Where there’s hope…

Uganda has been on my heart this week, more than usual. No reason – I haven’t been emailing friends or on Facebook with them anymore than usual. Nothing has happened. I just find myself thinking about driving on those rutted roads, or watching the rain move across Lake Victoria in the early morning. The joy on the children’s faces (and the teens, too!) when we gave them bottles of Touch Bubbles and let them play. The singing and dancing of the women when we gave them food for their families. The little smirk on Marvin’s face as he walked across the little concrete pad, when he couldn’t even crawl the last time I saw him (for those of you new to the blog, Marvin is 3, but had been severely malnourished and so is developmentally delayed). Little pictures flash through my mind at odd moments, and make me smile.

I’ve been asked a lot this week, too, when I’m going back. Usually at this point after a trip I know. But I have no idea. I’m pretty sure it won’t be in 2012. I’m toying with the idea of a solo trip in early February, maybe only 10 days in country, which would be a whirlwind (this trip was crazy, and we were in country for 16 days!). The trip after that would depend on a number of factors since my son will graduate from high school in early May, my daughter will graduate from college in early-mid May, and it’s possible she will be getting married in the summer. My son wants to spend his gap year in Uganda, but we won’t know about when he could go until all of that is finalized. I’ll go over with him, whenever that is!

There’s a lot we need to do this summer as far as fundraising, or planning for fall fundraising, and the time is ticking by incredibly fast. Please keep us in your prayers as we look at our budget and the growing needs, and as we seek out new donors who can come along side us and allow us to keep doing what we’re doing, and even to expand.

Project Friendship!


New opportunities – help needed!

Project Friendship bracelets and tees at the basketball camp reunion party

As I mentioned here, we discovered that there were 20 homeless kids living at Ray of Hope, at the new and the old school. Because they were only getting breakfast (bread and sugar) and lunch (if they were at school), but rarely dinner, We made a budget and commitment to provide dinner for those kids, plus Mama Santa (who cooks for them) and her 5 kids. The cost for this is 450,000 shillings a month – only about $230. That’s a lot of dinners for a little bit of money!

There is another need, and I’m trying to figure out a solution for 2013. What Emily with Ray of Hope dreams of doing is having a house and a warden where all of the Haven kids can live. This would give them security, supervision, food, love, support and shelter. But the cost for this is about 600,000 shilling a month, in addition to the food costs. Because Hospice Jinja has increased their outreach, and because fuel costs are so much higher than even a year ago, Ten Eighteen just can’t take this expansion on right now. We’re working on some interim solutions, but we hope that you will pray with us, that in 2013 we will be able to move these wonderful kids, who have no one, into a group home where they can be safe. For only about $300 a month, we can do that… but only with your help.

As I said, Hospice has expanded it’s outreach into 2 neighboring counties by adding another team and vehicle. This has raised the monthly fuel costs from 1.2 million shillings to 1.9 million shillings, which we are struggling to provide. We would love to enlist some hospices around the country to help with this expense. It’s a wonderful cause, and so very needed in Jinja and all over the country.

Finally, we are still planning to complete the primary school, slowly but surely. We continue to need help with that.

Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers!