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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Gift Toward Self-Sufficiency

We just returned from a 2 week trip to Uganda and, as always, were blessed and ministered to by the very people for whom we seek to minister.  We were blessed to partner with some ladies in the U.S. who provided the resources we needed to purchase sewing machines in Uganda.  We were able to purchase 7 of them and they were distributed to 4 geographical locations, 3 in Kyamagemule, 2 in Karamoja, one in Kawuku, and one in Kajjansi.  Because electricity is often an issue, the sewing machines are equipped with foot pedals that allow the ladies to sew without electricity.  In each of the areas where ladies received the sewing machines, there was great excitement and hope, as the ladies each realized the potential this gives them for generating an income for them and their families.  In Kyamagemule (which is also where we will be drilling the well), the ladies begin training this week on their sewing machines. We will also be working with them in developing a technical program which will build upon this new project, and eventually will add more areas of study.  In Karamoja the ladies in a small church will be the core group to begin this program of sewing.  We are also excited to tell you that one of the young ladies that received a sewing machine had just graduated from a sewing program in Uganda and was given a small space to start a business.  She grew an orphan in a local orphanage and from there finished school and got a diploma.  She was knitting sweaters for our sponsored children in Karamoja, and now has added making uniforms to that list.  Not only has the sewing machine allowed her far more opportunities for self-sufficiency, but it has now involved her in ministry work with Mercy Uganda. What a blessing!  Through God's grace and mercy, and the gifts of others, we were able to provide Mary with resources to help her build a small business, and involve her in helping others too. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Team is in the field........and the fields are ripe for the harvest!

Laura traveled to Uganda on June 8 and is busy!  She had lots of plans.....updating sponsorship information, meeting with the Minister of Ethics to talk about child sacrifice and many other things.  Whatever God places in her path she's ready to do! 



Playing with Lawrence......he's come so far in the last year!


Some of the work being done....As unbelievable it is, these are desks in a classroom.

New desks being built......

This is Kato....as you can see he needs some orthopedic work.  Laura will go with Kato to have x rays and see that the orthopedic surgeon gets them.   The last trip included an orthopedic surgeon and two ladies from his office.  He saw Kato and wanted x rays.

One day in the not so far future, Kato will get his much needed surgery.

There are several teams that go to Uganda from our church and other churches.  Below, Roth is in  Uganda with his wife and daugher each using their talents in different areas. Roth takes a break from   building desks and buildings to hold a little girl while Lauren, shows her her picture on the digital camera screen.  Lauren is living in Uganda right now and working in many areas.

There is much work to be done and many hands and hearts are needed.

The plans for the well in Kyamagemule are coming together and being finalized.

Children are being seen for medical concerns.

Children are getting sponsored so they can attend school.  Many of the sponsors sent gifts and letters to their children. 

Ugandan people are learning to build and to take care of themselves.

God is working in wonderful ways through Mercy Uganda.  Thank you for your support!

Stay tuned for many great stories of changed lives and lots of pictures when Laura returns.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Blessings

I will be making another trip to Uganda in just a very few days.  Because of the generosity of so many people, Mercy Uganda has been able to provide many things.  Children are in school, who, otherwise would not be able to attend.  Cows are being purchased to help remote villages start over after a series of things left them devastated, roofs are being repaired even this very moment, sewing machines will be purchased during this trip, and some much needed medical care will be given to a number of women and children.  Something I continue to learn in life is this.....we tend to view our struggles as things to run from, things to pray that God will rescue us from.  What I am learning, though, is this....those very hardships mold us into more compassionate people, give us cause to lean more on our Heavenly Father, and strengthen our faith.  I see the needs in Uganda and how overwhelming they are.  I also see the faith of so many in Uganda, even in the very midst of the hardship.  Then God gives me glimpses of His tender mercy, His blessings in their lives, and ours.  I see how He uses the lives, the experiences, the struggles of you and me, and then works through them to minister to our sisters and brothers in Uganda.  I was looking at the pictures of the damage from recent storms in Karamoja and could not help but think back to January when I was there.  They had not had rain in 5 years, and were in the midst of a long and difficult drought.  All of the cattle from the 2 remote villages I visited had been stolen by raiders....around 100 head of cattle.  They were hungry, lacked resources to start over......and then......the rain.  Yes, the rain has damaged some roofs.....but God is providing for that too.  What is so significant is that the rain has turned a dry and barren place into a beautiful green and fertile land once again.....God's blessing!  God led precious sponsors to this ministry who have helped get 10 of the 31 children who need sponsors, into school.  Blessings....they are all around us....sometimes we forget how to see them, sometimes we don't try.....we get wrapped up in the pain of the moment and miss the tapestry God is weaving on the other side.  I'm learning,by God's grace...I'm learning!