Well, we have quickly realized that no matter what side of the world we live on, “springtime” is a super busy time of year. The last couple of months have been full of fun and unique activities, both at Lulwanda and at home. We enjoyed time with Grandpa and Grandma King, visiting the Entebbe Zoo, hiking at Sipi Falls, a variety show at Audrey and Simon’s school, lots of time with the Lulwanda kids since they were out of school for holiday, Bible study with all ages at Lulwanda, and more!
We enjoyed having all of the students out of school at Lulwanda, and our Secondary students home from school, through the month of May for their school holiday. There were fun activities and classes for the kids, ranging from making popcorn, making mandazi (think donuts, yumm!), bubble blowing, and more. We were also able to coordinate Bible studies twice a week with all of the Lulwanda kids. We were thankful that so many of the Lulwanda Staff were more than willing to help lead small groups! It was neat to hear the staff teaching the children, sharing what they were thankful for, singing with them, and seeing them praying together. Our focus throughout the holiday Bible study was friendships/relationships. We looked closely at different pairs of people throughout the Bible and what was unique about how God placed these people together to work together, love, support, encourage, and assist each other to bring glory to God: Jonathan and David, Naomi and Ruth, Moses and Aaron, Elisha and Elijah, Christ and Man, and more. It was a good time of discussing how we can be good friends to others who can help draw our friends closer to Christ. And, what kinds of characteristics we should seek for in friends, so that we can seek to honor Christ in our relationships.
At the end of May, we welcomed two new girls to Lulwanda! Their names are Patricia and Sophia. We first met Sophia when we visited her and her grandmother. They lived in a small mud hut on a plot of land that was about 20 feet by 20 feet, which did not allow any room to grow food. Sophia’s mother passed away, and her father is unknown. Her grandmother was her guardian, but is quite old, not well, and is going blind. Both girls have only been at Lulwanda for two weeks now, but are doing amazingly well! They are both so full of joy and life! There are several pictures of Sophia and Patrica below. A couple of the pictures show Sophia the day we met her, along with she and her grandmother standing in the doorway of their hut. The girls are happy, love to play, give great, big hugs, and are simply enjoying their new life at Lulwanda. Please pray with us that they will continue to adjust to their new home, that the other children will continue to be welcoming to them, and that they will come to accept and know Christ as their Savior. How thankful we are to be at a place that provides care and love for orphaned and vulnerable children, for we know that God loves them so much and wants to provide for them even more than He does the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.
We have also been enjoying some visitors recently. Amelia Claire, a friend from McDonough, is currently visiting us for a couple of weeks. We, and our kiddos, are enjoying having her at our guest house! She is pretty much doing life with us here in Mbale: going to church, spending time at Lulwanda, helping cook weekly meals for the Tendo kids at our house, playing with our kids, even helping with chores around the house! What a treat it is to have a friendly face from home here with us for a bit! We also had Eddie, Lucas, and Leah Kim with us for a week recently, and we had a nice time with them. Ryan used to work for Eddie’s brother, Dr. Kim, at Clayton Eye Center. Lucas just graduated from UGA and is looking forward to beginning medical school soon. Lucas and his father, Eddie, who is also a doctor in the states, had several opportunities to see what the medical world is like here in Mbale, by visiting places such as the maternity ward at the Main Hospital, helping out at Joy Hospice (a clinic in town, not a hospice in the sense that we know in the states), and at CURE Hospital, a hospital that specializes in Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. They even got to watch a surgery for an 11-day old baby! Leah is a high school student who thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the children at Lulwanda. Before coming, she made necklaces for each of the kids, and they were so excited to receive them. It is really neat to see Uganda through our visitors’ eyes, and as a friend recently said, it gives us a fresh and renewed appreciation for where we live and serve!
We are making plans for our furlough this summer, and we hope to have the opportunity see many of you, catch up on what you have been up to over the last year, and to give…and receive…many missed hugs! Thank you always for your prayers, encouragement, support, and for thinking about us.