Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The good news is we already have $1250.00 allocated to this project from The World Water Day event that was held in Billings, MT on March 30! So we just need $7250.00 more.
Please pray for our water project. A Clean supply of water means life. The water that is currently available needs to be boiled before use. With this many children, we know that some water might get slipped by, because of thirsty children that just don’t understand.
Actually the well will eliminate a few problems; the current government water supply is not dependable, it is often shut off without notice and at times the pressure is very low, and we will save on the cost of usage as well.
This water project is spearheaded by the Lord; He just keeps showing us that this is in His plans. I kept having a feeling about a water project but it seemed that logically it would be in another year or so. But when the Lord says that it is time; then I surrender. He brought the World Water Day project to us, followed by several people that are interested in helping, which includes other ministries, strangers and friends.
As I am here in Uganda for the next four months, it is an opportune time to supervise this project. I ordered the preliminary report from the drilling company. This drilling company has come highly recommended by some ministry partners that have used them.
If you wish to contribute to this project, please write H208 in the memo on your check or in the “notes” on PayPal through our web site www.HeWillProvide.org
But most important, Please pray for this project!
The problem they face right now is chiggers, or jiggers, there are a few spellings of this little bug. There are two types that you may find if you do a web search, the North American variety referred to as a harvest chigger found probably close to your area and the African variety. The African variety seems a bit more aggressive and become more of a problem because of the African environment for example, sanitation, antibiotics to guard against infection, dirt floors in class rooms, no shoes etc. With a dirt floor in a sheltered area these tiny insects thrive as they are waiting for a new host. These itch and can be very painful and it can become difficult to walk or to concentrate on their studies. As with any infection that is not treated, it can lead to the loss of limbs or even death.
After some research and consulting with the staff here we have come to the following recommendations. Concrete the floors in the classrooms, and meet with the families with instructions to help care for the children, and to remove chiggers from their toes, feet, and legs and to treat the wounds, which in some cases it may be just supplying rubbing alcohol.
The chiggers do not survive on concrete floors, so concrete is the number one item on the list. If they are out in the open in the dirt, they will not survive because of the heat. So fumigation doesn’t seem to be needed. If we were to supply shoes it would be very expensive for 370 children and since this is not a boarding facility we would not have any control over the care and security for their safe keeping.
Presently there is one large building with dirt floors and one outside structure used as a classroom with just poles with a branch and palm leaves top so it obviously has a dirt floor as well. I believe it would be possible to build a concrete slab for the outside building and later erect a building on top of the foundation like we do in America. It is a common practice here to construct a building first and then pour a concrete floor when they can afford it because floors are somewhat of a luxury item. The philosophy is to first build a shelter from the rain and sun and then the floor, backwards to us but forward to them. When resources are limited you adjust to the situation.
There are a few things that need improvement at this facility, like the outhouses. When I went to use it, I turned around and said to myself that I will just go find a tree, and then I realized that for them that was not supposed to be an option, especially if you had to spend more time in there like squatting over the hole etc. So I went back in side, as they say in Africa, for a short call. It was a realization of the situation of everyday life here especially in remote areas. Some outhouses when constructed and maintained properly can be a quite a bit more pleasant. I only saw one outhouse with three spots for 370 children and staff. In comparison we have five or six outhouse buildings at Jireh Children’s Center in Masaka with less than 300 children and adults. These can be built with a properly dug hole with ventilation, and in some areas they can be pumped when they reach the capacity limit. Some of this makes a difference of the geographic location because of the water table level, swamp areas, etc. In some areas they need to be built upstairs on a concrete foundation and platform.
I am not sure what funding anyone is able to raise, but the preliminary estimate for the chigger problem would be around $2000.00 USD. When we receive earmarked funds we make sure the funds go as far as possible and to the particular project it is intended for. Any funding that you are able to send should be marked in the memo section Children’s Center Kyabazala if there is money available after the initial problem is resolved the balance will still go to other improvements at that facility. When we receive general donations, we work on priorities, but as you may have noticed on our web site, we support a big ministry, with over six hundred children and 56 village churches. There are always a lot of needs, but slowly as each heart is touched to a particular cause things happen. Praise the Lord!
Just for general information:
Presently the teacher’s and staff monthly salaries for both of the Jireh Children’s facilities are funded through donations to the foundation. The buildings have been constructed by various international mission groups as they have time and money. So at any one time you will find buildings in different stages of construction. In some pictures you may have noticed a building that has a roof and plastered walls and looks complete, and another that does not have doors or windows yet and is of bare bricks with no plaster. And of course we have the buildings at both facilities that do not have concrete floors yet, the chigger problem at Masaka hasn’t reached the levels of Kyabazala yet, so that is why we are emphasizing that particular facility first and refer to it as urgent. We also have some older buildings that need maintaining. We hope to have a more comprehensive list available on our web site later this year; this is one reason why our mission trip here is for five months this year. I can already see that after we complete the water project H208 for Jireh Children’s Center in Masaka, that we will start H209 for Jireh Children’s Center Kyabazala.
Yes the list is big, but so is our God, Amen!
Child kidnap on the rise
By Christopher kiwawulo
Saturday Vision Newspaper, Masaka, Uganda (May 3, 2008)
THE boy's father, Pele Ondoga, was in a nearby church when his wife phoned to say his son had gone missing. "The news hit me hard. I could not believe it," says Ondoga, an evangelist at Lembanyoma Full Gospel Church.
He had heard about children being kidnapped for sacrifice but it had never occurred to him that his son, who had been circumcised, could fall victim. Those who bring children to witchdoctors do not take circumcised boys, he had been told.
After a frantic door-to-door search in the crowded neighbourhood, Ondoga rushed to the Police to report the disappearance. On Sunday, he was informed that his son's body had been found.
"I, immediately, went to Jinja Road Police Station. The body had been taken to the mortuary but the sandals I found at the Police station were his," he recalls.
The man is inconsolable. "I loved my boy so much", he mutters, his face resting on his palm. "He was jolly and friendly. He was not only my child but also my friend."
The motive of the kidnappers is still not known but Ondoga, a pastor who converted from Islam, believes his son was a victim of child sacrifice.
Hassan's kidnap is not an isolated case. The Police are investigating several child disappearances that have taken place in and around Kampala in recent months.
Last week, seven-year-old Salim Abdu, a primary one pupil at Old Kampala Primary School, went missing. He was not at school when the house help, Abel Bwambale, went to pick him at mid-day. The Police are still looking for him.
Another lady, Alice Businge lost her baby a week ago to an unknown visitor who convinced the house maid that he was Businge's brother.
The Police are also still searching for three-year old Imran Lubega who went missing in Gazaland Plaza, a Kampala shopping mall, on Monday.
And in February, nine-year-old Jimmy Turyagyenda survived being sold at sh3m to a witchdoctor by his father. Entebbe Police saved the boy after a tip off and arrested the father, who had lied to the boy's mother that he was sending him for studies.
According to the 2007 crime report released recently by the Inspector General of General of Police, a total of 54 children were kidnapped, stolen or went missing last year.
Of those, seven were rescued and three were confirmed killed. The whereabouts of 40 others are still unknown.
Although the figures went down compared to 2006, Police sources say they have seen a recent increase in the number of children reported missing.
A Police source told Saturday Vision that currently, about 10 cases of disappearances are reported to different Police stations in Kampala weekly. "The majority of children have not been recovered," the source said.
While some children might have run away from home, the Police suspect that others, especially the very young ones, are being used for sacrifice by witchdoctors who promise their clients wealth in return.
"We are now working with the traditional healers through their chairperson to stamp out this practice," says Edward Ochom, Kampala Extra Region Police commander.
Others, according to Ochom, might be victims of child trafficking to other countries. "Child trafficking is a complicated issue because there is sometimes consent between the minor and the trafficker. The latter lures the victim with promises of high pay but ends up exploiting him or her."
In a bid to curb the vice, the Police are carrying out sensitisation programmes on radio stations and in schools for both parents and children. "The issue of child safety is the responsibility of every Ugandan", says Ochom. "If you see a child of a tender age moving alone, you should be concerned and ask the child where he or she is going."
Ochom advises that parents should alert their children to be suspicious of strangers, and avoid sending them to shops at night. "Parents should know the playmates of their children and their homes and they should have meals with their children every evening so that they can easily detect when a child is missing."
Parents are also advised to drop and pick their children from school or take turn with other trusted parents or caretakers.
Until concrete action is taken to arrest this new wave of child abductions, it remains a major cause of anxiety to the public.
You can also read the article online at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/detail.php?mainNewsCategoryId=8&newsCategoryId=12&newsId=625811
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
While I was waiting on my third trip to Kampala to the internet store which is a days journey there and back and this is after five visits to the local store in Masaka town with about ten or twelve hours of fiddling with settings etc; I went to a local internet store called Afrika Point in the neighboring village that we could walk to from where we are staying. Now I need to emphasize that even when you go to an internet store it can be difficult because of electricity going off, extremely slow downloading of messages and of things just being dropped and you have to start all over again signing on etc. For example, you may be in the internet store for six hours to get four hours of airtime. It can be exhausting to say the least. Now some of you reading this, that have been here in Uganda, may say that it just wasn’t this bad for you, but remember I have been under spiritual attack because he thinks he found my soft spot. He looks for your most vulnerable spot, on some people it can be the food, living conditions, health, or even motion sickness from the crazy roads, but for me, I have an international ministry to run, so it is the internet. Other than that we have been very happy, healthy, and comfortable.
While checking my email at Afrika Point on Thursday, I met Joseph and Moses. I was looking for the computer speakers to listen to a voice mail from our American phone number, and these young boys were there to help me out. They live nearby and were just hanging out because they are friends with the people at this Christian internet store. We visited for a while and I told them about our ministry. Moses told me that he would like to donate some clothing to Jireh Children’s Center. I was quite surprised to hear this because we are constantly confronted with people in need and sometimes people just assume we are rich munzungoos and just outright ask us for money. He told me he had both his parents and had everything he needed and would ask some of his friends to donate some clothing too. I asked him if he went to church and I understood him to say that he belonged to a local church that I was familiar with. I invited both of the boys to come to The Mountain of the Lord Church on Sunday because it would be nice to have them, and there would be great worship music for them to enjoy. These boys said they would come and bring the clothing as well. I am guessing these boys are about 14 and 16 years old and they have very pleasant personalities and I thought how wonderful these young Christians are with such a giving heart.
On Sunday morning as Robyn and I walked down the steps to the front of the church we were pleasantly surprised as we were greeted by Joseph and Moses with a bag of clothes in their hand. I invited them inside and sat with them and it looked like they were enjoying the worship music as I had expected. When visitors were asked if they would like to come and introduce themselves, Joseph and Moses went up front and I followed them for support. Moses tells of his invitation to attend church and tells the congregation that I had invited them and they couldn’t disobey me and that it was his first time in a church. Yes, the feeling was quite overwhelming for me as I witnessed this; I simply had just invited them to our church. We went back to our seats and continued to enjoy the service. After the pastor completed his sermon on obedience he asked if anyone wanted to accept Jesus today and to come up front if you were ready. You guessed it, Joseph and Moses motioned to each other and I looked at them and they nodded that they were going up to accept our Lord. As I followed them up I couldn’t believe what was happening. As I hugged them and placed my hands on their shoulders I was overcome by the Holy Spirit, it was so awesome that I just can’t explain it, I am so happy we had the pastors to pray over these boys because I was tearfully speechless to not only witness this but to realize how God was working through me.
After we returned to our seats I opened my bible to Matthew 25:31-46 “The Sheep and the Goats” and showed the boys that they have already done as the Lord has instructed us to do… vs. 36 “I needed clothes and you clothed me.”
The internet seemed so important for me to do my job in this ministry. It was the internet problems that brought me to meet these two boys that God had placed there just waiting for me to arrive that day. How easy it would have been to ignore them and not bother to invite them to church on Sunday. Sometimes the Lord has other plans for us and it is for us to act on them. If the Angels are keeping score, I think it is; “One frustrated Director equals two saved souls”!
Believing He will Provide,