#GivingTuesday

I’m not much into the different “days” after Thanksgiving:
Black Friday
Small-Business Saturday
Cyber Monday

But there is one day, that started in 2012, which I like the idea behind – #GivingTuesday (click for more information behind this “day”)
After Thanksgiving, a lot of money goes into buying gifts for friends and relatives, or buying things because they are a “steal.”
People can be very generous, but sometimes not know how to help.  #GivingTuesday can help to bring awareness to organizations or causes that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Since Fall of 2012, soon after I had first moved to Uganda, God laid it on my heart to build a library and additional classrooms for the school.
If you’ve read my blogs, there’s a good chance you have already heard about this Hallelujah Project (as it was named) for Champions Christian Primary School.

Over the past couple of years, it’s been amazing to see the progress of the building and the development of the school.  In July, 2013, the library and three ground floor classrooms were officially opened and dedicated.
The second floor, with three more classrooms, has made progress since then; but can’t seem to get past the “walls” stage.  The outside walls for the second floor are almost all at roof level, but it is not usable in this condition.

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sometimes, it’s hard to believe this much transformation has already happened

We have gotten estimates, from an architect / building consultant, on what it would take to finish the building.
The grand total is roughly $43,000.
Not going to lie, that number is pretty intimidating.
But don’t get overwhelmed by the big number.
As pastor has told me multiple, there is only one way to eat and elephant, one bite at a time.

How do you do that in building a building.  Do it in phases.
Let’s start with re-enforcing the concrete: $5,000
And we should also look into fitting the doors and windows: $4,500
I’d say both of these are reasonable goals.
These two together total $9,500.

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baby class | many of the upper class pupils
When I went back in July

On this #GivingTuesday, consider being an integral part of completing this building, by helping us complete this phase.

To support you can click here and find my name: Eason, Bethany – UGANDA
or here and find out different options.

Of course, feel free to contact me with any questions or if you want more details about the Hallelujah Project!

much love!

the overdue school update…

Sometimes, actually, many times, it is difficult for me to find the right words to express what I am thinking or feeling about something.
And, how, across thousands of miles, can I convey to you the progress and amazing changes that have been made at Champions between May of 2014 and when I just went back at the end of July?

I have been asked multiple times about an update on the Hallelujah Project.
For those of you that do not know: when I lived in Uganda, we started to build a new building, that would house a library and additional classrooms for Champions Christian Primary School.  Last July [2014] the Agape Library and three classrooms on the ground floor were officially opened.
But, there is more work to be done.  There is a second story, which is partially finished, that will eventually be more classroom space for this great school.

Going back to Mukono in July, I was not sure of what changes I would see at the school.
Boy was I surprised!
Driving up to the school, I could see differences immediately.
Buildings had been painted, making the school stand out, and also bringing it up a notch (many schools are painted).

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what I saw when we first drove up

 

Not only was the L-shaped building painted, but they also added stairs to help make it more accessible and nicer looking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe stairs and more of the painting

 

They moved the cooking area and made it larger, which is more sufficient for cooking for 400 plus people daily.
And now, they had a couple of play-sets for the kids to enjoy during free times.

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looking down to the kitchen (on the left) and the play-sets

 

There were other changes, such as in what classroom different grade levels were being taught, the staff, and some administrative organization.
Even being told about some of these things before I went back, it was so great to actually see things in person.

And the Hallelujah Project, how was that?
Oh my goodness, it was incredible to see the first story completed and in use.
To walk into a library full of books at a school that previously didn’t have books for their kids.

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the Agape Library

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAshelves of National Geographic magazines and other various reading materials.

 

But, the building is not finished.

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the outside of the Hallelujah building

 

Pastor, Maama Frida, and I talked about the completion of the building when I was with them.
As much as I trust that this will be completed, they do too.

In order to finish it, we need to complete a couple sections of the wall, get windows and doors, and top it with a roof.
When the second story is finished, this will add at least three more, much needed, classrooms to this school.

Sometimes it seems daunting, how will this ever be completed?
From where will the money come?
But, looking back and seeing how far we have come and the amazing ways in which God has already provided for this project, I know it will be done.

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some of the nursery kids – their classrooms are on the first floor of the Hallelujah Project

 

Will you join us and help to finish the Hallelujah Project?
We need people to people to continue to partner with us in prayer and with finances.
Let me know if you have any questions!
And, you can click here for more information on how you can financially support.

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surrounded by most of upper primary my last morning there

 

much love!

 

Agape Library

This blog is a long-time coming, and I apologize for how long it has been since I have written…

Both Pastor and Maama Frida prayed for a name for the library.
They both got the word agape.
In simple terms, agape means selfless, unconditional love.  They felt it was fitting because of the unconditional love both Chandler and I have for the school and for this project.  As soon as I heard the name I thought it was perfect also because of Pastor and Maama Frida’s love for the school and the children there.

A name was chosen and the books had arrived; the first floor of the Hallelujah Project was finally complete!
Towards the beginning of July a ceremony was given for the Agape library.  Pastor’s brother, Pastor Eddie, came over from Kenya, to dedicate and bless the library.  There was an officially opening and parents were allowed to be among the first to walk in and see all the books and what all was in the library.

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part of Agape Library

 

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another part of the library – mats and stools for reading on

 

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doorway between sections on the ground floor of the building

 

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the newly finished, three classrooms next to the library

 

With the first floor complete, not only was long-awaited library opened, but now the school has three more classrooms they are able to use!
There are still three more classrooms that need funding to finish being built on the second floor** – but it has been so amazing to see this progress so far!

 

much love!

 

**If you want to donate or help spread the word about the campaign to raise money for these classrooms click this link**

 

growing and changing

When I moved back from Uganda at the end of December, I knew work on the Hallelujah Project  [the library/classroom building that started being dug April 2013] was not over and would not stop just because I was leaving.

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soon before I left, this is what the building was looking like

 

In fact, Pastor and Maama Frida would send updates on the school and the building, including pictures.
But, there is definitely a difference in being there and being back here in America and communicating through emails and getting updated on the happenings over there.

I think that is another reason why my recent trip back to Mukono was so great.
Besides what I wrote about last week, which you can read here; seeing the progress of the building and the school in person was amazing.

From emails, I knew the school had made changes and progressed since last year.
To see that progression in person and to be able to see the tangible differences was something that cannot be conveyed in an email.
It was great to have conversations with my friends at the school, to meet new teachers, and to see the students.

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upper students gathered during morning assembly

 

As for the Hallelujah Project, seeing that in person, I had no words the first night I saw it (not like that’s a new occurrence for me:)
When I left, as you can see in the picture above, they were going to put a ceiling on the ground floor; now almost all the walls on the second floor are up to ceiling height.
Now, the inside of the ground floor is being plastered and finished, shelves and tables are being built for books.
Oh, and the books have officially arrived!

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starting to plaster the ceiling of the ground floor before I left

 

I keep saying it’s hard to believe how far the building has come and how much has happened with the Hallelujah Project.  I remember what the school used to look like, and seeing all of the changes is really exciting.
Here are a couple of pictures for you to see some of the changes since the building was started!

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much of the area cleared for the building and the retaining wall built

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADavis and I watching as they are starting the slab [or the ground of the ground floor]

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwalls of  the ground floor starting to go up

 

DSC_0330a two story building when I visited at the end of May!

 

much love!

 

ps. if you are interested in helping us see this project continue, you can find out more information about supporting it financially here.  Or you can feel free to contact me if you have any questions, as well:)

my, how time flies

It is hard to even put into words how great it is to be back home here in Mukono.
Time has really been flying by, I can’t believe that I leave in just a few days.

Even though this trip is short, it has been so good.
In this time, I feel like I have slipped back into life here and been a part of what has been going on and catching up on the lives of my friends and family.
Oh and of course getting to see all of the changes that have been taking place at Champions Christian Primary School and with the Hallelujah Project [the library / classroom building we are building here].

I plan to write more and when I get back, but here are a couple of pictures of the building here:)

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can you believe how big it has gotten?

 

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Uncle Sam breaking out the space for one of the doors

 

And for some really great news, the books are finally on their way here.  They are set to arrive next week!  Thank you for all of your prayers thus far.

If you are interested in supporting this project financially, feel free to ask me any questions, or click here to find out how.

 

much love!

building up and shipping out

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about the Hallelujah Project [the library / classroom building] at Champions Christian Primary School in Mukono, Uganda.
Well, it’s progressing, that’s for sure!

Just this morning I received an email with pictures showing the progress on the second floor of the building.
The second floor will be used for classrooms, once it is complete.

We still need about $20,000 in order to finish the much needed classrooms and roof the building for Champions.
Please click here to find out how you can support.  Or, let me know if you have any questions!

Floor Bethany
working on the walls

 

Floor Bethany in progress.
it’s a little blurry, but the walls are going up!

 

Another exciting piece of news, is that a customs agent has finally been located in Uganda, which means our books can actually be shipped!
Chandler has taken the books to Atlanta, their place of departure; and once everything is worked out, they should be sent within the next 30 days!

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boxes of books, packed and ready to go to Uganda!

 

It has been a long time coming, but this is definitely a huge answer to prayer and so exciting that the books are going to be shipped.

Thank you, for all of your continued prayers and support through this!

 

much love

so much cement

Oh I know, it has been quite a while since I have given an update on the progress of the Hallelujah Project [the library / classroom building].
My lack of words is not due to lack of work; so much has happened since I left the beautiful country of Uganda at the end of December.

About two weeks ago, the ceiling of the ground floor was completed.  It has been a long and hard process, with many set-backs along the way.
But to receive the email saying that it was complete brought such joy to my heart!

Do you remember this?
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digging 6 feet deep trenches for the foundation, before the ground-floor slab could even be poured!

 

And now, this?!
8. Watering exercise in progress.
one of the women, with her son and a few other boys, pouring water (to set the cement) on the recently finished ceiling of the ground floor!

 

Throughout the process of building this structure; from the foundation to the floor, to the walls, to the new ceiling over 650 bags of cement have been used.  Plus, it’s not over!
Windows and doors are being made, to then be put into place; the walls will be plastered and the floors will be finished.

And, in the future, when enough funds have been raised, another floor will be constructed for additional classrooms.

4. Just some of the used Cement papers during the slabing exercise.
used bags of cement

 

The last time I wrote, I mentioned that things with the books were basically in a holding pattern because of various reason.  Well, that is not the case anymore.  PTL!
Final details are still being worked out, but through a really great connection, much progress has been made in getting shipment details ironed-out.

Thank you for your continual love and support of the the Hallelujah Project.  All of this would not be possible without you!

 

much love!