Monday, October 25, 2010

A Week (or so) in the Life of . . .

I really do want to try to keep everyone updated, but our week has been busy with visitors and the everyday stuff of life, and I haven't had time to write a new post - so I decided to take the easy way out and just share my Facebook status posts for the last week or so. Not very in depth or insightful, but it gives you some of the flavor of our days here. For those of you who follow me on FB, sorry for the repeats. (I would be glad to "Friend" any of you who want to follow through FB.)

October 15, 2010. Had a wonderful visit today at Redeemer House with Deb Steiner, her mom Janine, her son Seth, and her new little daughter Betty of Uganda. Deb visited us last May with a mission team, and now she's back to take her daughter home to America. Betty is almost 2, HIV+, and a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e! So glad she has a forever family to love her! Thanks, Deb and family, for showering the Redeemer House kids with gifts and love!

October 16, 2010. Had our two newest kids, Trevor (age 7) and Madrine (age 7) tested for HIV yesterday. They are both negative! Praise the Lord! We just take the kids God sends us, and none of them have been positive. That's amazing in Uganda, especially since many of these kids lost their parents to AIDS.

October 18, 2010. Said goodbye this morning to our last three chickens. Enjoyed them (mmm, mmm) tonight as we shared dinner with a mission team from Powell Butte Church from Central Oregon! What a blessing to have them stop on their way home from ministering in Eastern Uganda to meet the kids of Redeemer House! We love you guys!

October 19, 2010. I think one of my favorite moments in a day is when I come home from being gone for a couple of hours, and I’m greeted as soon as I step through the gate, but a delighted chorus of “Welcome back, Jaja Kathy, welcome back!” as a swarm of little black children run out to “catch” (translate: carry) anything I’m carrying and take it to the house for me, all the time hugging me, grabbing my hand, and jumping on my back.

October 20, 2010. I think Anna, our 19-year-old Redeemer House volunteer, has officially adapted to life in Africa. Tonight, as she was eating dinner on the floor, a pesky bug beelined for her plate, and she calmly picked her plate up, trapped the bug underneath it, and went on eating!!! Yep, TIA! (This Is Africa!) Gotta love that girl!

October 22, 2010. On Sunday, Esther, Brian and Api rescued a little bird who had fallen from his nest and brought him home. Monday, our last 3 chickens became dinner. Tuesday, alas, the little bird, revived on mashed avocados and milk, flew the coop. Wednesday, we lost our puppy, Scooby, when he was hit by a car. So sad - no more animals - except the 3 pigs and a goat that live elsewhere. (Shh – the kids don’t know it, but we’re getting a little kitten next week!)

October 23, 2010. After a wonderful return visit from the Steiner family of Chicago - Deb, her parents, her niece, and her two kids (Betty will soon be officially Deb's, and an orphan no longer!), we are all gathered in the sitting room by candlelight (electricity’s off), chewin' bubble gum and rockin' to the music on the new IPOD they gave us. Everyone is loving it! Thanks, Deb and Catherine!

October 24, 2010. Great worship service at church this morning! After lunch walked down with 12 kids to see our pigs - Benja and Napolean (referred to as the "men pigs") and Shauna (the "woman pig"). Yes, my kids named their woman pig for their beloved Auntie Shauna, my daughter-in-law, after I told them she likes pigs. Doesn't look like they’ve gained a pound in the four months we’ve had them, despite all I’m paying for pig feed!

October 25, 2010. After meeting with a morning visitor, I'm off to try (again - for the fourth time) to get signatures on two letters from our probation officer, then to the lawyers to deal with our registration, then to school with our newest girl for placement tests, then making arrangements for a trip to Jinja tomorrow to look for a house and find a school, among other things. Wish I could spend more time with the kids, and less with all the business stuff!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We now return with a word from our sponsor . . .

I thought the hardest blog to write would be the first one, because I just didn’t know where to start. However, I’ve found that picking it up again after dropping the ball for a while is every bit as hard! Things got a little crazy – and a bit difficult - after my last post in April. Since then:
• We have had three mission teams visit us and bless us at Redeemer House.
• We let our mama go.
• We’ve gotten temporary care orders from the government for our kids – Hooray!
• We’ve looked at land to purchase for our orphanage.
• Teacher Henry has been added to our staff – a great blessing!
• The first adoption of one of our kids is in process!!!
• We have welcomed three new kids to the Redeemer House family – one of whom has since been restored to his family.
• In the process of helping two widows start a business, we got into the pig raising business (with 3 pigs).
• I went home in June to visit my family and friends in America.
• Two new grandbabies joined my family in America this summer (proud Grandma beaming as she posts)!
• I returned to Uganda in September with Anna, a 19-year old who is volunteering for 3 months at Redeemer House.
• One of our original Redeemer House girls, Annet, returned to her extended family.
• Many people in America have blessed us through fundraisers, sponsorships, visits, gifts for the children, and all kinds of support and encouragement.
• Through it all, our God has shown Himself faithful to this ministry and the children of Uganda!!!
Each of these could be a blog post of its own (or several posts), and I will revisit some of them in the future. I have dozens of posts bumping around in my over-full head, and it seems that time is always an issue. There are so many, many God stories! I really want to share more of them with you! The kids are thriving, and blessing me every day. There have been some challenging times, some sad times, and yet . . . I am so glad to be here, doing what I am doing, serving a God who has given all for me, loving the children He loves so much!