Welcome to the July edition of our Luwero Newsletter. The prevailing conditions in Uganda, allied to the low range and unreliability of telecommunications networks, continue to make it difficult to maintain contact. However, Ernie and Gabriel continue to furnish us with the latest news.
Gabriel, Deborah and the family are all well.
Independent statistics show 88,194 cases reported and 2,164 deaths relating to coronavirus in Uganda. These numbers reveal a sharp spike is cases during June and July. Graphs of total cases, daily cases, active cases and deaths all showed a steep increase, although rates of increase appear to have lessened in the past week. Severe lockdown restrictions were re-imposed in June. A 7.00 pm to 5.30 am curfew exists. Public gatherings have been banned, churches and schools have been closed. Public transport has been severely restricted and people cannot travel outside their local area without express police permission.
This message from Gabriel sums everything up very succinctly.
We had four deaths last week in our village. One was a young man of 35 who left 5 children. The others were 45 and above. We are all physically fine but emotionally drained. Schools, universities, churches and other places of worship are all closed. All church members hold their prayers in their homes. Public transport and travel outside our districts are restricted. We spend most of our time in the garden. We have fitted loudspeakers up on the church, so the Gospel is preached every day. I was selected by the district authorities to be part of the Covid 19 Task Force Committee. Through this, I do a lot of awareness and sensitisation programs in our areas and communities.
Gabriel asks that we pray for all of Africa.
LCP continues to forward funds bi-monthly to Gabriel and has given him the liberty to use the funds to alleviate poverty and suffering for our sponsored children and others within the church and community around Luwero. Often he does so by purchasing maize and providing food for the most people most in need.
The church leaders are keeping in contact with church members, by mobile phone. Members are encouraged to hold services privately in their own homes. Gabriel has placed a number of loudspeakers in Acacia trees around the project. Christian music and Bible messages by himself and other local pastors are broadcast daily. The church doors may have been closed but the church is not silent. For obvious reasons, the Pastor and Church Leader’s Conference in May was cancelled. The annual Youth Camp, normally held in September, has also been cancelled.
Construction is still allowed, but Gabriel can’t access banks in Kampala to allow him to buy raw materials. Despite this, work is progressing on both the boys and girls dormitory blocks. The 2nd floor slab for the boys dormitory has been cast and is ready for concreting next week.
“Knowing and Doing”
LCP has been instrumental in translating John McQuoid’s book ‘Knowing and Doing’, a book about Christian belief and practice, into Luganda over the past two years. The book has already been translated into over 45 languages and over 750,000 copies distributed worldwide. The Luganda version has now been printed and published by the OPAL Trust. 2,000 copies are currently en route to Luwero.
We ask that you continue praying for:
- the Kijjambu family,
- the pupils, teachers and their families,
- church leaders,
- the crops and livestock at the farm,
- all of Africa, as people continue to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the negative impact it is having on their lives.