13th August, 2016

Dear friends,

Last Sunday I worshipped with the Mothers’ Union in Bududa, an area near the Kenyan boarder.  There are 12 churches in their parish and they took me to a church in a very rural setting, having to abandon the car on a steep track and walk down a muddy path through a matoke  plantation.  At a small home near the church we were met by more MU members and given breakfast of milk tea and chapatis cooked on charcoal stoves.

The Church was full, MU members preaching, dramatising a marriage situation, leading the worship and prayers.  The local vicar responsible for the churches arrived towards the end and baptised a young man and some children.  I was presented with a chicken (now happily homed in George’s Place) and during the auctioning of the offering gifts, milk and matoke were also given to me.  The MU members were thrilled with the sewing machine given by the MU in London and delighted with greetings from Margaret Blazey and London Diocese members.

“All this day, O Lord, let me touch as many lives as possible for thee; and every life I touch, do thou by thy spirit quicken, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I breathe or the life I live.  Amen (Mary Sumner’s personal prayer – founder of MU).

There was a torrential downpour just before we considered leaving so consequently had to stay an extra hour or more.  Following the service I was literally ‘pushed’ back up the now slippery path (having been loaned wellie boots that had no grip, but appreciated as they kept my feet dry and mud free) and shared a cooked lunch with MU members and the vicar (first time I have eaten with my fingers), they were disappointed that I wouldn’t drink a glass of water as they only had the one glass especially for my use. (Only pit latrines in this area!). Of course we prayed before we hurried back to the car as the rain had started yet again – as many people as possible climbed into the car for the ride back to ‘town’.

We then visited the vicarage where Homes of Promise had supplied iron sheets and cement etc. and the MU hostel which we also helped to build.  A teacher is staying there so they are receiving some rent which hopefully will help with building an outside latrine and kitchen.  By this time it was 6pm and an hour’s drive back to Mbale – I really enjoyed meeting the MU members again, their teaching, and commitment to widows and orphans.  The work in this large parish is challenging with difficulties but they are making a real difference.

Monday morning we visited the retired vicar from Bududa and his family and the 4 houses Homes of Promise have built in the area.  Silivia’s two youngest children have grown, Jennerson was really excited to see me – the oldest girls were at school.  Mary and Isaac were both at home but Jennifer was out, we gave gifts of bread, sugar, rice, blueband and soap.  We also called at the local clinic with first aid gifts and baby clothes, as there is always so little on their shelves.

After travelling back to Mbale we visited a Christian Vocational Centre run by a charity from the Netherlands.  This was really good and we would like to send some of our older boys on the 9 month courses for building construction or car mechanics. There is a hostel nearby where they could stay.  We are looking into how to finance this.  Being trained outside of Kampala is definitely cheaper – so prayers please.  It was then the long drive back home first arriving at George’s Place to deliver the chicken, rice, cabbages, eggs, pineapples, water melons, matoke etc. that we had bought in the rural areas as they were cheaper.  A full day!

The rest of the week has been relatively quiet, the boys went swimming on Wednesday afternoon. Friday we had a staff/volunteers meeting – not sure how well that went, everything I  said had to be translated into Luganda – not easy, and others comments then translated back to me, just to ensure everyone understood everything.  The boys entertained themselves all afternoon and were very good.

We enjoyed our usual afternoon out on Saturday with the boys swimming and enjoying Wonder World rides, they are so much fun!

With love and prayers.