Sunday, September 28, 2008

Construction has started!

I was able to visit Melisha's house on Friday and was so excited to see that construction had already begun. The builders were almost finished with the walls and were planning on putting the roof up over the weekend.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Update on widow's story

We were able to meet with the builders late last week and they did a thorough estimate for the costs involved in repairing Melisha's house. On Saturday we found a supplier and purchased the necessary materials, so that the builders can start construction today. I was able to take a few more pictures of the house which you can find below.

Melisha's roof
Kristi with Damali, Moses and two of the builders.
Side view of Melisha's house
Charles sitting on what was supposed to be the rest of the house

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Widow's Story

I met Melisha for the first time today as we visited her in the slums of Kampala. Upon arrival, I stared across a sea of mud at a small structure which lay in ruins. I squished-squashed through the mud, and soon found her curious face peeking around the rubble. Melisha welcomed us with a warm smile, and immediately began to tell us her life story. She tells about how her daughter had started building the house they are living in, but passed away from AIDS before it reached completion. Since her death, Melisha and her three orphaned grandchildren have been living in the half completed 6ft by 6ft room. A dirty sheet with holes acts as a door, and looking up I see the corrugated tin roof stretching only over half the room. I am able to stare straight into her house and see that last night’s rain has turned her dirt floor into a muddy mess. To make matters worse, there is no bed, so she and the kids have to roll their bedding out on top of the wet ground. Because Melisha's husband passed away, she tries to take odd jobs such as digging in people’s gardens and washing their laundry to generate income. However, this barely provides enough money for one meal a day and certainly not enough to pay the children's school fees. Melisha informs us that both she and her six year old grandson Charles have tested positive for HIV. The story could end here and probably in a lot of cases does, but as we drove off in our comfortable SUV, to our warm dry home I was reminded of the verses in James which state “what good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by what I do.” So many times I feel completely paralyzed and incapable of helping the needs I see around, but here was an opportunity where I could act and make a difference. I could show the love of Christ in a real tangible way. Driving away I looked back through Melisha’s “front door” and saw her on her knees thanking God for our visit.

Kristi and I have decided to repair Melisha's house, if you would like more information, contact me at or Kristi at

Melisha and her six year old grand-son, Charles. They both have tested HIV positive.
Damali (our co-worker) and Melisha sitting in the "doorway" of the home

The road leading to Melisha's home

Telling Melisha about the new widow's support group SP hopes to start

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mount Zion, Rainy Crusades and Endless Horizons

The last few weeks have been eventful as we have seen the ministry team battle the rainy season for rights to show the Jesus film outdoors, watched three little boys paddle away on a glass lake into infinity, and cotton clouds cover hilltop churches. I experienced a three orientation on proposal writing in Kampala and a three day disorientation as my body and mind struggled to settle back into an urban groove. Italian Gelato, a speedy internet and paved streets can sometimes be a tough adjustment.

A pastor who received ministry training in his living room with his family

Kids dancing in the rain on a stage during a rain delay at a Jesus film showing

Pastors training attended by over 80 ministers and church leaders
Preaching at a crusade
Hiding out during the rain intermission
3 boys taking a swim in Lake George
Pastor Robert taking notes
Curious little boy in our doorway
Child attending a crusade
HDR of the sunset in Ibanda

Local church where we held a training workshop