Saturday, October 31, 2009

Coming soon - concert & silent auction!

We are working on a benefit concert and silent auction, to be held in February, to raise money for the building for Ray of Hope. I'm very excited about this! I don't have a date or location yet, but I'll post a "save the date" as soon as I know, and then send invites and advertising out after the first of the year. Please pray as we begin this exciting project, and if you have anything you can donate to the silent auction (goods, services, beach or mountain house, whatever!), please let me know!

Thanks as always, for your prayers and support!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Finally, an update on Caroline!

Caroline came through her surgery fine, and is at home. Suzanne found out that she was trying to make beads to pay for food, and so was able to sow into that situation and relieve Caroline's anxiety and heart about that. I am so glad to know - she has been on my heart all week as I have waited for news!

The new jewelry will be on it's way from Tennessee today! Yay! It's like Christmas when you open a box and find out what's in it. The beads are always different, and I know Suzanne said there are some great new fabrics for the jewelry bags, and I think they are sending some baskets, too. I will post photos here and on FB if anyone would like to make a donation and receive some. (It's a great way to do your Christmas shopping!!)

I have begun putting my presentation together for Faith Zone Worship Center on Nov 4. I have a 4 minute Powerpoint... and 25 more minutes to fill! LOL I realize that I can taaalllkkk for that long, but I want to do a good job for the women and children there, giving some history as to why they are where they are, and what Ten Eighteen feels called to do to help. Please pray as I listen to Father to plan the presentation!

Thank you all for your emails and prayers!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Uneventful day!

Today wasn't too eventful... I made a deposit, which is exciting, and emailed some about the box we're getting of more jewelry. I so long to be in Uganda, and chatted some (via Facebook) with my lovely friend Kamila about when we were both going back in 2010. Neither of us feel it is soon enough!

I do not have an update on Caroline. Suzanne was to go to Ray of Hope today, and hoped to find out something, but I haven't heard as of yet. With Uganda, you never know if that's a power issue! But she may not have found out anything, so stay tuned...

The Journey Church team got back last night from their trip to Jinja, and Page and Katie arrived last night from Father's House. Glad everyone made it safe, and I wish them all a quick recovery from jet lag!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MOPS Marketplace

Thanks to all the lovely ladies at the MOPS Marketplace at Crossroads Church yesterday! Not only did we raise $300, we were able to share a lot about Newezekana and the people of Uganda, gave out a lot of cards and brochures, and even have already had some comments on the website asking for more info! The Lord is amazing, isn't He?! Bless you all, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I haven't heard if Caroline has had her surgery yet... I am quite anxious to know! I hate the thought of her going on and on with that hernia. I will let you know as soon as possible - and please keep her in your prayers. Even after the surgery, she will have a long recovery. We are providing funds for Doreen to help her for a few hours every day for a month, so hopefully that will take a lot of the burden off of her. Remember, water has to be carried in (see the plastic containers behind Caroline in the picture), food bought daily at the market and cooked... It's a daily grind that never stops.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Today's thought...

As I get ready to venture out into our crazy world and start the day, here is what I am meditating on....

"In missionary enterprise the great danger is that God's call is effaced by the needs of the people until human sympathy absolutely overwhelms the meaning of being sent by Jesus. The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind falters and fails. We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs, but first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ - "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations." Oswald Chambers

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Back from the mountains!

I am back from my weekend in Boone, where it was COLD Saturday, and lovely Sunday.

Tuesday I am taking the Uganda jewelry to the MOPS Marketplace at Crossroads Fellowship in Raleigh. I'm excited to expose more people to the great work of the ladies of Newezekana! Prayers, please!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pili Pili African Style

Ok, so African (Ugandan) food. Not fabulous. We won't even mention the beef hanging up on the road... BUT. Suzanne and I went to a restaurant and on the menu it said "Shrimp Pili Pili" and in the description it said "African Style". So I thought, OK, shrimp, good, wonder what it is? The waiter came over, and I asked, "What is shrimp pili pili?" He said, "African style." I said, "OK, what is African style?" He said, "Pili pili." 'Nuff said, apparently.

I got it, and it was good! (For those who just must know, pili pili is a hot pepper sauce. The traditional pepper it is made with is 175,000 scoville points, although mine in Kampala wasn't nearly that hot!) I have made it once at home, even!

Ups and Downs

I find daily life in the States can be difficult (without getting into politics!)... esp when a calling is filling your heart and mind. I love my family, am quite fond of my pets, my home, Target, and sushi. And yet part of me is constantly crying out - GO! GO! I can see my Ugandan friends, the residents of Nomowongo, everyone at Father's House, so clearly in my mind. I intellectually know the difficulties of life there - power being iffy, internet spotty and slow, no water in many places, food not what I'm used to, traffic to boggle the mind. Beggars. Orphans. HIV and AIDS. TB. Malaria. Bilharzia. Garbage. I KNOW, I KNOW!

And yet I can't stop longing to be there... I can't quite feel settled here. My taste buds have changed (not that I'm longing for Ugandan food!). My... expectations have changed. My "wants" have changed. In short... my life has changed. God has done a total redirect. It is amazing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Plans starting to take shape

These are pictures from Hospice Jinja, Chaplain Bob from Vitas Hospices.

My mom is a community liason for a hospice in Florida. They have sister hospices in sub-Saharan Africa, one of which is in Jinja, in Uganda (called Hospice Jinja!). The team chaplain who works with them is Ugandan, and he's going to be contacting me. We were planning to go to Jinja in March anyway (it is the "mouth of the Nile" for one thing!), so I would love to be able to visit this hospice and help in whatever ways we can. So keep that in your prayers - I find it hard to believe that all these sudden Ugandan contacts are coincidence!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

TIA... "This is Africa"

Caroline's surgery was postponed to next week. Something about the clinic that is providing the funds for the service, but we're not totally sure what. As soon as I know, I'll let you know!

Eric and Suzanne have accepted baby Mark into Father's House, which is SO awesome! All are thrilled, including me! Prayers for them as they go back to the infant days of long nights... :oD

Ten Eighteen will be sending a check to Uganda this week in the amount of $1138 - in shillings that's 2,180,408!!! Of that, $277 is for sponsorships, and $861 in donations. The ladies of Newezekana will receive a bonus for their jewelry, we will buy this next shipment of jewelry, and the rest will go towards the new Ray of Hope building. I have spent this week getting all the info transferred to a better software program, which is not my favorite part of any business!

The first clothes will go to Uganda around the first week of December, when Page returns to Kampala and Father's House. Keep the donations coming - we will be taking clothes through next August, as we have about 8 or 9 trips over where we can send the extra suitcase.

Thanks to you all!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh, to be in Uganda!

I am definitely missing my "home away from home" today... I did leave a big part of my heart there!

Today was Caroline's surgery. I am hoping to talk to Suzanne in a little while. I have tried calling her with my MagicJack, and...well, not so magical. Still working on that. But I will call from my iPhone and bite the bullet on the cost per minute, and hopefully have an update later on today.

Mirka, as you might have seen from her comments, is home and feeling much better. She returns for a check-up on Friday. They still have no idea what she had/has, although the folks in uganda are sure it was malaria.

Speaking of malaria, Vicka has been sick with bilharzia... which is the DREAD DISEASE I was so paranoid about at Lake Victoria. It is also a parasite, pretty gross if you read about it, and comes from contaminated water. Like Lake Victoria. Symptoms are about the same as malaria, and it is the 2nd most prevalent parasitic disease in the world, although not usually fatal. It can be chronic, however - I assume without proper treatment. So prayers for them both!

The jewelry from Newezekana continues to be in demand. I was asked to do an event on Nov 7, and possibly another on Dec 7. I think I will need another shipment after Page brings hers... although Katie may be coming over with the precious babies,Malaika and Mark, in November. I will be sending almost $1000 to Newezekana this week, just from the last 10 days or so, which is SUCH a blessing!

And finally, the Ray of Hope Scottish concert fundraiser by Mirka and Kamila raised enough money to send 13 children to school for a year! Mirka wasn't able to attend, unfortunately, but I am so proud of the girls!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Up and coming...

I didn't do the Fall Fair at Our Lady of Lourdes yesterday, because I was concerned I wouldn't have enough jewelry to sell at the MOPS Marketplace on the 27th, which I'd already committed to. Good problem to have! (Since the weather was pretty yucky, and my daughter was still recovering from wisdom teeth removal surgery, it worked out ok.) Page is heading back to the States on the 27th, so I should receive more jewelry, bags, etc., around the 1st of November. I'll post more pictures!

This week I will be sending money to Suzanne at Father's House for Ray of Hope and Newezekana. We will have a total of about $750 in donations for jewelry, and then the monthly sponsorship money as well. The exchange rate isn't great right now - sh1916 to the dollar as of Friday (it was 1962 when we were there last month). But still, that's sh1,437,000 got our ladies, which is a LOT in Uganda!

Clothing drive update: We have received a good amount of clothing. Page will be taking a suitcase full back when she returns after her visit in Tennessee next month. I think Katie will be able to take a suitcase back in Dec; Eric in January, and then Zeke and I can take 1 each in March. After the shipping costs and "disinfecting" charges totalled up, we decided it was better to pay for extra bags as people went over, than spend so much on the shipping and sterilizing. So we are still paying to ship - probably $75 per suitcase full... If you are planning to donate clothing, please still include the $5-10 with your items to help cover that cost.

Caroline surgery: Caroline is scheduled to have her hernia removed tomorrow, the 20th. She has been struggling with a cough lately, so please pray she is well enough for the surgery to happen. She has already waited so long!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Awesome day - thanks Our Lady of Lourdes!

Once again, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School has blessed my socks off! Today I went after school to do a "private sale" for the teachers. It was awesome and we raised over $525, all of which will go to Uganda next week for the ladies of Newezekana! In fact, I now have a quandry, because there is a fall fair at the OLL church Sunday, and then the MOPS fair on the 27th, and I don't think I have enough jewelry to do both! A good problem to have, but still...! So I will keep you posted as to where we'll be when - in the meantime if you wanted to get something after seeing the photos, you might want to let me know! I will definitely be getting more stuff at the beginning of November, but if I can't get more before then, I'll be out soon.

Thanks SO much to everyone from Our Lady of Lourdes, and to all of you for your prayers and support!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

From "Get Uncomfortable" by Todd Phillips

The church seems to respond this way [lack of faith in what God can do with a little] many times when problems are larger than our capacity to fix them. We say, "My $20 donation can't possibly make a difference!" or "What impact am I really having if I spend five hours a week serving special needs kids?" And we're right. Our possessions, time, and energy given in our strength cannot make a dent in the mountainous problems that plague our world. But any offering, no matter how small in the material world, can be multiplied exponentially in the hands of Jesus. (pg 101)

Read Mark 12:41-44, and Mathew 14: 15-21

"Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Good day!

I met this morning with my pastor and the missions pastor at Journey Church. Great meeting! The team from church is leaving Saturday to go to Uganda to work with Arise Africa, so that's exciting. I look forward to all God will do. I also met with the pastor of Faith Zone Worship Center in Garner this evening. I had a lovely dinner, and good introductory chat. Hopefully I'll be able to present Uganda to the congregation in a few weeks.

Interesting side note - Pastor Holland asked me what I expected. What was interesting about that is that, honestly, I don't expect anything! I really am letting God lead this whole endeavor, and am simply going where He points. If He accomplishes what He's after in that, that's wonderful - and to His credit. And that's a pretty interesting thing to ponder, because really, we have very few situations in life where we have no expectations! I'm really enjoying having to live this by faith... and was glad of the question, so that I could really examine it. Awesome!

Update on Mirka

She has been moved to a different hospital, isolated in a room, and is taking pain and other medicine 4x a day. They don't know what it is - they are saying NOT malaria, but she and her roommate Kamila both think it is. A specialist will be in again on Friday to see her, but in the meantime any visitors have to wear mask, gloves and an apron! They are having a fundraising concert Friday night for Ray of Hope, which she will obviously not be able to attend, either. So prayer for healing, encouragement, and wisdom for the doctors!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

And prayer for Mirka...

Another of the Polish girls at Father's House, Mirka (shown above at the Ray of Hope school), is now in the hospital. She contracted malaria while still in Uganda, but was feeling better a couple of days ago. She now has been admitted to the hospital back home in Scotland, with a high fever (104), a severe headache, fatigue, weakeness... Symptoms of both flu and malaria. In Edinburgh they are saying it isn't a relapse of malaria. But they aren't saying what it is. So please pray. Her friend and roommate, and my final Polish friend, Kamilla, is quite concerned! Thanks!

Prayer for Magda

One of the Polish girls who was staying at Father's House when we were there is named Magda, She is 22. She left after our first week and travelled to Kaihura, a small village in the west of the country, to spend a year working at an orphanage there, before returning to university in Cambridge, England. The orphanage has no power, no water, and all the kids are housed in the same building (babies through teens). Below are some things to consider supporting in Kaihura, but first, a tragedy...

The other day Magda saw a 6 year old boy struck by a car and killed. The boy is the son of a local pastor, and the drivers were Dutch. Magda carried the boy to a local clinic, but he died 20 minutes after the accident. She bandaged his wounds before his parents arrived, and held him in her arms for hours as the family grieved, police were found, and funeral arrangements made. It was obviously extremely difficult for her and for the family. The Dutch people seem to feel no guilt, and, when they all go to Kampala with lawyers, it will not be a question of prison, just money. How much is a 6 year old boy's life worth?

That recent event aside, Magda is doing well. She has drawn up plans to build a separate house for the babies. The cost right now is USD $22,000, largely due to a spike in the cost of building materials locally in recent months. She is working to revise the plans to bring the cost down, and to get volunteers to come help build the building, both from Poland and the UK where she lives. Please keep this project in your prayers, as it would be instrumental in the care of the precious orphaned babies. I am working on getting her in contact with Jennie Woods from Alliance for Children Everywhere, who can give her some guidelines learned from hard experience in Zambia with the House of Moses.

Additionally, Magda has befriended a 19 year old young lady who is working - basically in servitude - for a local family. She works 7 days a week, is fed the scraps left after the family eats, cooks, cleans, and is paid virtually nothing. Magda has taken her to eat and has bought her clothing and other needed items, but is trying to find another situation for her where she will be valued and can earn some money. She is looking into visa requirements for her to come to the US, or go to the UK, to work for a family. I am investigating the US angle, as I have no idea what a work visa would require. Please keep this young lady in prayer as God makes a way...

Magda is looking to move into a nearby village where she would have power and internet. Right now she is online less than once a week, so it can be difficult to communicate needs in real time. She will need more support if she is to be able to pay rent somewhere - she lives at the orphanage right now free of charge in exchange for her labors - so also keep this need in your prayers.

As always, bless you and thank you!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some facts about Uganda

I did a PowerPoint presentation today, and found some interesting facts about Uganda while preparing...

* There are 2.5 million orphans in Uganda, mostly from AIDS and the war in the North.
* Uganda is 197th of all countries for life expectancy. It is 52 for men, 53 for women.
* 137 of every 1000 children dies before their 5th birthday.
* 230 people a die die from malaria.
* About half of the children in Uganda attend school.
* Of the children who attend school, literacy levels are about 50%, and math literacy is about 40%.
* 50% of Ugandans make less than $475 per year.

Sobering, isn't it?

Schedule this week...

This week I am (I think - waiting on final confirmation) speaking on Ten Eighteen and Uganda at the Worship Zone church in Garner on Wed evening; meeting with my Journey Church pastor, Jimmy Carroll, and the missions pastor, Mark Harvey on Wed morning; and holding a private sale of the Ugandan handcrafts for the teachers at Our Lady of Lourdes school on Friday afternoon. Please be in prayer for the plight of God's children in Uganda to touch hearts!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New photos of Mark!

Here are two pictures of Mark and Malaika (I found out I was misspelling her name!). He looks great - and she's a hoot, as always! On is Jacklyn and Jenneth feeding them, the other is just FUNNY!

Never a dull moment!

For those who have asked about Mark, Suzanne says he's doing very well! I've asked if they can take a picture and send it, so we can see (hopefully!) fat little cheeks and arms and legs. Such a sweet, sweet boy! In other baby news, Suzanne is going to be a grandmother for the first time - her daughter Vita is expecting!

It is proving to be a very very rainy rainy season... I will have several opportunities this week to share the needs for Ray of Hope and Nesco, and will especially be speaking about the new building for Ray of Hope and the clothing drive. Please keep these vital needs in your prayers!

Also, I will be receiving more jewelry at the end of the month - thanks to all of you who have purchased and suggested venues! The jewelry makes GREAT gifts for any woman in your life: mother, daugher, teacher, mail carrier! Remember that 100% of the money is going back to Newezekana, which helps these women feed, clothe, and house themselves. Your contributions bring them so much more than they can get for their items in Uganda, and can mean the difference between a full and an empty belly for both themselves and their children.

Also keep in your prayers the collaboration with Samaritan's Purse and Ray of Hope. Samaritan's Purse (they do Operation Christmas Child, which many of you know, as well as many other things) has offered to fund a business, if Ray of Hope can come up with a business plan. This will be easier in the new building - but ideas so far are raising chickens, and raising poinsettas. They just need wisdom on how to use this money for the most benefit to the organization, and the children and women they help.

Have a blessed day - and thank you!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Life with humor

Many of you have joined in my incredulity about the clothing needing to be disinfected. What can I say about government regulations, other than most are ridiculous. At least we got a laugh, right? Those clothes will be about the only things IN Uganda that are disinfected...

Quote of the day: When once the call of God comes, begin to go and never stop going. Oswald Chambers

PS - I hope to have an update on baby Mark's status this weekend, for those of you who have asked!

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Disinfecting" clothing... to send to Uganda?!

I learned that I have to have a certification that used clothing has been "disinfected" when I ship it. Which is really funny, when you think about it. Do you see this cow wandering the city streets? This is the country that needs clothing from the US to be disinfected! Haaha... sorry, that's pretty funny!

ANYWAY. Seriously. Does anyone know of a company in the Raleigh area that does this? I'm thinking some sort of commercial laundering company that does medical laundry, or something. I've looked up what I can think of and am coming up blank, but the problem with googling is that you have to have the right words to start with! It's probably easiest to do it all at once, so I have til the end of October to come up with a solution.... Thanks for your brainstorms!

The rain continues...

Please continue your prayer for those in Nomawongo. The rainy season has really just begun, and they are already in a bad way. I am working on some sources for funding to help with the new building, but mostly praying!

I found out yesterday that UPS wants $1000 to ship an 18"x17" box to Kampala. I will be taking it to the USPS today, and it will still cost several hundred, I think. No good deed is left unpunished, I guess! Oh well. It's God's money!

More clothes continue to arrive - thank you all for your help and thoughtfulness!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Please be in prayer for our friends living in the slums of Nomawongo - all of our kids and ladies with Ray of Hope. The rainy season has come in full force, and made the slums a mess (which is saying something, believe me!). There has been a cholera outbreak, and city officials will likely be shutting down the Ray of Hope school temporarily because of the unsanitary conditions caused by the water/flooding. Please pray for all of them - they not only go to school in these conditions, this is where they LIVE, where they try to eek out a living, buy food...

Fathers House and Ray of Hope have been looking at buying a building, within walking distance of where the school is now, and where Ray of Hope is now located, which would house the school, some offices, and room for skills training. This building is 3 stories, and on the "higher" side of the railroad tracks that begins the slums. The board of Fathers House has approved the purchase, and they have about half of the money - the cost of the building is $250,000 USD. Please pray for the rest of the funding, and please consider donating to Ten Eighteen (or asking someone you know who might be interested) and designate it for this project. When the school is closed, the children have nowhere to go, and will likely miss one meal a day that is provided by the school. It is a really crucial step forward.

Thanks as always, for your thoughts, prayers and support.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More clothes today!

I got more clothes today, these for the ladies of Newezekana, from an older lady in my neighborhood. Very exciting! Also narrowing down the dates for my two 2010 visits, getting photos together for a church presentation, and being amazed at how God knits things together that just blow my mind! Thank you all for your continued prayer!

I've lost my icon to add a photo somehow... Hopefully I'll find it again soon!

UPDATE: Found it! Apparently the updated "post editing" doesn't have the link. Not sure why! Here's the pic of the day - it's my new "face of Ten Eighteen" - I've gotten some tees made up with it. More items to come, to support us! Thanks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First clothing donation!

This morning we received our first clothing donation for the kids of Ray of Hope and Nesco! Wonderful!! My neighbor had emailed me after I'd gone to bed that she'd come by in the morning. Unfortunately I didn't get it, and was half asleep when she came by... And set off the alarm. However, I didn't chase her off, and we have officially started our clothing drive. Thanks to all of you who are gathering clothes together. I'm very excited!

Monday, October 5, 2009

FALL CLOTHING DRIVE for Nesco and Ray of Hope

Hey all-

Thanks again for your support! We are kicking off our first clothing drive for the street kids of Ray of Hope and Nesco in Kampala. Many of these children have a school uniform and that's all... After prayer and research into the cost of shipping, I feel like we are to go ahead, trusting the Lord to provide all that we - and they - need.

So guidelines:

* The temperature in Kampala is the same all year: mid to low 80s in the day, mid-60s at night. So we don't need winter clothes!

* The girls wear dresses and skirts, NEVER shorts, and rarely rarely pants.

* Please no war themed items (camo, guns, tanks, soldiers, etc), and no skeletons.

* Soccer is BIG, so anything soccer is esp popular with the boys.

The shipping cost from Charlotte to Kampala is $555/cu meter. Wow. So if you could donate $5-10 with your items, it would be greatly appreciated! However, it's still much cheaper than trying to buy clothing there.

I dont' have any drop off locations yet, but you can come to my house, ship to me, or I can meet you or come to you to pick up. Message me and we'll work it out!

Thanks for your prayers for this project!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Want a "private showing"?

I have had one request already to take the Ugandan handcrafts to a group for a private showing. I think this is a great idea! Can't wait for the 16th, to share the mission of Ten Eighteen, and the lovely work of Newezakana, with the teachers at Our Lady of Lourdes. If you're interested in something similar for your women's group, knitting club, or anything else, just let me know!

Ryan is taking some jewelry back to App today, to be a "living model". I wear a necklace and bracelet every day. If you have some, please share about the women and children in Uganda when you are complimented on it (which you will be!). Thanks! We appreciate your support...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Jewelry is available!

We have jewelry available for a donation to Ten Eighteen, just in time for your Christmas shopping to start! I have posted a lot of photos on Facebook, and a few here. I'm hoping to get an online store up on the website soon, but in the meantime, if you have something particular in mind, just let me know! We have short, long, all kinds of colors...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Working on things...!

I will be having a booth at Holly Fest at Sanderson High School Dec 5-6 to sell the jewelry, jewelry bags and cards from Newezekana. Since it's two days, I'm hoping my wonderful children will help me out, since they can both give first hand accounts of Ray of Hope, Uganda, and our experiences and mission. I got some display fixtures at A&B Store Fixtures yesterday, so I'm all set!

Still researching shipping to Uganda. Air freight is $10 per POUND. So that's not a very economical way to ship clothing! I have two leads in California, companies who ship donated medical supplies around the world, so I'm hoping I can *maybe* piggy back some boxes with them. If not, I will need another option... a row boat?! It would, actually, be cheaper to fly back and pay for extra luggage than ship it at these prices! *now there's a thought...*

I will be updating the website with photos of items you can receive with a donation to Ten Eighteen: necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc. I'd also LOVE to get my Artist Auction site up before holiday shopping begins. I'm not sure if that will happen or not, but I have a little time! If I can make it easier to accept donations online, that would be worth the effort!

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and for your encouraging comments on Facebook about the pictures. We rely on you all!