I know I've waited long enough to send out this first update, but things have been really busy around here. :) Our first volunteer team of the summer has already come and go. The Archer City team was here for a little over a week working with Orphans Rescue Ministry (ORM), one of our grass-roots organizations in Kampala, Uganda, as well as Grace Ministries, also in Kampala. While at ORM, they clothed around 75 kids with 2 t-shirts and/or a dress or shorts, had each child fitted for a new pair of shoes, and provided a refridgerator for the feeding program that they started last year. I am happy to say that the kids are looking much better and happier each time we visit them due to the generosity of this team.
While at Grace Ministries, the Archer City team went out to Buganga, a remote village past the equator, which consists mainly of widows and orphans. Like last year, the team provided food for basically the entire village, as well as about 15 pastors from the remote areas surrounding Buganga. This year, they provided about twice the amount of food, and blessed the outlying elderly and widows who are unable to walk the several kms to the church building.
Before the team left the States, a man and musician who wishes to remain anonymous, donated one of his best guitars to Grace, knowing that instruments are needed in this village. This was not just any guitar, but among his very best. Once we arrived in Buganga and presented the guitar to the worship leader, we learned that he had just sold his only guitar to pay for his children's school fees. He was elated to receive a much, much nicer guitar in place of the one he sacrificed for his children.
On their last day in Uganda, the team enjoyed an ATV (all terrain vehicle) safari which took them down by the River Nile and through some remote villages. Everyone had a blast driving their own ATV as they experienced a new part of Uganda. As the children heard the ATV's, they flocked to the roadside to yell, "Mzungu!! How are you?!" Mzungu is the Luganda word for "white person or European." It's not meant derogatorily, but I find myself wanting to reiterate the sentiment we so often see on t-shirts that says, "My name is not Mzungu." :)
We are now in Jinja with a new volunteer team. I'll write more about them at a later time. I think this is enough for one email. :)
I hope you all are doing well and thank you for your support!
Vanessa, Fount of Mercy