New Hope Academy, our secondary school (7th thru 10th grades), has received a great opportunity to compete nationally. Last weekend both boys and girls teams participated in the regional competition and, by God's grace, finished third. This is despite the fact that we were the youngest and possibly smallest team in the competition. They have now begun to train in preparation for the National tournament which is in southwestern Uganda in May. They are preparing physically, but also doing their best to raise the funds necessary to attend. Each student is doing their part to work at raising the funds through odd jobs. Toby has also started a Go-Fund-Me campaign to do his part, please take a look and see what he has prepared.
Everyone is involved! Kevin spent time at regionals keeping score, though even with him scoring we still were losing that game. The umbrella is to protect him from the African sun.
Just take a look at Mary’s blog from last month and you get the picture of what things were like for me (Geoff). My work load had exceeded my abilities and I was struggling with the beginnings of real burn out. The good news is that things have been alleviated and I am feeling much better than I did the first part of the year. PRAISE GOD for His provision. We have a new head of Child Care and my three jobs have been reduced to only one and a half--definitely more manageable!
A home project that has been waiting for 9 months was finally completed during my 2 weeks of leave. You notice the creative way to use the van as a ladder.
One thing we love to do when time is available, bar-b-que and of course Kakande is always willing to help. All he requires is little taste :-)
GEOFF'S MAIN JOB: "EA," WHAT IS THAT?
Sometimes people ask what is EA? Early Adulthood, Post Kasana and Post IY are all names we have coined over the years for that which is our Early Adulthood department. Geoff is the coordinator of the department which deals with all our young adults, currently numbering 128. As children here in Uganda grow up they face many challenges: high unemployment, cultural pressures, corruption, and the universal need to find themselves and understand the way into their future. EA has many components, but the most commonly known piece is the Investment Year Program which you can read more about below. It is definitely one of our most exciting components. In summary, EA exists to guide our growing children into a prosperous adulthood where they live as God-fearing, productive members of the nation of Uganda and see their further education realized. Through counseling, guidance and discipleship we aim to see our sons and daughters become the parents of the future who will be a part of reducing the orphan crisis in Uganda. Please pray for our young adults who are served by the Early Adulthood staff of six members. More info can be found on our website.
During our most recent Post IY meeting 29 students gathered to be taught, encouraged and share their struggles with one another. We had a great time and a nice meal together. These students often have not seen each other for quite long as life and education keep them moving apart.
The culminating point of the New Hope program is when EA launches out our students at the end of their educational journey. It is great to see the finished product and you can see the joy on Uncle Simon's face when Kikanya finished last year.
New Hope Uganda Investment Year
The vision for IY came more than 12 years ago as one of our senior staff members saw the ever increasing need to help our growing children find their gifts, passions and apply them to God’s plan for their future. IY serves to instill “SKILL, KNOWLEDGE and CHARACTER” into our sons and daughters through a "gap year" which we apply after their S-4 year (10th grade). The year is filled with intense discipleship, skills training through three internships and training periods as well as gift/calling assessments which help our students find confidence in the direction for their future. A key launching pad for the EA department, our students finish the year knowing what education choices to make, leading them into their future careers. This year we have 33 students in the program, please pray for them and their pivotal year in IY.
We are planning a quick trip home in December as a gift to my parents. In 2016 they celebrated 50 years of marriage, but had to do it without our family. We wanted to spend Christmas 2017 with them as our gift and appreciation for their longevity and commitment to loving each other and us all. Please pray for the provision of plane tickets for our family. We will be stateside for about five weeks, mainly in Colorado, but will have a short stay in California as it is the best place to fly in/out of.
Kevin cutting his birthday cake
Surprise visit from some friends to wish him happy birthday
2017 is what we have been calling the year of milestones. One of the first took place in March, Kevin turned 13. We now have nothing but teenagers for children, oh how time flies. We are currently looking towards Toby's 16th birthday! Of course this milestone makes him of legal age to drive (though the license won't come until later in the year.) In July we celebrate our 20th anniversary and in August Sam will turn 18 and officially be considered an adult.
THANK YOU ALL AGAIN FOR YOUR FAITHFUL LOVE & SUPPORT!