23rd December, 2018

Dear friends,

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy and blessed 2019.

It’s been 33 degrees here today (Saturday) and after a morning buying small last-minute Christmas presents for the boys I’m sitting at ‘Freedom City’ where we have come for a special treat – the boys are enjoying swimming – splashing around in little boats, jumping on an enormous inflatable ring, going on a scenic train ride, trampolining, climbing bouncy towers etc. etc. All good fun. Great seeing them having such a good time.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.”Isaiah 26:3

We have had a quiet week, one morning Bob and I took Yusuf to have his feet checked by CORSU hospital. When Yusuf arrived at George’s Place, two years ago, we noticed he had badly scared feet from burns and now as his feet are growing the scars are causing some pain. The doctor, we saw, assured us the scars were fine and he just needs to massage his feet with cream five times a day – not sure how that will work when he’s back at school, but at least he can do it morning, afternoon and before he goes to bed at night. Another morning I went with Bob to the market buying some food shopping and noticed a couple of young girls from Karamoja sweeping up remnants of beans obviously to cook and eat. It is hard to believe the level of poverty which exists in some parts of the country and in Kampala.

We only have 7 boys with us over the Christmas holidays, having taken 7 back to their families last weekend and Bob then taking Paul, Asaph, Brian and Ronald to catch buses on Monday (Victor, Patrick and Anton having gone the week before), all have arrived safely. (We did manage to give/send small amounts of money gifts to all the families where the boys are staying to help them.) Prayers for the boys please as life in the village can be very different and they have a very structured life in Kampala.

The remaining boys have enjoyed playing on my iPhone and iPad most days when I’m not using them! Sam and I also took the boys swimming one afternoon whilst Bob went to investigate generators, (there have been two power cuts at George’s Place this week, one for 24 hours, these are a regular occurrence!). The boys have also decorated the Christmas tree and hung decorations and balloons to make everything festive.

Tim has been cooking cakes this week and also made a large sponge cake which he intends icing for Tuesday, he does all the preparation and then I have to bring them home to cook in the oven as we only have charcoal stoves in George’s Place – at least I didn’t burn them!

And so another week is over – still finding it hard to believe it’s Christmas in a couple of days time – but the Spirit of Christmas is here amongst the poverty and hardship that many people are facing.

With love and prayers.