It was another beautiful morning in Uganda today. The mornings start out cool in Soroti, but it heats up quickly come midday. We were out the door by 7:20 to pick up Claude and his family along with Susan for church in Omalara. This was our first time to the church in Omalara. We knew some of the Arrows and Hope children were planning to be there.
Omalara is about 10-15 minutes outside of Soroti town and then the church is off the main road about a 10 minute drive on the bumpy red dirt roads. We were completely surprised when we pulled up to the church to find all of the Omalara Center children and their caregivers waiting to greet us! Their mothers, aunties, and grandmothers were all dressed in matching beautiful traditional dresses! They walked with us into church where we were blessed to hear the children sing a song and then the women sang and the pastor shared a message from 1 Corinthians 13. During offering people walked to the front of the church to put either money or something from their garden in the offering basket. The church is one large room with a few plastic chairs, wooden benches and an area for people to sit on mats on the floor and it was full, leaving only enough space to walk through the middle. The church was filled with the most beautiful voices praising God!
Following the church service one of the childrens mothers walked over and led Sandy and I under a large tree near the church and positioned us side by side with our hands out. The caregivers of the children then proceeded to make a line in front of us and said they wanted to give us something because giving is the source of joy. One by one they brought us bags of oranges, chickens, eggs, ground nuts and other things from the garden while they and their children all sang. Of course you want to give it all right back to them because you know they made a sacrifice to give these things but they would never accept that. The smiles on their faces was beautiful. We love these women and children and it’s their faith in a God who loves them that keeps them moving forward each and every day despite the challenges they face. They gave glory to God and that is always encouraging. We have always said this is not about us..we only want to point them to the one who can help with all their needs and we are blessed to be His hands and feet by helping in a small way.
After church we were able to meet two children who were sponsored while we were here in Uganda! A family from Texas sponsored Faith and Jeremiah. They were at the church and were were able to share this great news with them.
Next it was onto the office to meet the last 5 remaining children. Michael is one of the young men we met with. He will be officially graduated from the program soon. He just began working as an electrician after finishing vocational school! He was so proud to share that he has people calling him to do work and also helps out other electricians. He expressed how grateful he was to be part of the Arrows and Hope ministry. He said his family could never have afforded to help him achieve this dream of his. Michael is a leader and strong in his faith. We know he will be a light here in Soroti!
By 1:30 we were on the road to Jinja. It is about a 3.5 hour drive from Soroti to Jinja. We will meet 4 sponsored children while we are here. Thank you for your prayers! They are felt and we truly believe it was a miracle we were able to visit 95 children and their caregivers in 5 days and most of them in their homes. Please keep the team in Uganda in your prayers. We are blessed to have each one of them working with Arrows and Hope. Claude is the social worker and project manager, Sophy is the accountant, Susan is the discipleship coordinator, and Sarah is the office assistant who makes the most delicious juice. They are each special to us and they truly care for each child.