Newsletter – December 2004

Dear Family/Friends,

Greetings to you in the Precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matth.5:16

While we are many miles apart from some of you during this Christmas season, you are often thought about. We are cutting back the cost of sending out Christmas cards by sending this letter/email out to everyone we know with email addresses. We are thankful for the letters, emails, phone calls, prayers, and financial support of so many friends and family during our time in Greece and Uganda. At times it would have been so easy to run back to our comfortable home in Canada where everything is familiar. However, encouragement came from many of you to continue our work for the Lord overseas.

We remember with appreciation the wonderful love and care received from so many friends in Uganda before we left the country on May 1, 2004 . On that date we flew to Athens, Greece where we stayed with friends for about 10 days before flying to Toronto, Canada where we attended the wedding of friends Costas and Jenny Mihalios whom we had met in Greece. When we reached our family in Winnipeg on May 22nd, we visited with them for three weeks after being apart for over three years. Our five grandchildren had grown so much! It was hard to believe. Since we returned to our home in Gilbert Plains in mid-June, our families have been here to visit with us several times with most of our children and grandchildren able to join us for Thanksgiving. We are also expecting Ken & Linda’s family to drive here from Winnipeg (200 miles) on Christmas Day with Ken’s parents and they will stay for a three days to celebrate Christmas as well as Ann’s birthday on the 25th. This may be our last Christmas in Canada for some time and we are excited as this will be a very special time for us.

Right now we are in the winter season with snow covering everything. Actually, it is very nice to have the snow as we are used to having it during the Christmas Season. Yesterday was the Winter Solstice where we had our shortest day of the year with about only 8 hours of daylight. The sun rises late around 8 am and sets about 4 pm. The temperatures have been quite cold, at times it has been minus 40 degrees Celsius like tonight. However, when it gets mild with rain and then freezes, it turns to ice and it is very dangerous for walking or driving. It is then very easy for elderly people to fall and break their bones.

Our son, Mike, is living in Winnipeg and continues to work at an American computer company. He is enjoying his job and enjoys visits from his daughters Sheena (13) and Felicia (18). Sheena enjoys playing her clarinet in the school band. Felicia is now working full time at Canadian Tire. Our daughter Linda is still nursing at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg after 16 years and is now working half time during weekends when husband Ken looks after the family at home. He is a machinist with Standard Aerospace having put in around 18 years. Amanda (13) continues with dance lessons, Joshua (11) has taken up power skating this year and takes piano lessons. Jennifer (6) has started with dance lessons and piano lessons. We are able to enjoy many special times of entertainment first hand during our visits when we stay with them in Winnipeg or when they come to Gilbert Plains. The grandchildren had grown so much since we left Canada over 3 years ago! They are all truly blessings to us and we love them dearly.

We have had several visits with sister Vicki & husband Jack McTaggart in Winnipeg since our return from Uganda. They are both keeping well and enjoy traveling in Canada and abroad. Between their combined families they keep busy hosting and visiting them. We drove to Moose Jaw, SK during after we were settled back home to visit with sister Gloria & husband Lloyd Bassett. We were able to visit with all their families who live nearby. Please keep Gloria in your prayers as she has been waiting for a hip replacement operation which is to take place January 3rd, Good Lord willing. We are so pleased to have a date for her operation.

We are hoping to return to Uganda by the end of August, 2005, Good Lord willing. Our orphanage project is moving forward slowly in baby steps and we realize that when we return to Uganda, it will be a long time commitment. We applied to the Ugandan Government for recognition of “Eagles Wings Children’s Village” to be given the status of a NGO (Non Governmental Organization). We received the certificate from the government after we returned to Canada as it was issued July 27th, 2004 in Uganda. Then we applied to the Canadian Government in September to be recognized as a Canadian Christian Charitable Organization. They say we have to wait for 2 to 9 months. This will allow us to issue income tax receipts for donations. We are planning to send out letters to many large corporations and foundations for donations. Our Canadian Head office will be set up in Winnipeg and we are also in the process of seeing about setting up an American Head office for our orphanage project. When we travel back to Uganda, we will be sponsored by our home church, Parkside Gospel Church. Last Sunday the offering from the Sunday School Christmas Concert is being directed towards “Eagles Wings Children’s Village” project.

You might wish to check our new Internet Website that was opened last Monday evening:

Please pray for this project. We believe that is the only way our project will move forward. May God’s love fill your heart and home this Christmas and throughout the New Year! Luke 19:38, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in Heaven and glory in the highest!”

With Much Love in Christ, Bill & Ann