Today we were able to sleep in, as breakfast was not until 8:30a. After our morning meeting and worship time, Destanie, Lany, Jen and I filled sandwich bags with sugar for the world changers. Everyone else helped put together the rest of their gifts. They get special gifts as they don’t have anyone else to provide for them. Some of what they got was sugar, notebook paper, soap, pens, petroleum jelly, and other daily needed items. There was also a box with shoes and pads to hand out as well. Joanne said if we wanted to leave any of our snacks behind Mama Evah would love to take them from us. Between the whole team, I think we almost filled a whole reusable shopping bag with snacks. Once we were done prepping, we headed out to Destiny orphanage and boarding school. The bus was full between our group, Richard (our driver), Moses, Ssepuuya, Ivan, and three former graduates, Frank, Elijah, and Ronald that ended up coming with us. We actually picked up two of the three on the way. One we picked up at the bottom of the hill and the other about five minutes down the road. The traffic to destiny was actually really good! When we arrived, Richard parked the bus by the baby house area. Sadly, they are not taking babies at this time, so the rooms are empty. From there, we walked to the high school classes. That meant we walked up a short hill and down the steep hill to the high school. We went into the 2022 graduating class room. The three former graduates each took turns speaking to the students. They told the students their stories and what they are now doing. Some of the things they told them were to not be peer pressured into doing a job that is not their gifting just because someone else does it or it is better for money. They need to be true to theirselves. They reminded them to always remember where they come from and to serve the people around them. Also, that if what they do helps or blesses one person, it is worth it. They need to love and serve. Giving back should not be limited to family or people they know. Moses spoke next about seeds of leadership and how to apply for it if any students were interested. Joanne then came up and spoke to the students about falling into servitude/ slavery when they graduate. She warned them about communication with people on the internet who seem like they are doing stuff to help, but have men labor for years just to pay off a plane ticket and housing fees where they bring them, but give them a little money to send home as well. Also about how young women were being told guys wanted to marry them or hire them as workers or nanny’s, but end up prostituting them. She gave examples of two people from Uganda that she know this has happened to. Joanne wanted to share this so they would be aware and not be caught in theses awful situations.
Once we were done talking to the 2022 graduates, we climbed back up the hill and went to the baby house again. This is when we met with the world changers. The three former students talked to them as well and we handed out gifts, including shoes, school supplies, hygiene supplies, and sugar. Joanne’s face lights up so much when she is with these young men and women. There is no question about her love for them or that they are her children. You can tell they lover her a lot in return too. She is the one who changed their lives for the better. Joanne listened to God and asked mama Evah to get her children and she would find sponsors for them to go to school. That is exactly what she did too. We did not have long with them as many had to get back to class. There were a bunch of primary students spending time near us. One of the adults told them if they didn’t go back to class, they would not get a sweet (aka candy). This worked so well as most of the kids started cheering and running to class.
Our last project was to go to each of the primary classes, introduce ourselves, and hand out candy. The sad part is we were 20-30 pieces short, so one class (thankfully of older kids) didn’t get any. We finished handing the candy out just in time for a down pour. Joanne had gone to mama Evah’s office and we picked her up with the bus as we were leaving. On the drive home, Ssepuuya was sitting next to me. He had fallen asleep. A few times while he slept, I would reach over and hold his shoulder because the road was trying to bump him off the chair. I was trying to keep an eye on Ssepuuya while having a conversation with ???
who was sitting behind me. A couple times Ssepuuya woke up and thanked me for taking care of him, but he was so sleepy that he fell back to sleep soon after. The first time that happened. He looked at me and said, “did you take a picture of me?” I said, “yes, how did you know.” Ssepuuya knows me way to well. The rest of the night we worked on suitcases and/or played games. Rachel Y, Algena, Lany, Jen, Destanie and I spent hours playing spicy Uno and spoons. There was a lot of laughter and disagreements, but it was so fun!