August Prayer Letter

Dear Praying Friends,

Y’all are the best ever!!! Last month I asked for funds for a special Christmas for Maama and Pastor Ernest and their children. I was hoping to have enough funds by November to bless them with a trip to the zoo and new clothes for each child. Well . . . you have certainly outdone yourselves and more than enough money has already been given to completely cover their Christmas!! I can’t thank you enough for your generosity.

This has been a month of both incredible highs and tragic lows.

Last week we received news that two of our children from one of our facilities had died. One young man had been resettled back with his family about three months ago. He was having medical problems and was put in the hospital for a week. The doctor said he was improving nicely and sent him home. He died about three weeks later. The other young man was one we were with twice a week. We all had a special bond with him as he had epilepsy and would occasionally have seizures. We all tried to look out for him, be his friends, and make sure he took his meds. He apparently went to wash his clothes at a place where they take cattle for dipping. They think he had a seizure and fell into the water and drown. Unfortunately his body was not discovered for two days. Most of the children at the facility saw his body as it took the police seven hours to respond to the call. Our hearts are broken. Our children have been quite traumatized by the entire situation, however, God is using it for good. The kids are really thinking about eternity and realizing we are not guaranteed another day of life. They have been so receptive to God’s word, and are asking a lot of questions. Some have even given their lives to Christ. Please continue to pray for these children.

In 2005 I taught Kindergarten on the island of Guam. There was a darling little girl in my class named Sarah. I left Guam in 2009 and had not seen her since that time. We reconnected a couple of years ago through Facebook. Sarah s now going to school at Columbia University studying engineering, and that brought her to Uganda working with engineers without boarders. She contacted me and we had lunch together! She is still darling and what a glorious time we had catching up on each others lives. A blessing from the Lord indeed!

Last month I mentioned that I’m teaching at Gateway School once a week. I was teaching short vowels and the children read the word can. I asked them what a can was, and they weren’t sure. The next week I took in a can of beans and said, “This is a can.” I asked if any of them had cans of food in their homes, and with confused looks on their faces, they said, “NO!” Can you even imagine? Sometimes life here is so different and I just stand in awe of these precious people.

A couple of weeks ago I had one of the sweetest experiences of my life. A young man who goes to church with Meredith (my roommate), invited us to his home for dinner. He volunteers with us at one of our facilities and he has an incredible testimony. His parents died when he was very young and he lived with his grandmother. He became a Christian, but when his grandmother died, he was sent to live with his uncle who was Muslim. The uncle allowed him to stay but said he was not to talk about Christ. “E” loves the Lord with all his heart and couldn’t help but share what God has done in his life. He led one of his cousins to the Lord so the uncle kicked E out of the home and told him to never come back. He now lives with another cousin who is also a believer and is going to seminary. E was starting catering school so wanted Meredith and I to come and eat his cooking before he started school, and then wants to have us back after his schooling to see how much he has learned!

He met us at the main road and walked us to his home - we could never have found it on our own. He opened the door to his home and it was an 8ft x 8ft concrete room with one window. The pit latrine is down the block. Inside was a bed, a small, tall table with two stools, 4 large plastic containers that hold their food - dried beans, sugar, maze flour, rice, a cardboard box that holds their clothes, a small book case and a small cupboard nailed to the wall. When we walked in, with a big smile on his face he said, “Sit on the bed, it’s for you!” He sat on one of the stools and his cousin sat on the other. We talked and laughed and shared stories for two and a half hours. He served us delicious rice and cooked cabbage that he had made on the charcoal stove outside his house, on the two foot wide walkway that connects all of the homes. I have never experienced such hospitality!

Thank you for your prayers and for standing with us through the good times and through the difficult times. We know God is in control and has a perfect plan. Also, thank you for praying for the street children who were brought to our facility. Of the 400 they brought, only 54 remain with us and they are now allowing them to attend our prayer and worship times!! Praise the Lord!

Love,

Ava