Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bethany Village Orphanage Library...

As most of you know , our Chapelwood team was initially split up.  Most of us headed to Zeu and the Loyd team headed to Bethany Village.  They had quite an adventure and eventually met up with us here. Andy Loyd shares a little about their experience….
  The Bethany Village Orphanage Library was a hit!  Upon landing in Entebbe, the Loyd team (Andy, Karen, Morgan & Jesse Kottke) told their Chapelwood friends, “goodbye” for a few days and journeyed to Kampala to set up the Bethany Village Library near Ggaba.  The team was warmly received and met with officials from the African Renewal Ministries in which oversees the Bethany Village operations.  From there, they were transported to the orphanage in a crude, handmade boat for a 45 minute trip on Lake Victoria.  Though the team had been traveling non-stop since leaving London, they were anxious to check on the arrival of the books for the library, the facility itself and the much needed shelving.  Pastor Mutaka was excited about the Loyd Team arrival and introduced us to Joshua, who was designated as the new librarian.  Unfortunately, the team found that the shelving was insufficient, so small shelving units were donated from the living quarters of the orphanage to fill the need.   The team was anxious to get started the next morning.  They were escorted, in the dark, to their living quarters for the evening.  The accommodations had running water and electricity from a generator for 2 ½ hours each day.  The Loyd Team had indoor plumbing, though crude by American standards.  They had to sleep under mosquito nets because of the insects and the bats.  Karen is not fond of small creatures and will almost yield to their presence.   They had a late dinner with the Pastor and retired for the night.  It had been a long and satisfying day.   
They next morning the team got up early and headed to the new library facility.  The room was a previous classroom, but was strategically located for the other classrooms to utilize.   The walls had been freshly painted and the donated shelving was cleaned and put into position.  The boxes of books were laid out and the team commenced to putting the organized, cataloged books in their respective places.  As the project advanced curious faces appeared in the windows and doorway.  After a few minutes, the children began to make their way in among the open boxes.  The team was eager to offer them a book and let reading circles.  The library took all day to set up and completely organize.  Joshua was there the entire time and instructed on the Dewey Decimal System and why the books were placed where they were.  The team had a constant flow of curious onlookers and no one was turned away. 
The experience and completion of the library was bittersweet for Andy.  Over a year had been invested into the collection and organizing of the books and the Bethany Village Orphanage Library was coming to fruition.  He would like to thank his family, friends and their Chapelwood Sunday School classmates and especially Bob and Kathey Lasalle  for all their hard work and for giving the “gift of literacy “ to the Children of Bethany Village.  Special thanks to Mark Cotham for his vision and inspiration for the Ugandan Library Project . You will always hold a special place in our hearts, Brother. To Chapelwood UMC, we are so honored and humbled to members of such an incredible giving church.

Arriving at Bethany Village Library facility.
Karen Loyd entertaining the orphans at library.

Andy Loyd reading with children.
The Loyd team in the completed library.

4 year old Rana reading "Jonah and the Whale".

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