Sunday, August 9, 2009

An amazing few days here in Gulu

We've had an amazing few days here in Gulu meeting so many people of the community and learning much about the Keziya Orphanage operation and their most urgent needs. Meeting these children has been a humbling experience as we hear the unbelievable tragic stories of their sufferings at the hands of the LRA and other circumstances such as AIDS. They exude astounding resilience and even joy in the face of horrific circumstance of life . One young woman was captured by the LRA and dragged off to be repeatedly gang raped. She became pregnant and was eventually rescued by the Uganda army. Both her and her son live at the Keziya orphanage as they have no other place to go. Both of her parents were reportedly killed by the rebels.

We have met with inspirational educational leaders, civic leaders and church leaders all who work miracles out of very meager resources. Their needs are very great. One of the urgent needs expressed by all was a top quality vocational school to teach their children skills in carpentry, masonry, plumbing, garage mechanics, etc. as Gulu has precious little teaching in these much needed areas. We met with Rev. John Ocholo of the Gulu Primary school, a very impressive man, his school has 1561 students and is also the Northern Uganda center for the blind of which he has 86 young blind boys and girls. He needs to partner with an association for the blind in the West that can provide him much needed resources for his blind children. He is also desperately in need of bunk beds for the children who live on the schools grounds on mats on the floor all crammed together in little rooms.

We had a big ceremony yesterday at the Keziya Orphanage where we took photos of many of the children, hosted local leaders and discussed their needs along with their learning more about the operation of Keziya. We were entertained by an amazing youth drumming and dance core which everyone loved and then feasted on a great African meal. The gracious hospitality and generosity of Otto and Filder from Keziya Orphanage was overwhelming. It was heart aching to see the many children at the orphanage who had no sponsors and are on the waiting list. These little children so need sponsors for as little as $25 a month to provide for their food, clothing, shelter and school fees. At the other end of the spectrum they have orphans whom they have educated to Senior Level 6 and now need to move on to university or a trade school but their sponsorships end. They desperately need sponsors to step in and sponsor these orphans in their university or trade school fees. It would make such a tremendous difference in a young persons life who greatly values education and hard work.

This morning Michael and I went to Watoto church here in Gulu which was an amazing experience of praise and worship. I am thrilled to know that such a place is alive and well here in Gulu which gives me much encouragement. Watoto is the church where Michael and Maria go in Kampala and they have an extension here in Gulu.

We've made good progress on Francis' case and we meet with him and a doctor tomorrow for a further review. It has been a long road but I feel the Lord's presence leading us onward for Francis. Local leaders told me yesterday that they have many such cases here and are hoping we are successful with Francis. When I return to Kampala I'll meet with the US Embassy to further review Francis' case with them in our attempt to seek a medical visa for Francis.

There is so much more to share here about the stories and the needs of the people here in Gulu which will come out in due time. Please keep the people of Northern Uganda in your prayers. We visited the IDP camps as well which I will write about at a later date. Rich blessings of peace to you.


  1. Terry,

    We pray for you daily as we continue to watch you fight the good fight.

    May you continue to move in the power of the Lord!

  2. Terry,
    I just read your blog before going to the Men's group tonight. You're on such an important mission for the Lord! Thanks for sharing your wonderful words with us to give us insight into your experiences and the great needs you're seeing. I'll share it with your brothers tonight and we'll be praying for you.

  3. Terry, your work moves me. What more can I say? It moves me to do more for my fellow human beings. You are an inspiration. I send my love and hope for the people you are working with. All my best,