until we meet again Fred !

What a blessing it was for the staff and granny-families to have Fred & Heather with them; serving so selflessly…it is bittersweet for us too Fred Thank you SO much for sharing your time there with all of us through this blog…we feel like we’ve been on the back of your boda ūüôā ¬†see you again ‘soon OR forever” !!

BITTERSWEET

Fred writes: ¬†Today was bittersweet as it was our last day at The Way Home. ¬†While today was sweltering and we’re tired and starting to look forward to coming home it will still be hard to leave this place and its wonderful people. ¬†This morning Heather sped off on the boda to track down the last three grannies while I stayed behind and spent some time talking to director Russ about how our church might be able to assist him in what God is doing here. ¬†Later in the day we had a very special treat as we were able to be present at a granny interview where she was informed that she would be receiving a new home. ¬†Her son passed away and left her with three orphaned grandkids and she still has three daughters at home as well. ¬†They are all sleeping in the round eight foot diameter hut pictured below. ¬†They will soon have a 10′ x 30′ house, a new latrine and three years of training and assistance with their garden.¬†Director Russ shared with them how God has a heart for widows and orphans and that there are people in America who love God and desire to obey Him and invest in the things that He cares about and that is how they are receiving their new home. ¬†At the end of our time with them He then also had an opportunity, at the request of one of the Ugandan pastors who will be following up with the family, to share the way of salvation with them. ¬†It was astounding to hear the sensitive, culturally relevant way in which he was able to share the Good News – Good News that began 2000 years ago in Palestine and now traveled to east Africa by way of North America. ¬†Amazing stuff here.

At the end of the day we were treated by the Ugandan staff here at The Way Home to a traditional Ugandan dinner of mitoke (an un-sweet banana kind of thing cooked like mashed potatoes), greens, rice, potatoes and even some of Tom, one of the turkeys we’ve been watching strut around the yard all week. ¬†It was great to sit down and break bread with the builders, farmers and pastors who work so diligently bringing shelter, food and Jesus to the people of Uganda.

this granny-family's original house for 7!
this granny-family’s original house for 7!
turkey dinner BEFORE :)
turkey dinner BEFORE ūüôā
a Nasuti specialty local dish
a Nasuti specialty local dish

On the road again (sing it like Willie Nelson)

Keeping you in the loop through Fred (Langeland) ¬†– one of four servant-guests serving at The Way Home this week ¬†with Russ: –¬†

 
Fred writes: ¬†Third day on the road today. ¬†Began with a beautiful sunrise – see ¬†below – and then we saddled up and rode about 1-1/2 hr. to our first stop. ¬†Really out there but the ride was beautiful. ¬†Tim Johnson rode with us, too. ¬†We stopped at only eight granny homes today because of the remote locations. ¬†We saw some beautiful babies today but were saddened to see that they were all wearing witchcraft bracelets. ¬†Even those who convert to Christianity often maintain their previous practices of black magic and ancestor worship. ¬†It’s really hard to see that knowing that they will never know the abundant life in Christ unless they can be led away from the old practices. ¬†Many of the Christian pastors here are uneducated and preach a gospel that isn’t really the Gospel. ¬†More on what The Way Home Africa is working on to help with that later.

We saw some beautiful gardens today – we were really impressed at one stop where there are three grannies in immediate proximity to each other and they have teamed up to do some major power-gardening. ¬†Many hands make light work. ¬†Their gardens produce a very abundant harvest and they not only feed their grandchildren, but also can sell enough excess to pay for all of their school fees. ¬†This concept really works when it’s applied and worked hard at.

As we visited some gardens that are a few years old it was really neat to see how the soil develops over time using the Farming God’s Way method. ¬†The soil here is naturally a gritty red clay. ¬†It is not particularly fertile and is even hard on farming implements due to the angular abrasive nature of the grit in it. ¬†The Farming God’s Way method of using planting holes instead of tilling the soil, covering the garden with mulch to retain moisture and minimize soil compaction, and returning the spent plants to the soil results in a rich, dark topsoil after only a couple growing seasons. ¬†It was very cool to see that the neighbors of the grannies being served by The Way Home Africa / Farming God’s Way partnership are taking notice and beginning to employ the same methods themselves. ¬†This is really a game changer for the folks over here.

We had a little excitement on the way ¬†back this afternoon. ¬†The rainy season is moving in and we were doing our best to skirt a big thunderstorm but just a couple miles from home base we were nailed by a pretty nasty hail storm and had to pull off in a small town and take shelter under a canopy with a large group of local men. ¬†They looked at us like we’re freaks but nobody bothered us. ¬†We often wave to people as we blast down the back roads and they wave back, give us a big grin and yell “mzungu!”. ¬†The Ugandan people are very friendly and helpful.

bodas in the hail

The Way Home- Backroads Tour Day 2

One of The Way Home’s guest-servants this week, blogs about his second day on the roads to photo journal our granny families with Heather:

OUR SECOND DAY ON THE BACKROADS

 
Fred writes: ¬†We spent another day on the backroads of Uganda visiting with 13 grannies at their homes. ¬†We observed several fine gardens being prepared for planting. ¬†They’re prepping the planting holes now and will plant the seed in another week or two when the next semi-annual rainy season begins. ¬†We also prayed with each one that their garden would produce abundantly. ¬†No all of them have gardens – we’ve met a few who are blind and one today wasn’t able to get up from her mat on the floor – but some of them we’ve seen have been astounding. ¬†While the grand kids are away at school the grannies work on preparing and maintaining their gardens. ¬†The idea is that they will be able to raise enough crop to not only feed their family but also enough extra to sell so they can pay the kids’ school fees. ¬†If you can’t pay, you don’t go to school here.

We’re learning many things about how to best to help people in other cultures work their way out of poverty. ¬†It’s so easy as westerners to want to just put together a team, write a check, and fix the problem. ¬†We can see, though, the dependency problems that creates. ¬†As we ride the bodas ¬†through the little towns along the way we can hear the kids calling out for money from the mzungus. ¬†When we pull into the villages it’s like the circus just pulled into town. ¬†People come from all around the village to see what we have brought for them. ¬†It’s encouraging to see how The Way Home Africa is working to break that cycle with the people they serve. ¬†They’re working hard to fade into the background as they train up more and more Ugandans to do the work on the ground. ¬†They’re also willing to apply tough love in situations where the recipients sit back on their hands expecting the work to be done for them. ¬†
Well tomorrow it’s back to the bush on our trusty bodas and will be joined on our journey for a day by Tim Johnson. ¬†Please continue to pray for us and for the work of The Way Home Africa.
Fred in Nasuti                   Heather and granny Amina
baby in granny village road trip                 sunrise nasuti

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