Thursday, May 21, 2015

Update on The Ugandan Dream

I want to give you an update as to where we currently stand on the goal of paying off the house in Uganda in full by June 6, 2015.  

First, thank you all for praying and believing with me.  The Lord truly has provided in ways that no credit goes to any individual.  God gets all the glory for the way that He is orchestrating it all! 

I am going to now ask you to do something out of the ordinary.  From the very beginning, I have had no “Plan B” as to what would happen if we didn’t pay off the amount by June 6th.  I have believed with no doubts that we would pay it off in full by the due date.   I have had multiple people ask me what we will do if we don’t have enough by the deadline.  I have had others who want to have Plan B just in case. 

But since I stepped onto the grounds of the first house last July, I knew that God had plans for us to own that house.  It was odd for me when Robert said the house would be $120,000 and my response was, “ok.”  I didn’t know where it would come from and I had no idea how to even start raising that kind of money.  But God planted it in my soul that He was starting a new work in us. I trusted and followed.  

Since that time, GOD made it clear along the way that the first house was not the right house.  Because of circumstances that we encountered along the way, He began to open up the path towards the new house that we now own & occupy.  This house is 10 times better than the first house!  I didn’t plan this...He shifted and we moved where He said to go.  

So I am fully trusting that God will provide the additional $11,550 to pay off the house in full.  I am also trusting that He will provide the funds for the renovations, especially the perimeter wall and the roof.  We also have school fees that are now due that are approximately $3,000.  

I have already received word from Godfrey that the sellers are asking how close we are getting.  They are beginning to draw up the final papers.  Because of that detailed email from Godfrey, I know that we don’t have an option and it needs to be paid by June 6th.  


On Sunday, my home church, Saticoy Church came alongside Raining Hope in an inspiring way.  His people were led to give.  They were led to come all around me and pray.  They offered up powerful prayers, trusting that God will complete what He started.  One person came to me and quoted,  Philippians 1:6 “...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” 

I talked about the immediate need for the perimeter wall, even before the house is paid off.  I had a couple specifically come to me to pray over this need after the service.   Godfrey is concerned about theft and the safety of the kids.  Another person came to me with this word from Zechariah 2:5, “And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’”  His Word brings such peace.  He is watching over the house until we can complete the physical wall.  Amen!  

Plan A -  Listen to Him - Obey & Follow Him - TRUST Him.
My Plan B is that I trust in Plan A - HIS PLAN

So here is the radical request I have of you...No doubts !
Will you simply join me on your knees with the faith of a child that God will provide all we need?

Haven’t we all heard the phrase, “Have faith as a child?”  But I had never had it explained quite like what I just read in, “The Circle Maker for Kids - One Prayer Can Change Everything” - Mark Batterson 

“Nothing touches the heart of God more than childlike faith.  That’s why a child’s prayer is so special, so powerful.  Children don’t know what can’t be done.  That’s why, when I need a miracle, I have my children pray with me.  God has answered many of those prayers in miraculous ways!  

This book will give children an unforgettable picture of the power of prayer.  It will lay a foundation of faith that God is able to do more than anything we can ask or imagine.  And it will teach a lesson that will never be forgotten:  God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God.”   Keep circling, Mark Batterson

“Lord, teach us to pray.”  Luke 11:1

I love this.  Children don’t know what can’t be done.   Think about that.  When you ask a little child to pray they don’t ask, “What if...”  or   “What is Plan B in case this doesn’t work?”  

This is based on the story of Mark Batterson’s bestseller, “The Circle Maker.”  He shares the ancient Jewish legend of Honi the Rainmaker with children to teach them about the power of prayer.  

Spoiler the end of the story, Mark writes, “The people now understand that one prayer can change anything.  One prayer can change everything. ... They never again doubted the fact that God always hears.  And if our prayers glorify God, God always answers.  Everyone who witnessed the miracle that day learned a lesson they would never forget.  God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God.” 

There is something bigger here than just the house.  

We are His testimony through our story of God doing the miraculous!  Will you join me in praying BOLDLY because this will bring honor and glory to God alone.  

For the remaining two weeks, when you are tempted to wonder, “what if?” can you turn that into a childlike faith prayer?  

The children of Raining Hope in Uganda have this kind of childlike faith.  I am learning from them.  Will you join me in watching God do what only He can do?  

I will be at Grace Fellowship, this Sunday, May 24th for both services.  Please come and join us as I give an update and we BOLDLY PRAY!   

Glorifying God Alone, 
mama eydie kisakye! 

Chapter 19 - Update #15 - May 21, 2015

On the last night I was in Uganda, we had something happen that I have had a hard time putting into words.  Because we were going to drive by the house in the morning on the way to the airport, we did not have to do our traditional plan of saying bye for now and driving away shouting “strong and courageous.”  So we had an extended time as family just rejoicing and praising God.  After some time, we moved into a special time of prayer.  But tonight was different.  Godfrey led this time of praying by encouraging everyone to walk around the house, inside and out.  He said to pray over the house, pray for one another, pray for all of you...just spend time with Him and thank Him for all He is doing.  

I watched some go outside alone.  I watched some take the hand of another and pray together.  I watched little Jael take the hand of her daddy, Godfrey and walk with him praying to their Heavenly Father.  I watched some face the wall and cry out to God.  I saw other walk the grounds of the house outside. It was so beautiful to hear all the voices of these precious children praying to their Father in thanksgiving and praise for close to an hour.  

I went outside to pray.  As I prayed, the dark night revealed in the distance flashes of lightening.  There was no rain.  There were no sounds of thunder.  The only way that I can explain it was as if it were a fireworks show.  I marveled because there are numerous times in my time in Uganda, that when I am speaking outside, I can see lightening flashing in a distance.   We would always comment on how God was with us.   This particular night the lightening show went on for a good 15-20 minutes or more.  I stood praying and crying because I have never seen such a sight. The Lord’s presence was so powerful that it was overwhelming.  

That night we continued in prayer & praise.  We talked about the fact that this particular trip was characterized by love.  This trip was about the absolute love our Father has for us.  It was about the love I have for them as their Mum.  It was about the love they have for me as my children.  It was about the love they have for you and for those around them.  

I was so amazed when I came home to receive confirmation in a way I had not expected.  On Wednesday nights I lead a Beth Moore study called, “Breaking Free.”  That week, the chapter was “God’s Unfailing Love!”  I was blown away!  So much of that week’s study, I had just lived out in Uganda!  Day One started with this, “This week we study the life-saving love of God.  The word, compassion, in Isaiah 54:10 comes from the Hebrew word racham, meaning “to soothe; to cherish; to love deeply like parents; to be compassionate, be tender ... this verb usually refers to a strong love that is rooted in some kind of natural bond, often from a superior one to an inferior.”  Now for my favorite part of the definition: ‘Small babies evoke this feeling.’” 

We talked about Raining Hope being rooted in love.  So then in Day 3, I read this, “We are to be rooted and established in love (Ephesians 3:17).  Whose love? His love.  ... A plant or tree is as strong as its roots are deep.  The deeper you and I are rooted in the unfailing love of God, the less we sway when the winds of life blow harshly.  When I am going through a difficult time, this truth becomes my anchor.”  

But then I read this, 
“God deeply desires for us to have the power to grasp the colossal love of Christ. (v18).  The word for grasp is katalambano meaning ‘to lay hold of, seize, with eagerness, SUDDENNESS ... with the idea of eager and strenuous exertion.’  God longs for us to eagerly lay hold of the depth, length, breadth, and height of Christ’s love.  

Ephesians 3:17-18
“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”

The power to grasp the love of Christ comes to us through the Holy Spirit in us.  The more authority we give the Spirit, the more we grab hold of the colossal love of Christ. Look back on the definition and note the synonym, SUDDENNESS.  I love this part of the definition because I’ve had times when I seemed SUDDENLY to grab hold of the enormity of Christ’s love for a moment.  

Keith and I usually walk together in the evening, but he wasn’t home one night when I was experiencing a very deep hurt.  All I felt like doing was sobbing, but I decided to throw on the headphones, play some good worship music, and walk out on the neighborhood golf course all by myself.  The night was pitch black, and no one appeared to be on the course but me.  The more the music rang through my soul, the more the tears of my wounds turned to tears of worship. Finally, I stopped walking, lifted both my hands in praise, and worshiped Him.  Flashes of distant lightening began to burst in the sky like fireworks on the fourth of July.  The more I sang, the more the Spirit of God seemed to dance through the flashes of lightening.  I haven’t had many experiences like this one, but I will believe all my life that God allowed me a SUDDEN, flashing grasp of His amazing love.”  - Beth Moore 

I could not fully express what happened in my heart when I witnessed the flashes of lightening that night on our porch in Uganda   Then I came home to this Beth Moore study.  It confirmed this whole 19th trip.  The kids had already adopted the phrase, “SUDDENLY” in January 2015.  They knew that SUDDENLY they had a house.  We would continue to watch God SUDDENLY provide all we need.    God minister deeply to my soul with these words as I had to do my own debriefing in Kentucky!  Turns out...God gave me all I needed to process through what He had done.  


The attached update explains all you need in terms of what is needed to help us finish well.  

I had waited to send you this last part of my 19th journey.  It fits now.  I stand in awe of Him and I hope you do too.  God has reminded me of this story of His amazing love for us.

I quoted R.C. Sproul before I left for this trip in April,  “Hope is not taking a deep breath and hoping things are going to turn out all right.  It is assurance that God is going to do what he says he will do.”   


Let’s have the faith of a child and trust that He will do what He says He will do. 

mama eydie kisakye 

Chapter 19 - Update #14 - May 12, 2015

To finish up the updates of this journey, it is appropriate to do this after having just celebrated Mother’s Day!  I want to give you a little background on where “Mama Eydie” has come from.  Some of you that are new to our updates may not know the story.  This trip has been about family & my love as a mom for her children.   First and foremost, on January 12, 1994, God gave me the privilege of being called “mom” for the first time when Kiana was born!   For me, there is no greater honor than to be Kiana’s mom!  

Then when Heather Elkin’s parents moved back to Oklahoma, she stayed back to finish college at Cal State Northridge.  We began to have Heather over for meals knowing it was hard for her to be here alone.  Quickly, we all became her extended family. I had mentored Heather as a young teenager.  But now my role began to shift to a second spiritual mom and Kiana became a sister to her.  

Then in 2007, my family began to expand!  I became involved with children in Uganda in a little place called Jinja!  This is where God introduced me to a group of children in the village of Kakira at Cornerstone Church.  Some of these would become a part of our first home called, Living Hope Children’s Home.  This is where God was birthing a whole new family into my life!  

As I was beginning to write this, I went back and found an article I wrote for Pastor Rex   for Conejo Church on Mother’s Day 2010.  It was titled, “A Mom Committed to the Great Commission.”  He asked me to write it while I was in Uganda on my second International Service Project with California Baptist University.   The year before was my first ISP trip and also the first Mother’s Day that I was not with Kiana.  My team knew that it was a struggle for me to be away from Kiana and Heather on such an important day.  So they did something very special.  They were the team that gave me the title, “Mama Eydie.”  They became my spiritual daughters.   They surprised me on Mother’s Day with beautiful cards filled with words of encouragement.  Over the five years I led ISP teams overseas, I became “Mama Eydie” to over 40 students.   Add to that number about 14 others with Raining Hope that have been trained to travel overseas!  I would say that my territories have definitely expanded! 

Then in 2012, my ISP team witnessed my family in Uganda giving me my African name, Kisakye, meaning “Grace of God” or “God’s Grace.”  They have been calling me “Aunty Eydie Kisakye” since that time.  But something very beautiful happened in January of 2015.  That trip began a huge shift in our family.  You can go back to our blog at if you want to reread any of those updates.  It was a much needed trip for me to travel alone as a mom to be with my extended Uganda family.  Something happened when I missed my flight and was there for those 2 additional days.  My role as their mum took on a new meaning.  The reality of having a house they could call their own was giving them new hope.  They began telling me stories of just how hopeless their lives were before they came to “Living Hope Children’s Home.”  But they always held onto the promise God gave them in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  

Now for the first time in their lives, they believe that they will become the teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc. that they have always desired.  You have given them this renewed sense of hope with your support and your love.  R.C. Sproul states,  “Hope is not taking a deep breath and hoping things are going to turn out all right.  It is assurance that God is going to do what he says he will do.” 


We talked about the long road we have taken to get to where we STAND today.  Where people have told me it is impossible to do what I am doing, God says, “Nothing is impossible with Me.” Luke 1:37.  

Where people have told our kids to give up because it is impossible for them to fulfill the dreams they have in their life, Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”  Luke 18:27. 

When they were weak, God said, “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

They have gone from children who lost hope to a living testimony of Romans 15:13 NIV, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”   

The theme of this trip became clear.  LOVE.  This was the overwhelming message that the Lord wanted the children to hear...wanted me to hear...wanted you to hear.  

Raining Hope is rooted in love.  

Jeremiah 29:11 and Joshua 1:9 are His promises to us.  This trip I watched these additional verses become knitted into the fabric of our masterpiece...

“What does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all HIs ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul?”  Deuteronomy 10:12

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”  Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  Matthew 22:36-39

Because we now have our own house, I bought a “visitors book” that is a very common thing to have in Uganda.  When you visit a home or a ministry, Ugandans like to have a record that you have come.  Godfrey chuckled when I picked out the guest book!  He was overjoyed because it signified that we own our own home!   This is what I have written at the front of the book...

Welcome to Raining Hope Uganda! 

We are a home that is rooted in LOVE!   We pray that as you enter today you will experience His love, His joy and His peace through the warm welcome and hugs of our children and staff.  

Thank you for blessing us with your presence today!   The love of the Heavenly Father awaits!  

Peace and grace,
Mama Eydie Kisakye, Godfrey & the Raining Hope Uganda

Can you feel it?  It is as if you have stepped through our doors by reading these updates.  With each prayer, with each gift, with each word of encouragement, you step into the home of Raining Hope.  

This year...
We went from living in a house to becoming a home. 

We went from being an organization to becoming a family. 

I went from being Aunty to becoming their Mum. 

We are a family at Raining Hope.  We are committed to helping our children’s dreams come true.  The children want to be that change in the world & bring all glory to Him. 
The theme verse for my Raining Hope Service Project team in 2014 was 2 Corinthians 5:9,  “So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.”  Even though it started off as a verse for the team, it became a theme for our children as well!  They are making their lives all about Him, not about themselves as they live as disciples involved in the advancement of Kingdom work.  

What does it mean to be a mother on mission?  It simply means being a follower of Jesus Christ wherever He sends me, whether it is Ventura, Riverside, Duarte or Uganda!  

Thank you for being on mission with me on this significant journey in the life of Raining Hope.  Thank you for helping their dreams come true. 

Kiana gave me a pillow for Mother’s Day that says, “To the world you are a mom, but to us you are the world.”   What a privilege it is to carry the title of “mom” no matter where I am!  

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,”  Joshua 24:15 

Thank you for being a part of our family! 
mama eydie kisakye 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Chapter 19 - Update #13 - May 9, 2015

When I arrived at the house on Monday, I turned my camera over to our camera man, Frank!  He took over the interviews I wanted to have of the children saying thank you to sponsors.  Godfrey wanted me to spend the afternoon walking though the house.  We knew when we bought the house that there would be needed repairs.  Godfrey did an excellent job in preparing a report for me so I would know exactly what would be needed.   He had estimates drawn up from various builders and contractors so I could make specific plans for raising the funds.  He made my job easy! 

We walked through both houses and I video taped as I went along.  The men who were working on the pit latrine were also in the middle of pouring concrete and laying down the foundation.  We were able to buy supplies to at least get the process started before too much rain hit the area. 

There was question as to whether we would need a new roof on the house.  While I was there, Godfrey showed me the area inside the house that is leaking.  It is also near some wiring so this will be one of our first priorities after the house is paid off. 

The second priority which is just as important is building a perimeter wall around the compound.  The local council is asking us to do this as soon as possible.  For those who have been to Uganda, you know that many homes are surrounded by perimeter walls to deter possible theft.  This is a security issue that is for the safety of our kids and for the property inside the house.  One side of our property is fully open to people who walk by on a daily basis.  One side has a wall that is part of the neighbor’s property.  Another side has a chain link fence that while separates us from that neighbor, doesn’t give any privacy.  The fourth side is partially walled off by a natural wall of plants & bushes.  This is the side that the children make the “imaginary gate!”  Godfrey has plans for us to have a wall around the whole property with a security gate.   Godfrey told me today in an email that when they are all at church, strangers are hanging around our compound.  The local council has asked that we speed up the process with building the perimeter wall.   Cost for the perimeter wall is going to be close to $2,300 which includes labor.

Our house is actually in very good shape compared to other houses that we have lived in.  In Update #4, I talked some about the first impressions of the house.  This day I went around with pen and paper and took notes about specifics.   Godfrey is thinking ahead, knowing that we can’t make all the renovations all at once. I asked him what it would take if we could make all of the improvements on the house to fulfill all our dreams.  As we walked around, I started adding things up in my head.  I thought it was getting close to $25,000.  But when we sat down, Godfrey opened up his notebook with all of the estimates he had already worked on for me.  Turns out...all of the renovations would be closer to $15,000!   

We also have made a decision according to my conversations with Godfrey and with my team back here at home.  Godfrey has negotiated with workers to hirer them at a fare but discounted rate for construction.  We have decided that we would prefer to give the jobs to the Ugandans that Godfrey knows rather than bring teams from America to help with the construction.  We actually don’t save that much money by bringing volunteers to help with the work.  The actual labor that is represented in the $15,000 is a very small amount.  If it costs each person from America at least $2,500 to come work, that money could be used to help pay for the materials.  We also want to give the work to the local Ugandans who need the work to help feed their families.  Godfrey was thrilled when he heard my approach to this decision.  The people here are in such need of work that we believe the Lord desires for us to move in this direction.  

I have had so many over the past few years who have waited for us to having a building team trip.  We are so thankful for each one of you who desired to help.  The way that you can be more effective is by helping us raise the money to get this work done in a timely manner.  It is becoming apparent that we need to accomplish some of these tasks sooner than we thought.  So please keep us in prayer as we desire to make the home that the Lord has given us into the excellent place of ministry that will bring glory to Him! 

Please keep us in prayer as we are trusting in Him to provide.  These figures are using the current exchange rate of 2950.  In all the years that I have been in Uganda, the exchange rate has never been this high.  It is allowing us to get more for the dollar right now.  This is a huge blessing from the Lord!  We want to continue to do as much as we can now while the exchange rate is so high.

To pay off the house in full by June 6, 2015 -  $12,950

Roof for the main house  -         $4,270
Perimeter wall -                         $2,340
Main gate - New                        $1,220
Boy’s Quarters -                        $1,470
(This is to finish the half of the house that is incomplete)
Electrical needs -                       $962
Plumbing -                                 $2,742
Labor - plumbing                       $548
(The reason we have a typhoid problem is also due to the rusted pipes that run through the house.  They would like to eventually replace the pipes with PVC pipes to help cut down this problem.  The new drinking water cooler is immediate help.  But the pipes need to be replaced for bathing issues etc.)
Septic Tank -                             $678
Total -                 $14,232
There will be other costs such as paint, glass, tiles and other miscellaneous expenses.  But this is the best estimate we currently have to do all of the renovations that would get the house in the best shape possible. 

Godfrey had the children enter into a 3 day time of fasting and prayer as they dedicated the home to the Lord.   I received this word from Godfrey today about their time of prayer and fasting:
“When we were having times of prayers and fasting, God was calling Raining Hope to greater ministries.   From the testimonies of the children,  they felt closer to God than ever before through His provision and answering prayer for the new house and meeting most of our needs through you. God needed our hearts in all he is doing that we may know him as God who helps us. Others were delivered from their past unforgiveness of those who hurt them.  They said they have learned to humble themselves and watch God work. We mostly read through Isaiah 36 and 37. We formed prayer groups and Bible study groups to help in the process of discipleship.

We are so thankful for the water cooler, it will indeed help to provide safe and clean water to the children, and they feel important to have such vessels in the house. We have been having a challenge with how to keep the water since our water passes through old pipes which are dirty. The water cooler will help us to reduce typhoid and other water borne disease.

With what is happening at Raining Hope at this point is a clear picture of what God is doing through you. Most of the children used to go to their relative during holidays but this time most of them are around because they feel a sense of belonging and more safe at Raining Hope than ever before.  This is the meaning of it all.  This is how much God is using you and this was my prayer all far back while still in Wanyange that God may use you for his purpose.”   Your son, Godfrey

This is attributed to all of you who have continued to stand by Raining Hope these eight years.  It is because of all of you that dreams are coming true for these children.  The fact that many of them stayed back at the house during the holiday break is a huge testimony as to their sense of feeling safe and belonging to a family.  This is the first time that this has happened. 

Please be in prayer with us for God to provide all that we need to pay off the house and to start on the renovations.  The perimeter wall and the roof are the first priorities.

Also a question recently came up about giving on our website or the YouCare site. 
If you make a credit card donation on YouCare we are charged just under 3% as a processing fee.  If you make a credit card donation on the Raining Hope website we are charged just under 2% as a non-profit organization.  If you send a check, 100% of the funds go to Raining Hope. 

If you have any financial questions, please direct them to Carol John our treasurer, 805-377-7387. 

I have more to share about the last evening at the home.  I will send that in the next update!  

To all of the mother’s who read my updates...HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!   May God bless you with the love from our Father ... and the love from your own children!  Our Raining Hope children all love you for the way that you love and care for them!

Happy Mother’s Day!
mama eydie kisayke! 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Chapter 19 - Update #12 - May 7, 2015

I sat here to write the last update, but just received word on a few of the prayer requests from the last email.  So first I want to give you a praise and prayer report!  

  1. The children are healing from the recent outbreak of typhoid.  Godfrey said that Irene’s (his wife) father and Zuluta’s dad came close to dying because of the disease.  But they were able to receive treatment and are healing.  The increase in the disease is also because they are in the midst of rainy season so the water gets contaminated more easily. 
  2. We have had a donation made towards purchasing the water cooler for the children! Special thanks to cousin, Diane & Matt Lombardi who provided the funds so we can go ahead and begin the process of getting safe drinking water to our children.  Thank you, Matt & Diane for your care and concern!   I have asked Godfrey how much it will cost per month to provide the water for the tank.  The estimate is $3 a day so for the month about $90.  We will need to add this cost into our monthly budget so we can make sure that the children are getting safe water.  
  3. Annet’s back problems have to do with her vertebra.  He said the doctor has told her “that some bone is moving downwards from its position.  The last time treatment wasn't sufficient & she was put on drugs and calcium supplements. She was not sleeping because of the pain.  When he returned her to hospital, the back still had problems, so she is supposed to be raised on bed for three weeks to try restore the bone to its position.” They have given her a “corset” to help support her back with some improved medication.  They want her to stay in bed with her legs elevated.  She is in pain and can’t walk up straight.   Please keep Annet in your prayers.  The treatment with corset, medicines, hospital costs, will be around $225 to make sure that Annet gets all the medical care needed.  The hospital is willing to let them make these payments on installments.  Pray that this treatment will be all that is needed to take care of this back issue.  Annet is instrumental in the music program for not only for our children but for the church.  She moves so much as she worships that I know this is difficult for her to be bedridden and in such pain.  
  4. Continue to pray for us as we need to pay the house off in full by June 6th.  We only need $15,000 more to have the house fully paid for !!!   
  5. A praise...I recently posted a photo of Godfrey with a large group of children next to our van.  I asked him who all these little children were.  He said that the Raining Hope children were ministering to children in Mailo Mbiri near Jinja.  He was taking a few of our children home to see their families during the break and always ministers to the children of that village.  This time he took the Raining Hope children to minister as well.  One of our older children, Joan led a song about “God loves me and I love you!”   I just love this!  Our children are beginning to go out and spread His love to others!   

Chapter 19 - Update #11 - May 7, 2015

So the last day that I had to update you on my journey was Monday, April 20th just before I flew home.  

Monday morning began with leading the devotions during the hotel staff/felllowship time.   
I encouraged the staff by reading from “A Cup of Joy” devotional that ended up having a lot of wisdom in it for this trip!   I focused on one called “Friends for All Seasons.”  I also shared this devotional with the children at RH later that night.  Here are some of the main thoughts...
“If family is the way we establish our roots on earth’s soul, then friends are the fertilizer.  Friends are the sunshine and the rain, the ones who help us grow to be better and stronger than we’d be on our own.  In that regard we cultivate a variety of types of friends...they encourage our growth along the path of our career choices.   If we are truly blessed, there’s a friend or two who creates a space for us like no one else can do.  They help us to dig deeper into who we are and what we want out of life....They are the gifts that truly strengthen our growth and help us become beautiful....These friends are with you when hope is thin, the ones who remind you brighter days are just ahead and that God is with you.  This kind of friendship is rooted in love.”  

This is a testimony to my family at Paradise Hotel and the family at Raining Hope.  It is also a testimony to all of you...our extended family who love and support our kids!  Raining Hope truly is rooted in LOVE!  

I also signed the song, “Dear John.”  I have looked up the reason why Mandisa wrote the song.  She wrote it for her brother, John as a plea for him to give his life to Jesus.  She said she was praying God would use it to save John, and every unbeliever that hears it.  She also asked God to use it to stir boldness and love in the Body of Christ to witness to our non-Christian loved ones.  

I used the song in a way to challenge everyone to replace the name, “John” with their own name.  I talked about the ups and downs over the past eight years for Raining Hope.  I shared our testimony about not giving up.  These verses were key...

“Dear John, people hurt you, and you know I've been hurt too
There's no way to escape it,  Don't let your pain be wasted
No, don't let it get the best of you,  'Cause God took my broken parts
And gave me a brand new start, Now I am walking, breathing, living proof
And, dear John, He can do this for you.” 

Raining Hope has become walking, breathing, living proof of taking broken parts and giving us a brand new start.  We are the living proof of His hope.  Freedom is on the other side.  We all get to choose.  

This was a powerful time for all of us.  I saw spirits lifted when they realized that they have the power to make the choice to not be tied up and afraid any more.  

After the fellowship time I had one of the new head chefs at the hotel, Emma, stay behind to talk with me.  He was overcome with emotion and joy.  He began to tell me his journey.  I was amazed to see the journey that he has walked with God.  He wanted to share his testimony with me because he heard the stories I was sharing about where most of our children came from.  Our children came from a life of being told they were not good enough.  They have been told they would never amount to anything.  Our children grew up in families that have told them to give up because they will never become the doctors, lawyers, teachers etc. because no one cares enough to send them to school.  This is the life that God rescued our children from.  This chef has an amazing story to tell that is so similar to our story.  He just felt compelled to share with me because he wants to encourage our children to never give up on their dreams.  I have already introduced him to Godfrey and he will come and share his testimony sometime to our children.  God is amazing!  

Another God moment was a lunch meeting at the hotel.  One of our older children, recently was under discipline by Godfrey because of his breaking rules.  I was aware of this before I came.  Godfrey had wanted me to talk to him when I arrived to determine if we were going to continue to keep him at the house.  What I didn’t know is that before I even arrived, he messed up again.  Godfrey had already sent him out of the house, trying to set him up to live on his own.  So you don’t wonder, this person is already 21 years old.  He is our student that we are paying for art school to further his education and skills.  

We had a sit down meeting in order for me to hear his side of the story.  As he sat with Godfrey and I, I heard parts of his story that Godfrey had not explained.  But I think that Godfrey also had not heard some of these things either!  When you sit in the chair of the reconciler, you can discern and hear things that maybe both parties are closed off to.  In the midst of all of this, there was clarification, humbleness, brokenness, forgiveness and redemption.  Godfrey and I agreed together on next steps.  He asked for forgiveness and we willingly granted it with lots of love!   The next step was bringing him back to the house because he affected the rest of the children with his disobedience.  Godfrey asked him to come back to the house tonight to talk with them.   To fast forward...he did come back to the house early evening.  Before we had him talk to the children as a group, the three of us plus Hillary (who was the witness to the meeting when Godfrey asked him to leave) all met together.  Amazingly enough, during this 10-15 minute meeting, it began to rain!  It actually poured for the whole time that we met.  As soon as we prayed and finished the meeting, we walked outside and the rain had stopped!  All of you who know our story of the significance of rain...God’s presence is always made so real in significant moments by pouring out His blessings with the symbol of rain!  

What I witnessed after this was the way that I believe God intends for reconciliation to play out.  In our devotion time, Godfrey had Fred stand and talk to the kids.  He was honest with them about what things he had done wrong and how he had hurt them.  He explained his weaknesses and his faults.  He told them how he knows it affected the family and he asked for their forgiveness.  He also said that the way that I came alongside him as a mother was something that he has never experienced before.  He explained that all of the authority figures in his life in the past all treat him with accusations, anger and disrespect.  He was not used to an authority figure who loved him like a mom or Uncle Godfrey as a man treat him like a son.  With this love, Fred experienced the love of God.  I can tell you who this is because of the way that God restored Fred back into the loving hands of a family who loves him.  I witnessed the kids ALL rush up to him and throw their arms around Fred, hugging him telling him, “We forgive you.  We love you, Fred.”  I was blown away by this gesture of love and forgiveness.  I then witnessed them move forward as if nothing had happened just loving each other more and more.  Fred asked forgiveness and the children gave it.  We now move forward together, stronger than ever holding nothing against him.   The enemy has been defeated!  Praise the Lord!  

Sitting down and talking through tough issues is hard.  But what is waiting on the other side is what the song, Dear John so clearly displays....
“There's freedom on the other side of things that keep us tied up and afraid
There's hope in every situation, no matter what you're facing everyday
But it's up to you, You get to choose.  Your Father is waiting there with open arms”

We had open arms for Fred.  He is now stronger and has grown in a way that will deeply affect his character.  This is what Raining Hope is all about.   The children made me proud as a mom on this night.  

I introduced the new song, “Dear John” to the children that night as well.  They became energized by the words knowing that this is their story.   The journey has been long and hard.  But we are in the midst of a breakthrough!  He loves us.  Period!  Our children are choosing life and love.  We are walking, breathing, living proof of God’s love!   

I will finish this last day in another update.  So much to absorb here that I will break this up into still yet another update!  

Standing amazed by God, 
mama eydie kisakye 

Dear John - MANDISA 

Dear John, How you doin'?  I've been thinking about you
I'm not sure how to say it,  But I've been praying daily for some kind of a breakthrough
I've said this a thousand times, And I know you don't see my side
But I do it 'cause I love you,  So, dear John,  Here's the truth

There's freedom on the other side of things that keep us tied up and afraid
There's hope in every situation, no matter what you're facing everyday
But it's up to you, You get to choose.  Your Father is waiting there with open arms

Dear John, people hurt you, and you know I've been hurt too
There's no way to escape it,  Don't let your pain be wasted
No, don't let it get the best of you,  'Cause God took my broken parts
And gave me a brand new start, Now I am walking, breathing, living proof
And, dear John, He can do this for you

There's freedom on the other side of things that keep us tied up and afraid
There's hope in every situation, no matter what you're facing everyday
But it's up to you, you get to choose, Your Father is waiting there with open arms

(Dear John)
It's a not a list of do's and don'ts, Not a record of your faults.  He gave his life pay it all
(Dear John) He loves you just the way you are, You are forgiven by His scars
Just open up your heart, (your heart)

There's freedom on the other side of things that keep us tied up and afraid
There's hope in every situation, no matter what you're facing everyday
But it's up to you, you get to choose, Your Father is waiting there with open arms