26th December, 2021

Dear friends,

Greetings and Happy Christmas from Kampala.

As we have only had 10 boys at George’s Place this week we’ve had a very quiet week – though lots of excitement!

On Christmas Day the boys asked to come to my church, which is held at Makindye Country Club. We arranged for Jesse to drive them; most of the staff are on holiday and Tresor helps to set up the church’s sound system so wasn’t available first thing. I had asked another young man who I know from church, Arthur, if he would come and help this week and he stayed over night on Christmas Eve (and Christmas Day) to bring the boys, also to make sure everyone was up and ready on time! They arrived safely, looking very smart! After the service there was a large cake and lots of different ‘bites’, even some mince pies which were not filled with mincemeat but a kind of fruit mixture. I then met the boys back at George’s Place and we walked to the local cafe for our Christmas lunch. We had all chosen a main meal and drink from the menu the day before so everything went smoothly and we enjoyed our meal. Following the meal we walked back to G.P. and then Tresor and Arthur took the boys down to KK Beach for the rest of the afternoon – this is the first time they have been to KK since it closed nearly two years ago.

‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ Romans 15 v13

I then went and visited Christine from America, where Diana and Ian were having lunch and enjoyed homemade pecan pie with ice cream which was delicious. Diana is off to Moyo, near the South Sudan boarder, early in the morning, as she is running a training course for teachers for the week.

On Wednesday we had a games afternoon and played ‘Beetle’, ‘Tommy’ (a Smarties game), table tennis, chequers and balloon games – all good fun. The boys also asked if they could cook and choose the menu this week , which I thought was a good idea, so we let Gorette have a few extra days off. Spaghetti, omelettes and chapatis have featured for breakfast most days – they haven’t spent any more money but we seemed to have sodas more than usual!

I visited Salabed on Friday morning to collect a box of T-shirts and baby clothes that I sent off shortly before I left the U.K. The boys were all able to choose a new tshirt and we still have plenty left for when our other boys return.

Diana and I also went house hunting as we have to be out of the house where we are staying by the end of January. We think we have found somewhere for the next few months but haven’t as yet signed a contract.

Tresor and Arthur took all the boys, even little Dan on Thursday afternoon to the market at Ggaba to spend their Christmas money from Paul, they arrived back with mostly hats or trousers. Emma joined us for Christmas as he had not wanted to travel to Mbale to visit his grandfather, he is quite a comedian and him and Shaffick together seem to have everyone laughing! Shaffick was funny as he thought he was ordering a whole fish with his pilau rice on Christmas Day and was slightly disappointed when it was just pieces of fish mixed in with the rice! It was fine!

John (Musumba) has just called into my office to say that he wants to be an actor. He asked if I knew Dwayne Johnson who inspired him! Am afraid I didn’t! He also came to ask me the meaning of ‘swerve’. We talked about studying hard at school especially English, reading good books, speaking clearly. I’ve said I’ll look for a James Bond book for him and lent him my dictionary so that he can look up the meaning of words he doesn’t know. I find the conversations I have with these boys really inspiring – they have so many hopes and dreams.

We do hope you have all had a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and wish you Health, Joy and every blessing for 2022.

With love from