Day 9: Wednesday 21st May
Food shopping in Kampala: definitely not as simple as it sounds, and certainly nothing like shopping in NZ. However Pita knew just where to obtain the nicest loaves of bread, best cuts of meat, freshest fruit & vegetables, etc. We snaked our way through various narrow dusty streets, visiting a variety of stores along the way. Our driver would drop us off, find a parking place, lean back in his seat and shut his eyes until we returned. Our final port of call was a supermarket in Kampala, where on entering, our bags were open for inspection and a metal detector was passed over our bodies. But I think that is slightly better than the small town supermarkets where someone sits outside with a gun – I find that most unnerving.
Christian, a volunteer worker from Holland, and little Nelima, one of Pita’s young charges also came into Kampala today with Pita and I. (Colin was working down at the workshop)
Now let me tell you about Nelima. She is a tad older than 2 ½ years, cute as a button and extremely bright, but this was not always the case. Nelima was rescued when she was 1 ½ years old – weighing only 4450 grams (4.45 Kilograms). I was shocked to see some earlier photos of Nelima’s tiny form; she was nothing but a bag of bones. At the time Piet & Pita wondered whether Nelima would live through the night, but prayer and love pulled Nelima through some of her darkest hours. Pita strapped Nelima to herself, and carried and cared for her day and night. Nelima is now a chubby delightful child who speaks like a five year old. Today when Pita was being thanked by the checkout person, little Nelima pipes up in perfect English, ‘you’re welcome’. You should have seen the surprised look on the checkout person’s face.
There are many children like Nelima in Noah’s Ark children’s home, many with a very sad history, some tragically so. Oh, how this must grieve our Heavenly Father.
Nelima as she is today.
Day 10: Thursday 22nd
Today we woke to the sound of machinery – weed-eaters. Yes! They cut the grass with weed-eaters, and yesterday must have been the designated day to do it. Weed-eaters could be heard for the best part of the day.
A washing machine update: We still haven’t got an extension cord, but we managed to pull the washing machine closer to the switch, which allowed us to squeeze through the door to get out. However, when reading the washing machine operating manual, it stated that before using, one must to do a self-clean pre wash with no garments inside. Colin, being the pedantic person that he is wanted to abide by this for the warranty purposes. Waiting…Waiting…two hours later the machine was ready for its first load. I threw the clothes into the washing machine and started it up, and… of course – the power shut down. In fact, it cut off several times throughout the wash cycle, so by the time the wash was finished, it was dusk already. So once again the washing lay languishing in the basket. But the upside was – it was clean laundry.
Colin has started fixing things around the place using his imagination and skills to find a suitable solution. He can be heard praising the Lord for yet another inspirational solution. No doubt Colin will tell you more about that as time goes by.
Day 11: Friday 23rd
I tried using our new gas oven today; I had a hankering for peanut brownies. All went well until I realized that the oven didn’t have a thermostat or markings to indicate the power settings. Once again I found myself at the mercy of a man-made contraption. Yes, you guess it. I set the shelf too low and the temperature too high, and received burnt offerings for my effort – I hope the pigs enjoyed them.
I was able to serve in a minor way today. Once a term, Marilyn uses the lunch period to sew missing buttons back onto the children’s school uniforms. As we worked on this task together I was able to interact with the children. They are so full of questions – certainly not backward in coming forward. Some of their questions really made me smile.
Everywhere you go, children call out to you, or want to take your hand and lead you somewhere. They also gather around your door, in the hope that you will invite then in. Some are bolder and just come in – they are full of curiosity. One young lad called Stephen, aged about 8 years came down leading a couple of younger children. While Colin was playing with the younger ones Stephen came and sat close to me. He seemed to be studying me very intently as I talked to him. Then out of the blue young Stephen said that he would like to pray for me, and with that he prayed a blessing over me and thanked God for sending Uncle Colin and Aunty Bev as Missionaries to Noah’s Ark. It took a mighty effort to stem the flow, I felt so humbled by it. Fortunately I was of the mind to pray for Stephen also, which seemed to please him greatly.
Stephen wearing his Brass band uniform.
Colin completed the shelf he was making to go under our kitchen bench. He made a very good job of it under the circumstances. It certainly has made it easier to organize some of our kitchen things. Later he will be adding doors and drawers, but there is no urgency for that. It is more important for Colin to help complete Pita’s (Mama’s) kitchen, as she is cooking meals at another premises and toting them back to her place.
Day 12: Saturday 24th
The highlights of today’s activities would surely have to be successfully cooking an apple-crumble in our new gas cooker, and having our evening meal with Warwick and Marilyn Dingle – both were enjoyed by all.
Day 13: Sunday 25th
Sunday at the Ark is always busy. There is Sunday school from 9-30 until 10-45am, and a Church service from 2 pm – 4pm. An outreach program is often on the agenda also. Last week Piet took a group of young people and the Noah’s Ark Brass Band to minister at a local village church, this week they (Colin also) were involved with Prison Ministries.
The brass band has not long been formed – maybe just over a year, and it’s going from strength to strength, now with about 50 players. Some of the children are as young as 8-9 years old – they look very smart all decked out in their band uniforms.
Day 14: Monday 26th
Every Monday morning at 9am Piet & Pita start the week by having a prayer and devotional time with all the Aunties and Uncles. Each week someone different is chosen to prepare the devotion for the following week. This is a very encouraging and uplifting time for us all. (Colin’s turn next week)
Today Piet asked if I’d work with children that were interested in creative writing. He would like to see them develop in this way. My immediate reaction was one of hesitation, as I’ve never been confident in this area, but it is something I enjoy, so I agreed. Also I’m planning to hold a beginners class for anyone who wants to learn to knit. I made a good start today with sorting out just what I would need for this class. Hopefully it will be up and running by the end of this week.
Colin spent a good part of the day helping with the installing of Pita’s kitchen.
Day 15: Tuesday 27th
Our Home in Uganda
View of the Jungle from our patio door.
Today both Colin and I have working on our respective tasks. Mine mostly has been doing research on creative writing – Colin has been down helping in the workshop.
It is here that we leave you – we will post again in another couple of weeks.
Many thanks for your Prayers and email support. We love to hear from you.
Colin & Bev Winters.