Hello dear friends...
I feel like it has been so long since i last wrote! It has been a busy last few weeks. My mom arrived at the beginning of January, and just last night she flew away. It was sad to see her go, she really is one of my best friends, and i am thankful to have such an amazing, supportive mom who happens to love Uganda as much as i do. She will be greatly missed here, not just by me but by many of her other 'kids' that she has here. She has left a hole in each of our hearts with her absence. Thankfully, there is email and facebook!!!
I have exciting news to share! Last week we took a trip up to Kaberamaido with the intention of purchasing land. We went with one piece of land in our minds only to find an even better piece of land for the same price. The funny thing about this is that both Francis and I were talking last month that something just like this would probably happen... God always seems to surprise us!
It all happened so quickly and smoothly, just as we were praying it would. The very first day Francis and Allan (Francis' cousin) looked at the land, all the local counselmen, the landowner and his brothers and witnesses all loaded into the van and we made a deal to purchase the 15 acre parcel. We were able to get the land for much cheaper than the man originally wanted for it... as a community everyone encouraged him to sell it to us as the development (our ministry) would serve as a blessing to the community and they didn't want to miss out.
I'll tell you a little bit about it... the land is right along the lakeshore of Lake Kyoga in a small fishing village called Akampala. There is plenty of room to build (and most of the building materials are right there already and the villagers even make bricks right there themselves so we do not have to move far for these but can get the work done on our doorstep!). There is also a lot of space for farming and agriculture. We hope to plant some cash crops, possibly cotton or sunflower one day to help support the ministry in time. And because there used to be a corral somewhere on the land we even have some good manure to spread to give nutrients to the soil! We would also like to have cattle, pigs and chickens one day as well... in time, and there are PLENTY of fish in lake Kyoga!
So far, i think i saw one mango tree and some orange trees (possibly 20 of them), though the orange trees are doing poorly and need some special attention!
The plan is to build an orphanage there, made up of many little homes, as well as to provide a clinic, school and church to benefit these children as well as the surrounding community. The nearest school is approximately 5 miles away and most of the children in the area do not attend, though they themselves and their parents would like them to.
Our initial focus with this project will be to begin construction on a large multiplex building which will work for now as a community centre, church, clinic and the beginnings of a school. Additionally, we will be installing some water tanks to be used for water treatment and a few latrines. We have great need to buy a truck as well as this land is in a remote area and transport is challenging without a reliable vehicle. The villagers are very excited to have us move in ‘next door’ and we will be grateful to hire them to give assistance in some areas of the building/farming process.
We have already spoken to the local counselmen in Kaberamaido and informed them of our plans. They informed us that the registration and paperwork may be grueling but they are thankful for what we plan to do and will help us as much as they can and help direct us along the way.
Why this area in Kaberamaido, you may ask? Well, for those of you who don't know, the vision for this ministry was born in the heart of my friend Francis who is now my work partner in Uganda with this project. Francis was born in Kaberamaido, but after losing both parents was taken to live at an orphanage in another district. For the last few years he has had a burning on his heart to give back and to help his own people because he has seen the great need of the people and has found that there are almost no other NGO’s or local ministries operating in his home district, so here we are, moving towards that dream. The cool thing about the ministry team that God has put together, my mother, Francis and I, is that all along it seems that we are thinking the same thing, are on the same page, so to speak, regarding both small and large things, and are willing to be flexible and hear eachother out as well. I pray that God would continue to grant us the Unity of the Spirit and that it would always be by His leading in His time! Right now, Francis is in school, taking a business and management course that I believe will be, and has already been, helpful towards this ministry. He also, months ago, attended a Watoto Children's Home Conference about starting ministry and gained some very useful information in that time as well.
With a dream and endeavor of this magnitude we also recognize our need of help from outsiders.
If God places it on your heart to help us in any way, by financial means, or by helping us do fundraisers, or, possibly one day by bringing a team of volunteers, all would be appreciated! Already there are a few ladies i know who have graciously accepted the challenge to sell some necklaces for us in Canada.
If you do choose to donate please make the cheque out to: ‘Rays of Hope for Uganda Inc.’
And mail to:
RR5 site 23 box 165
Prince Albert, SK
All donations given to ‘Rays of Hope for Uganda’ will be issued a Canadian tax receipt.
If you have any other questions or would like updates on our project please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or talk to Joanna Hulowski at 306-763-5626. I, or Joanna, can provide you with our registered charity status number upon request.
Thank you for your interest!
Love and appreciate you, my friends!