January 7, 2012


It is 4am here and I am wide awake so I figured I would write an update of our first real day here, outside of the guest house.

We started off the day visiting the Amazima program run by Katie Davis.  If you haven’t heard about it yet, you should!  You can read more about all the incredible things she is doing at www.kissesfromkatie@blogspot.com Jason and I visited the program when we first came to Uganda last year and took pictures of the amazing playground that they have there.  From that point on, the boys have associated Africa with that playground.  It was so much fun to see them enjoying it with the kids in the program this morning.  Hadlee became fast friends with one of Katie’s daughters, Grace.

Unfortunately we only had a little time to spend there and were on to our next stop, Canaan Children’s Home, just down the road.  Jason and I had been waiting for this moment for so long.  It was the moment that our kids got to finally meet the children that they have been praying for every night.  For them to be able to meet Frank and Alan and Pastor Isaac and Mama Rebecca was just incredible.  It just so happens that two of Pierce’s favorite people happen to be his Papa and his cousin Isaac and he knows those words very well.  So Papa Isaac, as many refer to Pastor, was shocked that Pierce could already say his name, just after meeting him for moments!  I just let him think he was brilliant J.  All the kids played and played and then played some more with the Canaan kids and were so sad when it was time to leave.  It was also a special treat to get to see Carol and Addyson McCoy, who were visiting there at the same time.  These are friends of ours from previous trips who we visited this summer in Gatlinburg while sharing about Healing Faith.  Addyson is an amazing kid that took it upon herself to raise enough money to build a playground for the children’s home there.  She exceeded her goal and is now working on funds towards a playground for the school.  So blessed to know them!

Our next stop was to meet Emmanuel Lufafa, our Uganda partner with Healing Faith, and to visit the Mafubira area.  This is the village area that Healing Faith will be providing medical assistance for and hopefully building a new clinic site for in the near future.  Jason and I had seen pictures of the area and of the current clinic, but were not fully prepared for the huge amount of need that we were faced with.  It was almost overwhelming.  At the same time though we both had this feeling of joy in seeing the area and meeting the people that would be benefiting from all the sacrifices that so many have made to get us here and the support that we have received.  Please believe me when I say that your money is going towards an incredible cause.  This is one of the poorest areas of Uganda that Jason and I have experienced so far.  Emma (as his friends call him) said that almost on a daily basis they have to turn orphans away that are brought to the clinic, because they have no means to care for them.  He also said that almost 65% of the population of Mafubira is infected with HIV and AIDS and that the results of those numbers are devastating to the population of children.  So many kids are being left orphans on a daily basis and extended family members are taking in children that they have no means to support, especially not medically.  This is where Healing Faith and YOU can have such an impact on this community.  Emma has such a vision for what can be done with the El Shadai clinic that has already been started, but his vision has been hindered by lack of funds and supplies.  Jason and I feel so certain that Healing Faith can help make this community flourish again.  We are so excited about what is to come and hope that you will play a huge role in all of it.

The community welcomed us with open arms. We were told that what was theirs was now freely ours an to  help ourselves to any food that they had.  Then they cut open a jackfruit for us all to try.  Some of us more bravely than others (Jason is kind of a wimp when it comes to trying new foods, but don’t tell him I said so).  It was an incredible feeling to be welcomed to their village as one of their own.

I know this entry is long, but I couldn’t wrap it up without talking about the kids briefly.  I was so very proud of them today.  Quit possibly one of my proudest moments as a parent so far.  I won’t lie, I was worried what their reaction would be to what they experienced and saw today.  All the parents out there, or just anyone who has been around kids, knows that they sometimes (often) have a knack for saying exactly what is on their mind.  No filters!  This was the first time for them all to experience such poverty and change from the world that they knew.  I had no idea what to expect from them.  What they might say.  They were amazing.  You would have thought they had seen things like this everyday of their lives.  They played with the children as if they were playing with their best friends back home.  They walked hand in hand and never once even flinched at any differences they might have seen.  They had such an incredible day of playing and just being kids.  All four of them looked like Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka afterwards, covered in the Ugandan red dirt from head to toe.  Smiling as big as they possibly could.  My heart was truly filled with joy today in so many ways.

Jason and I feel so truly blessed in this moment at God’s provision for our family and where He has brought us.  Please consider joining us as a monthly sponsor or with a one- time donation to make all the hopes we have for this area of Uganda a reality.  Thank you for being on this journey with us.  Stay tuned….. we promise to post picture when we have a better internet connection.

You can check out the Healing Faith facebook page for pictures posted from one of our future interns.

Matthew Ortega2 Comments