Welcome to the April version of our Newsletter

I am delighted to present you with the first newsletter in a couple of years not dominated by the context of Covid19.

It has been a busy time at the Projects; schools have re-opened for lessons and then closed for holidays, the annual Pastors and Leaders Conference has recently taken place, we had a visitor from Germany, a book launch and the arrival of Ernie Bayton for a 9 day visit after such a long gap.

The Kijjambu Family

As we have reported previously, the triplets, Gabriella, Debbie and Peggy, have been diagnosed with sickle cell disease.  All are on treatment and responding well except for Peggy who has experienced some difficulties.  All are now at home having had a couple of spells in hospital during the past few weeks.

Priscilla is well and she is pleased to have received her first end-of-term school report.

Gabriel and Deborah continue to work tirelessly leading the project at Luwero.

 

 

Visitor

It was another joy to welcome a visitor from abroad for the first time in years.  Manuela, a nurse from Germany, spent several days with us and joined in all aspects of the Projects.

 

Pastors and Church Leaders’ Conference

Gabriel, in conjunction with local pastors from the Luwero Pastor’s Fellowship, arranged a Pastor and Church Leaders’ Conference at short notice. This was the first conference for two years and took place between 18 and 24 April and, as you can see from the photos below, it was well and enthusiastically, attended.  We had over 600 people in attendance and by God’s grace everything went well. Bibles were given out to those who didn’t have them.  Ernie Bayton was able to travel out to join us to teach a 12-session series, on the book of Nehemiah, throughout the week.  It was a joy to see Ernie among us again preaching and worshipping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Launch – Knowing and Doing

Friends may recall the book, Knowing and Doing, by John McQuoid.   Copies of the book, translated into Luganda by Bush and others, were given out during a launch event at the Pastors and Church Leaders’ conference.

 

 

 

 

 

School News

The first full school term for two years has just ended. Pupils are currently on holiday for the Easter period. The new school terms begins on 9th May but some S4 pupils will return earlier in preparation for their year-end exams.  Most of the primary school pupils returned after the two year interval caused by coronavirus lockdown restrictions.  A few secondary school pupils failed to return for various reasons.

There is a national teacher shortage across Uganda.  During lockdown many teachers found other employment and have chosen not to return to teaching when the schools reopened. Luwero had a full complement of teachers for the first term and a full staff meeting took place recently to assess teacher needs for next term.

Sponsored Children

Most sponsored children returned to school for the first term. Their end-of-term reports and photographs will be available towards the end of the month and will be sent out to sponsors with any necessary updates.

 

Special Thanks

A special thank you to Bush for providing the photographs for this newsletter.

 

Prayer Points

We ask that you continue praying for:Prayer

  • the Kijjambu family, particularly Gabriella, Debbie and Peggy
  • the school, the pupils and teachers
  • a good crop this year.

 

 

Luwero Newsletter – February 2022

Luwero Newsletter – February 2022

Welcome to the February edition of our Luwero Newsletter.

 

Covid-19

Coronavirus infection rates in Uganda are decreasing and are currently averaging 42 cases per day. Uganda has recorded 163,000 cases in total with 3,580 deaths.  A vaccination programme is currently in place with some 15 million doses of vaccine having been delivered.  This is sufficient for 16.9% of the population. Whilst there has been a relaxation of restrictions across the country, some are still in place.

 

School News

Nationally, school pupils returned to schools on 16th January: however not all children in Luwero have returned.  There are various reasons for this and we are working with Gabriel to establish the actual number of returners.  We are also awaiting details of sponsored children to establish who have or have not returned so that we can update their sponsors.  We will do that as soon as it is practically possible.

Great efforts have been made by the team at Luwero to ensure that all coronavirus protocols have been properly implemented to ensure the safety of both pupils and staff.  One of the problems being encountered is the lack of teachers.  This is a national problem and has been brought about by the pandemic and closure of schools for the past two years.  Teachers during that time have had to find other work and a significant number have decided to stay in their new employment rather than return to teaching.   Some of Luwero’s former teachers have returned but there are ongoing staffing needs still to be met.  Please pray for the schools, in particular for adequate staffing and the protection of the school community against coronavirus.

 

The Kijjambus

Until recently the family have all been well.  However, Gabriella, Debbie and Peggy recently developed some health problems.  Gabriel and Deborah sought medical advice from the local hospital and it would appear that all three are thought to be suffering from “sickle cell” disease and were admitted to hospital. The latest news is that Gabriella has responded to treatment and is improving, Debbie is on a support machine and Peggy has been admitted for further investigation. Please remember the whole family at this time in your prayers.  We are in regular contact with Gabriel and have assured him of the prayerful support of his friends and partners in the UK and elsewhere.  Our Board will bear any medical fees which he and Deborah incur.

 

Financial News

For a short period during December 2021 our RBS bank account was not accessible. This was due to a breakdown in communications between the Bank and the Trust: the matter was resolved within a few days.  We have written to all monthly donors who may have been affected.  We ask any donors who would normally have donated by Standing Order between 13th and 21st December to check their bank statements to see if they have been affected.  In the event that your Standing Order was rejected we could ask you to contact your bank and make the necessary adjustments.  We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

 

Farm and Land

In December of last year 200 acres of land suitable for farming became available for purchase. Gabriel was heavily involved in discussions with the vendor and the UK Board regarding its possible purchase. The discussions straddled the Christmas and New Year holiday period during which time the vendor secured a higher offer for the land and it was sold.

Because of the high level of investment involved, and in order to ensure transparency regarding further land purchase at Luwero for farming purposes, the UK Board are putting in place arrangements for a Due Diligence check to be carried out by an independent agricultural expert based in Kampala. This will provide an independent audit on any land under consideration for purchase and will be quite separate from the normal legal and practical surveys which are ordinarily carried out. The due diligence is to be carried out for the UK Board in order to protect Gabriel’s position, satisfy the UK Board regarding the suitability and practicality of purchasing the land for its intended purpose, ensure accountability to our supporters and to satisfy any government appointed bodies such as charity overseers and tax authorities. regarding the investment.

2022 Luwero Calendars

Thank you to all of our supporters who purchased 2022 Luwero calendars. Around 250 orders were received.

 

Prayer Points

PrayerWe ask that you continue praying for:

the Kijjambu family, particularly Gabriella, Debbie and Peggy

the school, the pupils and teachers

Luwero Newsletter – November 2021

Luwero Newsletter – November 2021

Covid-19

President Museveni has sanctioned the easing of some coronavirus restrictions recently, due to the  decline in infection rates.  A second wave of infections which began in May has eased, but not all businesses have reopened.  Only about 4.5% of the population have received two Covid-19 vaccinations.  Sadly, there is a reluctance amongst some Ugandans to accept the vaccine due to misinformation and rumours widely circulated on social media.

Bomb Blasts in Uganda

Earlier this week (Tuesday) two bomb blasts occurred in Kampala, killing 6 people and injuring 36. The bombs were detonated by suicide killers, one near the police headquarters and the second near the Ugandan parliament buildings. Responsibility has been claimed by an Islamic State group. Gabriel has messaged,

“We don’t know the intentions of these people but the Lord will see us through”.

Two explosions also rocked Kampala earlier this month, killing at least three civilians in what police described as a co-ordinated attack by extremists. Three suicide bombers also died in the blasts. The explosions caused chaos in Kampala as terrified residents fled the city centre. The explosions occurred within three minutes of each other and both were carried out by attackers carrying explosives.  A possible attack at a third scene was foiled by police who pursued and disarmed a suspected suicide bomber.  One explosion was near a police station and the other on a street near the parliamentary building: the subsequent fire engulfed cars parked outside. At least 33 people are being treated at the city’s main public hospital and five are critically injured.

Church News

It is now possible for up to 200 people to gather together for worship at Church services.  Luwero Church holds 3 services every Sunday.  The gospel is still being preached every day via loudspeakers.  Bible studies are held every Wednesday and prayer meetings every Friday.  Many are giving their lives to Christ and fifteen new converts will be baptised in mid-November.

School News

The Primary and Secondary schools continue to be closed.  In his last presidential communication the President said schools will reopen in January, when all schools workers have been vaccinated. The majority of the population are not yet vaccinated, so we pray and hope that by January schools will resume.

Some of the children in our schools lost their parents due to Covid and other issues.  Sponsored children are all with their relatives or guardians, and Gabriel has kept in touch and has been supporting all of them. When schools reopen, updated lists of the sponsored and non-sponsored children will be reviewed because Covid has caused many to move and scatter.

Gabriel tells us that, “We decided in faith to start doing some renovations of the school buildings” in anticipation of the children returning.  Renovations have been ongoing, eg repainting, repairing broken walls, blackboards, verandas, desks and chairs, etc.

The Ugandan Economy

The economy has not yet stabilised in many areas of life.  Most people in the local area are struggling financially to make ends meet.  Deborah and Gabriel have helped in a variety of ways, but sometimes the needs are too great and too many.

Construction Work

Construction work at the boys and girls dormitories had stopped temporarily because of the scarcity of workers in building industry.  Prices and wages had gone up.  Gabriel asks that we pray for wisdom in the ‘new normal’.

Gabriel’s visit to eastern Uganda

At the beginning of November, Gabriel was invited by local pastors to travel to eastern Uganda to speak at a three-day seminar dealing with church planting and growth.  Whilst there, he looked into the possibility of planting another church.  More news will follow.

Farm and Land

Plentiful rain, which is good for most of the crops, has meant that beans were destroyed.  However, bananas and maize are doing well and hopefully a good harvest will be reaped in February. The animals are in good condition and have lots of good grass to keep them going.  Gabriel has identified 200 acres of prime farming land for sale, and has been in contact with the owners to explore options.  Our Trust has set aside some funds for land acquisition, as and when it becomes available, to develop a farm in its own right to both support the project and provide a source of income.

2022 Luwero Calendars

Luwero Calendar2022 Luwero calendars are now available. The good news is that we have been able to reduce the prices from those reported in our last Newsletter, to keep them the same as last year.  The prices for wall calendars is now £9.00 and desk calendars are £5.00, plus a donation for postage and packing where appropriate.  Calendars can be ordered via this website, by email at [email protected] or post from our office address.

Greetings from the team

Gabriel, Deborah and the team at Luwero send their heartfelt love, thanks and appreciation to you all for all you have done for us in Luwero.

Thank you very much friends, brothers, sisters and partners in the work of reaching out to the lost, emptying hell and filling Heaven in Jesus’s Name. May the good Lord bless and keep you and love you and your families. In Christ Alone we put our Trust.

God bless you all.

Gabriel, Deborah and the Luwero Team

We give God all the Glory for we are still alive. We pray and hope you and your family and friends are also well. We are all fine in Uganda.

Prayer Points

We ask that you continue praying for:Prayer

  • the Kijjambu family,
  • the pupils, teachers and their families,
  • church leaders,
  • the crops and livestock at the farm,
  • the people of Uganda as they try to cope with the effects of terrorism and the attempted destabilisation of their country.
  • all of Africa, as people continue to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the negative impact it is having on their lives.

 

 

Luwero Newsletter – September 2021

Luwero Newsletter – September 2021

Welcome to the September 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.

The Kijjambus

Gabriel, Deborah and the four girls are all well. On the 10th of September the triplets, Gabriella, Debbie and Peggy celebrated their first birthdays.  As you can see below, they are getting bigger and looking well

Triplets
Triplets
Triplets
Gabriel

COVID-19

Following a peak in August, reported cases of coronavirus have dropped from over 20,000 per day  to 138 per day: a total of 3,100 coronavirus deaths have been reported.  A vaccination programme prioritising military personnel, medics and teachers is under way.  Uganda has received vaccines donated by various countries around the world including the UK.  Vaccination is free and it is estimated that about 1.6m doses have been administered, covering around 2% of the population. Some people have received their second jabs.  There is a lot of suspicion and hesitancy from people in Africa about receiving the vaccinations.  Gabriel and Deborah were called to the local hospital at Kiwoko for vaccination late last month.

Some limited relaxation of coronavirus restrictions has taken place; a nightly curfew still exists except for the transportation of essential goods.

Gabriel asks that we continue to pray for all of Africa.

 

Church News

Gabriel has maintained contact with church members and people are now allowed to congregate in groups of up to 200 in churches, including weddings and funerals.  Good use continues to be made of loudspeakers been erected around the area and three times daily Christian music, sermons and local news and information about the pandemic are broadcast from the church.  The church leaders are keeping in contact with church members by mobile phone.  Members are encouraged to hold services privately in their own homes.

 

School News

Schools have not yet re-opened: Uganda is likely to see a gradual reopening of schools from January 2022 onward.  As a consequence of COVID, many teachers in Uganda have left the profession to earn a living by other means.  However, Gabriel continues to maintain contact with Luwero school staff.  When schools recommence, the recruiting of staff is likely to be a problem nationally.  We hope that, because of the investment in and support of teachers of the schools at Luwero during lockdown, most of our teachers will return when the schools reopen.

Once schools resume, because of the lapse in their education, each child will be assessed and be placed in their appropriate academic stage. More generally, some children who are not being sponsored will have found employment and some girls will have been forced into marriage, the consequence of both situations is that they are unlikely to return to school.  We pray that we can get as many back to school as possible.

Sponsored Children

Gabriel has been in contact with every sponsored child and their guardians again recently and provided them with either practical or financial support.  Those who live locally, he has been able to see in person: for others living further away, he has been in contact with them by telephone.  Not being in school can have a fundamental effect on them and their families and Gabriel is making every effort to keep them engaged and ensure that they return to school when it reopens

Construction Work

Despite lockdown, construction work has been allowed to proceed. The roof has now been completed on the girls dormitory block and metal door and window installations are in place. This will be followed with rendering, plastering and painting, etc. The boys dormitory block is nearing roof level and the roof will be constructed soon.

Land

Gabriel is currently looking at 200 acres of ground suitable for farming, approximately 25 miles from the Projects. Supporters will be advised of any progress we are able to make as information becomes available. Acquiring additional land for farming has been a long-term aim for the Projects.

Farming

HIV/Aids

HIV/Aids is still prevalent in many parts of Africa and, with the coronavirus pandemic, it has largely been forgotten.  Approximately 1.5m people are affected by HIV/Aids in Uganda, with women being disproportionately affected.  Despite cultural and political barriers often hindering effective treatment, 85% of adults suffering from the problem receive antiretroviral treatments.  Gabriel recently conducted the funeral service for a lady who died from the infection leaving seven mature children.

 

Donations

We appreciate the many supporters who continue to donate generously to support the work at Luwero.  Thank you to those who donate anonymously; your kindness and generosity is gratefully acknowledged.  Virgin Money Giving, who have facilitated our on-line giving via the website, has advised us that it is discontinuing its charitable giving platform at the end of November. We are putting alternative arrangements in place and donors donating via our website should not notice any difference during the transition period. 

 

Luwero Community Projects Facebook Page

A new feature of our communications strategy is the establishment of an LCP Facebook page. The purpose of the page is to allow supporters of LCP to be kept up-to-date about life in the various aspects of the Projects more often and less formally. Supporters are also encouraged to share any news they have by posting directly to the page. It is now up and running and we look forward to your contributions . Just key “Luwero Community Projects” into the search box on your Facebook page

2022 Luwero Calendars

2022 Luwero calendars are presently in production: details will be available shortly. It is hoped that prices will be similar to last year with small desk calendars priced at £6.00 and wall calendars at £10 plus postage and packing. Calendars can be ordered via our website, email at [email protected] or post to our office.

Luwero Calendar
Luwero Calendar

Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns

A CD on which Gabriel sings some of his favourite hymns is available priced at £10.

 

 

 

 

“Knowing and Doing”

2,000 copies of the Luganda translation of the book Knowing and Doing, a book about Christian belief and practice, have just arrived in Uganda. The books were printed and published in Glasgow under the auspices of OPAL Trust. They were shipped by a sister missionary support agency to Uganda from Belfast. Gabriel is arranging for collection of the books.

Prayer Points

We ask that you continue prayer for:

  • the Kijjambu family,
  • the pupils, teachers and their families, and that they will return to school in good numbers,
  • church and community 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.
  • all of Africa, as people continue to cope with the effects of HIV/Aids and the negative impact it is having on their lives.
Luwero Newsletter – July 2021

Luwero Newsletter – July 2021

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.

 

The Kijjambus

Gabriel, Deborah and the family are all well.

 

COVID-19

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.

 

Community News

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.

 

Church News

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 Work

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.

 

 

PrayerPrayer Points

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.

.

Luwero Newsletter – May 2021

Luwero Newsletter – May 2021

Welcome to the May edition of our Luwero Newsletter.

The prevailing conditions in Uganda continue to make it difficult to maintain contact.  However, Ernie and Gabriel continue to furnish us with the latest news.

The Kijjambus

Gabriel, Deborah and the family are all well. Priscilla recently had her 6th birthday and the triplets are now 7 months old.

COVID-19

Officially recorded cases of coronavirus stand at 42,355 at the time of writing with 346 deaths. The disease still appears to have had less of an impact upon Uganda than in neighbouring countries, partly due to the government’s swift lockdown reactions to limit the spread of the virus.

Uganda has ordered 5 million doses of coronavirus vaccine which is due for delivery this month. A vaccination programme prioritising people aged over 50 and those working in the medical and teaching professions is in place. It is reported that Uganda has identified new variants of the virus within the country.

School News

I am delighted to inform you of the appointment of Dorothy as the Acting Headteacher of Luwero Community High School.  Dorothy was appointed recently and will lead the high school as it embarks upon returning to a new, post-pandemic “normal”.

Both primary and secondary schools continue to return in measured post-pandemic stages. S2 pupils  returned on 10th May. As a result of the closure of other schools in the area, LCHS has been seen increased pupil numbers registering for S1 and S2 classes.

 

Farm News

Work on the farm continues unabated with the planting of maize, beans and bananas. Great news to support this work is that there has been a plentiful supply of rain in recent weeks. Long may this continue to ensure a bountiful harvest.

 

 

Church News

The church continues to meet under coronavirus restrictions. An upper limit of 200 people still applies to all public services.  Consequently, 2 services are held on Sundays, one in the morning and a second in the afternoon. Mid-week services, where smaller numbers attend, are also held every week.

A one-day ladies conference was recently held with approximately 200 ladies attending. New people have joined the church at Luwero.

On 28th to 30th May fifty delegates from 14 local districts forming the coordinating committee for conferences and youth camps will be meeting at Luwero to plan 2022 and 2023 events. The second church planted by Luwero in Eastern Uganda has been growing.

Construction Work

Building the new boundary wall to the secondary school dormitory blocks is now nearing completion with gates the main item of outstanding work.

Work is also progressing on both the boy and girls dormitory blocks. The 2nd floor slab for the boys dormitory is due to be cast soon and work will shortly commence on the roof of the girl’s dormitory block. Henry who has been faithfully involved in the project for many years, continues to oversee all aspects of the construction work.

     

Boundary Wall                                                            Senior Girls Dorm – Second Floor under way

     

Senior Boys Dorm – First Floor under way                Senior Boys Dorm

Appointment of New Nurse

The clinic has received a boost with the arrival of a new nurse.   Brend has taken over the running of the clinic. We wish her all the best as she embarks on ensuring the good health of all the staff and pupils within the complex and the community beyond.

 

 

 

Duncanrig Secondary School

I am delighted to tell you that the Project received a cheque for £1,000 from Duncanrig Secondary School in East Kilbride to support the work at Luwero.  This continues the long-standing partnership between the school and Luwero Community Projects.

Prayer Points

We ask that you continue praying for:Prayer

  • the Kijjambu family,
  • the pupils in their phased return to school,
  • church leaders as they plan for next year and beyond,
  • the continuing success of crops and livestock at the farm,
  • further afield in Uganda, as people continue to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the negative impact it is having on their lives.