Newsletter – Spring, 2005

We are into the Easter Weekend here in Gilbert Plains, and it’s time to send you our best wishes and greetings as we celebrate the joy that Easter brings with Christ’s Resurrection. Spring Equinox took place last Sunday so we are now receiving longer daylight hours. Our ground is still covered with snow, but the snow will soon disappear as the temperatures rise above zero each day.

We have received enquiries as to whether we are still in Canada as our communications have taken some time. Yes, we are still here. Our plans are to return to Uganda by late August of this year, good Lord willing. Each day is passing by quickly and those days spent with family and friends have been very special to us.

Our orphanage project has been progressing with several improvements. Our friend, Celesta Thiessen developed our website for “Eagles Wings Children’s Village” just before Christmas. This will enable us in the future to keep everyone informed with the progress of our project through the website. If you haven’t checked it out, you might wish to do so: www.eagleswingschildrensvillage.com

We are waiting for the Canadian incorporation of Eagles Wings Children’s Village with a Canadian Board of three members including two of our church elders from Parkside Gospel Church and our lawyer from Dauphin. This incorporation should come through any day now. Then we reapply to the Canadian Government for our Charitable Organization number and set up our head office in Winnipeg once we have the number. It seems that each step takes time and requires patience. In the meantime, our church, Park side Gospel Church, is issuing income tax receipts on behalf of “Eagles Wings Children’s Village” during 2005 or until we have our head office set up this year. This has enabled us to move forward with our program.

The exciting news is that last Friday the Ugandan surveyors were out at the 70 acres of property we are purchasing in southern Uganda near the town of Lukaya in the Masaka District. They spent the day looking through the bush for the mile stones and finally found them. The rest of the surveying will be completed next week. Our lawyer in Kampala (Capital City of Uganda), has had several meetings with our representative, the landowners, and the surveyors. We can now see some progress. We thank each of you who has made a donation towards the purchase of the land. You can call this “seed money” towards the birthing of the project. It’s an appropriate term when you think of the coming of spring with the promise of new beginnings.

We have been giving presentations far and wide about “Eagles Wings Children’s Village” during the past couple of months using our power point presentation. In February we drove to Alberta where we gave three presentations in and near Edmonton in Devon and Calmar as well as one presentation near Calgary in Didsbury, AB. This was also an opportunity to visit with relatives and friends along the way. Everywhere we went we received such wonderful hospitality. It was truly appreciated! Once we arrived home in Gilbert Plains, we gave a presentation locally and then drove to Winnipeg for another presentation the following week. We try to make ourselves available at our own expense wherever we are invited.

One question we have been asked is why we are duplicating what has been done in other areas. I asked myself the same question when we were in Uganda and asked friends of ours who are in charge of large international organizations such as Compassion Uganda and World Vision. They all told us that the need is so great that only the tip of the iceberg is being handled in caring for children. They urged us to go with our vision of providing a home for lone orphaned children. We were also told that they will walk with us as we progress with this project in Uganda.

With some of the projects such as World Vision and Compassion International, they provide for children in the home setting where parents/grandparents are available. We will be providing a home for the lone orphaned children whose parents/relatives/anyone are not available. Most of the relatives have died of HIV/AIDS or malaria. Our vision includes providing all the basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, education, medical treatment and spiritual nurturing. Some of these lone orphans might be living with AIDS whereby we realize our responsibility to provide medical treatment.

Already we have been asked by some people who are interested in monthly sponsorship of lone orphans and some who are interested in the monthly sponsorship of some of the staff we will need to hire to look after the children. We still need monthly sponsorship for the following staff: cook, nurse, social worker, farm manager, house parents, and gardener/security man. The advanced commitment has been very encouraging as we proceed into new territory. If it weren’t for the encouragers, we would have given up long ago. We also thank those of you world wide who hold this project up in prayer. This is what fuels the project to move ahead. Your continued prayer support is greatly appreciated for God’s Wisdom and Guidance.

With Love and Appreciation, Bill & Ann