One of our favorite family memories from this entire adventure was the night we spent packing up nearly 1,000 feminine care products for the girls of Kibisi. As we had so much fun playing 80’s music and stuffing bags galore, we had no idea that the distribution of these products would be a bit of a “fish and loaves” miracle …
At the conclusion of the conference, the young ladies of Kibisi were invited to go behind a building to receive the gift of feminine napkins. Sophie and I were left unattended with this huge crowd of girls, who were all clamoring for a much-needed product. (Girls are ostracized and even kept home from school/work when they have their monthly cycles, and yet basic hygeine is out of reach for many of them.)
Initially, we sort of let the girls just take packages … but the crowd overwhelmed us like a flood. Thankfully, a leader stepped in and had the girls put the packages back in our boxes and form a (very long!) orderly queue. Sophie and I could then greet each girl and hand her a package. I honestly thought that more than half of the girls would go away empty-handed. There were just so many of them! 1,000 sanitary pads sounded like a lot back in our dining room … but now it seemed like a pittance. I was really dreading having to turn girls away.
But then. True story!
We handed the very last package to the very last girl. To. The. Girl! We had the exact number we needed in order to serve each one of them. Sophie and I were amazed. To this date, we still have no idea how that happened, other than to afford all thanks and praise to God.
You may not know this about Ella, but she LOVES math and she’s really good at it, especially for a seven year-old.
The night before we left, she calculated our flight times based both on her globe’s estimates and Delta’s flying time estimates. I must admit, I was more afraid of the 22+ hours of air time than I was about the potential for malarial-infected mosquitos. But even in that need, God abundantly provided and we made it through the four days of travel just fine.
Even though our hosts took every precaution to only give us the most-safe food, we both became extremely sick the first day after arrival. Sophia’s gastrointestinal distress and vomiting was so serious that our host (a nurse) and I were concerned that we might need to seek medical care. But thankfully, right after we asked for prayer, she turned the corner and rallied!
She did, however, have to survive the entire trip on the protein bars and nuts that I had packed for us “just in case.” So she was hungry by the time we reached Amsterdam! But we made it through just fine.
Through your generous gifts, we were able to provide a brand-new laptop and three cell phones to the village. The laptop will allow TWICE as many girls to receive computer training and will enable on-location training (which was previously not available because the only laptop earlier available was so old that it had no battery life).
Two of the people teaching the class are the husband and wife team who hosted us. The wife is the first of eight children in her family to finish school and the husband vividly remembers the first time he owned a pair of shoes—he was seventeen years old. Now they labor day and night to help others to be able to have an education (and shoes!) too.
I was very surprised to walk into the charity’s headquarters and see The Acts 15 Model for Redeeming Church Conflicts on the wall! What an honor.
This is the exact location where we are hoping and praying to build the Life and Peace Health Centre!
Many of the children were initially scared of us a little—perhaps our light skin and curly hair (me) were new to them? But this little cutie-pie never let go of my finger the entire time we were visiting his school.
Again thanks to your generous gifts, we were able to buy large bars of soap and bags of grain for the women of the village.
Sophie is tall even in the United States, but we learned that in Uganda, it is a compliment to describe someone as being “American Height.” Sophie was consistently “American Height” in towering over the beautiful people of Uganda.
We were blessed to visit a national park during our visit!
It was Thanksgiving by the time we made it home to Montana and Fred was happy to don his “I Am That Woman” uniform polo to prepare and cook our Thanksgiving meal. (I had explained to the women in Uganda that I am a terrible cook and that Fred and Sophia do the majority of cooking in our home. The women graciously offered to help me to learn how to “cut, measure, and apply heat” to prepare food; and they asked me to send photos of Fred cooking in his Ugandan uniform. I declined the first offer and accepted the second.)
(Click here to start back at the first section of our Uganda stories, photos, and videos. You can also click through to other pages to learn all about our visits to the homes in the village of Kibisi, our time serving at the November 2016 Women’s Conference, and the groundbreaking ceremony for the Life and Peace Health Centre. And please consider sponsoring a girl’s education! Thank you!)