As promised!! Here is the update about our brother Josh's wedding to Mary on the weekend. We wish we could all have been there, but we are so grateful that Mary was back in Uganda in time and able to send us this awesome update and photos!
Time is going so quickly here in Uganda. I could hardly sleep last night for the desire to send you an update! So much to share...so little time. I am attaching four photos to this update and would like to explain that I am working on my husband's laptop and it is not easy selecting the best photos from this system!
I must begin by going back five years when I first had the opportunity to come to Uganda with my daughter and her family for the adoption of my granddaughter, Kirabo ('Gift'). I remember several week-end nights lying in my bunk bed listening to the joyful sounds of weddings and wishing I could slip in to witness such an event. I prayed that some day I would be invited to a traditional wedding, and can now testify that God listens and answers prayers in His own time and far beyond what we may dream.
The honor of attending my brother Joshua's traditional Uganda wedding to his beautiful bride Mary began around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday and lasted approximately five hours. I was honored to be introduced as Joshua's sister and seated with family. We were entertained by dancers, traditional music, two MC's and witnessed the presentation of many beautiful dowry gifts which included a cow, chickens, slab of meat, table and chairs, a stove, and so much more. While guests were served a delicious buffet meal, Mary and Joshua were inside the house undergoing a private ceremony with immediate family. Mary entered the celebration wearing a beautiful traditional dress...and throughout the afternoon and evening she wore two other beautiful traditional gowns as well as an evening dress. Joshua wore traditional attire throughout.
I cannot find words to describe such an amazing experience. The day was glorious (we all prayed for no rain as it is the rainy season!), and the afternoon slipped into evening when it was time to depart. My prayer for Joshua and Mary is for a long life full of SANNYU (joy) with many children! Yesu Yebizibwe (Praise God!)
Yesterday I met with Coach Lameck and the soccer children....which will be my next update. Today Joshua, Aggie, and I will be traveling to Entebbe to the airport to negotiate shipping prices for crafts....and later a long reunion with mothers of Kids First Uganda.
God bless you all and thank you for uplifting prayers for this journey.
MARY is back in Uganda!!! Visiting Kids First, she kicked off her visit with an exciting event, but more to come on that later :)
She is sending us regular email updates, which we will continue to post on here, so you can come along for the ride! (I recommend reading to the end, it's an awesome story)
T.I.A. THIS Is Africa....when I first came to Uganda five years ago I learned quickly if you complained about cold showers, no internet, crazy traffic, or "Uganda time"...you would be told TIA!! I do not complain.....life is fluid here and one must appreciate the culture and lifestyle.
Today I want to share with you a little more about the life of our Aggie. We met five years ago at the baby home where she works. Aggie is the co-ordinator for the craft side of Kids First. On Friday we went downtown Kampala to do some errands and I learned first hand how difficult this work is for her (on top of her own job and raising two boys). Picture Aggie on a bodaboda (motor cycle) with 50 pounds of crafts on her back and a box in front of her. This is crazy dangerous in Ugandan traffic!
I want to share one recent life change for Aggie in this email so that you will know this woman and see her strength and her heart.
Since my last visit in 2013, Aggie has moved into a new place...a place with more room for her family, two rooms about 12x12 each. She must carry water to her door and she has had no electricity since moving four months ago. She has two boys, Martin (13) and Jeremiah (5). Upon arrival to Uganda I learned that she just adopted a little girl, whom she has named Martina Gemimah Sannyu (Sannyu means 'Joy'). This little girl arrived about a year and half ago at the baby home where Aggie works at the approximate age of 2.5 years. She had been abused by her mentally unwell mother, having been bitten all over her little body by her mother. A woman who sells corn by the road had been witnessing this abuse and finally managed to grab the child away from her and took her to the police. The mother has disappeared, the baby arrived at the baby home where Aggie has been caring for her. Now the child is too old for the baby home and she has not been adopted....she was going to be taken to a large orphanage where she would remain through her childhood. In Aggie's own words "this child has endured enough suffering...I could not see her living her life without a family...she needs someone to belong to". Aggie tells me that it will all work out, that God will provide....and I believe she is right! We were both in tears as she shared this story the first night together.
There are 2.5 million orphans in Uganda (the size of our state of Oregon) and 50% of the population is 15 years or younger. It is my hope that you can all picture this...Aggie who lives in poverty, like all of the women of Kids First, yet they continue to reach out to meet the needs of others less fortunate
In my attempt to set the stage of this visit...this email is long. I will try and keep them short in future.
Here at Kids First we all have something to say, so this blog will be updated by members of our team as our work progresses to keep all of you in the loop!