Returned – Slightly Damaged

I returned from Uganda after about 27 hours of traveling. When I say “slightly damaged” I am referring to my heart. Oh! It is so difficult leaving those wonderful children of “mine” there. When I finally arrived in Chicago after a 5 hour layover in Detroit, I was tired but not too tired to go see my granddaughter Grace directly from the airport! She remembered me! Yeah! So okay, only slightly damaged.What a wonderful trip I had! God is so good! I wrote 3 updates but found upon my return that only 2 of those actually made it to the blogsite and to you. To make it a little worse, I cannot even find the missing one. Someday maybe I will become computer savvy. So far though I am grateful that Ivan is.

To summarize, as we did in our February 8 board meeting, MCM is growing and expanding by the grace of God. In June 2013 we had 6 children sponsored, now we have 24 sponsored, and are responsible for a total of 35 with another 40 on our waiting list. So thankful for sponsors! Our June goals of completing the MCM website and a brochure by January were accomplished. Thank you Kelly Cunningham and Kim Pannos! We were blessed by a teen at our church who produced a sweet music video for promotional purposes. Thank you Hannah Howell! Perhaps one of the most significant improvements to the community as a whole was the drilling and fabrication of a borehole (clean water well) that was completed the final week I was there. A huge debt of thanks goes out to my husband Mark who ran a half marathon and raised a third, my dad Felix Charlier who gave a third and Amber Foundation who gave a third in memory of Amber Volk. That money was also enough to add a septic system to the house and in the future we can complete the rain collection system eventually too.

We had a wonderful Christmas Party (again thanks to the generosity of the sponsors) and 34 out of 35 children were interviewed in their village homes or at Ivan’s home in the weeks following. To see the mud huts these little ones live in and the rags they wear is heart wrenching! One family of 3 children saw us at their home from a distant field and ran to us smiling. The oldest girl was about 6 and had the 2 year old on her back. The boy who is 4 carried a large branch on his shoulder for the evening fire and held a blade of grass in his mouth. All three had runny noses and wide happy grins. To be able to give them the smallest things like crayons and a small coloring book was a joy. Older children were given jump-ropes, decks of cards, and other small gifts along with their sponsors letters and photos, all in all created quite a sweet appreciation.

The greatest gift of course being their education tuition and your prayers. So many guardians and parents came to say, “Thank you for loving us!” So I say in turn, Thank YOU all for loving us!

Still experiencing some jet lag so I will end here but there will be more to come as I wake up less in the middle of the night thinking I am in Uganda.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

love to all~

michele / ma / mummy / and my Ugandan name –

Kiconco (pronounced chee-chon-ch-oh and meaning “gift from God” like my Nonie’s name, Dorothy means)