20th December, 2015

Dear friends,

Christmas greetings.

Last Sunday Tim was one of the wisemen in the church nativity, I was really proud of him as he hasn’t done anything like that before, he had to say a few lines using the microphone and did well. Sue, Barbra, Tresor and I were there to support him. He is going to his uncle this Saturday until New Year, he wanted to go and as the long term vision of Homes of Promise is for reconciliation with relatives plus sponsorship where needed, it feels the right way forward. I’ll miss him! We managed to get him a month’s supply of ARVs on Tuesday, the hospital lost his notes so we were there 5 hours, just sitting around on uncomfortable benches, I think we then jumped the queue to see the doctor but I couldn’t protest at not wanting favouritism, just said a thank you prayer!

There have been so many children at the Meals for Kids project, the 20+ boys who staying locally and the slum children wait for leftovers, we could be feeding far more than the normal 100, but Kampala City Council are really against them being fed so we have to be careful not to attract too much attention. I don’t think the authorities realise the extent of the problem – or don’t want to.

After checking on George’s Place on Tuesday afternoon (name of the boys’ home when it opens) we went to Gaba to buy fish, Bob managed to buy 8 large tilapia for 50,000UGX (about £9.50), I keep out of the way otherwise the price doubles, so fresh fish for the next few days. Sue, Pat and I are having an evening out on Wednesday as they both leave at the end of the week, even Tresor is going to Rwanda to see his family.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3 v16

Homes of Promise are helping the refugee family from the DRC, (mum recovering after being badly injured, husband killed, 4 lovely children, Edward, Jonathan, Joshua and Natalie). They are needing a decent place to live and she is asking for help to start up a business selling fish. Please be praying for them.

Christmas seems to have bypassed Kampala, very little in the shops, cafes or on TV advertising the Good News and no expectation of gifts. There have been a few accidents nearby as well, when we were driving back from Gaba some men had been digging foundations in Kasanga and the earth fell in on them killing 5, a government minister and a prominent business man have died in traffic accidents this week and we saw a young boda driver laid out at the side of the road this morning. The other sad news is that Antony, the young boy who had the tumour on his face which was operated on lost his father. I was telephoned on Wednesday evening and was at Retrak when they broke the news to him, the father was an AIDS victim, it is so sad, although they had spoken on the telephone recently, Antony is an orphan now. Sorry, probably not the normal cheery Christmas letter you might have been expecting, but it’s how life is here, you learn to appreciate the day and give thanks for having survived so far.

I do hope you all have a peaceful, blessed and Happy Christmas. Thank you for all your support over the last year, I have learnt so much about myself, my motives, my lack of patience, gentleness and all the other fruits of the spirit but God is gracious and many people’s lives have been changed through the work of Homes of Promise, so we give Him the glory.

With love and best wishes.