Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chapter 18 - Update #9 - January 25, 2015

As soon as I sent out the last update, I went down for breakfast at the hotel.  Immediately, God began answering your prayers!  Robert had been trying to work out my ticket since yesterday.  There was a problem with the connecting flight in Dubai on Monday.  It was looking like there was no options for me at all for Monday.  So Robert arranged with the station manager at the Entebbe Airport for me to try and fly standby on Sunday.  I had not unpacked my bags, so we quickly shifted plans to try to get me  on this flight!  

Robert, Godfrey & I were suppose to have a meeting in Kampala with the owners of the house on Sunday.  When everything changed, Robert thought we could still meet and then travel to the airport from there.   Not wanting to repeat our Friday adventure, as we got closer to Kampala, Robert advised us to go straight to the airport.  He took care of our business with the owner and we made it to the airport about an hour before check-in closed.  I ended up needing every minute!   Robert’s friend was there waiting to greet me.  He then had another man help me at the counter.  That person stayed with me through the whole process.  The ticket was on standby but they issued the seat right away!  This was the flight that was completely full on Friday that they said they could not get me on.   I also had 4 pieces of luggage because of some large paintings that one of our students sent back with me.  Robert’s friend helped me with the extra luggage problem.  He had me move things around in suitcases so it would be condensed down to 3!  We did one of those airplane cellophane wrap jobs and put the paintings and one of my bags together!  He saved me $175 as I then only had to pay for 1 extra bag!  God is good!   The whole time Godfrey waited outside in case I didn’t make the flight.  Because Robert’s friend vouched for me, I was able to go back through security to give Godfrey a hug goodbye!  The agents at first said, “No you can’t go back out there.”  Then this man said, “Let her pass, she is ok!”  

I heard the boarding process start while I was still at the ticket counter.  When all was done I had to rush through passport control.  I then went to the gate and straight onto the plane!  I was so happy when I sat down onto my seat!   

The other thing that Pastor Ken said to me about missing the flight was, “You never know who God may have you sit next to on this trip.”  Well, this is amazing.  I sat next to this young man that ended up being from London.   He had been visiting family in Uganda for 1 month.  Here’s the thing...when he said that he was from London, I said that I had been there a couple of years ago.  I mentioned that I was in the Kingston area.  His eyes got big, and he said, “Really?!   I am going to Uni there !”   “I said, “Kingston Uni? (University)”  He was pretty shocked that I knew which university it was.  I only knew because that is where my ISP team served!  He is actually studying to become a lawyer.  To top it off...he was suppose to be on a flight the day before and he missed that flight as well!  Were we ever meant to sit together!!   I told him about my friends in London and that I would connect them with one another.  He was thrilled!  I also told him that one of those friends is from Uganda.  He was really excited to hear about that!   

What also was funny was I didn’t talk to him much at first because I am always very emotional when I leave Uganda.  I was crying quietly when we were taking off as I always do.   I feel sorry for the ones that sit next to me as they are probably wondering what is wrong!  So I was crying but trying to contain myself.  Turns out... he said that he was so sad too because he really didn’t want to leave.  So both of us were emotionally challenged and we didn’t know we were in the same boat!  We got a good laugh but also it was comforting to know that God put us in the same row to silently understand the love we both have for this place we call home.  

So to fast forward...I have safely arrived back to the United States!  I am currently in Maryland visiting with Carol John & her family.  It is a good place for me to have gently landed for a couple of days to debrief and re-adjust.   Little did I know that just landing at Washington DC Dulles Airport was an answer to prayer.  I was unaware of all of the winter storms that are causing delays and cancellations in flights.  You wouldn’t have known by our flight as it was all smooth sailing!   When I saw Carol and Diane at the airport, I was never so happy to see the two of them...waiting with hugs, my winter coat, boots, gloves, hat and Starbucks!!   

Before I continue with the events of my last day in Uganda...let me catch you up a bit.  
Because I was having internet issues the last few days, I was not able to update you on all the activities on Wednesday and Thursday.  Those days were filled with meeting with various people and spending a lot of time with the children.  I was able to meet with Gerald and his family, Pastor Richard from Amazing Grace Church, and Pastor Paul from Cornerstone Church, as well as Ann another old friend.  Another surprise was when we were just about to start devotions on Wednesday night, I received two very special visitors.  Two of our previous students, Charles & Godfrey just stopped by the house.  They were from our home when we first began this ministry.  They are both in their 20’s now.  As they stayed for devotions, they were reminded of how far we have come.  They both have jobs now and are doing well.  It was encouraging for our children to see how far the Lord has brought them!  

The whole time that I have been in Uganda it has been on the warm side.  They said that January is one of the dry months.  It has not rained in over a month.  Even that day it seemed like it just might rain.  One person said to me, “No, it is impossible for rain to come.  Rain does not come in January.”  But that night, I was woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of rain!   At first I thought the sound was the generators that had kicked in.  But when I opened the window,  I was overjoyed with the pouring of rain!  We had also lost power in hotel so it was too dark to try and find my way down the stairs.  I would have gone outside and danced in the rain if I could have!  

Each day that week we were trying to coordinate getting the keys to go into the new house.  Our plans before I came were to actually move into the house and be settled.  Once I got there, I realized there was more to do before we were actually going to be able to move in. One week was not enough in order to pull off this huge task.  His plans were different than ours.  And in anything, His plans are always best.   

Our friend, Robert is on top of working with the owners.  They are in Kampala and each day he was trying to coordinate getting paper work finished and getting the keys.  By time we got to the middle of the week, we knew we had to shift the plans that we had.  I knew that the most important thing for me to do was to take the children over to the house and pray over the house and the land.  The moving in would be left with Godfrey and Robert.  We just need to move in the next two weeks before they start school.  

So the morning I was leaving, we had a meeting arranged to actually go into the house.  The owners were coming from Kampala that morning.  I had Godfrey bring all of the children to the hotel for the morning devotion time that I was leading.   I can’t tell you what it meant to have my Raining Hope family and my Paradise Hotel family together!  This was the first time that this has happened.  I was overwhelmed with love and joy as we all stood together.  I had Hillary give testimony on what it means to be a part of the Raining Hope family.  Then the children presented their song, “We are the Hope of Raining Hope” to those there.  I don’t have words that can express enough what happened in those moments.  It was glorious.  

The owners were delayed by a traffic jam because of an accident.  On the way to the airport, Godfrey and I saw the jam in the other direction.  They were delayed by almost 2 hours.  That is one reason why we were late in setting off from Jinja.  But while we waited, we took all the children over to the new house.  This was another moment that I wish all of you could have been there for.  They LOVE the new house.  They were so excited to see the size of the plot.  There is so much room, more than I even remembered.  The vegetation that surround the house has become overgrown since July.  So we waded our way through to get to the back of the house!  But we celebrated on my favorite back porch!  We praised the Lord, we danced, we sang, & most important, we prayed.  We had Robert and Andrew from Glory Be to God Church with us as well.  Andrew is a dear friend who also works at the hotel.  He is an associate Pastor at the church.  We had him lead us in the dedication time and the prayer over the house, the land & the ministry of Raining Hope.  I knew that this is what I was suppose to do with our kids on this trip.  We thought we were going to have a dedication time with other invited guests.  But it came down to me and the kids with Godfrey,  Annet, Robert & Andrew.  It was perfect.  It was His plan.  It was a precious moment for our family.  

When I return with a team in August, we will be moved in, the grounds will be cleared and the house will be ready to receive visitors!  It is then we will have a big celebration party!   So those who plan to come with the team in August will be a part of this event!  

I see so many reasons why God kept me in Uganda for those extra 2 days.  First, when I arrived back at the hotel it was 9 pm.  It took us close to 5 hours to get back to Jinja.  Once I got back to the room,  I just sat on the bed a little shocked that I was right back in my room.  I knew I shouldn’t unpack my bags.  Wondering what to do next, I decided to look at all the letters the children have written to pen pals and others.  Jonathan had done an excellent job in collecting them all for me.  But when I took them out, I found that they needed to be organized into groups.  I knew Jonathan had a check off list to make sure that I had received letters from everyone. I thought it was a good idea to double check just in case.    Sure enough, I discovered that I was missing some letters.  Turned out, there was a batch of letters that Godfrey had received that morning.  He was suppose to give them to me but they had fallen in the van and landed underneath some other folders.  Because we were rushing once at the airport, they had gotten left behind.  We didn’t discover them until I told Godfrey what letters I was missing.  I was so thankful because I don’t want anyone to miss out on receiving a letter from the children!  

Saturday morning, I had such a sense of peace.  I also did not have any specific plans so I had some time to just begin the process of debriefing all that God was doing.  Godfrey had to spend the morning getting the van serviced since we were going to have to make another trip into Entebbe.  He also had to take care of some school issues and order some uniforms.   I had great conversations with people at the hotel that morning.  Many of which centered around the missed flight. There was deep concern, yet a complete confidence & trust that God was working in ways that we could not see.  

I then decided to begin to work on the notes I took on each child when I interviewed them for their sponsor files.  I had not felt good that I did not finishing meeting with each person.  I knew I could get the needed information from Godfrey once I got home.  But I had told the children that I would meet with each one of them.  When I left the night before I was bothered that I had not had a chance to talk with all of them one-on-one.  
I realized as I sat there that I was given this opportunity to finished all of the interviews.  As much as I thought the main purpose of this trip was to move into the house, it turns out the interviews were at the heart of what this was all about.  

As I read over each interview, I was even more convinced that I needed to get back to the house to finish what God started.  I wish all of you could have been there when we drove back up to the house.   They were all yelling, “Mama, Mama, Mama!”   They were thrilled that we were given an extra day together!    We called it our BONUS from God!  There was an amazing sense of joy as we were SUDDENLY together again!  BONUS!  

Godfrey told me that they were praying so earnestly for me when I was faced with my passport issue trying to come to Uganda.   When the news came that I got it, they rejoiced in the answer to prayer.  When I missed my flight on Friday, he said that they would be so disappointed and may not understand why I missed my flight. I realized it was important to use this as a teaching time.  

I was able to explain that missing my flight did not mean that God did not answer their prayers.  We were overjoyed we were given the BONUS day together.  I was able to apply this whole situation to how we need to look at each opportunity we are faced with in our daily lives.  I shared the devotion I read about “being stuck” that I wrote about yesterday.  I watched as God took this truth and began doing something new in their hearts.  The day I leave is always sad for all of us.  But now with the reality of what “being stuck” really meant, we were all filled with this unexplainable sense of joy and wonder!  

From the devotion, I watched as each child listened intently like I have not seen before, “God told me to finish the assignment He had given me, to stay on the boat.  Don’t get in the way of God’s glory.  Don’t stop short. Fix your eyes on Him. Trust His love.  I pray your love may about more and more so you will know God and will be able to discern what is best - so you will know in your heart what He wants you to do and will trust Him to do what only He can do.”  

I stayed at the house until after 11 pm.  I was determined to hear the story from each child.  One by one I heard stories of their lives before coming to Raining Hope.  When we first began this ministry 8 years ago, the person who was in charge of this work called it “Living Hope Children’s Home.”  Amazing that I had even forgotten that name!  I heard stories of how some had been abandoned by fathers ... some had grown up starving . ..  some were verbally or emotionally abused.  I needed the reminder of where the children have come from.  What effected me most was not the sad history of their lives before coming to Raining Hope because that is not their story now.  That is part of their testimony.  What makes the difference now is their testimony of restored hope.  So many thought when they were in the midst of their abuse, abandonment, or starvation that they would never have a chance for a future.  There was no hope.  But one after one they all expressed that they KNOW there is HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.  This is it.  The past is important because they see what God rescued them from.  Everything here really does center around the opportunity to go to school or not.  Whenever you give to support a child for school, it really does give them hope that they have a shot to make it in the future.  Some of the testimonies talk about how their own parents have told them from a very young age that they would never amount to anything.   They are told that they are worthless and should stop trying to achieve their dreams because they will never come true.  God is using all of you in ways that became even clearer to me when I became “stuck” in Uganda for an extra two days.  Each year they finish another level in school they have seen that they are one step closer to actually being able to survive in this world.  There are some that never believed that they would even be alive to this point.  This BONUS day that we were given was the day that I watched God work in a way that only He can work.  They all had a renewed sense of HOPE that they all have a chance for their dreams to become true.  At the heart of their stories was their desire to make a difference in Uganda.  They want to see change in the corruptness that plagues this country.  Testimony after testimony was about how they came to know Jesus Christ as their Savior after coming to the home.   The majority of our children all accepted Jesus after coming to Raining Hope.   As part of the interviews, we ask the children to give their salvation testimony.  In giving those testimonies, we share our life before Christ, when we give our lives over to Christ, then what difference He makes in our lives now.  It was amazing to see the intertwining of their testimonies of what their lives were  before coming to Raining Hope, how they came to know Jesus while at Raining Hope and how their lives now have been transformed.  

At the very heart of their testimonies of why they want to become lawyers, doctors, politicians, teachers etc. is because they want to tell people of Jesus and make Him known in the nations.  They want to reflect Jesus in all they do.  That is how they will change this world.  That is who the Raining Hope children are.  This is the work that you give towards and who you pray for. These are the children that you love.  The children of Raining Hope who have a dream.  Thank you for helping to make their dreams become a reality.  

Thank you for journeying with me on this 18th trip.  Continue to pray.  Something significant happened in the hearts of our children.  They have renewed hope.  Something happened in me as well.  Something significant happened to us together.  One of the children in the interview said, “Raining Hope is not an organization.  It is a family.  We are a home.”  Another transformation was I noticed they went from calling me Aunty Eydie to Mama Kisakye.  God is not finished yet!  Continue to join us as we journey this Ugandan Dream together! 

Extremely Blessed, 
Mama eydie kisakye! 

Prayer Request: 
Pray that the day I have in Maryland would be a good transition place for me.  I always struggle even after 8 years with the re-entry into the US culture.  Carol, Diane, Teri & the 4 dogs are a gift from God to me right now!!   I also am enjoying the gentleness of the falling snow! 

Pray that we are able to raise the balance to pay off the house in full.  The children are SO EXCITED that we no longer have to deal with landlords.  We have had some very difficult landlords in the past.  We want to be completely free of any one who we are tied to in terms of landlords.  We will be able to realize this long time dream once the house is paid off.  

Pray for Godfrey as he has the majority responsibility to make the move into the house happen.  I am extremely blessed to have him in charge of the ministry. 

Pray for my flight tomorrow out of Washington DC.  I am suppose to fly out at 9:00 am.  Today watching the news they said that over 7000 flights across the country have been cancelled because of the blizzards on the east coast.  They said it would take 24-48 hours to get people to where they need to be.  We realized that if I would have flown out on Monday, I probably wouldn’t have been able to fly into Washington DC at all.  God sees what we don’t.  That was why there was such an urgency to leave on Sunday! 

Chapter 18 - Update #8 - January 24, 2015

I know you were expecting a post from Maryland...but God had other plans.  I am actually still in Uganda.  Obviously He was not done with me here yet.  On Friday the traffic jams on the road were terrible. Apparently, Fridays are the same as Fridays in the Los Angeles area...terrible!   Godfrey knows his way around many of them, but still we missed check-in by only 10 minutes.  I worked with Emirates yet they said the earliest they can get me out is Monday.  I know that there is a reason for all of this.  There is a penalty fee of $600 for the missed flight.  They tried to upgrade me to a flight on Sunday but that was another $800 plus the penalty.  So I decided to wait it out until Monday.  The only problem was that Carol and her family were waiting to receive me for a few days before flying back to California. Thankfully I was able to contact her before they went to try and get me!   But already I have seen God work in helping me accomplish things that I could not get done before leaving.   Plus, the hotel here rallied around me when I came back that night.  The owners of the hotel are good friends. They were not only overjoyed but they began taking care of me in ways that blew me away.  They showed what the word “family” means.  Even those here that I don’t know well treated me with such love.  I truly felt like a princess being loved and taken care of.  The lesson of being the daughter of the King became visible that night as this hotel loved me with the love of Jesus.   I felt God was just wrapping his arms around me.    They have told me that they are taking care of all of my meals while I am delayed here.    I really see the hand of God in all of this. When I got back  the internet was down and I couldn't get the word out that I didn't get on the flight.  Thank you for praying...even though I was not yet on that flight.  Continue praying that I would be very sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as I discern why this happened.  It excites me to be presented with this shift in plans...and just to follow Him where He leads.  It was strange that no one really knew where I was when i couldn't get on the internet.  But God knew and He has a plan!!!   Also know that there are always those out there who can hack emails. 

Just know that you will not receive any emails from me telling you that I am stuck and to send money to help.  One year someone hacked my email and said I was stuck in the Philippines and to send money to some odd place.   I don't need anything sent...I am working with Carol John on what is needed to get me home.  If you have questions please feel free to contact her.  Just don't fall for any hackers who might try to tell you otherwise.  I am doing fine and waiting for what God wants me to do next! 
I am reading a devotional book, “Reckless Devotion” by Heidi & Rolland Baker.  When I got stuck here for a few more days, I sat and began reading.  The book actually opened to a day that is ahead of my reading.  But when I saw the title, “Stuck” I thought there may be something in it that God wanted me to hear.   The devotion was about the time a terrible cyclone hit Mozambique.  This couple are missionaries that have served in this area.  When the cyclone hit they were in a nice, comfortable boat in a different area with friends having a great time.  But then they began getting phone calls from their sons that everyone was in trauma.  Three hundred and sixty churches had been wiped out by the floodwaters.  Heidi said, “I was on a nice boat, but I did not want to be on that boat.  My people were suffering, and I wanted to go to them so badly I would have flown right there if I had wings....What do you do when you are stuck?  You can flail your fists at the wind, cry and get more and more agitated.  But all that does is make you like a fly caught on a spider’s web.  The more you struggle, the worse you get stuck, really fast. 

Paul wrote, “This is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best,” (Philippians 1:9-10, emphasis added).  

What is best? When you are stuck, the best thing you can do is ask your loving Father, What is best?  There is no point trying to get off a boat if you are meant to be on it.  Maybe the very thing you are stuck in is His will.  Then you find joy in doing what you are meant to do - even if you have a ‘better’ idea. 

God told me to finish the assignment He had given me, to stay on the boat.  Don’t get in the way of God’s glory.  Don’t stop short. Fix your eyes on Him. Trust His love.  I pray your love may about more and more so you will know God and will be able to discern what is best - so you will know in your heart what He wants you to do and will trust Him to do what only He can do.”  

I was amazed as I read this.  I knew when I got stuck that God was not finished with my work here yet.  I have learned to trust Him when things happen like this.  I spoke to Pastor Ken here yesterday as he was shocked when he saw me in our van!  He confirmed this truth as well.  When we are faced with situations as I am in right now, 1. We don’t know what God is saving us from.  2) God has a reason for why He wants us to stay in the situation we are in.  I love the way Heidi said, “There is no point trying to get off a boat if you are meant to be on it.” 

I actually said something to Robert about this being an expensive lesson to learn because of the cost of airline ticket.  Robert said, “Sometimes there is a cost in serving Christ.  But it will all be worth it when we see what He does.”  My friend here at the hotel, Cathy, came to my room to bring food to me from the Otile family.  As she is lavishing me with care, she said, “No worries about the cost.  I will pray that will cover your lost ticket and you will receive a DOUBLE portion.”  I love the faith of my friends here.  God just kept pouring lessons into my heart as I walked through the shock of having missed the flight.  

I actually became excited because I wanted to see what God would do with the few days that I was held back.  Excited!

I may be stuck...but I am not alone.  HE is in the boat with me and His is navigating and steering.  I am just going to sit in the boat and let Him lead.   I know it is going to be a grand adventure! 

I will send another update...just wanted you to know that I was gloriously stuck and loving every moment! 

mama eydie kisakye! 

Prayer Request: 

Please pray that my ticket works out the leave tomorrow (Monday).  I need to connect in Dubai and arrive in Washington DC on Tuesday.   They are still trying to sort it all out so please join me in prayer that I will accomplish all that was unfinished and then get on the plane tomorrow! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chapter 18 - Update #7 - January 21, 2015

After the past few days, when I wake up it is with total expectation and wonder as to what God will do today!   As I went to breakfast, I was able to talk with one of the team members, John who is with Pastor Ken.  He is the one that lost his wife, he told me in July of last year.  This is his first missions trip any where out of the country.  As I listened to his testimony I saw myself on my first trip here.  The wide-eyed excitement and the wonder of all that God is doing here reminding me of my first trip here.  So the amazing thing, 18 trips later, was to be reminded of all God has done in my life from the first time I set foot in Uganda.  I was able to pass my testimony to him as well.  He is with a tremendous leader in Pastor Ken.  There wouldn’t be anything I could add that Pastor Ken is not already equipping him with.  But I was able to pass on a word of encouragement that I will never forget.  Pastor Tim Logerquist was with me on my first Uganda trip.  He saw how much the vision I had for Uganda was just so overwhelming.  There was so much to absorb and so much to discern.  Tim said, “Eydie, I know that the vision that God has given you is so big right now.  I will be praying that God narrows that vision so you can determine exactly what it is that He has for you to do here.”  I was able to pass that onto this man John.  I told him that I am still narrowing the vision!  It continues to move and shift.  But it helps me to stay focused on being pleasing to God and being in step with him. John was so thankful and still has a week to go here!  So the more God will show him, the more that he will need that same bit of counsel of allowing God to narrow it down to what He has specifically called him to.  

Then as John left, Pastor Ken came by!   We only see each other once a year and most of the time it is for just a quick meeting and catching up on where we are.  But as brief as some of our meetings are, they have been significant.  Being an American and doing this longer than me, he has been so helpful in totally understanding some of the journey I have walked through as he has as well.  So, as we talked, it was just a constant flow of encouragement seasoned from His Word.  Then someone came up to him to ask about the Bibles they need to pick up today.  I was interested because I discovered while here that our children have been without personal Bibles for quite some time. We gave each one of them a Bible but that had been years ago.  I did not know that those had become worn out.  Godfrey has been bringing out his Bibles for them to share during devotion time.  Even that is only a few Bibles.  So I asked Pastor Ken if he has a good source for purchasing them here which would be more practical.  He does have someone that can help us and they would cost about $10 each.  We were going to need about 30 of them. So I knew I would have to wait until we could raise the money.  But then he turned around and gave me 10 Bibles to use for right now!   SUDDENLY we have 10 new Bibles!  God is good!!!!  

As soon as he left, Andrew from the hotel discovered my spot where I was hiding!   Ha!  I wasn’t really hiding, but the table outside the restaurant is the only one that was open that morning.  Over the past 8 years, I have not only watched our children grow up but I have watched the trees and the bushes grow as well!  That spot is like a little oasis not!  I felt like I was in my own personal paradise!  It actual was hard that I was hidden because there were people I was looking for!  

Again, all this time I was waiting for the news from Robert as to when we were going to the house.  We had no word so I then had my second chinese food lesson with Mutete,  Robert had to make an emergency drive to Kampala to take his brother to the doctor.  He still had not received clear word as to our entrance to the house.  So Godfrey and I shifted gears and went to town to pick up 3 mattresses before heading to the house.  We are in need of about 12 more mattresses for the children as the others have gotten spoiled (soiled and dirty).  The three we bought were needed immediately as all the children are now back at the home.  That in itself is a blessing.  Normally I come in January and I see 1/3 of our kids.  This is all due to Godfrey taking the time to pick them all back up to be with us early because of the new house.  To give you an idea of mattresses....we are not talking about the big box spring mattresses we have at home.  They are mattresses they use that are made of foam.  They are the equivalent of our futon mattresses.  They are thin and many times used on the floor.  We have wooden bed frames that the children use in bunk bed fashion.  Cost of these are only about 
$21 each.  So you see the difference in what we are talking about when we talk about mattresses.  

They were overjoyed with the ice cream!  The shouted for joy as they received their one cup of ice cream!  At the same time is when I showed them the pictures of the other food items.  Oh,how it opened my eyes.  

I cannot express enough how much the letters meant to them that you sent.  They have spent the majority of the time while I am running errands in town, writing back to you.  One of the things when I asked about what they were thankful for was all of you who take the time to write.  Oh...that is another one of the words that they did not understand...PEN PAL!  That was easier to explain than ice cream or hot dog!  “Pal” is slang for us.  Once I said that is like “friend,” all at once they all said, “OHHHHHH!”  

I also began the individual interviews I wanted to have with each child.  Kelly Marley is in charge of our sponsorship program.  We are in the development stages of renewing that part of our ministry.  She is putting together profiles on each one.  As I listen to the ones so far who have talked to me, I have been in awe.  Some of their stories I had not heard before.  As part of their salvation story, so much of it centered around Raining Hope.   All that I talked with came from very difficult and challenging situations.  Some have come from families of abuse.  Some have come from extreme poverty.  I heard stories of some who would not eat for days.  Then either Pastor Paul or Shadrack, brought them to Raining Hope.  It was there they experienced the love of Christ.  They saw the joy on the face of the other children.  It was in the days we used to be called, “Living Hope Children’s Home” that they found Christ.  I have not talked to everyone yet, but so far those that I have talked with have the same testimony.  The thing they have been most thankful for is they found Jesus Christ when they came to us.  

That is all we ask for.  That is what we are about.  We are disciples making disciples. The gospel is at the center.  We are HOPE for the nations.   

mama eydie 

Chapter 18 - Update #6 - January 20, 2015

Last week I received a phone call before leaving America for Uganda. Godfrey & his wife, Irene had given birth to a new baby girl!  The surprise was they asked if I would be the one to come with a name and speak it over her.  That was a very humbling request.  They said with all we have walked through and endured,  he wanted me to be the one to give her the name the Lord lays on my heart.  I asked if he wanted to name before I came.  He said, “No.  We want you to hold the baby and look into her face.  Then you name her with the name the Lord puts on your heart.”  I was concerned that the baby would be nameless for a whole week!  But I honored their request and began seeking the Lord.  He did put a name on my heart, but I wanted for the confirmation until I saw her face. 

Something happened that only has happened when I first looked upon the face of our own daughter, Kiana.  I got a glimpse, a small glimpse of what the wise men must of felt when they first looked at the face of baby Jesus.  There was awe and wonder at this little one who was sound asleep.   Something just leaped inside of my heart.  I already had a name but it was confirmed.  I looked at her face and thought, “Hope for the Nations.”  The newest baby, the first baby in our new home...HOPE. 

There was absolutely rejoicing when I introduced HOPE for the first time to the children!   As we prayed over this baby, all the voices raised over her as she slept was beyond what any words can describe.  Then as I closed in prayer I recognized that not only is she HOPE for the nations, but she is a symbol of the HOPE that all our children are for the world.  The Raining Hope children are HOPE for the nation.  You are helping them achieve their dreams.  God is using them to change the world.  HOPE will be a continual reminder of the HOPE we have in Jesus. 

I shared these thoughts with them as part of the confirmation of the name...I
 “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” Romans 5:3-4 
HOPE - The biblical definition of hope is “confident expectation.”  Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear or unknown.  “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen.  It gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”  Hebrews 11:1

The righteous who trust or put their hope in God will be helped  “The Lord is my strength and shield.  I trust him with all my heart.  He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.’ (Psalm 28:7),

and they will not be confounded, put to shame, or disappointed  “Kings and queens will serve you and care for all your needs.  They will bow to the earth beforey ou and lick the dust from your feet.  Then you will know that I am the Lord.  Those who trust in me will never be put to shame.”  (Isaiah 49:23).

The righteous, who have this trustful hope in God, have a general confidence in God's protection and help   “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11

and are free from fear and anxiety “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.  So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.  Let the oceans roar and foam.  Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge.”   (Psalm 46:1-3)   

Along with faith and love, hope is an enduring virtue of the Christian life. “Three things will last forever - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love.”   (1 Corinthians 13:13), 

and love springs from hope “For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven.  You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.”  (Colossians 1:4-5). 

Hope produces joy and peace in believers through the power of the Spirit   “Rejoice in our confident hope.  Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying....”I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.  then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”  

HOPE FOR THE NATIONS ~ Each one of you ~
“I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned - In awe of the one who gave it all
I'll stand my soul Lord to you surrender - All I am is yours”

mama eydie 

Chapter 18 - Update #5 - January 20, 2015

Monday seems like an eternity ago, but it was only 2 days!  I think it is because so much happens in one day that should happen over a few days span!  What I love during the week is that we have morning devotions with the hotel staff.  That is one of my favorite things to do.  To start the day in praise, worship, prayer and devotion with my family here at the hotel is so inspiring.  Normally, the person in charge of the program asks if I want to bring the Word. If I have a team then we share together.  Yet I had not talked to anyone beforehand since I arrived on Friday.  But when I walked in, one of the ladies approached me and asked if I would share.   Again, always needing to be prepared, I shared the song, Giants Fall.  But this time because it was a teaching time, I shared from 1 Samuel 17 that is the account of David & Goliath.  The key verses were 1 Samuel 17:11 & 45 : 
11 When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.

45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 

Our focus was on the fact that Saul & the Israelites faced the Giant they were terrified and deeply shaken.  They were intimidated by the height, the armor and the threats made by a man.  But David looked at the same Giant and was not afraid because he came in the name of the Lord.  He knew that God was with him.  

This story of David & Goliath not only impacted the people in the fellowship that morning.  It has been encouraging us all through this short week that I am here.  The reminder that no matter what we face in our life, no matter how big the “Giant” seems to be, we face it IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OF HEAVEN’S ARMIES!  God is on our side.  This simple truth from His Word is giving people a renewed sense of courage and boldness.  I am watching people come alive in front of my very eyes.  Nothing is impossible with God on our side!  

Robert Otile has been in contact with the owners of the home trying to work out the exchange of the keys to the house.  There are also issues of previous tenants and making sure we do not inherit any of their outstanding balances.  I am so thankful for Robert as he is taking care of all of our legal paperwork and dealings with the owners. Things are done different here in Uganda and I have been blessed to have him take care of us in this way.  

I needed to stay close by the hotel as we waited.  So I took a boda boda to town to see some of my friends.  I was able to do a little shopping at the shop of my friend, Faith.  We looked across the street at the newly remodeled building where our friend, Rita used to have her shop.  Faith’s comment was how much she misses having Rita there & how much Rita is struggling to care for her family.  But she also shared how concerned she is for their own shop.  There was talk that their building as well may be sold to make way for other businesses.  To hear the concern in her voice brought a concern to my heart.  A shutting down of a business means no food on the table, literally.  Please be in prayer especially for our friends here in Jinja town. 

Godfrey met me in town to drive us back to the hotel.  As we walked passed the vendors that made “Raining Hope” bracelets for me in July, the shouted, “KISAKYE!”  It surprised Godfrey that they were calling me by my African name!  It surprised me that they remembered my name at all!   They were standing ready to make more for me!   

Then I received an unexpected and totally unrelated blessing.  Godfrey & I went back to the hotel for lunch.  For those new to the updates, I want to first give you a little history.  The hotel next door is called, “Sunset Hotel.”   I take teams there at least once as the view of the sunset is one of the most beautiful I have seen.  I saw on the menu they had chinese food, but wondered how good chinese food could be in Africa!  When I travel I always like to eat the cultural food of the area.  Yet, since I began coming more often, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to try it.  Wow!  To my amazement, it was the BEST chinese food I have ever had!  Really.  Those who have come with me to Uganda you know what I am talking about!   So all these years, I make sure I have at least one chinese meal at Sunset.  

The hotel I stay at starting serving chinese food a couple of years ago.  It is good but not as good as next door.  Sunset Hotel is a sister hotel to ours so it surprised me that it was so different.  Still, at lunch I tried to order chinese food for the past couple of days but the chef who could cook it was not around.  It was not a big deal, but my friend, Selevus who is the Food & Beverage manager wanted to take care of me.  So he said, “ I am going to arrange to have the chinese food chef come over from Sunset to cook for me!”  I couldn’t believe it.  But it gets even more amazing. 

I have been trying to figure out what makes the food so good.  I thought there must be some African spice they add that is giving it the unique flavor.  So when I asked Selevus if I could just meet the chef so I could see what ingredients he uses, he was more than willing to have me go to the kitchen to inquire of him.  The cook is an elderly African man who I learned has over 30 years of experience with cooking these kinds of food.  Not only was he willing to share what he used, but he had me stay in the kitchen so he could show me how he cooks the meal!   It was like being in the kitchen with Bobby Flay and being given personal cooking lessons!  I tell you this story because this is really unheard of.  Because of my relationship with the hotel, no one even looked twice to see me standing in the kitchen with all of the cooks, following this African man from station to station.  Only God.  I’m amazed.  

This man’s name is Mutete.  He was so kind to me.  Gentle at heart and smile a mile wide!  To my amazement he said, “Tomorrow come and I will teach you how to cook sizzling plate!  Then next day I will teach you sweet and sour fish!”  I just wanted to know what ingredients he used.  God gave me a bonus and I had 3 days worth of valuable cooking lessons during our lunch hour.  I was overwhelmed not because I now have the secrets of the dishes!  I was overwhelmed at the truth of Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in him and He will give you the desires of your heart.”   It was all just a bonus for me. 

But then I left our lunch and went to the home to spend the rest of the day with the kids.  We were having a great time of just fellowship and sharing.  Then the questions they asked started to take a funny turn.  They had been reading all of the letters that Desiree Vigo’s 3rd graders had sent.  Desiree had done something brilliant.  She printed out questionnaires on stationary with questions that all her 3rd graders had to do was fill in their answers.  The questions were things like, name, age, favorite color, favorite food etc.  Who would have thought the answers to “what is your favorite food,” would be so intriguing!  Someone raised their hand and said, “Aunty Eydie, what is a hot dog?”  I stopped and thought to myself, “what?”  Then it was as if God opened up a new part of the Ugandan part of my brain!  What proceeded from there humbled me but also filled the room with so much laughter!   They wanted to know what a hamburger was.  When I said it was like a sandwich...then the question was, “what is a sandwich?”  Bacon, ham, lemonade, ice tea, root beer...were all on the list.  I tried my best to explain what they were.  It was the most interesting experience for me to try to explain what a hot dog was.  They has already asked Godfrey the day before.  Godfrey joked with them and told them it was an actual dog that was too hot to touch!  That did not help the matters!   We take those foods for granted.  Try yourself to explain those items to someone!   Try to explain, “ice cream.”  I had a hard time with that one.  So Godfrey & Henry spoke up and said, “That one I think we have to be practical!”  I did not know what that meant.  Basically it meant that we can only understand what ice cream is by experiencing it ourselves!  Godfrey said that we can theorize about it or just be practical and eat it!   So the next day, we picked up some ice cream cups from the market and practically ate them!!!!   The next day I also came back with pictures from the internet of all of those items they asked about.  You should have seen their eyes filled with wonder as for most of them they had never seen any of them.  I asked them when we got to “hamburger” if they knew what McDonald’s was.  All of them responded with a puzzled look and a “no.”  Amazing isn’t it?   But as I thought about it, they eat posho, beans, rice and at times chicken or beef on rare occasion.  They know pineapples because they are plentiful here.  They use onions, tomatoes, cabbage & carrots.  And of course they know fish.  But there would have been no reason they would know what all those foods are we eat.  It was so humbling and it bonded us together even further as we celebrated the differences in our cultures.  The amazing thing was, they didn’t show any signs of envy or disappointment when they saw the pictures.   They were happy to see what the items were I so poorly was trying to describe the day before!  They laughed at some of the pictures and I told them they weren’t missing much!  We laughed and we laughed.  But it caused me to love these kids even deeper.  

The next part of the day was the best part.  I am going to send this update off to you while I write about it.  It deserves its own section.  I have been having internet issues the past couple of days as the network was acting up.  But this update is long enough to keep your reading for awhile!   

A funny thought to leave you with...
When Godfrey and I picked up the ice cream the next day, he had a confession.  He said, “Aunty Eydie I have only had ice cream twice in my life.  The first time I tasted it it was TOO COLD.  I didn’t like it.  TOO COLD.  So I decided to let it sit for awhile to warm up and not be so cold.  But then when I went back to it, it became like soup.  Ah!  It didn’t taste good. I couldn’t eat it !”  We laughed so hard!  I told him you have to eat it cold!  He said, “I found that out...but it is still too cold!  We celebrate the differences in our cultures!  What a blessing for me to be a part of both! 

Overwhelmed by His Grace,
mama eydie 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Chapter 18 - Update #4 - January 20, 2015

I was only going to be here over one Sunday on this trip.  With various churches that I can attend, I was led to go to Glory Be to God Church right here in Jinja.  Many people from the hotel we stay at attend this church.  Services are from 10 am until a little after 1 pm.  The worship service just flies by even though it is about the length of 2 of our American services!.

When Godfrey & I arrived, one of the leaders came to me as I sat down and asked if I wanted to present.  I have learned over the years to always be prepared to speak whenever asked!  I had the song, “Giants Fall” that I ended up signing.  Yet, it was the moments before I signed the song that encouraged my heart.  I explain the song before I actually sign.  That way while they listen and watch, they would understand the song better.  I talked about how the song really represents the giants in our lives...school fees, poverty, sickness, hunger, were a few that they voiced out.  With God on our side, we can defeat the giants in our lives.  You could tell that this hit a cord in the hearts of the people.  Then during the song something happened that has never happened in the 8 years that I have been coming.  Normally when the Ugandans present in song, someone puts a basket on the stage.  In appreciation, and as people feel led, they will come up to the basket during the presentation and put money in the basket.  As I was signing, an usher brought a basket up and placed it on the stage.  Some came and dropped a gift of appreciation.  After the service, someone came to me with an envelope.  She said, “This is in appreciation.  Thank you.”  Wow.  It was a small amount, but it meant so much to me.  They gave from the little they have.  It reminded me of the widow’s mite story in the Bible.  People gave of the little they have to show appreciation to the Lord.  It was a very humbling experience.  I felt like a Ugandan in a new way this Sunday.  What an honor and privilege to be counted as part of this family of believers!

On Sunday afternoon I was able to be with our children at Raining Hope.  We are loving just spending time having fellowship together. I am in the process of explaining a lot about the move and the new direction we are taking as a home.  The children are so encouraged and excited about seeing all that God is doing.  One of our older boys, Hilary shared testimony about what God has been showing them.  He said that through some heartaches and difficulties there have been many challenges.  Yet God has been giving them a renewed sense of hope.  I have been sharing with the children the principle of always wanting to be explained by the miraculous.  Hilary said that the older boys had also come up with a slogan.  It was the this year of 2015 they believe that it is a year that SUDDENLY God is going to do the miraculous.  The children all became excited as Hilary shouted, “SUDDENLY!” HE IS GOING TO MOVE!

As we continued sharing, I put on music so we could just praise the Lord.  I came to the cd that our children had produced.  Henry said, “Wow!  I have not heard our music for 6 months!”  When I asked why he said it was because they didn’t have a dvd player.  The DVD player and TV that they were using was no longer available to them.  I didn’t realize they were using the DVD player to play the cds.  What the children didn’t know was I had brought an old DVD player with me that we were going to sell in one of our garage sales at home.   So...after Hilary had finished speaking, I had quietly gone to get the DVD player that I brought with me.  I had it hidden behind me.  I said, “You know how you want to be surprised by the Lord when He SUDDENLY works?  Well...SUDDENLY there is a DVD player!”  I wish all of you could have been there in the room when they saw the player.  They shouted for joy, jumping up and down dancing before the Lord!

I used this as an object lesson.  We talked how we can pursue things on our own, wanting things or specific things to happen.  We may get them but it won’t as exciting as God providing the answer in SUDDEN MIRACULOUS ways!   If I would have just brought the DVD player because they asked, they would have been appreciative and been joyful over the answer to prayer.  But when it appeared without expecting it, it brought a joy that was overwhelming.  SUDDENLY AND MIRACULOUSLY!  God is good!

You would think it couldn’t get any better...but it did.  I gave them the letters that all you wrote to the children.  I am SO THANKFUL for Ed Baldwin at Grace Fellowship.  He was in charge of the pen pal program .  He organized these envelopes that had each children paired up with one of our children.  There was a notebook in each one of the envelopes as well as stickers, coloring paper and letters.  I was able to use each one of these envelopes to add the other letters that had come in for them. I am also thankful to Desiree Vigo whose 3rd grade class has also become pen pals with the children.  When the children received their letters they were overjoyed!!!!  They LOVED the notebooks that had their names and Grace Fellowship on the front.   I will talk more about this in the next update as they have had time to now sit and read through all of your words.

I already had someone write to me since I have been in Uganda sorry that they were not able to get their letters to me in time.  If you as well would like to write to the children, you can still email me.  You would have to do that soon as I leave on Friday.  Ideally, if you could get the letters of encouragement to me by Wednesday, I can deliver them before I leave.  You are one day behind us so that gives you even more time!

Prayer Requests:
1.  Pray that we will be able to get into the house today (Tuesday).  It is 12 noon, Tuesday for us.  You are all probably sleeping as it is 1:00 am Tuesday morning.  We are waiting on access with the keys.  It all has to do with the previous tenants and also paper work.
2.  Pray for the prayer/dedication time we want to have before I leave.  The moving in may not happen before I leave.  The most important thing is to bring the children over so we can pray over the house & property and dedicate it to Him.  Godfrey will be facilitating the move which may take longer than we originally expected.  The children start school the first week of February.  We need to be settled in before that.
3.  Pray for the balance due for the house to be completed paid off.  We owe around $25,000 more in order to not have any monthly “mortgage” payments.  This will help us to to finally be done with monthly payments.
4.  We have focused so much on raising the money for the house.  Yet we are still in need of regular budget items such as school fees, food & other supplies.  We have watched God provide for the house which is been a miracle.  We know he will provide for their daily needs.
5.  Pray that I would continue to be sensitive the the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Pray for wisdom and discernment & that all I do would be pleasing to Him.

One of the servers at the restaurant here had a baby 8 months ago.  I asked her how she is doing as a brand new mum (mom).  Her response as she was just beaming, “I am extraordinarily happy!”  My sentiments exactly!!!!

Extraordinarily filled with joy!
Mama Eydie Kisakye!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Chapter 18 - Update #3 - January 19, 2015

As I sat to write this update I looked at Update #2 to see where I had left off.  Part of me can’t believe it was only 2 days ago that I wrote that!  So much has happened it seems like it’s been more like a week!  The other part of me can’t believe it’s only been 2 days because it feels like I just got here, which I did!  Sounds crazy but I woke up this morning after finally getting a whole night’s sleep and was a little disoriented!  God is overwhelming me and I’ll do my best to help you experience this right along with me!  

Saturday morning when I stepped out from my room, I anticipated with great joy all that God had in store for me!  Just outside the restaurant I began to run into all of my friends!  As I greeted my dear friend, Esther, Robert Otile then came over with huge smiles and hugs!  Then his father, Mr. Otile greeted me not knowing that I was even coming!  His comment was, “Wow!  What a nice surprise!  They didn’t tell me you were coming!”  Soon behind him came Andrew and then Apophia!  I was in the blessed spot!  I had the feeling that as I stood in that spot God just poured out blessings and love all over me!  I didn’t even want to move from that spot!  The Otile’s are the owners of the hotel.  Robert is the one who has helped me over the years with the buying of our land, the van and most recently our new home!  The reason that I also feel like I am home when I arrive in Uganda is because the people at the hotel are family.  They are always welcoming me home from my visit to America!  Ha!  

Then I went in to have my breakfast.  You know you are overseas when you have baked beans for breakfast!  Even when I was in Dubai, I chuckled at the buffet when I saw the traditional baked beans in a tray!  So common and I know that I am in my overseas home!  

As I sat, more of my friends came over to greet me!  So good to be back!  As I ate, I was reading my Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest,” devotional. It was talking about the voice of the nature of God.  It started with, “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Isaiah 6:8.   “When we talk about the call of God, we often forget the most important thing, namely, the nature of Him who calls...The call of God is the expression of God’s nature, not ours...Isaiah was so attuned to God, because of the great crisis he had just endured, that the call of God penetrated his soul.  The majority of us cannot here anything but ourselves.  And we cannot hear anything God says.  But to be brought to the place where we can hear the call of God is to be profoundly changed.”    I then started writing in the journal portion of the devotional.  As I wrote, I began to reflect on all that has happened since coming to Uganda that first time 8 years ago.   I have had ups and downs, hurts and crisis.  The words of this devotion became alive and clear.  The times of crisis truly caused me to be more in tune with Him.  The more time that I spend with Him, the more I know His voice...and it has profoundly changed me.  All I have to do is be still and know that He is God. 

Now as I wrote, I could hear two men talking at another table.  I could tell they were believers and were probably just meeting in Uganda on a mission’s trip.  I heard one talk about Maryland and Washington DC!  That always draws my attention as that is where Carol has moved to!  I wanted to go and introduce myself and tell them I was on my way to Maryland on the way home from this trip.  Yet, I continued to write and eat my breakfast.  But just as I got to the words in my journal about listening and being still...one of the men asked his new friend, “Can I share a devotion with you from EM Bounds on prayer?”  As I continued my eavesdropping....I was overwhelmed with God’s word that morning.  The devotion was on being still before the Lord.  It was about going through times of difficulty yet being still before God who will bring you through it all.  I think my jaw needed to be picked up off the floor!   I so wanted to go over and share testimony with them about what God was doing over at my little table across from theirs!  Yet I decided that I would wait and hope God would give me the opportunity to talk with them at another time.  

Then it happened.  I heard another voice and knew that I recognized that of a friend from Alabama!  A few years ago I met Pastor Ken who comes every January.  He has ministries in various places throughout Africa.  He has been a huge support as we share with one another whenever we are in Uganda at the same time!  Amazingly enough, the two men I overhead talking were part of his team!!!   I looked at him and said, “No way?!”  His response was, “Way!”  Ha!  After updating Pastor Ken on all that God was doing with the Ugandan Dream, he introduced me to the others at his table.  I shared my apologies for eavesdropping...but we all stood amazed at how God was drawing us together with His Word!   It was an amazing experience to start my trip and my day!   

I have invited them to come to the home once we finally get in and plan our time of dedication to help pray over our new property!   We are praying our schedules will work out.  The man that I overhead giving the devotion lost his wife a couple of months ago.  This is his first visit to Uganda.  I am praying for God to just flood his soul the way He did on my first journey to this amazing place!    

That was only the first hour I stepped out of my room!  I became even more excited about what God had in store for my next steps into this glorious day!  

I had a meeting with Robert Otile set up that morning to begin talking about the home and what steps we needed to take next.  The excitement in this meeting for both of us was hard to contain!   Knowing that God has provided this home for us made every detail come alive!   Money has been deposited to the ones selling the house and we will be able to pick up keys today (Monday) to go into the house!!!!   Even typing that out brings tears to my eyes!   There is a lot to do before we can actually move in.  But the first step is to have someone come and assess the property so we know what kind of things we will need to fix to get it ready to move in.  We will also have something that is equivalent to our property tax that we will owe to the municipal council that will be paid on a yearly basis depending on the value of our property.  And we just need to make sure that there are no outstanding water or electricity bills from previous tenants.  

Robert is walking every step of the way with me to take care of all these details.  He has been working closely with Godfrey from Raining Hope in my absence.  The reason we found this house at all was because Robert is the one that showed it to us.  He knew the owners and was able to do all of the negotiations.  We are blessed to have Robert working alongside us!  

The excitement in the day just kept building!  After Godfrey picked me up, we went to town just to exchange some of the money.  Because of the strength of the US dollar, right now the exchange rates are very high.  That is good news for us as we get more for the dollar!   I stopped at my friend, Diana’s shop to buy some cloth (material) as I always try to help her out.  I was greeted my her new baby of 7 months!  Last time I was there, she was just about to give birth.  The name of her baby...Brave!  I love it!  

We then tried to find my dear friend, Rita who had to move out of her shop I have known since my first trip here.  The owners of that building sold it and everyone had to move out.  We knew she had found another spot but couldn’t find it.  Thankfully I had her phone number and we were able to find one another.  We actually ended up at her home.  While the visit with her and the children were a huge blessing, we discovered that she was loosing money in trying to operate her business in the new place.  It wasn’t receiving enough foot traffic.  She made the decision to close that 2nd shop and try and sew from home.  I bought some bags and aprons just to help her since she no longer has all of the gift items our team members are used to buying from her.  Her husband still operates a small shop at the Nile tourist spot which is helping sustain them.  It was fun seeing Baby Eydie who is continuing to grow leaps and bounds!   So hard though when we are both together because they would call her, “Eydie” and I would always answer, “Yes”  then “Oh you were calling that Eydie!”  Ha!   

Then the biggest joy of the day came when I went to the home to visit our children. Oh the feeling of joy and love that filled my soul when I saw Henry open the gate with a HUGE SMILE!  As he walked alongside the van and the others realized I had arrived, they all came rushing out to greet me!  I couldn’t even get out of the van because their hugs all began happening as soon as I opened the door!  We began to celebrate and rejoice!  Godfrey was in the drivers seat saying, “They are so happy to see you!  They have been waiting for you.”  One by one I received hugs from them all.  We went inside and had an afternoon of just sharing, rejoicing and thanking God for all He is doing.  

This was the first time that I was able to talk to them about the new house.  I wish that all of you could have been there to hear and experience true hope.  They have been through so much in their lives.  To have remained faithful through it all knowing that God has a plan for their lives, was inspiring for me to witness.  They are examples to me of having a pure, authentic faith in Jesus.  These hours that we were together just blessed my soul.  

Godfrey was out picking up more of the children to bring them back to the house.  We are still in winter break so not everyone was home.  Many times I come in January and we only have a few children here.  But because Godfrey has been working so hard in preparation for the move, and we have our own van...he picked up everyone and got them to the house!  Just that is another miracle!  While we waited for everyone, we also just worshipped and danced and worked on new songs!   One of our new favorites is a worship song we sang at Grace Fellowship just before I left.  Thank you, Ricky MacDonald for being led by the spirit to use that in worship that Sunday.  I found on my Ipod, the version by Hillsong called, “Alive.”  That is becoming our new theme song!  Wish you could all be here to experience the absolute smiles on their faces as they sing & sign the words, jumping up and down for joy!   

At one point, as I talked to them about the new house, the new directions, I asked them if they had questions.  They had just a few.  They were just so happy.  At one point I think it was Jonathan who raised his hand.  He said, “This is not a question, I just want to say again, we are glad you are here.”  I too, just glad to be with my children here at Raining Hope.  That about sums it all up.  

That night when I went back to the hotel, Godfrey and I had to go over more plans for the upcoming days.  As we sat outside at supper, I realized as I was getting bit by mosquitos I not only forgot my OFF mosquito wipes (which I don’t use very often anymore) ... more important...the anti itch stick that keeps me from scratching!  Yet I was so filled with joy it didn’t matter!   There are joys deep within a well that are bursting forth with a force that can only be explained by God!   

This is just day one.  It is Monday morning and I need to go to morning devotions with the hotel staff.  So I will let these words soak into your soul and I will have much more in the next update!   I leave you with the words from this song that are the testimonies of our hearts!  

eydie kisakye! 


I was lost with a broken heart
You picked me up, now I'm set apart
From the ash I am born again
Forever safe in the Saviour's hands
You are more than my words could say
I'll follow You Lord for all my days
I'll fix my eyes, follow in Your ways
Forever free in unending grace

'Cause You are, You are, You are my freedom
We lift You higher, lift You higher
Your love, Your love, Your love never ending
Oh oh oh

You are alive in us
Nothing can take Your place
You are all we need
Your love has set us free

In the midst of the darkest night
Let Your love be the shining light
Breaking chains that were holding me
You sent Your Son down and set me free
Everything of this world will fade
I'm pressing on till I see Your face
I will live that Your will be done
I won't stop till Your Kingdom come

'Cause You are, You are, You are my freedom
We lift You higher, lift You higher
Your love, Your love, Your love never ending
Oh oh oh

You are alive in us
Nothing can take Your place
You are all we need
Your love has set us free

You are, You are, You are my freedom
We lift You higher
You are, You are, You are my freedom
We lift You higher, lift You higher
Your love, Your love, Your love never ending
Oh oh oh

You are alive in us
Nothing can take Your place
You are all we need
Your love has set us free

You are alive in us
Nothing can take Your place
You are all we need
Your love has set us free

(You can listen on YouTube - Hillsong Young & Free - Alive)