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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Syd and Stephen are on their 12th day! Here are some photos on the past six days. To find out what all this is about, or see days 1–5, click here.

Day 6:

Thursday, May 14th
Start: Ritzville, WA
End: Liberty Lake, WA
Distance: 83 miles
Elevation: 1,777 ft climb

Weather: The sun was shining through partly cloudy skies. Temps started in the 50′s and rose to almost 70 with a slight head wind. A beautiful day.
Today was a fairly flat day and a welcome change from yesterday. After the rain and wind yesterday we were very happy to see the sun right from the beginning this morning. Stephen had a couple of flats that we were able to fix pretty easily and continue on. As we rode into Spokane we were not allowed to ride on the interstate so got off and found an amazing trail called the Centennial trail that runs the whole length of Spokane and took us all of the way to our destination. We had a wonderful evening with a couple the I found out has close connections to my family back in MT.

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Liberty Lake, Washington

Day 7:

Friday, May 15th
Start: Liberty Lake, WA
End: Pinehurst, ID
Distance: 54 miles
Elevation: 2,245 ft climb

Weather: Mostly cloudy with a little rain on the top of 4th of July Pass. Overall a good day for riding.
Today we continued on the Centennial Trail saying goodbye to Washington and hello to Idaho. The trail was a beautiful route to ride and took us all of the way to the other side of Coeur d’ Alene. From there we literally jumped on Interstate 90 after finding that the trail that Google was trying to lead us on wasn’t actually there. We crossed 4th of July pass and finished up in Pinehurst ID.
Tomorrow it is supposed to rain and possibly even thunderstorm. Please join us in praying for weather conditions we can ride in.

Starting day 7 on May 15th from the home of our hosts, Ray and Twyla, in Liberty Lake, WA. Thank you, Ray & Twyla, for your hospitality. God bless you!!

Starting day 7 on May 15th from the home of our hosts, Ray and Twyla, in Liberty Lake, WA. Thank you, Ray & Twyla, for your hospitality. God bless you!!

Just crossed the Washington /Idaho border! Goodbye Washington, Hello Idaho!

Just crossed the Washington /Idaho border!

Hello Idaho!

Goodbye Washington, Hello Idaho!

Day 8:

Saturday, May 16th
Start: Pinehurst, ID
End: Superior, MT
Distance: 77 miles
Elevation: 3,618 ft climb

Weather: Cloudy and cool. Thick fog on the top of Lookout Pass. A little rain on the way down the other side.
Today we rode the first part of our day on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes which is a beautiful trail that runs on the west side of Look Out Pass. The Lord answered our prayer and gave us a window of good weather to get over the top. It was really foggy and we had to walk around one section because there was road construction and combined with the fog it wasn’t safe to ride our bicycles there. We came off of the pass into Montana and had a good ride the rest of the way to Superior. It rained a little and I had a flat tire but as soon as we fixed that we raced the rain all of the way an only got a little wet. Tomorrow is a rest day that we are greatly looking forward to.

Absolutely gorgeous scenery on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.

Absolutely gorgeous scenery on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.

On top of Lookout Pass

On top of Lookout Pass

Day 9:

Monday, May 18th
Start: Superior, MT
End: Greenough, MT
Distance: 88 miles
Elevation: 4,246 ft climb

Weather: Sunny with a constant east wind. 9mph in the morning but quickly increasing to a steady 20mph and gusting to 30.
After a great day of rest in Superior we started this morning ready for the day especially since the sun was shining. The wind quickly drained our energy and what could have been a nice day of riding became a very draining day. It was a gradual uphill ride all day and the headwind was relentless. We are both crashing tonight very tired and not excited for tomorrow since it will be an even longer day with forecast for more headwinds. I would rather climb a mountain pass any-day rather than face a strong headwind.
On the upside more donations have come in and we are at 36% of our goal!! Thank You Lord!

Day 9 begins at 9:00 A.M. MDT from Superior,MT. Thank you to LeRoy and JoEllen for great hospitality.

Day 9 begins at 9:00 A.M. MDT from Superior,MT. Thank you to LeRoy and JoEllen for great hospitality.

Scenic start to day 9 of the "Cabins for Kids" ride this morning, May 18th.

Scenic start to day 9 of the “Cabins for Kids” ride this morning, May 18th.

Day 10:

Tuesday, May 19th
Start: Greenough, MT
End: Helena, MT
Distance: 95.5 miles
Elevation: 5,156 ft climb
Weather: Cloudy and cool with an east wind 20mph and gusting to 30 up the pass.

After a tough day of battling the wind yesterday we started this morning a bit tired and battling the wind again. We thankfully had a bit more variation because of the valley we were pedaling up. It was a beautiful ride though the wind made it quite challenging. We climbed the continental divide at MacDonald pass reaching the top at mile 80 of our day and then coasted most of the rest of the way into Helena. It was a long and tiring two days and we were quite glad to get off of our bikes. It was great to see friends at the the end of the day and have a hot shower and meal. Thanks Jeff and Amber for hosting us.

Starting day #10 @ 8:30 A.M. A 100 mile day and a forecast headwind of 15-20 mph. At least it's more downhill, we think. A big thank you to our hosts last night and this morning, Steve & Brenda! Good food, fellowship, and rest.

Starting day #10 @ 8:30 A.M. A 100 mile day and a forecast headwind of 15-20 mph. At least it’s more downhill, we think. A big thank you to our hosts last night and this morning, Steve & Brenda! Good food, fellowship, and rest.

At mid-day, May 19, riding on Hwy 141 about 10 miles from Avon, MT. Cloudy, cool, and breezy. Temp 49, wind ENE @ 15-20. A pedal fell off Stephen's bike which caused a little delay.

At mid-day, May 19, riding on Hwy 141 about 10 miles from Avon, MT. Cloudy, cool, and breezy. Temp 49, wind ENE @ 15-20. A pedal fell off Stephen’s bike which caused a little delay.

Summit of MacDonald Pass. 6325 feet, temperature 48, rare patches of snow around.

Summit of MacDonald Pass. 6325 feet, temperature 48, rare patches of snow around.

Scenic views of the "Cabins for Kids" ride the last two days. A thousand thanks (Tusen Takk) to all of you praying for and encouraging Syd and Stephen. Though today was their longest ride, and in spite of the head wind, they made it and both were still able to smile. The route we took from Potomac to Helena is very beautiful.

Scenic views of the “Cabins for Kids” ride the last two days. A thousand thanks (Tusen Takk) to all of you praying for and encouraging Syd and Stephen. Though today was their longest ride, and in spite of the head wind, they made it and both were still able to smile. The route we took from Potomac to Helena is very beautiful.

Day 11:

Wednesday, May 20th
Start: Helena, MT
End: Manhatten, MT
Distance: 80.3 miles
Elevation: 2,499 ft climb

Weather: Sunny with a stiff headwind to begin the day. The wind changed and diminished in the afternoon.
After two days of battling the wind we were not excited to wake up to another headwind, but that is what we got. The day started very slow. We didn’t have as much climbing as yesterday which was good. In the afternoon the wind did finally decrease a little and even seemed to change a few times to a tail wind. That didn’t seem to make a difference for Stephen’s bicycle though. His pedal came loose again… twice. We are hoping to get into a bike shop tomorrow in Bozeman and get it fixed so we can continue without any more pedal problems.
Two highlights for the day… At breakfast this morning little 4 year old Avery brought out her coin purse and gave her own 70 cent donation to Cabins for Kids. It was an honor that she thought of us and wanted to give.
The second highlight was getting to see Don, who knew that Stephen and I were pedaling to Manhattan today and stopped to say hello on his way to Helena. It was quite a surprise since I know him from Bowman and was not expecting to see him out here at all. Thanks for stopping and saying hello, Don.

Left: Starting day 11 from Helena very grateful to our host family, the Olssons; Jeff & Amber, their children, Avery (4) and Lief (2).  Right: Don with Syd and Stephen

Left: Starting day 11 from Helena very grateful to our host family, the Olssons; Jeff & Amber, their children, Avery (4) and Lief (2).
Right: Don with Syd and Stephen

This is Avery on her bike, with Syd and Stephen, after her donation to "Cabins for Kids."

This is Avery on her bike, with Syd and Stephen, after her donation to “Cabins for Kids.” Thanks Avery!

 

All pictures and updates were pulled directly from Musana Camps’ Facebook page (you don’t need an account to access). Stay updated!

Praise God, we’re at 36% of our donation goal! You can help us reach 100% by clicking here and designating your gift to Musana Camps Cabins for Kids.

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Holiday. Three weeks. Rest? Not so much.

In David Family we had gardens to weed. The rains had started around mid-term so we planted. The crops flourished as the rains continued, but so did the weeds.

Once the first term ended the kids weren’t waking before dawn for school, but they were still up early every morning with hoes raised high then aimed expertly at invading roots. Finally, the gardens were declared clean and the reward came.

Four days at New Hope’s beloved Musana Camps on the shores of Lake Victoria!

David family and associates

David family and associates

David Family has a unique legacy with Musana Camps. We were the first family group to camp on the site.

We were there before the papers for the purchase of the land were finalized, before any buildings stood or even plans drawn for them, before the water fall was discovered, before the beach was cleared. David Family pitched tents, hauled water about a half kilometer uphill, chose thick clumps of bushes for guys and girls separate latrines and bath “houses” and explored all over the uninhabited hills and shore.  That was 2008.

This year was our fourth visit.

Every David Family arrival at Musana Camps brings ooo’s and aah’s. The development never ceases. New latrines and bath houses, water delivery systems, staff housing, smokeless kitchens, a well-stocked canteen, meeting structures, obstacle courses, game areas, clean and cleared beaches, permanent tents on cement slabs and most recently the beginning of permanent cabins are just some of the things we witnessed this time.

David Family loves the beach!

David Family loves the beach!

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At the top of the waterfall

We availed ourselves of as much as we could in our four days there! With bus parked, we ran to every activity! In daylight we traipsed to the beach two afternoon’s for swimming, jumping, volleyball and canoeing. The second afternoon yielded a waterfall hike and the joy of getting doused by either the waterfall itself or a friend! The campfire each night was lively as Aunt Hannah led us in our favorite camp songs, “A Moose Named Fred” (who liked to drink his juice in bed) and “Flee, Fly, Mosquito!” (itchy itchy scratchy scratchy, I think I got one on my backy). Fun and games with Justine, one of our older daughters, and spontaneous dances by others meant the laughter and crazy antics continued until lights out.

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The guys dominated the new challenge course wall – seven guys over the 11 ft wall in 54 seconds!

Early mornings were spent in personal devotions overlooking the majestic, sparkling waters of Lake Victoria, the second largest body of fresh water in the world. During mid-mornings through lunch both the Dangers and Jacksons led us in the practicalities of living out manhood and womanhood. We didn’t just sit in our chairs for this portion of our week! We became part of the lesson as some girls dressed up in borrowed clothes to communicate certain attitudes for the rest of the girls to identify. The boys learned the hands-on value of working together and supporting one another on an 11 ft. tall, bare wall at the obstacle course.

Brian and Kakulu get into the water too!

Brian and Kakulu get into the water too!

And a special treat this trip was the addition of Kakulu, Brian and Kakande, residents of our special needs program. They were carried to the beach on ATVs and Kakulu and Brian were helped in their “swimming” by being held in inner tubes. Kakande ran, jumped and splashed in the waves and a smile never left his face. All three paddled out in the canoes hoping to NOT see the reported resident crocodile. (No siting this trip, thankfully.)

Canoeing

Canoeing

Though broad smiles and deep appreciation for an overall great time can still be heard from the kids, the most talked about activity of the week was the “Mystery Dinner.”

The mystery was not in what you ordered, but in what was delivered to the table. We could all “read” the three course menu–it was in English, but we had no idea of the actual interpretation of what we’d asked for until the plates were set in front of us.

Shrieks, laughter, squeals and “ewwwww!” rang out across the dining hall throughout the meal! Each time a new plate was delivered crowds ran to the recipient to either rejoice or moan! Some got their cake first! Sounds great, huh?  But, what if your first plate was not just cake, but cake and . . . fish soup! And to eat it you’re given utensil was a knife??? Some fared a bit better, but none could say their meal was “normal.” All had a great time!

Reacting to some of the hilarious food combinations at the mystery dinner. This one was "bricks" (cake) in "Nectar of Life" fish soup, served with only one utensil: a knife!

Reacting to some of the hilarious food combinations at the mystery dinner. This one was “bricks” (cake) in “Nectar of Life” fish soup, served with only one utensil: a knife!

There is one thing that quite possibly rivals the Mystery Dinner in the memories of some. The all staff, all David Family WATER FIGHT!!!!! With Uncle Nathan’s generator-powered water hose pummeling human targets no one was either safe or dry! Two hours of running, dodging, soaking and getting soaked made for a good sleep that night!

Everyone got involved!

Everyone got involved!

Our four days at Musana were full and rich. For some it was their first time, but for all it was their best time. Musana Camps uniquely enhances the lives of children who, without New Hope Uganda, would probably never experience such a gem in their own country.

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(photo credit: Phiona Morton via Musana Camps)

Written by Mary Britton, David Family associate.

Photo credit: Musana Camps. To see more photos visit Musana Camps’ Facebook page. (You don’t need an account to access).

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At the beginning of each term, the children bring brooms to help clean out the classrooms. This boy is hurrying because he's almost late for the assembly!

At the beginning of each term, the children bring brooms to help clean out the classrooms. This boy is hurrying because he’s almost late for the assembly!

Today marked the first day of the second school term of the year. I had the opportunity to go down to the Primary School and photograph the usual Monday morning assembly time which this week also included a few remarks about the new term. Children came bearing brooms and backpacks, and then entered the porch to sing, have devotion time, and listen to what new things the new term will bring.

Morning assembly

Morning assembly

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Praise and worship, the drums are a must whether the songs are fast or slow!

Praise and worship, the drums are a must whether the songs are fast or slow!

The Luganda Bible verses for the morning: Matthew 20:28 and Acts 10:38

The Luganda Bible verses for the morning: Matthew 20:28 and Acts 10:38

Children listen intently to the morning's Bible story about Abraham and Sarah.

Children listen intently to the morning’s Bible story about Abraham and Sarah.

 

The headmaster, Uncle Simon, closed the morning assembly with a speech.

The headmaster, Uncle Simon, closed the morning assembly with a speech.

 

 

By Kara Peterson, Investment Year student

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On May 7th, Syd Sparks and Stephen Roise set off from Bellingham Washington on bikes to travel three quarters the length of the United States, fundraising for new cabins at Musana Camps. Musana has been forced to turn away over 400 kids due to inadequate lodging. Through this bike trip they hope to raise $166,000 to build 10 cabins and shower houses; enabling them to lead more people toward life transformation as they encounter Christ.

To reach their goal, they need to raise $69 per mile. 

Here are some pictures and updates on their journey.

The route

The route

Day 1:

Friday, May 8th
Start: Bellingham, WA
End: Snohomish, WA
Distance; 79
Terrain: rolling hills – 3,280ft of climbing
Climate: 70s, sunny and warm – Beautiful!!

Today was an amazing day to start our ride the weather was wonderful and the ride was beautiful. We started at Good Shepherd Community Church rode and touched Bellingham Bay on the Pacific Ocean and then down Chuckanut Drive leaving Bellingham. It was a great first day.

Bellingham Bay, Day 1

Bellingham Bay, Day 1

Day 2:

Saturday, May 9th
Start: Snohomish, WA
End: Olallie State Park, WA
Distance; 53.8
Terrain: – 2,200 ft of climbing
Climate: low 80s, sunny and warm – Beautiful!!

It was a great ride again today. We forgot our sunscreen yesterday so we got a little sunburn that we were feeling today but otherwise it was a good day. We changed our route to avoid the traffic in the Seattle area and rode to a State Park part way up the Snoqualmie Pass to break up the climb. Tomorrow is a day off. We will visit Calvary Chapel South in Kent and then resume riding Monday morning!

41 miles in so far, heading east on I90 now!

41 miles in so far, heading east on I90 now!

A bit of the view

A bit of the view

Day 3:

Monday, May 11th
Start: Interstate 90 near Olallie State Park, WA
End: Ellensburg, WA
Distance: 67 miles
Terrain: Snoqualmie Pass at the beginning then mostly downhill.
Climate: Overcast, started in the upper 40s then warmed up. Over all pretty comfortable.

Today we climbed Snoqualmie Pass. It was a good climb to start the day. We had to walk around an 8 mile section that was closed off to bicycles because of road construction, but had a walking trail available. After finishing that we jumped back on the bikes and rode the rest of the way to Ellensburg. It was mostly down hill and had some pretty fun parts. It is now looking like rain in the next couple of days so we are praying for breaks in the rain so that we can ride.

Over half done with the 8 mile hike. Due to road construction east of Snoqualmie Pass, the bikers have to hike for about 8 miles.

Over half done with the 8 mile hike. Due to road construction east of Snoqualmie Pass, the bikers have to hike for about 8 miles.

At the top of Snoqualmie Pass

At the top of Snoqualmie Pass

Day 4:

Tuesday, May 12th
Start: Ellensburg, WA
End: Moses Lake, WA
Distance: 75.5 miles
Elevation: 2675 ft climb
Hours on our bikes: 5 hours 20 minutes
Weather: 46 and rain in the morning. The rain cleared and eventually the temp climbed to the 60s.

We started the day in the rain. It was cold and we had a head wind. We had our first flat several miles into the ride. Thankfully the rain eventually cleared. The drop into the Columbia River Gorge was wonderful even with a headwind. Crossing the river was a bit dicy however as there was no shoulder and traffic was traveling at interstate speeds. Even with Gary trailing us with his flashers going there were some drivers that didn’t seem to see us. We made it through fine and started the long climb out of the gorge. It was great to get to the top and look back at the road we had just pedaled. The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful but enjoyable especially since the weather warmed up.

Stephen and Syd rode through here on May 12

Stephen and Syd rode through here on May 12

Camping at Moses Lake; lovely place and nice evening. Gary made wild rice soup supplemented with bread.

Camping at Moses Lake; lovely place and nice evening. Gary made wild rice soup supplemented with bread.

Day 5:

Wednesday, May 13th
Start: Moses Lake, WA
End: Ritzville, WA
Distance: 41.3 miles
Elevation: 2,017 ft climb
Hours on our bikes: 3:21
Weather: Misting and 50 degrees with a 20mph head wind that turned to rain, and a cross wind.

Todays ride was rough. The 41 miles we rode today felt much longer than yesterdays 75. The weather made it a pretty cold and miserable day. My toes even went numb. I was quite glad to be done.
The greatest part of the day was seeing how God answers prayer, sometimes in ways we don’t expect. In order to tell this though I have to back up to our trip out to Bellingham last week. As we were driving we stopped here in Ritzville to mail a few things. In the process we met one of the postal employees who also happened to be a local pastor. When he heard what we were doing he invited us to come and talk with their youth group when we came back through… That was over a week ago. Fast forward to last night… I texted him to see if he was still interested in having us speak and if he knew of anyplace we could camp in Ritzville. He still wanted us to speak and said he would let me know in the morning if he could find anything. So as we were riding in the cold and rain I prayed “Lord it would be really great to have a hot shower and place to stay inside tonight.” When we arrived in Ritzville the pastor gave us a name and address. Not really knowing what we should be expecting we came to the house and were welcomed straight in. The gentleman gave us towels and showed us where we could get a hot shower and when we were finished he had an amazing hot meal waiting for us. We went and shared a little with the youth group and after some more visiting we were all ready to call it a night… inside. Thank You Lord. Thank you too to Pastor Rio and Mark you have really blessed us today.

After another rainy night they are ready to start day 5. Shorter ride today starting out with some head wind and good chance of rain showers.

After another rainy night they are ready to start day 5. Shorter ride today starting out with some head wind and good chance of rain showers.

Arrived in Ritzville, WA at 3:45 pm today (May 13). On our way west last week we stopped at the post office here. Syd met a PO employee who is also the pastor of a church. The man was curious, so Syd told him about “Cabins for Kids” and gave him a brochure and they exchanged phone numbers.

Pastor Ryo invited Syd to talk about “Cabins for Kids” at their Wednesday night meeting. A member of the church also invited us to stay at his house. God provides for us in every way, but once in a while there’s a special providence.

 

After Syd's presentation and a time of prayer, a few gathered for a photo outside the building. L to R: Rio, Gary, Stephen, Syd, Pete, Mark, and Tyson.

After Syd’s presentation and a time of prayer, a few gathered for a photo outside the building. L to R: Rio, Gary, Stephen, Syd, Pete, Mark, and Tyson.

 

Day Six ride photos, Ritzville to Liberty Lake; a warmer, sunnier, and dryer day.

Syd on day six

Syd on day six

Stephen

Stephen

 

 

Back at Musana Camps…

Between our saving and the funds that have come in so far from our Cabins for Kids fundraiser we are excited to have started building our first cabin! This photo shows our first cabin under construction with David Family from the Kasana Children’s Center.

We are thankful to be at almost 25% of our fundraising goal.

The first cabin!!!

The first cabin!!!

All of these photos and updates have been pulled from Facebook. To see all photos and updates, click here. (You don’t need a Facebook account to access).

Musana is still 75% away from their fundraising goal! We need your help! To contribute, click here and designate your gift to Musana Camps Cabins for Kids.

Thanks to all who have been praying for and supporting this whole adventure! Keep on praying, they’ve still got a long way to go.

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Our two tallest players against two of their multiple big guys.

Our two tallest players against two of their multiple big guys.

Our New Hope Stallions boys team’s second game was against Lubiri, the team that ended up winning Nationals. It was a real David vs Goliath experience. I wish I had a picture of the two full teams (hopefully the photo gives you some idea of the size difference). Lubiri has 4 or 5 guys that were 6’6” or taller and very athletic. 10 of their 12 guys were over six feet. They all looked five years older than our guys. It really looked like a Jr. High team playing against Kentucky.

Lubirii ran a full-court press the entire game and absolutely crushed us on the scoreboard but our guys fought every minute from beginning to end and never backed down. Even when we put in couple of our reserves who had not played up to that point at the end of the game, they played just as hard and went right at Lubiri too. I cannot tell you how proud I was of the guys. They did exactly what we had been talking about, playing to the utmost of their ability  and without fear (Isaiah 41:10).  I got misty-eyed during one time-out just telling them how I proud I was of what they were doing (and after that, they played even harder).

Our boys definitely glorified God that game (1 Cor 10:31) as both the boys and girls teams did throughout the entire tournament. Our sons and daughters were terrific. They really could not have been easier to work with. They made us so proud with their giving it their all on the court and their good attitudes win or lose.

We praise God for the opportunity to compete and thank all who helped make it possible for us to travel to the National Tournament.

In Christ,

Tal Anderson, Boys Coach

The 2015 New Hope Academy basketball teams.

The 2015 New Hope Academy basketball teams.

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Holidays

May 14, 2015 · 0 comments

in NHU

This week marks the end of the first term break. The schools were quiet and all the students were relieved to have the first term exams finished. Some spent their free time looking for jobs to earn money; some continued studying for next term. In David family, the Ludo board (a board game very similar to parcheesi) was out almost constantly, and in other families the boys were preparing for the upcoming football (soccer) tournament.

David family girls playing Ludo

David family girls playing Ludo

Since plowing takes a long time, much of it is done during the holidays.

Since plowing takes a long time, much of it is done during the holidays.

Many spent the break doing minimal work and allowing their brains to rest from the hectic school schedule. Others, such as staff members, continued working. For one of the teachers at Secondary, the break consisted of preparing the entire next term’s lessons, as I’m sure was the case for most primary and secondary teachers. Some staff members went back to school for the holiday, as there are different courses that run on the break schedules.

 

For thirty people, one of the weeks of break held the National Basketball Tournaments in Mbarara. That was a significant time of family and growth for them. This week, David family is taking a trip down to Musana Camps to enjoy the scenery and each other as they spend time swimming, hiking, and having water fights!

 

Now, all eyes are turned toward the next term since it’s right around the corner. Students are looking forward to being back in school, to study and be with friends they haven’t seen for a month. IYs are preparing themselves for a couple of months in a new placement, and teachers are steeling themselves for the bustle of the next school term.

 

When school books are put away, the guitar comes out!

When school books are put away, the guitar comes out to play!

Please pray as we head into this next term for children’s hearts to be turned to their Father, whether they are in Primary, Secondary, or IY; and pray for the New Hope Staff, that they may be righteous and loving examples of Him!

 

By Kara Peterson, Investment Year Student

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