2023 Christmas in Uganda

2023 Christmas in Uganda

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins

Col 1:13-14

Christmas is all about rescue. God set His rescue plan in motion when he sent His only Son, Jesus, to this world as a tiny baby. Born in a humble stable, this little baby would grow up to be the Savior of the entire world. I’m so struck by how we all need to be rescued. For our friends in Uganda, December was a month of rescue from hunger, from discouragement, from the bondage of sin, and from the hopelessness that poverty brings.

You have all been so generous with our Christmas in Uganda project, and God has taken your gifts and multiplied them to accomplish way more than we could have asked or imagined. Thank you for giving and thank you for praying!

Here are some of highlights and photos from the month-long celebration!

Discipleship Fridays

On the first Discipleship Friday in December it poured the rain and some of the students were still in school, so only around 50 kids came to the event. However, on the second Friday, 321 kids came to hear more about Jesus! There were teaching sessions throughout the day, a big lunch for all, and the younger ones had a chance to play on the new playground in the afternoon. All in all, we had 861 students that attended our Discipleship Friday initiative, with 73 of those giving their lives to Christ. Hallelujah!

Gifts for our V127 Children

We were incredibly excited to be able to provide personalized gifts for all of our V127 students. For our newly sponsored children, this was most likely the first time they had ever received a Christmas gift. Our team did a fantastic job of making sure the kids received gifts that contained both necessities and fun items. All of our kids received personalized water bottles, and all of our primary school kids (and some secondary) received a new pair of shoes! (This is amazing because many don’t have shoes or share them with a sibling) This photo of all of the shoes is one of my favorites of the season! Our primary and secondary children received personalized backpacks, & our higher education students received personalized sweatshirts. Many of the kids received new undergarments, and they all were blessed with chocolates, cookies, etc. The joy on their faces says it all!

Outreach to the Elderly & Police Officers

This year we ministered to a new group of 70 elderly women in the widows network, and delivered gifts of food to them. We also gave gifts of 6 lbs of beef, 10 lbs of rice, 4 lbs of sugar, 9 lbs of porridge, a 2 liter soda, and bars of soap to 130 elderly families who came to the church, and 12 elderly families that couldn’t travel. Herbert said it was emotional seeing some of the older ones riding a boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) to get to the church to receive their gifts of food. For many of them, that would provide food for them for an entire month! We also gifted around 90 police families with a similar food package. Senior police officers (and many others) also received a live chicken! FYI…we bought 100 live chickens for $750. So if you gave just $30, you bought 4 chickens that will continue to be a blessing!

Children’s Christmas Celebration

Our very talented children prepared songs and dances and took charge of the entire service at Victory Covenant Church one Sunday. The whole community came out to see them, and a big lunch was served to all!

Community Leaders Christmas Dinner

There has been a real spirit of disunity and unrest in the area, so our team invited the  political and community leaders to our new multipurpose room on the 4th floor of our school for a Christmas dinner. Here they were able to dialogue about many areas of concern, and made some good progress! (It turned into a 5 hour dinner!) At this dinner they agreed to meet again in January to continue to discuss security, maintenance and road issues, and to work together towards a more healthy community. 

Christmas Eve Shower

We were able to purchase 10 cows this year, which gave us almost 6500 lbs of beef to gift to our community. What a blessing! I know we take it for granted, but beef is a real luxury there. On Christmas Eve, the members of the church invited their friends and neighbors who needed food to come to the church to see Christ’s love in action. They just kept coming, and by the end of the night, 835 families had been gifted 5 lbs of beef, 5 lbs of rice, and 2 liters of soda! They were all so grateful to have food for their families for Christmas, and 35 people made new professions of faith!

Gifts of food were also given to our V127 families, church workers, teachers, & staff. In total, we fed 1245 families this Christmas season! And even more importantly, 108 children and adults started a new relationship with Jesus because of your gifts. Praise God!

Large Group Wedding

Finally, on Dec 26th, Victory Covenant Church hosted a wedding ceremony for 13 couples who had been living together, but had been growing in their faith and wanted to honor God with their relationships. A church in Boston bought wedding gowns for all the brides, and we hosted a large reception for all of the couples and their families. It was a great punctuation mark on an incredible season of giving.

As you can see, God has gone above and beyond yet again this Christmas. We are so humbled by how thousands were blessed in Jesus name and the way that God’s love was shared throughout the suburbs of Kampala this year. Thank you so very much for all you did to make it possible. I can’t wait to see all that God has planned for 2024!

Much Love,