Monday, March 8, 2010

In Uganda at Last!

I have been in Uganda for less than 3 full days, and I don’t know where to begin! I am just now getting a chance to update, as the days have been very full. We had the wonderful experience of having a mission team from Hands of Hope, based in California, visit us for the past two days. Their visit was such a blessing that I want to devote a whole post to it, so I will try to do that in the next couple of days.

First of all, and most importantly, the kids! It is so wonderful to be back here with them. To be greeted with “Welcome, Jaja Kathy”, “Praise God, Jaja Kathy”, “God bless you, Jaja Kathy” by 14 laughing, giggling children, as they all attempt to hug me and help carry my things, does wonders for my soul! Even though I have come at this time essentially to take care of business (see below), they help me remember that it is not business, but love for the children, that brings me here. It always amazes me that God has given us 14 such lovable children to care for! I want to tell you more about each of them over the next few weeks and months.

After arriving in Uganda late Friday night, I met with Peter Nyombi, our newly-retained lawyer, the next morning. How grateful I am that God sent us to him! He is a highly respected, God-fearing man who understands that Redeemer House Ministries is motivated by a love for the children and a desire to walk obediently to God’s call for us to care for orphans. He also has a great deal of experience in working with setting up foreign NGOs (non-government organizations) in Uganda, which is what we have asked him to do for us. When he learned I was in Uganda for the fourth time and did not yet have a Ugandan name, he called his office staff of 3 into his office, and in a small “ceremony,” he gave me the name of Nanyonjo, from the Clan of Nakinsige (a small Ugandan bird), which is his clan. While it was an honor to be considered a part of his clan, I’m not sure why the office staff all laughed at the name he gave me!

Peter will be working to help us gain our NGO status and become a legally recognized entity in this country. At the same time he will be preparing many necessary documents we will need as we continue to operate here. It’s the kind of essential but frustrating process I hate to have to deal with, and it is nearly impossible to know how to negotiate it in a foreign country, so we are blessed to have Peter’s services. Besides the acres of documents I brought over with me, I also need to obtain a letter from the American Embassy, prepare a yearly work plan, and meet with someone from the Ministry of Gender (which Peter will arrange), for now. Peter will be taking care of almost everything else. Later I will need to do a few other things, such as go before the NGO board with Peter to present our application.  The process is likely to take 3-4 months, and I have committed to remain in Uganda until it is finished.

Please pray that God will grant us favor, throughout the many steps of this process, with the many different government entities and people with whom we will be involved. Also, please pray for funds to pay the necessary fees. Peter’s fees, along with all the government fees, come to just over $2700. This is not in our budget, but is a necessary part of doing business here, so that we can care for the children God has entrusted to our care. We believe that God will provide for this, and are eager to share the “God story” we will have to tell when He does.

Thanks for all of your prayers as we carry on with the work God has given us to do!



1 comment:

  1. Seriously tears of joy as I read this! I have chills and am beaming! I was so worried that we had not heard from you! Then I got a forwarded letter from Wendy and it sounded like all was well.

    I am loving that Peter gave you a name! I knew he would take good care of you!! I just love that man! I know he has a lot of preasure but seems to handle it with God beautifully!

    Oh I have so many questions but for now I am so thrilled to hear your joy - you are right where the Lord wants you!

    Praying for you!