Yesterday I got some bad news, in a couple different forms that really had me down. This is stupid because yesterday morning I was really feeling great because of the amazing “Kentucky miracle“. The ISSA class, and all the support really told me quite clearly, “You’re in the right spot, doing the right things. Carry on.” I can’t tell you how encouraged we all were after that. But like I said, some bad news started pouring in and last night, after being sick for most of the day and bathing in the negative crap for far too long, I went to sleep, my mind reeling over the negative stuff.

This morning I woke up grumpy and got more bad news. News of injustice that filled me with even more frustration. It was a dangerous downward spiral. But in the midst of that, my wife encouraged me to keep the faith, to see this for what it was, an attack plain and simple against the “Kentucky miracle”. Her advice was to not forget about that.

She was right, of course, but I needed a few minutes to think about it and make it seem like my idea so I could fully embrace it.

Are any other married guys like me? It gets to the point where my wife is right (and I am wrong) so often that I want to be right about something too so I use theft and misdirection to make her good ideas (at least in my mind) seem like my ideas so I feel like I’m on the winning team. Is that a married thing or a hacker thing, tampering with someone else’s data until it suits my needs and then it’s MY data? Anyhow, I digress.

As I pondered her unfair brilliance, I decided to check my email, and I got one from Sam, which simply told me to, “check out Paypal”. I flipped to the paypal email account and saw exactly what I saw before I went to bed. (I’ve been keeping up with it pretty regularly for obvious reasons). I was just about to smugly tell Sam that I was already current with PayPal (as a way of proving that I am, in fact, quite plugged in despite my disadvantaged geography) when the refresh hit, and yesterday’s news dropped completely off the screen, nudged south by last night’s activity.

I started reading the updates from PayPal and I first read the names of many of my old friends, most of whom I haven’t seen in years. My first thought was to search the interwebz for news of my untimely demise. Because that would have sucked if I was dead. I flipped through more updates and I recognized so many old friends and regular supporters and quite a few new friends and supporters. Donations were coming in from all over the US and even from the UK and South Africa, many with encouraging messages:

  • “Keep the faith. I think many will respond. Here is but a small donation. I will send more as I can.”
  • “More poker money! I’ll see you at defcon, hopefully.”
  • “Much love Johnny! Don’t give up the fight!”
  • “Thanks for what you are up to.”
  • “You and your family are never far from our prayers. :-) <3s”

All things said, over $1,000 came in a span of five hours. Three donors had even signed up for monthly commitments. I was amazed by the total, but the messages of encouragement, both voiced in comments and voiced by giving, was overwhelming. I couldn’t imagine what I had done to warrant this kind of support. I had to know what was going on and I had to make sure that I wasn’t dead.

I followed one friend and donor, Magen to her Facebook page, and saw this photo:


My friend Nathan made quite a statement. “Have Faith HFC”.. “How in the world did these guys know”, I wondered. Then I saw the link created by @synackpwn.He had also posted an encouraging photo:


It seemed that, inspired by Jeremy and crew and what went down in Kentucky, he announced what I tried to keep quiet in that post, that we were out of money.

That wasn’t the point of the post. The point of the post was SUPPOSED to be that I was encouraged by the folks in Kentucky and that it was a kick in the pants that we needed here in Uganda, and that I was extremely thankful. The bit about money still being an issue was SUPPOSED to be an aside. But thanks to @synackpwn, many people who hadn’t read the post carefully now knew that little detail.

On his page, he explained that we were out of money and encouraged people to donate, spread the word and light up Twitter with #HaveFaith #HFC. He also went on to say:

“You may have never met me.  Or Johnny.  But you know us.  We’re hackers.  The Long Family made a huge personal sacrifice to help those in need and now they need us.”

Make no mistake, we are so very grateful for the money. It comes at a miraculously perfect time (you have no idea) but I personally am more humbled, grateful and blessed by the show of moral support. It means so much to know that people care about what we’re doing, that it makes a difference that we’re here, not only for Ugandans but for our friends in the community.

Thank you all so much, AGAIN for your support. I want you to know that I and the rest of the HFC team have been working so hard (some of us 12+ hours a day through weekends) on the Volunteer Network project, which is designed to make HFC about so much more than Uganda. It’s about providing a platform where this amazing community can use their skills and heart to help non-profits in need. We’re really excited about this project because we’ve seen the positive things this community is capable of through supporting us and we can’t wait to see what will happen when there are opportunities to give more than money.

Stay tuned and again, THANK YOU ALL!