Newsletter – November, 2008

We have delayed in getting out another newsletter for various reasons including health issues, a car accident, and volunteers and visitors coming and going.  It has been a hectic number of months, but here we are with another newsletter as the end of the year is near at hand.  We send you warm greetings from the children and all the staff of EWCV Uganda.

Our total number of children is now at 72, with 24 children in each of the three families.   Families #1 and #2 live at the EWCV property which is 25 miles from our home in Masaka Town where Family #3 lives.  Our goal is for ten such families, totalling 240 to 300 children, to complete our village.  We are also including 93 of the most needy children/orphans from the surrounding village of Lubumba in the classes at our school that goes up to Primary Four.  Our EWCV staff now numbers 29 Ugandans and is growing in numbers.

Efforts at Improving the Water Supply to EWCV

As many of you know, we have been having a water crisis at the property of EWCV during which we have had to hire men to bring water in jerry cans on their bicycles in order to provide water for the children at the village.   We have finally been able to follow up on having the well drilled, after first having had a hydrogeological survey done to find the best spot for drilling.   The drillers spent about three days doing the drilling.   We waited anxiously for the report that came to us with the news that there was not a good source of water available for the type of submersible pump we had hoped to use.   However, we will try to have a hand pumping system installed so that water can be fetched in jerry cans for use by the families and at the school.

Recently, we had George Grinestaff and his son, Jacob, come from Alaska , U.S.A. , for a couple of days to look over the drillers’ reports and take a look at the well.   George is a consultant and expert at drilling wells for water, and he provides his services all over the world.  He did this job voluntarily for us, along with Jacob, and they donated a new 2000 litre water tank to EWCV to hold drinking water purified by the water chlorination purification kit they also donated.  Many thanks go out to George and Jacob.   They trained our foreman, Dan Ngobya, to be able to keep the water in the tank purified by using the purification kit and testing the water regularly.   George has advised us to go ahead with the installation of a hand pumping system and he is hopeful and somewhat optimistic that, indeed, there may be more water available than was reported.  Our cooks at the property are thrilled with having purified water as they no longer have to boil the water for the children and staff.   Water born diseases are often the cause of sickness and death in countries like Uganda .  We have truly been blessed.

Right now the Ugandan Government is building a High Voltage Transmission Line from the new hydro dam on the Nile River to Tanzania , and their plan takes it right through the middle of EWCV property.   We have appealed for them to build the line around us, but are awaiting word from them.  We were told by the head engineer not to proceed with building anything new right now until they confirm whether or not they are going to divert this line.  This advice has presented a problem for us as our temporary school was refused a licence by the Education Department.   Now that we are ready to begin building the new school, we are being delayed.  We need the new permanent school to be ready for the beginning of the school year on February 2nd, 2009.  Rev. Christopher and I met with the LC 5 Chairman who is the President’s government representative for the Masaka District.   I have already informed him about our problem as well as the RDC (Regional District Commissioner who is another representative of the President).   We just want a quick “yes” or “no” as to whether they are going to divert around us as we were told they can do.   The Minister of Energy for Uganda is being approached by the LC 5 Chairman on our behalf.  Right now we continue with our little temporary school as we complete the third term before the two-month school break that ends the school year.   Please pray for us as we see God’s intervention in our struggle.   As it’s God’s project, we are optimistic that all things will work out for the good since we have hope from all our advocates.

Visitors from Western Canada

Since our last newsletter, we had a team of eleven students and teachers visit our project.   They came from a high school in Burnaby , B.C. and brought many items, including vitamins and toothpaste that are all used up now.   They also brought a wonderful red wagon which our foreman, Dan, assembled.  The smaller children have been enjoying it so much; they have the older children pull them around the yard in circles.   The team spent time volunteering at both our sites with all the three families of children who had a great time playing games and doing crafts, etc.    Family #3 children even got to go swimming at the local pool in Masaka with the team.  Our thanks go out to this team for their time spent with the children and for helping in so many ways.  One of the students, Tessa, even managed to complete a wonderful painting on the outside wall of the children’s’ quarters here in town.  The picture shows a little elephant, “Tessa”, sitting under a tree.  It has really brightened up the entrance veranda for the children and staff.  Thanks, Gabrielle Tambre, for all of the planning you did, for and with your students.

Car Accident

On August 28th, Ann and I, along with our passenger, Teacher Rachael, were driving to Kampala where I had an appointment at the hospital.   As we were nearing Kampala , a tipper truck was passing a long semi-trailer truck on a solid white line coming down a big hill.   The tipper was directly in our path, and I thought for sure that he would move behind the semi.   He just increased his speed to try to overtake the semi in time, but he failed and, as we approached him, he diverted off the road at the last minute, avoiding a head-on collision with us.  I had hit my breaks when we were between the two trucks and lost control.  We hit the tipper on Ann’s side of the car and the back of our car hit the semi.   We ended up stopped in the middle of the busy highway while the tipper hit the embankment and went over on its side.   It was a true miracle that God helped us get out of this accident alive.   Ann had an injury on her knee and a fractured bone in her foot.   Rachael hit her head and needed medical attention at the nearby clinic.  The car needed major repair.  The lady who was a passenger in the truck was helped out, but the driver ran away and has not been seen since by the owner of the truck.  The owner has been to see us several times and is trying to compensate for the repairs we had to make of the hired car.   We praise God for His mercy towards us.   After that time, I was also cured of a lung condition that had caused serious coughing and also was cured from another round of malaria.  Thanks to those whose prayers were answered for healing.

Visitors from Greece

In September, we had our Canadian friends, Joe and Joan Vautour, who are working and living in Athens , Greece , come to spend three weeks with us.   What a blessing to have them with us as they are always such an encouragement for our work with the children!   They brought many things that we needed and the highlight of their gifts were the electric piano and guitar.  I have been missing having a piano so much since we returned from Canada .   The electric instrument has a variety of sounds and I still need to study the booklet seriously to learn the potential of using it properly, especially the percussion part.   Thanks, Joe and Joan, for everything.  On their way home to Athens , they stopped in Dubai for five days to visit our friends, Greg and Nellie Zaralides, and daughter, Stella (16).   Stella and Joe composed some music for EWCV and performed it at the International School Concert in Dubai that Stella organized to raise money for EWCV.   Thanks go out to Stella who worked so hard to organize this concert, along with many staff and friends from the school.  We truly appreciate all your efforts.   This money will go into the building of our much-needed new primary school.  Joe has also been working at raising the money needed to support one of our eleven-year- old boys, Moses, from our “EWCV Extension Program”.  Moses needs a heart operation that cannot be performed here in Uganda .  Joe has put his Harley Davidson Motorcycle up for sale to contribute money towards Moses’ operation.

After Joe and Joan’s departure from Uganda , we have had five young ladies representing Hellenic Ministries in Athens , Greece , come to do volunteer work with our children.  Lena comes originally from Crete and is now living in Larisa , Marisa comes from Athens , Vaso and Katerina Kaffe from Larisa , and Katerina #2 from Thessalonica in northern Greece .   This is a second Hellenic Ministries Youth Missions trip to our project in Uganda ; a team of eight members came last year.  Let’s hope this becomes an annual venture for Hellenic Ministries.   We could use teams for the construction of housing for the children and staff quarters as well as for the building of our new school.   The staff and children especially appreciate and enjoy the variety of gifts and toys that these young women brought with them, along with donations from various individuals in Greece .  Thank you so much for everything.  With the money, we have been able to provide more textbooks and educational supplies for the students and teachers.

Foundation of the New Primary School for EWCV

The land has been cleared at the property to begin constructing the foundation of the new “Beth Pipe Nursery and Primary School” as soon as we get the go ahead from the Ugandan Government.  Thanks go out to Alison and her new husband, Jonathan, who were married this fall in southern Manitoba and who requested in their wedding invitations that all gifts for them be given in the form of cheques made out to Eagles Wings Children’s Village for the new school project.   We were totally amazed at the generosity of this newly wed couple and for their kindness to our children at EWCV.   The donations were the first money raised towards the construction of the slab/foundation of the new school.   Other donations have come from Dubai where the students and staff at the International School have organized a concert to benefit our new school.   We have been totally in awe of how God provides for our needs in His perfect timing.  We have a long way to go towards donations for the school, but what an encouraging start.   Some families are giving towards the school instead of exchanging gifts at Christmas.   With the new system in place at the EWCV Head Office in Winnipeg , donations through VISA are now accepted.   There have been many requests for this system and it is now available for use, I’m happy to announce.  We are also able to provide a complete breakdown of costs for each brick and bag of cement needed to build the school and this breakdown is included on out current need page.   If you are unable to open it, please let us know and we will try to send it to you in another form.   People have been asking for such a breakdown of costs.

Sixty Eight Boxes of Books from Southern Manitoba on their way to EWCV in Uganda

Once again, we are grateful and very appreciative of all the efforts of Walter and Marilyn Dyck from the Altona area of Manitoba for their efforts, along with their church, to assemble and edit sixty-eight boxes of books for EWCV new school library.   The boxes of books should be leaving Canada any time now by ship and might be here by Christmas.   Wow, what an incredible gift once again!   The Dyck family visited us last year at EWCV at which time they helped to build our temporary school structure.   They will be sharing their experiences of volunteering with us at a host church in Winnipeg in December along with the surrounding community to raise awareness.   They hope this will generate money for the new school at EWCV.   It is incredible how God is using so many people to walk with us when we are faced with many challenges as our children’s’ project enlarges under Gods’ direction and guidance.  We rely on God for every aspect of our project and give Him the glory for every step forward that has been made for our children.  We have also received packages of books from Pat Parish in Winnipeg and her sister Lynda Norton of Victoria , B.C.   Pat held a garage sale this fall in Winnipeg to raise money for school supplies at EWCV.   We are having some special cabinets made to house all the books for our new school library once the new school opens.   The monitoring of the books will need special care so that we have some system in place for the teachers for handling the books with the children.  A box of toys is on its way from Toronto from Sophia Syrros who sponsors nine of our children.

The Third School Term Coming to a Close

This has been an exciting term for our school children at both our sites as they are wearing new school uniforms with the school badge neatly sewn on the front.  The colours are forest green shorts/skirts and bright yellow shirts/blouses.   The sewing was assisted by two of the young ladies, Harriet and Annet, of the “EWCV Extension Program”  who were sponsored for sewing classes.    Also this term, the students have been excited with their new textbooks which are the first books they have ever been able to hold in their hands.   Thanks go out to the various donors who have made this possible.  On the last day of October, the children finished writing their tests and exams for mid-term.   Our third term ends December 5th and then there will be a two-month holiday until February 2nd, 2009 when the Ugandan schools begin their next year.  At that time we will need to have our new school constructed and we will also need to have hired a new teacher for Primary Five class students.   During the school break and after Christmas on December 28th, our children from EWCV will be picked up by their former guardians to take them home for a one-month visit.  When the former care givers of the children come on that date, we will host our EWCV Annual General Meeting along with our Ugandan Board Members for EWCV.

In Memory/New Birth

We have recently held two separate memorial services with the children of EWCV at the church at the property to remember two sponsors who passed away –  long-time friends, John La Rue of Winnipeg Beach and Grace Lynch of Gilbert Plains .  We send our condolences to both families.    We are grateful for the donations made in their memory.   This money will be used towards the construction of the new school for the children of EWCV.

Our House Parents for Family #3 have recently added to their own personal family a second daughter, “Trust”, who was born October 14th, in Masaka, a sister for “Treasure”.   Mamma Florence spent one week in the hospital, but is now home resting during her time of maternity leave.  We are thankful for having other staff members who can help to cover her duties.   Tatta Moses is certainly kept busy these days, but the Greek ladies have been a big help with the little children while the older ones are in school for Family #3.   We are now missing their help as they left November 4th to return to Greece .

Presentation for EWCV to be Held in Winnipeg in December 2008

We are pleased to announce that on Sunday, December 7th, 2008, Walter and Marilyn Dyck and their four boys will be giving a presentation about Eagles Wings Children’s Village.  It will be held at Westwood Presbyterian Church at 6:30 pm. The address of the church is 197 Browning Street. We are so thankful that they have blessed us as some of our wonderful ambassadors and advocates for the growing numbers of children at EWCV Uganda.

Our Thanks

We appreciate the support of the people who provide monthly sponsorship of staff and children as well as of the donors who donate to our General Fund and special projects, like the building of the school.  This support enables us to continue expanding and caring for more and more needy children all the time.   We can’t do this work alone and are thankful to have you walking with us as well as praying for us.  We also truly appreciate the work, encouragement, and support given from the heart of volunteers who have been with us.

EWCV Canadian Head Office:
61 St. Vital Road, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R2M 1Z4

204-257-2483  (Harry and Francie Humby)

***VISA is also an option for donations/sponsorship at EWCV Office***