January Prayer Letter

Dear Praying Friends,

My heart is overflowing because of the goodness of the Lord! I did not realize when I headed back to the United States how exhausted and empty I was. However, through your love and the encouragement through God’s Word, I was refreshed and renewed. Thank you for your many acts of kindness. You listened for hours as I talked about my babies in Uganda, prayed for my cataract surgery, provided meals, picked me up from various airports, dropped me off at others, prayed for my family and for my safe return to Uganda.

One of the first things I was able to do when I arrived in the States, was to meet with my new board! I am still working for 60 Feet, but will be raising money through Chara Unlimited, a 501 (C)(3). The Lord has put together an amazing board and I am so thankful for their expertise and godly wisdom. Chara will have a website with an online giving option for projects soon, but for now checks can be sent to Chara Unlimited, 12003 Runningmeade Tr. SE, Huntsville, AL 35803.

My cataract surgery was completely successful. After watching the procedure on you-tube, (I did wait until I had both eyes done to watch it!) I can’t believe it was painless!

Right after my cataract surgery, I flew to Nebraska to visit my mom and brother and his family. Mom will turn 90 in May, so we spent time planning a family reunion for her 90th birthday! It was wonderful getting to see many family members there.

What fun to get to spend hours with my children and grandchildren! We all gathered at Lake Guntersville in late December to spend Christmas together. My 10 grandchildren were together for the first time ever and the laughter, games, and mealtimes were chaotically wonderful! No family reunion would be complete without a stomach bug, so we shared that as well. Ten out of the 21 of us came down with it at various times, and my daughter even took it back to my son and daughter-in-law in Texas who were not able to join us in Alabama!

The Lord opened doors for me to get to share the work of 60 Feet with Life Groups from my church, a precious home school group, Owens Cross Roads Elementary School, members of the missions team from Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, and Rivertree Church. After I spoke at Rivertree, the pastor announced to the congregation that because of their faithfulness in giving, money had been provided to build a new children’s home in Uganda for Mama Catherine and Pastor Ernest. They have 28 foster children at this time, but have raised more than 200 children! I wish you could have seen their faces last Sunday as I told them this incredible news! Words can’t begin to convey their joy and gratefulness!

I have been back in Uganda just over a week and am finally over jet lag! When I went to M3 on Monday, the children nearly knocked me down as they crowed around for hugs and kisses! Precious!! They said, “Jajja, we were afraid you weren't ever going to come back.” I assured them that I wouldn’t leave them. On Friday we went to M1 and some of the children I had in my reading class in November have been resettled. Many new children were rounded up in December and brought out. Right now there are 312 children! I met a new girl and we started visiting as we were walking up to the girls’ dorm. She is from South Sudan and her family had to flee to Uganda. They were living in a refugee camp, but she came to Kampala to try to make some money for the family. She was living in the slums and selling dry goods on the street. The government did a street sweep (where they arrest children on the streets and bring them to prison) and brought her to M1. She told me she has to stay for two months. When we reached the dorm, the girls were in the middle of bible study so we joined them. Please pray that this precious young lady will come to know the one who died for her.

The girls have been learning to crochet and “Mary” gave me a purse she had made. Mary is a Muslim girl who had never heard about a God who loves her and died for her sins. She has fallen in love with Jesus and given her life to him! There were strange things happening in their dorm as a result of witchcraft, and the girls came together and said they knew Jesus was more powerful than any witchcraft, so they are now getting up at 3:00am to have prayer, and praise and worship together. Since they started that, there have been no other issues!

In Uganda the school year starts in January, so we are busy trying to get school fees paid, requirements, school uniforms and shoes purchased and distributed. My roommate, Meredith, is in charge of sponsorship and she is amazing! I would like to share a story about one of our sponsored children.

Back in November, a young girl came to stay with us for a couple of days while she finished up her S4 (equivalent of senior year) exams. I have known her for two years, but had never heard her story. Several years ago “Sharon’s” younger sister died as a result of witchcraft on a Friday night. The following Sunday her dad died, and a month later her grandfather died. Her mother and older sister started abusing her and because of their horrendous abuse, they were both put in prison. Sharon was sent to live in M3 and was eventually taken out of there and placed with Mama and Pastor where she started to thrive! She loves the Lord and has done well in school. Her mother and sister were released from prison, and now her mother wants Sharon to quit school and go to work so she can support her. Please pray for wisdom for us to know how to help Sharon. The government is saying if children have parents, they need to leave the foster homes and go live with their parents. I can’t imagine what this would do to Sharon, especially with the history of abuse. We would love to provide further schooling for Sharon, but right now we don’t have the funding to do that.

One hundred and twenty-five children are in our sponsorship program, but only about 40 of them are fully sponsored. We desperately need more sponsors. If the Lord leads you help in this area, please visit the 60 Feet website for details. www.sixtyfeet.org

I have mentioned before about the driving here. It is treacherous as the motorcycles weave in and out of traffic, drivers make 4 or 5 lanes out of 2, people walk along side the road, in the road and cross the road constantly. Just this week we had a child run out into the road and hit the side of our van as we were driving. Praise the Lord he was ok.

Nehemiah 4:16 says, “From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows and coats of mail.” As we work in the field here, we thank you for “holding the spears, shields, bows and coats of mail”, for being our intercessors. We couldn’t do the work without you!

Love,

Ava