3rd January, 2016

Dear friends,

Happy New Year

Katie arrived last Sunday afternoon, I was really happy to see her.  Christmas had been very different away from home with 17 here for lunch having attended the Anglican Cathedral for the early morning service, 7.30 – 9.30am.  Michael led the service and Peace sat nearby, I haven’t seen much of them recently but as Katie came with money from Catherine from selling the local jewellery we called in on them on Thursday on our way back from Jinja.

On Monday we provided a special meal for the street boys as a late Christmas celebration, with meat, matoke, rice, potatoes, vegetables, and orange squash, there were about 120 of them, Katie’s introduction to the project – Mustafa and Frank won her heart, the boys were fascinated by the freckles on her arms, she’s happy to return on Wednesday and continue dealing with leg ulcers small cuts and grazes.

I have had to see the doctor again, initially I thought I had been bitten on my face by an insect, but as the mark became more painful and swelled realised something had got under the skin, dear Dr. Stockley has ‘dug’ the offensive intruder out so now have a large hole on my left hand cheek, having been advised to return to the surgery for more treatment in a couple of days if it doesn’t heal, not easy and very painful.

We took Katie to Ggaba on Tuesday to visit George’s Place, the fish market and the Munyonyo hotel.  She also came shopping with me to buy vegetables in the local market and grocery shopping and we met Betty for coffee, all very civilised.

On Thursday we went to collect Timothy from Jinja and visited the Source of Nile and Kalagala Falls where a Russian man was canoeing over the Rapids, which was amazing.  Katie and I spent a quiet evening on our own at home seeing the New Year in watching the Fireworks.  Katie being here has brought discussions on many of the aspects of cultural differences, especially on her independence and lifestyle back home.

‘Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid or scared of them; for the Lord your God himself is who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.’ Deuteronomy 31 6-7

New Year’s Day, Friday – Katie, Tim and I were back in Kisenyi, the cook wasn’t around and no other ‘adults’, about 50 of the boys turned up, the older boys had cooked, all was fine apart from a man standing in front of my car hurling abuse, when we first delivered the rice, water etc. in the end I had to drive slowly at him, of course he moved.  Not sure what I would have done if he hadn’t.

We took Tim and the other 5 children to Wonder World yesterday where they spent most of the time swimming, the weather has been wonderful, about 32 degrees, Katie and I sat for a while in the sun.  This morning we are off to KIC ( Kampala International Church) and then hopefully I’m getting some IT advice/help, which I’m in need of.

It seems to have been a busy week, Brian has left to go back to the village, I will miss him, but have a new security young man coming on Monday.  Katie and I have prayed in and blessed each room in the house and the compound – evil forces and practices are never far away.

I am thankful looking back on the past year for the way God has protected, guided and sustained me  in such a different culture, and although sometimes I have wondered what on earth I’m doing here and still do at times, I’m looking forward to 2016 and all the challenges and joys that lay ahead.  Life following Jesus is exciting!

Many blessings for the coming year.

With love and prayers.