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Gulu Kids Summer Vacation Highlights

We really want to give extra thanks to each of you this month. The trip our older kids were able to take, was absolutely life-changing. Remembering where they have lived all their lives with the most horrible war, some in the pure bush with parents killed and with different guardians putting them to work, they really had no hope but to continue in endemic poverty. That is, until you and we came along, by God’s grace!

Along with the students of our top class, who’ll sit their national exams in about 7 weeks from now, we also included 5 of our graduates, who are now all in the second year of secondary school and are excelling. You can see Jane swimming left, below Innocent, Santa’s son and on the right Fred—all trying so earnestly and doing extremely well!

Along with learning amazing things from the Museum, seeing planes take off and land, (causing one boy to earnestly decide he’d like to become a pilot) one of the most heart-felt wishes from every single one of them was to be able to swim in Lake Victoria! I bought used swimsuits for the girls and they had the most wonderful time together! In our area boys play in the few ponds in the creeks, but girls can never safely even try because random chaps will accost them. I’ll just put a few photos because they really say it all.

The rental bus we got was just beautiful. Our kids got to see a travel agency (who kindly donated them a really nice chicken, chips and soda meal) to learn a bit about the travel industry. As if it wasn’t enough thrill to have this fancy food and Buganda food which is so different, they were so interested in the fresh running water, the soap dispenser and the hand dryer!

Seeing the animals at the Wild Life Education center was a real thrill as was the trip to the university, where Michael pointed out lots of features of the faculties and life there from his 3 years in residence when he did his degree.

We were given a fantastic tour of one of the city’s best hospitals with helpful doctors explaining clearly.

The whole journey was amazing. The Lord supplied, protected, guided, and opened doors when they’d been closed. We really felt His hand every step of the way. There were so many highlights, with the kids sitting earnestly talking after being at the hospital, saying how they’d never even considered working in medicine before. The local Health Center nearest us (along with all others in the area) is so very dirty, understaffed and they rarely have the needed medications or equipment. Seeing an organized, spotless, caring team though was a huge eye-opener for each one of them.

Going back through wild-animal area was an absolute thrill. Our kids had only read about elephants, rhinos, hippos, wild buffalo, crocodiles and all, but to actually see them up close was fantastic. We took a boat that went for 3 hours down the Nile. They got to see the Murchison falls roaring—where the Nile is at its most narrow point on its 6,800km journey north to Egypt. You can see above Mike with teacher James and some of our kids. Then Bill, who is one of our graduates and is in secondary year in high school, scoring top in his class even though it’s a top school! We are helping these key orphans who got their foundations with us, to continue, as otherwise they’d never be able to afford it. Mike is seen here with our guide, and amidst many sights, this group of young hippos were just so cute. The one on the left seemed to be almost smiling at our young people! =)

We are so very grateful for each prayer you send our way. It’s very obvious that the Lord is answering each one! We are back to harvesting our significant crop of maize, ready to grind and we’ll re-plant as soon as the rains stop (thanks for praying for that!) so we can hopefully put in 5 more acres, to be ready to harvest just before the kids go home at the end of the year in the beginning of December. Thank you so much for caring.

I can’t say how much this trip was all by faith. The Lord tested us at every point and it really didn’t look like it was going to be possible right up until right before we left. He said several times “Proceed as if possessing” which is nice sounding but scary in reality. Ha! I guess it’s like the old saying; “You’ll never walk on water unless you step outta the boat!” But the feeling of exhilaration each time He came through when it looked like doors had been closed was absolutely fantastic. That's the result of your prayers and your love-in-action!

We are so very grateful that you’re part of the team. Each any every child and young person who got to have this trip through the holidays, will never be the same again! The lid has been lifted off their endemic poverty-ridden lives, and they have learned that they live in 2014, they have seen that so many other things other than what they’ve grown up with--having large numbers of children beginning as a mommy by about 13 or 14 and drinking till you drop--are possible. They‘ve very often expressed a desire to pass on what they’ve received to help others—they’ve now learned many other ways they could practically do that. And we are praying the Lord leads and guides their every step, so that they find what He has for each of them.