not feed you or help you shower/bathe when you are in the hospital. It is up to you to have someone with you to help you with these things. He is a believer and it was evident that his faith has helped him persevere. We prayed for strength and healing for Dominic and we felt led to put him on the account we have set up at the local hospital for the sponsored children. This allows them to get treatment when needed after getting approval from the AH office first. He began to cry when we shared this with him and we cried right beside him. Our hearts are heavy for this man who deeply loves his son. He poured praise over Ernest and told us how bright he is and shared how the culture in Uganda puts people down who are deaf. Ernest has a bright future because his earthly father loves him and believes in him and His heavenly Father has him wrapped in His arms. Please pray for Dominic and Ernest.
Ronald was another one we met at the office today. He was just sponsored one week ago! His mother was so grateful for the news that her son is now part of Arrows and Hope. She is a young mother who lost her husband on Easter day in 2019. He was hit by a boda and was rushed to the hospital. He needed a blood transfusion, but she could not come up with enough money in time and they would not do the transfusion until she could pay. Ronald is 7 years old and he has two younger sisters. We are so thankful for the recent sponsorship he received.
Susan and Claude have both been with Sandy and I during each home visit. Claude is a social worker and project manager and Susan is the discipleship coordinator for Arrows and Hope. They both have big hearts for these kids. It has been beautiful to see how much the children and young adults adore and respect them. After the office, we left for Obule to visit 16 more sponsored children! It was another full day. Today we met with many of the older youth who have been part of Arrows and Hope for over 6 years now. We can’t get over not only how much bigger they are, but the spiritual growth and confidence they now have is amazing.
We stopped in at Betty’s new tailoring shop which was recently started and also to see Sarahs Piggery in her village. It was also fun presenting 6 sponsored children with a goat their sponsor gifted them with. We didn’t believe a boda could carry 6 goats, but they proved us wrong! Church begins at 7:30am in Omalara tomorrow so we are off to sleep. Thank you for the prayers and encouragement. They are felt.