Thursday, June 28, 2012


From Harriet, the beautiful woman who came into the Hope House, hopeless and convinced that God hated her. I am in awe of the work that God has done in these ladies lives! Only He can mend broken hearts!

Tuhaise “Hariet”

How are you:
Thankful for the Lord to keep me and my 3 children well.

How are your children:
They are fine. The boys were in a village school last year
and are struggling to adjust to the city school.  I am
praying that God enables me to put the older son
James (11) to the boarding school because he is so
stubborn. Henry (7) is still struggling, but he is trying so
hard to write. My daughter Maureen (3.5) is very sharp
and doing well. She is starting to try and speak English.

What type of business are you hoping to open when you
graduate from the program:
I want to have a retail shop. I will sell sugar, rice, posho, and other basics so that customers will have to come to my shop every day.

What is something you will never forget that you have learned in the past 2 years?
That I have been loved and been given love.

Is there anything else you want to share?
I thank God for brining me out of where I was and for giving me love. Jesus called people and some refused. Many friends had been asking me to go to church for a long time, but I refused. Now I am so thankful that I have accepted God’s love. I know that it is only God who is sustaining my family and I have faith in Him.

I am thankful for your love and for helping me. I am praying for you.

How can people continue to pray for you?
Please also pray for the father of my children who is very sick. He does not live with us, but I am always praying for him because he is sick. Please also pray for my father because he is an alcoholic. My mother and I are both HIV positive and need prayer.

Also, I want you to help me pray for my neighbors who are not in church. Before I was in church, I had a neighbor who was persistent in asking me to come to church. I go to church now and it is my job to be persistent with my neighbors.

* * * * * * * 

I am so proud of the ladies in the Hope House and rejoice in all that God is doing in their lives. This week (and next) we are teaching them different things they can cook, the way I see it, the more skills that they have, the better. Thus far they have learned pudding, french toast, fried okra, cooked apples, spaghetti, and garlic toast (thanks for your help Lauren!) Next week we are moving on to baking! 
Thank you to everyone has poured into these ladies, for every "drop" you have given into their lives, to the countless people that bought their jewelry, shared a bible study with them, painted their nails or just gave them a hug! It has been a large amount of drops of love and truth and help that have filled them up and that God has used to get them where they are today. Thank you everyone!

Teaching French Toast

Monday, June 25, 2012

Welcome Home!

Mama Joyce praying with the boys before bringing them home


Reagan at home!


Solomon at home

Blowing out the candles at their party

We gave our wild dog Flint to the boys, Ibra and Reagan loved him!

Damba being baptized


Kateregga Vincent

Kateregga Vincent

We brought two more boys into our home a week ago. Two sweet boys named Solomon and Reagan.  Their first night in the home we had a "welcome home" party, complete with riddles and a strawberry cake with bight blue frosting and sprinkles.  

The next Sunday in church  our two new boys Solomon, Reagan, and Damba Paul all went forward to give their hearts and lives to Christ. Afterwards, 6 of our new boys decided to become baptized (most of the older boys were baptized last year).

As people were standing outside waiting for the tub to fill and the baptisms to begin, little Ibra stripped down to nothing but a t-shirt and got in line. We pulled him aside and asked him if he knew what it meant to be baptized, "Oh yes!" he said seriously "I am showing everyone that my sins are washed clean by Christ and that he is my Savior and that I am a Christian!" we gave him a hug, and watched as he ran back to his place.

I am so proud of our boys, I know that as much as we are rejoicing that they are home, angels in heaven are celebrating that they are giving their hearts to Him!

Sometimes things here can be hard and break my heart, but at other times, the joy inside it makes it feel like it is going to burst! 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Another leap of faith

Working with street children is beautiful. It is exciting, and challenging, and just makes your heart want to explode from love.

Today we brought two sweet and precious boys into our home, Briggan and Solomon. They have relatives, but no one that loves them, no one that cares where they are or where they go. Being at "home" was a nightmare for them, they were tied to chairs and trees and beaten mercilessly. They were abandoned by their mothers. In our street programs over the last couple of weeks, both of them would ask me continuously to come home with me, to get off of the street and go back to school. Today, praise be to God, they are going to be able to!

There was a third boy that we had planned on taking home today, but David had felt that he needed to talk to him just one more time before bringing him in into our home today. He asked the boy if he engaged in sex with other boys (not as a victim but if he sought other boys out) and the boy admitted that he did on a regular basis, yesterday in fact. For the safety of the other boys already staying in our home, we did not bring that boy in today. So he went back to the streets where he will continue to seek out other boys.

There are so many boys that I have fallen in love with over the years, boys that for some reason have just grabbed my heart and never let go. The roughest, the toughest, the most angry and addicted boys on the streets. The boys that are known in Kampala as fighters. Boys that have never had a safe home or family, and boys that no matter how many chances they get, are unable to stay in a children's home, even ours. These kids are so smart and sensitive, that the injustice of their situation just enrages them, they are princes of a King, they are precious, yet they are treated like garbage. These kids if not helped are going to be dangerous men. However if they are... they are going to be the future leaders of Uganda. They are amazing!!!

 There are also a lot of boys that we are working with that are sexual predators. That through a long list of reasons begin sexually abusing other boys on a regular basis and harden their hearts against stopping. There are no homes for these boys in Uganda. There is no place for them to go where they can get the intensive counseling, structure, and help that they need while at the same time not victimizing the other children.

I feel as if God is bringing me back to the cliff, having me look down and whispering to me to jump.

To leap off of the cliff in faith.

David and I feel on our hearts that God is asking us to open a home for these boys.

To open a home for boys that are so unattached, strung out, angry, or sexually abusive that they cannot stay anywhere else. I am aware that a children's home for former street children is not exactly normal, but for us it is. I don't like, I love our forever homes, I praise God everyday for His hand in creating them and bringing the caregivers and children that He has.

But this home will have to be different, very different. I don't even know how exactly, I mean we have a lot of ideas. But David and I are so ridiculous undeserving and unfit to do this its unreal. God is going to need to give us grace, a whole lot of grace, and a lot of wisdom and direction on what to do.

Going back through my livejournal I saw so many of the boys I would love to take: Sharrif, Joseph, Andrew, Sabote, and Yahaya. I have always felt in my heart that God specifically wanted Yahaya in our home, but I just didnt see how it was possible, because the longest he has been able to stay in it before running away was 24 hours. But maybe this home he could...

I just wanted to share with you all, to please pray with us, to please stand behind us. If you have any thoughts, wisdom, encouragement or advice to share, please do.

Thank you so much to every single one of you who stands with us through prayer, love, encouragement, or financial support on the streets of Kampala to fight the injustice of that our beautiful children go through.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I am sorry that I haven't posted anything in a long time, so much is going on and so much is changing...

Life in Uganda is sometimes overhelming, a little while back I kept feeling so exhausted and thinking about how sometimes I would like to just live a "normal" life. Go back to the states and work at Starbucks or the zoo or a pet shop (to anyone that doesn't know, I love animals). Then one day I sat down and thought about it. What it would be like if I actually didnt live in Uganda, if I didnt work with street kids and have 22 amazing kids of my own, and it just broke my heart. I couldn't imagine it. I told God I was sorry for letting my moments of tiredness make me not appreciate the incredible jewels that God has entrusted me with. I wouldn't trade my life for anything, ever. I don't deserve it, but God has given me the grace to do what I do.

God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good. I will write more again soon.