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We’ve mentioned and talked about Prossy a lot in our blog, and I thought it was time I officially introduced you to Prossy!

Prossy is the administrator for Bringing Hope to the Family (BHTF) and she also helps out with some of the Know Think Act work and administration. Prossy started working for BHTF after she graduated from university, about a year and a half ago. She met Faith when Faith was living in Jinja and taught Prossy’s Sunday school class. Once Prossy graduated, she came to work with Faith at BHTF. Prossy is just a genuinely awesome person to be around, and she helped me with the ins-and-outs of living in Uganda when I first moved here.  She is a super hard worker, and has a very kind spirit. What impresses me the most about Prossy is her desire to serve God and help those around her.

Prossy once old me that she was breaking away from her family’s legacy; she is the first one in her family to go and complete college, but what she is even more proud of is being the first one of any of her family to legally marry their spouse. Co-habitation is a common thing in Uganda, but Prossy wants to do the right thing and is getting married to her fiancé Julius on December 14th! Prossy is one example of the many people who are working hard around the world serving people well and making an impact in their community. We are proud and honored to have Prossy on our team!

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Photo by Pacifer http://www.flickr.com/photos/pacifer/

I recently spent a few days in Kampala (the capitol city of Uganda) getting my visa renewed and doing some airport runs. While Kampala has really good food, I’m not going to lie, I really dislike it (if Ryan Gosling ever “hey girled” me and asked me to marry him but told me I had to live in Kampala, I would say no without a doubt). It has about a zillion people living there, it is noisy, crowded, dirty, and almost always gives me an asthma attack, but this last time I was in Kampala I saw something that really made me dislike it even more.

I was walking out of the mall with a friend one night around 10 pm, when a young girl approached us with a scale and asked if we wanted to check our weight for a small fee. Not only do I rarely want to see how much I weigh, I don’t often buy things off the street. So we told the girl “no thank you” and walked away. As we were walking away we heard a man whistle and yell from a balcony above us. As we turned around we saw the man shouting and motioning for the girl to try and weigh some people exiting the mall behind us.

I don’t think anything I have seem here in Uganda has bothered me as much as seeing that man force that six or seven year old girl to work late at night (and probably all day too), while he just sat back and watched, it just reminded me of the darkness that fills our everyday world that we are often unaware of.

Seeing that also made me so thankful that there are people like Peter of Action Ministry in Kenya, and the Partner I work closely with,  Faith Kunihira and Bringing Hope to the Family, working to bring light to their world and to their community. Faith believes in the story of a person, that they are more than their outward strengths and flaws.

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Faith recently sat down with a team and told them the story of a boy she saw begging at a gas station, and eventually brought to live at Home Again. When he was first brought to the home he has so many rough edges and problems, but she saw his story, that even though the first part of his story was dark, he had so much more of his story to live and so many opportunities to make the rest of his life a successful story.

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This is why I believe so strongly in what Bringing Hope to the Family is. Because they work hard in their community to bring hope and restoration, and help people write a better story for their lives. Who has helped you write a better story? Who do you need to help with their story? We all have a part to play, and if you want to help meet the needs of those Bringing Hope works with, you can click here.

– Kate

 


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I love to hear Faith tell her story. Every time a volunteer team is here I get Faith to tell them the story of how she started BHTF, so even though I’ve heard it several times, it is still amazing to hear how God led her to where she is now.

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Faith grew up in Kaihura but moved to away once she had finished school to work on the opposite side of Uganda. She had a good job, and she used most of her money to help support her mother and educate her younger siblings. When she would visit Kaihura she saw a community that was struggling to survive. There was no where to access clean water in the community, no electricity, and very limited access to health care. Faith also describes this a time in Kaihura when AIDS had taken over. Western Uganda has one of the highest percentages of HIV/AIDS in the country, and with better access to medical care people living with HIV/AIDS can go on with their lives normally, but before there was medical care, AIDS was a visible, prevalent, destructive disease.

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Faith never wanted to be in ministry. Every minister she knew was living in extreme poverty, and though she had grown up very poor, she had worked hard in school to get a good job, and she did not want to go back to being in extreme poverty. But after one of her visits back to the village, she felt very strongly that God was telling her to quit her job and come back to Kaihura and help the people there. When she is telling you the story she always says that was the beginning of her great battle with God. She did not want to sink back into poverty, especially with her mother and siblings depending on her. So she didn’t quit her job, at first, but the longer she stayed there the more God began to almost pester her to quit. She obeyed, quit her stable, good paying job, and took the bus back to Kaihura. When she got here she set up shop in two small rooms on the main road in Kaihura, and started visiting families who had been affected by HIV/AIDS. And from there things began to take shape, Faith never intended to create a children’s home, but when people began to bring her orphans to care for, Home Again was founded. Hope Again Primary School started in an effort to provide quality education for the children living at Home Again, and Hope Again Medical Center was started to provide HIV/AIDS care for the children at Home Again and the people in the community. Hope Academy has since grown to have more children from the community than from Home Again, and Hope Again is now a full medical clinic, instead of just an HIV/AIDS treatment facility. Click the links above to see the needs of each department for Bringing Hope to the Family.

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What I love about hearing Faith’s story is that she didn’t plan for any of this, it wasn’t her dream to start BHTF. She let God plan her life, and because of that BHTF is able to make a tremendous impact in their community.

– Kate

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We love kicking off the weekend with some of our favorite photos from the past week in Uganda. Let us know which one is your favorite in the comment section!

The kids that live at Home Again are always a good time! In comparison to a lot of their peers, the BHTF kids are easy to get along with, and so much fun to be around!

It’s a wedding weekend in Kaihura! Justice, the house father at Home Again, is getting marred to Miriam on Saturday! Everyone here is busy getting ready and excited for them.

The rainy season not only brings rain almost every day, but also really warm afternoons. On this particularly hot day, I discovered that a tub of water and a whisk can keep a toddler occupied for a pretty long time.

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Mercy lives at Home Again, and is such a big sister to the younger kids in the house. She is there to give a hug to a little one who is crying, and always helping the other kids out, like in this photo, where she is “reading” a story to Sam.

Thanks for checking out these weeks photos, and if you want to see every Photo Friday post, click here!

 


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Leprosy is a very serious ailment that greatly effects the people and community of Blessed Camp. Blessed Camp is an area outside of the city where the Kenyan government told the lepers they had to live. Our Partner, Action Ministry, moved into the community and changed the name to Blessed Camp and began to work so that these people would no longer be a forgotten people but a community that had value and worth.

Leprosy works on your extremities and works it’s way up through your body, so usually the greatest area effected is the hands and feet of the people. Because of that, special orthopedic shoes are required, and unfortunately, can be extremely expensive. Through KnowThinkAct.com, we were able to provide special shoes and crutches so that the people would no longer have to crawl, or sit in one place with their feet in the dirt. The special shoes donation was wired in December 2012, and the Orthopedic specialists came to Blessed Camp in January 2013.

Due to the elections that followed in February (and spilled over into March), many business people were not sure of the outcome and lots of suppliers never brought in goods. Lots of shops also closed due to post election violence, and as a result, the specialists could not find the special leather and other materials for making the shoes. The option of importing from neighboring countries was too expensive, and we were already working with the only organization making the special shoes (for disabled persons) in the entire Coast Province of Kenya.

We are so glad that after the long wait,the special shoes and walking appliances were finally supplied  Wednesday. This is more than shoes, this is a tremendous improvement on the quality of life for these people. It’s more than shoes, it’s mobility. It’s respect. It’s a fresh start on equal footing. Thank you for giving through Know Think Act and be sure to see what other needs we can help meet.

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