Saturday

May 31, 2008 at 9:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The Passion Kampala event is officially over.   But the life changes that happened here this weekend have just begun.

Praise God that He is gathering a remnant for Himself all around the globe!

This has been especially moving for me tonight since the Wototo Children’s choir sang with Chris Tomlin.   (They are young orphans who are growing up in the Wototo Villiage, an amazing, Christ-centered home environment.)    This is the nation and the heritage of our new children.   As a matter of fact, the little one that may be ours at Amani was first brought to Wototo’s  baby home in Kampala before being moved to Amani.  The Ugandan flags we saw waving everywhere tonight are the flags of the nation that God chose to birth our boys into.

Uganda gets the typical African publicity of poverty and AIDS and unrest.   But what I’ve seen here this weekend is a beautiful people and a movement of college students that love Him.   I’ve seen orphan homes that are stepping up to provide a place of redemption for the abandoned kids of this region.   I’ve seen faithful staff at local churches and college ministries who have poured themselves out to see this weekend become available for their students.   I’ve seen high ranking officials in the government, the university, and the churches step forward to proclaim the glory of God in this city.

It’s not all Idi Amin.   It’s not all corruption.   It’s not all ignorance.  It’s not all child-soldiers.

There is beauty and faithfulness and Godly obedience shining all around in Uganda.    I’m grateful to tell my sons they are from such a place.

“For there is no one like our God, there is no one like You, God!

Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city!”

Friday’s events

May 31, 2008 at 4:02 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Since I can’t seem to upload any pictures, I’m sending you to the Passion blog site where there are some great images of the event.

http://www.268blog.blogspot.com/

It’s early Saturday morning (630) and Tague’s already gone to the field to begin prep for today. The kids and I will head over in a little while.

Yesterday was – in a word – amazing.

The students began coming through the gates at about 5pm for the 7pm event. They sang and they danced and they really connected with the message. In a country where much of the gospel they are told is the ‘prosperity gospel’, they were hungry to hear the truth of God’s glory and their place in His story. The reality that there are lots of important things in this life, but God’s glory is the MOST important thing lands in a powerful way.

Today Francis Chan will teach and we are excited to see what God will do through him.

There are many missionaries here helping on the volunteer team. How great it is to hear their journey and to be an encouragement to them also.

We met up with the Amani Baby Cottage volunteers yesterday and had a quick chance to get to know them a little bit. There’s a possibility that they have a baby for us! I’m dying to know more, but for know I’m having to wait. All I know is that he’s a baby, he’s ‘gorgeous’ and he has malaria, and his name is Zachariah. I’m loving this Passion event, but my heart leaps to think that in just a couple of days we’ll be on our way to Jinja and some more of God’s great story will unfold.

His purposes are created before time and we are amazed to watch what He is planned come to be.

I need to wake up the gang. Be in prayer again today for God to open hearts and for students to be drawn to Him in a real, life-changing way.

Pray again that the LED wall works. It didn’t make it last night.

We lost power backstage for a couple hours last night…. the green room had tea candles, but hte office and the hospitality tent and production all went down. Found out later, the electricians had only created one source wire for all 4 big tents last night! oops. with no street lights or field lights to rely on, it made for a VERY dark evening. We had volunteers jump in as flashlight guides, and security beefed up to protect the office and production gear in the dark.

Thursday

May 29, 2008 at 8:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Today has been a major set up day. Joseph worked with Tague all day long setting up barricades and other very physical jobs. Tague is one of four event team leaders managing the event on the grounds so he was flying as the pieces came together for security, fencing, and tons of other details. Megan, Haley and Kelsey worked non-stop in student registration getting literally thousands of students registered and wristbanded for the event (which starts tomorrow) There are 20,000 students registered so far and more coming in.

After only a short while Haley and Kelsey noticed that the Ugandans were sometimes struggling to understand their English, so they slipped into a Ugandan accent and improved communications immensely. Megan did a lot of on-the-spot trouble shooting with people who wanted to attend, however are not university students. She couldn’t register them, but helped them be optimistic about coming in late if there is still room on the field tomorrow night or listening outside the gates.

Ruth made friends with every Ugandan on the field and was visibly having a wonderful time. She is eager to connect with people and has lost any shyness she had in the states. Our friends, the Bells, have their 9 year old daughter along with them as well so Lauren and Ruth have become fast friends!

It is amazing to see an event like this come together. This is a unique partnership with the Ugandans for the sake of the nation and the renown of Jesus Christ. The name of Passion means nothing. The name of Jesus means everything. What a gift it is to work together with the body of Christ here, moving in the same direction for the same purpose!

And what a joy it is to work with all of our kids, seeing them plug in a come alive in this environment.

We had a pretty bad (but short) storm yesterday that blew the giant L.E.D. wall over onto the field. It was a huge face-plant of an enormous piece of equipment. Thankfully, no one was hurt, But the wall was sopping wet and covered in mud. As we left the field tonight, the workers will still blow-drying out the circuit breakers and trying to reassemble it. Please pray for the equipment to work well so students on all sides of the field can see.

Pray for a peaceful evening with no security incidents.

Pray for the local sorcerers who will infiltrate the field tomorrow night to have no power in the presence of the Spirit of God.

Pray for the message to take root in the hearts of students in a way that will bring redemption to souls and to a nation.

We’re off to bed! Thanks for everything!

Wednesday

May 28, 2008 at 7:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
The Surgery

The Surgery

It’s been a full day today.   Like I said in my previous post, we wanted to go to the pool, so that’s where our day started.   The Passion team was busy cranking out all the logistical details for the conference and setting up the venue and working on budgets so today was our ‘free day’ as volunteers.   Little did we know that Kelsey was allergic to the kinds of chemicals they use in pools in Uganda.    The kids had a great time splashing about in a gorgeous pool but when we got out, Kelsey felt a little odd.   By the time we got back to the hotel room, she was woozy and was having a lot of congestion.   It wasn’t long until she sounded like she used to when she had asthma as a little kid.     Then, she really was beginning to struggle with her breathing and said that her ‘throat was closing up’.   (don’t worry, grandparents — she’s ok now!)     This was probably the first real moment that it was clear to me that we weren’t ‘in Kansas anymore’.   This beautiful hotel doesn’t have a doctor on staff and, while their breakfast buffet is astounding, there’s not really reliable emergency services here.   Kelsey could talk and she could breathe, but she was scared and said she felt like I fish looks when it’s in the bottom of of the boat — gills expanding and gulping, but not much life-giving breath.

Our guides knew where to take her so we jumped in the Passion van and headed off to ‘the surgery’ (the clinic) five minutes away.   When we arrived, Kelsey was seen immediately.   Her ability to exhale was good enough that they didn’t give her oxygen, but they did put her on a preventative steroid inhaler and we will have that with us for the rest of our journey.   After about 45 minutes or so,  her breathing was improving and she was feeling calmer so our nice English doctor released her with confidence and we returned to the hotel.  Kelsey will not be returning to the pool!

We are grateful to God for mercy today.   She could’ve had her attack while still in the pool.   Or even pool side (which is many steps away from the lobby and she would’ve had a very hard time getting back.) We are grateful that our guides knew just where to take us and that our physician knew how to diagnose her and had some meds to give her.   We are grateful that friend, Todd  (the Passion security-lead) went with us and provided comfort.   We are grateful for our Nigerian friend, Thompson, who had flown in from Minneapolis to volunteer and who prayed healing and peace over Kelsey.

God is faithful all the time.   Today is was in provision and in healing.

The rest of our day was spent in two different children’s home — Bethany Village and Wototo Children’s Home.   We are amazed at the hearts of the servant leaders that are pouring their lives out for the orphans of this nation.      Hope I can upload some photos…. we’ll see how many bytes this connection can handle!

Pray for the students who are coming from all over East Africa to arrive safely.   Pray for the weather to hold since rain could prove disastrous for both the field and the equipment.   Pray for God to continue this movement in the lives of these university students long after the sounds of the Passion conference has faded.

we love you guys!

arrival

May 28, 2008 at 6:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We got in last night without any problems. We had a 5 hour layover in Amsterdam and found some ‘comfort chairs’ to sleep in. Then arrived in Kampala around 815 last night. A bus and driver were waiting for the Passion team at the airport and we rode with a couple of poeple from Gaba Community Church (A passion sponsor here) and a guy from SixSteps (Passion’s record label) and Charlie Hall and some of his band. It was about an hour drive to the hotel…. the kids enjoyed seeing what we could see on the drive in. It was really dark and there are no street lights. With all the walkers on the street, I’m not sure how we made it without hitting someone!! Ruth was nervous because she couldn’t see our driver…. then we told her he was sitting on the other side of the bus! She didn’t realize that they drive on the other side of the road here.

This morning we’re refreshed and have had an amazing breakfast here at the Serena. This is an unbelieveable hotel…. really spectacular. We have these giant birds outside too…. no joke…. like terradactyls!!!

Ruth is dying to get to the pool so that’s our plan right now. The passion team is hard at work and we’ve met most of the group so far. This afternoon we’ll go to Bethany Village to see a local church sponsored orphanage compound. It should be about a 4 hour excursion.
Pray for our volunteers to arrive safely and for the weather to hold.

Uganda, here we come!

May 25, 2008 at 8:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Tague is taking off on his flight even as I type this. The U.S. Passion:Kampala team left from Atlanta yesterday, but since we were celebrating Haley’s high school graduation Tague is joining them a day late. Our party with Haley was great and the extra day at home gave us the opportunity to be commissioned at church this morning.   What a gift it is for our church to be loving us through prayer while we are gone!

The kids and I will head out tomorrow (Memorial Day) at 3:00 so keep us in your prayers as we travel. Our agenda includes flying eight and a half hours to Amsterdam, sitting on the ground for 5 hours and then flying eight and a half more hours to Kampala.  So…. it’s going to be a long day, to say the least!

The big day is here!   Can’t wait to see what’s in store!

joy in the process

May 25, 2008 at 1:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our trip is just days away and it’s been unbelievable to watch things come together. The money piece is pretty huge for our family. And God has been bringing in the funds needed to accomplish His purposes. I realized the other day that if we’d just had that big pile of money sitting in the bank ready to go, this wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. As it is, we are depending on God for the whole deal and in that need, we’ve gotten to really ‘enjoy the show’ .
People have donated amazing things to our garage sale (more to come on that later). Others have sold their stuff on ebay and donated the proceeds to our missions trip. Some have made direct donations. Others have donated services to our family so we could focus more cash into the adoption process.  Amazing stuff. It’s cool to watch God move in peoples’ hearts to join us in the journey. It’s amazing to see other people’s joy and their enthusiasm to be part of this process.
The other day at work, I was typing along and 4 little girls came into the office holding a can of pringles potato chips. They came around to where I was sitting, thrust out the can and said, “This is for you, Mrs. Harding.” I like pringles and said thanks to them and reached out for it. But when I took it, it was heavy. Peeking inside I saw the bottom of the can filled with coins and wadded up little dollar bills. These little girls were just beaming and told me that they had been saving their money in the pringles can and wanted us to use it for our adoption. They were excited to report that it was almost ten dollars!
What an amazing gift! From the hearts of children to the heart of God. This little ‘widow’s mite’ blesses our hearts in giant ways. It is a great ride and we are grateful to God for the front row seat as we watch Him make it happen through old stuff, ebay and pringles cans!! Wow!

pringles

U.S. Paperwork Finished!

May 9, 2008 at 9:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We are excited to report that all required paperwork on the U.S. side (including the all important I600A from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service) are completed!  The pace at which this has been accomplished has been amazing and we praising and thanking God for the results.  The next step for us will be the referral from Amani Baby Cottage for (hopefully) 2 boys.  Once that has happened, the work in Uganda will begin in earnest: (we already have the social worker interview done) we need to see the lawyer in Kampala, do the passport work with Ugandan officials, at least one court visit to be granted custody, and a visit to the U.S. Embassy.  Please pray for a referral in God’s timing and the ordering of our steps to accomplish all the remaining requirements in Uganda.

one more thing…

May 8, 2008 at 3:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

check out our other blog for our upcoming trip to Uganda! This trip has two distinctive and powerful sides to it. This blog is about the adoption side of our relationship with Uganda. The other is about the Passion Conferences part as we partner again with Passion to see Jesus become more famous among the students of the world! Click on the link below!

Hardings2Uganda

another try…

May 8, 2008 at 3:06 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tomorrow we will take another stab at the garage sale! Join us anytime over the next 3 days (May 8-10) and be part of the ‘campaign’ to bring our boys home!

We are just blown away as we watch God make this happen. The last weekend we did this, the weather was miserable. It was cold and wet and we were only able to be open 2 days instead of 3 because of the clouds. BUT none of that was an impediment to God as He accomplished His purposes for the weekend! It was sort of like Gideon’s army and their end result. God made the circumstances such that no one could take any credit for the amazing results…. except Him. Just as it should be.

He has brought donations and buyers and cash in from around the globe (literally!) and we are in awe.

An hour ago, I put a little ad on Craig’s list for this sale and already (before the doors even open!) people are emailing and claiming things tonight!

He has chosen the little boys that will become Hardings. He has their futures mapped out. And He is doing what it takes to get them here. We are merely watching and worshiping as we see it happen!

Come to the garage…… to shop or to chat! THANK YOU all for your partnership and enthusiasm in this journey!

for Garage Sale Pictures click here

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