The following post is from Jade and Shelah Acker, CBF field personnel in Uganda.
It is hard to know where to begin…
On Sunday night after saying goodbye to Jade’s sister, two nieces and a nephew who had spent the past ten days with us here in Uganda, we sent our Sudanese guys off to the hotel next door to watch the World Cup final match. We were tired and crashed around 11:00 without yet knowing the outcome of the match (yes, that is pretty sad and shows our age)! We were awakened just moments later by a phone call from one of our friends from the US Embassy here in Kampala. She asked where we were and then told us that there had been an explosion at the Ethiopian Village restaurant– a place that is only about one mile from the Center of Hope and a place where we have frequently eaten. We were in shock and disbelief and immediately concerned about the safety of Jade’s sister and kids who were at the airport. Not long after, there was another explosion at the Rugby Club where many were also gathered watching the World Cup. Thankfully the place where our Sudanese guys were watching the game was without incident.
The explosions damaged the cable which provides our internet service, so we were without reliable internet until recently– that is why we have been so delayed in sending out this update. We are still having difficulty uploading photos and attachments. We are appreciative to all of you who have called or sent messages asking about our well-being. I am especially saddened because one of my English students from the Center of Hope lost three friends in the bombings and has four more friends who are still in the hospital. She is a refugee from Eritrea and many of the victims were also Eritrean. One of the young Eritrean men who died lived just across the street from the Center and this morning I went to visit his brother. There were about 50 other people there, all from Eritrea, sitting quietly in chairs outside, showing their support and love. People have been coming and going from the home for the past three days. They had a small cardboard box there for donations to try to get enough money to get the body sent back to his family. He was only 21 years old and the sadness overwhelmed me as my friend turned and said to me, “we have come from so much pain and suffering already and now this has happened, it is only God who can help us now.”
Please join us in praying for those who lost loved ones in this senseless attack and also for those who are injured and in the hospital. Pray for my student as she is struggling to understand and come to terms with the loss. We are still full of sadness and shock over this horrible attack on innocent people simply watching the World Cup.
In Other News…
In the midst of the sadness there is HOPE! We were blessed last month to be able to travel to the USA for a few weeks…with Lino!! Yes, Lino was able to get a visitor’s visa to the States so he got to have the time of his life with our family and friends in Alabama.
One of our primary reasons for going was to host the annual fundraiser for Refuge and Hope. We are thrilled to announce that during this trip over $15,000.00 was raised for Refuge and Hope’s work here in Uganda!!! Thank you to all who came out, showed support and GAVE!!!
Upon returning to Uganda we had an amazing visit from Jade’s sister Melody and her kids, plus another niece. Melody’s church has provided the funds for the Center of Hope to stock the library and to help with kid’s education and sponsorship. Thank you Niceville United Methodist Church!! In addition, Courtney and Stephen McCalley from 1stBaptist Church Winchester (who have been providing for the former child soldier sponsorship program in the Democratic Republic of Congo), and Riverside Baptist Church are currently here to further engage in the work and ministry of Refuge and Hope in Uganda!
For personal and family news, click here (there will probably not be new pictures because of our internet, so you may want to check back in a few days!!)
We love you all and are grateful. We couldn’t be here without the support of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, our church partners, and YOU!!!
Shelah and Jade Acker in Uganda