The last weeks of the year are always full of events and celebrations at New Hope Uganda. Here are some photos from the various events held in November and December of 2015!

Handover

 

The Investment Year staff graduated their 2015 students and welcomed in the new 2016 students at the annual handover.

The 25 graduating students were prayed over in small groups during the ceremony.

Investment Year class of 2015

Investment Year class of 2015

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Organizers

As a Christmas gift to ladies of the surrounding community, the Kasana staff ladies hosted a party for them.

The women on staff at New Hope donated gifts such as clothing, soap, and basic cooking staples to the community women. Snacks and tea were also provided.

 

gifts

tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to giving gifts, the staff ladies shared with the community members about the different views of womanhood. They advocated for a Biblical view of womanhood, which contrasts in key ways to the cultural views women are often presented.

The community ladies who attended the Christmas party held for them

The community ladies who attended the Christmas party held for them

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Charles & AugustineShadrachThe children and staff at Kobwin Children’s Centre celebrated the end of their sixth year of operation.

The event included special songs, as well as recognizing the students’ achievements.

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Back at Kasana Children’s Centre, the staff held their annual staff party. The event included games, recognitions, and of course a special Ugandan meal!

mealplate of food

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The primary school ended their school year with an event which included presentations from each class.

Members of the Primary 5 class doing their presentation

Members of the Primary 5 class doing their presentation

The children and staff enjoyed a special meal of rice and meat, a bottle of soda, and a piece of cake!

A delivery man loads up the empty soda bottles

The empty soda bottles

Serving Cake

Peace

 

 

 

 

 

The highlight of the day was the distribution of Christmas gifts from sponsors.

The sponsors of New Hope Uganda children outdid themselves in generosity this past Christmas. In total, the sponsorship office received around 70 packages for students.

Excited children displaying the Christmas packages they had just received

Excited children displaying the Christmas packages they had just received

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New Hope Academy staff and students also celebrated the end of their school year by having a banquet. The Senior 4 students attended as the honored guests, marking the completion of their ‘O’ levels at secondary school. They will be going through Investment Year in 2016.

The Senior 4 class at their graduation from New Hope Academy

The Senior 4 class at their graduation from New Hope Academy

PresentationFollowing the recognition of the Senior 4 class, presentations were also made to members of the other three classes for academic and sports achievements.

The Senior 4 class inside the decorated school cafeteria

The Senior 4 class inside the decorated school cafeteria

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Treasures in Jars of Clay (the Special Needs program) held an end of year event for the students who attend class onsite, as well as a community Christmas party for the special needs children and their families who the program supports out in the community.

At Musana Camps, the staff celebrated Christmas by blessing the residents in the surrounding communities. Musana Community Church filled 40 basins with items to help families have a special meal. In addition, more than 100 children received gifts including school supplies, snacks, and dresses for the girls.

 

Photos submitted by Jill Pogmore, Virginia Agosto, Tim Peterson, and Steve Agosto

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Five days, 250 youth, 38 baptisms, lives never to be the same again.

EYO youth camp baptism

EYO youth camp baptism

EYO youth praying together during the camp

EYO youth praying together during the camp

 

“Here Am I, Send Me,” from Isaiah 6:8 was the theme of the 2015 annual EYO youth camp held December 8-13th. Youth converged from all over Uganda to build spiritual strength with contemporaries through outreaches, group challenges, Biblical exhortation and teaching on baptism which culminated in 38 youth submitting their lives to the Lord with the plunge. And, of course, no youth camp is complete without the water fight!

EYO youth on outreach to Kiwoko, picking up rubbish

EYO youth on outreach to Kiwoko, picking up rubbish

EYO youth camp manager, Nabukeera Efrance

EYO youth camp manager, Nabukeera Efrance

EYO, founded in 2007, comprises New Hope Uganda youth who lead this annual camp. The planning, budgeting, management and trouble-shooting of the five-day event is completely youth executed. It is fantastic to see our sons and daughters, once seeking the Father’s love, now expressing it to other youth all across their homeland.

Campers take part in the Youth Challenge group activities

Campers take part in the Youth Challenge group activities

The youth have had their sights on this year’s camp throughout 2015 as they held various fund-raising activites which provided half of the funds necessary.

The leaders are talking about taking next year’s camp to our very own Musana Camps site for 2016. Please pray for the funding, accommodation and logistics needed for this dream to become reality in less than 12 months.
Photos and text submitted by Geoff Britton,
Early Adulthood Coordinator

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Rain failed to dampen the spirits of buyers and sellers at Saturday’s second annual Treasures in Jars of Clay bazaar!

Community members shop under the shelter of the Special Needs classroom porch. The poles on the left side of the picture are where the second classroom will be built once sufficient funds are raised!

Community members shop under the shelter of the Special Needs classroom porch. The poles on the left side of the picture are where the second classroom will be built once sufficient funds are raised!

Treasures in Jars of Clay, the Special Needs program located at Kasana Children’s Centre, held the sale to raise money for their 2016 operational budget. The program works with 171 children who have various disabilities in the surrounding community. Fifteen of those children come to Kasana Children’s Centre four days a week to participate in the special needs class, five of whom live onsite at Hassan’s House.

One of the teachers, Auntie Agnes, mans the popular women's clothing table

One of the teachers, Auntie Agnes, mans the popular women’s clothing table

Staff reported that this year’s fundraiser brought in 2,348,000 shillings of profit, currently about $690 or £455.

Members of the NHU community donated most the items which were sold at the event. Some also helped the Treasures staff to man the tables displaying different products. Buyers came in from the NHU family as well as the surrounding villages.

Last year, the Treasure program’s first bazaar raised around 2,200,000 shillings.

One of the Treasures students checks out the change on his classroom's porch. The artwork in the background was all painted by one of the Special Needs staff members.

One of the Treasures students checks out the change on his classroom’s porch. The artwork in the background was all painted by one of the Special Needs staff members.

An intern and a staff member work on selling piles of donated books and games

An intern and a staff member work on arranging and selling piles of donated books and games on tables inside the classroom.

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Please be joining us in prayer this weekend for our sons and daughters in the Primary 7 class!

The P7 class and their teachers pose for a group photo during the annual P7 trip held in August

The P7 class and their teachers pose for a group photo during the annual P7 trip held in August

This year's P7 candidates stand together in two rows as the morning assembly ends

Our P7 candidates stand together as their last primary school morning assembly ends

Every year, students in Primary 7 all across Uganda must take a national test called the “Primary Leaving Exam.” Primary 7 is equivalent to 6th grade in America, or the last year of primary school in the UK. The results of the PLE determine on a national level whether or not students can go on to secondary school. At Kasana Children’s Centre, our 38 Primary 7 students will also need to take the entrance exam for our secondary school, New Hope Academy. We also have six students who will be taking the PLE from our Kobwin Children’s Centre this year!

The PLE is taking place on November 2nd and 3rd this year. In those two days, students will have to answer questions taken from material that they have studied in the past several years. The following day, November 4th, our sons and daughters will be taking the English and math tests which determine if they are ready to enter New Hope Academy. It is a daunting task, and our students often feel the pressure!

The P7 class used their last morning in primary school to lead the other students in singing

The P7 class leads the other students in singing

Students who do well will enter the Senior 1 class in February. Those who do not pass as well will be encouraged to repeat Primary 7 or possibly to switch to vocational training.

Please be praying for these children, that they will be able to think calmly and clearly as they prepare for these exams. But more importantly, please pray that they will know God’s love and care for them, and that they will trust Him with their future!

This morning, our sons and daughters in P7 celebrated their last day of primary school. Today they will be receiving briefings about the test procedure, as well as preparing the rooms and the grounds for Monday. Uncle Jonnes, NHU’s Ministry Coordinator, came to share a few words with the students.

Our P7 sons and daughters listen as Uncle Jonnes, ministry director, speaks words of encouragement to them

Our P7 sons and daughters listen as Uncle Jonnes speaks words of encouragement to them

Uncle Jonnes shared a hug with each student, personally wishing them success

Uncle Jonnes shared a hug with each student, personally wishing them success

They also enjoyed a cake together and each received a math set with pencil, eraser, and other tools they will need for the test. Uncle Jonnes thanked the class for being one of the “most joyful” classes that the school has had in several years.

A couple months ago, the P7 class went on a special trip, as they do every year. This year’s class visited the Ugandan zoo in Entebbe, drove by the airport and state house, and toured a Coca Cola bottling plant. They also enjoyed a lunch at a hotel, quite a treat for children from our rural area!

Our P7 sons and daughters enjoying sodas and lunch during their P7 trip

Our P7 sons and daughters enjoying sodas and lunch during their P7 trip

The class will also have a special P7 week during the second week of November. The teachers hope to take them to Musana Camps and go with them through a “Rites of Passage Experience” as a celebration of reaching this milestone in their lives.

Thank you so much for standing with our sons and daughters in prayer during this time! If you would like to send a Primary 7 student an encouraging email, you can use our contact form to do so. Direct it to the sponsorship office, and we will see that it is delivered!

 

P7 trip photos submitted by Katabazi Simon, Headmaster of Essuubi Eppya Vocational Primary School

Compiled by Esther Carey, Communications Coordinator

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EYO Logo

Lyantonde District is marked by the red pointer, KCC is marked by the green pointer

Lyantonde is marked by the red pointer, KCC is at the green pointer

It may not seem like football, mud, the Gospel, VBS, and gardening all have much to do with one another. But for Emmanuel Youth Outreach (NHU’s youth ministry), each of these tends to play a part in their missions trips.

This year’s main outreach took 26 EYO members, mostly current and past NHU sons and daughters, to the area around Lyantonde, several hours away from Kasana Children’s Centre. The trip ran from August 29 to September 5.

EYO members tie sticks onto the branches which serve as a structural framework. This is one of several steps in building a mud house.

EYO members tie sticks onto the branches which serve as a structural framework. This is one of the steps in building a mud house.

The team served residents of four villages in a variety of ways:

~~Built two mud houses

~~Helped work in six gardens

~~Hosted Vacation Bible School sessions for kids in two areas

~~Facilitated a football (soccer) tournament for five teams

~~Held four showings of films related to the life of Jesus

The new round hut (typical in the Ugandan bush) continues to take shape. Note the rocks inside the framework of sticks.

The new round hut (typical in the Ugandan bush) continues to take shape.
Note the rocks inside the framework of sticks.

It was a week of hard work for the members, who also ended up mostly sleeping on the ground and having to haul water from 2km away. The following Sunday as the team shared about their trip at Kasana Community Church, elder Geoff Britton praised God for the New Hope sons and daughters who not only served well, but also demonstrated strong leadership skills during the outreach.

One of the work teams walks out to help a community member with gardening

One of the work teams walks out to help a community member with gardening

The EYO team had ministered to this same area before, in 2009. One of the members of this trip recounted how a lady came running to meet them, reminding them that she had given her life to Christ during their previous outreach. They were encouraged to see that the fruit of their previous outreach had continued growing and developing!

For Bogere Francis, one of the drivers for New Hope Uganda, the trip was an opportunity to visit his home area. He had moved to Kasana in 2009 to join New Hope, and he enjoyed the chance to return with a whole team of friends! Bogere said that his family used to sell alcohol, but there has been a change in the family and they ended up welcoming the EYO team when their original accommodation plans fell through. Moreover, Bogere’s nephew and niece, from a Muslim background, accepted Christ while the team was there!

EYO members talk to kids at one of the VBS sessions

EYO members talk to kids at one of the VBS sessions

There were also many other stories of people being touched by the Gospel of Christ lived out in the actions of the EYO members. Around 350 children attended the VBS sessions; and on the team’s last evening in the area, 30 people made professions of faith!

Please join us in praising God for the work He did through the willing hearts of His servants. Please also pray that He would continue bearing fruit from EYO’s mission trip to Lyantonde.

Shaking hands between football teams before the final match of the tournament

Shaking hands between football teams before the final match of the tournament

Thanks to EYO members Perez, Bogere, and others for the information and photos used here.

Compiled by Esther Carey,
Interim Communications Coordinator

 

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The primary school at New Hope Uganda’s Kobwin Children’s Centre is currently completing its 6th year. Recently, staff member Constance Dobbs–who splits her time between the Kasana and Kobwin centres–wrote an update about the successes and challenges which the Kobwin school is currently facing.

Exceptional Progress in Our School

Since 1994, New Hope Uganda has used a phonics method called The Writing Road to Reading, with great success on the part of our children in not only reading but also writing and spelling.  Here in Kobwin we began in 2010 and immediately started the instruction in English using what we have dubbed ‘the phonograms.’ Within a year, we sought to translate the method into Ateso and, again, have had great success with the children learning early in their first language and then in English.

Our 54 students during Monday morning assembly at Amuno Naitetet, Kobwin Centre’s primary school

Our 54 students during Monday morning assembly at Amuno Naitetet, Kobwin Centre’s primary school

We continually seek to improve on our delivery in the classroom, and have been noticed by the Centre Coordinating Tutor in our district for our children’s success on exams in English and their spelling ability.  So this key individual has asked our headmistress, Felistus Ikwarit, for assistance in spreading our success by loaning her materials.  Quite an accomplishment for a small bush school of 54 students!

Our current P7 class, comfortably seated in our makeshift classroom – with only six, they are not as crowded as are the P1’s with 14 children and seven desks

Our current P7 class, comfortably seated in our makeshift classroom – with only six, they are not as crowded as are the P1’s with 14 children and seven desks

We have been blessed with the growth in our school, especially since before our admin block was built we had to set up classrooms every day in the family groups. But we are now at a point where we are outgrowing our current classrooms and are even under pressure from the District Education Office to construct premises that are appropriate for a school. This means regular-sized classrooms for each grade level, playing fields, and additional facilities are necessary. Our school currently occupies five rooms (meant to be administrative offices) for the four primary classes we offer and the tailoring class. Our preschool meets in the dining area for one of the family groups.

Our preschool operating out of Jeremiah Family’s dining area – there are 13 children in Auntie Agnes’ class

Our preschool operating out of Jeremiah Family’s dining area – there are 13 children in Auntie Agnes’ class

We have long had the plans for our actual school buildings and have been praying and trusting God to provide in His perfect timing. Patience has paid off, as we have a church in Indiana which is helping to raise funds for the construction of the first classroom block (three classrooms)!  We still need a minimum of at least three more classrooms (one more classroom block) to move the entire school to the actual school site.  If we were to have a team come early in the year to help provide labor for the first classroom block, our students may be able to be in their new classrooms by the second term of next year! Please join us as we continue to pray for the provision of the rest of the school: the second classroom block, the administrative office for the school, the kitchen, and so on. We know our God is faithful and we are thankful for this beginning of the school. We are now hoping for progress that will, at least for now, satisfy the District officers and keep us open! As you are praying, please praise God for our faithful teachers and also pray that the Father will bring us four more teachers with the necessary credentials—which is another pressing District requirement.

We have shared a number of needs and a number of praises, and as always, appreciate your prayers and support! Thank you so much for standing with us here at Kobwin over the last six years!

Our P5 and P7 students taking end of term exams where there is space to spread out (a P5 and a P7 sit together)

Our P5 and P7 students taking end of term exams where there is space to spread out
(a P5 and a P7 sit together)

Photos and text by Constance Dobbs

Please do keep this pressing need for additional Kobwin school facilities in your prayers. If you feel led to donate towards future construction work there, please visit our donation page. Click on your country’s flag and fill out the form, selecting “Kobwin Children’s Centre” from the drop down and specifying the desired purpose in the comment box.

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A Life Lived Well

September 15, 2015 · 2 comments

in NHU

The New Hope family lost a mother on Sept. 5, as Aunt Ketty finished her fight with cancer. Jesus came and healed His daughter by taking her home. At a service in front of her home a few hours later, Ketty was remembered for the confidence and peace she had throughout the trials of the past year and a half. The following Monday, her body was laid to rest in her home area several hours away from Kasana Children’s Centre. Many staff members from New Hope made the journey to honor her and support her family. Below is an entry which Kimberly White, one of our nurses at Kasana, posted on her personal blog.

Earlier this year, I brought my fingers to a pen and wrote a letter.

It was a letter intended for one person. And it was. And it was received. And I was thankful.

But I quickly realized even as I was writing it that there was another purpose. Somehow, my own heart took huge steps in processing a year that had been really hard. Really stretching. Really Good. And everything in between. A year of learning down to the core of my soul what true healing looks like. And even more about my God.

It has been one of the richest and one of the hardest years of my life. A mixture of two extremes.

Lamp & Bible

There are no words to communicate the deep pain that comes in watching the injustice of unbalanced medical care. Maybe it’s the rawness of today or the haziness of jet lag, but my heart wants to share. And just maybe, sharing the pain will only magnify His goodness. Because even now, as the tears stream down my face and I find myself pausing to catch my breath, I want to do nothing more than assure you that my God is good. He is personal. And He is real.

So real. So active.

He is so into healing. And redeeming. And pursuing.

Today, in the wee hours of the morning, Ketty Okothi left this world. She took her last breath in the physical and her first breath in the eternal. Her earthly eyes closed and she opened them looking directly into the eyes of her Jesus. And I am quite confident that it was a delightful moment.

I received the news this morning. And have spent much of the day absorbing it quietly in my heart.

It was probably in June when I went over to Ketty’s house. I had been avoiding her. I sensed that her time was probably shorter than longer and I was fearful. I had already said see you later to two other dear individuals. Wizeye and my grams. Fearful of saying see you later once again. And as I spoke into a camera to a group of ladies thousands of miles away, my heart realized that was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to love her well. And not with fear or worry of saying goodbye… but with sweetness and assurance that if God was bringing her home… it was good. And so I walked over. And we sat in her room. I told her my heart. And together, we cried. Deep pangs of pain. We had walked many miles together. A deep friendship had blossomed and bloomed. Death is not easy. And yet, we both knew where she was going. After crying, we laughed. And laughed some more. I asked her to give Wizeye a big hug for me when she got to heaven. And I just can’t help but smile at knowing that she has.

Ketty & RosesBecause right now, she is in heaven.

And she is healed. God breathed Life into her on earth and today, He ushered her into LIFE.

LIFE.

And so tonight, I let the tears fall.
I remember a dear, dear friend who was spicy, determined, and committed.
She knew her Jesus was with her and she rested in that.

There were bumps in Ketty’s medical care.
There was someone who pretended to be a doctor at the hospital.

A big bump.

The only radiation machine in the country was broken.

A really BIG BUMP.

By the time we reached Nairobi, the mass had doubled.

A massive BUMP.

Not good for any type of cancer. Really not good for Esophageal Cancer.

And yet despite these huge obstacles, she received treatment at an amazing hospital in Nairobi funded by many individuals who joined along in both financial and prayer support.

And she had a scan that showed no evidence of tumor.

Only God.

Had there been a working radiation machine all along, we might have missed seeing the power of our God.

I don’t know why God cleared her cancer and allowed it to come back such a short time later.

I don’t.

I keep thinking of her children. Her husband.

Please Jesus may this be a head turner towards You and not away from you.

Ketty & KimberlyAnd may we continue to trust you even when it’s hard to understand.

Because truth be told…. it is hard to understand your ways in this.

But I’m choosing to trust.

And so Ketty Okothi… I suspect that you are quite busy right now.

You always talked about Jesus being in your boat…. and now, my friend, you have surely stepped into His boat…. FULLY.

You and I have said it a hundred times, “The story is NOT finished” and it’s NOT friend.

A chapter is finished, but in many ways…. the book has JUST begun.

So I pray that you are running…. and laughing….

As I whispered into your ear weeks back… God’s going to take of your family….. He will. And your story here on earth isn’t really finished.

You my friend, have left a legacy.

His legacy.

 

And to my many friends far and wide whose eyes fall upon this page….
Will you be willing to take a minute and pray for Ketty’s family.

That their hearts would be drawn to Him and not away from Him?

Okoth Family

Photo Credit: Wesley Steeb

Wizeye and Me

Wizeye and Me

Grams and I... a long time ago....(  :

Grams and I… a long
time ago….( :

Thank you. I leave you with several verses that has been pivotal for me personally in the last months. As I said goodbye to Wizeye, my grams, and prepared my heart for the likely going home of Ketty, I have worked on standing in the truths of these verses. I’ve been working on memorizing them…. and am finding the peace of knowing that all of this has purpose. That the times and locations of these dear individuals was never an oops wrong place/time by God. It is all known and ordained by Him. And today, as I say see you later to Ketty, I smile. Because for Wizeye, my grams, and for Ketty…. I have seen these words come alive. And seeing that has brought Life to my own heart.

By HIS grace,

Kimberly

Wizeye's rainbow

Acts 17:24-28

24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

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The sound of benches scraping on pavement followed by the singing of young voices broke through the normal noises this morning, indicating that life had returned to the school grounds which had sat mostly quiet and empty during the three-week term holiday.

AssemblyToday marked the beginning of the third and last term for the Ugandan school year at New Hope Uganda. At our primary school, Uncle Simon (the headmaster) led the morning assembly. He reminded the students about the importance of working smarter, not just harder, in this promotional term which will determine whether students promote to a higher class next year. He took the students to Proverbs 9:10, reminding them that reverence for the Lord is the beginning of wisdom!

Students in lower primary begin streaming towards their classes after morning assembly

Students in lower primary begin streaming towards their classes after morning assembly

NHA campus

A few of the buildings on the New Hope Academy campus

Meanwhile on the other side of the road, students also returned to begin a new term at New Hope Academy, our secondary school. While this term is important for all students, it is especially critical for our Primary 7 and Senior 4 class, both of which will be taking the national exams in October and/or November. These exams will play a role in determining the students’ next steps in life. Please keep these classes in your prayers as they study for these exams!

Some of our senior students sit in the school's cafeteria to eat lunch

Some of our senior students sit in the school’s cafeteria to eat lunch

Irene, one of this year's IY students, spreads out cups to dry on the rack after helping prepare and serve lunch at the New Hope Institute of Childcare and Family

Irene, one of this year’s IY students, spreads out cups to dry after helping prepare and serve lunch at the New Hope Institute of Childcare and Family

Additionally, this week marked the beginning of our Investment Year students’ third and last internship placement. The young people in our gap year program have already received several training sessions, and two earlier opportunities to “try out” a field. Now they have one more eight-week work period before completing Investment Year and moving ahead to the next step in their lives! Some serve on-site, helping teach at the primary school or running The Forge, while others travel away from home to help in places such as blood banks.

Please keep the Investment Year students in your prayers as well, as they begin considering and making decisions about what direction they want to head in the next year. Please pray also for our staff as they guide all of our students, endeavoring to train them up in the fear of the Lord.

 

 By Esther Carey, Interim Communications Coordinator

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June 13, 2015 marked the completion of Syd Sparks and Stephen Roise’s ride from Bellingham Bay, WA to Lake Michigan, WI. They shared a trip summary, fundraising update, and answered some questions on the Musana Camps Facebook page which are being shared here in an edited form. (For the full recap, check out Musana Camps on Facebook – you don’t need an account to access this)

Beginning the ride in Bellingham Bay, WA

Beginning the ride in Bellingham Bay, WA

From Syd and Stephen:

We are incredibly grateful for how it all has gone and have put together a summary of the trip. These are some of the stats and common questions that we have been asked. Enjoy!

Dates: May 7th – June 13th – 31 riding days, 39 days total, we took Sundays off.

Start: Bellingham, WI
End: Racine, WI

Total distance pedaled: 2,377.4
Average miles per day: 76.6

Longest day: 118.4 miles from Oshkosh, WI to Williams Bay, WI

Shortest day: 26.7 miles from Laurel, MT to Billings, MT

Total elevation climbed: 68,118 ft
Average daily climb: 2,197 ft

Highest climb: 5,156 ft over 95.5 miles from Potomac, MT to Helena, MT

Lowest climb: 463 ft over 74.6 miles from Perham, MN to Brainerd, MN

Fundraising Goal: $166,000
Percentage of goal raised: 66.9% – $111,084.54 (as of June 19)
Though our ride is complete and we have almost raised enough funds to build 7 cabins and 1 shower house we still aim to build all 10 cabins and 2 shower houses that were in our original goal. So, we will keep saving and raising funds until we reach that goal which will enable us to reach our ultimate goal of leading people to encounters with Christ. If you would still like to donate please go to our donations page and choose “Cabins for Kids – Musana Camps” under program area.

Ending the ride in the waves of Lake Michigan.

Ending the ride in the waves of Lake Michigan.

What was the best part?
I really enjoyed the exercise, seeing all of the different landscapes as we rode through, and meeting so many people along the way. (Syd)

For me riding bike through some areas that I have driven many times in a car was a fun experience. The challenge of riding in many different conditions and on many different roads was a great experience. One of the best parts of the ride for me was meeting so many people along the way, and enjoying the wonderful hospitality of our host families at the end of hard days of riding.

What was the hardest part?
Battling headwinds was easily the hardest. They can be demoralizing because you never know if or when they will end. I would rather climb a mountain than fight a headwind. (Syd)

Definitely agree with Syd, the winds in our face was the hardest part of the ride. The mountains were not as hard as a long day against the wind. (Stephen)

What kept you going?
Knowing that the miles that we were riding were immediately being translated into cabins constructed since the crews at Musana were already building the first two cabins as we rode. (Syd)

Knowing our goals, both the goal for the day and the ultimate goal of building cabins helped us to keep going and to take one day at a time. We were definitely energized by seeing pictures of the cabins that were already under construction, and news of new donations coming in renewed our sense of purpose and that we were riding for a much bigger purpose. (Stephen)

What kind of wildlife did you see?
Birds, turtles, antelope, deer, bobcat, camel, snakes, deer

Trip Highlights:

1. Finishing all 2,377.4 miles!
2. Staying safe and healthy throughout the trip.
3. Feeling the waves of Lake Michigan on our feet!
4. Crossing the $100,000 mark in fundraising on our last day of the ride!
5. Experiencing wonderful hospitality from fellow Christians across the country.

As they say in Uganda, Jebale Co (well done) Syd and Stephen! Thank you to everyone who prayed, read the updates, hosted them in your homes and churches, and contributed to this trip and the cabins for kids at Musana Camps. Make sure to check out the Musana Camps Facebook for updates on the construction of the cabins.

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Since starting with New Hope Uganda Ministries in the North American office, I have been humbled by the generosity of so many.  I have a unique job because I see every single donation that comes to the ministry.  While I work in the North American office half way across the world from where New Hope Uganda (NHU) is located, I get to see what the missionaries don’t get to see while they’re on the ground.  I get to see what makes our mission possible.  What makes our mission possible is God’s work on people’s hearts to be generous with what they have.

One of our donors is a shining example of the work God is doing.  Milton and Liz Bobb have used what they have to support a mission that God has placed in their lives.  Their life hasn’t always been easy, but God has given Milton hobbies that He uses to further the mission of NHU.

MiltBobb

When Milton and Liz grew older they realized after facing some health challenges that they would have to sell their sheep that had been their livelihood.  This was a difficult time for them, but they can see the blessing in it.  When Milton sold his sheep, at the same time he advertised that he would like to buy a loom.  So they sold their sheep and bought a loom at the same time.

Now Milton makes rugs because it helps him to learn, it kills time, and he enjoys it!  Despite going through some difficult health challenges, Milton not only gained a hobby he enjoys, but sells the rugs and donates the profits to NHU.  It is encouraging for me to see how God used difficult circumstances for good and not only that, but the Bobb’s testify to this.  As Milton said, “The good Lord takes care of my wife and me.  Whenever challenges come, there’s an answer that develops”.

Not only does Milton enjoy rug making, but God is using another hobby of his.  Milton collects stamps.  You may wonder how God could use a stamp collector to help the mission.  We send Milton all our empty envelopes.  Milton gets to keep the stamps and in the process he checks each envelop in case we missed anything.  He has found a few things that we’ve missed so we’re thankful that God can use Milton in this way!

This sweet couple in North Dakota, who so humbly give what God has given them, first heard about the mission when Gary Wood, our current president, was their pastor in Taylor, ND.  They were impressed by how the funds truly go to the mission of “bringing the Fatherhood of God to the fatherless” and feel that differentiates NHU from other ministries they could give to.  Their family also has a historical connection to Africa because their daughter was a missionary to Nigeria and their granddaughter is currently a missionary in North Africa.  They have learned that the people in certain areas of Africa are more open to the Gospel and so it makes sense for them to give to those missions.

The Bobb’s are a true inspiration to me.  They are an example of how God can use the simplest things, even our hobbies, the things we enjoy, to support His work.  You don’t have to be a millionaire or travel to Uganda to make a difference.  All you need is to humbly ask God to use what you have.  May the Bobb’s be as much of an encouragement to you as much as they are to me!

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