a Christmas letter from HOME/Omuka in Uganda
reetings to all of you from beautiful Uganda! We hope this letter finds you all happy and healthy and gathered with family and friends to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have decked the halls here at the HOME house and are looking forward to our Christmas feast with HOME family and friends.
We have been very busy since last we wrote to you! It is a busy time as the year comes to an end, which means much accounting and year-end wind up of everything. It is a bigger job this year as we have been away for three and half months and so there is a lot of catch up to do as well! In Uganda the school year begins in the New Year (end of January beginning of February) so we are also busy planning for that, as we now have five boys entering high school! And one boy who will enter University in the fall.
During this holiday before the school year begins, our boys are busy working toward independence, learning how to clean and how to cook. We have different programs running in the house which are set to teach these important life skills…the boys take turns with household duties and chores, thus preparing them for their inevitable independence. The boys are all excited about these programs, and take part enthusiastically! I love to see the kitchen filled with boys, chopping, preparing and cooking.
Our two new boys (Isaac and Naboth) are adjusting extremely well and have settled comfortably into life at home. For those of you who don’t know, these brothers lost their Father on November 2nd, and were left with nothing…and were already being employed as child laborers. Several of you have stepped forward to save these young men and to provide for their life and schooling, inspiring hope for the future! Thank you so much for your huge and generous hearts…we are continuously amazed and thrilled to see what God can do when people are faithful and take action to make a difference in the world around them! It is because of all of you and the different ways that you support us (Sponsorship, monthly support, one-time donations and prayer) that we are able to continue this important work here in Uganda. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. They are both quiet and gentle, showing kindness and compassion to their brothers, especially the little ones in the house. They are loving the soccer games in the evenings and playing cards after dark in their room.
All of our boys are happy that we have finally found a church community to become a part of and to worship with. We have joined the Kampala International Church, a growing community comprised of Ugandan Nationals and all members of the International community. We fit in well as a blended family, and the boys love the music and the relaxed atmosphere.
Our little Arjen is also doing amazingly well since his mom left for Iraq in November. He has transformed from a quiet, defiant and stubborn little boy, into a kind, happy and joyful little boy. He is excited about books and asks me to read to him at least 50 times in a day! His biggest challenge right now is potty-training…but he’s getting the hang of it and those little accidents are becoming fewer and fewer. He loves Oren and gives little kisses all the time and loves to touch Oren’s pudgy cheeks. Arjen began by calling me “auntie”, then changed to “Mama Oren” (which means Oren’s mom) and just yesterday started calling me “Mama Lola” which is his own name for me!! Very sweet. He is generally a total delight and a joy to have around.
Our wee Oren Suubi is a happy, happy little guy! He laughs and smiles and shines from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed. He is just awesome and lets me drag him all around the place to get all of our work done! He loves his big brothers, especially Moses, who has a very good way with both of our little guys and is a HUGE help to me! Oren started eating cereal this week, has said “da da da da da” and “Ta ta ta ta ta “ and is now on to “ ba ba ba ba ba” so I am patiently waiting for “ ma ma ma ma”.
Roger and I are so happy to be home, and yet still feel the pangs of longing for you all and Canada…we thoroughly enjoyed our time with you all and look forward to more time with you in the future…and time with those we did not get to see this time around. We are enjoying our house filled with kids and loving the roles we have of guiding them in their growth and development. I am planning some new Art projects to start in the new year and am looking forward to getting creative! I am loving being a mom…not just to little Oren, but to all our boys. Roger is enjoying some success in his music and has recently been in the newspaper, on the radio and his new video is all over the Ugandan TV stations. God has really blessed his talent and his faithfulness in using sharing it with others. He performs several times a week and is in the studio and composing all the time! I love to hear him working on a new song – his voice ringing through the house. We are all so proud of him, and happy that Uganda is seeing what we have seen all al ong – that he is a shining star.
Please pray for our new boys as they continue to settle in, for all the boys as they rest and prepare for the next school year. Please pray for Arjen as he misses his mom, for Roger and I as we plan for the year ahead, for Oren as he grows and learns and for our whole HOME family in general – for health and safety.
During this Season we are very thankful for friends and family, and for this beautiful community of HOME/OMUKA. We are continually blessed by your compassionate hearts, your dedication to prayer and support, and encouraged by your words and the love you show us. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year. May all the blessings you have given out this year, return to you a thousand-fold in 2010.
Lola, Roger and the Home Family