By Carolyn Jones/Hands Across Nations
We all come to transition times in our lives – those times when one part of life is ending and another is beginning. This week is a transition time, a time of letting go of my beloved home country and town, my family and friends so that I can return to Uganda, to my second beloved country, husband and Hands Across Nations (HAN) family. It is a refocusing, moving from one good thing to another. As a positive person, I endeavor to focus on the good in life. One person, who has been in a wheelchair for over 40 years called it, “Gazing at God and glancing at our problems and heartaches.”
Gazing at God, I’m reminded of the best ever benefit night for HAN, “Empowered Together” with many supporters who have been faithful in working with us for years. Also on that night, almost half of the people attending, were there for the first time. It was a sellout night and the positive comments about the night were: great food and lots of it; that skit was the topper for the night; the videos of the lepers and the rubber sandal makers learning to read touched my heart; a beautiful lay out of your silent auction baskets; and there was such a spirit of love from God there. People opened their wallets and purses and paid generously for the auction items, the desserts and for parts of the literacy projects – including materials for classes for prisoners, boxes of reading glasses and for a new motorcycle for our literacy trainers. In the end, after expenses, just over $17,300 was raised for the start of this next year in Uganda.
Now, our eyes and hearts are turning toward the next good things God is doing in Uganda. What’s good? One hundred fifty pounds of reading glasses for the teachers and learners in the HAN literacy program, that’s more than 1,500 pairs of glasses going to Uganda – paid for by friends at the fundraiser. A stronger motorcycle for our trainers will be on the roads. They put 14,000 miles on a new one we bought eight months ago. The tank has been welded six times and the rest of the frame too many times to count. It’s going to get a rest! A big thanks to all the people who made the delicious desserts, the people who stuffed the table “dessert jars” that raised $1,700 toward the motorcycle on the night, and to another couple who donated $1,000 toward the $3,300 needed. Our trainers will be safe and able to continue the amazing work in the distant villages they visit each week. Several hundred dollars are earmarked for new classes of 25 inmates in a prison to which we have been planning to go. We’ve been waiting for God to provide the funds, so we thank Him for all those who gave what they could to provide the books, little Bibles, blackboards and all the materials needed for the classes. It’s a GO!
Plans are already in motion for next year’s benefit night. Save this date: Saturday October 7, 2017 – for the next best ever benefit night for HAN. The menu and the entertainment which will include audience participation are in the works. We hope to have even more people join in the fun.
Carolyn will be available by email at: Carolyn.firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing from people while we are in Uganda, and will write back. May God bless our country and this special part of Northeast Washington for what you have accomplished already in far off Uganda. We will keep you posted!