Bibles for Uganda

We have an opportunity to ships some of the new Luganda Bible to Uganda for no shipping costs! If you’d like to help, please click the DONATE NOW, or contact me at jennings at 10Eighteen.org (put it all together!). The cost per Bible is $7.01, and Pastor Sam Namatiiti, will be distributing them to retired pastors in the villages. Because these books are large, in order for the print to be big and the cost to stay down (the publishing cost rises with the number of pages), 15 books weigh about 30 lbs. That makes it difficult to ship or for someone to take as baggage if they have a lot of other stuff. This is a great opportunity, then, to get a significant number to the Buganda people.

Hey, $7 is less than a movie ticket, right? 🙂

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Fundraising and 2014

JW at babies home copy

I don’t very often overtly ask for money for Ten Eighteen. People have been generous, and we do all we can with the money, not taking any administrative costs at all and using the money to sustain and slowly further our work in Uganda and now in Andros. But sometimes you have to ask, and ask openly. This is one of those times!

We’ve been notified that our biggest donor isn’t going to be able to donate much or maybe even at all in 2014. Their year end gift has allowed us to meet many needs in Uganda, as that first school term (which starts in January) is the most expensive. This is when kids have to pay not only school fees, but also for uniforms, books, exams, and the things they’re required to provide to the school (toilet paper, reams of paper, etc). Our early January, 2013 wire to Ray of Hope was almost 17,000,000 shillings, or, at the current exchange rate, nearly $7,000.

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We currently have at least one, and possibly more, fundraisers in the works for the remainder of 2013. I’m speaking in Houston in November about hospice in Uganda and hope to form some partnerships on that trip. The following weekend I’ll have a booth at a local baptist church. I’m open to speaking, Skyping, or simply sending a DVD or other information for you to present to your church, women’s group, homeschool group, Rotary, or any other group that may be looking for an organization to donate to.

In short, we need you. God has sustained Ten Eighteen for almost five years. In all of my prayers, I’ve never felt like we were done, or even that we are to reduce what we do. (We haven’t expanded at all in Uganda in 2013, and our expansion into Andros is more of a time commitment than a monetary one.) But what that means is that our faith will be tested as we rely on YOU, on those who have prayed for us and followed us and gone on trips with us.

Amanda and Precious

Please pray about partnering with Ten Eighteen, with either a one-time donation, or by sponsoring a child, an elderly widow’s rent, helping monthly with the cost of the hospice fuel, or any of our other programs. As a registered 501(c)3, all your donations are tax deductible per IRS rules, and again, we take ZERO administrative costs. When we go to Uganda or Andros, we personally pay for our airfare and most of our expenses in country. The only thing Ten Eighteen pays is local transport and the few nights we have to stay in a guest house instead of in Kampala. Those cost are usually less than $300 a trip.

If you’d like to donate, please go to our GoFundMe site. You can check out all our programs at the website. Please share the information with anyone you think might be interested in partnering with us, and anyone who might want to go to Andros to work with the elderly during our monthly trips in 2014.

Blessings!

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Why back to Uganda?

Prossy, her mom and brother in front of their home

Prossy, her mom and brother in front of their home

When I first started Ten Eighteen back in late 2008, I didn’t know that I’d ever go anywhere. My thought on the organization was that it would be a way to raise money for two missionary friends who were already serving overseas. But, as so often happens, God had different plans! Once I made the first step of obedience to start the 501(c)3, I made the 2nd step of renting a building for Ray of Hope in Kampala. Once that was done, my kids and I all had a strong sense that we were supposed to visit Uganda. Once we did that, we all knew that it would be an ongoing thing.

The question is why? I mean, traveling to Uganda is time-consuming and expensive. I’m away from my husband for three or more weeks at a time, spending four days traveling, paying for airfare and guest houses and transportation. Why can’t I just stay at home and raise money, then wire it over there? That’s $50 per wire, which is a lot cheaper than a $1700 plane ticket. Right?

Well, here’s the short answer.

As I look back, Ten Eighteen actually came to life about seven years before late 2008. I had been drawing and painting distressed people for some time, with no real idea why except that they had interesting, character-filled faces. A few years later, during worship at church, God showed me the real reason: He had been showing me His forgotten people. Not that HE had forgotten them, but we (the West) had. He was introducing me.

Once I went to Uganda the first time, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Ten Eighteen was going to be about relationships. It would be easier to make it about money. It would be easier to just send the money, communicate by email, and go on my merry way. But God.

Two more of our sponsored kids

God is about relationship. Many nonprofits, especially those overseas, are about doing the stuff. Now don’t get me wrong – the stuff needs to be done. Buildings need to be built, wells need to be dug, orphans need to be supported, vaccines and mosquito nets need to be purchased. School fees and rents and micro-business loans or grants need to be financed. All that stuff is vital, and we do some of it. But in the midst of doing the practical stuff, sometimes the people get lost in the shuffle. Sometimes organizations don’t even ask the people what they need. I’ve even read an account of a short term team that painted a house… without asking permission of the residents! They were just doing the stuff.

There’s more to it, though, at least for Ten Eighteen. For us, it’s about knowing those who we’re helping. It’s about hugs and laughter and shared tears and true problem solving. The kind of problem solving that solves the problem the people actually have, not the ones I might think they have. (Believe it or not, that’s not always how it works!) For us, it’s about seeing the same people time and time again, knowing their families, knowing their situations, knowing their needs. It’s about sharing a meal and catching up and chatting on Facebook. It’s about time more than money. For those of us in the First World, time is something much more valuable than money, and something we tend to be a lot more miserly about. Write a check? Yep, you bet. Take three weeks of my life to walk around the slums? Ummm… here’s a check.

Getting some of the 9 shots I got prior to the first trip... Thank goodness for the panda!

Getting some of the 9 shots I got prior to the first trip… Thank goodness for the panda!

Uganda, because it is two days of travel away and it does involve some things like building a building and financing school fees, is a lot about money. Ten Eighteen doesn’t pay our travel expenses, but it does pay 75 kids’ school fees, elderly women’s rents, feeds 30 street kids dinner nightly, pay for two social workers’ salaries, has funded over 40 micro-business grants, is building a primary school, sponsors four orphans, and pays all the fuel expenses for Hospice Jinja. That adds up, although not to as much as you think. We also have a party with all of our Namuwongo/Ray of Hope/basketball camp kids each time we’re there. That gives us a chance to give out friendship bracelets, share a meal, catch up with what everyone is doing, and just love on each other.

Thank God for the tent!

Party!

So that’s why I’m going back for my 8th trip. I have friends – family, really – in Uganda. They are not forgotten. My job is to show them that, and to introduce you to them. I leave on September 12, and would love your prayers for safe travel and a good trip. I’d also love your financial support to help us with the things we’re doing there. Any amount helps – you can feed a family for $5 a week. You can sponsor a child’s school fees for between $90-300 a year (depending on grade). You can help us with the fuel for hospice, without which hundreds of patients can’t be seen, can’t be given morphine, can’t be brought hope. You can fund a micro-business grant for a single mother in the slums. As little as $25 can get them started.

I’m not a great fundraiser. I don’t like to ask for money, and I’m much happier sharing stories and photos of my friends there with you. But we do need help, and so I’m asking for it. You can donate at GoFundMe or on our website. Know that 100% of your donations go to those in need in Uganda and now in Andros. (You can see what’s coming up there here.) Thanks in advance, and God bless!

Arise Africa babies home, two of our sponsored orphans, Marvin and Faith.

Arise Africa babies home, two of our sponsored orphans, Marvin and Faith.

Andros Update plus Solar Oven Kits

TenEighteen copy - Version 5

I have been traveling a lot, and haven’t been very good at updating the blog (although the Facebook page is updated regularly, so you can head over there and Like it, so you get all the latest news!). There have been things happening, so here’s a quick update.

ANDROS:

Yesterday I wired the retainer to the attorney in Nassau, and I’m praying they don’t need it all to get the nonprofit company started there. Yikes! I also sent them the Letter of Engagement – I’d done an informal one by email, but this one was the long one with all the legal-eze in it.

June 15 is the deadline for our team members to have their airfare money in. That means we’ll be getting tickets soon! That’s really exciting!!

It looks like I will be heading down in advance of the team, in order to meet with the attorney, as well as the doctors at the main clinic in North Andros to talk about both hospice and bringing a medical missions team to the island. It makes sense to fold those into one trip to save the airfare, for sure.

This little fruit, the ganip (gunip?) will be ripe when we are visiting! My son (shown here in 2009) is really mad he'll miss them!

This little fruit, the ganip (gunip?) will be ripe when we are visiting! My son (shown here in 2009) is really mad he’ll miss them!

UGANDA:

Uganda is having some political issues at the moment. The government shut down 2 newspapers and 3 radio stations because of news unfavorable to the president. There were riots earlier this week in the industrial area near one of the newspapers, with police firing tear gas into the crowd. However, at least one of the papers has now reopened. My friends who live there didn’t even know about the riots until I texted, so it wasn’t too bad. But between now and the election in 2016, when Museveni is supposed to step down after 30 years, I expect some problems. He is grooming his son to take over and bypass constitutionally mandated elections… This isn’t going to go over very well, I’m afraid.

Today I ran into a lady at the farmers market who has invented very inexpensive solar oven kits to turn basically anything into a solar oven. I got 4 kits – $5.25 each! – and am going to try one out myself, then take the other over. If they work, it would be a great addition to people’s cooking, and save them one or two meals of cooking with charcoal. I’m excited to see how it works! She was making tea, baking a small cake, and cooking meat out there in her booth, so I know it does something!

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We will be taking tee shirts to Uganda this time. We didn’t take shirts in February, so it will have been over a year since we’ve handed out Project Friendship tees to the kids. Many are still wearing them, so it will be great to add to their collections.

Morette May 2012

Morette May 2012

PROJECT FRIENDSHIP:

New Life Camp starts tomorrow, and they are all set to make friendship bracelets for us!! This is such a wonderful partnership, and I’m incredibly excited to share Ten Eighteen and Project Friendship with the kids at NLC. This is the first summer in over 15 years (probably more like 18) where I haven’t had a child either attending or working at New Life Camp, so to know we’re still involved is wonderful.

Project Friendship tees, May 2012

Project Friendship tees, May 2012

BUSINESS STUFF:

Our donations for 2013 are down from the previous 2 years, but we are still able to meet our pledges. However, we aren’t going to be able to add anything new unless we find new people to partner with us in the work we’re doing in Uganda and Andros. Please visit our website to see all that we have going on. If you are able, we would love for you to click on the Paypal link to make a one-time donation, or you can contact us about sponsoring a child’s school fees, an elderly lady’s rent, helping with the Haven feeding program, the hospice fuel, or any of the other things we’re doing. Remember, we take no administrative costs at all – 100% of your money goes to help those in need! We really appreciate your prayers, and hope you will consider helping out with our programs.

Jacob at the Arise Africa babies home

Jacob at the Arise Africa babies home