Newsletter – May, 2007

Our Original Arrival in Winnipeg in February 2007

We had arrived in Winnipeg on February 6th which was the coldest day during this past winter with the temperature at minus 45 degrees celcius with the wind chill.   Our son, Mike, and daughter Linda were there to greet us with warm coats.    We went directly to Health Sciences Centre to Emergency where we waited eight hours for Ann to be seen by some doctors.   When they saw the X-Rays, things moved quickly and they found her a bed upstairs in the hospital.   Three days later on February 9th, Ann was transferred to Concordia Hospital where she received a complete hip replacement surgery.   On the February 14th Ann was released from the hospital.

My sister Vicki and husband Jack McTaggart were away at the time, but made their home available for us to use plus their van for getting around.  It was a good couple of weeks that we had by ourselves for Ann to rest and to heal.   Our schedule had been so hectic before leaving Uganda that we quite needed some quiet time to rest.    After Ann was strong enough to travel, our friend, Simon, picked us up to drive us to Gilbert Plains .

We decided to sell our family home during our stay and needed to get busy to go through the house sorting and organizing everything.   After we had placed a “For Sale” sign outside, our son, Mike, contacted us to say that he would like to purchase the house and keep it in the Peckham family.   We were able to leave most of the furniture in place for our family to enjoy and didn’t have to worry about cleaning out the entire house.   Mike is waiting for approval from his boss at work to be able to work from Mike’s home in Gilbert Plains .   He works for EDS – Electronic Data Systems which has their office in the Richardson Building in Winnipeg .   Mike had left for India the day after we had arrived back in Winnipeg and was supposed to be in Pune , India until the end of April.    We were looking forward to seeing him upon his return.  However, his stay was lengthened until the end of May.   We were feeling badly that we wouldn’t get to see him again as we would be leaving earlier.   What a surprise we had when he returned unannounced the week before we left Canada .  He had received permission to leave India early.

This long weekend in Canada Mike and our daughter Linda along with their families will be in Gilbert Plains in the “Peckham” house to enjoy a retreat from the city.   We wish them an enjoyable stay and the beginning of many fine new memories under new ownership.

Traveling  Back To Our Ugandan Home

We arrived back in Uganda safe and sound on May 17th.  At the Winnipeg Airport our family of Mike, Linda, Ken and two of their children Joshua and Jennifer, plus my sister Vicki and her husband Jack McTaggart were all there to see us off.  Goodbyes are not easy.  It took us at least an hour to get our luggage checked in and tagged for Entebbe Airport in Uganda .   We had two heavy excess bags, but were able to have them included with extra cost.

The Lord prepared our path before us much better than we could have asked for.  Praise Him!   We were awake early the first morning because we had gone to bed early the evening before.   We couldn’t stay awake one minute longer. The next morning we both felt quite refreshed after such a deep and sound sleep.  However, it will take some time to readjust to the jet lag and the time change of eight hours.

On the overnight flight from Chicago to London , the plane was not full so we were each able to get a complete row of four seats for sleeping.   We were also able to get a complete row of three seats each on the overnight flight from London to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.   It was great to be able to stretch out.  We were bumped up to first class for the final two hour flight into Uganda .

During our London stopover we were met by cousin Kay Kenyan and driven back to their home where we were able to get three hours of solid sleep plus freshen up with a shower.  We had a short time to visit their family before Mark drove us back to Heathrow Airport for our overnight flight to Ethiopia in Africa and finally the last flight to Entebbe in Uganda . We are so thankful for this warm hospitality shown to us in London .

Upon our return at Entebbe in Uganda , we were able to get through customs quickly with our 3 year work permit. Our 6 pieces of luggage went right through from Winnipeg to Entebbe without any problem and arrived in fine order. At each stop we had a wheel chair available for Ann with somebody to push her to the next place.    There is no way that Ann could have walked the incredible distances between flights.   We were able to avoid the long lines which removed considerable stress of traveling.   We didn’t get to our home in Masaka until about 5:30 pm making the trip over two full days of travel.

We arrived in Uganda at 12:30 pm noon and were met by seventeen Ugandan friends who greeted us at the airport to escort us back home. It was a very joyous reunion.   We were driven back to the EWCV property at Lubumba where we were surprised upon reaching the gate to find the gate decorated with flowers and children standing in a row on either side clapping their hands to greet us. We got out of the car to greet them and the 24 children of family #1 came and mobbed us with hugs.  Ann was presented with a bouquet of flowers.  We walked together from the gate along the road into the property where we were greeted by the staff at the compound.   We were taken into the dining hut where we were entertained by the children of family #1.   House Father Caxton Kawuma welcomed us with a short speech on behalf of the staff of family #1.   Everyone was given a soda and a small muffin as part of the celebration..

We left to return to our home in Soweto , Masaka (25 km. further) where we arrived at 5:30 pm and were again surprised by the decorations of flowers and banana palms at the gate entrance.   When the gates opened, the children of family #2 were lined up to greet us with cheering and hand clapping.   We were both presented with bouquets of flowers and mobbed by everyone with hugs.   By this time we were totally overwhelmed by the warm greetings.    Once inside the sitting room in our house, we were entertained by the children and welcomed this time by Rev. Christopher Muwonge on behalf of the staff.   A most delicious supper had been prepared and was served.   After supper we had to excuse ourselves to head for bed.   Our bedroom had been prepared and all we had to do was undress and fall into the freshly made bed.

We were both moved to tears once we were arrived home as we suddenly realized that we have 42 children in our care plus extra children belonging to our staff.   We hadn’t realized the size of our two groups before.   We have to remember that our goal is to bring at least 240 lone orphaned children into our care.  We should be having five more children arrive here in Masaka within the next couple of weeks to complete family #2.

The children look wonderful and well cared for.   They are on their break from school right now until this coming Monday when classes resume all over Uganda for the second term.   However, all the children except three of family #2 at our Soweto , Masaka home have had chicken pox.   The house parent’s three children are just getting over it.   So far it hasn’t hit family #1 of 24 children out at the property. This outbreak of chicken pox came during the children’s’ holidays.

We are so appreciative of the hard work and special care shown by the staff for all of the children of EWCV.   The two staffs have done a marvelous job of running EWCV at our two sites during our absence.  We are truly thankful for Rev. Christopher and Harriet Muwonge’s directing this project during our absence and are pleased that they are working for EWCV full time now.

We are told that a week from this Sunday we will be attending the real celebration of thanksgiving for Ann’s successful operation and speedy healing plus that of our safe return.   Both family # 1 and #2 will be present with family #1 acting as hosts.   It will be a time of thanksgiving and praise to our Lord for His provisions.  Rev. Christopher Muwonge is our spiritual director and will lead the service.   Hopefully, we will have some good pictures of our gathering to send home to everyone.

Shared Vision

Beginning next month in June 2007 and continuing each month into February of 2007, we will be welcoming and hosting volunteers, mostly from Canada and some from abroad with Hellenic Ministries in Greece .  We look forward to having these people with us and will do our best to assist them to fit into this new culture.  I’m sure they will be such a blessing to the children and staff.   We are not sure that we will be able to accommodate all the offers to come to work with us this year, but if not, we will welcome them when we are able, good Lord willing, into the new year if they still wish to come.

During our stay in Canada , we were able to share our vision and work of Eagles Wings Children’s Village with many churches, friends, and new acquaintances.   We were interviewed by Dean Pritchard of the “ Winnipeg Sun” newspaper about our work with the orphanage.   His article appeared in the paper on Friday, May 11th and we appreciate the fine job he did of the write-up.  Dean is a former student of mine when I was teaching at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate in Winnipeg .

We were also interviewed by Willard Thiessen of “It’s A New Day” television program and the program will be aired on TV on June 26th, 2007.   We received an email from Kim Simard of “New Day Ministries” yesterday telling us of the date.   Please enter the date on your calendar if you are interested in watching the program.

Sponsorship

All the children of EWCV are now sponsored and most of the staff for their monthly salaries.   These commitments for salaries help to ensure that we can pay the wages at the end of each month, even during times when donations are slim.   We still have some staff needing sponsorship for their monthly salaries with their pictures and profiles available for selection on the EWCV website which is www.eagleswingschildrensvillage.com or by contacting the Canadian head office for EWCV in Winnipeg .

House Parents, Aaron and Naomi for Family #2 at $125 each parent; Cook for Family #2, Susan, at $50 per month; two security guards, Moses and Anatoli, at $50 each;  agricultural worker, Joseph, at $50;  washing/ironing lady, Angelique at $50 for Family #2;  maintenance/construction supervisor, Dan, at $135.

Thank You

We need to extend our appreciation and thanks to the many people in Canada who showed us wonderful hospitality.   Sister Vicki and Jack McTaggart opened their home to us for most of our stay, sister Gloria and husband, Lloyd Bassett and family welcomed us in Moose Jaw for a week, Iona Hamilton, Simon and Katie Swithenbank in Gilbert Plains, Kim and Roger Bright in Brandon, to Kay and Mark in London, and to everyone who welcomed us for meals or tea.   We have returned to Uganda in need of reducing our weight big time with daily walks for exercise.  The saskatoons, rhubarb, blueberries, pickerel, salmon, steaks, etc. were savored to be remembered for some time.  These are things we are not able to get in Uganda .  Now is the time for readjustment to our new culture.  Our thanks also goes out to Karen Tanasychuk for taking such fine care of our home in Gilbert Plains during our time away and for her accommodating our needs to have access to our house quickly when we decided to sell it as time was running out for us.

To all the donors, we are so appreciative of the difference you are making in the lives of the children and Ugandan staff.   It will be a grand day if you are ever able to come for a visit and meet those children or staff you are sponsoring.  We are also thankful for the many of you who have been praying for our trip back to Canada , for Ann’s operation and healing, and for our return trip back to Canada .   Without these prayers, we would not have been able to move forward.   In everything we give the glory to God and give Him the praise!

We have left behind a wonderful family in Canada and are so proud of each one.   Congratulations to granddaughter, Jennifer, for the two Silver Medals she received last week for her dance presentations.  We received so many bonuses during our trip of times with our family we will never forget.

We had arrived in Manitoba when the snow covered the ground and the temperature with wind chill was bitter cold.   However, we were able to see the transition from winter to spring more clearly than ever before in our lives:   The sound of the Canadian geese and ducks returning in spring, the chirping of the robins, the melting of the snow and ice, the first appearance of the buds on the trees and the spring flowers, the spring blossoms and smell of lilacs, tulips, daffodils, prairie crocuses, the spring rains, the sudden growth of the leaves on the trees along with the freshly grown green grass, seeing the farmers on the fields planting the crops, seeing some of the crops appearing above the ground, and finally, the longer daylight hours.     What blessings we have received.

Contact us: Bill & Ann Peckham, Box 842 , Masaka , Uganda , East Africa .    Phone from Canada :   011-256-782-759-743 (Bill) and 011-256-782-020-959 (Ann)                                                     Email:  bapeckham@nullugandamail.com

Income Tax Receipts will be issued in Canada and USA when donations are mailed to:

EAGLES WINGS CHILDREN’S VILLAGE INC.    –

Canadian Office: 61 St. Vital Road, Winnipeg , MB , Canada R2M 1Z      Email:    pbates@nullmts.net Phone:  204-256-6411

EWCV American Office: Real Partners Uganda, Inc., 222 Hagen Rd. , Brigantine , NJ , 08203 USA ; or email:  eeiko@nullcomcast.net