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Dear <<First Name>>,

Hope that you are not snowed under! We are a little cooler here than we were on arrival, but still have brilliant sunny days with a slight promise of rain on the gathering and receeding wind. Rainy season approaches. As we look out over the beauty of the Nile, we think on the contrasting ugliness of Innocent's short story.
    
We are settling into Mto Moyoni and finding the river of God's love flowing as steadily as the waters of the Nile. Even in the absence of formal programs, people are coming and finding deep healing in the intimate love of the Father. It is beautiful to see their journey and how Father draws them to himself.

A beautiful place, in an ugly world, being invaded with love. It is such a privilege and a challenge to be here. As a family, we want to live the truth of this heart message. Not just to hear about our Great Father, but to live as his sons and let our character be formed in him. We want our values to be his. It was so good to say goodbye to Ingrid knowing that our being here is a gift to her, from Father. This week ended with Purim, the Jewish celebration of deliverance of God's people in the story of Esther. We encouraged the staff that we are all here 'for such a time as this' and celebrated with a cake in keeping with this Jewish feast! Housekeeping, kitchen, gardening and office staff called together to see Father's love make what is ugly, beautiful. Stories that could be narrated in hopelessness like Innocent's will be invaded with God's redeeming love. That is real and vibrant, gifted to us by Love himself.

The weekend after Easter, we will welcome a group of youth back for a time to grow together in the Father's love and the freedom they have found in him. Please pray for us as we prepare. They go with healed hearts into a world of 'Innocents' and will write new stories of hope where death has been stealing and destroying.

Thank you for all your love and support
David & Robin Stearns, Zemba Children's Foundation
Innocent's short life ended this week

He barely reached 14 months. Zemba had tried to help his young mum with some training for her and treatment for him at Mulago Hospital, the largest hospital in Kampala that has a special malnutrition ward. When they returned home Innocent's condition worsened. It was his mum's will and love, not her knowledge, that was lacking.
        In the grandmother's house, where there were healthy kids and money for hairspray and cosmetics, this baby was neglected. The day this photo was taken we reported to the local government social worker who referred the case to the police. The mother (seen leering in this picture) was sent to the cells, which was the right place for her, but Innocent was placed in an over-busy babies home that would struggle to care for a severely malnourished baby like Innocent. We had room and capacity to give him love, alongside specialist help. Sadly, we were not offered the chance to give him what he desperately needed. He was let down in life. He is in a better place.
 
Entebbe Guesthouse
Ingrid visited the guesthouse in Entebbe with David before she flew to Holland. There was a confirmed sense that this is part of Father's plan for us. It really is an amazing place and we haven't abandoned it. Peter did some great finishing work while we were away by putting stone skirting in the upstairs rooms. The staff toilet and shower are now fully functioning with the septic tank commissioned. The gardens have been cared for well and nothing is missing. Ingrid commented on how big a miracle that is.

David did some work on our rented house while in Entebbe, to prepare it for short term rentals. We will time visits when it isn't rented to continue work on the guesthouse. We plan to start with a contract for doors. Instead of getting a kit of parts for each that needs to be assembled, we will commission finished doors. It will add expense, but will release us to continue in Jinja for the time Ingrid is away, yet still make progress. Our time at Mto is valuable experience for building a guesthouse team in the future, with lives healed and put back together, to make a difference in business with heart.
Encouragement from former Archbishop of Uganda

 
On a suprise visit to the last youth gathering at Mto, the former Archbishop of Uganda encouraged the young people that though they can't change where they came from, they can change where they are going. Bishop Orombi sits on the Mto Moyoni advisory board. He gave us a really warm welcome. 

 
'River of the Heart'    www.mto-moyoni.org/sitenw/
We are so thankful for partnerships - partnership with our supporters around the world and partnership with our passionate Ugandan colleagues. We count both as great friends.
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