Uganda trip 2019
This report was written by Becky Edwards shortly after a visit to Kampala in March 2019:
We have just returned from our visit to Karis Kids families and our link church St. Peter’s Church of Uganda, Wandegeya. The team from HTR consisted of Georges Kesrouani (at that time our Youth and Children’s Minister), Liz Morris (our Administrator and Events Manager), Karin Boyton, Susan Armstrong and me. We were hoping to introduce Dan Wells, our new vicar, to St Peter’s new vicar, but sadly Dan was not well enough to travel this time.
We had a great time with the church, families and with 150 local children at a Saturday children’s day doing drama, craft and singing on the theme of carrying our burdens to Jesus.
St Peter’s Church continues to grow - with all three Services now thriving. We received an extraordinary welcome, such as only St Peter’s can give! It is quite an experience to worship and pray with them. We are going to have to practice our dancing skills before we visit again!
Georges preached with power and authority at two evening events and at all three Services on Sunday (we were in church from 0700 until 1400). A student heard the music at the Friday night meeting from his university dorm and came to join the meeting. He came forward during the testimony time to share that it was his first visit and why he’d come. He really enjoyed the meeting and was welcomed and encouraged to come again. On Saturday night five people gave their lives to Jesus. In the first Service on Sunday three people came forward in response to being released into the gift of evangelism and a few for the gift of healing, and in the second Service ten people came forward in response to a gift of healing. There was also a call for one woman to set up a bible study in Katanga. Please do pray for their ministry in the local area.
Katanga slum seems more crowded than ever, with some families living in very difficult circumstances, while others are saving well for, or have already bought, small plots of land outside the central area, and are saving to eventually build on it. We now have two families who have moved out and are living in better homes, though they continue to travel into the city to find some work.
We now support 20 families (87 children in total), and are hoping to take on some more in the near future. Please do let Penny Cox know by email or verbally in church if you would like to become involved in supporting families. The families benefit from fellowship and food distribution on the last Thursday of the month. The whole family receives health care, at a local clinic, and one lady has recently had surgery in hospital.
Regarding educational achievements, two students completed university in January; one graduated with a BSc in Development Studies, and the other completed a BSc in Education. Both are now working (though on low pay at present!). Three more are studying at university, and four are currently doing vocational training (agriculture, catering, computing and car bodywork). Three more students completed A levels with good results and are waiting to start university in August.
The sewing project has restarted thanks to the generous support of an HTR member. The plan is for it to be operated on a business model to improve its sustainability. I would love to send out more sewing machines if anyone has unwanted machines at home.
Holy Trinity School donated a lot of library books which the church is to use to set up a library to support children with their learning - English is taught at school, and is used to teach other subjects. Please do pray that church members will be able to give time to help children from the local area, not just Karis supported families, to learn to read and enjoy books.
None of this could be achieved without the incredible support you all give. I want to pass on the thanks of all at St Peter’s as well as the individual families. We and the Karis team have been thinking about how we as a church and as individuals in the UK benefit from our involvement with Karis Kids. We know that this is a two way relationship and that the families certainly pray for you - many on a daily basis. I’d love to hear your comments and opinions if you can email back.