Thursday, July 30, 2015

Chapter 20 - Update #2 - July 29, 2015

I don’t think I can give justice in these words to what I was feeling when the plane touched down on Ugandan soil upon my arrival.   Since we came in at night,  all I could see out the window were lights flickering in places where I pictured groups of people congregating at the end of their day.  Some were small fires lit that were glowing with such warmth that I could feel it on the plane.  Even though I couldn’t see the land, the lights were enough to ignite my heart with the love I have for this place I call home.  

When the wheels of the plane touched down, I felt my heart jump with joy.  I am anticipating the Lord doing so much ... more than we can ask or think!  There was a plane that was already parked at the gate using the one jet way that leads you right inside the terminal.  So for the first time in years, we walked off the plane down stairs onto the tarmac.  As soon as my head emerged from the plane, I had a wave of emotion sweep through me as I smelled the Ugandan air!  I wish that this email had the ability for you to scratch & sniff so it would release what I smelled at that very moment!  If you have been here you know what I am talking about.  It just smelled like Uganda! It is fresh air filled with a scent of new fallen rain.  It was as if I was knocked over with a rush of the scent!  I loved it so much I began to cry.  I was home and soon to be reunited with my children at Raining Hope.  

Even though I was just here in April, so much has changed already!   The airport continues to improve.  The health check that has been in place was now removed.  We still have to fill out a health screening form to catch any possibilities of people traveling to countries where there had been Ebola.  Now we just hand in the form along with our arrival card.  Once I was through passport control, I quickly picked up my luggage.  Because I was arriving so late at night, I had Godfrey wait until morning to get me.  We now have a guest house we stay at in Entebbe that we started using last year.  It is a quaint guest house that is a peaceful place to rest before our long journey to Jinja.   

When I woke up the next morning, there was no electricity.  I knew I was home!  I heard the beautiful sound of birds singing to start the day!  Then I heard the sound of children singing from across the road at the nearby school.  It made me smile knowing that the next 3 weeks I was here in my Ugandan home!  

I went to the dining area where Peter, my host was ready to cook my breakfast.  Peter shared his testimony of his life as he lost his mom to AIDS years ago.  He was left to raise himself and his 3 younger brothers.  His story is so common of the many stories I have heard of our own children.  To see the difference that God has made in his life continues to confirm the call God has on my life here in Uganda.  

When Godfrey arrived at the guest house to pick me up, it was such a glorious reunion!  We were so happy to see one another!  He has continued to emphasize how thankful he and the children are that I have come alone for this first week.  We spent the next few hours driving back to Jinja catching up on all the God is doing.  While we are thankful for the internet and the ability to have instant access in communication, nothing replaces being in each others presence!  

On the way to Jinja, we made the official stop for chicken on a stick!  The roasted bananas this time were exceptionally sweet and delicious!  The weather here has been perfect so far!  It is cooler here than California or Maryland!  I joked with Carol as the forecast for Maryland this week was going to be in the 90‘s and humid!  I told her I needed to go to Africa for cooler weather!  It ended up being truer than I realized.  It is in the mid 70’s during the day.  The whole drive the air smelled as if it were going to rain.  Then as we approached Jinja, the rain clouds were growing darker.  Then just before the bridge to cross the Nile, it began to POUR!   Godfrey said, “The rain always comes with continues to be a confirmation of His call on your life.”  We got to the bridge and the rain was so heavy it began to flood the bridge!  He said, “I have never seen this before!”  We had to drive through slowly as the water was becoming so deep.  There is a lot of construction on the main roads leading to the hotel.  Because of the heavy rain creating lots of mud, that road became difficult to pass through.  So, Godfrey said we should go around through town to get to the hotel.  

Since we drove through town first, I decided to stop and exchange money right away.  To my surprise the exchange rate was extremely high!  It was 3320 which gives us more for the dollar!  So for all you supporters of our ministry, the money you have given is being stretched even farther by a high exchange rate!  Most of the time the rate is under 3000.  God is good!   

We also drove by to see if we could find my friend, Rita.  Last year, she lost her shop that she had for years due to the landlord selling the building.  She resorted to selling things out of her small home.  That did not give her to foot traffic she needed and they began to suffer financially.  Last time I was here, she occupied a little bench outside the front of a store on the corner.  So this time, as I drove by the little corner where she and her husband sat...I was surprised to find that she now occupies the shop space next door to that bench!  Praise the Lord!  It is much smaller than the original shop space but much bigger than the little bench she used to sit on!   

We then made our way to the hotel so I could get settled.  I was immediately greeted by familiar faces and warm hugs.  Now, they all say, “Welcome home!”  They all know that I stay in the same room each time, so that is my home while I am here!  The receptionist already had my key and my bags were being brought up before I even registered!  

The children at home told Godfrey not to bring me home until they came home from school.  He wanted me to see the new wall...but he said he would get in so much trouble if I came before they got home!  So he left me at the hotel for a couple of hours to unpack and get settled.  The internet was down because the storm that hit took out the routers.  So I was not able to get the initial first update out until now.  

But it was all so worth the wait to go to the house that evening.  I had left my Ugandan phone in the van by mistake.  I think when we got chicken on a stick, Godfrey moved my phone from the cup holder area to the glove compartment. I didn’t realize it was gone until I tried to call Godfrey when he was late picking me up.  Turns out, he was trying to call me to see if I was ready!  After an hour past the time he was suppose to come, I realized I could contact him by Facebook!  The internet had been off and on...but on enough for me to send a quick message that I didn’t have my phone.  Sure enough, he had been trying to call me and thought maybe I had taken a nap!  

It was all worth the wait.  By time he came it was dark outside.  I thought that driving up to the home I wouldn’t be able to see much in the dark.  But as we approached the house, I was amazed at the sight of the new perimeter wall!  It looks so great...even in the dark!  We got to the gate and I thought, “Wow!  This is so beautiful!”  They also moved the positioning of the gate where the entry used to be when I came in April.    It disoriented me for a moment when we drove on the compound.  The gate is now near the corner of the property.  So as I was still admiring the gate and the wall, I didn’t realize that it is now a straight shot to the front of the house.  As my gaze turned towards the house I saw one of the most beautiful sights...the children were all standing in two receiving lines holding candles!  It makes me cry just thinking about it.  They also just got their new choir uniforms that day.  They are a beautiful royal purple satin.  I was speechless.  They were shouting and singing as we pulled up.  Three of the girls came over to my side of the van to escort me to the receiving line.  They said, “We are so happy to see you, we want to just carry you inside the house!”  I walked through the line crying and giving high fives on their precious hands.  Once in the house the song, “Giants Fall” was playing.  What a time of rejoicing we had!!  

They also presented me with a bouquet of flowers!  These are really special because they were actually artificial.  I was so excited because these I can take home and be a constant reminder of their love for me. The flowers came with showers of confetti that they kept throwing over me!  Then they escorted me to my special chair and said, “We have presentations for you!”  They also gave me a card in honor of my 20th trip signed by each one.  It was overwhelming.   

The next hour or so they presented in song and dance!  There were about four children that gave testimonies and words of welcome.  Godfrey also had a time to share before he invited me to give a word to the children.  When it was my turn, I walked back outside for a moment.  They wondered...where is she going?  But then I said, “Last time I was here we had not yet paid off the house.  Now, I step into the house that is fully paid off and is ours!”  I jumped back into the house the the roared with thanksgiving to God!  I said, “We now have only one landlord and that is Jesus Christ!”  Again, we praised the Lord and thanked Him for His provision and His love!  

It became very apparent through the words Godfrey shared that they were thankful I came alone to spend time together as a family.  The next update will continue to show how important this is.  

I closed my time signing the song, “Holy Spirit” by Francesca Battistelli.  We dedicated the next 3 weeks to being all about Him and not about ourselves and that He would be glorified in everything we do.  He is our first invitation to our celebration! 

"Holy Spirit" - Francesca Battistelli 

There's nothing worth more -  That could ever come close
No thing can compare -  You're our living hope
Your presence, Lord
I've tasted and seen - Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free - And my shame is undone
Your presence, Lord

Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord

There's nothing worth more -  That could ever come close
No thing can compare -  You're our living hope
Your presence, Lord
I've tasted and seen - Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free - And my shame is undone
Your presence, Lord

Let us become more aware of Your presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness


You too are all invited to our celebration.  I pray that you will be able to transport yourself into our journey by the reading of the words from these updates.  I want so much for ALL of you to be here to experience what God is doing.  There is an atmosphere of celebration, of thankfulness and complete awe of what God is doing.  Please join us as we give God the glory for all He is doing! 

For His glory alone, 
mama eydie kisakye!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Chapter 20 - Update #1 - July 26, 2015

 I am currently in the air on my flight bound for Entebbe!  I didn’t have time to send an update out before leaving.   For those who may be new to my updates, I have titled each trip by chapters.  This is my 20th tip to Uganda since my first journey January 2007!   I can’t quite believe that in 8 years I have traveled to this place that I now call my Ugandan home 20 times!  

This journey will be a time of celebration in the life of Raining Hope.  We paid off the house in full by our deadline of June 6, 2015!  Now, we will be going to dedicate the house to the Lord on August 8, 2015.   I left on July 22nd to travel first to Maryland to attend a wedding shower for Carol John’s nephew.  I traveled ahead of the team that will join me on August 3rd in Uganda.  I am bringing back the same team that came with me last summer.  There are specific projects I needed accomplished on this trip.  We didn’t have time to have my normal team trainings.  So I invited this specific group back one more time.  There are so many more of you that have traveled to Uganda that should have been a part of this dedication service.  Many of you have stood by me since the beginning eight years ago.  Because it wasn’t possible to bring back the 47 people who have traveled with me to Uganda in the past, I asked that group of ISP and Raining Hope Service Project team members to contribute to a memory book that will be presented on August 8th at the Dedication Day!    I also included those who are current sponsors of our children & others who have played a significant role in the investment in the lives of these children & in me.   Thanks to everyone who took the time to write a note of congratulations.   The book ended up being close to 50 pages!   This way, you are all here with me as we celebrate this glorious moment together!   

British Airways BA 228     
Depart Maryland  Sunday, July 26  9:30 pm 
Arrive London  Monday, July 27       10:00 am 
Duration of Flight  7 hours 30 minutes  

British Airways BA 63
Depart London Monday, July 27          12:35 pm 
Arrive Entebbe Uganda Monday, July 27  10:55 pm
Duration of Flight 8 hours 20 minutes 

British Airways BA 62
Depart Entebbe Thursday, Aug 13 1:10 am 
Arrive London Thursday, Aug 13 7:55 am
Duration of Flight 8 Hours 45 minutes 

British Airways BA 283 
Depart London Thursday, Aug 13 9:45 am 
Arrive Los Angeles Thursday Aug 13  12:55 pm 
Duration of Flight 11 hours 10 minutes 
Please pray for the team that I have invited to join me...
Pastor Doug, Kelly M., Katie B., Shannon S., Desiree V., & Melanie Z.  Last year, Melanie had surgery and was not able to travel.  This year she will be able to join us!  Pray for Kim S. who last year was ill and not able to travel.  This year, she recently had surgery and again will not join us.  She will remain stateside and be a prayer partner with Camille J. on the east coast who serves as our prayer coordinator for Raining Hope.  

I will send update #2 shortly.  My first day here in Uganda was amazing!  

mama eydie kisakye 



I am pleased to announce that we have reached our goal of raising $125,000 for the Ugandan Dream!  Praise the Lord!  Each donation has provided the way for the children’s dreams to become a reality!  

I was with Carol John in Maryland when we began to add up the donations given this week.  Here is a testimony from Carol on that moment we discovered that we reached our goal...

A word from Carol John, Treasurer for Raining Hope: 
“I remember where we were.  We were in the family room.  It was only a few minutes after midnight when my email notified me of the now infamous over-the-top gift.  We had just received notification from Heather of all the checks she was going to deposit.  And we quickly added them up.  Different sources, different soon-to-be-deposited amounts - first doing the math in our heads, then writing it all down quickly on scratch paper.  Anticipation… adding… and YES we had made it!  $125,050.00!!  Praise God.  We celebrated with Peanut M&Ms!  Happy and stunned all at once.  I can’t tell you how special it was for it to happen while we were together.  How good of God to let us share it.  I won’t forget this moment.”

I called Godfrey right away to let him know that we reached our goal!  Most of the children had already left for school.  But Godfrey was speechless with the great news!  Here are a few words from Godfrey, Fred & Joan who sent me an email after we talked on the phone... 

“Praise the Lord so much!  Hallelujah to the King of Kings!  I am so excited to hear the good news in the morning about the successful raising of the money for the house.  How great is our God!  Jeremiah 29:11!  (Fred) 

“It was great joy when our Mama Kisakye called and broke the news that all the house balance has been received.  We believe in much more great things at “The Palace” and continuing in God’s service as our spiritual lives are nurtured and we believe we will achieve our dreams.”  (Joan - older) 

“To hear the news this came as drops of rain to a dry ground to hear about the balance for the new house being paid off from you this morning.  It is amazing what God can do when we trust Him.  Your call changed the course of my day!  When you were here, you used the phrase, ‘I do not know how to feel right now,’ after you visited the home for the first time.  This is the same feeling I have right now.” (Godfrey) 

“Ask the Lord for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture.”  Zechariah 10:1

Then later that day, all the children came home from school.  Godfrey told me that he led their nightly devotion time, then broke the news!   He said that they were SO EXCITED! They spent time praising the Lord and thanking Him for answering prayer.  Then they called...

This is Carol’s account of the phone call...
“I remember where we were when Godfrey and the kids called you.  We were in the van in a parking structure when the phone rang.  As you put the phone in speaker mode I could hear cheering, singing, and several voices saying, “I love you, Mum!”  When they started singing praises to Jesus, you melted.  What a privilege to be with you at that special, personal time.  I won’t forget that moment.”

The kids began singing, “Oh, He loves us, oh, how he loves us, oh, how He loves.”  Then they broke out in “I have a joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart!”  That moment will forever be etched in my heart! 

Carol remembers all the way back when we won the bid on the house.  “In that moment I realized deep inside me that it was happening.  That God was about to do something amazing, and I was going to witness it.  He wanted us to have the house! I won’t forget that moment.”

“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.”  Jeremiah 29:11

It doesn’t stop here!   We are still receiving donations!   As you saw in the last special update, the cost for the renovations will be close to $15,000.  The money we are continuing to receive will be used towards the needed renovations.  

Here is where funds that are over and above the goal will be used: 
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
Septic Tank - $678 
Total - $14,232

If you would like to continue to help with the Ugandan Dream, you can make donations on our regular website -  .  We will continue to post updates on the progress of the renovations!

So for tonight, I want to express my gratitude to all of you for your prayers and support since the launch on November 9, 2014.  No matter where you are when you receive this news,  please join us as we celebrate & praise the Lord together!  He has done what only He can do!  He receives all the glory!  

“Praise him for his mighty deeds;  praise him according to his excellent greatness!” 
Psalm 150:2 

mama eydie kisakye!