Monday, November 28, 2011

African Adventures With Megan!

Look at me!!!
I’m here and I’m happy!
My name is Megan Joy Williams and
I was born on November 23rd at 7:58 AM. I weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and I was 52 cm long. But I think I’m growing already! My brother Seth and my sister Jodie are very excited to finally be able to hold me and kiss me.
I hope you can come and see me sometime soon!

Love from Megan Joy

Along with this birth announcement of our precious daughter we would like to invite you to be part of a special event in her honor.

During this past year we have become increasingly aware of the incredible blessings we have, the provisions God has made for us, and the prosperity of our countries. As we’ve observed intensifying hardship for our staff at the African Children’s Choir Primary School in Uganda, we’ve been compelled to make extra efforts to give in whatever ways we can. So….!! Here’s our creative idea!

Please join us on Saturday December 3rd from 10am to 3pm for a dual purpose open house. We want you to meet our baby girl and welcome her into the world! And instead of bringing anything as a gift for her, we ask that you would come well prepared to give to specific families in Uganda in her honor. We have brought along with us from Uganda unique and practical artifacts that you can purchase and take home as either Christmas gifts for loved ones, for yourself, or even as reminders of Ugandan families who need your prayers regularly. There will be other items available, such as:

· Very nice Christmas trees (it turns out, Mark is a tree planter! He planted them 6 years ago before we left for Uganda!) Up to 8’ tall (4 available)
· African artifacts include a variety of wooden spoons, wooden bowls, shawls, drums, woven baskets and more
· Sarah and some fellow missionary friends have written and recorded a CD! It’s being released next week in the States and the UK and is available here for this event! After production costs are covered 10% of all profits will be given directly to The African Children’s Choir Primary School.

Each item will be priced reasonably and you will be free to give that amount or any amount above that if you would like. When we return to Uganda and are able to dispense the funds of this open house as tangible gifts of food to these families, we will send you a photo and a firsthand report on the blessing brought about by this event! Please come and be part of it!*

There will be beverages, snacks, desserts, and lots of happiness!!!!! You’ll also have the opportunity if you wish, to view a 10 minute video.. ‘The Life of a Choir Child’.. put together by Mark to capture the essence of where the choir children come from and the blessing that the choir program is to them.

It will be held at 30543 Northridge Way, Abbotsford.

Please RSVP! We can’t wait to see you and introduce you to our little one as well!

Mark, Sarah, Seth, Jodie, and Baby

*If you are unable to come on that day you can still be part of this fundraiser by sending a check to

Mark and Sarah Williams
30543 Northridge Way, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6X7

Friday, November 18, 2011

African Adventures With The Williams Four!

After 24 hours I survived my trek from Entebbe back to Vancouver. It is hard to believe the differences between one place and the other. I was greeted at the airport by my two little angels, Seth and Jodie. They came running and I got the biggest hug I have had from them and I did not let go until giving them many kisses. Sarah, my Miss America was in the background and I enjoyed a long awaited hug from her as well.

It was just a week ago that I spent a full day with the grade seven class on a trip to Jinja, source of the Nile in Uganda. The 29 students were enjoying their last event at the school before their long holiday between primary and secondary school. As we made our way through Kampala taking a few short cuts I was sitting up front on the bus and I couldn’t help but realize how bad off many of the homes were. The article I read on the front page of the national paper that said 60% of the population of the Kampala live in slums seemed to be true. The rainy season rains had not helped as there was flooding and everyone was trying to walk in very muddy conditions. As I shook my head I realized that we were passing an area that I had visited many times; homes of children from our school. I could see the muddy path that lead down into a pit of homes ready to fall over. Turning around and looking back I saw 29 students in the bus that come from the same type of homes, happy and enjoying life.

I realized that we were not just providing a top notch education for these children, three meals a day, good discipline and discipleship but maybe most importantly, hope. Poverty seems to breed discouragement and a future with nothing to look forward to. There are no goals being set and no reason to move forward as many Ugandans are trapped in an endless cycle of poverty. I felt very thankful to be a part of a team of people committed to bringing hope.

Our journey continued to a few touristy sights in Jinja and two homes that help baby orphans and those abandoned by aids. Both homes were started by former chaperones that have travelled with the African Children’s Choir at a young age and have left the comforts of the west to fill a need in Uganda. The students were impressed with what they saw and also provided encouragement and excitement for the staff that work in these two homes. It was a little bit of giving back and sharing hope to others.

A few days later all of the grade seven students were on their way home with memories of their time at of the African Children’s Choir Primary School. They left with a food hamper, new Bible and a little bit of money tucked into their newly treasured Bible. As I said goodbye to each one my prayer was that they would go out, serve Christ and make us proud. They left with a hug and the prayers of many in the days to come as they transition from the watchful care of the primary school into the more challenging reality of secondary school.

As I sit in my warm dry house this evening in Canada I can’t believe the difference a week can make. I know our students are prepared and even though they have hope in the Lord, they will face a tough challenge this three month holiday before they start secondary. As much as I want to continue with them I know my responsibility is at the primary school; being there for those to come and to prepare them for the way ahead. The grade seven class of 2012 looks even more promising academically which is always encouraging to me and our staff. But this class also has some challenging individuals to guide and train. As a team we will work even harder to prepare these ones for secondary school and more importantly life.

As we look towards a new year we are hoping that you would continue to keep us in your prayers as there are many challenges ahead. I am encouraged when I look back at challenges we’ve faced and I can see how God has met the needs of the school every time. However the difficulties continue to mount as inflation will increase almost 30% for this year alone. Budgets will most likely not be increased due to the challenging times in the West. My goal is to raise money for food and fencing at the school. The top portion of our land needs a chain link fence so that we can keep the cattle out so they will not eat our crops. This fence will also discourage people from stealing. Money will also be used to help supplement the food budget and buy things like chicks to start layers in the old carpenter shop on the land. We are also trying to collect as many as 5000 pens, 2000 pencils, 2000 erasers and 2000 pencil sharpeners. (Keep in mind the students do every bit of their studies, revising, and homework on paper so we go through a significant amount of these things every term.) If you are interested or feel led to help us out in any of these areas please let me know and I will tell you more specifically how this can happen. My hope is that in one way or another we can all reach out and make a difference this holiday season to someone around us.

On a personal note, our third little one is due in a week and we are awaiting her arrival! We’ll be sending out an announcement about that for sure! Please pray with us for a safe delivery and healthy baby and mama.

Blessings, Mark