Subject: Rejoicing through tears

Mustard Seed's 'Mr. Rogers'

“First, say 'good morning' to yourself!" - Teacher Geofrey

Today, I spent time with Teacher Geofrey, our fourth-grade (P-4) class teacher. I wish I could recount all of the wisdom he shared. He has many stories of children traumatized by family break-ups, parents dying, illness, abuse, and hunger.

One such child's father was a fisherman and able to make enough to feed his family and give them the basics. Tragically, he drowned in a storm on Lake Victoria. Now, his widow tries to provide for her family by walking around town selling fruits from a basket.

With Geofrey's guidance and parental love, Deborah is overcoming her trauma and becoming more social and confident. And much to her mother's relief, soon she will join Rapha's House, Mustard Seed's children's home, where she will have the protection, care and freedom needed to be a happy child.

Teacher Geofrey tells his students that they need to love themselves first – before they greet him with "Good Morning, Teacher," he asks them if they have wished themselves a good morning. He is a loving and caring father to forty students each year. He said, "In this school of ours, we don't just teach; we give parental care." He counsels children, telling them, "I love you. Let the school be your family."

When relating the wisdom of Geofrey to Kathryn (Hiscock) this evening, she said, "Geofrey is Mustard Seed's, Mr. Rogers." She nailed it! What a blessing!

Latest from Lukaya

A celebration blessing the candidates – October 15, 2022

Fancy new clothes, Prayers, Songs, Speeches, Dances, Food, Gift-giving, and Entertainment!

A traditional dance of Buganda is pictured above, and more scenes from the day are below.

Primary-seven girls in their party clothes.

Senior-4 students in their new outfits - ready to celebrate.

Dana and Kathryn Hiscock at the dedication of Ted's House, the secondary school boys' dormitory. The dorm is named in memory of Theodore W. Eckels, whose foundation provided the funds needed to build it.

Cutting of the Primary School cake. There were two big cakes – one for each class of candidates (graduates). Everyone gets a very small piece.

Giving out cards, notes, and gifts to the candidates from American friends.


Two graduates of Mustard Seed Secondary School who earned certificates in agriculture from the Ssese Farm Institute are now valued employees. They are in charge of the dairy and fish projects, and their knowledge, skill, innovativeness, and work ethic are outstanding. With such dedication, the enterprises promise to be successful very soon. 

In the photo above, Joseph is delivering elephant grass for the cows. Many kinds of grass are grown on the bigger Mustard Seed campus about 1.5 miles away, harvested, and transported via bicycle to the cowshed. The photo below shows Joseph and Rogers - our dedicated team.

Book Review

by Judy Dederick

A young GIRL from the worst SLUM in Kampala plays CHESS? Read on!

Click to continue reading Judy's review of Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers

Thanks to you and your support, Mustard Seed's staff can give parental care. The result is happy, confident, successful children and young adults! The school's motto: We can move mountains, is frequently repeated and demonstrated.

Secondary students working on their letters to sponsors.

Mustard Seed Nursery School children greeting their visitors and enjoying their playground.

The Advanced Foods and Nutrition class had a practical lesson last Saturday morning. Later, they presented us with a plate of delicious queen cakes and jam buns!

Just for fun– did you know?

Last month, Mary Gibbs was the first to explain the meaning of slowly by slowly (or polepole in Swahili). Mary said the East African refugees at her church translated the phrase to mean: "God will help us in this new, overwhelming society of America." Slowly by slowly challenges will be overcome.

Here's a new one: Before the Blessing of the Candidates, a few staff members fit in a visit to the saloon before the event began.

Hit reply to this email and submit your ideas about this 'Ugandanese' word. 

This trip has been packed full of joyful and grateful children, staff, and community members. It's hard to keep in mind the hardships most of them have endured. Without you, the scene would be far different.

As we face the last few days in Uganda, my heart is overflowing with love and gratitude. If this missive is able to share even a portion of that with you, I know you will have a good day!

Questions, comments, concerns? Please hit reply and let us know. We love to hear from you.



P.S. After many dry, hot days, the rain has come! Yesterday and today started off with big thunderstorms rolling off from Lake Victoria! It makes for slippery roads, but no one is complaining. Perhaps the crops will not fail this season.

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