5th November, 2017

Dear friends,

This week we visited three of the new boys’ families.  Shafic who comes from near Iganga, James from the Mbale area and Saviour from a village near Tororo.  We were away for three days and there was lots of travelling involved.  We managed to have a couple of meals with Augustine and Timothy in Mbale with time to talk to them.  Augustine needs a new pair of football boots size10, but we couldn’t find a secondhand pair big enough in the market, hopefully, when the parcels arrive from the UK he may be in luck!  He plays football most evenings after work and takes himself off to church on Sundays, he is such a lovely young man and a real blessing to Homes of Promise.

‘The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.’  1 Samuel 2 v 7/8

The poverty was disturbing in the villages we went to, lack of food, clothing, literacy, personal belongings – James has seven siblings, the parents were working in a rice field when we found them, the baby strapped to his mother’s back.  They come from Karamoja and rent a home near Mbale – they are hardworking, pleasant people but really poor – they try and find work to feed the large family God has blessed them with. They asked us if we would take their twin daughters as well, but of course, we couldn’t do that.  We were able to buy them posho, beans and bread for a few meals.

Saviour’s family were also finding life difficult.  His parents have split up and he stays with his grandmother, stepmother and father who tries to find work on a daily basis.  There are 5 boys who have all left home – a Ugandan woman arrived in the area saying she knew white people who would educate the boys if they came with her.  She collected a little food from the parents and took the boys to Tororo – sadly no one helped them and the boys found themselves living on the streets collecting plastic bottles to sell and eventually drifted to Kampala.  Joshua one of Saviour’s brothers has returned but they believe the other three are all in Kisenyi.  From a photo I remembered praying with one of them, Brian, last week at the outreach, he was wanting to return home – we will see if we can find him again and help. Joshua would really have liked to return with us to George’s Place.

On our way to find Saviour’s family we went to a village and found his grandmother on his mothers’ side and an aunt and we were able to give out a number of the knitted jumpers to children who were walking around with little on.  

Shafic had lived with his grandfather and step-grandmother.  Another sad story as Shafic seems to have lived with the ‘grandy’ most of his life who being Muslim has a number of wives and I’m not sure how many children/grandchildren.

Friday we visited Steven in Kisenyi who’s foot still looks in a bad way but his back wounds have healed.  I met Charles when I was walking around and his neck wound definitely looks better so I was able to buy him some snacks.

It has been a difficult week seeing so much poverty and so many people living in dire situations.  

With love and prayers.