I can not believe that we have been here for almost six weeks already. I am feeling a little overwhelmed too. I knew that the work was going to be a lot. My first work has been to work construction on the school. Jamie tells me that I am on my own because he has all the new construction that is going on over at the hospital. The rain is not stopping this year and the flooding seems to surround us. We can not get out and many people have lost their houses. People come everyday that are hungry, dirty, sick and everyone wants a job. The language is still not what it should be with me and I am getting frustrated quicker. Money is running out and there is still so much to do here. I am already tired of the food we have to eat. I'm overwhelmed and as I type away I have that annoying lump in my throat that wants me to just let it all out and then maybe I will feel better. But I also wonder will I just feel worse if I let my tears flow. But my mind keeps the tears away because in comparison to the people here I have it great so I fight the tears. But when I feel like this I sometimes wonder what am I really doing here? Am I making a difference? Can I really do this for much longer? I shouldn't be feeling like this already!
Since we have been back we have fixed up a room in the house for Jamie and me. We have painted the ceiling, walls and added all the new things to make our room special. We decided during furlough that we need a place to escape and now we have it. It has been great.
I started all the construction on the primary school. For six rooms the little holes in the walls that they called windows have been knocked out and replaced with big metal shutter windows. This will not only help with ventilation in the room but also with light. The mud has been knocked off the walls and put outside. The mud walls have all been replaced with cement and every room has been painted white. Three of the rooms no longer have dirt floors but clean smooth concrete. Three other rooms are still waiting to be done. All of the cement chalkboards have been repainted with the black chalkboard paint. The office for the primary school is also finished with cement walls painted white and cement floors. All the brick benches for the children in each classroom has been either replaced or repaired. We have someone in the market making 7 new desks. One desk will go in the office and each classroom will get one for the teacher. I really want to show everyone the before and after pictures. But we are still working on wrapping everything up and adding the little details. I have had some people donate specifically for the school and while I was in the states I was able to purchase and bring with me several posters and different learning aids to put up on the finished walls. Thank you to everyone that has had a part in this project. I can not wait to see the faces of the children when they come to school the first day and see their new classrooms. I want each one to know that they are worth it. That God loves them and that they can dream and have a future.
I am also working with the public. I am still working with the baby formula program. Each month we are helping about 15 babies with almost 60 containers of formula. This comes out to about $350 per month that the baby formula program has grown to. Thank you for all those that have been supporting this program too. It has been such a blessing to see these little babies grow up to beautiful, healthy little toddlers. This again is just another way for us to build relationships with the people to help guide them to Christ, show His love and save a life. We continue to help each of these babies for a year. At six months they start to eat a little bwee which is a porridge made with rice and peanut butter which we give a little bag of each these ingredients to help them each week. I can just see how God is blessing each family. Thank you so much for your donations for this program. And may God bless each one of you for all you are doing for His children.
Another program is giving to the poor. I have many old people that have really no one taking care of them come to me for help. I will then give out a bag of rice and usually a few other things that I am led to think they need like soap or some clothes. I am also working with the women who are unable to take their children to the hospital when their child is sick. This continues to be a problem here. The women are always left with the children and the husband has left them and gone to a bigger town or they have simply left them for a younger prettier wife.
Right now we are all suffering from the rain. The people here have not seen this much rain for 30 years or so. The water is flooding many villages and their homes are being destroyed. Many of the rice fields that are planted are under water. If the water does not go down soon the rice will all be destroyed. Their rice is what sustains them throughout the year. Last year there was not enough water and this year it is just too much. The water is flooding the roads and we are unable to go to Kelo. At least we are not able to go with a car. If we take a motorcycle then we have to get our motorcycle and ourselves in a dug out canoe and go many miles. I know of two guys that just left the other day and what use to be a one hour drive took almost 5 hours. The other road out of this place going toward Lia was good until Friday when we heard that one of the bridges broke and now you are unable to take a car that way. Those that have been pushed out of there homes because of the water are now living in the school at the market. It is crazy to see all the people that have been affected by the flooding. The Adventist people here took up a donation and we were able to give soap to the distributing station to help the people that are left without anything.
I know that the flooding will eventually stop and the water will go down and we will eventually be able to go to a bigger town to buy supplies but for now we have basically whatever the people here have which is not much. I don't want to be playing our violin just yet because I do know that we have things so much better then other people here but I can say that it is for sure not what we are use to. But I guess there is always something to learn in uncomfortable situations. What does not kill you makes you stronger.
Jamie is really the one with a lot on his shoulders. The hospital has so many new buildings going up. Jamie is still the maintenance man for the hospital but he is also the one over about 30 guys that are doing concrete slabs for all the buildings that will be going up. Jamie is making sure they have what they need to make it happen as well as oversee the project and protect everything from being broken or stolen. There are 4 men here from Uganda that has done this work before. I want to tell everyone more about this whole project but I want to give all the details but this is enough information for a whole blog in itself.
Please keep us in your prayers. We are already tired and we are just getting started.