Tom & Laura Garrett

Dear Dear Friends, 
Remember Rita … the little girl I met outside a church where I was sharing back in January?  Recall that she had serious infections and illnesses and the doctor told us later that she was not too far away from death if something had not happened quickly.  Last Sunday I had the opportunity to take Rita back to her home church and share with that congregation just how well she is doing today.  But sitting in that worship service last Sunday, I noticed another little girl (let’s call her Cindy.)  Cindy’s foot was so curled she was actually walking on the top of her foot and each step created a great deal of pain.  The pastor approached me about helping this little girl also, but the Holy Spirit had already been visiting with me about it during the worship service.  I assumed this surgery and recovery would cost me about 2 or 3 thousand dollars, which I was willing to do, but I wanted the people of Christ International Church to be part of this.  I asked the pastor to challenge his congregation to donate funds for this procedure and I would match their donations.  You cannot imagine the level of poverty in that area and I knew that even if the people sacrificially gave all they possible could over the next few weeks, they would never be able to raise anywhere close to half of that cost.  I knew in my mind that I would gladly pay the balance, but I wanted the church to experience the joy and blessing of giving.  Thus began the process of getting Cindy to an orthopedic hospital in the capital city hours away.  But God had a big surprise in mind!!  The very next day Laura was in a hospital in a different city about an hour away.  There she spotted a notice from the very same orthopedic hospital that we were planning to take Cindy to.  The notice said they would do this type of surgery for children for free.  We only need to pay for surgeon’s fee, accommodation, and other incidentals.  Now the church can be involved in a more realistic way.  “Coincidentally,” Heart and Hands Foundation has recently absorbed a ministry called 1000Pulpit.  1000Pulpit is a fund used to meet the immediate one time needs of extremely needy children.  Cindy, a truly destitute orphan, is a perfect candidate for 1000Pulpit support.  She will get the help she needs and the people of the church will be significantly involved.  God is so good.  This is but one of dozens of stories we could tell you of children in great need of medical or academic support.  With your help, through 1000Pulpit, we are doing all we can to meet these needs and love these children to Jesus. 
Laura and I have stumbled across something in Africa that is totally unheard of, something extremely unique.  We have found a group of Africans that do not want your money!!!  What they want is for you to help them get the tools they need to earn their own money and run their ministry self-sufficiently.  You probably received a flash drive a couple of weeks ago with a very short video featuring the founder of Heart and Hands Foundation, Dr. Abel Tindao, as he briefly describes his passion to elevate his community spiritually, socially, and economically.  (If you have not yet watched that video please do so, and if you did not receive one, we may not have your mailing address.  Please provide me with your address and we will get one mailed to you.)
Heart and Hands’ philosophy of self-sufficiency is what drove them to begin this broad ministry with a vocational training school to equip vulnerable young adults with skills for life.  It is what drove them this year to start profit making businesses to fund the ministry.  Maybe you are like me and this philosophy just rings true for you.  It just makes sense.  Currently students at Heart and Hands are learning professional/industrial tailoring, embroidery, carpentry, computer skills, hair dressing, woodworking, and lumbering.  With the right tools they will soon be able to offer courses in welding, automobile mechanics, plumbing, electronics, printing and more.  Let’s help our African friends with the tools that they need to advance the kingdom of Christ in western Uganda.
Obviously, all of this is done in the name of Christ.  Students are required to attend the student-led chapel service each morning.  Counseling and mentoring are woven into the DNA of Heart and Hands.  Laura and I are blessed to be part of this.  We are seeing the lives of young adults and young families mature spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and socially, and we get to do this!  What a privilege!!
Listed below are some of the tools needed immediately for Heart and Hands to get the job done.  We would seriously appreciate it if you would prayerfully consider helping our African friends help their friends.  They are trying so hard to be instruments in Jesus’ hands to be used to fulfill His prayer that God’s kingdom would come and His will be done on this earth just as it is in heaven.  Please, we have the means, let’s give the tools they need to get the job done. 
1.Solar Power System on the Production Building.  The production department is taking their job seriously, working as two small factories (woodworking and school uniforms).  The Production Department’s biggest enemy is electric power failure, which can sometimes last 48 hours.  Professional production of quality competitive school uniforms cannot afford this down time.  They have the biggest and best embroidery machine in western Uganda, but when power fails in the midst of a job it may be lost or destroyed both in the fabric and the digital image in the computer.  Workers are paid by the piece, so when power fails their income is greatly affected.  
Sufficient Solar Power System $8,200.
2. Four Industrial Sewing Machines like the ones they currently have, tried & true.
$339 each for a total of $1356
3. One Industrial Button Hole Machine.  They have only one and production often slows at the button hole machine, so they want another exactly like the one they have.  $680
4. Dormitory.  Two stories.  Toilets/showers at both ends, men’s and women’s.  Currently students are bulging in rooms that were built for storage, office space, and a hairdressing room.  It is not good. It is very crowded and students walk to the one toilet across campus for bathing and all. It is not a good situation, but it is all that can be done until funds are donated to build a new dormitory.    Total $60,000
5. Public Restroom for non-boarding students, faculty, staff, church attendees, and many guests for various meetings and such.  The restroom’s concrete roof would provide a place for a large rainwater collection tank. $10,000
6. Babylock Machine.  This machine makes loads of decorative stitches and specialty seams needed to be competitive in the apparel industry. $475
7. Gutters for existing buildings and two (2) rain collection tanks.  Water continues to be a daily issue at Heart and Hands; we need to capture rainwater.    $6000
8. One (1) Welding Machine to be used to teach welding as part of the overall carpentry class, one or two students at a time, mostly used on construction projects at Heart and Hands.  $3000
9. Four (4) Tool-Kits for carpentry graduates to start up new business after they graduate.    $235 each. $940 total
10.  100 Student Sewing Machines at $145 each.  Each tailoring student is promised a machine upon satisfactory completion of the course and proper maintenance of their machine throughout the year.  
Total for 100 machines:  $14,500
11.  Temporary Storage Building of corrugated metal sheets to be used as BAKERY.  Bakery equipment has been donated from South Africa for teaching culinary skills and for sale of baked goods.  When the new Heart and Hands Conference Center is built, the bakery will be moved to the new Conference Center.  The storage building can then be used for other purposes.   $600 

And don't forget, a separate gift of any amount to Heart of Africa with a note designating it for 1000Pulpit will help our African friends meet the immediate medical and academic needs of needy children in their community.
          You can make a donation toward any of the items above by making your check out to Heart of Africa and sending it to Heart of Africa, P.O.Box 5, Wilmore, KY 40390.  Enclose a small note indicating how you would like your gift to be used or leave it to us to use it where most needed.  Thank you very much.

Tom Garrett
A couple of weeks ago, about 3am, during one of my battles with insomnia, I began replying to an email from my sister.  In my insomniatic stupor I began to ramble on, musing about our life in Uganda. You may want to read these totally unedited, unvarnished ramblings pasted below as they somehow reveal what is deep in our hearts.
Thanks for the update! Good news on Mama.  Great news on new grand baby.  Congrats.  I'm
waking up now, 3am on a Saturday.  My plan is to try to do nothing much today, but that doesn't always work out around here.  I need mental and physical rest.  I love it when we write amazing emotional reports about our work here.  But, in reality we've just been doing a lot of work lately.  We had back to back visitors for almost 4 weeks.  And that involves not only the hosting, cooking, etc., it also means overnight trips to pick up and drop off at the airport, in the world's most hectic crazy city.  But truly, every day here is an adventure, a mixture of joy and elation as we watch a young family begin new life in Christ.  We are grandpa and grandma to many young couples and individuals.  It is a joy, but every day also brings frustration - system problems like water, power, roads, phones, and such.  And people frustrations when people act like people.  But, truth is, inch by inch, lives and families are being built to maturity.  Recently a young doctor friend shared with us that he had planned to move by now to a hospital in a larger city with more money.  But he said he changed his plans because he sees his own life and family's life changing.  They are now attending the church that we started here a while back.  His wife has just started one of our tailoring classes here, only to brush up on some skills, and soon move into our production department and get paid.  That is just one of many such stories and families.  When you think that 2 years ago today there was no school or production or church - I guess God really is moving.  The industries are producing income for the ministries.  Laura is buying a 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser next week, when the money arrives to pay for it.   Now I'm gonna get a shower, see if I can bring our little girl Rita back here for a day or an overnight, eat breakfast with her and hopefully see my little buddy, Monday, this evening.  He is in jail, I mean boarding school, and visitation is not easy.  Hopefully I will see him and maybe get him out for an overnight.  I want to mention that Innocent, who we first befriended when he was in high school, went through some rebellious times - very concerning to me - has recently returned from here to his medical school.  He has changed so much and I am so proud of him.  He attended church and chapel regularly while he was here on his holiday and even preached in chapel once.  He helped a lot with the church stuff.  This is a miracle.  He has taken our name and is now putting Garrett on all his papers, property, and such - a bit silly - but he has no other parents.  He will be a doctor in less than 3 years and that scares me to death!! Wow.  A million other stories to tell, but I will save them for a book or something.  Thanks for writing and thanks for getting me writing.  This has been real good for me to write because in the tiredness and frustration that accompanies every day I can easily forget how God is using us.  The negatives overwhelm me and I forget the wonders that are occurring in front of me.  Your little email caused me to begin writing and thinking.  Wow.  Not bragging, but just wondering what this town and many individuals would be like if we had not come to Kyenjojo 3 .5 years ago.  Hey - gotta go get coffee.  Bye
Tom Garrett   International Projects Liaison, Heart of Africa

Mobile: 817-559-0445
Mission: Helping You Help Africans Who Help other Africans the African Way

Encourage our active missionaries

Write and encouragement, question, or prayer and we'll connect you via email.