SPRING IS HERE!!
Ok, well almost.....well, ok, it's Wisconsin, who am I kidding. I mean, today it was 60 and sunny and BEYOND gorgeous and it's not even technically Spring. However, Wisconsin is like a split personality hormonal teenager so I fully expect our worst snow storm to come yet in May. It's also 2021 which has proven to be even crazier than 2020, so, well yeah, I'll just enjoy today. :)
I have some really, REALLY good news I am just so excited to share!! Some of you may know, that last year God led me to two young men in Jinja, Uganda named Abel and Daniel. They were brothers who had been orphaned as chidren when their parents had died from AIDS. As orphans, they had been brought to faith and confirmed in the Lutheran Church of Missouri Synod faith working in Uganda. They were separated as children and found each other later in life as young adults. Today, Abel and Daniel have been led by God to begin their own orphanage for the children of Jinja who too have lost their parents to AIDS or other tragedies. The government of Uganda gives a small amount of money to care providers of orphaned children, but so little it's barely enough to keep them fed and clothed. All of the other money they rely on through donors they have connected with over the years. One thing to remember here, is never once did these men seek me out and try to get money from me. It was actually the opposite situation and the story is a bit long, but in short, I found them and wanted to know why we had a few mutual friends on Facebook together. Less than a year later, through God's good and gracious love and mercy, we have raised enough money to build a school for these orphans AND a new, very modest, orphanage right next to the school. It literally has brought me to tears so many times. These children have become so precious to me and many here in the states. There are anywhere up to around 13-14 children at one time with Daniel and Abel. In fact, one of these little girls they currently have was an infant that Daniel found in "a pile of rubbish." He truly hadn't the space or funds or food to take in one more child, but yet he did...because that is who God has led him to be. They have volunteers that come in on a daily basis to help bathe, feed and do the girls hair, and help with their homeschooling. The children are always SO happy and smiley when I chat with them over video calls. The men always have them so very clean and well cared for. They have their own garden to provide more nutritious food. They also head into the villages often to bring God's saving word to those in even MORE poverty and ill health. Daniel has touched and prayed over those with leprosy, yet he himself has never contracted it. I asked him once if that ever made him scared he would get leprosy and he said to me, " I just pray over him and touch him and the Lord has always kept me safe." What childlike faith from a once abandoned child himself living in a third world country, taking care of three to four times the amount of children I have. Daniel himself is not without ailments himself. Late last summer he was hospitalized for a severe infection and pain. When I saw pictures of him in the hospital Abel sent me, I just gasped. A rusty framed bed with a thin, incredibly uncomfortable matrress is what he laid in agony upon. Tied up to that, a (what looked like to me) makeshift IV. Daniel was not even going to stay in the hospital because they have no money for that and the bill was going to be over $5,000. We (another lady who works with me with this mission) told him he had to go and we would figure out the payment later. Lo and behold, another donor came through and paid the ENTIRE hospital bill. Once again, our amazing Lord took care of all. However, Daniel does live with a chronic health condition and we really do need to get him to a doctor in the U.S. Thankfully, none of the current children nor Daniel or Abel live with AIDS, and for that we are so very grateful.
Uganda recently went through another election, and similar to ours, ended unfavorably. The country will now be in its 35th year of its president. (And anti-Trumpsters thought they had it bad? PUH-LEASE!?!) On 16 January 2021, the electoral commission of Uganda announced that Museveni won re-election for a sixth term with 58.6% of the vote, despite allegations of electoral fraud, violent suppression of the opposition, and human rights abuses. I know this to be true because Uganda was put on a complete internet and technology black out for almost 2 weeks. I was unable to be in contact at all with the orphanage and it was disheartening and concerning. Lo and behold, their "dictator" (as the locals put it) won again. Since the election, the men have even more limited internet access and making phone or video calls has been almost impossible because of time difference and the cost of what it is for them now. They did however try to call me on my birthday and were able to get a few texts through to me. The love and concern my Uganda family shows me is a precious, rare, inexplainable gift. In a year of stress and pain and anger and sadness, God brought this amazing family and opportunity into mine and my family's life and the thankfulness in my heart swells. It has also brought so many of my states side friends to be interested in the mission and show their love and support in many ways from financial, to prayers, and to emails and other forms of contact. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
If you would like to be a part of our mission and support these precious souls in ANY way, I am attachng the link to our GoFundme page that I update as often as I can.
Ever since a young child, a piece of my heart lived in Africa. I was always fascinated by the countries, the cultures, the animals, the land, the people.....I always wanted to grow up and be a missionary somewhere in Africa. God has had different plans for me, yet through his unfailing love and compassion, gifted me, with the ability to help this little lot in this huge, vast land we call Africa. I don't know if God's plans will ever allow me to physically travel there. (although I pray for that opportunity). Even so, He has blessed me, through them, and I pray them ,through all of the amazing souls whose hearts have been moved to give and serve for their health, prosperity and for the continued message of Christ crucified to be shared with them.
I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Daniel, Lodrick, volunteer and some of the other orphanage children.
Top left-new orphanage
Middle top-orphans eating lunch (main diet consists of rice, a maize porridge, some beans and whatever seasonal produce they can grow).
Bottom left-school being built
Bottom middle-Abel and 4 of the children having some fun
Bottom right-Daniel and children
Do you love podcasts? Do you love Jesus, freedom, ability to worship where and when you want? Do you love free speech? Kind neighbors? Democracy? Are you a fan of the United States constitution? Do you value your health, your rights and the choice of what is put into your body? Do you fight for the rights of ALL lives, no matter skin tone, age, inside or outside of the womb? Then you might just find the encouragement and grit and fight you need on my brand new podcast, "For Such a Time as This!"
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