Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Moving Forward!

THANK YOU!  Thank you to everyone that has helped to make the work of PUR International possible here in Uganda!  There is so much we have accomplished, and so much we still hope to do.  We are continuing to help people here in practical ways as well as emotional and spiritual ways.  Here are some photos showing some of the things we were up to over the last month:

On the last Saturday of May Heidi went to the remote village of Kyajja with several ladies from Girls of Destiny (G.O.D.) training center to deliver sanitary kits to young ladies from the area.  There were over 300 kits that were created and donated by a sewing group from North Dakota.  They were delivered to us by two members of the group that came with the Medical Camp team in April (Thanks Bev and Pat!).  Each kit had 2 pairs of panties, 2 reusable pads, 8 shields, a wash cloth, soap, 2 plastic bags, a carrying bag, and instructions for use.  To those of us from Western cultures, we may have a hard time understanding the importance of a gift like this.  These girls don't have access to disposable sanitary protection.  Many of these girls do not have a good way to manage their monthly flow, and some even stay home from school during that time of the month.  This was a great Blessing to these girls.

Kyajja is also the village where Andrew led a 12 week Bible training class on "The Gospel".  On the same day that the sanitary kits were given to the young ladies of the village, Andrew and Pastor Adam were able to present certificates to most of the members of the class.  Beginning on the first Thursday in June Andrew has begun a new Bible class on the book of Romans.  He is teaching the class twice a week, once in the village, and once in our home in Mukono.  The people here are so eager to learn more about what the Bible teaches.  It has been a wonderful experience both for Andrew, and for those that have attended the classes.

At the beginning of June a new term started a Victor's.  It has been fun for us to see all of the kids back.  Soon the boys will be back to training with football and preparing for the next primary schools league.  PUR International has provided football (soccer) equipment for the school teams, and volleyball equipment.  These are things that are used by the children on a daily basis.

We are finishing up our first round of vegetables in the garden.  As soon as an area is finished being harvested, we are preparing to plant.  We have been pulling up all the old plants, reshaping the beds, and putting down new mulch.  In Uganda you can grow things all year long as long as you have irrigation to use during the dry seasons.  This country really is blessed in so many ways, and we thank God for providing for the needs of the people of this country.

When we first started the garden we had hopes that we would have enough produce to sell some to pay for expenses, and then still have enough to provide vegetables to the school.  We spent most of our first harvest selling all of the vegetables to the market.  We made very little, and we have had to change our expectations.  We are now committing everything we grow to be used at the school in hopes that we will have a financial return by attracting more students with parents that desire better nutrition for their children.  We desire for all of these projects to eventually be self-sustainable.  Since changing our direction with the garden, the school has taken much more ownership of the garden and shown a much greater desire to be involved.  It has been so much fun to watch these children.  The school has started a gardening club in which some of the older students volunteer their time in the mornings and afternoons to help out in the garden.  There are also several classes of younger children that are coming to learn about how to garden.  We have also seen improvement in the efforts and attitudes of the men who are working in the garden.  They find great fulfillment in sharing their knowledge and teaching the children good farming practices.

We have plants growing in the greenhouse!  By the end of this week we will have plants in all 600 planting bags.  We have planted several different types of vegetables that have the potential to yield fruit for a long period of time under these more controlled conditions.  We will see what grows well, what produces the most, and what is most useful to the school.  Our hope is that the tomatoes and the eggplants do well because they did not do as well as we hoped when they were out in the open.  Those two vegetables are the most vulnerable to some of the diseases that are in the soil here in Mukono.

EGGS ARE COMING!!  We finally have eggs in the chicken house.  Right now about 50% of the birds are laying, and the eggs are still smaller than what we can use to sell.  All of these eggs are being given to the children at the school.  We expect to have enough eggs laid by the hens that we can eventually give one egg a day to each of the children at the school, while at the same time have enough to sell and cover expenses.  PUR International has provided the funds for this project, but most of the management has been done by local experts who are members of True Vine church and are active within the ministry.  We are so impressed with how well they have handled it.  There have been a few challenges, but the men in charge have enough experience to know exactly what needs to be done.  The chickens are healthy, the house is in good order, and the results are showing it.

This past Sunday was "Women's Sunday" at church, and Heidi was invited to be the main speaker.  She did GREAT!!  On Saturday night we had a group of the young ladies from church stay over night with us.  All of these girls attend the Bible class that we do at our home, and we have really enjoyed fellowshipping with them.  They are a really great group of ladies.  Sunday morning was spent doing hair and make-up and getting all decked out for the special service.  It was a lot of estrogen in one place, but Andrew and Ivan weren't too bothered by it.  They are used to being out numbered.

We have been here for almost 9 months.  We have experienced a lot of change and a lot of growth in so many areas.  Sometimes it feels like we have been here a long time, but our kids help to remind us what a short time it really is.  Our kids have adjusted well, but each day we can see that they are still adjusting more and more as time goes by.  They still miss what they can remember from home, but they are holding on to those things a little less every day, and they are enjoying life here more and more.  They love having friends over, and they love being home.  They love being together and playing with each other.  They are so much closer to each other now than they were before.  We plan to be here for 2 full years.  This time is passing by quickly, but we know they will have some great memories of their time here.  We trust that there are so many wonderful things that are being developed in them through the experience of living here, and we thank God for this opportunity.

Thanks again to all of you that have helped make this dream a reality for us.  We are determined to make the most of our time here.  With that said, we again want to invite you to come here and see all of this for yourself.  Our ministry here is both to the people of Uganda, and to the people that come to stay with us.  If you have any interest at all in coming to Africa, PUR International offers very affordable all-inclusive 10 day trips for $1,000 plus airfare and travel documents.  This invitation is for individuals or groups.  You can pick from one of the Upcoming Trips on our website, or we can work with you to plan a custom trip that fits your needs.  We have contacts for all of the amazing tourist experiences here in Uganda as well.  There are so many different options here both for helping those in need and for having exciting new experiences.  We will not be here forever.  Our plan is to come back to the US by October of 2019.  If you want to plan a trip to come while we are here, the time to start planning is now.  You can Contact Us through the website, or you can email us directly at anhkanagy@gmail.com.  If you wish to give towards PUR International, you can use the Giving Page on our website.  You can give directly to our organization, give towards supporting the Kanagy Family, or you can give towards specific projects and campaigns.

God Bless You!

Andrew, Heidi, Ivan, Margie, and Millie