Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7
This is the story of 3 years of prayers, with originally no hope. Our first contact from the Kyamaganda Community Development Center was a simple request, found on our Contact form, “We would love to partner with you in establishing libraries in Lwengo District, Uganda, Willy.” It was followed by a simple pictures of local children playing “banana ball,” a soccer ball made from banana leaves.
Over the next several years Willy continued to write to us. We learned of droughts, the rainy season, homes destroyed, children with malaria and HIV. But Willy never complained. He continued to patiently ask us for schoolbooks and soccer balls so that the children could grow and learn. And although we assured Willy that we did not have the necessary contacts to get the goods into Uganda, Willy just believed that God would find a way.
“Education, food and water best describe our urgent needs. Otherwise, we are so grateful for your timely efforts and we pray and strongly believe that One God will make a way.” We exchanged Christmas and Easter blessings, and still we had no hope to offer.
We did what we could, which was to send one soccer ball. It took 3 months to arrive, “Dear loving friend, Am happy to inform you that we received the gift u sent to us a foot ball and ball pump together in a box. Thanking you for your love and care.” Willy
“Today we officially had a practice using our ball you sent us! We had 39 youth who turned up for boys and 20 girls but they had no netball’s (volley ball) to use but we used the same ball for boys and girls. Pressure was reduced and then after we pumped the Ball again. So the needs identified in games and sports includes the following, we need to have more 3 balls for football (soccer), and 2 for netball, volley ball net, first aid kit, sports jerseys. You can guide us on how to improve this and handle. Otherwise the start was good and many youth turned up for the play.”
We were discouraged at not being able to do more for Willy and the Kyamaganda community. We began to give up. Helping Uganda was not possible.
Willy wrote, “We are happy to inform you that our team for soccer play has grown. But girls need to be given considerations and boys too. Hi u dear. it has been some time that we have not had any communication from you. but God is keeping us safe.”
We began to join Willy in prayer. His parish prayed, and we prayed. There was no other action we could take.
“We are organizing a thanksgiving Mass and prayers for the existence of Kyamaganda Community Development Organization, now three years striving to serve the poor and underprivileged communities in southern Uganda, Lwengo district. Join us in prayers next Sunday. Ever we believe one day God will be on our side and do above we think and ask.”
And then one day we received an email from Lee in Zambia, requesting books. We regularly send books to Zimbabwe. Zambia is on the border. Maybe we could establish a distribution center in Bulawayo Zimbabwe. Maybe both Lee and Willy could collect books from Zimbabwe?
“Thank you for the reply and prayers. Also setting up a distribution centre in Uganda can be given a good thought. We shall keep praying such that one day we have school supplies, books, and sports equipments.”
We began to collect our empty boxes, and organize our garage.
“Am happy to inform you that I got a call from Zimbabwe and the lady is willing to receive our goods in the container and arrange for transportations and they reach in Uganda. It’s a big opportunity for us. May God bless the work of your hands.”
We created separate shipping labels: blue for Zambia, green for Uganda, and white for Zimbabwe. We also began to take specific packing requests.
“Greetings! A kind inquiry if you have been able to get some scholastic materials and equipments as you had promised and be included in the books deliverables to Africa . We need some Bible’s too.”
We were able to purchase a case of 32 new Bibles and procured several cases of children’s Bibles as well. We bought a new outdoor volley ball net and 6 volley balls. We traded 20 boxes of children’s books for 90 soccer balls. We gathered tons of soccer equipment, jerseys, gloves and cleats from a California charity, SKCharities http://www.donatejerseys.com/
Now we knew we could succeed and at long last help Willy and his parish, all of whom had been patiently praying for 3 years, believing that help would arrive.
Soon our boxes were packed and it was time to load the shipping container in Brooklyn.
We had no idea it was so big!
This container can hold over 40,000 books and thousands of supplies.
It took all morning and dozens of people, finally the container was loaded. But our problems were not over. There was a long delay getting the shipment through customs, and then the cost of moving the goods through to Uganda.
“It’s good to hear such news and we have contacted the organization in Bulawayo and they have promised to get us a clearing agent who can help us to transport them to Uganda. They should get us a quotation and we find resources though a rigorous process to find funds to move the boxes to Uganda, Lwengo District.”
Luckily, we were able to provide the transportation funds for the final part of the trip.
Today I was praying early in the morning and I was inspired that God can do above we think and ask. My prayer to every heart is the will to make it happen to those in need. Am glad for the efforts you timely make and I strongly believe God will bless the works of your hands. However, we have put in more prayers and rosaries for God to find a way for us. As the need prevails, we shall get back to you for your kind attention to realize our dream of having boxes received and in Uganda. The struggle continues. Hope God who started this good work will finish it.”
The original soccer ball we sent one year ago.
Soccer balls for every student, soccer balls and equipment for all the local schools!
Pencils for everyone!
We are so grateful to be able to share our love of God with the children of the Kyamaganda parishes. Truly, prayers on two continents have been answered.
“With smiling heart and face, am happy to inform you that your donated 52 boxes of books, learning materials and sports and games equipments have arrived today in Uganda and at Kyamaganda Community Development Organization. My team was happy with the Bible’s too which will strengthen the spiritual nurture of our project staff.
Thank you so much and the struggle continues and in life our hope will never get dry.
Stay blessed, Willy”
And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.