Volume 10 Issue 2

101 N. Zeysing · P O Box 228 · Alma, MO 64001 · 660.674.2222 · www.houseoffriends.org

Hundreds of Entebbe, Uganda citizens and political figures were in attendance for the dedication of House of Friends„ second home, David Anthony House of Refuge (built by Steve Brock Ministries), on Sunday, June 13. Among the speakers were House of Friends‟ partner, Richard Kaaya, Grace Global Impact Ministries, and John Gross, Board Chairman and Founder of House of Friends. The Mayor of Entebbe, Steven Kabuye, addressed those gathered. In his message, he challenged the politicians to follow his example and not take votes from people who do not value life. He also encouraged those in attendance to use the Kaayas as an example by taking care of kids. He also challenged House of Friends to build two more homes. Throughout his speech, the mayor quoted many scriptures that applied to the subject of the day. The dedication was concluded by the mayor cutting the dedication ribbon of the home, offering a prayer to God and speaking a special blessing over the home. Special music was provided by the children‟s choir of Tabernacle of Christ Church where Abba House children attend and several are in the choir. During the day, the mayor shared with John Gross and others that he had been around for awhile and has seen many sent who could not do the project they came to do. He commented that he knew what it cost to build a building and there was no way this home could be built for $20,000. He noted that there was a storage section on the back of the home where food is to be stored but needs to have a concrete floor before it can be used. Previous to this speaking engagement, the Mayor stated he had spoken at a Catholic Church gathering and was given a monetary gift. He gave the gift he had received to Richard Kaaya to be used toward purchasing concrete for the storage area.

Children’s Pastor
The spiritual growth of the children is upper most on the heart of House of Friends. Here John Gross, Board Chairman, provides the children‟s pastor, Dan Kaaya, of Christ Tabernacle Church and Abba House children, with a Life in the Spirit Bible. Also a Bible was presented to Julious who is the “kid” preacher residing in Abba House.

Mayor Steven Kabuye speaking David Anthony House of Refuge. Those in attendance walking to the at the dedication of David home for the ribbon cutting. Anthony House of Refuge.

On June 13 a large crowd gathered in front of the Christian school situated near David Anthony House of Refuge for the dedication of the home.

Funds were sent ahead of the team to finish the roof on the children‟s home in Kamuli, Uganda, which is being built in memory of Eddy Reber, a close friend of HOF founder, John Gross. The next step is putting in windows Children’s home in Kamuli and doors. Pastor Baliruno Valentine and his wife operate this home, caring for nine orphan children. The team hosted a meal for a few of the local Kamuli

pastors and the children. Kimmy Peelman, mission team member, and Pastor Richard Kaaya of Grace Global Ministries spoke at the gathering. Before leaving, Pastor Valentine‟s wife came to John Gross, and conveyed her thanks by kneeling before him and presenting him with a chicken. She was so thankful for all that House of Friends and their donors have done for them. This is a way in which Ugandans express honor and thanks.

The Uganda/Ethiopia Mission Team came together to meet and pray for unity in the spirit and for God‟s perfect plan to unfold during the mission trip of June 6 to 23. Five of the 11 members were going on a mission for the first time. It was also a time of learning about the culture and how to greet and relate with those they were going to serve. Time spent in preparation is crucial to a successful mission. The outcome was living proof. Each one came home with an enlarged heart. Here are a few stories.
Are You for Us or Against Us? By Miki Teferra I had just gotten off the van and arrived at Abba House for the third time, and as soon as they saw me, a group of boys came out to simply talk with me. There was Joel who wanted to be the center of my attention, Grace who just liked hanging out with me, little Kato who would always fall asleep on my shoulder, and Chugongo who loved to ask question after question and hear my response. We had the most awesome opportunity to talk one on one with the kids and see their lives from their own perspectives, and give them love. Upon my asking what he would like to read to me from the Bible, Chugongo Joseph (a kid no more than 10 or 11 years old) opened to this passage in Joshua and read:“13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?" 14 "Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord [a] have for his servant?" (Joshua 5:13-15). I have no idea if he meant to go there or if it just happened to open to that passage, but as I was listening to him read, I had the unmistakable feeling that there was something important being said to me here. At the time I remember thinking, “Is he asking me if I‟m for him or not? I hope he knows I‟m 100% for him!” It struck me that among all the joyous welcoming and delight, there was still a part of each of these kids who felt the burden of needing to guard themselves from any more pain. They were used to foreigners popping in and out and maybe in Chugongo‟s mind, he questioned if we were really there for them. This was a problem for me because as I was staying there in Uganda, it was always in the back of my mind that this experience was going to be over too soon and I would have to leave the kids. I felt guilty that I had a place to go back to where I had a family and a job and countless other blessings that I know I‟ve never deserved but always overlook. But looking back now with this question Joshua asked, in my mind I feel comforted by the response the “commander of the Lord‟s army” gave. We‟re assured that God is in control and that we can give up our heavy burdens and realize that God is working for us and He is here with us. It is with that knowledge of God‟s personal presence and powerful provision that I‟m reassured that these kids will be ok. It is people like us that God uses to provide for these children. That is why I feel like it is my calling to help in any way possible the kids that live in conditions like these. However, you don‟t have to feel like it is your life‟s mission in order to help a child. There are still children who need sponsoring at Abba House and more are being added all the time. I would encourage you to consider giving some of your time or finances or prayers or whatever else it is that you feel will bless them. I thank you for your compassion in advance and would like to assure you that God is most definitely moving and doing a great work in Uganda and Ethiopia, something that is especially evident at Abba House. A Favorite Moment by Kara Savchenko One of my favorite moments at Abba House was an afternoon I spent at the school observing the classrooms and joining the teachers for a lunch of posha (ground corn with the consistency of mashed potatoes) and beans with whole minnows (a very interesting lunch). The students were let out early so the children‟s choir could practice for the home dedication on Sunday. Waiting is something you get used to in Africa. Some technical difficulties with the music took a good half hour to fix. All the kids were lined up ready to go and I did not hear them complain once! That is something I do not witness in American schools that often, if ever. Immediately my heart was taken by these kids when they began to sing and sway to the music. It‟s like they came alive! Joy filled the room and I couldn‟t glance away from their beautiful smiling faces. There were kids who wanted to watch sitting on benches, standing behind me, and a couple of little ones who found their way to my lap. Even the kids standing by stealing a peek from the windows made me giggle to myself because of the joy that filled my heart. That moment of simply being with the kids and doing life seemed to hold a deep place in my memory. It has made me much more aware of taking in the small moments in life that are easily taken for granted. Those kids blessed me so much! I thank God for His little ones in my life.

Where does one begin? By Nicole Myers Africa, where does one begin...The beautiful children, the eye opening surroundings, the need for Christ’s love. This trip to Uganda/Ethiopia was my first missions trip. I thought, what would it be like, how would I help serve those in difficult circumstances? I have heard people say and have read stories about how you, the “missionary” come away with more than you leave behind. You think you are going to change the world and make a difference, but you end up being the one who is changed. It’s not that they plan it that way, it’s just one of those little gifts from God. He says, you think you are going to bless someone; look, I can use them to bless you even more. He loves it when we help each other in His name. Even

when situations get tough, He shows us that He can and will do anything to care for His people, whether they live in Africa or the United States. This is what happened to me, in ways I cannot fully explain. It is my desire to return, God willing, next year. To see the growth of the children, spiritually and physically and the growth of the garden; to fellowship and worship with the people—God’s wonderful people.

HOME is where the HEART is!
Sean Hughley, HOF board member and team leader of the Ethiopia side of the mission trip, was deeply touched in heart by the children and Christian brothers and sisters in Kamuli. The touch made him feel very much at home.

On Tuesday the seeds were planted, and a good soaking rain came Friday, an unexpected time. A big surprise was in store when the gardeners arrived at the garden on Monday morning— blades of green plants were already breaking through the soil. Barb Decker, Agriculture Missionary for House of Friends was amazed at the goodness of God. Barb‟s purpose for joining the Uganda/ Ethiopia Mission Team was to scout out the land resources and plant a Barb Decker tills the garden to enhance the soil and plants the daily diets of the chilseed for a harvest. dren. Their current diet consists of red beans and “posho”, a bland corn flour mush. Sweet potatoes are a common treat and sometimes the beans are flavored with small eggplants or with small, sun-dried minnows. What does their new garden grow? Barb was joined by Rose, one of the house mothers, in preparing the soil and planting seeds from America—yard-long green beans, spinach, cucumbers, watermelon, zucchini, beets, carrots, turnips, cilantro, basil, chard, and more green beans. Pastor Richard Kaaya, who works extensively with the home and school, was skeptical about The miracle— planting the garden when it wasn‟t quite time for Rain came and the rains. But, at the church service before Barb a few days later left, he said,” I don‟t understand why someone evidence of the would come from so far away to dig in the dirt seed producing and plant seeds. But I give God the Glory for a crop. this person who came and worked in the soil like an African so that these children can have a better diet.” After sharing the Word out of Matthew 13 about the sower, at the school where the Abba House children attend, a few of the boys came to her showing great interest in learning more about sowing seeds and reaping the harvest. They want to learn about agriculture. Barbara is in the process of raising funds to return to Uganda in September when the harvest is ready and to spend about three months working on possibly putting in a solar powered water pump to bring water to the garden from Lake Victoria, which borders the property where Abba House is located. Future projects may include wider scale food production requiring a tractor and implements. Barbara says, “I am excited about this project and its possibilities. I want to teach the children, and those who care for them, how to grow things that will better their diets and maybe their lives.”

Blessed by a $2,000 cut in price of installation, electricity arrived at Abba House, but solar energy is also coming. Children can now study in the home at night. We look for grades to come up higher. New girlfriends dressed in pink, and new shoes in hand—Team member, Kimberly Peelman with Abba House girl. Shoes and clothes were taken to the children. Funds were left so more could be purchased.

Aside from loving on the children at Abba House, the team was given opportunities to share their faith with local schools. In the picture above you see team members, Miki, Beth, Joseph, and Naomi praying for several of the students at one of the schools in Entebbe.

In underdeveloped countries, children/youth/and university students share a twin bed. Such was the case with many of Abba House children. This often causes sickness and disease to flourish. Thanks to donations of many, 8 new bunk beds and 15 mattresses were purchased and every child now has their own bed to sleep in.

Four mission team members, Joseph Bennett, Beth Gizaw, Nicole Myers, and Miki Teferra, all are pursuing medical careers. Miki is a pre-med student at KU. With the oversight of Dr. James Carl who joined them, these four and Dr. Carl completed physicals and physical profiles on all Abba House children. While in Uganda, Pastor Richard Kaaya took Dr. Carl to several orphanages in the area. He Joseph Bennett checking the blood presvisited an HIV/Aids orphanage at Cherish, sure of one of the Abba House children. Uganda that collects all rain water, recycles all waste—including compost toilets, plastic trash, metal and garbage. They grow a lot of their own food organically, have running water in each of their houses and a smoke free stove. They also run the homes on solar electricity. This home is ready to share all of their designs for the house, systems, toilets etc. with us. This will be a great help in Dr. Carl provided a water filter unit that will make drinking water safer for the children. doing the best at the least cost for Abba Houses.

The final leg of the mission trip was to Ethiopia. A return visit was made to the Nile Gorge where the previous team to Ethiopia had a van to break down and children seemed to come to them out of the bushes from a nearby village. Team members from Iowa brought clothing and toys with them for these precious ones who had little of their own. The team mission funds provided some food and clothing for eight widows and their children. The widows were so appreciative and when asked what they had need of, they were mostly interested in their children being able to get an education and they needed school supplies. Kevin Knox, opens a suitcase Everyone labored hard to paint of clothes and other goods from Iowa donors for Nile the school building in Debre Gorge children & families. Markos and funds were left to hire workers to finish the project. The original intent was to turn Nile Gorge village—Mission team giving out clothes, toys, etc. this facility into an Beth Gizaw visiting with a widow orphanage. It was the team helped in Ethiopia and learned that the Being “friends” and sharing recording her story. Ethiopian government with others is our walk of life. would not allow the usage of this building for anything While in Uganda, team members other than a school and would not allow us to start an visited another orphanage, orphanage until we proved that we truly care for the Above—Debre Markos School Mercy Home. This home children. This stand of the government came due to Below—Team member, Naomi receives little support and meals Americans from non-government organizations being Ayalew, putting great effort into paintcan be very lean at times. House deceitful, using children‟s pictures, getting sponsorships ing school exterior of Friends has come to their aid but never sending any of the funds for the children. in the past and God continues to Reconditioning the school was the beginning of lay them upon our hearts. John developing relationship with the government to show Gross, board chairman and founthat the children are upper most on our mind and we do der of HOF, along with team not have intentions of taking advantage. Government members visited Mercy Home officials were impressed by our efforts and a school and provided them with food. administrator joined the team in painting the school. It was learned that the school does not have a lunch room and the teacher takes the children a great distance down a muddy pothole-filled road to a place for lunch. House of Friends has since initiated a $700 project to build a kitchen/cafeteria for the school. With the care the Ethiopian government has witnessed, a door has been opened to start a resource center for orphans and widows. The resource center will help provide needed help for them. If they do not have a place to stay, room will be available for them to stay. This will require finding a home to rent in which this outreach can take place. This John Gross and Kara Savchenko , cannot be done on school property. center back with Mercy Home children.

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