8th October, 2017

Dear friends,

I have had a busy week with the Mothers’ Union.  On Wednesday Conny and I met with the South Sudanese MU who meet at Namirembe Cathedral.  Her church, St. James, Clapton had raised a small amount of money for them to distribute food/help to local refugees in need.  It was an enjoyable time of fellowship, forging links with the members of this South Sudanese branch.

Later in the week, I travelled to Mbale to check on Augustine, who is now doing an internship with a building company and learning about pebbledash, tiling etc.  The teachers at CCP are so happy with him, his attitude and commitment to work is wonderful.  He regularly visits his mother and supports her in whatever way he can – usually sending her some of his pocket money.  We also met Tim who is now working in Mbale – prayers please for him as he settles into work and being independent.

‘Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ 1 Thessalonians 5 v18.

Friday I went to Bududa and visited the MU in Bukigai.  Homes of Promise helped them with building their hostel, they rent a couple of rooms to a teacher which helps with their Funds.  They were busy using the sewing machine which the MU in London Diocese donated (turned into a treadle machine now).  They have a dressmaking teacher who is helping them to make clothes for children and even Gomesis (national dress).  I enjoyed lunch with them and they proudly showed me a small outside kitchen and store room they have afforded to build. They have started on the foundations for a pit latrine but need help in getting this finished – which we will look into.  There was dancing, singing, speeches and prayer – a really uplifting visit.  Whilst we were there we donated some of the football kits we have been given by Spurs (too large for our boys) to the local village team, usually in a match one of the teams has to remove their Tshirts to indicate which side they are on – the young men were so appreciative and each one had to have a separate photo taken with me!  Football is an important pastime in the villages – very few homes even have power!

We called to visit Silivia (the first home that HoP built, she is a widow, quite poorly and has 5 young children.  Jennerson is always so pleased to see us, he was collecting water when we arrived and appeared soaking, nothing deterred his enthusiasm and happiness at our arrival.  He has an amazing smile (the other children are all girls) and is such a delightful child.

Whilst in Mbale we took three boxes of ‘fish and chip’ baby clothes and distributed them to the young mums in the local hospital – this always takes a while as we have to obtain written permission from the Hospital Secretary before getting permission from the rather strict nurse in charge of the ward!  But everyone appreciated, many of the mums were sat outside with their relatives.  There were 42 babies in the neonatal ward.  We were sent three beautifully knitted dolls and these have all found good homes!  Thank you to all the knitters – I will also give some more of the baby clothes to the SS MU to distribute.

At our weekly staff meeting, we always begin with a time of prayer and sharing and with the help of St Paul and Nicky Gumbel, we looked at how to cultivate an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’.  This was a really special time where everyone contributed and we felt perhaps this should be our motto for the year.  Even in the most difficult of situations we can still focus on ‘Giving thanks in all circumstances’.

As we travelled back from Mbale we stopped to buy our boys oranges and met a young boy selling aubergines, I couldn’t resist buying the bowlful and fortunately we had a pair of flip flops which fitted him!  Quite a crowd of children arrived so Bob handed out pencils and notebooks which pleased them; we had one small pair of football boots which were gratefully received – they were all so excited that someone had benefitted and there was no jealousy.

I enjoyed my time travelling around, the roads are bumpy and dusty and there are always some heart breaking sights – so thoughts and prayers please for the many children in Uganda who won’t be having a meal today.

With love and prayers.