The boys and Ole at KK Beach

22nd December, 2019

Dear friends,

Christmas Greetings from a very warm Kampala!

I arrived back in Uganda Monday afternoon and went straightaway to George’s Place to visit the boys. There are 15 boys with us for Christmas, the rest have returned to their families for the holidays. Anton and Patrick have both returned to be with us for the next couple of weeks. Everyone is well and things are running smoothly.

On Wednesday Bob, Sam and I took the new Brian to find his family. Dennis and Paul came along for part of the journey as they were travelling to Pader to stay with Dennis’ mother and stepfather for the holidays. We drove north for about 5 hours and then put them on local transport to Pader via Lira, they eventually arrived safely the following day as they missed the connection bus in Lira – I have spoken to them and they’re fine!

‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ Isaiah 9 v 6/7

Brian comes from an area in the north-west near Nebbi, not far from the DRC border. It was a long drive – we saw monkeys and baboons as we crossed the Nile near Murchison Falls. Brian doesn’t speak much Lugandan or English and we have had difficulty finding out about his family. He directed us to his half-sister and brother-in-law’s home where he had been staying before he ran to the streets. She was so excited to see him and telephoned her brother who came rushing from the town.

It is a complicated story – Brian is an orphan, his mother died in childbirth about two years after he was born and not long after his father died – he has been raised by an elderly great aunt on his fathers side in a village a further 20 km away, where we went the following day to meet this lady and other relatives – everyone was pleased to see Brian but there were issues. We also called on the local Probation Officer and made her aware that Brian is now in our care but will be returning to stay in Nebbi during some of the school holidays.

On Saturday we had a visit from Ole, Bob collected him from the hotel and he spent the afternoon with us at KK Beach. At about 5 pm there was a torrential downpour and thunderstorm – we sheltered with others on the stage – we all got wet but after the rain stopped, play resumed – with the boys continuing to enjoy football and badminton. Later, when we arrived back at George’s Place, Ole handed out presents to all the boys who were excited at receiving a wrapped gift.

I haven’t been back here a week yet, which I can hardly believe as so much has happened over the last few days. We were hoping to pay the landlord six months rent but he has insisted (as per our contract) we pay for the year – we feel we should be looking for cheaper premises, we are not far from the new Entebbe motorway and house prices in the area are rising but the younger boys are really well settled in Maranatha school – prayers please for the way forward in 2020.

I’m off to Kampala International Church this morning and looking forward to catching up with emails later and having a day of rest!

Wishing you all every blessing for Christmas.

With love and prayers.