V127 family, it has been a challenging month for our friends in Uganda, just as it has for many of you. There are so many that are hurting and in need, but in the midst of it all we are reminded that God is still good. Here are this month’s updates on the ministry, specific requests for prayer, and opportunities to support those who need it most.
One of our kids, Zaake Sserunjogi, was mugged by a group of teens when he was on his way to church one Sunday evening. (They thought he had a smartphone, but he only had a small button phone). They stole his phone and beat him up. Thankfully, he was able to get to the church where they rushed him to a nearby clinic for medical care. He will be okay, and is slowly healing, but as you can imagine, the physical and mental scars are significant. Zaake is 18 years old, and is in vocational school studying Building and Construction, with the hope of becoming a civil engineer. He says “My dream is to become a great engineer to transform my country with better quality building structures.” Please pray for Zaake and his physical and emotional healing.
Victory Primary School
The city authorities came a few weeks ago to the site of our Victory Primary School where our team is hard at work on the third floor construction. They claimed that we could not continue construction without a title to the land (which we have never had, almost no one does in Uganda, and the authorities did not want to recognize the purchase agreement we do have.) According to Herbert this harassment is not unusual, but rooted in the corruption of the government authorities. They took two of our kids, Julie and Mathias (who was working on the project on his break from vocational school), and several of our construction workers to jail, demanding money for their release. Herbert was able to get them released from jail, but then spent a couple of weeks going from one official to another trying to find someone who would help with the problem of not being able to continue construction without a title. He finally found a city engineer who told him the best solution was to get the project under roof as soon as possible, before the other authorities returned in June. The engineer would do the inspections along the way himself and be able to vouch for them to the authorities.
Our typical construction process is to send funds as they come in and the team buys materials and progresses the project as far as the funds permit. With this event, we needed $15,000 immediately to buy materials and pay the laborers for the accelerated construction. We had no idea where that money would come from, but started praying diligently for God’s provision. MVC was God’s answer to our prayer, as the church decided to provide what was needed to get the building under roof. We are so grateful! Herbert has pulled all of his construction workers from other jobs to work day and night on this project. Please pray for our workers and for our team, as they labor and minister in a broken society with many, many challenges.
Back to School
A few days before our students returned to school for their second term, our team got them together at the church for a back to school seminar. Here they talked about strategies for success in school and encouraged the kids to work hard and make the most of the opportunities they’ve been given. They served them lunch, prayed for them, and sent them off with encouraged and grateful hearts!
There are currently 30 recipients of the V127 Scholarship Fund! Of these, we have 16 students in secondary school who need extra funds to board and study at their high schools ($5400/yr). We also have 2 students at university that need an additional $1370/yr (above the large contribution already provided by their sponsors). Lastly, we have 12 students in vocational school ($8400/yr). All together, around $15,000 comes out of our scholarship fund each year to support our students in their higher education pursuits. If you, your church, or your company would like to help provide scholarships for our students, please reach out to me or simply donate to our scholarship fund. This fund is critically important as we are training the future leaders of Uganda!
Finally, a friend reached out to me recently to say that she had just discovered the movie “Queen of Katwe”, and was profoundly affected. This movie came out in 2016 and is a very accurate depiction of life in Uganda. It was actually filmed in Katwe, a suburb of Kampala, which is only a few miles from Namungoona where our ministry is located. Our kids would be considered the “slum kids” in the movie. If you haven’t seen it, please find some time to watch it. It’s an inspirational story, but more than that, it will help you understand the challenges of life in Uganda, and give you a better idea of how to pray for your child. The level of need is overwhelming, but we are making a difference, one child at a time.
Be encouraged, my friends. We live in a world where evil runs rampant and sin is celebrated, but this world is not our home. We are promised a glorious eternity and a forever home in heaven with our Lord and Savior. But what are we to do while we are still on this earth?
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Eph 5:1-2
We have the opportunity to shine our light, to point people to Jesus, and to love all of those who God puts in our path. Don’t forget that light shines brightest in the darkness.
“In the same way, let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matt 5:16
Thank you for loving, investing, praying. You are making a difference.