This week we heard the best excuse ever for being late for school, one you will never hear in the UK….”sorry I was late but we think we heard a leopard and we didn’t want to disturb it so we ran home…… quietly, and waited until we were sure it was gone.” How cool is that excuse! Who cares if it is true or not - it was a beauty!!
For the last year Kathryn has taken over the running of the 6-12 year olds children church. This often consists of a group of about 80, outside on the grass, seeking shelter under the nearest trees. It is very enjoyable as well as a challenge due to big numbers, limited (or no) resources, and the language barrier - our Luganda is not great unless you want to keep greeting or else buy tomatoes and onions!! She has built a good team of helpers from our secondary aged children who live here at New Hope. She has also started to visit some of the families of children from the village every other Sunday afternoon.
Chelsea fans get everywhere!
We were introduced to Silas at the new Hope baby House and since then we have always felt a strong connection to the place and the babies there. Silas has too - he will always manage to pray for the baby house even when saying grace. The coordinator of the baby house left recently and until a new one is found, Kathryn is helping to cover some of the roles that need to be covered. This involves spending time up at the baby house with Hope and Blessed (the two ladies who run Hope House on a daily basis), giving some level of spiritual and moral support, making sure that they have the supplies they need and generally trying to be friendly! We appreciate these two ladies and think very highly of them – they constantly serve, and sacrifice for the little babies who are there.
In the early adulthood section which Steve coordinates, the beginning of the year has been a whirlwind and it seems like 5 minutes since the year began! At the beginning of February we always run a youth week for our P7 who have a big exam year. Our theme this year was “Seeking the face of God”. The goal of the week is to experience God as father, set priorities, have fun, get wet and eat food …and to build good relationships with the children. What a week! Exhausting but great fun, impacting for the children and we pray it makes a difference for their year ahead.
Investment year also kicks off at the same time. This year we have 16 young people aged between 17 and 21. Our goal is to invest in them in many ways - for their future, as well as now. The investment year is such a privilege to be involved in as we see the young people change, and gain new skills and confidence.
Throughout the year the young people get the opportunity to learn computer skills, have some driving lessons, handle money wisely, read the bible consistently, and run a small business. At the moment they are all working in different parts of New Hope, teaching, nursing, accountancy, secretarial jobs, receptionists and surveying. Later in the year they will have the opportunity to work in places in other parts of the Country …. and even other East African Countries, in a variety of jobs.
I got my hair braided – it took Aunty Gertrude a whole day and a bit. It really hurt. When we went swimming last w/e I learnt to dive without holding my nose. Every Friday morning we go up to the baby house and I am learning how to get them dressed and bath them….there is a baby called Jeremiah who is really cute. There are 6 babies there at the moment who have been orphaned.
A few weeks ago everyone at New Hope harvested maize…as you can see I was crucial to the whole operation. I am now potty trained and still like beans and rice.
In school I am learning about World War 2…..it is really interesting. Some of my friends and I are making a film on their video camera…..it is called ‘Last of the Ninjas.’ I am counting the days until Joel K comes.........it is going to be so exciting. Two weeks ago I cut my fringe and it is still trying to grow!
Remember – Uganda is a very nice place to visit! You are all welcome…though maybe not all at the same time!
Steve, Kathryn, Joel, Anya and Silas