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July 5,2011

Greetings once again from Northern Uganda, where God has blessed the people with fertile ground and plenty of rain this season. 

The second week in Uganda has flown by like one of their evening storms which blows in, pelts the land with life giving water and leaves as quickly as it came.  It was a week of abbreviated visits to Anyangapuc, Bala and Alito, villages in which Hands Across Nations, HAN, has been working for almost 10 years.  It was a time to introduce Kemper and Bowe Rojas to people they’ve heard about for many years, and see the church at Alito which has been under construction since our first mission trip to Uganda in 2001. The church is continuing toward completion with the painting of the inside walls during this visit thanks to the many contributions from the HAN auction last year.   

HAN Advisor Felix Omodi, kneeling center left, helped deliver a new set of instruments to Alito Church

New sets of traditional musical instruments; the stringed adungus from tiny to large enough to sit on along with a new drum, were donated to each of the three village churches.  Alito church’s large adungu had just recently been broken and unusable from many years of use so the new ones were celebrated as an answer to their prayers, a God send.  The other two villages had never had a set and had used only a drum to accompany their singing. 


 

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Bowe had the thrill of taking part with the Alito music worship team, pounding out the rhythm on the new drum alongside his new found friend on the old drum. 

Tuning up the new instruments at Alito

Sweet music will come from the first set of adungus Bala church has ever owned. Levi Abongo, HAN Uganda Board secretary is on the far right, Pastor Solomon is kneeling by the drum.

The message our friend Felix gave to the Alito Church members was simple but powerful – based on the story of young Jesus who went to Jerusalem for a festival with his parents.


 

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They left to go back home and for 3 days didn’t realize he wasn’t with them so they had to go back and find Him.  Often, we have church and religious celebrations about Christ, but then go on our way, not realizing we’ve gone on without Him and must stop and go back to find Him.  That could describe some of us who are believers in Christ, but yet, at times we go in a direction without being sure we’re walking with Him.  Carolyn, Kemper and Bowe had a short “seminar” with the Alito ladies about our “love languages”, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation and gifts.  It was a lively discussion of how we give and receive love which is universal, no matter what our culture.

Bowe honored by gift of a chicken from young Carolyn. Young Carolyn was born while Carolyn was in Uganda in 2009 and the folks there like to name children after visitors. At the same time she was named two family members gave their hearts to the Lord.

  Another important visit this week was to Ayira Hospital.  Dr. Opio and his wife and chief nurse Semmy have been serving both the physical and spiritual needs of God’s people in N. Uganda with passion for many years. 

 

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  One baby boy had been delivered the night before and Bowe had the privilege of having his name given to the boy, now known as “Okello Bowe”. See photo in Carolyn's Letters June 28, 2011 Photos of Ayira Hospital   While at Ayira, several patients needing physical therapy were seen for evaluation and a treatment plan set up.

Carolyn gives a Physical Therapy Evaluation of Marcy who has physical problems due to Cerebral Malaria

The physical therapy instruction Carolyn has given to the nursing staff of Ayira over the past 3 years has been useful as one woman said that she had been to several doctors without help for the injuries she had received in a car accident but had been recovering and getting better once she started “physiotherapy” with Semmy.  We also noted that their groundskeeper was sweeping standing upright with a long handled broom rather than bent over using the traditional short broom, a back saver we’ve tried to implement. (See photo in Carolyn's Letters June 28, 2011 Photos of Ayira Hospital)  Another 50 baby quilts from Joy Talbott and two other quilt makers from Chewelah were delivered to Ayira – symbolizing the loving arms of the Lord wrapped around those precious new lives as they leave the hospital. 


 

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A safari at Murchison Falls National Park was the topper at the end of the week – a fitting goodbye for Kemper and Bowe to a beautiful country which is recovering from a 25 year rebel war in the North.   The animals were plentiful but the highlight was sitting on top of the land cruiser, watching a male lion. 

A section of the photo safari will be posted under Carolyn's letters soon.

Close up views of elephants, giraffes, wart hogs, many types of antelope, hippos, water buffalo and crocodiles made us grateful for our creative God who made them all and provided the beautiful Nile River as a setting. 

Fervent prayer by Nursery School students at Bala.

Kemper and Bowe are at the writing of this letter, on their way home to the US.


 

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They have had an amazing experience of meeting the people of the Langi tribe and seeing their culture close up.  May God continue to join us in Hands Across Nations, encouraging each other to follow God’s leading in our lives on both sides of the world.

Go with God

Carolyn, Kemper and Bowe

A special safari page will be posted soon.

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