Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Furniture Shopping with an Audience

Tuesday we went furniture shopping for a sofa and some chairs and some other items to be used in the iY lounge.  

Furniture shopping in Uganda is not like doing it in the states. There are furniture stores in Kampala, but the items there are very expensive and outside of our budget. The alternative is to shop as the Ugandans do... There is a road in Kampala where a lot of "manufactures" have their "work shops and showrooms" so that is where we went.  You can find bed frames, book shelves, stools, desks, tables, chairs and more. 

We arrived in the truck, because there really isn't street to door delivery.  Getting out of the truck we are greeted, by a person who acts as your handler - broker, with "ahh my friend you buy from me I give you best pricing."  So we begin the process of shopping.  We are looking for a desk, sofa and 2 chairs and our handler directs us to the pieces and we negotiate.   As we walked around and looked at different pieces we were followed by at least 7 people.  They also stand close, so if you are trying to discuss the merits of a particular piece or price you have to do it quietly or ask for space. Haha

We learned from David, our driver that this handler is elected by the people who make the furniture to help sell their items and to negotiate for them and takes a cut of the sale. The manufacturers we delt with did not appear to speak a lot of English. 

We settled on a basic 3 drawer desk, a set of solid wood sofa and chairs, 2 reed racks to be used in the kitchen and a shoe rack that we felt would stand up to many teens. We still have to purchase cushions for the sofa & chairs or none of us will spend much time relaxing in them. 

The guy in the green shirt was our "handler."  

It was quite the adventure and now we are experienced.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Starlight in the morning...

Recently I had the opportunity to go with our new Outreach Program Social worker, Penlope to visit one of the elderly that is on our feeding program.  It truly was a pleasure to meet this Jaja, Luganda for grandmother.

 She lives in the village of Kikube with her granddaughter in a small two room house. We learned that she once made a living doing agricultural work. After she developed severe hernias that required surgery she was unable to work again. Unfortunately the son, who is the father of the granddaughter is an alcoholic , not around or providing assistance. 

To make ends meet she "digs" or grows some food and tries to find light labor jobs.  Every shilling she makes either goes for her meager food supply or saved for her granddaughter's school fees. 

We were visiting her to see how we might be able to help with her report of a leaky roof.  When we arrived she greeted us kindly as is the custom here.  Her house is 32 feet long and 10 feet deep, divided into two rooms. She invited us into her house. As we entered it took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. She has no electricity and only one window opening with a wooden shutter and one door. My eyes adjusted and I looked up, it was like seeing the pin pricks of starlight against a velvety black night sky.  There are so many holes in her tin roof. My first thought was how does she and her granddaughter stay dry now that the rainy season has returned?! Answer... they don't. 

Tom and I are working to get the roof fixed as quickly as possible. Tom and the maintenance team will perform the work.  His team are glad that they can give back to their community in such a tangible way.  All the tin sheets must be replaced and several of the boards supporting the roof are rotten and also need to be replaced. 

In US currency the repair of her roof will cost less than $200, but in her current situation it is unattainable. 
We are so greatful to you for making this outreach possible through your faithful support.  There are many if these stories surrounding GSF and our hope for 2015 is to help more people who are in great need.   Please pray with all of us at GSF, missionaries and staff alike, as seek to  show the love of God in word and deed. 
James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their distress...


Sunday, February 15, 2015

If It Moves.. Flick It Off Off Your Plate

While having lunch today... Simple PB&J's, we noticed that the crumbs from the bread were moving on the plate... Dang Ants! They can detect PB&J's at 200 yard and be on it practically before you set the plate down!  After a good laugh...sigh... we just flicked them off the plate and kept eating... After all ants are protein too! 😝

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Is that a tan or dirt??

I use to have the Teva tan line from my Teva flip flops, now I have the Teva red dirt lines... And tan line.  The red dirt normally wins! Hahaha! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cord Group

First Cord Group time. 
Penninah, Lisa, Esseza, Viola and Sharon 

Cord Groups are based on Ecclesiastes 4:12 "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

The focus of these Cord groups is to build relationships with our groups through fun activities, talking, sports
and bible study.  We desire that these groups would be a safe place for the kids to learn to trust, share emotional hurts, dreams and aspirations.

We had a fun first time together. We made chocolate chip cookies and they painted their nails and we talked. I also taught them a game my sisters and I would play called EyeSpy.  I have the feeling that they are going to be teaching it to the other girls in the houses. 

 Each Cord Group has one missionary and one Ugandan.  I am super excited that my partner with these girls is Penninah. She is the manager of GSF's house moms and has a social work degree. She has an amazing ability to take every conversation and use it for a life lesson.  Pray with us that we can be Godly role models for them and that we would bond with them and love them well. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Morning Mist

The mornings are always spectacular here at GSF.  I love staying at the Guest house and getting up early to listen to the forest come awake and the mist travel up the valley of the forest.  It is a beautiful time of prayer.