Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our home in Masese

We've been with Renee (Serving His Children) for a few days now, and have been getting a good taste of motherhood! Renee has 5 babies staying here in her house that all have some form of malnutrition. Serving His Children is still in the begining stages of their Malnutrition Rehabilitation program, but has drastically changed lives already. Check out these survivors :) Renee's house/Serving His Children compound, where we are staying, is next to Lake victoria in the "slum" of Masese.

Our tentative schedule involving the babies each day is as follows: between 7 and 8am we feed them their Plumpy Nut, baths (if needed) and play time, more Plumpy Nut, nap time, usually more Plumpy Nut a while after naps, play time, Plumpy Nut, then baths and bed time around 7 or 8. That's not to mention the diaper and outfit changes mixed into all of this AND the fact that they don't always want their Plumpy Nut so it can take a WHILE to get them to eat! We are loving every minute of it.

Currently, the babies living and healing here at Renee's are: Alafat, whose mother is actually staying here with him until he's a little healthier. He has to have a specially made poridge every 3 hours. Kamia, who is 2 years old and cannot walk, but is doing well with standing! Shadia is about 11 days old and is fed every 2-3 hours around the clock. Her mother died giving birth and she was fed only water the first week of her life. little Sarah is a diva. She is about 15 months old and has made unbelievable progress since living here with Renee. Becaham is about 15 months old and weighed 6 pounds when he got here last month. We have already fallen in love with these precious children that the Lord is obviously fighting for. He isn't finished with them yet, and we are more than grateful to be a part of His special healing on them!

The feeding program twice a week here at Renee's, was Serving His Children's first project. We were able to help serve beans and rice on Thursday for our first feeding program experience. The children of Masese start lining up in front of Renee's house a couple of hours before the gate is opened around 1pm. They are led through the gate in small groups to go through the line and get their meal, which is usually rice, beans, and a piece of fruit. 110 lbs of rice, 110 lbs of beans, and about 1,000 children later.... everyone is happy :)

Yesterday we worshipped together at Africa gospel Church here in Masese. It is such a blessing to praise our Lord with so many like-minded people here in Uganda! Renee, Candace, Megan and I all walking to church, each carrying a few babies, was pretty hilarious as well. Today, we went for a check-up at the clinic for Becaham. He is doing VERY well and is now a 10 pound 15-month-old! We just got back from a boat ride across Lake Victoria to visit an island with the village of Kasima. A team is coming in July to work with Renee and SHC on this island to build a water tank for the community. Their previous tank broke and they are currently using the lake or bringing water from ACROSS the lake when necessary. So today we went to talk to the chairperson of the village and get an idea of the materials needed.

Our time here has been so eye-opening and, despite some really tough times, we are loving every minute! THANK YOU for your continued support because as we have been a little sick the last few days, we have felt the comfort of your prayers for us! We love you!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Last days at STAO and First day of SHC

The last few days at STAO have been full of excitement! Sunday was a great day of worship at church. We have officially learned 2 worship songs in Luganda! The kids always laugh at us though because we don't pronounce the words right. Later that day Pastor Nelson took us to do a little sight seeing. We went to Bujugali Falls. We took a boat out on the Nile and it was beautiful.Monday was a day of cleaning. Clain and Candace worked ALL day mopping and scrubbing the church floor (keep in ming the water is a 5 min. walk from the grounds and they needed a lot to get the job done). I (Megan) worked all day on report cards for the end of the term, and profiles for each of the kids. Tues was our last day at STAO so we mostly hung out with the kids and played on the grounds. That night we promised a dance party in the girls dorms. At 10pm we all met in the "pink house" and turned up Clain's I-pod as loud as it would go. We had fun but the I-pod was drowned out by laughing girls. Soon Sharon brought in speakers and a CD player and the real party started! The girls loved it. They were dancing and laughing and attempting to teach us new moves. We were all so loud that soon the boys were knocking on our door wanting to join. So of course we let them in for a while! After about an hour we were all exhausted so we said goodnight! This morning we said goodbye to all of the staff and kids and they prayed for our safe journey. I found it such a blessing that the very children we came to help out were praying for US!
Renee from Serving His Children picked us up about 11am this morning and we ran some errands before driving to Masese were SHC is located. There are 5 babies here at the moment that are under close watch and care of the staff. These babies are sick and need lots of love and special feeding. (you can read more at SERVINGHISCHILDRENINUGANDA.BLOGSPOT.COM or SERVINGHISCHILDREN.ORG)

Again PLEASE don't forget to include us in your prayers. We especially ask for prayers of guidance, wisdom, and that the Holy Spirit would move us. It's the half way point and we thank you all for your continued support and love!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Full Days!

Started building a mud hut yesterday and finished today!
Ingredients for a mud hut: Wood, Nails, Mud... Tin sheets for the roof.
The process begins with a frame for the house made out of thin wood poles cut down from the surrounding area. They nail more wooden poles across the frame to support the mud. They add rocks in between the poles to hold the mud in the correct place, then you start adding mud. You throw it at the house then you scrape it off with your fngers and throw it some more, this is so it goes in all the cracks. First you have to make mud, did I mention this? We took the jerry cans down to the stream and collected as much water as we could carry, thank goodness we had some strong guys with us. The guys tilled the earth till there was loose soil in a large area and we poured the water in while they smush it around with their hoes and feet till it turns a sticky consistency. We helped in all of these processes. It was two long days of mud throwing, water carrying and waiting in the sun! We are loving it!
Tomorrow the kids are out of school and are planning a soccer day. They finished their exams this week and have a few days off of school. We hope to get to spend as much time with them as possible since we have been out and around the community these past few days.
We led a Bible study wednesday night for a home cell group. They meet every week in an apartment and worship and study the Bible together. It was so neat to read the Word with other brothers and sisters in Christ. I (Candace) was most blessed by this experience as I'm sure Megan and McClain were too. It is a struggle to communicate sometimes because cultures are so different and everyone is trying to speak english but one thing we dont have a problem communicating on is God's word and His truth in our lives! AMEN!
*Please pray for this generation of orphans that is being raised up. The adults and young adults we are meeting have such a heart for these kids. They know they didn't ask for this situtaion they are in and they did nothing to deserve it but are beleiving God has a purpose and plan for each life. Our prayer is that the seed of God's word would be planted in their lives while they are young and that they will be able to cultivate that relationship and be encouraged to let that seed grow.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A few pictures....

Pictures of us with some of the kids at STAO and some pictures from handing out soap and salt to families in the community!








Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The last couple of days...

It's been one week now and we are almost completely in the swing of things around here! We have been challenged and pushed constantly the last couple of days. God's beauty is so incredibly evident here, it takes our breath away. He is daily humbling us! We get to see His physical beauty in the landscape of Uganda, and in this same landscape He is abruptly revealed through the faces and the red African dirt. We have been able to serve and show SO MUCH love to these precious children :)

Sundays here are a wonderful celebration! We woke up to booming gospel music that could be heard all over Mafubira community. STAO has a church that invites the whole community to join in on for Sundays. We sang and danced and rejoiced in the Lord for about 3 hours! Monday morning we walked down to a house in the village where some women were making the STAO kids' school uniforms. We were welcomed with hugs and smiles. For most of the morning we sewed buttons and button holes on the uniforms and danced to the radio with the women and some of their kids. When American songs would come on we would sing... they thought that was funny. We had a great time :)Later that afternoon we went around to about 12 foster homes around the village and delivered bars of soap and bags of salt. STAO fosters out some of the kids to families in the community, then gives the family some resources to care for them. Many of them would yell and dance and all of them would give us a big hug! It was beautiful! We were followed at all times by a pack of children calling our name out over and over ("MUSUNGU, MUZUNGU"!)

This morning went out into Jinja to the children's hospital to visit and pray with some of the kids, but it was VERY busy and crowded so we had to leave. We have learned that African time is very different from American time. There is no such thing as a schedule or appointment or being on time! It's a nice change of pace, actually. After leaving the hospital, we drove out sort of far to a crowded village where some of the STAO orphans came from. They are a tribe that moved down here from the war-torn Northern part of Uganda... the Karamajong tribe. I can't quite explain how my stomache felt about these people. I thought we had seen the poorest of the poor, but I was wrong. We arrived and another STAO volunteer that came with us brought out his camera to take some pictures and Sharon (STAO employee) told him to put it away because we had to talk to their "Chairperson" before doing anything. So we were led to one of the mud huts to wait for him. These people's only source of income, besides small odd jobs, is making a sort of malt corn liquor. The whole area reaked of it. The chairperson (leader of they Karamajongs), John, finally came and had us sign a tattered visitors book, then had some men lead us around.

We went back to the hospital this evening during visiting hours. We didn't get much time there, but we were able to go through several wards and pray over the patients and their families. The hospitals have hundreds waiting outdoors and standing around waiting for treatment that they may never get. It is extremely disfunctional. The inside is hot, damp, and very poorly lit.

We love you all deeply, and honestly cannot express how much we appreciate your comforting prayers. We are able to pray for THESE people confidently bacause we know that we are also being supported from across the world! The internet is bad here, but we are going to try to post a few pictures within a few days. Please spread the word and know that your prayers are felt DAILY!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jambo Muzungus!

Hello from Uganda! We arrived safe and sound a few days ago. We were promptly picked up at the airport by Pastor Nelson and his friend Wyclef. The drive to the children's home was about 3 hours and the driving was CRAZY! It is very different to say the least. We arrived at STAO's Agape children's home at about 11pm their time and were greeted by some of the older kids who stayed up to wait for us. Our room is very basic. We stay in the same building as Pastor Nelson and his wife Grace who cooks A LOT for us every day! The food she makes is amazing and we are definitely not deprived! In case you were wondering about the title of this post, it means "Hello White people". Everywhere we go, children and some adults scream at us and call us "MUZUNGU MUZUNGU!!" It's not offensive at all,they are just excited and that's what they call white people. The next morning we did devotions and got a tour of the STAO grounds. Since then, we have participated in home visits to do "Needs Assessments" which evaluate the need of the home and what STAO can do to help. We have helped bathe the younger kids (outside with buckets of water and soap). Saturday morning we did laundry... Uganda Style!

A DAY IN THE LIFE.....
We wake up to breakfast and tea, the kids clean and have prayer, older kids leave for school, and young ones have school on the STAO grounds. The older kids come home for lunch and everyone eats Posho (corn meal and water) and beans together. After school is recreation and study time, then baths and dinner. Before bed we have devotions and prayer all together. Candace and McClain led the first night's devotion and sang with them!

Life here is very simple, but we are enjoying every minute. We are slowly learning some of the kid's names, and they are having fun (trying to) teaching us their languge. They love to touch our skin and play with our hair, and fight over who gets to hold our hand!

We are becoming more comfortable here daily, but there are still great challenges. We truly appreciate your prayers for us, and they are heard and felt in our hearts all the way across the world! We haven't had any serious problems, but would love continued prayers for our health. We also ask that you will pray for our hearts to be strong when we face new challenges because they are DAILY. Thank you for the support! We hope to tell you more soon! LOVE.

Monday, April 5, 2010

McClain, Megan, and Candace say farewell

**BEFORE YOU PUSH PLAY**
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Thanks!

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Thank you all for all of the prayers and love you've shown us.
We will be Living His Love in Uganda for the next month, so please stay connected right here at www.livinghislove.blogspot.com

Love,
McClain, Megan, and Candace