June 14, 2004
I trust the time with Nancy and David Writebol was good for all, they seem like such a devoted missionary couple. I told Mike I hope you heard stories of people impassioned for Christ. I look forward to seeing them at Enrichment Week in San Antonio.
I went to Owino Market on Monday and bought 57 T-shirts, 2 pair of sandals, 42 pairs of shorts and 5 book bags for under $100. Each outfit for the children costs 75 cents! For the last two days I have been culling worn out, too little clothes from the cottages and replacing them with “new” things. The children are thrilled and are colorful as rainbows. When I give new clothes to the children, I have to first take the old ones away. If I leave them in the cottages, the mamas continue to have the children wear them no matter what the condition. This is not a culture that has the luxury of “throwing things out” — it just is not done here. They really do not have any understanding of why I come and take things away! It is very difficult for them and they continue to tell me that a pair of shorts or shirt is still good–regardless of the holes or faded look.
When I do get clothes out of the cottages, it is when they are in better condition than what most children in the surrounding areas are wearing. I take the clothes that are recyclable to Central Baptist in Wakiso and let Susan distribute them to the children in her congregation. I will never forget the day we went there for Sunday School and a little three year old girl came in by herself totally naked except for a string tied around her waist. I actually bought her a church outfit and knickers which she was so proud of she lifted her dress for everyone to see!
I had a fun morning with the aunties and children. It is Hero’s Day and so all the children were home doing chores from 9-10. At 10 the aunties had promised them that we would go get mangoes. Kasmiri our gardener got a long pole and jabbed at the mangoes until he had knocked about 15 out of a tree. We had a feast. They like to eat their fruit before it is ripe here so the taste of an unripe mango is about like a Granny Smith apple. We sat and laughed and enjoyed those mangos and it was a sweet time of fellowship.
Later, Mike and I went to town for groceries and we found my favorite cracker in stock so I am a happy woman! It is difficult to find crisp things here and I get so hungry for that. Mike discovered a cracker made in Malaysia that is really the ticket! I can’t tell you how thrilled you can get when you find something like what you loved in the States–it makes a party!
It is Marsha’s afternoon to cover the activity time and dining hall so I am in with Casey who is off from school. We gave Edith a ride home from work and she took me to her place to meet the 2 orphans that she raises along with her own 3 children. John and Norbert are from 2 different women who have died of AIDS and named Edith as the caretaker. Edith’s countenance about this is never that it is burdensome or out of the ordinary to pick up a couple of extra children. She cannot imagine that there was any other response than to joyfully take these children in. One of the boys is infected with HIV but Edith has kept that from the other children so that he will not be ostracized. In material things, this family is not rich but in love and care they are most blessed!
Well it is the end of the day and I am going onto the porch with a glass of tea, my Bible and watch the sun go down…..
I hope the Lord is very near you today my friend.
with much love,