It has been an insanely busy couple of weeks. We have been repairing Stidia, Dennis and Cleophas’s ‘home’ (actually their Grandmother’s home);

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preparing to open Kigazi Community Nursery and Kigazi Community Primary School for the new academic year;

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improving medical services at the ‘Hospital in the Hills; planning a small operation to improve Michelle’s quality of life; continuing to work and pray healing back into our orchards;

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and welcoming the children from Kigazi who are being educated in town back to this year’s studies. And here is where there has been a big change.

After much prayer and consideration I have registered all but the four youngest (and most fragile) of the children that we educate in town as boarding pupils at the school that they attend. The J10:10 House will therefore cease to be ours at Easter and has ceased to operate as the base for our town-educated children as of now. And I am at peace with that decision. Whilst the boarding school option will be slightly cheaper than running the J1010 House, cost was not the driving factor. The fact was that the number of children we housed there, the labyrinthine layout, the questionable workmanship and wiring of most Ugandan properties, the hormones of our mixed gender charges, and the sheer logistical challenge of getting this many children safely to and from school on roads riddled with pot-holes, unsafe cars and the worst drivers on the planet………..just made the risks of keeping the house open in its current form unacceptable.

We will continue to provide extra help for our J1010 children and to spend most of each Sunday with them. And we will still have to care for the eight most vulnerable children in the school holidays and I still need to work out exactly how and where we will do that.

I’d spent time explaining the change to the parents but I will admit that as I ferried the children from their remote village back to school on Sunday I was a little concerned about their reaction. I shouldn’t have been – as we broke all the health and safety laws together (21 kids a time in the back of the pick-up) they were as excited as ever about the coming year and the opportunity that God has given them. As am I. As I stood in the middle of the carnage that is more than 50 kids returning to school simultaneously it hit me hard: that without God, us and their sponsors……..none of this would be possible. It is a miracle for these children and their families. Thank you.

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Please pray this week for:

  • Our children in town as they settle into a new routine at St. Jude’s School
  • Our children in the village as they commence Primary and Nursery education
  • For all our staff – particularly the ones responsible for our education programmes
  • For our orchards – that they will continue to recover
  • That we may be so focussed on Jesus that we can’t fail in our mission to be  a blessing to the people of this area – in education, health, maternity, sanitation, water, employment, physical and spiritual terms

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