CBS 8 Chief Meteorologist Ashley McDonald is on a mission trip to feed orphans in Mbale, Uganda. Ashley is serving at Impact Ministries and Faith Radio Uganda. She has set a goal to feed the 700 orphans during her two-week visit. The following is an email she sent back to the station on April 13:
I'll have to make this email rather brief. It is close to bed time and I don't want to disturb my host family.
Today was another successful day. As I am becoming more comfortable with my surroundings, and as the groups of people I am working with are warming up to me, the relationships are really begging to grow. Suffice it to say, I will definitely miss these people when I leave next weekend.
The day started early, 8AM, with the opening assembly at the orphanage. I was able to share 1 Timothy with them and encourage them that even in their youth, they can set an example. I taught them "Father Abraham" and sang "This is the Day that the Lord has Made." They treated me to some praise songs in Luganda (the Language of Uganda). The children are taught in English and encouraged to speak English, so communication has really not been a problem. The headmaster then asked 4 children to come up and recite memory versus. He asked for 2 boys and 2 girls. It blessed my heart and brought tears to my eyes to hear them recite different versus from God's word. The amazing part is, only about 10 of the orphans have a bible. Before I leave, I am trying to secure 300 bibles for the older children that are at reading level. So as you read this tonight, please do not take for granted the multiple bibles we have in our home. I have 2 with me, even now.
After morning assembly, I went to Faith Radio from 10AM-mid-day (Noon). Today's discussion topic was on humility. The show went very well and they continue to play new "Western" music from Chris Tomlin and The Passion Band. There were even callers requesting the music and saying how much they like it.
At noon, I went back to the orphanage where I spent about 20 minutes, each, with 3 different classes sharing the story of Christ with them. I then pulled out my iPad and played some worship songs for the children and encouraged them to sing along. It was amazing to see their eyes light up and even when they didn't fully know the words, oh how they tried. What beautiful singers they are and how special these children are to God. In your prayers tonight, please ask God to speak to them. They are very aware of Jesus is and what he did on earth. They are very bright children, but it's important that these children turn head knowledge into heart knowledge.
The night wrapped up with a women's bible study where I was able to share a testimony, which in Uganda is more like a testimonial to how God is working, in a general sense. When I was asked to give my testimony I had my speech ready of when I accepted Christ, and so on and so forth. However, at the beginning of bible study, the leader stood up and said "does anyone have a testimony from this week?"...I then realized it was merely an account of how God is working in one's life. So, I quickly changed my approach and spoke about how I felt God called my to Mbale, Uganda. The ladies were wonderful and they really know truth. We studied Matthew 24. It's amazing with what little christian literature is available and the limited access christian media how they can go so deep in the word and find such rooted meanings. This brings truth to the fact that "the word is living." The spirit, I believe is alive and well in Mbale...well, at least at Impact Ministries. There are lots of Muslim schools....I'll talk more about that later. Those are the only ones I've been told to really look out for. I have someone with me at all times, not because I look different that Ugandans but because there is a lot of spiritual warfare and the Muslims have been pretty bold in attacking Christians.
Speaking on that topic for a moment...The gentleman that I conduct the morning radio show with was attacked nearly 1 year ago. He was walking home from the radio station, at night, and was attacked from behind. Muslim men pieced his head behind his ears and he laid on the street for several hours before a police officer found him and called an ambulance. He was taken to the hospital but no one knew where he was for 4 days. He was knocked unconscious and arrived with severe trauma to the head. God is good and has brought his mind back in full, however, he was, by medical standards, deaf in both ears. The Lord is working another miracle and he is actually slowly regaining hearing in both ears. He now uses hearing aids but is still regaining his hearing and doesn't require them all the time. He wants to pursue a job in the communications and broadcast field. He has been a true encouragement to me.
Well, it's about time to wrap up. I will be sending pictures tomorrow. There is reformatting I have to do on my end, once I get the images on the computer, so it takes a little time. I hope to devote some time in the morning, before the day gets started. At 11AM in the morning I will be visiting churches in the rural areas, also know as the Bush or the Villages. Then, if we return before sun down, I will play net ball with the girls at the orphanage. I have no idea what net ball is...my guess is that it involves a net.
Thank you for the continued prayers. Each one of you are so special and I would not have the emotional or physical fortitude for this trip without your constant prayers.
Pray for the children, pray that they come to know the Lord.
Have a blessed evening!
PS: Disregard my opening statement, as this email was far from brief....