Merry Christmas

 Edward Lorenz was a mathematician and meteorologist. He is credited with the term Butterfly effect. Originally it meant a butterfly could disturb the air in one part of the world, and eventually that tiny shift in the air would lead to a tornado. Small changes lead to a strong outcome. In Uganda, the schools shut down in March of 2020 due to Covid. The effect has been devastation, a tornado that has killed the hopes and opportunities of so many children. 32,000 girls under the age of 18 are giving birth in Uganda each month. EACH MONTH! So many of these girls were sold for food. Exploited by others. They had been safe in school, and now they are teenage mothers. The school will begin again on January 10th. This is supposed to be good news. But the government has warned parents not to spend money for Christmas, to save the money for school fees. So you can imagine the economic impact this will have on the already struggling economy. We just opened one New and Used clothing store in Kampala, Lilly Avenue. The second store is scheduled to open on Monday next week. But any hopes of a good profit from Christmas sales in being smothered by the announcement of school being open again. Still, it is good that the schools will finally open again. I think it will take a very long time before things are "normal". And for so many normal will never come again. We are a small ministry that works with teenage mothers. Sometimes the effect we have feels like a drop in the bucket. When we look at the ever-expanding teenage pregnancy crisis in Uganda our impact is very small. But we can not focus on the big need. Our focus has to shift to the individual girls and their children. I know we are having a strong impact on the individuals in our program. I have faith that our Suubi kids will receive an education. Their individual futures are not tied to the difficult circumstances they were born in. And I believe the Lilly Avenue stores will eventually be a success. Please pray for them. That they manage to sell enough to cover their rent and food. We have them...they are not standing alone.

The women went into the slum yesterday to hand out soap. Sylvia wore her Santa suit. The kids came running and shouting "Father Christmas " !!! She said it was so exciting. They were very happy to receive a bar of soap. I know so many of us take these things for granted. But when you struggle to eat even one meal in a day, soap is a luxury they can not afford. And Sylvia told me the children never expected Christmas to come to them. There are no signs of decorations in the slums. No hope or expectation of anything special. I am aware we don't have much to give. ..but I encourage you to use what you have to lift people. I think the words of encouragement you give to a waitress, and the extra tip does make a greater impact than you know. The short visit or phone call you make to the senior citizen does bring a blessing. Sylvia used the words "Christmas came to them". We have the power to bring some Christmas. All we had was soap. Please don't underestimate what you have. We are not given gifts to hide them away, we are given gifts to share with others.
The Christmas party has been rescheduled to tomorrow. The money came for the kids to receive a toy. The moms will also enjoy a special meal. We will probably be buying the new water filters too but in a week or two. It has been difficult to transfer money to Uganda. They have changed the money transfer process again. I am certain it is to guard against terrorism. But it has made it very difficult for us to transfer funds. We have finally learned what is now required. I pray that the Christmas party is very special for everyone. I thank everyone who gave to make this possible!
Many other things are also happening but this is getting long. I hope you enjoy Christmas with your family. I pray you remain safe, and that you receive some rest. We are grateful for any money you can give us. The women need help to move to the country, we need to buy a car

and we have many other needs. You can always learn more about Suubi on our website. And you will find ways to donate there too. Please stay safe. I bless you for praying for us.