Monday, December 17, 2012

Home At Last!

I am always grateful and happy to come back to Uganda and be with my children, I miss them terribly when I am away from them.  I have such wonderful children from the youngest, Sabrina, to the oldest Sarah.

Sabrina came to my home about two years ago.  She was living with her Aunt who is very sick with AIDS and TB, and I feared for Sabrina.  I did not want her to get TB.  Her mother also has TB and AIDS and abandoned her to the Aunt.  Neither one is really able to take care of her, so I felt strong I should her in.  She has blossomed so much in the few years.  She is now seven years old and so much fun.  She loves Tinkerbell movies and playing with dolls and her favorite color is pink.
In the picture here is is on my lap.  Not all my kids are in the picture, as some were gone to University.  In the back row is Violet, Mary, Christine (their Auntie), Katie, Sarah and in the front from left to right is Irene, Susan, Goma, Norah, Me and Sabrina, Ssemu, Israel and David.  The ones missing are Beatrice, Brenda, Charles, Henry, David, Kepher, Benjamin and Bumba.  Raising up the children for the Lord is very important to me and with lots of love and compassion that comes from Him.  I am thankful to be able to serve our Lord in such a wonderful way.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mary Mary She is not contrary!

I have another little woman in my home named Mary.  She is such a beautiful young girl, and so full of life for the Lord, Jesus.  She loves to share the gospel with others and cares about everyone.

Mary came to live in the orphanage with me when she was 8 years old.  She had a very rough life as a young child.  She lost her father when she was four years old.  Her mother had left when she was very young for another man.  She did not see her again until she was older. 

She was growing in a home with her two older brothers.  They lived in a home that was made from sticks and mud and it was caving in from two sides.  The Grandfather and Uncles that live there brew liquor on a daily basis and sit around and drink it from long straws until they are totally drunk.  One time there was a two year old that they gave alchohol to until he fell over dead.  They were too drunk to realize what they were doing.

I knew this was no place for a child to grow up, especially a young girl with no mother or father around.  When the house was caving, I took her in with her two brothers.  Mary was very shy at first.  She was always happy to help out, however, in the kitchen or any where.  She likes making sugar cookies at Christmas time and enjoys learning to make new things.

Mary is a very bright young lady and has come to know Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior over the years.  She depends on Him for help in her life, and I believe she will be successful in God's eyes because of her love for Him and her fear of the Lord in a right way.  She often teaches the little ones in the orphanage.

Mary is in her 5th year of high school and actually about to finish it.  I believe she will one day work in a job where she can make a difference for the Lord.  She is only one of the many youth that we have seen changed through sponsorship, love, and most of all - the love of Christ.  Thank God for my beautiful little women of Africa.



We had a little girl in the ministry who was sponsored for several years.  She first got a sponsor when she was six years old.  Her parents were both dead and she lived with her Grandmother.  Her Grandmother was sickly and very poor but did the best she could.

The little girl was called Esther.  She had big beautiful eyes but they always looked sad to me.  She often got sick, usually malaria.  She was small for her age.  By the time she was seven we realized something was wrong to make her sick so much.  We had her tested first for AIDS, but she was okay, then many other things.  After months of trying to find out what was wrong, something we did not even suspect was wrong.  She had syphillis. 

We  began to wonder how she at the age of seven could possible have such a disease.  Was she the victim of sexual abuse from someone in the family?  It turned out that someone she shared a basin for bathing with was a carrier and this is how she got it. 

Esther always seemed to be trying her best to survive.  She got a bad case of malaria and was not strong enough to fight it.  She had to walk like a mile to get to the clinic for her injections and often would not go, even though it was on her way home from school.  She was afraid of injections so much.  The Grandmother was too sick to go with her.  Then the medical officer came and told us that she was not coming regularly for her injections, so we went to find out why and we found out she had passed away trying to walk home from the clinic.

It was a sad moment and to this day when we visit the Grandmother and other children in the home, I go to Esther's grave and cry.  I realize that she was very young and she seemed to love the Lord, Jesus, and believe that she is in a better place.

It is often that kids get sick and have to walk to the clinic, or even continue going to school.  They do not get a chance to rest in their culture.  We do not have a vehicle for the clinic to go and get them or to take them any where.   When there is an emergency then we are called and take them to Mbale town.

The next time your child gets sick, I pray you will pray for the children in Uganda who suffer so much, even in just getting to a clinic.  God bless you.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Read It and Laugh or Weep!

One of the little women in my life is very special and dear to my heart (they all are!).  However, I will not use her name since some of the kids in the ministry may read this and I want to protect her.  We will call her Lori.  When I first met Lori she was only five years old.  She was always dirty and running every where.  I am not sure in those days I ever saw her run!  She always smiled and no one could know what she was going through.

She always had jiggers in her feet, non stop digging out jiggers!  I always felt so sorry for her going through the digging out but it did not stop her from running and enjoying herself.  Lori always had torn clothes and it seemed that she only had about three outfits.  She didn't care either.  I always envied her attitude about life, and I never knew at that time what she was going through.

She came over to my house often just to get a bath.  She hated the first one I gave her but after that she started to make it a regular thing!!  I think she just liked being cared for!  I always hated putting the dirty clothes back on her after bathing.  Once I gave her some new clothes that I went and bought for her and she went home with them and I never saw her wear them again.  I asked her about it and she would just smile and not answer.  I then began to look into what was going on in her life.

She had lost her father to AIDS.  Her mother left her because she was so sick.  She stayed with the Grandmother on the father's side.  The Grandmother was always sick and she had a husband that was a step-grandfather to Lori.  The Grandmother made her work in the gardens, carry water, cook and do just about everything by herself.  Her Grandfather drank all the time.  He was most often drunk! 

When Lori got sick one time, and I could see the Grandmother was doing nothing to help her and she was going to die from malaria, I took her in and had her treated from my home.  She was happy to be in my home.  I made sure she got good meals, baths and clothes to wear.  She had a bed to sleep in too.  I really loved her so much, but then one day her Grandmother showed up to take her home.  This was after about one month.  She said she was old and sick and needed her at home.  I asked her if she was concerned about the young girl's welfare and life.  She just kept saying that she needed her to help at home. 

I later came to find out that the Grandfather was raping Lori nearly every night when he came back drunk.  She did not tell people anything or show it but she was going through hell on Earth.  I cried and cried wishing I had never allowed the Grandmother to take her back.  I finally got help from the government in getting her removed and put her in a foster home.  She was not raped there but still made to do a lot of work. 

Lori developed such a feeling of unworthiness and life is not worth living by the time she reached her teens.  One would never know she was the same child that ran every where and came for baths!  It took several years of help for Lori and alot of love to help her.  Most of all, however, it has taken the Holy Spirit to heal her.  When she came to Christ and gave her life to Him she changed so much.  She began to do well in school, have a little confidence in herself and not think bad of herself.

Today Lori is in University and I am excited to see how the Lord is working in her life.  I know she will be a real testimony to others who have gone through what she has.  God bless you my dear daughter and may our Lord lift you up even more and bless you so much, Mom K

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Let the Little Children Come

I am in Tucson, Arizona right now with Momma Jan and we have been remembering so many wonderful stories and some not so wonderful stories of our time together in Uganda.  Momma Jan was with me for around three years in Uganda until she had to come back and take care of her mother. 

One of the times we remember so well was a boy I have already written about.  His name was Junior.  She remembers how we both sobbed at the funeral and how hard it was when he died.  My daughter, Violet, one of my little women of Africa, is Junior's sister.  She really cried and it was so hard for her to watch her younger brother die.  She had already watched her father and mother die, and now her brother.

Violet's Grandfather was involved in drumming for evil spirits in his youth and younger years!  He told me that he feared for us to move the graves that are on the HUM property because he had done terrible things there in worship to the demons and the Devil.  He said it would all come back on him if we disturbed any of this.  My mind races and wonders about what he did!

We were also remembering a witchdoctor that use to live near me and would do his things all night and then put up a flag to mark that this was a place open for business.  He would drum at night to call up the dead and evil spirits to help him do his bidding.  There are things that we both learned about the witchdoctors that just made us sick.  Sometimes when a person does not have money to pay for their services the witchdoctor will ask for the wife to sleep with, or daughter to have sex with and most of these witchdoctors that I know have AIDS. 

A few years ago I witnessed to a witchdoctor that lives near me and he broke down in tears and cried.  He said that he knows that what I am telling him is true but he is afraid of the demons.  He said that he had given his three children to the demons and they had given him nothing that they promised in return.  He really cried and asked God to forgive him.  He really changed for a while, but then went back to his witchcraft.  I asked him why he would go back to something so awful (like a dog returning to its vomit).  He told me the demons were threatening him and he had no means of making money to survive, no education and no one to help him.  I prayed with him but he still refused to really accept Christ in his heart.  His name is Stephen and I ask all those who read this blog to please pray for him.  He only remains with a few children now and one of them is sponsored and comes to AWANA and church all the time.  He is only nine years old and I know he is very disturbed by what goes on in his home.  His wife left him with the two little daughters and she is in church all the time.

Pray, these people need the Lord so much and they fear.  God bless you and thank you, K


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Remembering Benard

I love Christmas time.  A time to remember that our Lord, Jesus Christ was born into this world to die for us and to take the punishment for our sins.  What a loving Lord He is and what an amazing love He has had for us and has for us.  He came into this world with nothing and left with nothing but love!  I cannot understand how anyone can deny Him their love.  He is the most wonderful person in my life and He is my everything.

I cannot say enough wonderful about my Lord, Jesus Christ and I hope that all of you are thinking of Him always too.  He cares about everyone.  He loves me, you and all people, young or old!

As I think of his love and realize that He is the one who put Uganda in my heart and He is the owner of the vision that I have for Uganda and the children there, it brings me to tears.  A country where children are not born with any dreams or hope, but when they learn about Him they have hope.

I remember one such little boy named Benard.  He was only three years old.  He was sponsored by a woman and her husband from Colorado.  Benard lived with his parents, who were extremely poverty stricken.  His father drank day and night and even brewed his own liquor.  He abused the mother on a regular basis, beating her until she would have to go to a clinic for help because of bruising.  He often would hit the little boy as well.

Benard would get up early in the morning to go to the gardens with his mother.  He had a goat from his sponsor and he would take the goat with him.  As his mother worked, he worked side by side with her and tied his goat up near by.  He would often eat something like a raw sweet potatoe for breakfast.  He was a very shy and quiet little boy and very afraid of men.  He was not in good shape at all, he had malnutrition and a big belly full of worms that were eating his food.  He slept in a mud hut with his mother and would get bites all night long from mosquitos and ants.  He had no dreams with such a life.

One morning when he and his mother were out working in the gardens, he felt something disturbing his goat so he went to see what it was.  He saw a big snake and was scared but went over and untied his goat and got a big bite on the ankle.  His mother did not know what to do and she told him to get to the clinic fast.  She sent him on foot while she followed.  She did not know that walking there was the worst thing for him.  He fell on the way and died before he ever reached the clinic.  This snake was a cobra.

We buried him the next day.  His sponsorship money bought him a sheet to be wrapped in, a coffin, and a hole dug with bricks and cement put around the area where his coffin would lay.  I cried so hard and the mother could not stop crying.  She kept saying my little boy, my little Benard.  Wow, even though this was nearly ten years ago I will never forget little Benard and how quickly his little life was ended in the village of Kamonkoli.

Please pray for his mother, she is still struggling with the husband and now resorts to a witchdoctor to help her.  She lost heart and cannot believe that there is a God who loves her so much and cares about her as Jesus does.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012


There are so many things that I can remember to write about.  However, when I sit down to write I get this writer's block!  Where do we begin.

When I first went to Uganda the thing that really tugged at my heart was the children, their conditions for living and physical health, the lack of education, the lack of love they receive and care.  I wish I had time to go and hug and give love to every little kid there is and even the big ones!!!

I spent a lot of time giving baths to little kids when I first got there.  I bought this big plastic tub called a basin and would fill it with the big yellow jerry cans and give them baths.  It seemed to me that none of them ever bathed!  There were little critters to deal with also!  Critters like body lice and jiggers.  Jiggers are little bity red critters that dig under the skin - mainly on the feet around the toes.  They have to be dug out very carefully so that you do not break them and cause a bunch more little ones to spread.  They are a lot like ticks.  After they dig into the skin they swell up from sucking blood and they itch and hurt at the same time.

Then there was shaving off hair that was unkept.  The children seemede to really love the care and attention that they never seemed to get.  Even little kids go and get their own water and have to carry it.  Then when they get done bathing they go back and play in the dirt and unfortunately most of them have to sleep in the dirt.  If you consider that the homes or huts they live in are made of sticks and mud with grass roofs and the floors are dirt.  The floors are smeared with cow dung and left to dry to make it hard, but this seems very unhealthy to me.   The kitchens are made of the same and have three stones with fire wood in the middle of the stones for cooking on.

I feel for the children in Uganda and I know that they need more care and more love and I ask for your prayers as I continue to love on them and help them and reach out with them with the love that our God gives to them.

 Every day children die from malnutrition or malaria from lack of care or someone to look after them.  Help Hines Ugandan Ministries to make a difference - checkout our website www.hineskids.

"Religion that God considers pure and perfect is this - one that looks after orphans and widows in their distress and keeps oneself pure before the world."  James 1:27
"Whoever welcomes even one of these little ones in my name welcomes me."  Matthew 18:5

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Another Little Woman of Africa

This week I want to write about my Violet.  Violet Namisi came to live with me when she was four years old.  She was so cute.  She was scared to death and her mother was still alive but was very sick from the AIDS virus and had developed tuberculosis.  She expected to die about six months before she did.  Her mother's name was Esther.  Esther came to know the Lord before she died and I had actually spent over a year with her in discipleship.  She shared the gospel with many people and God used her to bring her mother to the Lord.

Esther wanted Violet to stay with me when she found out she had tuberculosis because it is so contagious.  The third day that Violet was staying with me she broke a glass by accident.  Instead of telling me she ran off and hid and I spent a whole day into the evening looking for her, together with other staff and her mom.  We finally found her hiding in bushes.  She was afraid that I would beat her for breaking a glass, and I explained to her that I would never do that.  I guess her mother would discipline her for such things by beating her with a stick, which is typical in Uganda still.  She felt much better when she learned that I would not do that.

She came back to the house to live and was now happy.  She began to grow close to David as a brother like and settled in with us as a family.  She loved to climb the mango tree and get mango's for eating.   When she got her first doll to play with she really loved it and carried it around a lot. 

Violet was always shy and quiet, but could giggle like nothing you ever heard before and it would delight me so much every time she began to laugh.  She could easily get excited or tickled.  David to this day teases her like a real sister and it turned out they were cousins.

Today Violet is still shy and giggles when she gets teased about anything.  She loves to play games like rummy cube or card games.  She attends St. Lawrence Secondary School and is in her fourth year at the Crown Campus.  She likes Zac Efron and any boy who looks like him!!!  She enjoys comedies and music a lot.  She does not talk a lot but when you get her engaged she is fun to chat with and enjoy.  She always surprises mom!  Violet is good at playing the drums and has a wonderful singing voice but is too shy to sing in front of a crowd.

She is very pretty and has had it very hard.  When she was nine years old her younger brother Junior, who was seven years old, died from the AIDS virus as well.  She still has one older brother and one younger brother.  The older brother is a sponsored kid and is in a vocational training school at this time.  Her younger brother is in high school his first year and has struggled to be able to go to school.
It was hard on her to have lost both of her parents by the time she was four years old and then to loose her brother too.  We tried to help Junior but he was already too far gone to be helped by anyone but the Lord and the Lord took him home.  I really cried when he died.  Violet cried as well, and still does at times at the mentioning of his name.

Violet loves Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and depends on Him for everything in her life.  She always tells me "Mom, I know that Jesus has always been with me and because of this I will always make it until He returns and then we will all live with Him  in Heaven."

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Little Women of Africa I

I talked about my daughters that have been growing up with me for so many years now here in Uganda.  I shared a bit about Sarah and Harriet.

Let me tell you about Katie (Catherine) Amuroni.  Katie was a sponsored child since she was six years old.  Her father died when she was four years of age and she never knew her mother, who had left when she was around two years old.  Katie had a step-mother named Pauline who died when Katie was five years old.  Her father and step-mother had died from the AIDS virus. 

Katie has grown over the years to love the Lord and is now in the 6th year of high school, or her advanced level.  Next year we pray she is able to go to University.  She is a lovely girl with a wonderful sweet personality.  She likes to sing and sings well, and she enjoys messing in the kitchen.  She also likes romantic comedies for movies, such as The Wedding Planner or Ella Enchanted. 

Katie was left on my doorstep when she was seven years old by her Grandmother.  It was New Years Eve and I had gone for a dinner at Dr. Mugondi's home with all the rest of the kids and Christine.  We were there until around 8:30 in the evening visiting.  When we came home we found Katie sitting on the doorstep with a small cavera of her clothes. 

Her Grandmother had spoken with me previously about helping Katie, cause Katie had severe malnutrition, and I had talked of taking her in for some time to nurish her back to health.  I guess the Grandmother was not waiting for me to give the time!!  I believe, however, it was God bringing Katie there.  She has been an encouragement to me and such a joy.  Mom loves you so much Katie, thank you for the joy that you bring to so many, and the love in your heart that comes from knowing our Lord, Jesus Christ.



One of the first heart breaking experiences I had in Uganda was visiting in the homes of the people.  It is difficult for one to come from American and see how people are living in villages in Uganda.  Try to imagine if you can what it is like to actually live in a mud hut. . .

There are six kids in this home that I am telling you about.  Four boys and two girls and the parents.  The father has no education and he tries to earn some funds by digging in people’s gardens.  He makes around $1 to $2 a day.  Not enough to buy any food, but if he can save it long enough he may be able to get something.  He also has to work in his own gardens, so he sends the wife and kids to do this while he helps in other’s gardens. 

This morning they are eating raw sweet potatoes because there is no firewood or charcoal for cooking and no money to buy any.  The wife collected enough to boil some water, but it was not enough to cook the food too.  Three of the children have gone to get water for bathing with their 20 gallon jerry cans and it will take some time to go for the water cause the borehole well is very far away.  They will carry the jerry cans on their head to return.
Last night the sleeping was difficult because the mosquitoes were biting as well as the ants.  The floor to the mud hut is also made of mud.  The walls are made of mud as well and it was raining all night, so it was very cool.  This family does not have any blankets, mattresses or bedding of any kind.  In the night when they want to go to the bathroom they have to go out and find a bush that will work.  There is no bathroom or even an outhouse.   The roof is made from grass and often leaks when it rains.

The kids return from getting water and the first one goes to bath.  The shower is made near a tree with upside down dried out banana tree leaves.  These are the walls of the shower place, the floor is dirt and there is no door that closes just an opening.  The young boy steps in to bath with a plastic basin which is broken and begins to throw water on himself.  They do not have any soap as they cannot afford to buy any.  So he just uses water to and tries to scrub with his hands.
Last night the Dad did not sleep well wondering how he is going to raise the kids and send them to school.  He was never able to go to school himself, nor did his wife.  He teaches them everything he knows about gardening and surviving the way they have always had to. 

In this family no one knows Jesus Christ as Lord or Savior.  When someone shares with them they have a hard time believing as life has not shown any mercy to them.  Their dreams and hopes are crushed before they can really begin.  Who is this God that you say cares and where is he?  This is a common question.

One of the children is thinking about suicide but in this culture it is the worse thing a person can do.  They will not even bury the person but just crush everything around them down and burn it as it is a disgrace to commit suicide.  It is a sign of weakness.  Still, they think about it quietly to themselves.  There is no future – why do we exist? 

I believe that so many ministries use the word Hope in their name because they realize just how much the people in these countries need hope.  Everyone in the world needs hope, but unfortunately in countries where there is much there is false hope or hope in material instead of the living God.  HUM is a vision that God had, not Hines.  It is a vision that He put in my heart to share with the people in Uganda.  A vision of seeing children that have hope because they come to realize that they have a father in Heaven, that Jesus died for them and was raised from the dead.  A vision of children finding their father through Jesus and finding true hope that comes from His great love that knows no bounds.

Share this vision with me by helping the children in Uganda that I work with.  Let them see the hope that can be theirs for the asking and receiving through Jesus.  You can see how on our website  Help us to make a difference to the orphans and vulnerable children that God wants us to reach out to with His love.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Graduates!

We are excited to say that we have more graduates from University this month.  Stephen Mudangha and Jesca Norah Kataike both graduated from Uganda Christian University.  Stephen majored with a Bachelor's in Agricultural Engineering and Entrepreneurship and Jesca graduated with a Bachelor's in Business Administration/Accounting.  We also have Sarah Sabano, who has been working with us as a Social Worker that went to school at night to get her Bachelor's in Social Work Administration from the same school and Harriet Acham, who graduated with her Bachelor's in Social Work Administration.  We have others coming up this year and are excited to see them finishing because of faithful sponsors.  God bless you all for helping these children to do something with their lives.  Harriet has a widowed mother who has really struggled and the same for Stephen and Jesca (who are brother and sister).  Sarah's parents have many children and have really struggled.  The we have Anton Otimongo, who is graduating with his Bachelors from Gulu University.

Coming up soon we have Sosi Musana, Andrew Nkambo, Harriet Konga, Alice Nawere, Diana Nankoma and Julius Bumba (who we wrote about earlier in a post), Michael Wafula and Fred Gadala with their diplomas which are like Associate Degrees.  We also have Badiru Mukama, Peter Kolokolo, Andrew Muluga, Helen Gwenda, Henry Maleza and Julius Musene who finished in vocational studies.

Most of these young adults are God fearing people who want to make a difference and they will because of the sponsors that faithfully sponsored them through until the end.  Thank you to all of you who care and are a big part of this ministry.

Mudslides of Bududa

Recently I went and visited an area known as Bududa on the slopes of Mt. Elgon.  Mt. Elgon is an old volcanoe with some activity going on at this time.  It is 14,177 feet high.  Mbale sits in the foot hills of the mountain range that borders Uganda and Kenya.

I am always amazed by the disasters that happen.  There are six children who lost both parents in the mudslides so we were asked to check out the children and see how we can help.  The children's father was a Pastor of a Penecostal Church and he was working hard to get everyone to evacuate, but the mudslide turned almost 90 degrees and went over his home while he and his wife were having lunch.  The children were at school.  The youngest is 5 years old and the oldest is 14 years old.  Right now they are staying with their Uncle and his wife, who has eight children of his own.  They are all evacuated and living in a tent in the Bududa area.

The mountain has been splitting in many areas causing these mudslides or landslides.  The day it happened it was not even raining.  There are volcanic rocks all over still blue in color.  A landslide also occurred on the Kenyan side this month, killing over a hundred people.  There were eight killed that are known of in this mudslide.  The last one we visited left over 2,500 people living in tents for a long time and hundreds were killed.  Please pray for all of these people.

The government is trying to get the people to move, but they do not have any funds and they have no where to go, no land, etc.  The government is trying to relocate them and paying the expense but finding it hard as there is over a hundred thousand people living in the areas of the mountain.

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Above and below are a few pictures of the area we visited recently.  You can see the big machines digging and looking for bodies of people who were buried.  Another man lost his wife and one of his children.  Their bodies have not been found and he is left with a four year old at home.  He is beside himself and so upset that he does not think he can manage life.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Little Women of Africa

I love the movie "Little Women" and often relate it to my home and the girls that I have raised here with the gracious help of Jesus.  I have so many and I loose count!
Let me see, we young Sarah, who is now the oldest and is going to be 25 years in August and she has graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Social Work Administration from Uganda Christian University and is currently working with HUM as a social worker.  She is so sweet and pretty and kind.  She loves helping the children and is so involved in their lives that it is such a blessing to have her on staff.  She knows what it is to grow up in extreme poverty, having lived in a mud hut with very many children.  Sarah came to know the Lord as a teenager in high school.  She had suffered a lot as a child with her father drinking and mother not caring.  Her father is now a Christian and we are thankful for that, and Sarah was blessed to be used to harvest him unto the Lord.
Then I have Harriet, who actually lives in Christine's home (our child sponsorship administrator - see picture left) and they eat and pray in our home.  Harriet is going to be 25 in November and is graduating soon from Kyambogo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics with a strong background in accounting.  She hopes to find a job soon with Crane Bank, but is not sure as yet, but is currently doing her final internship with Uganda Clays (brick making industry).  She came to know the Lord when she was young in Sunday School and she has a wonderful singing voice.  She loves to sing in the choir.  She lost her father when she was very very young and was raised by a widowed mother who did not have any income.  She came to stay with Christine because the mother could not manage to feed all and when she was in high school.

There are more and I will write about them as time goes on - I would love to write a book (pray for me to have time) on so many of the children that have grown up into success stories to the Glory of God.

From Left to right back row Brenda, Irene, Violet, Mary, Christine, Katie, Sarah, Violet 2 and in the front three are Beatrice, Sylvia and Alpha and we were missing Alice - and I have three little girls to be featured later!  Their names are Susan, Sabrina Joy and Norah.

We will not forget my boys either.  I have four little boys and nine older boys (some men actually now!).  the four little ones are Ssemu, David, Goma and Israel.  The nine older ones are Elvis, Ssemu 2, David 2, Tukkei, Henry, Benjamin, Duchu, Bumba and Charles.

These are the names of the children that God has graciously given me to me a mother to in Kamonkoli and have been growing in my home.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

All the Little Children

There are so many children who have passed in and out of my life here in Uganda.  Everyone of them so special in different ways.  I am blessed to be a servant to our Lord and to have been chosen to serve the little children of Uganda.

When I first came here, life was very difficult, and still is at times.  I struggle with even going for a walk as the only white lady (muzungu) in the village.  Everyone wants to stare, especially the little children.  I am no longer known, however, as muzungu but Mummie Katherine.  However, the stares have not reduced!  I love the little children and when they come running up to me it is such a blessing to me.  I only pray that the Lord will use me to be such a blessing to them.

I remember a little girl named Esther Naula.  She came from the same home that David lived in when I got him.  She was a very quiet and shy little girl and very sweet.  She fell sick so often and I kept wondering why, even Christine, our child sponsorship administrator was wondering what was going on that she falls sick almost every other week.  We finally took her for extensive medical tests and checkup.  It was discovered that this little girl had syphilis and was suffering quite a bit.  She received treatment from the same doctor and got a lot better for a while.  Then one day she walked into our office crying that she felt really sick.  Checking her temperature we discovered that it was very high.  We took her to a doctor in town and she received treatment but was suppose to get an injection twice a day.  The clinic nearby was willing to take care of the responsibility of giving her the injections. 

That very week when she was walking to the clinic, Esther collasped on the roadside.  She was too weak.  She did not come that morning or evening before for her injection, but had told her Grandmother that she had.  She was very ill.  We took her to the clinic very quickly, as her cousin, Bumba Dison, had found her.  She died that evening.  We were all heartbroken to bury this little seven year old girl. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Very often it is easy to think that life as a missionary is just an advaneture.  Well, some of the time it is.  However, very often it is a time of sorrow and tears.  I remember a vivid  time when I had to help a woman deliver a baby with no help, no water, no nothing - just in the bushes literally!  It was difficult for me, but the poor woman is the one who really suffered!  I ended up using a string from my slip to tie off the ambilico cord and keep the woman from bleeding to death. 

Children came and got me as I was walking home from the junction of Kamonkoli.  I had gone to get some onions and carrots to use for dinner with a little beef.  As I was walking they came and grabbed my hand and kept telling me that someone needs me and I should go with them. 

When I got where we were going it was not far from my home.  The lady was on the ground screaming in pain and was not doing well at all.  She had a fever, though I had no way of measuring what her temperature was.  I sent one of the kids to my home to get some good clean water and call a worker at home to come and help me.  We had hot water now, a dull knife and nothing else to help me to deliver this child.  I had no experience at all.  The lady was crying and screaming.  I gave her a big stick to hold on to.  She told me that the baby was not due for some time but she was sick. 

It turned out that she had very high malaria and did indeed have a high temperature causing the baby to be born premature.  It also turned out that the woman had AIDS.  She had a baby girl and it was so tiny.  I was scared and not sure what to do.  We got her cleaned up the best we could and found some men to help us lift her and get her to the nearest clinic.  But it was too far away so she ended up in a guest room at my home.  I kept the baby warm as I knew this was important and put lanterns around her so that it would generate heat.  The woman was happy but because of the malaria she had no milk for the baby.  I got some fresh milk and boiled it with some water and let it cool and then preceeded to find a midwife to help me before feeding the baby. 

I found a midwife who said that the baby was doing well and that she should live.  The mother was happy.  Later on the father showed up and he was not happy that the baby was born early.  He began to cry that we should kill it now, it is going to bring to many medical bills and we will not manage.  I did not understand his attitude.  I went to get a car to take them to the hospital in mbale for better care, and when I came back the baby was dead - suspecting that the father killed it.  When I had left to get  a vehicle, the child was doing fine.  I was only gone twenty minutes.

I was saddened - they had named the baby Katherine, which only made it worse.  Well, these are the kind of things sometimes we go through as a missionary.  The Lord was with me and I still felt that He impacted this woman through me who was a Muslim.

Two years later she accepted Christ and then died two months later.   Her husband had another wife - all of them were infected with AIDS.  They are all dead now.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dearest Samuel!

This blog is dedicated to a special woman whose name was Robinah.  She was the Grandmother to very many children, including some orphans.  Samuel was one of them.  Samuel's father died of AIDS when he was around four years of age.  He was brought to HUM by his mother, who was very sick with the virus herself.  She left the children with her mother, Robinah, their Grandmother. 

Robinah has always been active in the women's group at the church and likes singing a lot.  She enjoys studying the Bible and learning more, but her reading is not very good.  She attended every Bible study that she could to learn more.  She enjoyed helping out during crusades with house to house evangelism, and was involved in any way that she could be.  She loved the Lord, Jesus, and it showed in her life.  She had a problem with high blood pressure and heart disease.  The Lord took her home about three weeks ago and now Samuel and the other orphans that were living with her have no one taking care of them.  We asked Samuel's mother to come and take care of them but she has refused to stay there and just takes off and leaves them for days at a time. 

Samuel has given up on even wanting to live until the last few days.  He has become sick with malaria twice since the Grandmother died and has been on an I.V. both times.  He has been refusing to stay at school, does not want to eat, and his CD4 count dropped from 300 down to 15 in the three weeks time.  This is very concerning.  I remember when Junior died his CD4 count was too low. 

One of our staff members, Nancy, has volunteered to help look after him and we have been praying with him and talking with him with hopes that he will gain and come around.  Today I was so happy to see him at the youth Bible group and he even looked so much better.  I ask for your prayers for continued improvement for him and his younger brother (who is also infected), Edigar Francis.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Missionary's Journal

It is a very hot day for this time of year in Eastern Uganda.  It is even unusual and we have had a long dry season compared to other years. There is much rain now, but it is still hot and humid during the day.  Uganda normally has a very mild climate with temperatures reaching around 75 F, but lately the temperatures are around 90 to 100 F.

 There is no electricity and it is hard to sleep.  I praise the Lord that at least I have a bed and a pillow, and it is even clean.   I give thanks for all that the Lord has provided.   I go on my knees and begin to cry out to our Lord for Uganda.  I pray for the government that seems to be unstable.  I pray for the Lord’s touching and direction on the president and all of his workers.  I begin to pray for the people.  My mind then drifts to the children and I begin to cry.  The children.  Who will save the children, oh Lord?  They have little to eat, sleep in the dirt, even many of the houses are made from mud and sticks from the trees and grass on top.  I begin to think of the rain we had in the evening and know that very many of the children have slept another night in a wet area of the mud in their mud hut.  I know some are sick with malaria and have not had any treatment from lack of care or lack of funds.  They get bites all night from ants and other insects.  I have learned the meaning of “Don’t let the bedbugs bite!”

After I pray for some time, I find my way to the kitchen where the children living with me are about to have breakfast.  It is just beginning to get light outside.  We have candles lit and I thank God for the candles.  I know that most just have to stumble in the darkness.  We also have some charged lights that run by batteries that we can charge when the electricity is on, and electricity is rare these days.  I see that my children are smiling and are clean and eating fine.  They even excel in school.  I believe because of good care they excel in most everything.  I give thanks again for the Lord providing. 

The children go off to school and I begin my day after some quiet time with the Lord.  From there I go to the office and my mind is taken by the sounds of a woman screaming and crying from the clinic nearby.  This is the very clinic that HUM helped to build and helps support.   I learn that her child has died from malaria.  She herself is not well.  To make matters worse, her husband has died from AIDS and she has no money.  She will not marry again, for she too is infected.  She has many other children at home.  She delayed to bring the child as she had no money and did not know what to do.  An hour later her brother comes to me in the office and asks me if I can help them with the burial.  They have no money to bury the child and no one to turn to.  Usually children are just wrapped in a cloth and put in a hole in the ground.  Again, I try to find some little money from my own pocket to help them. 

I go back to my room and cry out to God again with many tears asking him why the children have to suffer so much.  I pray for them and ask God to help them and to give me strength and courage and direction. 

A short time later an older woman comes with two younger ones.  She has a hernia and needs an operation but has no money.  I struggle to help them get her into the car and the car will not start.  The car is now six years old and was 10 years old when we bought it.  This is like new to many Ugandans as  few even own cars.  The woman cannot walk, so we have to carry her.  We take her to the hospital in Mbale in the van.  There is no one there to help us.  She is in pain.  We have to wait until a doctor comes on duty and there are no beds available – she will have to lay on the floor.  The hospital does not provide food or sheets or anything.  If you want these things you have to provide for yourself.  There is a nurse on duty but the woman is not seen because there are too many patients.  After a few hours, I have to leave  her there with the two younger women and little money. 

I return home and it is now lunchtime.  I have not done any work in the office today as yet and this afternoon I have a Bible Study to prepare for.  I eat my lunch quickly and go to the office.  A teacher comes to tell me he has a discipline problem with one of our sponsored kids.  We may end up spending over an hour discussing the problems.  By the time I finish dealing with the situation I have only an hour to prepare for my lesson.  After the study, yet another medical problem arises. 

When I am in America people often ask me what a typical day is like.  I am giving you an idea of what a day can be like and every day is different.  I have a hard time explaining, as I may have a schedule, but God has a different one.  There is no typical day in Uganda.  Every day is different.  I give thanks and praise to the Lord for the days that are normal, but they are rare.  You truly learn to give thanks in all circumstances, as you must look for the positive always.  Without the Lord, you cannot manage or make it here when you have been raised, sometimes spoiled, in a country like America.   I give thanks for all the blessings that God has given to fellow friends and people of my country, America.  America the great!

I did not grow up rich.  I have had good parents, and they provided for us and loved us as children, and continue to be supportive and loving to us as adults.  I lost my mother in a car accident when I was 19 years of age.  I have a wonderful stepmother who is very supportive and caring.  I again give thanks and praise to the Lord.  I always had a bed to sleep in and food on the table.  I always had clothes to wear and was able to go to a good school.  There is so much to give thanks for.  I do not ever remember the roof leaking or being eaten by bugs at night.  I had a good bath every day.   Not at all like a child you would find in Uganda.

I look around me here in Uganda and see that the children are not cared for. They are not taught – many never go to school.  Their parents are dying.  Here where I live in the Budaka District at least 1 of every 3 adults is dying of AIDS.  They tell me it is getting better – but it is hard to see.  We have burials every week where children are burying their parents.  What will happen to these children?  We are glad that HUM can help at least some of them.    I continue to pray and believe that only through the Lord, Jesus can we make a difference and give any hope.

I know there are many organizations out there, but I do not see any of them in the Pallisa District of Uganda – the second poorest district in the third poorest country in the world.  A place where the biggest problem is AIDS and children are left alone.  A place that goes beyond we can imagine.  A place that God laid on my heart as a teenager and brought me here eleven years ago and founded HUM in 1999.  A place where you can make a difference together with us.  I pray God touches your heart today. 
God bless you,   Katherine

Just Lovin'

I took in my first kid at the end of September 1995.  His name is David.  He had just turned five that month and is now going on 22 years in September and attending McKerere University.  He is studying computer science and information technology.  David was living with a Grandmother named Mary.  He was tending cows everyday and had a lot of malnutrition.  He looked really tattered in his only set of clothes, but had eyes that would melt any mother's heart, and a great smile to go with it (still has to this day).   I remember him trying to teach me language and trying to learn English from me.  He had never gone to school as yet, but was wanting to learn to communicate with me.  He cried the first day as he did not know what was happening to him.  He would teach me the Lugwere word for frog and I would tell him the English, then a cup, then a pan, etc.  Through love we communicated and have so many wonderful memories.
This is David at five in the beginning, then six, then 18 and above at 21.

The second child I took into my home is Bumba.  He was seven when I first met him and eight when I took him in.  Julius lost both parents by the time he was seven years to the terrible AIDS virus that has claimed so many lives in Africa and all over the world now.  He had made his way to Kamonkoli to look for his relatives and was not sure how to find them.  He had come a long ways to get there on foot.  He finally decided to curl up in the church and sleep in a corner.  That is where he was found and then connected to his Aunt Esther.  His Aunt had just retired that year from teaching primary school and had no income.  Retirement does not come on time or when it is needed and she had little to look after him with.  A woman from Colorado named Shelly came to stay with me a month and do work in missions and fell for Bumba and wanted to take him with her.  She asked me to take him in and I did and have loved him like a son ever since and Shelly has sponsored him monthly ever since.  Today he is 24 years old and studies in his last semester at Ncumba University in Entebbe.  He will have his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration/accounting very soon.  He too is a wonderful young man that is looking forward to working and starting his life.

Altogether I have had 24 children pass through my home, and 20 are there still and I love each of them and thank God for the chance I have had in making a difference for them together with their sponsors.    One child at a time someone told me - love them one child at a time.  we do have 191 children sponsored today and 28 in the orphanage altogether between two homes.  Give thanks to God with a grateful heart for all He does and His great love for us all.  Amen!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What's Not to Love!

A little of my story here in Kamonkoli continues - when I returned to live in Uganda in July 1995, I was not really sure what the Lord was going to have me doing.  I just knew it had to do with orphans and children in general.  After seeing the faces of the children the first time I came, I could not sleep or get their images out of my heart or mind. 

I did not have running water the first six years, a vehicle the first four years, electricity has always been off and on! and I was just thankful to have camping like stoves to cook on.  I got my first refridgerator after six years and my first stove.  Somehow, when you love what you are doing, you do not really notice or miss these things much.  My heart was focused on the Lord and the work He had put before me.  I moved on the back of a bicycle for all these years or walked - good for me!  They called the bikes "boda boda" which came about during the time of Idi Amin when people wanted to get out of Uganda and were heading for the border - they would call out in their accents "Border Border" and this became boda boda.  I enjoyed riding on the back to town - it was always refreshing or cooling with the air in my face.  To shop for groceries, I would get empty boxes and fill them with the groceries and then put them on another boda boda to take back to my home in Kamonkoli (about 30 minutes on the back of the bike).

One of the first things I did was to start a Saturday Sunday School to meet with the children and teach them about the love God has for them.  It later became our AWANA Club (now around 600 children).  Finally in 1999 I founded Hines Ugandan Ministries (HUM).  Our mission - to reach out to the orphans, vulnerable children and widows with the love of Christ.  Our goal has never changed to raise of healthy, contributing adults that make a difference to the country and community to the glory of God. 

We started with nine chidlren in the sponsorship program in 1999 and by the end of the year had 51.  Now we keep a continuing 200 children sponsored.  As children finish through University or vocational studies, we add more little ones.  We have had 27 finish University and vocational through the end of last year.  This year we have another 23 finishing.  This is exciting, as most of these children are going to make a difference.

I want to share the story of one child, however, that changed me.  His name was Junior.  Junior had several brothers and two sisters.  One of his sisters, Violet, was taken in by me when she was four years old.  She is still with me today at the age of 17 years.  Junior was a younger brother to Violet.  They had lost both parents to the terrible AIDS virus, as so many of these children have, and before the mother died she was looking for places to put the children.  Their mother's name was Esther.  Esther had come to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior about three years before she died.  She wanted her kids to have the best.  She had put them in relatives homes but did not know what to do with Violet, and begged me (not really!) to take her in.  I really cried when Esther died.  Junior and the youngest son, Derrick, were taken to the capital city, Kampala, to live with an Aunt and Uncle and stayed there for three years.  When Junior was seven years old and Derrick was four they were brought back to the village and put at their Grandfather's home.  Their Grandfather is very poor with no income at all and very old.  He had no place to really put them, so they slept with the goats.  They were brought back, however, because the Uncle thought they were sick with AIDS.  When Violet learned what was happening in their lives, she came asked me to help.  I went to visit the children and discovered that they were not eating anything most of the time.  I took them for testing as the Grandfather said no one had, they just guessed.  Derrick did not have AIDS.  When the Uncle heard he sent him away to boarding school.  Unfortunately, Junior was infected and in bad shape, beyond the help of the medicine available here in Uganda.  The Grandfather kept him and starved him to death.  He felt this was more humane than to allow him to live and suffer with AIDS.  The night before Junior died I was there.  He reached out his arms to me and kept crying "don't leave me here, don't leave me here."  The Grandfather gave me no choice and would not let me interfere any further.  I never cried so hard in my life.  At 4:00 a.m. the next morning I had a knock at my door that Junior had died and they wanted to bury him that day.  The Grandfather was just going to wrap him in a sheet and through him in a hole.  I got what little money I had saved and bought a casket, had a proper grave dug and cemented as they do here, and had him burried properly.  To this day I remember the image of Junior crying out to me with his arms outstretched.  I dedicate the medical clinic we are trying to build to his memory.

Friday, April 27, 2012

I wrote about my first day in Uganda, now I am going on 17 years and it is hard to write on everything that has taken place during all this time.  I live in the village of Kamonkoli helping children in child sponsorship and in a small orphanage. 

I have been through many trials here and seen more than one should probably see as a missionary.  Delivered babies in the bush with nothing but a bottle of water a thread from my dress to tie off the cord.  Had many children named after me now as well.  Have seen many children die because of the hardships that are here. 

The first week I was here I was touched so much by the children and their need for love and care that I could not go back to America and do nothing, I could not settle.  After one year I returned and have stayed here ever since.

Presently there are 191 children in the child sponsorship program and not all of them are children, many are in University now and some in vocational training institutes, others are still in nursery.  There are 28 living in the small orphanage and fourteen of these are living in my home.  The youngest in my home is Sabrina, who is seven years old and the oldest is Sarah, who is now 24 and helps me so much. 

Each child is different with a different story.  All of them deserve the love they were not getting before.  I feel blessed to have the chance to help these children and to love them.  None of them are spoiled, all need love and care.

I want to begin this blog by sharing a few of the most memorable stories that I have.  One to share, and two to raise funds to continue helping the children.

I will begin with the story of Dick, a little orphan boy who was growing up with his Grandfather, whose name is Cyrus.  Dick was six years old when I first met him and so full of life.  We had started a papyrus church here in Kamonkoli with the Presbyterian and Dick started coming to the Sunday School.  We also started a Saturday Sunday School, which is now our AWANA ministry.  Dick also came on Saturdays.

Dick was such a wonderful little boy and he always played with my six year old, David Lunguba (who is now 22 years and at Makerere University).  They use to run and climb mango trees and tell stories.  They could really tell stories about taking care of cattle.  One Saturday during prayer time, Dick came forward and accepted Christ.  I began to get to know him better and really loved that little boy.  He told me how his parents died and how he ended up with his Grandfather.  He told me with tears streaming down his face.  He had been through an awful lot for a little boy of six years.  He wanted to go to school and he believed that Mummie Katherine was going to help him to go to school. 

One day I had to take a trip to Kampala, which was always difficult.  It was an eight hour trip by taxi van piled with people, windows open and lots of dust.  I had to travel to Kampala whenever I needed money, just to make a phone call from the post office - calling America collect through AT&T.  You see, there were no phones any where around here.  It would take two to three weeks for a wire to get to Uganda - so I had to make sure that I gave it plenty of time.  I did not have money to stay in hotels so I stayed with Harriet, the girl who escorted me to the village the very first day and we stayed in the slums of Kampala.  We had lots of roaches and even rats swimming in the toilet!  Terrible place, but many people lived there.

This time when I went, Dick was bitten by a dog that had rabbies.  Here in Uganda no one had treatment for rabbies.  I was gone for about five days and when I returned I found him suffering in horrible pain and dying.  He was crying, mummie - if you had been here I know I would have been okay.  There had been no way to call me or let me know.  I was stricken with grief.  When he died I never forgot him and I still remember him well unto this day sixteen years later.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Journey Begins

The journey to Uganda began in 1994.  I came here not knowing what I would be doing exactly, but trusting in the Lord, Jesus, completely.  I came with two suitcases and a heart that was ready for anything.  I had felt the calling to help children in Uganda from the time I was 15 years old.  I never thought I would really do it.
My first day was very memorable.  I arrived in Entebbe, Uganda at 6:30 a.m. and was met by people I did not know that were holding a sign with my name on it.  I was then taken to Kampala to the Church of Uganda (Anglican) to meet with many people and have an orientation and breakfast.  Shortly after I was taken to a bus park and put on the express bus to Mbale with another National (Harriet).  I felt a little bit scared, a little bit excited and somewhat unsure of everything, but trusting God.  It took two hours to fill up the bus before it left for Mbale (now 10:30 a.m.).  I do mean fill up, goats, chickens, all sizes of people and really packed tight!  I sat with my small suitcase on my lap and the others had been put underneath the bus in a storage area.  The road seemed good out of Kampala and there was so much to look at. 
By the time we reached Jinja, I really wanted to go to the bathroom, but the bus would not stop for bathroom breaks.  Finally the girl that was sent with me, Harriet, asked the driver to stop and let me go somewhere.  The bus pulled over to the side of the road and many people got out.  The men just went to the bathroom where they were on the side of the road and the ladies all went towards the trees and bush, so thats what I did and finally felt better.  We then began the rest of the journey. 
I asked how long and they kept saying not long.  I came to learn there is not long, we are about to reach, it is just near and finally we are here!  We turned from Iganga on a road that was dirt and not paved.  I think we were on that road forever!  We reached Mbale at 8:30 p.m. and I was very hungry and tired.  Then we boarded a small car to go to a village called Kamonkoli.  There I stayed with a family that took good care of me.  I shared a room with a bed, a bat, and two other girls (Harriet and Olive) and we talked into the night.  The bathroom was an out house and that was where I bathed as well.  That night as we fell asleep, Harriet woke up scared and I asked what is wrong and she said that there were noises outside, maybe night dancers.  I did not know what a night dancer was - i thought maybe a drunk!  It turns out they are people who worship the Devil and supposedly dance on their heads naked at night.  I laughed and thought they make up good stories!   This was the end of my first day in Uganda.