Friday, November 30, 2018

Making the Most of It

As of today, Nov. 30, 2018, we have exactly two months remaining in Uganda before we go back to the US.  This past month has been one of the busiest months we have had, and next month is sure to be even busier.  During this month we helped to add two rooms onto a one room house for a widow and her family.  We hosted Brandon and Erica Kanagy.  Brandon helped Andrew with the home, and Erica volunteered at Victor's Junior Christian School and Girls of Destiny Training Center.  All of us worked with a village church to deliver 20 care packages to needy families that were funded by a community in Alaska.  In the middle of all of that, we also took some time to show Brandon and Erica some of the great tourist experiences Uganda has to offer!

Here is a recap of this past month using some of our pics:

This picture shows the original small one room home that Nalongo lived in
with her two daughters and her granddaughter.

This is Nalongo.  She prepared lunch for the workers each and every day
during the work.  She was so happy and excited.

This is Brandon in his element.  He got to help with mixing some of the cement
and some of the other stuff, but painting is his favorite.

This is the view of the house from the road just before it was painted.

This was taken after the home was finished.  Nalongo invited all of us to
come share a meal in her new home.

Erica is a children's librarian in NC, so she was invited to read some of her
favorite books to some of the younger students at Victors.
They enjoyed it so much!

Erica is also great at sewing.  She volunteered several days with the Girls of Destiny
Training Center where she showed them how to make a quilt.
This shows all of the supplies given with the 20 care packages.  Each package
cost $30 and supplied a bucket, a basin, cooking oil, soap, rice, beans,
maize flour, sugar, and salt.

We were so glad we were able to include our children as we
worked to deliver the care packages.  We were all able to
say a prayer over the people that were receiving.

All of the families were so happy to be given these simple gifts.
Many of them also needed medical attention which we were
not prepared for.  As we deliver more in December we will
be taking medical staff and medication with us.

We were joined by volunteers from the local church in the village to help
us hand out all of the packages.

We took one night and stayed at a guest house on Lake Victoria at a place
called Musana Camps.  It was gorgeous and fun!

We also took a day and went to Nile River Camp in Jinja.  It is right along
the Nile River and has paddle boarding, and a rope swing.
We were so grateful to have the time with Brandon and Erica.  We
all agreed that it would have been a lot harder to say goodbye
if we didn't know that we will be together again in 2 months.

This coming month of December we will be hosting Ricky and Becca Waitman and their family, as well as Jess and Hallie Clark from Alaska.  We will all be working together to conduct a Basketball Camp at Nation Changers Primary School.  We will also be working with other village churches to deliver 80 more care packages.  It will be busy, but we will be making some time to do some site seeing while the Waitman's are here with us as well.

We are still in the process of raising funds for the Basketball Camp and for Jess and Hallie's trip.  If you are interested in donating you can do so by Clicking Here.  Also, if you want to give to help support the Kanagy's any further as they transition back to the US to figure out life there, you can do so by Clicking Here.

We are so excited about everything we have been and are still able to do here in Uganda since we have been here.  We have been here just over a year, but we have been able to be involved in so many different things, and help so many different people in different ways.  Thank you so much to everyone that has helped to make this time for us possible.  May God Bless you richly!

Till Next Time, We Love You Guys!!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Time is Precious

We can feel our time here coming closer and closer to being over, but we are so happy to be busy doing what we came here to do, and to have more projects to do before we leave.  Through the help of many from here and from abroad, we have accomplished so much, and we still have more to do.

We have now been here in Uganda for over one year.  We arrived on October 9, 2017.  What a year it has been!  So many lives have been impacted as a result of our time here and the generous support from those that have given money, time, work, prayer, encouragement, etc.

During this year we have hosted teams of volunteers from the US, we have completed building projects for needy families, planted/harvested crops for children, started an egg laying operation for a local school, and conducted a medical camp that supplied treatment to over 1.000 people.

On top of that we helped to start a soccer program at the school that is still going, did 6 months of Bible teaching for church leaders from several village churches, helped to teach cooking skills to young ladies with little education, have begun supporting the 6 children of a widow who works both at the school and at our home, provide consistent jobs to 9 people and other work opportunities to countless others.

All of those are things that are more tangible.  There are so many intangible affects of our time here that include the relationships we have built with so many here, and the impact this time has had on our own family.  We are so grateful for all of this.  We have experienced and learned so much.

Thank you again to all those who have helped to make our time here possible, and to make it possible to accomplish all that we have been able to over the past year.

Now lets share some pictures from the past month along with captions that explain what we have been up to:

Our goal for this month was to build two pit latrines for widows in a
village about an hour from where we live.

These are the two young ladies that we built the latrines for.
The top one has a mud and stick structure in the woods to use before.
The other literally used a hole in the ground.  Neither had a decent
place to wash themselves.

These are pictures of the Jajas (grandmas) with their new latrines.
Each latrine is just behind their homes, has one stall, and one room
for washing.  Both latrines will benefit the ladies and their families.

The first picture here is an unfinished home that was being built by
one of the ladies sons before he died.  It has sat unfinished for over 17 years.
She has been staying in someone else's home.  We were able to finish her home.
Now she has a roof over her head that is her own.  She will live there along with
several members of her family.

The garden, greenhouse, and chicken house are still going strong.  The children
at the school are receiving more nutritious meals on a daily basis.  The children
are also very involved in helping with the garden and greenhouse.  These projects
provide wonderful opportunities for hands on learning and to take pride in knowing
they helped produce the food that goes on their plate.

Our friend who was making bricks at his home to raise some money has finished
the first round of bricks to be made.  These pictures show the final step where
the bricks are stacked into a huge oven where they are baked using fire wood.  After
they cooled down, they were ready to be sold.

We have had our intern Tanner back with us since early September.
It has been great having him here with us again.  He was a huge
help with the latrines, and the home we finished.

We had several visitors this month.  We had an evangelist from West Virginia and his
daughter that came over for dinner and a night of worship.  We also had another family come
stay with us for several days.  The parents are from Pennsylvania, the children are
Ugandan.  It was really great to share some time with these wonderful people.

We got to go into Kampala for a night with just the two of us.  While we
were there we attended a meeting where Andrew Wommack spoke.  He
is the founder of the ministry where both of us went to Bible School.  He actually
visited us at our home on the Monday after, but we regretfully didn't think about
taking any pictures while he was with us.

That pretty much sums it up.  Time is flying by now.  Next month we have Andrew's Brother Brandon and his wife Erica coming to stay with us.  While they are here we will be building two extra rooms onto the one room home of a local widow here in Mukono.  We are still short of our financial goal for that project.  If you wish to give towards that project, Click Here.  

Then in December we have Heidi's sister Rebecca, her husband Ricky, who are the founders of PUR, along with their whole family, coming to stay with us.  While they are here we will be doing a Basketball Camp at a local primary school, along with a mother and daughter that are coming to stay with us from Alaska.  If you would like to give to help with the expenses of that trip, Click Here.

Thanks again to everyone that supports us, gives towards these projects, and/or thinks about us while we are over here.  It isn't always easy, but it helps to know that we have friends and family back home that are keeping up with us.  We Love and miss you!

God Bless You!

Andrew, Heidi, Ivan, Margie, and Millie

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Follow the Leader

Here we are again.  Another month has past.  New experiences have been had, and new memories have been made.  Every day since we have come to Uganda has been an adventure.  We rarely know what to expect, but we trust and know that we are being held in the palm of God's hand.  We have been amazed by how everything has come together during our time here.  Some has been disappointing, but most has been very encouraging and fulfilling.

We have recently come to a decision that has resulted in a change of plans for us in the near future.  Everything we were assigned to oversee while we are here has been completed.  All that is left for us is to organize and host short term mission projects and teams.  There is no longer a need for us to be in Uganda full time to fill that role.  As a result, we will be moving back to the US in February of 2019.

Our time here has been a very successful.  We have hosted several teams, completed several short term projects, completed larger projects such as the poultry house and garden/greenhouse, built many life-long relationships with local Ugandans, and acquired many useful contacts for future short term trips/projects.

Even though we will not be here full time beginning in February, we are already organizing trips to come back after we leave.  We plan to do another medical camp in April, and we have two church groups scheduled to come back with us next summer to do a building project and other outreaches.

We plan to host all of those teams and all other future teams at a local hotel near Mukono called African Village that is owned and operated by a wonderful ministry here called Vision For Africa.  This will eliminate the expense of the large property where we have been living and hosting teams, and it will not increase the overall trip expense for individual team members.

We have 4 months to make sure that we leave everything here in Uganda well.  We are going to make the most of the time that is left.  We plan to build 2 pit latrines for elderly widows in October.  We will host Brandon and Erica Kanagy in November, while building 2 rooms onto another widow's small home.  In December we will host the Waitman family as well as Jess and Hallie Clark as we all work together to conduct a basketball camp at Nation Changers Primary School.

Now to share some of our memories from this past month:

Our kids joined a dance troop from church that traveled to a village
church to both perform and to hand out clothes to children there.
Pat Lee and Bev Forthun from Williston, ND raised over $1800 to
supply the GOD training center with new equipment.
We met with our feed supplier for the chickens, and they agreed to
lower the price of feed.  At this point we are both saving money to
pay for future chickens, and giving each child at Victor's
school 3 eggs a week!

Pastor Jon Nichols from New Life Christian Center in Turlock, CA
came and stayed with us for a little over a week.  We had a great
time of fellowship with him.

Andrew, Pastor Jon, and Pastor Adam (on left) paid a visit to Pastor Peter (center)
who pastors a congregation in the village of Kitoola.  Our hope is to build a
church for his congregation next summer.  The land for the buuilding is
directly behind them.

All the bricks that Andrew helped a friend make are in the process of drying
within the next few weeks they will be burned and ready for sale.
Andrew, Pastor Jon, Pastor Adam, and Pastor Fiona (pink dress)
all visited two widows in a village near Nkonkonjeru who
are in need of a pit latrine.  We plan to build each of them
a latrine during this next month of October.
The next crop of vegetables has been planted into the ground.  Now we
are praying for plenty of rain and another great harvest!  Thanks to
everyone that gave towards the expenses of this season.
The greenhouse is growing strong!  We have been harvesting green bell peppers
for most of the month, and tomatoes and eggplant for half the month.
To finish out this month we were invited to stay at a campground near Lake
Victoria as compensation for Andrew speaking at the camp's church.
We were invited to come to the campground by Kevin and Angela Blank and
their family.  We had such a wonderful and fun time together.
The views of the lake from where we stayed at the campground were Amazing!
On the way home from the campground we had some car trouble.  We got
to sit along the side of the road for a few hours, but we still had a good time.
That pretty much sums it up.  Thanks again for all of you that help to make our time here possible.  We still have 4 months here in Uganda, so we are still in need of any financial support we can get.  You are welcome to give online by clicking HERE.  This has been, and will continue to be an amazing experience for our family.  We believe the Lord has been able to do so much through us to make a positive impact on the lives of others.  We are sooooo grateful for this opportunity!  We are going to enjoy the time we have left, and we are excited to make the transition home in February.