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 11:
Today was an exciting day!
The weather has been nice, warm and a bit muggy. I do walk around with a constant shine, but so does everyone else.
This morning started with bread and butter for breakfast. Then Pastor Patrick took me to the radio station where I was live from 10AM-12PM (or Mid-day, as Ugandans call it). I spoke about perseverance and referenced James 1 and also used Job as an example. I would speak, then we would play music. I was able to give the radio station several Chris Tomlin and Passion CDs. Big thanks to their Recording label who have now provided 10 million listeners such encouraging music. I was even asked to teach some of the song in church. I hope they know I am not a soloist, if I'm off key, I'll just say it's because of my accent. I enjoyed the radio station, because like a television studio, it was very cold. AC is rare in Uganda.
After the radio station we were able to hand out all the wonderful gifts to the children. We were able to provide a writing utensil to EVERY child, thanks to CBS 8 News. From all the generous donations we were able to give every a child clothing. Thank you! A special thanks to Taylor Road Baptist and their hand made dresses. The girls LOVED them. We were also able to give toothbrushes and filp-flops (thanks to Eastmont Baptist Church). Chick-fil-a gave toys, which will be handed out as rewards to achieving students or those who answer questions in class. Soccer balls were given during their recreational time....and I think that was about it. Total weight was roughly 250 pounds of generosity. And Delta was generous in providing some assistance with baggage. I cannot say thank you enough! Another big thanks goes out to everyone who made financial contributions...I was able to meet the goal of providing food for EVERY child. There was actually a small surplus, so the children will get meat in their diet this week. That is a really big deal since they usually only serve meat for very special occasions.
Unfortunately, my card reader for my camera's SD card isn't working properly. I hope to get a new one or find one that the computer can read and send pictures. I took hundred of pictures and I will not even try to describe what I saw today in words. My heart goes out to these children. There is longing in these children's faces and they desperately need a father, a heavenly father. Many called me Mummy today, and it nearly broke my heart. Keep the children in your prayers. We did not spend much time with the kids today, maybe 2 and half hours. With all the excitement that comes along with gift giving for these children, they would not have been able to focus on their studies, had I stayed. Thus, we shall return tomorrow. Day by day the children will become more comfortable and I will start talking with isolated group, mostly the teenage girls.
Please also pray for the staff members. They are patient with the children and have a deep love for these kids. I am amazed with their ability to quiet down, and straighten up 500+ with the quiet, assertiveness of their voice. The staff will have many rewards in heaven for their selflessness here on earth.
I am also going to ask the pastor if I can take some time to speak to the leaders of the orphanage and offer them support and encouragement.
It's approaching the 5 o'clock hour here and we are going to Wednesday night service at the church. Pray God will bring many people to the service and this time of bible study.
Blessings to all of you,