I thought that these days would never come. The days where I am happily at home, listening to blaring music and shouting kids. Life has been crazy these last few weeks and have flown by. Before i got back, I was afraid that maybe I had been gone too long and things would be too different. I am happy to say, I feel like I was never gone and we picked up right where we left off. When I got here, the kids were on holiday from school so we had plenty of time to catch up. It was so good to have that time to relax and adjust without having to jump back into a routine.
Today the house is so quiet because school has finally started. There are still 4 boys at home and we are getting ready to home school them. Two of the boys will be going to a garage, so we just want to teach them to read, write and do math well. One of the boys just got to the house and has never studied before. To make his situation even more difficult, he is from a village very far away that speaks a completely different language and he is still learning the language here and doesn't speak English at all. If we were to send him to school now, he would have to start at first grade. Since he is around 16 years old, that would be super frustrating for him and setting him up to drop out. We are hoping that we can work with him enough that he can at least enter 3rd grade. Still not the best option, but as long as he can get started the possibility for him to skip grades later is there. The last boy is kind of indecisive with what he wants to do. We are hoping if his skills get better, he will want to return to school also.
Since I have been back, it has been so busy. The day I got here, not only was I greeted by all of the boys, but I was also greeted by 3 guys that are working on filming a documentary for Hospice in South Bend. I got connected to them back in South Bend and they invited us to be a part of the film. They wanted to catch my arrival at the airport and meet the boys. They came back about a week later to interview some of the boys and have the boys show them their former lives in the slums. The boys were really excited to show them around and had a great time, even though it down poured.
About a week or so after I arrived, a friend came to live with us. I met her a while ago when I was teaching and she was actually my initial connection to Uganda. We are lucky enough that she is going to be around about 9 months and help out with the boys. She has spent the last 3 years working in El Salvador with youth in prison that are affiliated with gangs. Even though the boys don't have the same violent backgrounds, they do have a lot of the same issues of trauma and abuse, addictions, etc. She helped the boys in prison to write their stories through poems and has published a book. When the boys here saw the books, they were really excited and wanted to do the same. She is starting small groups with the boys from the curriculum she used in the prisons. It is a great help to have her here and the boys took to her immediately. Many of them knew here from the first time she was here about four years ago.
That is enough for now I think. If I could ask you to be in prayer with us that all of our needs would continue to be met each week, for the boys to perform well in school this term and to stay focused and for continued heart changes and healing for them.
Check out our new website design. A friend was kind enough to create it for us. Thanks Evan!