Thursday, 18 July 2013

Love Africa Visits June 2013

During June 2013 Martin Williams our rector took a 3,000 mile motorcycle tour in East Africa. On the way he met with many of our Love Africa partners...

 

 

Once we crossed the Uganda border we headed straight for Mbale which is where ACET and Uganda Women's Concern Ministry have bases. UWCM are reaching the poorest and most remote communities and bringing hope, education, training and practical help to those impacted by HIV/AIDS. While I was with them I was able to visit the remote Wanale community and see first hand how one of the UWCM teams were building a new home for a couple impacted by HIV. The husband and father of the household is now on HIV medication and his health had improved dramatically. This family had genuine hope for the first time in a long while thanks to UWCM

Praying with the building team from the CMT (Community Mobilisation Team)

Edith preparing for battle!

This is a remote and very poor area


ACET Mbale do fantastic work giving critical life skills to children and young people. Much of their work is focused on schools and they are the only source of life skill training in the region. Their team is dedicated and very strategic and I so enjoyed sharing their morning 'break-tea' and hearing about their vision to reach hostels where many young people stay while at college and boarding schools.

I stayed with the family that had hosted my daughter Martha when she worked for 4 months at ACET Mbale. She taught one of their children ballet and this is me trying to join in...!

 

Then it was off up country to Apac the malaria capital of the world! In Apac the PAG church is rolling out PEP programmes which mobilise local churches to help their communities become self-sustaining and to reach out to others. The PEP programmes are at the Phase I 'church awakening' phase but the impact on these communities is already dramatic as they are breaking free from the belief that they cannot help themselves and must wait for someone to come and help them. The testimonies of change were astonishing and plain to see. PAG Apac is overseen by Bishop Richard and Pastor Geoffrey and they are both men of vision and godly effectiveness. We so enjoyed their hospitality. This is truly amazing work.

Pastor Geoffrey and his family. He is dedicated and efficient.
Bishop Richard and his lovely family. His wife Margaret is an inspiration.

Two days later and we are in Iganga with Pastor Paul Luballe of CFE. 70 churches, six districts, hundreds of lives transformed by holistic gospel ministry. We were able to visit the first community that received our funding over 6 years ago. The community has moved from hopelessness to exuberance, from poverty to sustainability from stigma to now being a place where others come to be encouraged and to learn new skills. This community is led by widows who were once hopeless and stigmatized. They are now advancing to micro finance initiatives of their own based on biblical values of fairness and Christ-like love.

I also learned that the very first child headed householder we met in 2006, Afan, is now a teacher and he won a prize for his work this year. 

New dignity
Pastor Paul on my bike!
Almost unrecognisable from the people I met 6 years ago
If Africa was run by women...?

This family was extremely poor yet CFE had brought them new life in Christ...amazing

Before heading off to Masaka and the Tanzanian border we take a further easterly diversion to meet with Pastor Nicholas and the Tumaine children. We have one precious hour with them between their arrival home from school and when it gets dark and we have to leave to get safely to Iganga. The children sing and dance, we have hugs and emotional reunions and some deep conversations with the older ones who are so full of love for the Lord Jesus. Despite many difficulties Pastor Nicholas and his wife Marie (Daddy and Mummy) have nurtured these children with incredible sacraficial love and care. Pastor Nicholas will be at St James on Friday July 26th and Annette from RAHAB one of our other partners based in Kampala will also be in the UK during October.


Don't miss out on meeting them at St James.