Sunday 21st January, 2024

Dear friends,

Last Monday morning I went to work early as the G77 Summit has begun and roads were being closed! When Petra arrived we sorted out the money and later I took Tresor to the bank. Just when we arrived back at the office Benard called to say Ken had arrived at George’s Place and they were expecting a lady from the Rotary to arrive – I drove via the Entebbe Road and found the Expressway open from Kajjansi.

It was lovely to meet Ruth and Ken, we sat in the garden and talked about the work and the boys. Some of the boys went out walking the dogs and others were working, washing up, washing their clothes, watching TV, etc. We checked the boys rooms and the youngest boys’ bedroom was definitely the cleanest and tidiest. I got home easily and brought Johnson (Musumba) with me to stay the night as we were travelling the next day. Tuesday morning Jessie arrived at 8am and we went to collect Peace via the Industrial Area

“Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is.” ― Amy Carmichael

We had planned a busy three days away – visiting a vocational college which turned out to be a school teaching vocational skills, as well as ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels, which is not appropriate for most of our boys who have only achieved P5/6 – their website hadn’t made it clear!

Johnson left us at Jinja, to get a taxi to his grandmother’s.

We stopped for lunch in Iganga at the restaurant where Griffin is training and had also arranged to meet Derek who has been staying with his father in the village. Griffin asked his father to look for an apprenticeship for Derek in a local garage but when we called back on Thursday there were openings but far too expensive for us to consider – we will keep looking!

From there we travelled to Omoding’s home past Tororo – he is still with his grandmother, but we left his college requirements and new school trousers with the stepmother. An aunt called to greet us. Eventually we arrived in Mbale and spent the night there.

Wednesday morning we drove to Sironko on the road to Sipi Falls and met Ivan at his great aunt’s, though he calls her his ‘Jaja’ (granny). She is an amazing little lady looking after two young children who were orphaned when their mother was killed in a fire at a nearby petrol station. The little girl is deaf, with no speech and the ‘jaja’ has enrolled her in a deaf school in Mbale. The boy is really young. She also has Ivan’s older brother staying with her and some other youngsters, none were her own children.

Ivan was fine, we left him with his sewing machine, mattress, metal box, lots of material, zips etc. He will look for a room to rent where he can work from. Ivan and his brother came back to Mbale with us as we needed to get him some machine oil, scissors, cotton threads and a couple of plastic chairs as there were no chairs in the house. We treated them to a local lunch. Ivan sent some photos on Friday as he has started work and made a pair of trousers already!

Following this we met Emma at work and took him back to his home where we delivered welding and grinding machines for him, which he appreciated.

Thursday morning Denis’s grandfather came to Mbale with Denis for us to bring him back. Peace’s sister also joined us for the journey as they have a family baptism this Sunday. On the way we called again to see Griffin in Iganga – I am pleased at how well he is doing. We then collected Johnson – full car!

As we drove through Kayunga we asked Dan’s father to meet us as they have just had another baby ‘Jane’ and of course I wanted to buy some groceries for them . He came with George and a younger son. Dan’s father is always very appreciative – this must be about the 10th child! We reached Kampala in good time but after taking the boys back to George’s Place, the Expressway and Munyonyo roads were closed and it took nearly 3 hours to get home via the centre of Kampala – traffic was horrendous.

Today, Friday, I am having a day off!

Thank you for all your interest in our work – it’s always a busy time in January preparing for the boys to go back to school, into vocational training or being resettled. There are so many blessings and it’s a privilege to see the boys doing well, working and growing up into caring young lads. We thank God for all He is doing in their lives.

Thank you for your love, support and kindness.

Love and prayers