Celebration Time

Greetings from Soweto, Masaka, Uganda.   Ann is busy in the kitchen baking four cakes for staff members’ and children’s birthdays.  We will celebrate tomorrow after Children’s Church at our two locations.   We will have one service in the morning at 10 am at the property at Lubumba Village and then the second service here in Soweto at 4:30 pm.  Each of our two sites will have a celebration.  One of our staff members, Moses, will make the icing and decorate the cakes this afternoon.   We celebrate like this at the end of every month.   There will be balloons and cake plus gifts of new clothing given on behalf of the sponsors.  We usually try to take pictures of the children to send via email to the sponsors.   A big thank-you to our sponsors; your donations make all this possible.  We are also going to acknowledge Rev. Christopher’s son, Sam Muwonge, for his work with EWCV during his break from Ugandan Christian University in Mukono. He is returning to university this coming week to resume classes for his degree in Business Administration.   This is his third and last year.  We offer our best wishes to “Uncle Sam” – as he is known to the children here at EWCV.

Volunteers from Around the World

Canadian Volunteers

Our first volunteers came from Canada three months ago.   The Purcell Family, consisting of two parents and three children, came from Bowen Island, B.C. and spent five weeks here in Masaka.  They stayed at the Zebra Hotel in town which is within walking distance of our home.   While Brynne volunteered in the Women’s Ward at the Masaka Hospital, husband Nick spent most of his days here with us helping to set up a carpentry shop in the back of our EWCV hospitality guesthouse which is just around the corner from here.  Our Assistant Director, Rev. Christopher Muwonge and his wife, Harriet, are living in this guesthouse and taking care of guests who come to volunteer with EWCV.   The carpentry shop was completed quickly and a workbench was built.   We borrowed a set of tools from our friends and then Nick began building shelving for the guesthouse pantry, followed by desks for our children here in Soweto as there were no desks in their classroom.   Nick was able to finish the design and build two completed desks as well as all preparing the boards for the other five desks.   Nick did this without any power tools and we thank him for all his hard work to get this project going.   People who have taken over since he left have admired the work he did using only basic tools.

While Nick was at the carpentry shop each day with his son, Finn, the two daughters, Isa and Canaan, worked here with the children, teaching them crafts.   They were able to make mobiles, bracelets and necklaces, special pictures for the walls, and many other things.   The girls worked here in town and also went out to the property, dividing their time between Families 1 and 2. (There are 24 children in each family plus the children of the staff.)   Nick built us a sand box for each site and we hauled in some sand to fill them.  The girls then played with the younger children in the sandboxes.  When it came time for the family to return to their home in Canada, they had a difficult time leaving as they had become very attached to the children.
During this time, our friends, Aris and Mary Metaxakis, came from Peterborough, Ontario to spend three months with us.  They will leave us on September 13th to fly home to Canada after a wonderful ministry here in Uganda.  Mary was formerly a teacher of ceramics and painting while Aris was a professional teacher of cooking in Toronto for some years.  They have also become quite attached to the children and are known affectionately as Uncle Aris and Auntie Mary.    If you were to visit our property at the site where Family #1 live, you would find that the dining hut has been painted white by this couple and Mary has painted twelve Ugandan animals and birds on the outside of the hut between the windows.   It has truly made the site child-friendly.   She has also been working with some of the children who are non-readers and has made some teaching aids to assist them in getting started in reading.  She is working on this project everyday now, while the children are out of school for holidays.  She has even learned how to read in the Luganda language and works with a translator.  It is marvelous to see her satisfaction as the children learn new skills in reading, painting, drawing, and coloring.   The children are excited about learning and love the Lugandan books Mary is reading to them.   Rev. Christopher assisted her today and was amazed at Mary’s skill in reading in Luganda.  He also said that the children were able to tell him the story accurately after she had finished the book.   We are thankful to Sophia Syrros for the donations of money given to Aris and Mary for purchasing art supplies – paint brushes, watercolor paint powder, colored pencils, etc.
We are also thankful for the incredible flannel boards which Auntie Mary and Uncle Aris brought with them.  These boards, donated by Kathy and Stephen Stupar from Toronto, are the finest teaching aids for telling Bible Stories to children and adults.  For the first two weeks of Metaxakis’ stay, many people in our sitting room were busy with scissors cutting out the multitude of pieces for the two kits that came with the boards.  Every day lately, Aris has been using the flannel board to tell stories to the children and they can’t wait until the next day for the next story.   Aris, with Rev. Christopher, has also visited several prisons as well as two hospitals, to pray with prisoners and the sick.   During some hectic times we had with people here, Aris took over the planning of menus, the ordering of needed food items, and the preparation/cooking of our food.   I have told him how proud I feel, each time we have many people around our dining room table, to be able to offer guests such gourmet meals.  It relieved us of this stress while we are both so busy with the office work, especially with Ja Ja Ann doing her third audited report for EWCV Uganda.  Uncle Aris has also been invited to speak at several churches and special events such as the Youth Rally in Kalungi Parish.  His guitar playing to accompanying the singing has been great.   God is sooooo good to bring all these wonderful people to us and it has been an incredible encouragement.   Aris and Mary have also painted the rooms and the outside of the boy’s quarters at our hospitality house, to freshen it up for some of the guests.   Rev. Christopher’s daughter, Rachael, assisted Auntie Mary and Nick’s two daughters with translation.  Rachael is also continuing to assist us at the property by looking after the children, as her younger sister, Mary, recently left for Makeriere University to begin her degree program in Education.  Mary has been a tremendous asset to EWCV, looking after 11 nursery children at the property since last December.  Three of these children are from Lubumba Village.

Australia and Greece

Our next visitor was Auntie Martha Mertzanides who came to us briefly from Australia, but her trip was shortened due to her father’s illness.   At the same time our missionary friend, Auntie Karin Schutz, arrived from Athens, Greece, coming on behalf of Hellenic Ministries where we volunteered for two years.  These two ladies also won the hearts of all the children at both sites as they had brought gifts for the children and played with them, teaching them games and fun-filled activities.  Martha is a physical education teacher in Adelaide, Australia and shared with our children many active games.  Karin assisted us in planning for the Greek team of six members from Athens plus the two ladies who came from Larisa, Greece.  Careful preparation for this team’s arrival was needed in order to ensure that their stay would give them a sense of satisfaction regarding their efforts and the money spent coming here to work with us in the orphanage.   We are thankful for the gifts that both ladies brought with them.  One of our children was overheard saying that Jesus must love them very much with all of these visitors bringing gifts for them.   Auntie Mary had the children do some paintings to send back to Greece and to Australia to some children in those countries who had sent some drawing to our children.   Greetings to all your students in your classroom in Adelaide, Auntie Martha, and also to your parents.  We do hope your father is gaining strength and healing properly.  Karin is now ministering in some of the Greek Islands on a missions trip.  Please greet Nico Bougas from South Africa for us, Karin, if he remembers us from the Hellas Conference in 2002.

Team from Athens and Larisa, Greece

When the Greek team arrived from Athens for their short stay of about ten days, the time went by so fast.   We praise God for the success of the plans that gave the team a wide variety of experiences.  They stayed with Rev. Christopher and Harriet who provided the best of hospitality.   The team ate their breakfasts with the Muwonges and then ate lunches here or at the property, depending where they were for the day.   When we went out to the property, Uncle Aris prepared sandwiches for us all, and when we were in town, he had lunch and supper ready for us.   Evenings were special times during which each person shared their special experience for the day as well as suggesting one thing for which we could praise God.  It was so interesting to hear how each member had unique outcomes.  Our staff at EWCV was truly impressed by the team spirit displayed by the Greek volunteers.  They fitted in with everyone.   During their stay, the team leader, Aris #2, worked at our carpenter shop trying to complete some more desks as did George Lignos a couple of times.  We are so thankful for the gift of the B & D power saw that was donated to EWCV by Dimitrios Lignos of Athens.   We are also thankful for the gifts of the B & D power sander and power drill with special bits for routering plus the regular bit set, all purchased and given to us in Kampala when the team was leaving.   Thanks to the Egaleo Church in Athens for making it possible for us to have these tools.  Some of the guys from the team assisted Aris trying to chizzel out the grouves for the boards of the desks.  Their team of men also worked with our EWCV male staff members digging cassava at a farm, and they brought back Matooke as well.  They also combined efforts to paint our front gate.  Some of them worked in the fields at the property harvesting bean plants and then beating them to shake out the beans.  The ladies played with the children, helped to peel matooke, and learned how hard it is to peel cassava.  Three of the guys brought their musical instruments (a flute, a guitar, and a violin) which they used to teach the children about instruments and to accompany the African drums and singing.  Aris managed to come with us and do some special mime presentations for the children and staff.

Future Volunteers

On the day that Aris and Mary will leave Uganda to return to Canada (September 13), two young, Canadian ladies, Susy Loewen and Ashley Penner from southern Manitoba will board their flights to come to volunteer for EWCV for three months.  God’s timing is perfect as we will need these young ladies to assist with the children during the remainder of the holidays as well to help the teachers when the children are back in school on September 17th.   At the beginning of December, we will have our friends, Walter and Marilyn Dyck from Rosetown, Manitoba, along with their four boys, arriving to spend two months with us.   They are also coming with a willingness to work wherever needed by EWCV – working in the fields, doing construction, or ministering to the children.    Before Christmas, our friends, Steve and Loni Marvin from Brandon, Manitoba, along with Steve’s brother, Luke, from Winnipeg, will arrive for three weeks.  This is also perfect timing as we will be preparing for Christmas Day for the children and will appreciate the extra hands.  We are praying that Joe and Joan Vautour will come to spend Christmas with us from Italy.  It would be a Christmas they wouldn’t forget.  We will have enough beds for everyone along with the needed mosquito nets.  Having many people here isn’t a burden when people chip in to help in the kitchen and with the cleaning.  Instead, it is a pleasure, but prayer is needed and  works

Thank You

Our thanks goes out to John and Anne La Rue of Manitoba and St. George’s Anglican Church in Brandon who are assisting us with the funds to build two huts for Family #2.   Their donations are enabling us to move forward with construction for Family #2 who we would like to see being moved from here in Soweto to the property in Lubumba Village by Christmas time.  We also give thanks to Rev. Michael Sheppard and his churches in Scotland who recently sent us donations including moneys from the children’s Sunday Schools.   Another surprise donation came from Jonathan Riley of Sydney, Australia, who asked his family and friends to make donations to EWCV for his 25th birthday instead of giving him gifts.   These moneys came to us at a time when our expenses were very high and one of our children, Jackie, needed to begin a series of operations in Kampala on her clubbed foot.   Jackie is doing well, but has undergone two surgeries and returns to Kampala this coming week for her third operation.  The love and generosity of donors help us to meet our expenses.   We have also had two other children, Joseph N. and Gerald who had surgeries recently and are now doing fine.  We have a wonderful staff at EWCV and the love and commitment that they show to the children help the children to heal quickly.   God has truly hand picked each child and staff member as we prayed He would.   His hand in our project is very evident to those people who visit us and know what is happening here.   It is His project after all!

We thank so many of you who write encouraging emails, send letters and cards, phone us, and continue to make generous donations each month for either staff or children or both.  The children pray for you every day.  We still need sponsors for our House Parents, Aaron and Naomi, who are raising 24 children along with their own three children here in Soweto, as well as for our maintenance man, Dan.  These staff members are listed on the website under Staff Sponsorship.  It would be so nice to see all our staff sponsored by Christmas so that we would then ready to begin bringing in new staff and 24 more children for Family #3.   We have children waiting to be brought under the care of EWCV.   We can only move forward as we have the funds.
Extension Program on our Website (www.eagleswingschildrensvillage.com )

You might wish to check out our new link on our website referring to “Extension Program.   We have included some families/individuals who are now under our wings outside our boundaries.  We are reaching out into the community around us.
Also, we will placing two young boys aged 4 and 6 years on our Child Sponsorship program on the website soon as their father died yesterday August 26th of AIDS and the mother died four years ago of AIDS.  The burial of the father was held today.   It seems that some friends of the family will assist the two older girls, but nobody would accept to take in the two younger boys.  The boys names are Caleb and Daniel and neither child has attended school due to the poverty of the family.   We will have to see what we can do to assist these boys until Family #3 is here with us.  The need is urgent right now for these boys.   It needs prayer.

Possible Christmas Presents from Sponsors

Sponsors of our children have been asking about what they can give their sponsored children for Christmas.  Rather than mailing presents at great cost, we are suggesting that you might wish to consider sending a Christmas Card along with a letter for your child and any pictures you wish.   You might also consider giving a gift of $40 to $50 CAD towards the construction of 2 chicken coups (for Family #1 and Family #2) which will include 50 chickens each.  These chickens will be raised by the children of each family and will provide eggs and chicken meat for the families.  By the way, we will also be purchasing a Christmas gift of clothing for each child to be placed under the Christmas tree on your behalf.

We would also like to purchase a couple of dairy cows (pregnant) to provide milk daily for the children.   We need to plant elephant grass for fodder for the cows and to construct a corral.   I’m told that the cost of one pregnant dairy cow plus a corral would be approximately $1200 CAD = $1125 USD = 857 EUROS.

The construction of the buildings for Family #2 still requires some commitment towards funding the Dining Hut, the Parents House, and the Kitchen.  We will be needing funding for these buildings by October in order to have them completed by Christmas so that the family can move into its new housing at the property.   If any group or individual wishes to know the costs of constructing these buildings, please email us and we can provide that information.
If anybody wishes to have brochures for EWCV, please phone Harry and Francie Humby at 204-257-2483 or email:      f_humby@nullhotmail.com

Prayer Requests

Please pray for our sister, Vicki, as she prepares for heart surgery sometime in October at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, and for our child, Jackie, from Family #2, as she undergoes more surgery for her clubbed foot this coming week in Kampala.  We continually need and appreciate your prayers for Eagles Wings Children’s Village.