Monday, July 28, 2008

above --our family with Esther. Albert, Joanna (helper),Isaiah, Tugume, Andrew, Kenny,Esther with her son Enoch, and jane

Jane and Esther watching Bujagali Falls near Jinja
It's been a while since we've put something up.

We're doing well despite quite a bit of difficulty with Jane's family. Her sister lost her husband quickly in May before I went to Canada and then recently lost her oldest daughter (it seems to cerebral malaria). Now Jane's Dad is in the Hospital with severe anemia, it seems he is bleeding from the lower intestines but they have not found the source of his bleeding. They keep putting blood in him but it disappears. He looked very thin yesterday when we visited him at the Hospital. We pray that they will see the problem quickly and he will get treatment and get on the route to recovery. It is not nice seeing him so thin -- he is already normally quite thin.

We had Jane's sister Esther here for a few days recently (this is the one who lost her husband and daughter recently) She had a nice time with us (less work and more relaxing than her everyday life in the village). We took her to Bujagali Falls and into Mabira Forest (both tourist stops) to see a bit of Uganda - She really enjoyed that!

Please pray for her that she will recover from all her grief and be able to lead her family in God's ways. She is not literate so she relys on her son to read the Bible to them as a family yet he is not that good of a reader.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hello Friends,

Here are some pics from around Jinja town where we live. Jinja is at the headwaters (source) of the Nile. It's a bit of an older town that's pretty easy to figure out and get around (except for some for the one-way streets). It's a typical bustling town where you can find almost anything you need. Wares and food is sold on the street and streets can be blocked while Lories unload their goods while parked on the road.

Above , matooke (cooking banana is sold outside of Jinja main Market while other vendors sell thir goods out of sacks on the street

Matooke is offloaded from a Lorie

A wheelbarrow with someones belongings -- a typcal and cheap metghod of getting things moved around town.

A muslim lady sews at her machine while another sells fresh bread

Monday, March 24, 2008

Equip Letter April 08

Dear Friends and Family, March 24, 2008

The heavy rains are upon us and we are into the first growing season of the year. This also means that Chris will be busy with all of the garden work associated with the onset of the rains. We had a very rainy Easter weekend as it rained most of Saturday night and almost all of Easter Sunday. We must have had around 6” or more of rain!
Fortunately there is a few months in between the last rainy season of the year and the first one of the next year. This has given us time to settle in our home and host a number of visitors during the dry season (Jan-Feb).
The boys (L-R) Andrew with Isaiah, Kenny, Albert and Tugume

The boys on a boat ride on Kazinga Channel –QE Park. (L-R Andrew with Isaiah, Kenny, Albert, Tugume)We had a great visit with my parents (Ken and Dawn Sperling) and my cousin Kerri’s parents (Gilbert and Anne Sperling). We had our first real holiday since arriving a year ago. Uncle Gilbert and Aunt Anne stayed with us the first half of January while my parents stayed with my sister and brother-in-law (April and Masiu Fine) until Gilbert and Anne left and then my parents stayed with us about a week. It was great to see my parents again and great for the kids to maintain a relationship with their grandparents

Mom and Dad
Uncle Gilbert and Auntie Anne

We had a great time visiting, seeing local sites like Bujagali Falls, Mabira Forest as well as all of us going on a game drive in Western Uganda at Queen Elizabeth Park. It was a very long drive but also very beautiful with lush tea plantations and views of the lower elevations of the Rwerenzori Mountains. We had a great view at the Safari Lodge and a great day tracking game as we saw lions, elephants, and hyenas all up very close as well as Uganda Kobs, water bucks and countless hippos, crocks, and kingfishers.

We also had a visit from long-time friends, John and Hannah Neudorf from Aldergrove, B.C.. They had come to meet their “son” Paul Nyabenda and his family. They had sponsored Paul for many years at New Hope Uganda and had actually sent a guitar along with me for him back on my first trip to Uganda in 1995. They were thrilled to have time with Paul and Susan and their children and to finally be with their son in person! We are also looking forward to hosting our friends Charity and Adrienne Pilkey as we host Charity’s introduction at our home in April.
Above (top) Chris explaining how to use the improved seed in the seminar, (mid) explaining how we to plant the seed, (bottom) giving out the seed with Fred
We have already conducted our OKM (Orphans Know More) seed give-out which will have included close to 80 families as well as some schools. We conducted the give-out a little different this year as we called many of the families to a central location and gave them the seed after conducting a mini seminar on how to use them. We will now be following up the give-out with visits to every home that we gave seed out to. I really enjoy this work as it takes us to the heart of Ugnadan Agriculture – the village (or peasant) farmer. It is here where we are welcomed through the seed give-out to have input and give encouragement to these hard-working people (many of whom are struggling in one way or another with HIV/AIDS). This has been a dream come true! I am very happy to have such close contact with these farmers; it gives us a chance to share our hope in Christ and to give appropriate advice in their farming.

I have also been very busy setting up a commercial farm for Bushfire. This has been challenging with limited resources and equipment. We are going to start planting maize and ground-nuts this week. We are hoping that the tractor we have hired will not break down (as has already happened on numerous occasions) so that we can plant on time.

Chris speaking during the OKM seed give-outOur family is doing quite well aside from what seems to have been a mild case of measles which affected three of the boys. We have all been malaria free for some time now which we praise God for. The boys are doing well in home school for the most part. We will miss Kerri when she goes in early June. She has fit in very well and has been a very organized teacher.

We are happy to announce that we are expecting another little Sperling in September. Jane has been very sick with the pregnancy (as she usually is) but has gradually improved over the last few weeks. Please pray that she will remain healthy and malaria free during this time.

Also continue to pray that we would get a passport for Jane. It has now been about one year since we have been seeking to renew her passport. We have had a continual run-around and wasted a lot of money coming into the city to meet various officials only to be referred to another person or another section. It seems this has been the same story for other Rwandese who have been born or who have grown up in Uganda. Please pray that she will get her passport soon as we could need to travel at any time.

Chris and Jane on Chris’ birthdayWe want to close by saying “Thanks!” to all of you who have been supporting us and give you a friendly reminder to renew your support if possible for 2008. These monthly donations are the backbone of our support, so we would love it if you would consider taking us on another year. We plan on being here until spring of 2009 when we have to go back as Jane and Andrew’s Permanent Resident cards expire in the summer of ‘09.

Also, we want to give particular thanks to those who contributed to our house – especially my parents (as it has been a bit of an early inheritance) and the Brandsmas. We have built the house in a way that we can rent it out to ex-pats when we are out of the country. It is also a sort of life insurance policy for Jane and the kids (it is in her name) should something ever happen to me. Of course, it also subtracts rent out of our “needs” list when fundraising. The house has already served us well with numerous visitors and having 5 boys the space has been much needed! Thanks again to all of you who helped!

God bless you all,
Chris and Jane, Andrew, Kenny, Albert, Isaiah and Tugume (and ‘lil bump).

Web donations and more info on our work:
Or keep up on what we are doing:
Or find Chris Sperling on:,

Financial contributions can be sent to:
Equip Canada PO Box 683
Duncan, B.C.
V9L 3Y1

In the US, donations can be sent to:
Equip, Inc.
PO Box 1126, Marion, N.C.
USA, 28752-1126

Friday, January 11, 2008

Chris's Birthday at Papa's

Chris cutting the cake
Thanks Jane for the Suprise!!!
(I like my new shirt -- great "farmer" style)
Mabira Forest Hike
January 08
Chris at the top -- awesome view!
Chris, Ntambala, and Melissa in the humid forest
Mabira Forest intertwined with sugar cane plantations

Sperling Jerry Can
(The first but unofficial installment of 2008 – our Equip letter will come in the spring)

Hello Friends and Family, January 10, 2008

We trust that you are all off to great start to 2008. We are also looking forward to a great new year in 2008.

We have moved into our new house in Wanyange Lake Village which is just 12km east of Jinja Town and a half hour walk from the Jinja YWAM base. We have a great view of Lake Victoria and some islands just off the shoreline. The lake brings us cool breezes throughout the day but also swarms of Lake Flies at night as well as a host of mosquitoes. We are battling with the insects; we are putting up screens on all of our window vents, the mains windows we just close up around 6.30 or 7.00pm. We also have a great view of the fishermen pot-lamping at night (apparently legal here); the lake lights up like a string of white Christmas lights at night when the waters are calm.

This last year we were able to connect with Habitat for Humanity Uganda through our friend Patrick Okrut and land a very big grant of 100 homes to be built under OKM. These homes will be paid for by the successful applicants in the form of a loan; this loan money will go back into Orphans Know More accounts to continue OKM work. We estimate the value of this project to be close to USD 300,000. Now we start the big job of finding all the needy people able to pay of these loans for new houses, and then managing the revolving fund that will be created once loan repayments start. We are excited that we will have the Ferdinando family from the US come to join us to help manage the OKM Housing Project.

.This last year included seed distribution and training people in ox-plowing techniques as well as having time with the various members of Bushfire and OKM (Orphans Know More). This year will include more of the same but it looks like there will be a Bushfire Farm and an OKM farm which I will be managing. These farms have slightly different goals and modes of operation but basically they are there to help the ministries and the families benefit from the income and food created by these farms. The Bushfire Farms will be on an 80 acre piece of land and the OKM farm is on about 8 acres. Please pray that all the necessary funding and organizational details will come into place for these to be successful enterprises.
Jane in traditional dressJane has started to feel better recently (although not too well the last few days). She has been Malaria-free for a few weeks now and we hope she can stay that way after over 10 bouts of malaria in the last half of 2007. Please pray that we will have good health in 2008 and also pray for our safety on Uganda’s crazy roads as we (especially Chris) travel SO much.

Last but not least a BIG THANKS to all of you who have so generously given financially and have spent time in prayer for us this last year. Your sacrifice and your generosity allow us to serve here as well-equipped missionaries.

We would appreciate if you would consider renewing your support for the upcoming year by sending in your yearly amount this month (in the form of a one-time gift or in monthly cheques – whatever suits you). This helps us to plan and to know what to do as far as fundraising. Thanks to all who rallied for the end-of-year giving. I (Chris) will not have to come back to Canada for fundraising thanks to your generosity. Thanks especially to our life group and Church at South Abbotsford Church (BC), to Cecil Lake Church (BC), and Lucky Lake Christian Fellowship (SK) as well as to our close friends and family who have really been faithful in your care for us.

WE will be having my parents here for a bout a month starting on Monday ()14th), so we are all really excited and hope to go for a game drive in Western Uganda with them. Kerri (my cousin who teaches our boys) is having her parents here for two weeks as well (they arrive with my parents).

Lots of Love
Chris and Jane,
Andrew, Kenny, Albert and Isaiah
Chris, on a recent hike in Mabira Forest (sugar cane and forest below).
Fred and a farm worker help pull seedling up for our OKM seed distribution in the fall.Equip Donations in Canada:

Equip Canada P.O. Box 683Duncan, BC V9L 3Y1

Cheques written to Equip Canada with a note attached separately (for Sperling Support)

Donate on the web at:

-click the “donate now” button

Equip Donations in the USA:

Equip Inc.®P.O. Box 1126Marion, NC 28752 U.S.A.

Checks written out to Equip Inc. and a separate note attached “for Sperling Support”