It is Friday and I am asking you to please pray for Suubi Teen MOPS in Uganda. On Sunday night the President of Uganda announced the country would enter into a 6-week lockdown beginning on Monday. So with hours of notice, the nation's poor lost their jobs, and are now forced once again to remain isolated. The soap workshop was able to pay their own rent the past few months. But many of the shops that sell their products are closed. They have a reduced income stream. The sewing women that finally began to pay their own rent after a year also lost their jobs. They felt panicked. I imagine many are in a panic. I can hear it every time I chat with Nantongo Sylvia . The fear is real. Not only are they dealing with uncertainty in the economy, but there is also Delta Covid. It is aggressive. It is killing. And there are few recourses in the country to fight it. The available recourses are given to the rich. A Covid test for example costs twice the monthly income of our sewing teacher. One of our sewing teachers is very sick with "flu". She is isolated at home treating the symptoms. It could be Covid but the test cost 2 months income. So she goes untested. Sylvia's sister Edith is helping to care for her mother Naomi. Naomi is stable and slowly recovering from surgery. Edith asked about Covid vaccinations. The doctor said they would be charging money for vaccinations. This will assure only the rich receive a vaccination in Uganda. Right now they are not widely available. Nantongo Sylvia and a few leaders at Suubi received the first vaccination as NGO leaders. But most of the country will be waiting a long time. I question how moral it is to be rushing to vaccinate children in the USA and Europe when so many adults who are at risk are still waiting for a supply of the vaccination. And of course, it's corrupt if Uganda doctors charge the poor for a vaccination. I am just telling you this is the situation there. It is scary. Our women are not going to drown. We are going to supply them with food and rent. But we can not protect them from this pandemic. And they see their neighbors again crying from hunger and hopelessness. It is a traumatic time. We had hoped to move beyond this. I realize many around the world feel this same pain. There is a saying in the financial world. When the US stock market sneezes, the world markets catch a cold. When the country closes because of Covid, it is the extreme poor that suffer the most. especially those in the city. One of the chief reasons we continue to dream of moving to the country is to have food security. If they lock you down in the village you still can grow a garden. If you live in the slum you have nothing. The people in slums live from the money they earn each day. If they can not work, they starve, or they get exploited. The women will prostitute themselves for food and rent. Children will be exploited too. And girls will be sold as child brides. I want to thank everyone who has supported us this week. We have enough money to pay rent and food and buy supplies to sew the facemasks for 500 women. We can buy the materials to make soap. We will still need the funds to pay rent in July. But we praise God for providing next week's rent due on the 15th. And we also praise God for giving us the resources to buy fabric to make facemasks. The women will keep busy. This is important. It is important to be busy helping others.
I emailed the US embassy to see if Sylvia had a chance at a visa for MOMCON in September. This morning I received the answer. They are restricting visas to emergencies at this time. So sadly Nantongo Sylvia is unable to get a visa appointment at the US Embassy in Kampala. Their only listed appointments are for March 2022. I am asking her to secure an appointment for March 2022. God willing she can attend MOMCON in the USA next year. She really wanted to go. And I thank everyone who gave towards her trip. For now, I am asking people if we can use the funds donated for Sylvia's trip for food. I think it would have been hard for her to attend with so much uncertainty on the ground. But we gave it a try. I just pray God gives Sylvia peace that he is perfect. His timing is perfect. His way is perfect. And He opens doors no one can close, and closes doors no one can open. I believe she will get there when she was meant to be there. And it will be so great!
I rambled a lot in this letter. But I think you can pick up a few things to pray for. I am so deeply thankful for our many friends who have given us the funds for food, rent, and fabric. I am so humbled by your gifts...so very grateful that our women will be ok. Thank you!