Decker’s Diary on the Mission Field

Dear Friends and Family,
WOW, I got here way back in March and, through the course of things, somehow six
months have already passed. We had a “changing of the guard,” so to speak, as I arrived
just days before the Spencer family went home. God willing, they will return to Uganda
in 2015. Please pray for the sale of their home and for mercies as they prepare for life in
Uganda. Before they left, we were able to do a birthday party for those kids celebrating in
the first three months of the year. For their birthday meal, they wanted American cuisine,
so we gave them PB&J sandwiches and hotdogs and fries—a big hit!
I have continued with PB&J sandwiches for those high school students who have Satur-
day classes—we have as many as 6 who go to school on Saturday, but because the kitchen
is not staffed on the weekends, they have gone without food all day. I pack for them a
sandwich, carrot sticks, and apple and a snack. It would be cheaper for me just to give
them lunch money, but this way I know they are getting a balanced meal: protein, starch,
fruit, vegetable, and a little sweet.

Bed Bug Free...
The Spencer’s did a very fine job of eradicating the HUGE population of bed bugs that
we had here. My first week here, I had a small scare as I watched something small and
dark run up the wall. It was just a baby cockroach and I don’t think I have ever been so
glad to see a cockroach in all my life. It was an enormous undertaking for the Spencers
last December as they burned old stashes of notebooks, boiled clothes, and cleaned shoes,
and took out all the old mattresses and beds and put in new ones. Even now, there is no
sign of them; we are BEDBUG FREE at Abba House!

Irrigation Comes to the Garden...
I have dealt with many frustrations in these six months and have used them as one of
my excuses for not writing a newsletter sooner. For instance, the “African garden” is to
plant everything everywhere. So there may be corn, eggplants, tomatoes, and collards all
planted in the same section with pumpkin and beans as cover crops to discourage weeds.
When a garden is “full,” it means there is absolutely no more room to plant anything else
and we have to watch where we step when getting through to pick something. Though it
was difficult for me to see through their methods, we did have a bumper crop of eggplants
and greens, and we fed the children for several mornings with roasted corn, instead of the
normal porridge. Thanks to Sarah Spencer for teaching
some girls how to bake, we have enjoyed pumpkin
cake about every week, since June.
With the help of Wayne Stoll and Rick Aspegren
(from Missouri) who came in August, we are getting
things set up with an irrigation system so that we can
continue to water the garden in the dry season, there-
fore increasing the growing seasons. I am very ex-
cited, not only for the irrigation concept to be intro-
duced, but that the Abba House kids will learn first-
hand a method of producing more food from the
ground we have. Our original purpose at Abba House
was to be self-sufficient. It is becoming quite possible now with teaching row planting
and spacing, which makes it easier to weed and tend, and the use of drip-tape irrigation.

New Stove for Kitchen...
In 2013 we exchanged the
“cook shed” outside for a new,
spacious, brick kitchen. From
that spacious, smoke-filled
kitchen, we put in an efficiency
stove, with stove pipes! With
this stove, the pile of firewood
purchased in June, that would
have (continued on back)
September 2014
Missionary Quarters...

If “time flies when you are having fun,”
well, it seems to jet away when times get busy.
In these last six months, we have taken the
Missionary
Quarters from
rustic brick
walls and a bare
concrete floor
to be tiled,
painted, and
furnished.
Though there is
not yet water in
the faucets and
the toilet tank
has to be re-
filled every
time it’s
flushed, I’m
safe and com-
fortable and have my own bathroom.
I think all the volunteers that came this
summer went back home never again to take
the self-filling toilet tank for granted. I have
wanted to get connected with the city’s water,
but there is a problem with the water line. So,
until that gets solved, the MQ is waterless,
except for jerry cans and buckets. The last
team that was here, however, built a tank stand
and we purchased a tank so at least there will
be water by gravity flow. The system is not
connected yet, nor do I have gutters to harvest
the rain and fill the tank, but we have a tank
and a stand. (continued on back)
Barb Decker
Garden tilled and planting in rows.
Wayne & Rick pause after
installing the water tank.
FROM TO
Stove (continued from front)… lasted three weeks, has lasted until
the end of July! I thank everyone who was praying for Abba
House, especially in the areas of kitchen and dining room. The
firewood lasts more than three
weeks and the cooks are not
breathing so much smoke.
It’s good.
The dining room is still
waiting for construction. The
children don’t use the eating
tables at noon, in full sun, or
when it rains. The dining
room cost from the foundation
to the roof is about $8000.
The kitchen is doing well except for some inside cosmetic
things. The doors have helped tremendously in controlling the
entrance way. With no dining room structure and the cool morn-
ings and evenings that we are experiencing now, sometimes into
the 60’s, the kitchen is the warmest place and sitting on the ceramic
part of the stove is a popular place.

Mission Teams at Work...

We’ve had three teams this summer
that came to be a blessing as well as to
get a blessing. The Kansas City Chris-
tian Fellowship Church sent a group of
six who blessed the children with blan-
kets, dance, and smiles as they visited
places, took provisions, gave their tes-
timonies and helped in many ways.
They even painted the inside of the
Missionary Quarters.
John Gross and Chad Spencer came for
just a week to research the true possibilities
of getting the Kuwl Farm Project going and
to install solar panels, at least at Abba
House, so we have an extra source of
power when the electricity goes out. They
also brought a “family uniform” t-shirt so
we can declare that we are all members of
Abba House. House of Friends partners
with Grace Global Impact Ministries as
joint “parents” of the 40 children here.
Kuwl Farm Project...
Part of the original plan for Abba House was to use a tract of land
north of Kampala (the capital city of Uganda) owned by Pastor
Richard Kaaya, to grow crops and raise animals in order to make
the children’s home self-sufficient. It would also serve as a learn-
ing experience in farming and food production for the boys from
the children’s home. “The Kuwl Farm Project” is that vision com-
ing into being. This has been mentioned in other newsletters, re-
questing funding for a tractor for the
farm and some sort of vehicle for
hauling the food, firewood, and other
goods to Abba House. We are still in
need of a vehicle and we would still
like a tractor; but right now, we are
getting the project started from the
ground up. The project is getting
under way with goats. We now have
42 females and a buck and we are
hoping to raise that number, ulti-
mately to 1000 goats. This is exciting to me because the vision of
getting Abba House kids into the direct production of food through
farming is actually getting under way. We are trying to find a du-
rable clover seed to plant that will be beneficial for the goats to eat.
Through the blessings of Wayne and Rick we were able to pur-
chase a chainsaw to start clearing land. This will make way to plant
the grass and clover seed so the goats can graze and grow.

Missionary Quarters (continued from front)... The whole
project of tiling the missionary quarters was because my bedroom’s
concrete floor still emits moisture. Now the MQ is almost done
and I still need tiles in my room. I have a nighttime, chronic, con-
gestive cough that could be connected to the floor’s moisture. The
MQ also needs a couple of doors and some paint. Once that is fin-
ished, I think it will be done. Total cost for finishing; about $700.

Education...
On a discouraging note and a matter for prayer--the 2nd term
report cards were very disappointing. Out of 16 high school stu-
dents, some having as few as 5 classes and some having as many as
14 classes, they brought a conglomerate total of 91 failing marks.
We are in the process of hiring a tutor to help them this third (and
last) term, which is from September to December. Please pray not
only for funds to pay a tutor but also that these students would get
serious about their studies. We have three students graduating this
year, two with the basic high school diploma (11
th
grade) and one
with a college prep diploma (13
th
grade).

Wrapping Up...
One last note, God willing I am going to Israel in November. I
will meet up with members of the church in Waverly, MO where I
have attended, for a ten-day tour. Elaine Wittmeyer will come and
stay at Abba House in my absence. Please pray for travelling mer-
cies for her.
This is a time of uncertainties. It is always important to rely on
God’s word for our peace and tranquility. Psalm 91 has great
promises of peace and protection; please read it, receive its prom-
ises, and declare it.
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers, even in
my lack of communication. I thank those churches that sent forth
and those individuals that came to bless Abba House this year.
May God bless your efforts with the abundance of His word.


Shalom, Barb Decker
I will support Barbara Decker’s work on the mission field with
House of Friends in the following way.

___ Barbara Decker Mission Support
(Monthly) $_________(One Time Gift) $________

___ Abba House Project (circle) $_________
Dining room / Gutter System Parts / Missionary Quarters

___ Mission Trip Expenses to Uganda $_________

___ Please send more information about House of Friends.

All donations are tax deductible. Please write checks payable to:
House of Friends and send to P O Box 228, Alma, MO 64001
Thank you for caring!
Kitchen &
Dining
Hall