Newsletter – November, 2006

We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and many blessings during the New Year. It is hard for us to imagine that it will be soon be Christmas Day and we will be celebrating the birth of Jesus, our Savior, and Ann’s birthday too! Everything here is so green, with the abundance of rain that falls in this land of perpetual summer, while back on the Canadian prairies, it is white with snow everywhere and temperatures are below zero.

We are now into the rainy season which has also brought along the grasshoppers as well as with an increase in cases of malaria. The grasshoppers are being caught in large numbers and being prepared for eating.

Progress of Eagles Wings Children’s Village

It has been an incredible year of progress for Eagles Wings Children’s Village orphanage project in East Africa. We praise God for what He has done and the many blessings He has brought forth for the staff and the children. There are always the daily challenges and obstacles to overcome, but with our Lord in charge, He helps us over each hurtle. To Him we give the glory.

Picnic and Birthday Celebration

We celebrated Shakira’s 4th birthday by taking everyone in a couple of vehicles to a small
Lake near Lake Victoria for a picnic, games, and the regular Sunday Children’s’ Worship
Service. When we arrived, the children spent 30 minutes watching the monkeys that had
come into the campground. Most of the children had never seen monkeys close up. The
children received balloons and sweets after enjoying Mama Christine’s fried chicken.
There was playground equipment for the children to enjoy and they liked walking along the
beach, tossing stones into the lake.

Moving Day for EWCV Children and Staff

October 16th was the day the children and staff moved from our home in Masaka to their
new home at the EWCV site in Lubumba Village in the municipality of Lukaya. The day
was full of challenges as the moving trucks and movers arrived but wanted more money.
Then the pickup truck we are renting caught fire under the hood due to some faulty wiring.
The problem was solved when our mechanic arrived and spent several hours repairing the
wiring. The carpenter hadn’t appeared to install the shutters and doors for the children’s’
dormitory huts, so the house parents put all the beds into their house until the job was
done. The children, however, were quite pleased to be in their new home with so much
space to move around on the 72.1 acres.

Report on Acholi Children from Gulu IDP camps

On October 19th we drove by van to Gulu in northern Uganda to bring back seven orphaned
Acholi children whom our social worker, Allan, had selected to come to live at our site. We
had tried our best to keep the northern authorities notified about our intentions through
meetings and correspondence, but when we met with the Probation Officers and other
leaders, they proved quite difficult and wouldn’t allow us to leave with the children. The
camp leaders at the two camps were anxious for us to take the children so we could try to
make a difference in the lives of these young orphaned children who are so destitute. We
had even hired an Acholi lady who is a qualified primary teacher to be the house mother
for these children in order to help them to handle the many cultural changes. When
we visited the two IDP camps near Gulu and met the children, our hearts went out to them
when we knew that we couldn’t bring them with us. These children have lived their few
years in these camps amidst terrible living conditions.

The children looked like they were in immediate need of medical attention and proper diet
which we would have provided for them had they been allowed to come. We had their beds, bedding, and mosquito nets ready for them in huts at our EWCV site. We have written several letters explaining the situation and are still hoping and praying that these children will be released into Eagles Wings’ care.

Roof Repairs

The four dormitory huts have been thatched, but two huts were leaking badly so they had to
undergo immediate repairs which are now nearly completed. In the meantime, the children
are able to sleep in the huts, and the shower in each hut is working fine so the children
have been able to bathe. The dining hut/classroom remains to be thatched when funds
become available. We hired local ladies from Lubumba Village to cut the grass on our
property when the thatching was to begin.

Rain Catchment

When the power is out in Lukaya, the tap water stops flowing. The rain gutters (eaves
troughs) are now in place and connected to the storage tanks. Collecting rain water will
reduce the consumption of tap water from Lukaya Town.

Playground Equipment

An anonymous donor provided the money needed to purchase some playground
equipment – swings and a see saw. These are in constant use and provide so much joy to
all the children. Thanks go to this donor.

Solar System

Eagles Wings paid to have electrical wiring installed and we purchased 32 energy saving
light bulbs for all the buildings including the outside security lights. We also bought an
inverter for the solar system, as part of our required provisions. The German Government
is providing EWCV with four solar panels, a battery bank with container, a monitor unit, the
connections/installation, and the training of our staff. This system should all be in place
within a couple of weeks.

Agriculture Update

Over eleven acres of land were plowed and prepared for seeding before the rainy season
began. We have had eight workers working each day for two weeks to complete the
seeding of our second crop of maize, beans, and peanuts. The seeding was completed
yesterday. We have our two dogs ready to guard and protect these new crops from the
monkeys when they try to invade. We had to replace 43 matooke (banana) suckers, but now over 200 plants are growing nicely. We also had to put a large amount of manure around most of the plants for fertilizing, and we practice mulching to conserve water for each plant.

New Head Office for EWCV in USA

We were recently blessed to have an American team of five members come from the
eastern USA to visit our project at EWCV site. They are very interested in the work we are
doing and have offered to have American donations to EWCV channeled through their
office of “Real Partners Uganda, Inc.” They have already partnered with one of our
Ugandan Board members, John Ssentamu, who had the vision to start Good Shepherd
Nursery School in Lukaya Town. They have now purchased ten acres of land to construct
their own facilities for expanding that project. Any American donors will be issued with an
Income Tax receipt upon request and are asked to make cheques out to “Real Partners
Uganda, Inc.” with an earmark of “Eagles Wings Children’s Village Inc.” and a note
requesting that an income tax receipt be issued. This work is done by volunteers, with
Joseph and Elaine Griswold holding the positions of President/Vice President respectively
for Real Partners Uganda. Their office is in New Jersey with mailing address of:
Real Partners Uganda, Inc., 222 Hagen Road, Brigantine, NJ, 08203 USA.
If you have any questions, you can contact them by email:
jggris@nullcomcast.net or eeiko@nullcomcast.net

Our Family in Canada

Our son and daughter, Mike and Linda, and their families are all keeping well. We are so
proud of the accomplishments of our grandchildren and try to keep in touch through emails
and phone calls on special occasions. We do miss them so much and wish that someday
they might be able to come here for a visit. Our sister Gloria has undergone surgery on her
knee, but is progressing satisfactorily. Sister Vicki keeps busy with her family and friends

Current Needs

  1. EWCV Canada currently has $3300 CAD ($2900 USD) to purchase a 4 wheel drive, double cabin, pickup truck which is needed to transport children to and from medical and dental clinics as well as to bring items such as food supplies, beds, and mattresses to Eagles Wings. We are presently renting a pickup truck for use at the site and a small car for the director to drive each day to the property with supplies, staff, and other workers. We need approximately $17,000 CAD ($15,000 USD) for a good second-hand truck.
  2. Fully qualified medical doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians who are willing to come at their own expense to volunteer, short term or long term, are needed at the nearby clinic in Kalungi. We take our children and staff for treatment at this clinic. The clinic has a good supply of water, solar power, and recently donated Canadian medical equipment, but no qualified trained personnel to operate the facility. They also have a two-year training program for nursing assistants, but need qualified medical teacher trainers to come.
  3. The monthly sponsorship of two new House Parents ($125.00 CAD/$110.00 USD each per month) is needed immediately so we can proceed with bringing in the children for Family
    #2. We would like to begin interviews soon.
  4. Staff quarters for three teachers and one social worker, at $38,000 CAD ($32,500 USD), are also needed.

Prayer Items

Please pray:

  1. For the seven children in Gulu IDP camps to be released to come to live at EWCV site where they can receive proper care.
  2. For the children with us suffering from malaria and other illnesses.
  3. That the Lord will provide the necessary funds for us to begin to bring in the next 24 children for Family #2. We have orphans waiting to come to live at our home in Masaka. When they come here, they will need to live here until the second phase of construction can be completed for housing these children at EWCV property.
  4. That the Japanese Government will approve the building of a Nursery/Primary School at our site. The application needs to be submitted by November 30th, 2006.
  5. For Ann as she struggles to complete the accounting work necessary for the auditor to finish his report soon.
  6. For monthly sponsorship for two new House Parents for Family #2.

Praise Items Praise God:

  1. For the donations for playground and education equipment and materials.
  2. For the many volunteers who are helping EWCV to continue to progress.
  3. For the donors who enabled us to bring in more orphans and provided for construction of children’s’ housing for Family #1.
  4. For the individuals, churches, and organizations which are directing their Christmas gifts of money to EWCV. Each donation, whatever the amount, is appreciated so much. Thank you for the love, generosity, and caring you are showing the children of EWCV Uganda. Thank you for walking with us in this undertaking.
  5. For the donation of a new digital camera to EWCV from Real Partners Uganda, Inc.
  6. That He continues to watch over our children/grandchildren during our absence