Dear AIDSpirit Family,
It is amazing how quickly and just how much COVID-19 has changed the lives of everyone here in the US and around the globe, and our children at Tender Mercies in Uganda are no exception to these changes. Our travel team was scheduled to go to Uganda on the 22nd of this month, however due to the virus we had to cancel. God willing ,we are still planning to make the journey in December of this year.
Uganda identified their first COVID-19 case in the second week of March and as a result they quickly shut down travel, closed all schools, and placed the entire country on total lock down. This means that all traffic except for the police and military has ceased.
All of our children returned home safely. One of the older boys who came back from Kampala returned with a high fever and headaches, and was immediately hospitalized. We're happy to report it was not COVID-19, he was diagnosed with malaria , and is now at home and recovering.
We have over 70 children that we currently support through your generosity, and fortunately many of them have villages and extended family they were able to return to, leaving us with the remaining 40 children and 3 staff members.
The authorities are very nervous about having this many children in our compound and have requested that we find a way to lower this number. We were able to move several of our older university students to the Bugogge village on our 5-acre farm where we have a small home, so they are safe and able to continue tending the gardens.
We have also been asked to move all the remaining children under the age of 10 to a different location so we will be taking them to the new baby’s home (about a block away). Unfortunately, this home is still under construction, but we are not far from completing the construction enough to use it for the children. We expect to have the bathroom tiled and the toilet and sink installed next week, the glass in the windows, the doors installed, and a water tank placed on its tower. Once completed, Mama Mary and Rachael (the 14 year old girl Jean and I support), will move in with Malcom, Mary, Kelsey, Thomas, Jowari, John, Bob, and Veronica and possibly a couple more.
Charles reported to me a couple of days ago that we have an angel in our house. Joseph Mary Moses, our 14-year-old seminary student who was rescued from a pit latrine when he was just one day old, has been holding daily prayer services in the library, for all who wish to attend. Charles said he was surprised when he didn't see the children playing in the yard, and went inside to find them. When he opened the door to the library, he found the room was full of children who were attending a bible study led by Joseph! I agree with Charles, Joseph may just be one of God’s angels.
Charles also reports that all of the children are carefully washing their hands and following the rules to stay safe, taking part in household chores and most important, they are taking care of each other.
Jean and I want to personally thank every one of you for your prayers and continued support for this wonderful work we are doing. We ask that you please keep AIDSpirit and our children in your prayers and spread the word to anyone who will listen that we continue to need support.
May God Bless and keep each of you safe!
Tom and Jean Jacques