Thursday, August 26, 2010

An overview of what GSF does

Good Shepherd’s Fold

GSF is not only an orphanage, but we also operate a school, clinic, chapel and other support services and community outreach opportunities. We are located about 22 kms west of the city of Jinja in Buundo Village, Buikwe District.

The mission of Good Shepherd’s Fold is to provide a Christian home to the orphans and destitute children of Uganda, striving to meet their physical, spiritual, social, emotional, and educational needs that they may be fully equipped to impact Ugandan culture for Christ. It is our goal to be a model as we train and minister to local Ugandans living in community with our ministry.

Children - We currently have 92 children in residence, from infants to 17 years old. Among these are 7 children with HIV and 11 children with physical and mental handicaps. We work with our local probation officers, hospitals, courts and other government authorities to take in children who have been identified as abandoned, orphaned or from other destitute situations. More than 20 older students continue to be sponsored to complete their secondary schooling after moving out of GSF.

School - The GSF Christian School has over 300 students in K3 through Primary 7. Our students consistently score within Division I and Division II on the national PLE exam each year. Scholarships are provided for 80 students from destitute families – these are students who would not otherwise attend any school. The school draws students from 5 local villages near GSF.

GSF Christian School has sent 7 students to the national Primary School Athletic competitions this year. Most of these finished in the Top 10 of their respective individual or team sports. In the team competitions held in Arua in August, our students helped the new Buikwe district to finish fourth place nationally in its first year of participation.

Our clinic offers free medical care to the community when we have qualified medical professionals serving with us. We have plans to expand the clinic when God brings a qualified administrator to join our team.

The chapel is open to the community for church services and we coordinate evangelistic outreach and humanitarian assistance to people in need in this area. Outreach includes visitation for prayer and encouragement to patients in hospitals in Jinja, helping elderly neighbors with cleaning, maintaining or upgrading their homes and feeding programs for at-risk babies and other destitute individuals in our area.

GSF Farms provide much of the food required at the orphanage. We feed 90 children, 60 staff members and 300 school students daily when school is in session. Firewood is taken from the property and hundreds of seedlings are replanted each year to renew this resource. Cows, pigs, goats, rabbits and fish are raised in addition to the extensive agricultural work on the farm.

We host over 100 visitors annually from the USA, Ireland, New Zealand and other countries. These volunteers raise all of funds which are invested in the economy of Uganda while providing excellent services to the orphanage and our surrounding schools and communities.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

40 on Friday the 13th

Yep, I was born on the 13th and every once in a while, my birthday arrives on Friday the 13th and I usually just ignore it. However, at the end of last week, my mom pointed out to me that my 40th birthday would be on Friday the 13th. It ended up being a day of good-luck or maybe just of blessings. First my sweet family fixed breakfast and pineapple/banana smoothies and gave me sweet gifts. I even got a glass casserole dish to replace the one Titus broke with his head (if you don't know that story see Super Glue and Stitches). Then, I heard singing coming from outside. When I looked, all the missionaries from GSF and their kids were all dressed in black and were walking towards our house singing Happy Birthday in a mournful voice. They even brought Daisy, the donkey down to help with the atmosphere (notice the black bandanna on her head!).

Teacher Amanda brought muffins and others had gifts gifts. One was an apron - notice I reversed it and Claudia and I showed the mood of the day--or at least tried to.
Then some of the GSF kids started to come by to wish me a happy birthday!
It started out fun and great and continued that way for the rest of the day. Mark and I went into town for the day just to enjoy and get away. That evening we went to Black Lantern, a nice restaurant overlooking some of the rapids of the Nile River. It was a great day and ended up being a day of blessings on Friday the 13th.