Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Does Jesus make a difference? Ask Meyrick Beebee Junior

I am 24 years old and I know there is great suffering in this world, but is there an answer? Does Jesus really make a difference to those whose families have fallen apart because of HIV/Aids? In April of this year I travelled to Uganda on some holiday time I had set aside and I visited some of the Love Africa projects. I met two elderly grandmothers who’s stories I want to share….

I met them when I visited ‘Uganda Womens Concern Ministry,’ which is one of the organisations we support. I visited Mary Masela with Christine and Stella from UWCM. Mary is the lady in the picture with one of her grandchildren. She is a Roman Catholic, 78 years of age with 20 grandchildren. She looks after them all, 15 of these children have no mother or father. HIV/Aids has destroyed her family. She is blind in one eye is too weak to work. She relies on well-wishers to support these children. Stella went to get some food from our vehicle. Mary rose to her feet, knelt on the ground, arms lifted to heaven and said, ‘Thank you God for my guests for whom you had planned that they would visit me at this time. I am glad and pray that you continue to sustain us amidst all these challenges God, I ask you to bless them abundantly.’ I promise you, Jesus makes a difference in her life and so can we. I visited another grandmother, who I will call Hope, for I did not learn her name. I went with Christine and Stella to see her. I walked into a small house and sat and listened to Hope. She is grandmother with four grandchildren. They have no mother or father. Her only daughter and her daughter’s husband committed suicide after they realised they where HIV+. I knelt on the flaw beside Hope and started to pray for her. Tears were falling down her cheeks and this is what flowed our of her heart…

“I had only one child – the mother of these orphaned children and my husband chucked me and married another wife because I had given birth to only one child. But I thank God the creator who has a purpose for everyone. He has put people out there to care for people like me. He knows all our futures and is watching over us. Thank you for loving us…’

I promise you, Jesus makes a difference in her life and so can we.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Love Letters!

I received a text from David Kabiswa in ACET today. It is the sort of text we often receive as the relationship with projects continues to grow and the funding begins to be deployed with ACET's help. the text reads...

"Hi, I am in Iganga with CFE (centre for evangelism)...they send their luv and greetings. They r excited when we mention St James. I see Pastor Nicholas tonight and will send your love. David"

David waiting for us outside CFE project school & life skills Centre!

Please continue to pray for these dear brothers and sisters and that the funds we send will be multiplied by God's grace.

David Thinking...!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Gerrards Cross Church of England School & Love Africa

One of the team that visited projects in March was Nicola Flower. Nicola, her husband John and their two boys are members of St James. Nicola is the head teacher at the Gerrards Cross Church of England School. Here is an update from Nicola about the link she is hoping to build with a school in Kampala.

The visit of the March 'team' to the community school at Kiswa was a real highlight for me. The Gerrards Cross CE School is keen to build a lasting link between our children and the children at Kiswa. Our aim is that we will be able to support the school at Kiswa with resources and some financial gifts from fundraising activities, and also that by an exchange of letters and photos our children will be able to learn about and from those living such different lives.
Kiswa is a school set in one of the slum areas of Kampala. It is housed in a 'building' which is rented by the Baptist church and is led by Pastor Wilson Tamale. About 80 children attend the school during the week and this rises to about 250 on a Saturday! The school/church building has no water or electricity but an abundance of love and energy. The atmosphere on the day we visited was simply inspirational.

During our visit we were able to deliver stationery items generously donated by our children and their parents. Children in Ugandan schools need to provide their own pens and exercise books, and for many these items remain luxuries in life. The pens, pencils and notebooks from Gerrards Cross were received very happily and Pastor Wilson has told me that they have been used by all children in the school. We were also able to leave them copies of our school CD which was recorded last year.

The first letters and photos from our Year 4 pupils will be sent off to them in the next week or so - hopefully they will arrive just as the children at Kiswa return from a two week school break. Last term our children raised £600 for the school at Kiswa through our Lent Fair and a balloon launch. Pastor Wilson is excited at the possiblity of this being used to provide some desks for the children so that they do not have to kneel on the floor to do any written work. He is looking into costs and we hope the money will be put to very good use in the near future.