It is Tuesday here in Uganda and we are sitting at the airport waiting to board. We were unable to post last night as the power and internet were not strong, so I’ll share a bit about our day yesterday as well as today.
After grabbing breakfast Monday morning, in Jinja, we headed to Moses garage where we were able to meet Isaac again. Isaac is the son of Peace. He did not go to school for a long time as his mother Peace could not afford it. We first met her in 2014 when we were living in Jinja. She helped us in our home with hand washing the clothes and occasionally watching Josie and Noah. Soon after we left Uganda Peace became sick with malaria and typhoid which effected her eye sight and she could no longer work. This is when we brought her children into the Arrows and Hope sponsorship program. When Isaac was sponsored, he had to begin at an elementary level and this was hard for him as he still struggled academically and he was twice the size of the other children. During a school break, he asked our friend Moses if he could come to his mechanic shop to observe and help where needed. He ended up going every day and loved it. He decided to stop his schooling and continue learning the trade of mechanics. We are so proud of Isaac! He has come so far and is a kind, confident young man who loves the Lord. He asked for prayers that the Lord would open his mind so he can learn the many things there are to fixing vehicles.
Isaac came along with us to the next stop which was his families home. There we met his mother Peace and his two brothers Grace and Emma. Peace has struggled during the Covid lockdown to maintain her business of selling clothes and had just returned from the burial of her brother. The normal sparkle was not in her eyes and we could sense her heart was heavy. She has had to move so many times as she often struggles to come up with the rent for her house which usually ranges from 50,000 per month to 70,000 per month, which is equivalent to 15-20 dollars. Her husband left her a long time ago and does not visit or support his sons. She was happy to show us her new house and share that there is a small section of land she can farm to grow food for her and the boys. It was fun to see the picture of Emmas sponsor hanging on the wall in their new home. We remembered it from their previous home as well.
After this we met with Amiss in town to go over a budget for equipment for the DJ business and talked about how Moses will be overseeing this new venture as well as storing the equipment for him to keep it safe. He shared he is planning to take the children to his grandmothers village because if he is working he will not be home to take care of them. Please pray they will be accepted in his grandmothers village as culturally this is a difficult thing. More children in a home means more mouths to feed and likely if Amiss is working, he will be expected to send money to the village to help his family. All around it is a very hard situation for him and he needs prayers.
We also visited a school our friend Mary in Jinja started. She is teaching baking, cake making and cooking. This could be an option for some of the older students who decide to pursue a vocational skill. Mary has a heart to disciple young girls as she has been through a lot herself.
Today, (Tuesday) we went to town to fill out forms for our flight. With all the new travel restrictions it took us about 3 hours to find internet in town to fill out the online forms and then after 3 shops we finally found a print shop that had both working wifi and printers! We also shopped for some baskets, wooden spoons, etc. at the local craft stores we are hoping to have for sale at a future event to support the ongoing work of AH.
By noon we were on the way to Entebbe. We visited the Entebbe Center which is an outreach of Emmanuel Church. This church was planted by Daniel and Jalia. The children were there with their mothers to meet us! What a blessing it was to hear about the ways they are being discipled through the church and how Arrows and Hope has been a blessing in their lives. We visited Doreen and Esthers home. Their mother, Miriam, had worked with Ajuna which is a jewelry making business started by Jalia for 7 years and is no longer working due to the slowdown of sales for this business. She has lived in the same house for 10 years and found herself unable to pay her rent and the land lord was about to evacuate her and her children. We were able to help her cover rent for a couple months so she can get her small business of selling tomatoes and other vegetables going.
We had dinner with Moses near the airport at a place called Faze 3 which overlooks Lake Victoria. We reminisced about all the memories of this trip, how fast it has gone, and how God’s hand of protection was seen in so many ways. Thank you to those of you who support the ministry, those who sponsor children, prayer warriors, and those have traveled here with us. You are making a difference here in Uganda! We have to run…about to board for Brussels! Love, Michelle and Sandy