Sunday School Children’s Party in Uganda

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Because of your generosity, we had the opportunity to send 2 suitcases filled with clothing and sewing supplies, a sewing machine, money for the purchase of another sewing machine and a monetary Christmas gift to Faith Power Assembly in Iganga, Uganda.

Florence is so fantastic about sending photos when she can. The ones I’m posting here today are from their Sunday School Christmas party. Enjoy!

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Keep on praying with us about what 500 Dresses will look like in 2015.

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Pray for Namusubo

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Some of you may remember Namusubo.

She was our initial connection to Uganda. It was through Carter’s (our son) Operation Christmas Child gift to her that I had the opportunity to befriend Florence and begin supporting Faith Hope Assembly Church. It was also because of that shoebox gift that her Muslim family allowed her to start attending a Christian school. (Prior to that point she had had no formal education.)

Unfortunately, earlier this year, the aunt who was her primary caretaker passed away. Because of this, she had to move and is no longer able to attend school.  Can you pray with me that God will open up a door for her to return to school and will protect her from the possibility of ending up in a situation that is not ideal for a young girl.

Psalms 100:5  For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.

Photos From Iganga, Uganda

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Florence recently sent me a few photos from a nursery school graduation ceremony. Some of these cute kids likely received either a dress or shorts from us earlier this year.

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You may remember that the Faith Power Assembly Church building was destroyed in a storm early in the year. In this photo you can see they once again have a roof over their heads. Thanks to donations from people like you, we were able to send a cash donation toward construction costs. We also recently wired a small cash donation to the church for Christmas.

Thank you so much for your support of 500 Dresses. I am always happy to show you pictures from the places we have been able to support.

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Uganda and India: An Update

In the past couple of weeks I’ve heard back from Florence in Uganda and Madhava in India. Both received the things we sent, and both are extremely grateful. Below you will find an excerpt from each of their emails to me.

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Greetings & God Bless you and your gracious generous heart for the Children. APPRECIATE YOUR LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR HELPING  THE CHILDREN….We are so grateful for your heart for the Children who are very happy to have the things and they are praying for you and your family. (Madhava – Mercy and Grace Orphanage, India)

God is so amazing!! Thank you very much for the special gifts to us once again. Thank you for my love letter and he children’s photos as well. They look so lovely and healthy.
 It was gifts were such an amazing surprise to our children and the ladies. The sowing machine is so wonderful and we expect to make a full use of it! Thank you for being a blessing to us.
Sister Ham was able to come with a friend and some two little children to visit us! It was also a divine plan and encounter. Who ever dreamt  of this/??!!  We had  a great time together, now she can tell you about us, She saw our school children , the church and the staff members. (Florence, Iganga, Uganda)
Amy,(referred to as Sister Ham in the email), the woman who delivered the sewing machine, supplies and clothes for us had the opportunity to visit Florence’s church and meet some of the children and church members. How sweet is that?!
Madhava has requested that we send supplies periodically to the orphanage. Pray with us as we consider how we can best continue to offer them support.

God is good.

So This Happened…Another Suitcase Enroute to Uganda.

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Last week I was trying to figure out how I was going to fit all the formal dresses, sewing machines and kiddos clothes into four boxes to send to Haiti.

This weekend I realized it was a great blessing that we were bursting at the seams.

Amy, the lovely woman who took a suitcase to Uganda for us this summer, contacted us Friday to see if she could take another one… on Monday… As in today 🙂

A spur of the moment trip to Uganda was happening and she was allowed two checked bags and only needed one. So another lovely woman donated a suitcase, and I filled it. Now it’s headed to Iganga, Uganda.

Florence doesn’t even know yet that it’s coming, but tucked in that suitcase are 28 dresses, 28 pairs of shorts, a lightweight sewing machine, several yards of fabric and some other random sewing supplies.

 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Beaded Necklace Giveaway: Handmade in Uganda

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In July we had the opportunity to send a suitcase filled with dresses, shorts and sewing supplies to Iganga, Uganda through Amy from Grimes United Methodist Church. She met Florence (0ur contact and internet friend from Faith Power Assembly Church in Iganga) and hand-delivered the suitcase.

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Florence and the women in her community were so grateful for the gifts that they sent some beautiful handmade necklaces back to the US for us.

We would like to give one of these necklaces to one of you. It’s hard to believe the baby blue and white beaded necklace pictured above is made out of paper. (That cutie-pie holding the it is my seven-year-old 🙂 ) The necklace is gorgeous, and it will be given to someone who comments here or on our facebook page. All you have to do is leave a quick comment letting me know where you are from, and I’ll randomly select a winner.

Thanks to the reach of a devotion I wrote for The Upper Room a couple months ago, I have received donations and emails from a lot of new people, and now I’m curious where you all are from. (Local people feel free to leave a comment and get in on the drawing too.)

*Thanks for being a part of 500 Dresses, and don’t forget the deadline for the fall Haiti shipment is October 1.

Namusubo’s Gift – Operation Christmas Child

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We were able to tuck a small gift for Namusubo Kulusumu into the suitcase we sent to Uganda in July. For those of you who are new here, it is because of a little gift-filled shoebox that Carter (my oldest son) packed for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child a couple years ago that 500 Dresses made a connection with a church in Iganga, Uganda. That connection ultimately led to shipping a suitcase stuffed with dresses, shorts and sewing supplies.

Florence (Pastor’s wife at Faith Power Assembly Church in Iganga) was so sweet to take this photo of Namusubo receiving her journal and gel pens.

If you have never taken part in Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, I urge you to consider it. You never know who might receive your gift. Maybe a little girl in Uganda, whose family’s eyes will be opened to the love of Christ.

 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

From Huxley to Grimes to Kampala to Iganga

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photo from http://www.ugandavillageproject.org/

I’m eagerly anticipating some photos from Uganda, but while I wait I think this excerpt from an email from Florence is definitely worth sharing.

Praise be to the living God . I am so glad to inform you that last evening at around 4:00 pm, I was so honored to meet sister Amy Koester and I received the suitcase full of the beautiful dresses, shorts and the sewing materials. [I regard this as precious hearts from Iowa!!]  Thank you very much my dear sister…
I was so excited to learn from Amy that it didn’t cost her a penny to transport the suitcase from USA to Watoto Church Kampala!! What a blessing!! As well it costed me nothing to transport it from Kampala up to Iganga !! God is so good He has done us much good.
I haven’t spoken to Amy yet, but if this email is correct, she was able to take the extra piece of luggage free of charge. Our first estimate when mom and I started researching sending some items to Uganda was $850! (I talk a little about that in this post: The Girl in the Purple Dress.)

After seeing how this shipment played out, saying God is good feels like such an understatement.

God Never Wastes Obedience

Why I have been given an opportunity to befriend and offer support to a woman and her church in Iganga, Uganda (a place I will likely never go and a friend I will likely never meet) I don’t know.

But I do know that when God leads you to do something, and you do it,  no matter how small the request, your obedience can affect others in ways you may not even be able to imagine.

Sometimes God gives me a glimpse into the way something relatively small in the whole scheme of my life’s activities and responsibilities makes a big difference to someone else. He doesn’t have to, but he does. And every time he does, I feel loved. Like he is reaching out and saying, “Look what I can do with your little bit.” And it inspires me to look for more little bits  to give.

This little bit happened to be 500 Dresses cash donation wire and a suitcase.

The suitcase was donated by a generous woman doing her little bit.

It was filled with dresses, shorts and sewing supplies donated by others doing their little bit.

And it’s being delivered by another generous woman doing her little bit.

It’s just a lot of little bits of generosity to us, but a display of Christ’s love to Florence, her church and community.

Thank you God for using this email message from Florence to give me a picture of the great things you can do with my little bit. Continue to make us all aware the little bits you have for us to do. Amen

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Thank you very much for  the much efforts, love and prayers you have put together to send us that lovely suitcase. To you it is a suitcase full of dresses, shorts etc. but to us, it is a suitcase full of love and hearts!! Thank you very very much!!

I am looking forward with excitement to receiving the first sewing machine for our vocational institution!! It is a great thing and a mark in it’s history! Some time God spoke to me about it and here it is I can see a cloud like a man’s hand but behind it is a heavy down pour!