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Warm greetings between Aunt Ketty and a friend after her return.

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The Okoth twins thank you for your support of their mother and family.

WOW, what a journey we are on!  Some good time has passed since we last gave you an update on Aunt Ketty Okoth and her progress.  It was 30th May when she finished her first round of treatments and arrived back here in Kasana.  What an experience for her as she was able to fly from Nairobi to Entebbe–her first time in an airplane!  Flying was much better for her health and allowed her to reach Kampala in just a few hours versus 15 on the bus.

For the past three weeks she has been resting at home and recovering from the treatment she received in the first round.  Things went exceptionally well during that five week treatment, but it still took a toll on her physically.  During these three weeks she has been eating well and building her strength in preparation for the next round of treatments.  We praise God as she is feeling fairly well, gaining some weight back and looks healthy.

The next step is for her to return to Kenya for evaluation and testing to determine how her body has responded thus far.  There she will undergo a CT scan, an endoscopy and lab tests to determine the nature of the next treatment course.  Results will reveal whether she will either be facing more radiation, but of a different type, along with chemotherapy, or whether she will receive chemotherapy only through to the end of the year.  Please pray for the latter as this is not only much easier logistically in many ways, but also a sign that her body is fully responding to the treatments.  If she is slated to receive further radiation along with chemotherapy this will have to be done from Nairobi as such a type of radiation is not available here in Uganda. However, if she is a candidate for chemotherapy only, then we theoretically are not required to have such done from Nairobi.

We are investigating all options including the possibility of embarking on groundbreaking steps by administering the chemotherapy locally with the help of various doctors and our nurses.  Of course, this is our first choice, for if she stays in Kenya for the duration of the treatment it would not be the easiest as time away from family, added expenses, and the difficulty involved in coordinating the support for Ketty would be added factors.  We are trying to evaluate what can be done and how can we steward the finances that we have at our disposal.  Please pray for wisdom as we determine the way forward.

Financially things have gone well! God has been good to provide for all the costs thus far.  Thank you to everyone who has so generously given.  Each step of the way we have seen God’s hand through the doctors, people giving, and even how He has revealed himself through numerous avenues.  We are still in good financial standing beginning round two of this process, but we already know we will not have enough to finish the course.  I cannot tell you at this time exactly how much we will need as the costs are not yet clear, but I do know we are still needing people to stand with Ketty.  We will do our best to keep you updated, but we ask that you stand in prayer with us as we walk this out.

Geoff Britton, Children’s Spiritual Development Coordinator

Thank you for your prayers and financial support! If you feel led to give towards Aunt Ketty’s further treatment, please visit the donation page and designate your gift for the Ketty Okoth Cancer Fund.

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I don’t know about you but I love to read and I often have 1 or 2 books on the go at the same time. One of the requirements of Investment Year is that the students read 18 books through the year (Yes you read right, 18 books!). I love that at the beginning of the year we introduce this part of the programme and the look of disbelief, fear and the comments from the students that this is an impossible task!

start when they are young!

Start when they are young!

As the year progresses it’s exciting to see our students with their books, not just reading them but also enjoying them, and enjoying them so much that some of them will read more the required 18! Many of our students have only ever really ‘read’ text books so to see them discover that books have so much more to offer, it is exciting and I trust it changes them for life as they become people who read for enjoyment, knowledge and life.

Working on a book report and reflection.

Working on a book report and reflection.

Out of the 18 books they read, 7 of them are compulsory (eg, Is Africa Cursed?, Louder Than Words, Long Road to Hope – the story of NHU, and I Love Idi Amin to mention a few) and for the rest of the required reading they can chose between two main sections of Novels/Biographies and Development & Growth. For each book they read they have to write a book report, not just about the book but we are interested in their engagement with the book: we want them to evaluate their response to the book, how did it make them think and feel. Did they enjoy it or not and why or why not? How has this book challenged their world view? What, if any, is there life application after reading this book?

When I have read a great book I want to tell everybody about it and encourage them to read it, (12 Years a Slave is one I have read recently, though a tough read, what a story). We are always on the lookout to increase our IY library so if you have any recommendations, please let me know, or of you want to donate books you have read and are just sitting on a shelf, we will gladly receive them. Books and reading has certainly been one of the ways that God uses to develop skills, knowledge and character in our IY students.

– Steve Brown, IY Programme Coordinator

On this link is a wish list of books we would love to add to IY library, please take a look when you have time. Wish List http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/J6L4PHNAXXXD/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_ws_8biAtb1GFVFRM via @AmazonUK

If you are interested in learning further about the IY Programme, please visit our page. Please visit the donations page to support the IY Programme.

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Around here, you might here the phrase kulikayo (welcome back) several times on any given day. Welcome back home; welcome back to the office; welcome back to primary, welcome back to the classroom. No matter how near or far one has traveled, kulikayo is always an appropriate greeting upon one’s return.

DSC_0397Friday, May 30th the New Hope Uganda family welcomed Aunt Ketty Okoth back to Kasana after her one-and-a-half months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment in Kenya. That morning she and one of our nurses, Kimberly White, flew from Nairobi to Entebbe – Aunt Ketty’s first adventure on an airplane. By the time they arrived at Kasana, her family and friends from all over the site had gathered to give her a warm welcome including many children from the primary school where she and her husband are both teachers.

DSC_0405Thank you members of the NHU family near and far for making this possible! Thank you everyone who supported her family, who kept her company in Kenya, who prayed, who gave, and did so much more. Her doctors are very impressed with her continued good health throughout the treatment and minimal side effects.

The next steps are still being decided with her doctors and we will keep you informed. For now, please join us in praising God our Healer and Provider!

Kulikayo, Aunt Ketty!!

- Wesley Steeb

Administrative Assistant to the Manager

If you feel led to support Aunt Ketty’s continued cancer treatment, please visit the Donation page and designate your gift to the Ketty Okoth Cancer Fund.

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HOW WE SPENT OUR OUTREACH ON THE 18 APRIL IN KIRULI PLACE

First and foremost i would like to give the Glory back to Jesus who enabled us to go and reach out to several people in Kiruli and His protection and provision towards us EYO (Emmanuel Youth Outreach) members.

group-childrenWhen we were there we blessed many people and we were also blessed by them.
We were able to heap potatoes for two older ladies who were unable to dig, it was really a great gift for them. One said she was so happy because of what we did for her and to the other man said the same.

We not only dug for them, but we also had an opportunity to share with them the word of God. Being it was the time of Easter we mainly emphasized on Gods love. The love that he has for us through giving up his life for us who were sinners. Glory to God there came up people who gave their lives to God. We also had an opportunity of showing them a movie of Jesus Christ the way he was bruised for you and me. It was a great encouragement to the people of Kiruli.

We were also blessed by a South African team which joined us in this ministry. They were able to work with us and we had a children’s outreach in Kiito. Games happened with them, God’s message was preached to them and also a movie was shown to them.

jesicaWe really had great fun in Kiruli as Uncle Paul’s family welcomed us well, they fed us and made us to feel at home. Uncle Paul is part of the New Hope family, having grown up in the ministry and is now a pastor in Kiruli.

On Easter day we were able to clean the village, pick all the poly-bags and burn them. People were amazed with our humility and the heart that we had towards what we were doing.

We had the service in Uncle Paul’s church, it was good for us to live together as a family in Christ. When the service ended, we had a big meal together as EYO members with Uncle Paul’s family, it was fun for all of as to enjoy together. I wish you were also there as Psalms 133 says “how good and pleasant for God’s people to stay in unity”.

As our day was coming to an end we had a football match with the Kiruli team though it rained we still managed to play well but unfortunately we were given five goals to two only. The winning team was given jerseys and also the two best players were given gold medals and a ball to their captain. That marked the end of our outreach in Kiruli, but we left them celebrating, running around the field, blowing vuvuzelas for what had happened to them. It was a great blessing to them.

Great appreciations goes to all people who stood with us in prayer and also the EYO leaders who showed us a great example of serving others. I will ask you one thing to continue praying for us because we have much to do in future and it needs you standing with us.

- Jessica N., S-3 student and member of David Family

EYO is ministry of Kasana Community Church, youth led, youth envisioned, youth funded. To God be the glory.

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The IY students are in the middle of their second training of the year. This week and next they will learn practical and heart lessons to better equip them for their future experiences. Here, a visitor to the first training week of 2014 reflects on her interactions with the IY Programme.

It was a privilege and great joy to stay overnight on 2 separate occasions with the students (16-18 year olds) and the Brown family in Kampala. I was introduced as ‘Myrna from St Mary’s Burwell church (UK) – they sent money to help with the conversion for you to live here’ and Judith Goddard as’ the lady whose house this is and lets us rent it’. It was amazing to see how much our money achieved towards the conversion to accommodate this big ‘family’! During the evening I enjoyed talking to the students in their bedrooms. Some asked “Why would your church send money for us?” They were also surprised when I said I would tell you more about them and were obviously pleased to have our interest.

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Would you eat the same food each day? Both evenings we shared an evening meal with everyone, maize and bean soup. Their food is basic – as Steve said “Posho and beans, rice and beans, Katago (beans and casava), MEAT on a Saturday evening otherwise it’s BEANS.” Two students serve everyone from 2 huge pots and it is filling and adequate. The Browns, including their 3 children, eat exactly the same food with them. Breakfast is cereals and Kathryn makes bread to augment the budget.

The Browns’ focus is on enabling the students to acquire basic life skills ready for work and life in the ‘outside world’. They come from children’s homes and this is essential experience of becoming more independent: managing time – getting ready and being punctual for their placements; informing placements of absence – “no excuses for rain” (many of them walk a long way!); creating a good impression by being willing to do whatever is asked; budget training; communication skills (discussion, negotiation)- the list is long and it was fascinating to hear how kindly but firmly this is all encouraged and instilled, individually or in groups. There are such different personalities and needs. All of this is backed by Christian values through teaching, reading, discussion eg making choices.

Each IY participates in three Internships during the year. Examples of their placements are with a dentist, doctor, garage, Blood Bank, workshops, teaching, hospital, construction, and many more.
I also met previous IY students, Immaculate and Kasule, who now assist the Browns. Kasule has a Diploma in legal studies and has an internship at a legal firm working with prisoners’ human rights cases (many now unjustifiably in prison as there is no-one to help) – this is his career ambition and shows how the IY programme helps focus future work.
By our second visit students were more settled, getting on together and discussions were lively; I loved hearing activity all over the house and outside in the evenings (even early in the morning as some have left before 7 am). Since my visits I’ve been left with many thoughts and prayer needs.

Will you pray for:
• The students’ success at work and when they return to their studies – that this experience will equip them for the future, including the Christian guidance received.
• Steve and Kathryn Brown and their dedicated commitment to this valuable programme.
• Their children Joel, Anya, and Silas living alongside the students in this bustling family environment – that they also may have the care and attention that they need from their parents.

- by Myrna Leech

If you are interested in learning more about the IY Programme please read here. To support the Investment Year financially, please visit the Donation page.

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As one of goals of training and educating the whole child coupled with the Ministry of Education and Sports requirement to develop the learners’ talents through games and sports, two of our teachers Mr. Chelangat Elly and Miss Namata Sylvia went for the training.

games 2014By March 28th the first phase of competition happened at Katooke sub-cluster. Our school sent 24 kids under the age of twelve and 24 kids under fourteen. From the four schools competing our school Essuubi Eppya Vocational Primary School emerged the first with 12 participants qualifying to the next level cluster.

On a remarkable note and at five cluster competitions with 24 of our students representing at each one, three of our children were selected to qualify to the district competitions, they include Moses in P.6, Prossy in P.5, and Charles in P.2.

When the district competitions took place at Kiziba cluster on 23 April 2014, Moses exhibited excellent performances to still qualify for the National level in May in Soroti District.

Many thanks to the school games teachers for their sacrificial investment of time and energy especially Chellangat Elly, Berwanaho Clive, Okitoi Isaac, and Namata Sylvia.

Furthermore acknowledgement goes to the Education committee for supervising the schools. Finally special thanks to the headmaster Mr. Katabazi Simon for his timely responses and recommending the schedules for athletics training.fiona

Thanks to the parents of all the children whom they gave us (the school) to shape their talents.

Continue praying for the teachers and the children even for more opportunities to exploit various talents.

- Kokas Otim, Deputy Head Teacher at EEVPS

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P1000365 We have spent a decent amount of time at the Kenya Cancer Center which is affiliated with the MP Shah Hospital this week.  And it’s been a blessing.  It’s also stirred a little of my heart…and truth be told more than a little.  Yesterday, as I stood with A. Ketty in the hallway of the radiotherapy area.  My heart did a little pause as I looked up and saw signs noting that there were two rooms for radiation treatment.  I hadn’t realized that this one facility had two radiation machines.  I saw and I technically didn’t have to ask… but I did.  The tech confirmed that there were, in fact, two machines.  TWO.  That’s Bili in Luganda.  Deux in French.  And Dos in Spanish.  You might be wondering why this made me pause.  I paused because the one and only radiation machine in Uganda is not working.  The pause was the flesh against the faith.  The rawness of the reality.  The reality of the many who are not receiving treatment right now and the reality of God’s graciousness in paving the way for Aunt Ketty to come here.  And the equally important reality that God is good and He is sovereign.  His goodness does not change because there is or there is not a working machine in Uganda.  Does it pull at my emotions?  Yes.  Does it make me pray for the many needing treatment?  Yes.  Am I choosing to rest in His goodness?  Yes, with His help I am.  He IS good.  And so I smile a smile that doesn’t want to leave my face as I stand beside my sister Ketty.  He’s got her.  However that looks, He’s got her.  And for right now, His having her includes radiation and chemotherapy… and a keen awareness of HIS presence.  And so A. Ketty got on that machine yesterday afternoon.

P1000360And as I left her with the attendant, I found myself smiling and not being able to stop.  A. Ketty was receiving treatment!   She was on the machine! I started texting everyone….and as I did the smile only grew.  I saw people looking at me… and I didn’t care.  A. Ketty was receiving treatment! I am still smiling about it even now as I type.  Just as I know many all over are.

 

 

 
P1000368And the agenda for today was chemo.  And so we went in early and after a short while, we were welcomed to the chemotherapy suite.  And within a short while, her chemo journey began.  She was given pre medications, fluids, and ultimately her first round of chemo.  She did great!   She was on a drip for a little over 6 hours.  Her nurse was Irene and it was clear that she absolutely loved what she did.  She was warm, engaging, and encouraging.  It was amazing! Once it was all finished, A. Ketty walked herself to her second round of radiation… and walked herself out.  I just woke her up a short while ago for some medications.  She is resting well and will God-willing sleep through the night.  In the meantime, I thank God that He’s got her.  He’s got Ketty Okoth safely in the palm of His hands. And He has good for her.  P1000374

Kimberly White, nurse at Kasana Children’s Centre

Zephaniah 3:17
“The Lord your God is in your midst a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by His love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

 

Thank you to so many who have responded with prayers and financial support. The road ahead continues to be a long journey for Aunt Ketty and her family. If you feel led to financially support her cancer treatment, please visit the donation page and designate your gift to the “Ketty Okoth Cancer Fund.” Thank you for walking this journey as a community.

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Hello,

Just wanted to give you all an update on A. Ketty.  After taking the 11pm bus from Kampala to Nairobi, we arrived about mid-day Tuesday. Thankful for the ways in which Jesus was present.  When we arrived at the bus station Monday night, they asked A. Ketty for her two extra passport pictures … which we were never told she needed.  God took care of it. A. Ketty had an extra expired identification card in her wallet and we had photo copies and fresh color pictures with us.  Passport photo shops were closed and understandably so.  It was 10 PM at night and a National holiday.  A. Ketty made it through the Kenyan border check faster than I did.  Amen!

The taxi man who met us in Nairobi, who had been recommended by someone another missionary at Kasana knew, ended up being connected to my home church back in the States!  Little glimpses of JESUS very actively being present with us.

Family

We arrived at the hospital early Wednesday morning and were warmly greeted.  We were given an appointment for 2 PM.  A. Ketty rested in an inviting lounge area.  After lunch, we returned to the cancer center.  We had to wait for our appointment, but am sure glad we did! The doctor was warm, engaging, and honest.  After meeting with the doctor, A. Ketty had a scan and some blood work drawn. God-willing, she will start her first radiation treatment tomorrow (Thursday)! Quite possibly, she will start chemo on Friday (if not Friday, before the 5th day of radiation). All of this is great news and answer to the prayers of so many!

A. Ketty is a few feet away from me sound asleep.  As I was checking on her a little while ago, I asked her if she was still feeling peaceful.  She confirmed that she was.  She is eager to start treatment.  It is an absolute honor to be here with her… watching her God take care of her in such sweet ways.  Tonight we are staying at an AIM guesthouse.  At the dinner table, we were warmly greeted by a man named Ivan. He is from Uganda, knows New Hope and the Dangers family.   Such a small world and again a reminder of the active presence of our Lord.

Through Him,

Kimberly White

Thank you to so many who have responded with prayers and financial support. The road ahead continues to be a long journey for Aunt Ketty and her family. If you feel led to financially support her cancer treatment, please visit the donation page and designate your gift to the “Ketty Okoth Cancer Fund.” Thank you for walking this journey as a community.

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Walking along the road. One foot in front of the other.

Each step creating its own “one, two, three, four…”

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As I travel to church on a Sunday morning, the neighboring church sounds the commencement drums. “one & ah two & 3 e & ah four &…”

There seems to be a constant rhythm all around. Either with a person’s hands, feet, even our very heartbeats have our own rhythm.

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In some of the younger Primary classes, we have been entering into a time of teaching rhythm, recognizing rhythm, mimicking rhythms, and making our own. Making rhythms recognizable by certain cultural groups.

We learn one pattern at a time, remember the old one and then learn a new one.

We add each new rhythm to our mental filing systems and pull them out one by one.

Each rhythm is very different. Some involve hands only, others incorporate stomping or snapping, all having variations of loud and quiet noises.

Then, the crowning moment, when we put it all together – each rhythm in it’s own uniqueness becomes a part of a full, beautiful picture. What was once a separate, solo pattern now becomes mingled into a big pulsating drone that can make the very hairs on your neck to stand on end.

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As I look around the classroom, I see little faces who can quickly catch the new rhythm and some who struggle to pick it. Some who are tired from a rough night. Some who smile because they don’t know what else to do. Some who just need a voice to let them know that their gift – big or small – is still good. And He will use it.

The body of Christ comes with many different parts. Some are the feet – they stomp around; march to the beat. Some are the hands – clapping “one, two, three, & ah four.” Some are the fingers; snapping along, drumming their little quiet combination.

We can’t all be the hands, can’t all be the stomping feet. He asks us to be who we were made to be. In Him.

All parts joining together to be a part of His Body – each part working differently but together they are creating something beautiful.

Finding our rhythm in this place – on this journey. And letting it ring out Loud for Him.

 - Hannah Kusler, Children and Youth Music Ministry Coordinator

 

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It’s early Friday morning… a candle is lit close to me casting a shadow inside the darkened house.  The birds are singing in the day and as I look out the windows, the sun is beginning to break away the darkness outside.  It’s early in the morning.  And the day is just beginning.   A new day.  And a day that is known by my God.   It’s been a month full of… life.   And while there has been a lot of what has become normal life… seeing patients in the clinic, spending time with my family group, and living  life with those around me.  It has also been a month of journeying alongside two different individuals both facing serious medical situations.   One a young man; another a lady with a few more years under her belt.  One a student; the other a mom of 7 children.  One aware of the seriousness of her illness; the other more fully grasping it after being hospitalized.  Both so different and yet each journeying alongside with strong community and with a faith in Jesus.  Watching the community at New Hope stand and surround these two individuals has been an absolute beautiful thing.   And I’ve been able to hear directly from the lips of these two individuals the effect that the care, support, and love has had on them.  It has left me speechless.  And it has undoubtedly greatly impacted both of these individuals.

He's up and about now, just need to snap a new picture.

He’s up and about now, just need to snap a new picture.

Wizeye Joseph, a young man and a student at our secondary school, was diagnosed this last month with End Stage Kidney Disease.  His kidneys are currently failing him.  It’s a hard diagnosis to digest… especially when how you feel doesn’t match how sick you really are.  Besides headaches and occasional blurriness, Wizeye has felt fine.  His blood pressures, however have not been fine.  He has had blood pressures as high as 218/152 and just recently came down with typhoid.  A huge hit to an already struggling body.  His creatine, a test which measures kidney function, rose to a very hi level while he was in the hospital.  He was discharged a few days later, and a repeat test, showed an improvement in this level.  It is still higher than it was when he was diagnosed with kidney failure, but an improvement nonetheless.  He’ll have his creatine rechecked next month and is slated to go back to the nephrologist in Kampala at the end of this month.
ketty-okoth
Aunt Ketty Okoth was diagnosed with Poorly Differentiated Squamous Cell Carcinoma of her Esophagus last month.  It’s been a month of waiting for pathology results, obtaining all the necessary foundational medical tests, setting up radiation, and having treatment put on hold because of a broken machine.  There is one radiation machine in Uganda and it has been down for most of this week.   (Yes, ONE machine…. it’s a hard reality to swallow….)  It has been recommended for her to receive both radiation and chemotherapy concurrently. With a machine not working, a hesitancy here to do concurrent chemo and radiation, and a cancer that needs to be addressed urgently, it has been decided to head to Nairobi for treatment.  The plan is to leave New Hope on Monday and hop a bus Monday evening.  We should arrive Tuesday morning (after an all night drive) and are slated to be seen Tuesday afternoon at M P Shah Hospital.  God-willing, A. Ketty will begin treatment early next week.

Will you join us in praying for Wizeye and for A. Ketty?  For Wizeye’s mom and siblings?  For A. Ketty’s husband, Uncle Okoth and their seven children?  Thank you! Will you join us as we trust God in however He leads?  Yes, we are asking for a miracle… for each of these precious individuals.  I am asking that no matter what, their hearts, our hearts would be drawn closer to Him.

- Kimberly White, Kasana Children’s Centre nurse

Both of these cases are being supported through generous donations to the extraordinary medical needs fund. If you feel able and led to contribute, please donate here. Thank you for drawing together as a family sharing your prayers and resources to support Aunt Ketty and Wizeye.

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