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.
REIGNING HOPE, ALIVE AND WELL!