Another hot beautiful day in Uganda! We started our day with a tour of the rest of the IN projects, beginning with Hope Technical School. We started with the Tailoring department with Instructor Fred as our tour guide. The class holds 50 students, with the Level 1 one year program costing $106 US. We saw students working on Singer peddle sewing machines, and one making a sweater on a knitting machine. Next on our list was the Hairdressing department. Here they were working on hair extensions….tempting! They have sleeping quarters for 15 female students at the back of the room. The motor vehicle repair training center was next, where we saw 7 men and 1 woman in a classroom learning about light and heavy trucks.
We then moved on to Buikwe Senior Secondary School. The average age of the children here are 15-19, the equivalent of our high schools. The Head Master Paul had been taken in and raised by Justus (the head of IN Uganda) as his adopted son. We discussed significant details of funding requirements and student enrollments. We discussed the success of the school in general, and noted an article in a local newspaper of several of their students winning academic awards. We then viewed the trees planted by the money donated by the Crossroads Kids. From there we moved on to the science lab which was funded by Crossroads Church and commissioned by Pastor Dan in Nov. 2013. Due to the fact that many of the chemicals had expired, the lab is not being fully utilized. We were told that roughly 40% of chemistry curriculum can be taught without chemicals. From there we moved on to the computer room, where the ratio is 110 students to 1 computer.
In both schools we visited today the students were taking exams and we continue to lift them up as they take these important steps for their future.
After our tour around the schools we had yet another tasty lunch made from the loving hands of Irene and then prepared for an outing to visit the Mawotto Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA).
Wow, what an amazing outing we had!!! The point of our visit was to witness the giving out of their savings and shares which have been accumulating over the past 12 months. We arrived to a group of women who greeted us with dancing and singing, each wearing a white t-shirt with the CHAP (Community HIV/AIDS Program) and CrossRoads logos as well as the name of their savings group.On one side was a tent covering around 50 guests who representing family and friends that had also been invited to the great occasion. We were seated on the ‘stage’ which was the front porch of the home we were at. The event had already begun without us with the national anthem and an opening prayer. When we got there the even continued with a few speeches and then we had a chance to ask questions and understand the process of the savings group and how they run. We heard about their policies and group constitution, how they each are expected to save and bring 2000 shillings (approx. 70 cents) each week and then based on savings accumulated they are able to give out loans. We heard some success stories and challenges and then the fun began.
One by one the ladies in the group were to come up to the front where they were met by a secret friend (one of the ladies in the group) as well as any friends and family that had come to celebrate with them. Each of them came bearing gifts. What was extraordinary about this ceremony was how the ladies and all that were up front transacted the gifts. Instead of simply shaking hands and handing over the gift, they literally danced all the way to the ‘stage’ area and then continued to dance around each other, taunting each other with the gifts. It would take multiple minutes to get the gift. The movement in their bodies and the expressions on their faces were simply so entertaining. We were laughing so much our cheeks hurt by the end of the ceremony.
After each of the ladies had received their gifts they invited us to come and share a word. Tracy went and shared on behalf of the group a word of encouragement and then we started introducing each of us. Adam took the show to a different level when he reciprocated what the ladies had done by offering a dance of his own (you must see the video!)- as Bill says, ‘he freed himself up to make extraordinary moves’ and was joined by Tracy. He had everyone laughing and fully engaged which truly broke the ice for us as the visitors. One by one we introduced ourselves by telling about our families and how many times we had been in Uganda, etc.
Next it was time for them to receive their money, the main point of the whole day. Bill was asked to be the one who honored them and handed out the envelopes. He took the opportunity as well to dance and have fun with the ladies. This time together was so much fun and so special. It is pretty common when we come to places like this that we connect and play with the children. However, it is rare that we as visitors are able to really connect with adults in such a free and playful way. What a special time to experience together!
The afternoon finished with a meal where we were privileged to serve each of the guests as they had monumental piles of food on their plates consisting of matoke (steamed green bananas), rice, goat meat and peanut sauce. We then said our goodbyes and then loaded into the van and offered our final interaction by yelling out of the van in the African way (ululation) which made them all laugh one more time.
It was a great day!
Today was our first day touring the ‘International Needs’ (I.N.) projects in Buikwe. We began at the headquarters for the Uganda operation. So, there are many people and programs being run from there. While CrossRoads primarily supports the CHAP program (e.g., HIV/AIDS Clinic Outreaches, etc.), there are many other things happening here.
Rev. Justus, the Executive Director, was working from the site today, and we started our tour by greeting him. We were then showed around the offices that house the Site Manager, Human Resources, and Finance personnel. Sarah, the H.R. manager was our tour guide, and she introduced us to many friendly people with warm smiles.
Next was the Sponsorship Office where we learned about the administration of the program that so many people in CrossRoads participate. Children enter the program when they are between 4 to 9 years old, and are supported through their schooling years. In this region there are close to 3000 children sponsored. Access to a good education, health care, and basic food supplies, are some of the key aspects of the program. One of our highlights came later on the tour when visiting a P-7 class (primary school grade 7), when a girl in the front row stood up and shyly thanked all of us (i.e., Canadians in general) for sponsoring her and providing for her education. It’s clear that ac
cess to a good education is making a difference, and we were encouraged that so many girls where in the class (actually more girls than boys). This is not always common, as girls often drop out of school earlier than most boys (for a variety of reasons). But, it’s often said that ensuring girls are in school is a proven way to lift communities out of poverty.
The next stop took us to the Income Generation project, which focuses on helping subsistence farmers increase their productivity. Across this region, most farmers produce just enough food to feed their family, and little extra is produced to sell. The hope of this program is that with better techniques, they will be able to produce more, or add extra value, and increase their income. I think this project really interested Lawrence, as he’s been in the farming business back in Red Deer for many years. I’m sure there’d be some great ideas generated from having these guys talk!
Our last stop on the tour around the I.N. compound was the Primary School. The Deputy Headmaster introduced us to the teachers, and then walked us to the “Baby” classroom.
This is for kids around 4 years old, and was truly a highlight for us. The kids all came to the front and did a dance and song for us. They were so cute and reminded me of my own daughter back home (Makena), who is so close to their age. I’m sure she would’ve had fun laughing and dancing with them too! Lastly, we visited the P-7 classroom where the kids shared their dreams of future careers – doctors, accountants, and designers.
Our afternoon was relaxed, with some down time for naps, reading, and relaxing; while Tracy, Bill, and Adam met with CHAP staff. Then around 5:00 we walked into town to visit the weekly market. Once again, the children found us quickly and we enjoyed playing games with them while greeting people on the street.
As I write this, most of the team have gone to bed. But, please pray that everyone on our team gets normal, restful sleep – as many are still adjusting the time zone, and trying to be comfortable! We are thankful our team has been working well together and very supportive of each other. We are all learning a lot and doing our best to allow God to work in us and through us.
Adam & the Team
In the small village of Najjembe, two large tents provided a postage stamp of shade from the Ugandan heat, but more importantly served as a banner announcing the arrival of various health care services that may otherwise have been out of reach. Initiated by the CHAP (Community HIV/AIDS Prevention) Programme, the predominant focus of this clinic would be to offer voluntary HIV testing, counselling and education, but would involve so much more than that. With the blessing of the local level 3 clinic offering their courtyard as a base, our horizons expanded to being able to provide the testing, counselling and treatment, as well as immediate treatment registration and associated medication distribution, dentistry, deworming treatment, distribution of food supplies to registered HIV positive children, and gynecological and maternal health services. All in all, we could say that today was a huge success!
On the front lines of HIV testing, the nominal values were very promising. With a total of 69 tests completed, only 1 case was confirmed positive. During this process, the teamwork amongst the staff, clinicians and volunteers was phenomenal. Each role was as important as the next. From rolling cotton swabs and numbering test strips, to the Luganda translation, data transcription, pin prick blood draws and result interpretation, the testing process ran smoothly.
In my personal experience, this interaction with locals revealed the obvious importance of community for each individual we encountered. I was delighted to see mothers coming with their children, following their grandmother, accompanied by aunts and friends, all prioritizing the importance of advocating for their own health. But one issue remained painfully obvious…Where were the men?? This is not a new issue, localized to a specific community, but an ongoing observation I have made throughout the past clinics that I have been involved in. Though being seen completely different that in our Canadian context, the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS creates a nearly insurmountable barrier working against us. Not allowing these men to open up and be vulnerable in taking advantage of CHAP’s testing services.
That being said, my prayer request would be that the men of the villages that we will be encountering in the days to come, would find the courage and be leaders in the community. That they would set examples and help to create awareness of the importance of knowing their status and the implications this has on breaking the chain of infection. ~ Trysta Pleasants
Another service that was offered at the outreach clinic today was treating the children with deworming tablets. Tablets would be pressed out of the foil covers, handed to the children who were then told ‘mila mangu’ (swallow fast). This would encourage the children to open their mouths, chew and swallow as children would try to share their tablets with their friends due to the sweet taste of the tabs. Between 30-40 tablets were handed out to the children today.
Working with Dentist Peter and an assistant Vickie, in a small 6×8 room, Lawrence and I kept busy with filling syringes with 2 ml of xylocaine, making cotton balls from a wad of cotton that were transferred to Dr. Peter as he pulled the 55 teeth from 53 people. Our patient’s ages ranged from 5 years old to approx. 65 years old. Peter was incredibly efficient with inviting the patients in to his ‘office’, checking their sore teeth and applying the freezing to the appropriate areas. They would then move back to the hallway to wait for the freezing to take. One by one in the ‘privacy’ of the office the patient’s heads were pressed against the wall or tucked tightly under Peter’s arm, he would tell them to open their mouths, then he wiggled and pulled at their teeth until they finally broke loose using his strength. Lawrence and I were kept active as the patients quickly rotating through the room. It was difficult for us to witness the removal of a front teeth on young patients, but understand that this was a quickest, most efficient way to care for the pain and suffering of the patient effectively. Many elderly also came through having one or two of their teeth removed as well. It was a great day of helping the Dr. and in a bigger way helping the patients who voluntarily came to have their teeth pulled. ~ Wilma Vander Leek
Due to the fact that HIV is now down to 7% of those tested, we were told that cervical cancer is currently the main killer of women. Today it was so awesome to see these women filing thru asking for cervical/breast cancer screening and birth control, taking control of their lives and future!! In a very hot hallway, they stood patiently waiting their turn, no matter the length of time, which was substantial. There was a true feeling of solidarity between myself, the midwife running the clinic, and the women filing thru no matter the lack of verbal communication. In a world where compromise is the number one word, the midwife made do without all the supplies we in Canada would take for granted and consider necessary, as alcohol swabs, pads for the bed for them to lay on etc. We take so much for granted, whereas in Uganda they “make do” with so little. ~ Bev Heroux
Our team was blessed as we were able to serve many people today in a variety of ways as a community desired to seek help for their own health and that of their families. Each was involved in some way by either capturing moments of the day through the camera lens, getting water or protein bars for those working in rooms, talking to patients as they patiently waited in line for one service or another.
Please join us in prayer as we anticipate our upcoming clinic next Monday that more men would come and be tested, being the example to the younger men and taking responsibility for helping change the culture of their community, in the fight against HIV in Uganda.
Bev, Trysta, Wilma & the Team
After a good night of sleep for most of us and an early African morning (colorful sunrise, beautiful birds singing, perfect temperature with a slight breeze), we headed out for Day 2 – Sunday filled with Worship & Praise. The team was divided into groups and attended 3 very different Church services.
Adam & Tracy were in Kampala with the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda (a school friend of Pastor Tracy’s) in a very large church. It was a great honor to be invited and to worship together with those in Kampala.
Others were in the Buikwe church where we experienced the “Joy of the Lord” in the hearts of the African people. Bill got the opportunity to share from God’s Word. Then 6 of the team went to a very rural church (Pastor Eli’s Bridge of Hope) where Kelvin had the privilege of preaching to a small congregation.
Sharing the Word from the Bible at Bridge of Hope Church was indeed a privilege. I was nervous as I had never preached in front of a congregation before, and I wasn’t sure what to say. I prayed and almost instantly I got the word, how do I feel when I look at the people of Uganda, and I got 3 words. That led me to 1 Corinthians 13:13, speaking of love. I shared with the church that I was really nervous and God gave me Joshua 1:9, a verse that we always sing back at Crossroads in the children’s ministry. I spoke on loving one another, treating each other equally, always to be hopeful and keeping faith in God. Praying and petitioning our request to God at all times. I was very moved by Pastor Eli and his endless dedication to God and serving his local people in the church. I was very thankful and humbled for the opportunity. (Kelvin’s words)
Afternoon was a walking excursion of the town of Buikwe where our eyes were opened to an entirely different way of life. The children are so excited to see white people. We do stand out in the community. They stole our hearts with their acceptance of us and their antics as you can see in the pictures.
It is now the end of a long but amazing day. So goodnight from all the team.
-Tomalty’s and Kelvin on behalf of the the team
Today we woke up in Uganda! Our guesthouse had a beautiful view of Lake Victoria, with many unique birds singing songs in the morning. On our team, Bruce has a passion for photography and took many pictures of these colourful birds. As our team gathered for breakfast and devotions, we were inspired by the gorgeous sounds. A number of our team members mentioned waking at early hours because of jet lag. Today’s difficult goal is staying awake as our body adjusts to this very different time zone.
After breakfast we met with International Needs staff Joab and Jamiru, then later with Justus – the Country Director. For team members who have been before (Bill, Wilma, Vicky, Tracy and Trysta) it was sweet to see friends again. The afternoon consisted of gathering supplies from around Kampala, and heading to Buikwe.
One change of plans among many is Tracy and Adam are staying in Kampala over night to spend a bit. Ire turn with Justus and to facilitate a meeting with Stanley Ntagali, the Archbishop of Uganda, and the head of the Ugandan Church. Tracy and Adam look forward to reuniting with the team on tomorrow/Sunday in Buikwe as the rest of the team arrived there tonight.
We’ve arrived! It took around 30 hours and three hops – from Calgary to Amsterdam, then to Kigali Rwanda for a brief stop on the tarmac, and finally a short hop to Entebbe Uganda. All
But one of the bags arrived so not bad. We’ll be staying the night in Entebbe, hopefully adjusting to the 8 hour time change. Everyone seemed to travel well and got some sleep. We’re happy to all be together, and looking forward to an actual bed! Our day tomorrow will slowly introduce us to Uganda. Firstly, we’ll be meeting a few friends from ‘International Needs’ – the organization CrossRoads Church partners with here. They’ll be taking us to the capital city – Kampala – in the morning to stock up on essentials (i.e., phone SIM cards, etc.). Then we’ll be travelling to Bukiwe district where we’ll be staying for the majority of the trip. If you’re curious where we are, try googling Buikwe. It can be found just to the S.E of Kampala.
Keep us in your prayers as we adjust to the new time zone and country. Pray that we’re able to overcome jet lag quickly, that we’ll all stay healthy, and that we’ll be open for what God has in store for us!
Adam & the Team
Grand-Goave, Hatit October 07 2016
Report and New Update for all friends and supporters of HAM in the US, Canada and Haiti.
Click blue link to watch latest video from Haiti Arise: Haiti Hurricane Appeal
An official report, even partial, reported 108 deaths and extensive damage following the hurricane Matthew on Haiti. The situation is catastrophic, said the interim president, Jocelerme Privert at a national palace press conference on the impact of Matthew on the country.
A response plan is being developed by the government, which will coordinate international assistance, says Premier Minister Enex Jean-Charles.
Now about us in Grand-Goave in general and Haiti Arise Ministries In Particular; I was in bed when the storm started. Fauche, Jeanty, Thozin are affected deeply by the passage of the storm. These communities are almost destroyed to me. The Bakery’s roof is gone; the fence of the medical clinic is damaged. Some part in the wall at the children’s village is damaged also.
In addition, the storm did extensive damage to our community and our ministry. Most people in our area lost their gardens; they lose their mangos and their other fruitful crops. Some people lose their housing and personal belongings. Right now they need help to do the necessary repairs, remove the debris and sand that blocked the roads and homes. Some people died in the storm and some other different people have lost much more. Our staff will need our help because they don’t have resources available to cope with the trauma.
During the passage of the storm, my telephone Natcom went out for 2 days and I wasn’t able to speak with anyone, internet and city power went out as well. The storm hits us deeply. I see roof blowing off and some walls are damaged and some are still standing. Most of the trees in our campuses and communities are shaped like sticks.
A numbe r of 21.102 displaced to temporary shelters and 5,000 affected families are also recorded. The assessment and relief operations continue to know the real needs of the population affected by Matthew. The authorities continue to assess the damage. In the coming hours, a quantitative estimate will be made in regard to livestock losses and plantations destroyed by the hurricane, announces a governmental official.
I also saw some houses being toned up, windows breaking; our staff have their furniture broken. Soeur Lisa, I think when I lift up my head; I see our entire trees and community looked like the aftermath of a huge explosion. Right now, we have debris everywhere; most of the roads are blocked.
Our Natcom networking system signals were out, but thanks to God finally Thursday at noon, my phone and our network system worked. I’m grateful to be alive, I’m very grateful to God for our safety and on behalf of our community and Haiti Arise Ministries; I’d love to address a special word of thanks to those who prayed fervently for us during the passage of the storm.
God has great things in store for you all. God bless
Blessings David Jean Baptiste- Haiti Arise Staff
Grand-Goave Municipal Report
Grand-Goave, October 06 2016- Minister of Interior & Civil Protection
7 deaths, 1 disappeared, 6 badly injured in Grand-Goave
10 shelters providing 604 displaced peoples
11 churches destroyed, 4 damaged, 6 schools destroyed, 3 damaged
Local radio stations and internet providers lost antennas towers
12 electrical power poles fallen
Irrigation channels blocked and damaged
539 homes destroyed, 1749 homes damaged
177 donkeys killed & 16 lost; 4 cows, 1 horse & 3 pigs killed
National 2 highway & secondary routes in town blocked or flooded, making passage impossible
All gardens, plantations and fruit bearing trees destroyed
Rivers flooded in Grand-Goave and affecting all surrounding counties
This gives us a very clear picture of what is now needed in order to help clean up and repair our immediate community of grand-Goave and our surrounding neighbors. Please pray and consider what you can do to assist financially. Be assured 100% of all Disaster Relief funds will go for just that.
First we want to thank you for your many prayers of protection during the Hurricane Matthew hitting Haiti. Please continue to pray as the storm rages its destructive course up the east coast of the US. And pray for Haiti still. The hard part will be the aftermath clean up and recovering.
Here are some pictures of a few shots around Grand-Goave.
-Our Tapion church roof was blown off. Large photo
– banana gardens all flattened. Top right-tons of large trees are fallen on homes. Middle right
-Petit-Goave bridge completely washed out and still flooded. Bottom right
-Smsll bridge & culvert in Grand-Goave to Taino beach completely flooded and large mango tree has broken the bridge. Middle bottom
-two large trees fallen on our Haiti ARISE medical clinic, sustaining damage to the roof. Left bottom
We also had extensive leaking in the tech school causing damage to hallway and classrooms.
The best way for you to help is give! Some things we’ll be doing immediately:
– thanks to a donor of $5,000 & another of $10,000 we are cooking food to distribute and giving food packs.
– to repair our perimeter wall on the goat farm we’ll need about $10,000
– to repair the Tapion roof, we’ll need $4,000
– to clean up tree debris we’ll be gathering work crews from our church and community and providing food for them.
We’ll be sending an assessment team as early as flights allow. Then two clean-up & reconstruction teams that you can volunteer to join. We are looking for engineers, construction workers, medical personnel, strong labourers, and people willing to get their hands dirty.
Potential team dates:
– Oct 12-Oct 22. Assessment team
– Nov 1-10/15. Clean up & reconstruction team alongside HFL medical team
– Nov 20-Dec 1. Reconstruction team
For info or to sign up, please contact email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit www.haitiarise.org/join-a-team and fill in the contact form.
(For CrossRoads family, please contact Dan Wilson email@example.com)
We’ll be posting a slideshow/ video clip for anyone willing to share with your church or group to collect an offering. This would be very appreciated! Stay posted.
Thank you for your support!
Marc and Lisa Honorat
We have been building relationships and going through training in preparation for our time in Uganda since April. The time has finally come for us to pack our bags and we are getting excited. We will be meeting around 10 this Thursday morning at the church, being prayed for one last time in the presence of our church family and then we head to the airport. We will then be in transit the 13th and 14th then in Uganda through the 26th.
Our team consists of (top row l to r) Pastor Tracy Minke, Trysta Pleasants, Adam Minke, Bill Shaw, Vickie Tomalty, Lawrence Tomalty (bottom row l to r) Wilma Vander Leek, Kelvin Singh, Beverly Heroux and Bruce Heroux. The team will be led by Adam and Tracy.
Please keep us in your prayers and we will do our best to post updates here on the blog.
Blessings to you and thank you for your support!
Team Uganda 2016
Here is the most recent update from our friends in Haiti.
Around the various Haiti Arise properties:
-2 sections of walls have been knocked down at the Children’s village and also walls around Goat Farm have sustained significant damage.
-a tree fell on the Medical Clinic, details not known about level of damage
-In the area, trees and power lines are down all over.
-Peoples gardens are washed out.
Haiti Arise is currently hosting and feeding many who have no roof as well as some who are trapped and can’t get back to Petit Goave (due to washed out bridge). Look at Lisa Honorat’s Facebook page for video showing this crazy river swelling.
They are now requesting volunteers to come and work side by side with the Haitians to be part of the cleanup and perhaps for the start of re-construction. Currently the call is for able-bodied people who can leave in the next week or so. If you have construction or electrical background, all the more helpful. If you know how to run a chainsaw (to help cut and clear fallen trees), this would also be very helpful. Anyone interested should speak directly with Dan Wilson our Global Compassion Chairman and Haiti Country-Co lead Dan@GroupWilson.com
If you can’t go and you want to be engaged beyond prayer, we would ask you give directly to www.haitiarise.org/donate
Thanks for covering our friends in prayer,