I just heard from Pastor Herbert that there has been a recent surge in Covid cases in Uganda. (They have had a very difficult time getting the vaccine there, and less than 1% of the population has been vaccinated.) As a result, the president made an emergency announcement Sunday evening that all churches and schools will be closed for the next six weeks. The children have until this Thursday to return to their homes, and then travel restrictions will be implemented. There will be no public transportation, and limited cars allowed on the road with no travel between districts.
Our team is hard at work trying to pick up all of our children from their respective schools (some are a couple of hours away). Then our teachers and administrators will regroup and print materials for the remaining six weeks of the school year, so the children can finish their curriculum. As you can imagine, this is a very challenging time for our team & an incredibly difficult time for our families.
I asked Herbert how we can help them the most, and he asked us to first of all pray for the health of our children and families. He also said that our rice and beans donation this month will be critical to the health and survival of many. In the last lockdown food was very scarce for those who were not able to move about due to travel restrictions. I will be sending our regular June support later this week, so If you would like to help us with the provision of food through our rice and beans fund, you can do so here.
We realized in the last lockdown just how important it was for our team to have a way to grow their own food to support our families. Our Noeline planted a garden last year on the rooftop of our school, and it did really well! That led us to expand our vision, and with the funds left over from the second term of school in 2020 (when our kids were in lockdown), we have been trying to purchase a piece of farmland for that very purpose. Our team found a parcel of land that Herbert thinks will a great fit for our needs, but he is still in the negotiation stage with the owners. Please pray that if this is the right piece of land for us, then God will make a way.
Construction on Phase 3 of Victory House has reached another milestone! Many of our young men are in desperate need of a bed and a roof over their heads… we already have a great team who will shower them with love! We just received an estimate that it will cost around $7300 to complete the roof of Victory House. God has already provided $2500 for the construction this month, so continue to pray for His provision for our roof.
Many of you have asked about the National exams that some of our children took in March and April. The results are supposed to be released in July, but that may also be affected by this lockdown. I’ll let you know as soon as I get any news.
Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your help. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel. This is a scary and uncertain time for our children, so I’m encouraging you to take a few minutes to write them some words of encouragement. Never underestimate the power of your words…they read your letters over and over again! We know that none of this is a surprise to our great God. He has promised that He is always walking with us, and He will help us through every challenge. This has been one of my favorite verses since I first fell in love with Jesus…
“Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with my right hand of righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10
Regardless of our circumstances, we can have confidence that God is always working, and it’s always good!
Finally, please pray for our friends and family at the Fairview Baptist Church. This is a small church in WV that has come alongside our ministry in a big way. They are sending our Shumayiya through medical school and faithfully give to our rice and beans fund and special projects. Their Pastor and Shepherd of 14 years, Mike McCoy, died of a heart attack on June 2. He was 57 years old. Please pray for his family and church family as they process their own grief while continuing to minister in their community and around the world.
The passing of Pastor Mike is a profound reminder that life is short. How are we spending our days? Are we making choices that glorify our Father and further his kingdom? Certainly the way that we are loving and providing for the neediest of the needy in Uganda is close to our Savior’s heart. May we all live each day as if it was our last, and love love love everyone that our Lord puts in our path.