10 days until the Mr. and myself will begin the journey of 7,881+ miles to Gulu, Uganda. A lot has happened since I last posted so I will do my best in catching you up.
We had SOOO many donations for the garage sale and were completely blown away by everyone’s generosity! While the garage we used was huge and wonderful, it was in kind of an obscure location downtown and with the cold/rainy weather, it made traffic pretty slow. However, we still came out with close to $700! We are so thankful for our friends, family, and church who helped pack, load, organize, sell, donate, bake, etc! You guys rock!! We are suuuuper close to being set on funding, plane tickets are purchased, we’re ready to go!
Child Voice has been leasing the land for their center from the Ugandan government and can no longer use it. They have broken ground on a new center, but in the mean time all of the girls have returned to their villages. Teams of Child Voice staff will be traveling across Northern Uganda, visiting the girls individually each month. I am sure we will be traveling with them from time to time, but now are focus will primarily be in the city of Gulu, where Child Voice’s office is. They are trying to secure a house or apartment for all six of us interns to live in. No more mud huts (darn!), but we will be responsible for finding our own food and doing our own laundry. I have no clue whether or not we will have running water, but you can pray we are blessed with that.
So what does this mean for our internships?
For Taylor: I will still be doing art therapy, but my audience will be a little different. The staff in Uganda has been speaking with headmasters of the local schools to see if they could identify traumatized children that Megan (another art therapy intern) and I could meet with on a regular basis. There is even a school especially for war-traumatized children and the possibility we could be working with Invisible Children’s school. I will be shadowing and learning from Winnie, Child Voice’s counselor and hopefully visiting some of the girls who have gone home and/or have graduated from the program. The staff has also asked Megan and I to work on a sort of how-to manual so that the staff can continue to work with the women and children with art.
For Clayton: Obviously, a huge priority right now is to finish building the new center. This means Clayton is going to feel extra-manly all summer as he helps mix concrete and nail boards together or whatever it is they do 🙂 He is pumped about this and ready to jump in! They have also asked Clayton to come alongside their local pastor and accompany him as he visits members of the community with various needs. But, my guess is what Clayton is most looking forward to is playing soccer with kids. And we’re lucky to have a new intern coordinator that will be there with us who is a soccer coach/art teacher from the Twin Cities!
So that’s the scoop. Plans always find a way of changing themselves! We are bracing ourselves for living and working through a transition period for Child Voice but also know that perhaps now with the unexpected changes they’ll need more help than usual. We feel so lucky to have this amazing opportunity and want to thank everyone who has supported us financially and through encouragement. We wouldn’t be doing this without you and have been praying God blesses you for your willingness to give.
So here’s a little shout out to our sponsor loves:
Jason & Michelle Dole, Ed & Bonnie Hall, Regina Gritters, Alan & Patty Dole, Michael & Jaxine Corum, Bruce & Diane Baier, Nathan & Bonnie Hall, Mark & Mary Core, Mark & Jen Phillips, Third Reformed Church, Shorty & Marlena Wichhart, Dan & Kristy Wichhart, Nancy Van Roekel, Ryan & Alyssa Morrison, Mike & Myra Van Zee, Emily Boyd, Jean Jones, Mark & Tammy Putnam, Jacklyn Punt, Luke Boyd, Keith & Suzanne Corum, Marlin Doctor, Wanda Van Roekel, Tim Vander Well, Dean & Jeanne Vander Well (and their sweet friends), Tom & Wendy Vander Well, Madison Vander Well, Atalie Ferring, Brenda & Eric Jones, Chad & Shay Vande Lune, Mallori Ghent, Jenny Dingman, Colyn Burbank, Dave & Maria Eick, Will Fisher, Brandon Vogel, Daniel & Amy Smith, Paul & Jessica Stewart, Gateway Church, Bob & Donna Smith, Kevin Schlabaugh, Paul & Joan Moede, Pat & Peggy Moriarity, Jan & Phyllis Grace, Kaleb Korver, and everyone who bought stuff at our garage sale too (apologies if I left anyone out).