My heart is full! The saying is true, 'sometimes when it rains it pours'!
This past week God answered our prayer for a vehicle for Rays of Hope. Francis found a 96 Honda CRV in excellent condition with really low mileage and we were able to purchase it for our long journeys to Kaberamaido. Travel is next to impossible once you get out to the village without a vehicle and we found renting or hiring a car to be too expensive to do time and time again so we 'bit the bullet', so to speak, and have thanked God every day since for the incredible vehicle he brought along our path.
Last week Francis and I traveled to Kaberamaido (and are still here). From a past trip here we discovered that there is a building not quite complete in the village where we own land so decided to ask about the possibility of renting it to begin a school, since it will still be some time before we have the money in place to build our own.
The owner was more than happy to make a contract with us that if we agree to purchase the remaining things for the structure and provide the money needed to also build a latrine (about $3,000 dollars worth of materials and labour) then the building will be ours to use for the next 3 years! We've accepted and are moving forward with that plan in place, hoping to have the building finished in the next two weeks. Our plan is to begin a small school until we have one built ourselves that can accommodate more children and classes.
We have decided, since most of the kids in the village have never been to school, (the closest school is 5 miles away) that we would use the two largest rooms as classrooms, one for pre-school and the other for Primary 1 (Grade 1) and the third, smaller room, as an office. Since we cannot at this point accommodate a lot of grades at one time, next year we plan to transition to making available P1 and P2 classes.
The village parents are very happy and excited about seeing this progress. What parent doesn't want the best for their child?!
As we move forward we are trusting that God will provide for the costs we have need of for the work He has called us to do and we know as well that He may possibly want to use YOU!
Here is a breakdown of some of the costs involved:
$3,000 dollars for the building to be completed for use (and the latrine to be built)
$100 dollars per month to pay 2 teachers a fair salary
$420 dollars – for 6 sets of tables with 2 benches (each set is $70)
$180 dollars- 2 Teachers' desks, 1 office desk and three chairs
School uniforms for the children (includes shirt and shorts, or dresses, socks, and shoes) - approximately $25 dollars per student (we need 60 uniforms)
School supplies ($3 dollars per student) – this includes exercise books, pencils, etc...
Porridge for the students ($50 dollars per month)
Purchase of cups and pots ($50 dollars)
If you, your small group or workplace would like to commit to purchasing any of these items for us please let us know. Tax deductible receipts will be issued for all donations given. Just write a separate note stating what it is meant for.
Though this is somewhat of a costly endevour, we really have God's peace that we are moving in the right direction and need to move forward, trusting that He will provide.
On the topic of 'how the Lord provides', I have to mention just how faithful God has been to provide for my needs month after month. Just this month it seemed as though my financial 'cup' was running dry only to find out that someone sent in enough money for almost 2 more months for me here. Thank you friends, for your faithfulness to God's leading and for blessing me with the encouragement of your support!
Another 'thank you' goes out to those faithful ones selling crafts to help us fundraise! We SO value and appreciate your effort and hard work and a special thank you to the person who has already raised over $1500 dollars for us in the last couple of months and is still enthusiastic to do more to help(you know who you are). Your tireless labour of love for us, and for the people of Uganda does not go unnoticed!
Other answers to prayer and joys I've seen in the last 2 weeks...
'Rays of Hope for Uganda' has received its certificate of registration as a ministry in the Kaberamaido District – We will pick up the certificate this week!
Sonrise Babies Home now also has a children's home! Pray that all the finances come in that are needed to purchase all the furniture so the older children can transition and more babies can be taken in to the babies home.
Bible study continues to grow, with 16 people (and a baby) in attendance last week
Something that brought a smile to my face as well is that Francis and I also had the joy of purchasing his 13 year old brother Mariko a bike. I don't think I've ever seen a kid with a bigger smile than the day that we got Mariko's bike for him. The kid has never before owned anything as nice or as valuable as a bike, and he is delighted! Mariko really deserves it so we were so happy to get it for him! I was more overjoyed for him to have it than if it was for myself!
Amos, a boy I know that I mentioned in my last blog post, now has a sponsor for this year of school! He is SO very grateful to the people who stepped forward to help him. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!
Well, I'm sure I've overwhelmed all my readers, but hopefully it has strengthened your faith and brought some encouragement and joy your way. We continue to ask for your prayers and support. We know that we really can do nothing on our own.
For those who feel led to give to our school project here in Kaberamaido, please make cheques out to 'Rays of Hope for Uganda' and mail to my mom (Joanna Hulowski) at:
RR5 site 23 box 165
Prince Albert, SK, S6V 5R3
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Once I return to Jinja I will post some pictures on facebook from Kaberamaido. Please take a look through... I'm sure you'll be touched, just as I have been by the people of Kaberamaido.