Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday 22nd

7/11 - Kenyan Airways Luggage Delivery
The safari was great and we are now on the way home. Unfortunately we are stuck in Bangkok airport waiting to sort out what has happened to Sam, Cam, Dan & Josh's luggage. Home tomorrow.

Wednesday 18th

Our final morning on the site was good and bad. It was good to come to an end with all that we had been doing, but unfortunately a power outage meant that the welder and angle grinder were out of action so the last couple of shutters for the windows did not get finished. The new sign was installed by the front gate, and it is clearly visible from a long way down the road.

After lunch we caught a bus to the orphanage run by Pator Moses about an hour away from Jinja. This was the orphanage that has just had funds donated to get a fence to provide some security for the children. The children were very happy to have some Mzungu visitors and Pastor Moses was also keen to show us around. The team played with the children for a hour or so before they put on a little 'entertainment' for us. They managed to welcome each of us by name in a song, even if some of the names were difficult to recognise. Whilst we were visiting, John was busy submitting plans for the village and all of the buildings for approval. All you builders in the Yarra Valley eat your hearts out, the whole procedure was over in a couple of hours! Try doing that at home.

The evening was a meal at the family next door to Hope Village. This family has been very supportive of each of the teams and it was a good way to end out time in Jinja. Unfortunately the power outage had continued so we had to apck up and clean up in the dark. Power was still out when we left at 5:00 am on Thursday morning for our safari.

Tuesday 17th

A good morning on the site with lots of work done then into town to do our shopping for presents for loved ones. The internal bricks were finished and some repair work was done on the walls inside house 2, timber work on the kitchens finished, and the window shutters got ever closer to being completed. The new sign for the village was painted by the signwriter and is ready to go in the ground. Whilst we were working, Ivan was busy talking with some of the local widows about how Village of Hope might be able to be of some help to them in the future, and Calista did a little nannying for old times sake!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday 16th

Today was our last full working day, and we made good use of it with a 7:30 am start and a finish at 6:30 pm. The external bricks on house 2 are now complete, and the internal ring beam was uncovered and some remedial work on it begun. Tomorrow we hope to lay the top 3 courses of internal bricks. Colin and Cam, our metal workers, continued to produce doors, door fittings and window shutters. Bert and Dan finished all of the timber work in the kitchen dining area while the rest of us played in the mud. Many tired bodies dragged themselves off to the common room for a soda and then had probably our tastiest YWAM meal yet, maybe we are becoming desensitized.
News travels very quickli in these parts! This morning the local workers who have been doing all of the concrete work mentioned that they heard we handed out some clothes yesterday, and asked if we had any for them. They stand a pretty good chance of collecting many of our working clothes and boots when we leave after Wednesday.

Sunday 15th

Church today was at Wairaka Miracle Centre, the church of Pastor Moses. I managed to decline an offer to preach, saying that we needed one chance at least to hear an African sermon. We were still ushered in to the prime seats at the side of the stage to ensure that we were visible to all, and we were given the opportunity to introduce ourselves and give a greeting. The service was quite similar to the others we had attended with periods of worship and a lengthy sermon. This is the church that the kids from Care4Kids attend, so the average age of the congregation was fairly low. Pastor Moses and all of his people were very welcoming.

After church we slipped into town for some lunch and then returned home by 4.30 pm. Ivan met us then and we walked to a local village to meet some of the people there who are really struggling. The mothers that we went to meet were off at a wedding, but we did catch up with one man who wanted to recommit his life to Jesus. He showed us the house that his 75 year old mother lived in and where she cared for 5 children. The children had one bed made of cushions off an old sofa to share, and the first thing we saw when showed the mother's bed was an eight inch long rat crawling off the bed. After praying with the guy and talking for a while we ventured off to find another family where we spent quite a bit of time. The mother here supports here family of five children by making liquor. There were about 5 of her customers present and we all sat down for a while. One of the customers, an older fellow asked if he could be 'saved'. We prayed for him and when Ivan asked if any of the others wanted to be saved, the mother replied that she would like to be but would have to lose her job because the church would not accept her profession. What a dilemma. When John asked if she believed in Jesus and accepted that he died for her sins, he was able to assure her that Jesus accepted her. When it was almost time to go, we gave them some clothes and trinkets which they were extremely thankful for. The visit was an opportunity to get in touch with the people that we drive past and see but have not had anything to do with until now. It certainly gave us a different picture of what life is like for many of Uganda's people, and its not a great picture.

The 75 year old mother who we missed yesterday, appeared at our breakfast today. We shared a little of our breakfast with her, and when Calista gave her some clothes that we had left she broke down in tears. It doesn't take very much of what we have in plenty to make a huge difference to these people. We at HopeBuilders are not just building homes for orphans, but we are becoming part of a community that hopefully we will be able to help, and give some hope, for a long time.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday 14th

Because we had Thursday off, we decided to work all day Saturday and forgo our afternoon in town. Finally the ring beam on house 2 was completed (10 days after we finished the mud bricks ready for it) so we were able to start laying the final courses on top of house 2. Bert and his crew erected the poles and beams linking the kitchen with the toilet/washrooms, at last giving some shape to that building. The welders were kept busy working on a large sign which is to be erected at the front of the block. A signwriter appeared and has painted a prep coat. John had to deal with the loss of our security guards who resigned on the spot in the morning after having had a pay claim rejected yesterday. He and Robert managed to find someone to replace them. We said goodbye to Tim and Ben from team 2 who headed for the airport for their trip home.

Friday 13th - no worries here

After a fun day rafting yesterday, we were back at work today with lots of enthusiasm and determination to get as much done as possible. Once again John enjoyed the 'fun' of shopping for a long stint in the morning. We 'unveiled' the ring beam that we had poured on the toilet/washroom and proudly admired our work for a couple of minutes, then quickly set about laying the final 3 courses of bricks on top of it. The window shutters were all built and Cam hung the front door of house 1 and fashioned a locking device for it from a few shaky descriptions of what was required, so that house is now officially at 'lock up' stage. Just some internal doors to be fixed, a little painting and sealing of the walls to go before the beds can be made and installed. Bert did a lot of preparation on the beams to support the roof over the kitchen/dining/toilet area. We worked well together and came home a tired bunch. Always there to encourage us though are the 'site supervisors' from across the road.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday 12th - A Day Off

We had a day off from the work today and went rafting on the Nile. There were lots of rapids, including several rated as class 5 rapids. Our gung-ho crew kept choosing 'wild' over 'mild', and we spent quite a bit of time in the water having been flipped out. We also had some relaxing swims down the flat water parts of the river. Who would have thought 6 months ago that we would be in Africa rafting / floating down the Nile river? None of us that's for sure.

The Care 4 Kids Orphanage 2nd visit

We went back to Care 4 Kids orphanage to have dinner with the children. We were greeted as warmly this time as the first time, and many of the children came searching out their 'friends' from the first visit. We took along a number of gifts to give the children, some went via the office, and some we gave to some very excited children. After the gifts had been given out, we spent some time playing games and talking with the kids. They showed us things like their school books and talked about what they had been up to. We had dinner together, posho and beans, and then for a treat, we had brought along some fruit for a rare dessert. After dinner, the children organised a game for us which ended up with all of us having wet seats - they thought it was funny! Our time together ended with a small fireworks session with fireworks some of our boys had purchased. We had to leave, but no-one wanted to and the children kept asking when we would be coming back. Care 4 Kids is a special place with great staff and the most loveable kids. Make sure you call in there next time you're passing!

Another Ministry

Several months before coming to Uganda, I received an email at work that appeared to probably be spam. It was sent to a large number of church email addresses. Just before I was about to delete it, I noticed that it mentioned the town of Jinja, Uganda, so I read it instead. It was from a guy called Alvin Imbizia, who has established a ministry called "Aids Ministry and Children, Uganda." I replied to the email, saying that I was coming to Jinja in February '09. Alvin sent several more emails and I gave him a phone number to contact me on when We arrived. Last week Alvin and one of his co-workers Michael, came out to visit me at YWAM, and yesterday I slipped off during the lunch break to meet him again in his 'office'. Alvin has a ministry to several villages north of Jinja, supplying farming implements for families and another program where a family receives a 'she goat' and then has to breed from that goat, and then give back the first born 'she goat' so that another family can receive a goat. Having a goat can be of great benefit to a family and this program so far has over 100 families in one village with goats, having started with just a few. Alvin's ministry is also involved in helping orphans by assisting the guardians of the orphans to be able to keep the children in their homes. Often the person who becomes the guardian of an orphan does not have the resources to look after them (that's why we are here building Hope Village) and his team try to help so that the children can remain with the wider family. Alvin was very excited that I replied to his email - I am the first and only so far - and he wants people to know about what he and his team of volunteers are doing so that people can pray for them. Please join me in doing that. There is a great deal of need here in Uganda, much more than what we as Hopebuilders can cover.

Better Again

Wednesday 11th
The worksite had recovered largely from the rain of yesterday and so we were able to get lots of work done. Boards between the roof sheets and the walls were fitted, with holes for ventilation drilled on house one, as were more of the window shutters and the front door. The fascia board was painted with the thinnest paint you could imagine, so Ben and Callista just kept going around and around until some sort of coverage was obtained! Kirstie did a great job painting the window shutters. To make sure that we had at least one building to go on with on Friday, we boxed up and poured the ring beam on the toilet/washroom, as well as a slab outside the doors of this building. Hopefully the ringbeam on house 2 will also be completed by then so we will be able to lay the final 3 courses of bricks on those buildings. There are still lots of things that we would like to get done before we leave, and the time is beginning to run out, so we are hoping and praying for good working weather.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Not So Good Day

Tuesday 10th
A day that started well was kind of messed up by a torrential downpour just before lunchtime. The block became a river of mud as tools and materials started floating away. Fortunately, I was assigned the task of 'shopping' for today and was in town at the time. I returned after lunch to find a washed out team recovering back at the house. The sun came out and we were able to go back onto the site and do a couple of hours work, although once again it was much harder to get into it after the rain. The shopping expedition was an experience in itself. You have to be constantly on the lookout for people trying to rip you off with inflated prices. Robert is an expert at spotting this and lets people know if he thinks they are charging too much. We finished out trip with a visit to Robert's favourite restaurant for lunch African style. It was very tasty and very cheap! Goat meat in broth, with a side plate of rice, green banana mash, beans, cabbage and silver beet.

To add a bit more to Ronny's blurb above, what a write off day it was....Started with a power failure, so no welding, no grinders or power saws, then when it did come on our resident electrician Cam checked the voltage...165 volts and the steel cutting saw was almost as good as your teeth and the welder did not want to weld. Just an electrical 'brown out' so our electrician commented. The concrete mixer decided to spit a belt so... no mixer. The boys continued on to sift a couple of piles of dirt to mix with the mud to use once the ring beamers finished their job. Well when the rain came, 5" in 30 minutes then continual for the next 2 hours guess where their sifted dirt ended up, some neighbour down the track ended up with a pile of slurry. The new tarp cover for the brick making drying area couldn't keep up with the rain so the new bitumen emulsion bricks got a testing before they were completely dry, the ladies making bricks were busy digging drains to divert the water while others were trying to stop the huge puddles of water forming on the roof from collapsing onto their bricks. The mud mixing boxes had a couple of big rocks thrown inside them for a bit of weight as they started to float away. With a river flowing down our driveway, all the water from the roadside table drains flowing down our driveway, a couple of trenches were dug trying to divert the torrent down the road which resulted in drowned team members. After the rain departed and we were a slight bit dry we got back into it and everyone at the site grew a couple of inches, gained a couple of kilos and moved a bit slower...(sticky muddy shoes). Then the morning's shopping arrived, interior doors and all the timber for the roof of house two, the delivery truck made it 10 metres onto the block and disappeared into a huge hole. All hands on deck to extract the truck only to have a brake failure, the front wheels locking on and having to unload the truck and carry the timber to the house site all 150 plus lengths. We eventually got off the site at 6.00 pm for dinner of rice, potatoes and cabbage, followed by a soda. Then the troups relaxed playing cards.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A good Day

Monday 9th
Another good working day on the site. Good weather helps and today was fine all day. Colin forged ahead making the window shutters, and has several fitted and others cut ready to weld together. Window sills were fitted to all windows in both houses today. Lots of walls were brushed down ready for sealing. The toilet/washroom walls are all completed up to ring beam level, and the cavity between the fired brick and mud brick walls at the end of the dining area was filled at each end, and a mud render on the exposed fired brick part of the dining area wall is almost complete. Lots of stuff done. The team is working really well together and enjoying what we are doing. The roofing team completed the last of the sheets and the capping on the roof of house 1, it looks a treat. The frustrations continue with the contractors who do the ring beam. Its almost a week since we finished the walls to ring beam height in house 2, and so far only 2 walls have the ring beam poured. unfortunately we have plenty to do after they finish, and the roofing team is held up also. Maybe tomorrow! The culinary department at YWAM must have known that we had a good day - we had fish for dinner which was a first and very tasty.

Sunday @ church

Sunday 8th
This morning we were off to church at Pastor George's church. Pastor George is the one who lives here at YWAM and whose eyes lit up when I was introduced to him as Pastor Ron. He was excited to have us in his church, the first Australian team to visit. The bus arrived nearly 30 minutes late to pick us up, but it was OK as we were following Pastor George, so I guess it couldn't start until he arrived. On the way the bus driver had to borrow some money so that he could buy fuel, as he did not have enough to get us to the church. At about 10.45 am we arrived at the church for a 10.00 am service. There were only a few people in the church, and they were praying loudly, probably for the previous 45 minutes. Pastor George was quick to grab my bible, notebook and glasses and proceeded straight to the stage where there was a couple of chairs for us. The rest of the team found seats at the front, although John and Bert were a little further back, until Pastor George interupted the service and called them up to special seats at the front! In what was called the 'first service', after some worship that was so full of energy and praise, I was introduced and given the opportunity to introduce the rest of the team. I began by sharing about the horrible fires at home, and we all joined in prayer for the people at home, and those who have suffered loss in the fires. As soon as we mentioned that Sam was a part of the worship team at home, he was given a guitar and told to tune it up and lead in a song. The whole team joined him as we sung "Our God is an Awesome God". A couple of the guys came up and gave brief testimonies. After much encouragement and many 'welcomes', the 'second service' began immediately. By this time the congregation had swelled to fill all of the seats in the church. Once again there was some brilliant worship, and much of it was in english, allowing us to join in. A group of children came and performed several dances that Pastor George explained to me were about being saved by God. There was a brief time for testimony, an offering, and then the most over the top introduction of the visiting pastor that you could imagine. Preaching was both an honour and very hard work, having to stop after each phrase while it was translated. It makes flow difficult, and humour impossible, but we managed to get there. I worried a couple of times when Pastor George took about 50 words to translate the 5 words I had spoken, but I am sure he was just adding bits to fire up an extra "amen" or "hallelujah". When we finished he did a bit of a wrap up, then called for people who wanted to be prayed for. Before they could come, he started into a testimony of a lady in the church who had had difficulty conceiving a child, had been beaten by her muslim husband, who had eventually suffered 2 miscarriages, and who finally had given birth to a healthy girl. Having shared that he called for other 'barren' women to come forward for prayer, and decided that I would be praying for them. There were others who also came out with various illnesses, and so we prayed for them. We were humbled when Pastor George called for a 'love offering' to be given for us. He explained that whilst it might seem strange Ugandans giving to Mzungu, he saw it as a good thing to do, so we were blessed as a number of people came and put money in the basket. Finally after 3 hours, we were finished. It really is a wonderful experience to share with people on the other side of the world in praising our one true God who unites us together, no matter whether we are white or brown (or red, as the sun caught me a little yesterday)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Roof Appears

Saturday 7th
The day started today with cloud cover, but no rain. We got stuck right into the work and made lots of progress. It was good to see the roof sheets start to go on house 1, and the ring beam on house two is beginning also. We are almost finished the brickwork on the washrooms, and a lot of extra work has been done washing down walls and fitting window sills and shutters. John and Calista slipped out over lunch to visit the child they sponsor through Compassion. They found it a little confronting in terms of the conditions the family lived in, but it was also good to see the program that was helping so many kids. This afternoon it’s a bit of R&R in Jinja for us all.

On Our Own

Friday 6th
Well it’s just us now, no longer can we check with Paul about how things are meant to go or rely on Andrew to do all of the organising with Robert and Ivan. But the way things have gone, we seem to be coping OK on our own. Work is continuing with the building of the toilet / washrooms going well and the plumbing and electrical work largely complete. A torrential downpour at lunchtime made the site a lot harder to work on, and motivation levels were down a little as we were frustrated with some local contractors not turning up to do the things they were expected for.

Farewell Team 2

Thursday 5th
Work continued on the site today, our last with Team 2. At lunchtime, the family next door who have washed our clothes, fed us breakfast and helped in any way they can put on lunch and a performance to farewell Team 2. It was a lot of fun, with us all lined up in their yard, eating beans and posho and cabbage and noodles using our hands. The entertainment involved most of the family and there were speeches from George and Florence as well as their pastor – quite a send off. We continued to work while team 2 packed up in the afternoon, and then we al cleaned up and hit the town for a nice dinner at ‘Two Friends’ restaurant.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Monday Tuesday
Two days of hard work on the site have been very productive. House two is now ready for the concrete ring beam at the top of doors and window height. Doors and windows are being installed on house 1, the septic tank has been bricked up all of the way and has been rendered, the kitchen / bathroom unit for the two houses is well on the way and the plumbers have finally climbed out of their trench, been to town to get fittings and pipes, and are beginning the process of laying all of the pipes to get water in and out of the bathrooms. It has been great to see the willingness of every person to work hard and do the jobs that have been required, not just the ones they like. We really have functioned as a team, and it has been a lot of fun and it’s great to see the way the site is changing so rapidly.

Today a small group of us visited Hope Community Secondary School just a short 10 minute walk from Hope Village. The school has been built and financed by Robert who is a part of the HopeBuilders team and it opened on Monday. It was fun to see the school and meet the students and teachers. We had a look around and then sat with the students on their morning break and chatted with them for about 40 minutes. It was exciting to be there at the beginning of something that God has called into being. It was also challenging to see the needs that they have at the school, some of which are huge, and some of which can be easily fixed by a relatively small financial outlay in our terms, but that is money that is not so readily available to the school. Pray with us that God will provide for this school whose vision is to provide quality education at a price that is affordable to a wider section of the community than the other schools in the area
The girls in the kitchen preparing lunch for the students!

Afternoon at Care4Kids

Sunday 1st – Afternoon at Care4Kids

“Chaos!” would just about sum up today’s visit to the care for kids orphanage.
Within seconds of leaving the safety of the bus, everyone had kids jumping on them and throwing vortexs at them. I made the mistake of opening a pack of lollies and got mauled. A little girl named Samin did not let go of me the whole time. No words were needed, all she wanted was someone to hold her hand.


Buenos Aeries! Spanish is some what non-existent here, just in case you were confused. Sundays are always great, on Sundays you expect to see God move and not for any particular reason other than purely because it’s a Sunday. Today He didn’t disappoint, from our church service this morning we heard of how we are all ambassadors or Christ, that we should resemble Christ like attributes; to actually living that out. Spending time in the orphanage was heart breaking, and I’m certain I am yet to fully appreciate it all. Seeing how happy they were to see us and we didn’t even talk, just standing along side some of them was all the affirmation they needed. After 20 seconds of talking with a beautiful young girl named Grace, she said I was her ‘friend’. I didn’t deserve that honour, but I will uphold it!
They, most certainly, are the most valuable in the Kingdom of God! Who needs gifts for a birthday present, when I get to experience that!

dan dean

Hello hello, well today was certainly something I have never experienced. As you’ve read above we went to visit the orphanage and the welcome we got was amazing. To see how happy and thankful the kids are when all we do is just hang out with them, and how thankful they are to God for the position they are in. It really put into perspective how much I take my whole life in Australia for granted, I don’t even thank God every night for what he has provided me back home and yet these kids offer everything to the Lord. It was truly a humbling experience. Can’t wait to go back and spend more time with them.

Sammy Buscombe.
P.s I think I’m going to bring one of the kids home, they give you a look you can’t refuse.

Why hello :D
Sunday church in Uganda isn’t exactly the most exiting part of the week for a 14 yr old girl. Although it was very different.
But watching all the Ugandans praise the lord was only slightly more than I expected.
Was fair wow.
I knew they would be full on into church but seeing it for myself was truly amazing.
The woman next to me cried and I just put my arm around her which seemed to help.
The children came into church after singing some gorgeous songs. One little girl named Fiona sat behind me.
She reached ever so lightly reached into my hair so I felt nothing, then pulled out a single hair.
Little bit ouch… she tapped my shoulder and I turned around she showed me the hair and asked if she could keep it with a big smile on her face. I was surprised than something so little but foreign (my straight blonde hair) could bring a smile to her face. I glanced back many times only to see her playing with that single piece of hair.
The orphanage was a highlight.
Quite amazing.
When I first got there I was greeted with hugs and children holding my hand.
After talking to a few kids I went to a small house thing. There were 3 kids in their 2 girls about 5 yrs old and a 3 yr old boy.
They were a little hesitant and stayed in their little house until I played chasey and tickled them out.
I played chasey with a large handful of kids and the group kept getting bigger. The kids had endless energy but after a short while I was puffed. Chasing 15 odd kids was hard work!
I took them all behind a shed in the shade and taught them how to play duck, duck goose.
Then they taught me how to play some of their games.
Then everyone scattered and only a few girls from the previous group stayed and insisted on teaching me how they dance.
I taught them a bit of my dancing… one girl kept laughing whenever I moved my hips to show them (bottom out hand out…)
Africa is very amazing and I am really enjoying myself.
I have two African admirers one who asked me to marry him… nice kid: D we’re good friends.
Miss my family and friends-
Kirstie C:D

Hey, well care 4 kids was really a huge experience for me, I don’t really know what to do with young kids, so was kinda confused as to what to expect, that combined with a rolled ankle meaning I couldn’t run around and just play sport, I was expecting a challenging arvo, it took me a few minutes to settle in, but after a bit I realised all these kids want is time, love, affection, just the simple act of holding a kids hand was enough, the smiles on their faces said enough! It was hard to believe that kids come from such hard circumstances, they are happier than anything. It was really moving to spend time with kids who have been given an opportunity, and to really think about the fact that what we are doing is changing lives, its not just bricks and mortar, It was awesome! If your reading this and haven’t been over here, you totally should, if the opportunity arrises, I would strongly recommend.

Mark Matho Matheson

I stepped off the bus with a soccer ball in my hand. I thought the kids were coming up trying to get the ball, but actually they wanted to grab me and hold my hand. As I kicked the ball away, a couple of kids chased after it, but others hung around us and wanted to be picked up and held. The place became chaotic as kids and team members ran around kicking balls, throwing vortexes and climbing all over each other. Other kids who were less energetically inclined hung out with some of the team who were also less energetically inclined. We all had an awesome time, no-one wanted to leave, and we are all looking forward to going back. The best part for me was that it gave a glimpse of what we are building here at Hope Village.


Uganda, red mud, dirty clothes, posho and beans, a shower that doesn’t work, shopping in a village where mzungu are easy pickings …… why would you want to be here. White teeth, sparkling eyes, radiant smiles, snotty noses and kids that just want to hug you are just hold your hand, that’s why. As the ‘good book’ says ‘what ever you do for the least of these you are doing for me.’ Now not saying the people here are the least as they bleed the same blood that I do and they are cherished by our heavenly father and they are his children just as I am. It is really hard to get your head around the wealth/poverty line, the haves and the have nots. So if you’re reading this you have access to a computer, millions in this country have never seen one, think about what you can do to make just one person or child’s life different.


How can you have expectations for what we have all stepped into…. The work is sweaty before breakfast has even been served and I wonder why I have taken holidays to get my hands blistered and cut, so dirty that I only can remember what colour they once were, even after washing. Then one afternoon we take a bus down a track that could be described only as that… A bumpy dusty track which brings us to a large gate, before the gate has even closed behind us they all start appearing, a few at first with glowing eyes and eager smiles, there is a child clinging to my hand before I have stepped off the bus. And then it begins, an eruption of noise and energy we have arrived at the ‘care for kids’ orphanage. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced, completely overwhelming, however the kids are like any other in any other place…They want someone to play with, the time of an adult, and to be picked up and held, there are so many, I realize why I have taken ‘holidays’.


Being a nanny and a waitress I didn’t really think that I would be able to contribute much to this whole ‘building an orphanage’ thing… as I can’t build! But since coming here I have realised that this project is so much more than that. As important as the actual building is, building relationships with the people here is as equally important… and that is something I can do!!! In fact, here in this country, building relationships with people isn’t very hard at all, as all the people here are extremely welcoming and accepting. Within minutes of meeting you they classify you as their friend and they have even been referring to people from team one (who spent only three weeks with them) as some of their best friends. This is incredibly mind blowing for me, as in Australia it usually takes a fair while to establish a relationship.
As challenging as this experience has been for me, so far, both emotionally and physically I am very thankful that God chose me (a mere nanny/waitress) to be a part of this amazing project that will change the lives of many people… more than I realised it would!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Church Ugandan Style

Sunday 1st Feb
Church this morning was very local - about 5 minutes walk from the YWAM base. It was fairly small, about 40 locals and 22 visitors. Just like home, very few people there at 10 am, turn around at the end and there were pepole everywhere. It was a familiar style for us, worship followed by some testimonies, we visitors were welcomed, there was a kids presentation then the sermon. Would you believe it? An American lady preacher! Mind you the local guy translates into the local language, and then when she had finished he summarised it again in english, with his off-sider translating for him in the local language. Then afterwards it was fun meeting them all and walking home with many of them.

Noah, the kid next door sang and gave testimony / led a special offering during the service

The Worship team seemed a fairly flexible arrangement - people moved in and out from the front.

The flurry of posts is about to dry up, it will be several days before we are back in town where internet access is available.

Our First Day Out

Sat 31st Evening
This afternoon we travelled into Jinja town to acclimatise, find ATMs where we could get some local currency, have a bit of a look around and then we enjoyed a nice dinner at a restaurant. Some people found that their cards only work at one particular bank, and unfortunately both branches of that bank had very long queues that appeared not to be moving. We will try again tomorrow. Again we were amazed at the people wandering around, not only during the afternoon but also at night as we came home. Jinja town is a place unlike any I know about in Australia. The vast majority of shops are tiny little rooms smaller than most stalls at Victoria Market. The streets were asphalted, but had huge potholes all over the place and parts that have just been washed away. Adherence to road rules in the town centre was as bad as anywhere else, despite signs pleading for people to obey them. We found of course that there are different prices for Mzungus and Ugandans and you have to work hard to get a bargain, whils some things are remarkably cheap. Internet access to upload these posts and check a few emails etc is 500 Shillings or about 45 cents! Tomorrow we are going off to church at the local church where our breakfast cook Grace attends. Should be fun.

Working on the Site

Sat 31st
After a good night’s sleep, we started with breakfast at 8am which consisted of chipattas (like pancakes but a bit heavier) with jam or with egg rolled up or the super model called a Rolex with egg, cabbage and carrot rolled up. There were also some roasted potatoes, some donuts, and more pineapple. We had devotions and conducted a prayer walk around the site, and then it was into work for everyone. Paul, site manager for team 2 allocated jobs to everyone and then it was hard work for all. Some laid mud bricks, some laid fired bricks for the septic tank, others dug trenches, some painted window frames, some mixed mud, others sifted dirt ready to mix mud, some brushed walls, some set out the string lines for the next building, the kitchen and toilet block, and John our leader went shopping. I think he ended up working harder than any of us.