Co-operation in Uganda
Greetings from Uganda
The aid- and ministry trip to Uganda was completed in early November 2017. Uganda is about 2/3 of Finland’s size, but there are around 40 million inhabitants. Our resort was on the shore of Lake Victoria about 80 km south of Kampala, a 16,000-strong small town called Katosi, where pastors Timothy and Janepher Kagooza have set up a Christian center to help the children.
The center is called Community Concern Ministries and has about 800 children as its target, of which about 500 are in the center and in the other villages in different places. Some of the children are orphans, some are rejected by parents and for them the center offers accommodation and food. Some children live with their families, but the families are poor. In the center, all children attend a school with 12 grades.
The town or perhaps more like a village gets its main livelihood from fishing. In addition, residents sell agricultural products such as bananas and vegetables. In addition, they have cows, goats and chickens. Most families do not have electricity, so homes and supermarkets are lit by candles. Water comes from the well and is carried with canisters. It is used for drinking and washing is done with cold water. Clothes are washed by hand.
The Christian center also has a certain amount of land where maize, cassava and beans are grown. They also have some cows and chickens. These are used to provide the children with nutrition, because feeding such a large number is a big cost, but more land is needed and for example, more cows and chickens are needed to provide food for everyone. External support is still essential at this stage.
In the city part are Christians and part Muslims. Muslims still have polygamy and families can thus grow big. The is also witchcraft in the area.
Throughout Uganda, HIV / AIDS has been a major problem, as a result of which the other parent or both parents of the family have died and the children have been left to care for each other. There is also violence in the families, exploitation of women and children, and alcoholism.
The central idea of the Christian Center is to teach the children to know God and give them training so that a new generation is born that has new healthy minds and attitudes. This is how the whole community can change.
The center has a few buildings that include several classrooms for different ages and accommodations. Extra space and decent toilets are being built as funds emerge. In the vicinity of the Center there is a church building and a health center. When we were there, we completed a water project that provided clean drinking water to the Center. It is in great significance for the overcoming of illnesses and the children and adults together brought praise and worship to God.
Next to the church building is the church building for children. The walls were already upright. We were able to give financial aid that was immediately used to start building the roof.
As the roof protects from excessive sun and rain, it can be used even though the floor is just earth. Thanks to all donors! Also, the children’s Sunday school teacher sent separately thanks.
We also brought a computer, a variety of school supplies, toys and games, including the Finnish Mölkky game that inspired all, both children and teachers.
While we went to a remote village, we brought kids shoes as they came to school barefoot. However, there were not enough shoes for everyone, but our association supplied shoes for the rest of the kids.
It was tremendous to see the joy and happiness of the children for all the goods and also for the shoes that they praised God for together with their teacher!
We had fifteen meetings we served on in seven days. Some of the meetings were for children, some for the pastors and leaders, part of the congregation, and we were also in the capital city with a Christian Radio (Tower of Praise) with 3 million listeners.
We also got to speak to university students in the Mbarara of Southwest Uganda, where students of faith organized a meeting in the university building. One of the students was former student of Pastor Timothy’s and he was now graduating, so it was great to see the fruit of the work already.
We also went to school classes to introduce ourselves and presenting Finland, and the kids received us enthusiastically. It was also heart-warming to see the surrender of the teachers and the love with which they encountered children coming from those difficult backgrounds.
The pastoring couple and other staff members showed great gratitude for our visit and said that the visit brought them a great blessing. They hoped to see us again.
We saw the enormous needs of the community, but we were also blessed to see how much a smaller aid helped them forward and how grateful they were for everything. Everything happens manually there and we noticed that some machines would be badly needed. The pastor told us that when you come next time “take a tractor in the suitcase”.
Let’s continue prayerfully and see what the Lord opens.
Thank you to all of you who have donated to this work on your own!