blessings from Jinja!

 I can not say enough how much FUN this team is having.  The word FUN does not even begin to describe it.  Everyone has such a shared passion for serving and helping the people of Uganda now that  even when there is work to do, it doesn't seem like work.  When the team is painting for Amani Baby Cottage, they are singing and praising and having fun.  When they are playing with the children they have fallen in love with, they are having fun.  When they are in Masese bombarded by 200 plus children, they are having fun.  When they are driving around town to shop for the James Place and it takes two hours to just find a shower curtain after visiting 6 shops and delivering fencing, they are having fun.  And this fun is a blessing. While we hope that we are a light to everyone we serve, we see that THEY are a light for us as well.
Under the tree, in Masese, we had an overwhelmingly joyful praise and worship with about 75 women and 200 children.  The women all praised God and shared their joy and answered prayers.  I was humbled when they shared how they have gathered together to pray for me.  The team was humbled at how they accepted them and became instant friends.  We are all amazed at their joy.  Sometimes, God takes us around the world to see pure JOY that can only come from above.  The team played games and sang songs with the children.  I listened to the women's hearts and prayer requests and then they told me their idea that brought tears to my eyes.  After passing out 5 scripture cards, the women decided to use one of the cards to write scripture and sign their name.....so that it can be placed permanently at the James Place.  Saturday, we are dedicating the James Place to the Lord.  All the women and children in our programs are going to meet us at the property at 9:00 am to sing, pray and fellowship together.  We are going to do a prayer walk around the property that God has provided.  What an exciting time for a team to be here.  Dee and I are thrilled that they are such an important part of such a strong beginning.  And what a wonderful blessing to experience..........to see the James Place come to life.

The girls on the team have officially been emersed into the culture:  they went to the market to purchase the food that Trey cooked for us last night and tonight, we all went to a Ugandan restaurant downtown to eat the local food.  And......to my surprise...... most of the girls tried the goat!  I love that they are here in the moment and enjoying and experiencing it all. 

The power has been out at the James Place for a couple of days and many things happen behind the scenes with or without power.  The property has many things going on to get it up and running and Trey, the operations manager, has done an exceptionally great job.  He is not only good with the teams and helping out with logistics, but he is great with the locals.  It is a joy to see him in his element.  He just finished the dog house and fenced in area for the new FEROCIOUS guard dogs pictured below:) 
 The girls on the team are so thoughtful and intentional.  They heard Trey talking about how hot it was in his apartment and reminded me to get a fan in town.  They are seeing how hard he works and wanted his new home to be pleasant.  

We all share each night how God speaks to us throughout each day.  Trey shared how he was working and looked over at Magdalene washing the team's clothes (a lame lady in our program with a 10 month old baby boy) and he said he saw her carry the baby several feet away, place him in the grass and then walked away to show him how to walk.  Walking is difficult for Magdalene.  When he turned and saw her laughing and smiling at little John Jacob with arms stretched high, he was reminded how thankful he is to be here......to experience God's love and pure JOY at this new place we call home where abandoned women and children are welcomed and loved.