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December 20,2010                                               

Hello from the Deep Freeze of NE Washington!

Before going any farther reporting news of Hands Across Nations in N. Uganda, I would like to wish everyone a Blessed Christmas and a deep gratefulness for the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus in coming to dwell among his created people so that we could all truly know Him.  There is nothing more wonderful than that gift of His life to give us true life, not just an existence.  May all of us recognize that gift, contemplate it during this season, and thank God for it by living in a way that shows the world He is alive and living in His people who have received that gift deep into their hearts.

This has been a week of attempting to tie up loose ends of projects, say difficult good byes, and return to the US.  In the final days in the Lira area, there were meetings with the Hands Across Nations Tailoring School staff to draft a new business plan working toward self-sufficiency.   The school has put out over 140 trained tailors in the past 2 years, who have excellent skills with which to make a living. 

 We made more visits to students who graduated in the first class, most of whom are now becoming successful in developing a clientele and have made a reputation for themselves for doing quality work.  I have examples of their work which will be displayed in our future presentations.  It will be increasingly important for the school to be financially sound before expanding to instruction in other trades.

The Alito Community Center/Church project to complete the concrete


 

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floor for the sanctuary, the offices and the store room was nearly complete at my final visit.

Ninety Percent of the floor had been poured with the top 2 smooth surface to be poured over  the top, and then the final more liquid surface to be hand applied over that.  There was a joyous atmosphere in the church as everyone was pulling together to complete the project  the 11 women who had been carrying water from the swamp to the church, about ½ km each day for almost 2 weeks, the church elders who were ensuring things were running smoothly, the 12 workers who were continuing to mix the concrete with hoes, and moving it by wheelbarrows to dump it in place, and the people smoothing the concrete and making sure everything was level.  Over 90 dumper loads of materials had been moved over the roughest road imaginable.

 

Three times, it sank into the swamp or other unstable ground and had to be extricated, with the load having to be dumped out and then reloaded by shovel loads.  And there was no complaining.

 On the last load, tragedy struck when a young boy, the son of one of the volunteers, playfully jumped onto the side of the dumper, and either jumped or fell off and was accidently fatally injured.  Please pray for all involved, for comfort, support, and a peaceful outcome as it was completely an accident.

The last 2 days was spent in Kampala, visiting the boarding school


 

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of one of our students, completing payment of various school fees  and projects and saying final goodbyes to dear friends and family in Uganda.  It is always painful, but made less so by the promise of a return in the not too distant future.

 

As I have said several times before, NOTHING ever goes according to our plans!  The trip home was unusual as it was a 60 hour marathon, beginning with the traffic jams of Kampala, and some kind of security measure at the airport making passengers carry their luggage a long distance to the building instead of being dropped off at the entrance.  In Amsterdam, we found that we’d landed in a snow storm, and right after arriving, the entire airport shut down stranding thousands of travelers and the airport personnel as well.  Nothing was moving  no busses, trains, cars, or planes for over 24 hours.  Most of us slept on the floor as best we could.  Some of us were blessed to get on a flight the next day  many were not so fortunate as a second snow storm moved in that afternoon and paralyzed flight travel all over Europe. Our flight was almost canceled a second time as the walkway was frozen and couldn’t extend to the plane.  People were nearing rebellion when I felt compelled by God’s spirit to stand up, whistle to get people’s attention, thank everyone for remaining calm, and suggest that we all pray for  God to fix that walkway.  I led a prayer, and within a few minutes the walkway started moving, we were able to board and take off!  God is sooooo good!  Though we had a broken water pipe and the entire back of the plane had a soaked carpet, the toilets were shut down, and the entire entertainment system for the flight malfunctioned, we arrived safely.


 

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 It is only by God’s grace that any of us can live another moment.  Each one is a precious gift to be lived to the fullest. 

So, Merry Christmas, to all of you.  May you experience the real joy of this season knowing God loved us enough to send Jesus, and still lives with us today.  Thank you for your generous support, financially and prayerfully.   Please continue to pray for  Uganda, for God’s mercy and care for the people there as they continue to recover from the war and to struggle to rise up out of the poverty they are continuing to experience. 

May God bless you all.

Carolyn Kurowski

Sharing the love of Christ in practical ways through Hands Across Nations


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