October Newsletter

October Newsletter

13th Annual Youth Camp

The 13th annual youth camp took place recently and a full report on it, written by Ernie Bayton, is shown below.

We are grateful to the Lord for his goodness and for the many friends and supporters of the Luwero project who prayed for our 13th annual youth camp. The camp, attended by approximately 800 young people, was residential for most with a few daily visitors. Starting on Monday 9th it ended on Friday/Saturday 13th/14th with an all-night prayer meeting.

O Lord that you would bless me and enlarge my territories’ otherwise known as the ‘Prayer of Jabez’ (1 Ch 4:10) was the theme for the camp. To develop the theme, a series of 14 talks was delivered from the book of Joshua, which lent itself ideally to practical lessons about deepening, developing and extending our Christian commitment and effectiveness. One of the last teaching sessions was given at midnight on Friday night (no-one fell out of a window!).

This year a Kenyan brother, Peter Opolo (left), who met Gabriel 20 years ago when they both studied at Capernwray Bible School, also spoke at the camp. Peter works with young people. He complemented the teaching on Joshua by sharing a series from Ephesians. Other local speakers spoke at various sessions during the week. In addition to the plenary teaching sessions, camp activities included workshops, competitions, testimonies, quizzes, games, community work (where a team of 100 young people went out into the community and did practical work such as cutting back bushes, clearing rubbish, tidying up public areas, etc.).  There were door-to-door visitations in villages sharing the gospel, sports (which included basketball, netball and football competitions), films and talent contests, HIV/Aids testing and blood donor programmes.

Once again we were able to distribute Bibles either in Luganda or English for those not having their own. Each day commenced at 4.30 am with ‘Morning Glory’ and closed at 10.00 pm with lights out.

Gabriel and Deborah, as hosts for the week, had 27 teams of personnel each under the leadership of a local pastor responsible for the many activities required to run the camp such as registration, cooking, translation, dormitory provision, setting up and removing equipment, ushering, etc.

During the week many young people responded to the gospel invitation to accept Jesus as their Saviour.  Others rededicated their lives to the Lord and many were strengthened in their faith. We give God all the glory. Thank you again for your prayerful support.

Gabriel’s Itinerary in Europe

As you may be aware, Gabriel is currently in Germany for 3 weeks to meet with supporters. The German Trust has now been set up and is fully operational: it mirrors our UK organisation. We wish our German friends well as they continue to develop their own support base. It has been a privilege to be of some help to them establishing their own charitable foundation.

Later this month Gabriel will arrive in the UK to meet with supporters and update folk on the progress being made at the Project.  His itinerary is shown below.

UK Visit

25th to 30th October – Northern Ireland

3rd November (am) – Kirkliston

3rd to 6th November – East Kilbride

7th to 11th November – Worthing

14th November – Newmilns

15th to 16th November – Prestwick

17th November – Colne and NW England

22nd to 30th November – Northamptonshire

1st December – Board Meeting

2nd December – Motherwell

4th December – Leyland

7th December – Glasgow evening concert – Gabriel & Friends

8th December – Glasgow

13th to 18th December – Gairloch

Other dates and venues are under discussion. For local details regarding location, timing, contacts, etc. please contact the office via this website.

School News

The schools continue to thrive and the pupils are as busy as every.  The big news items are that the Senior 4 candidates began their final exams on Monday of this week and the Primary 7 candidates are going to be dedicated on Saturday this week because their finals are due next month.  The rest of the classes, both primary and secondary, are doing their mid-term exams.  Please pray that the pupils stay focused, work hard and gain the rewards of their endeavours.

 

Visitor News

The latest visitor to spend time at the Project was Stuart Wynne from Glasgow.  Stuart was studying aspects of the Project as part of his Honours dissertation for a degree in Geography and Economics at Glasgow University.  While he was there he interviewed approximately 20 people living and working in the Project and the local village to gain their perceptions of the value and impact of the work done by volunteers over the last few years.  He also helped out in various parts of the Project during his 2 week stay.

Luwero Calendars

Luwero 2020 calendars are now available.  Large calendars cost £9, small calendars cost £5. Please allow an allowance for postage and packing if required. Orders can be placed via the website.  They make a great stocking filler.  Order early to avoid disappointment!

 

August Newsletter

August Newsletter

Annual Youth Camp

The 13th annual Youth Camp is scheduled for 9th to 14th September. This year’s theme is, ‘O Lord, enlarge my borders’ (1 Chronicles 4:10; The Prayer of Jabez); the theme is being developed with a series of studies on the life of Joshua.

The camp, as in previous years, is residential and will include workshops, sports, games, competitions, choirs, health programmes and community involvement. The speakers shown on the poster will be at the camp on various days, teaching, leading and running the all week’s programmes.

Gabriel has predicted that 1200 young folk – between the ages of 14 and 35 – will be in attendance.  Most of the delegates will be residential although some will attend daily.  Most will come from across Uganda, the others will travel from Rwanda, Kenya and South Sudan.

The camp will be advertised on local radio as well as through churches and locally displayed posters .

Ernie Bayton will again be speaking at 12-15 sessions including workshops over the 6 days. He will be joined this year by Peter Apolo, a Kenyan pastor and friend of Gabriel, whom he met when studying at Capernwray Bible School in Cumbria.   Peter plans to speak and lead a series of studies on the book of Ephesians

Thirty students from the ICCU (International Christian College, Uganda will attend at the same time as the youth camp but have their own programme led by local pastors.

Recent Visitors

Some of you may already be aware of the work done at the Project by the recent visitors from East Kilbride in Scotland.  During their two-week stay they achieved the following:

  • dental examinations and oral checks for all the pupils and many of the local villagers,
  • preparation of the senior boys’ dormitory to make it fit for habitation,
  • installation of sports courts – basketball, netball and volleyball courts
  • teaching of handicrafts in the vocational college – knitting and sewing,
  • teaching in the primary and secondary schools.
  • a pictorial overview of all the aspects of the Project.

If you would like to read about their visit in more detail, visit the News section of the website and take a look at the photographs in the new Luwero in Pictures section.

Gabriel Will Be Visiting Supporters

Gabriel plans to visit Germany and the UK this autumn. He will be in Germany for the first three weeks in October and in the UK during the last week in October through to mid-December. His UK itinerary is currently being planned and will include visits to Worthing, Northamptonshire, North West England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Anyone wanting Gabriel to visit their area should contact the office via the website.

 

The New Wells

Last August I reported that Luwero, like the UK, had experienced a shortage of rain and that some of the wells in the community had dried up.   I am delighted to inform you that the 2 new wells drilled over the summer months are working well and yielding a steady supply of fresh, clean water.  In addition, the recent rainfalls mean that the existing well outside the clinic is working well too.

School News

School pupils are busy preparing for their end of term exams. The school term finishes on 24th August and recommences at the end of September.

2020 Luwero Calendars

2020 Luwero Calendars will be available from October this year.  Details will be included in the next Newsletter.  As usual, copies can be ordered via the office.

Visitors from East Kilbride

Visitors from East Kilbride

We gathered in East Kilbride on the morning of Tuesday 2nd of July excited at the prospect of journeying together to Luwero via Edinburgh Airport, Istanbul Airport, Kigali in Rwanda and on to our ultimate destination of Entebbe Airport.  Little did we know what the journey had in store for us.

We were aware that the turnaround at Istanbul Airport was tight, just over 90 minutes, but were primed to make it work.  We were delighted to find that the gate we landed at was the same gate we were to depart from, meaning we did not have to negotiate the airport and the time pressure just disappeared.  As it turned out, the plane we had just disembarked from was to be the same plane we would be flying in for the remainder of our journey.

The onward flight passed without incident until we arrived at Entebbe Airport.  Imagine our horror when we discovered that our 40 cases had been removed from the plane at Istanbul and not put back on.  This was the same aeroplane remember!  We spend a total of 3 additional hours in the arrivals area completing forms individually to identify our luggage.  Having been told that it would be 2 days before we could be reunited with our luggage, we then engaged in a “full and frank exchange of views” with the manager and received an assurance that we would get them the following afternoon.  We were not happy. 

Deborah had arrived an hour early to meet us along with some others to help with the luggage.  She began to think that we had missed the flight until we managed to contact her via text message.  We eventually set off for Luwero for the 3 hour journey to the Project.

Our welcome was everything we expected and it was a delight to be back among Gabriel and his team.  Half of the party had been before and knew what to expect but the folk visiting for the first time were overwhelmed by the warmth of our reception.

Despite the assurance of the office manager at Entebbe, it took 2 days for 39 of the cases to arrive and 3 days for the last one.  Deborah managed to produce clothes for us to wear until our own arrived.

We had negotiated with Gabriel that we would undertake 6 main projects whilst we were in Luwero;

  • Dental examinations and oral checks,
  • Preparation of the senior boys’ dormitory to make it fit for habitation,
  • Installation of sports courts,
  • Teaching of handicrafts, knitting and sewing,
  • Teaching in the primary and secondary schools.
  • A pictorial overview of all the aspects of the Project.

I am delighted to report that we were very successful on all fronts.

Callum, our dentist, became a celebrity during our visit as he had a constant stream of patients from the school and the village of Kiryanyonza.  He worked tirelessly during our stay, supported by a variety of helpers, particularly Nurse Rose, who organised all the patients, and Gerard from the local hospital who acted as translator for some of the local villagers.  During the time he was there he extracted 427 teeth from 380 patients!  He reckons this is more “detoothing” than he has done in his practice in the last decade.  Callum hopes to put in place a series of yearly visits involving himself and  his colleagues from the practice, to ensure that the improvements in dental health will be sustained.

 

The major physical project was the preparation of the boys’ dormitory.  The first floor has been constructed but was only completed to a rough finish.  The dormitory comprises 4 rooms – a Housemaster’s room, two large dormitory rooms with shower blocks and a large store.  Roughly 80 metres long, it was to be a major undertaking to get it ready on time for its official opening on the Monday before we left.   The work comprised scraping and sandpapering the entire inside and outside of the building and the windows to get it to a level of finish where it could be whitewashed to reveal if it was ready for filling and painting.  Around a dozen of us worked all day for 8 days to scrape, sandpaper, apply 2 coats of whitewash, sand again and apply the final undercoat so that the painters could apply the final finishing coats.   It was extremely dirty, dusty, hot work – but we managed to persevere and get it completed.  You can see the transformation of the building in the accompanying photographs.

In our interactions with the schools we had a team of 3 secondary school Geography teachers who worked collaboratively with colleagues from Luwero Community Secondary School to plan and deliver a series of lessons on climate and weather.  All the teachers felt the benefit of the exercise and the pupils engaged well with the topics.  In the primary school, our Primary HT Julie worked closely with Headteacher Harriet to plan and deliver learning to the lower primary pupils.  The areas of similarity and difference were fertile discussion points for the two ladies.

Perhaps the most obvious difference to the appearance of the Project was to be seen in its sports facilities.  When we arrived, these consisted of a football pitch and an area for playing netball.  During the course of the 2 weeks the outside games area was transformed.  During this time we managed to measure out and line full-size basketball, netball and volleyball courts.  The netball hoops were replaced with regulation-sized hoops and the stands painted – one in Scottish colours and one in Ugandan colours.  With the help of several of the upper primary and secondary boys, we managed to dig and lay foundations for new volleyball posts and new basketball stands.  We had brought over new basketball hoops and nets and a new volleyball net.  Erecting the posts and stands involved us working late into the evening by the light of headlamps and arc lights to get the posts concreted into position and supported whilst the concrete dried.  Once dried, the backboards were painted with a Saltire and Ugandan flag to emphasise our partnership.  The new sports facilities are the envy of all other schools and the basketball court is the only full-sized, fully equipped one in the county.   The pupils were ecstatic about the few facilities and were putting them to good use whilst we were there.  Teacher Joel, the sports master, was particularly pleased, as this adds a whole new dimension to the sports curriculum within the secondary school.

The vocational college sprung to life upon our arrival as we had three experienced sewers and knitters within our party.  We had arranged with Gabriel to have sewing machines serviced and ready in one of the college rooms and this became a base for both teaching the pupils and training a few members of staff how to deliver teaching once we had gone.  Our philosophy was to leave a legacy and not just provide a brief distraction.  The boys and girls were shown how to cut out from patterns and sew the parts together using the machines.  The biggest hit of the handicrafts, however, was the pompoms that the pupils could create quickly and easily.  At times the class was inundated with boys and girls all making pompoms.  Thread, material and wool have all been left to allow the initiative to progress in our absence under the stewardship of the staff members.

Prior to the visit, I had been asked by Ernie Bayton to take pictures of all the aspects of the Project so that folk who have not been can visit the website and see the aspects for themselves.  I have taken the pictures and they will be shown in galleries on a new section being added to the website. 

I would like to express the gratitude of all our group to the people who supported us financially and in prayer to allow us to visit and return safely.

June Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of the Luwero Newsletter

Two new wells drilled

Following the plea for help to address the problem of drought, I am delighted to tell you that 2 new wells have been drilled. They are both 70 metres deep and are now providing an abundant source of fresh water for the staff and pupils of the Project.

To read the responses of the children who are now benefitting from the wells, go to the news section of the website or click on the letter below.

Pastor and Church Leaders’ Conference, Bible School and Children’s Club

This year’s event was very successful.

Conference

The conference was attended by nearly 700 delegates from across Uganda.  As in previous years it was a 5-day residential event with a few daily visitors. Plenary teaching sessions were held in the church while other sessions or workshops for pastors, other male leaders, women and youth were held at various locations around the project.

 

Bible School

Three new modules were taught at this year’s sessions of the Bible College.  Each module lasted 1½ days.  Over the 4½ days Darnell taught a module on Jesus in the New Testament, Stuart on God’s plan of salvation (Romans) and I dealt with a module on Christian Discipleship (Colossians). Approximately 25 students attended every module.

Children’s Club

The club attracted nearly 700 children. The event was organised and run by a Ugandan team of young people ably assisted by two volunteers from Scotland (Karen and Sandra).  The club ran each morning for five days and included a Bible story, quizzes, games, memory verses and singing together with breaks for drinks for the children.

For full details of all the events, read Ernie Bayton’s report in full on the website or click here.

School News

Dormitory Construction

I am delighted to be able to tell you that work has recommenced on the dormitories and is now progressing well.  Work on the girl’s block is now at first-floor level where the walls are at full height awaiting the construction of the second-floor slab. The boy’s dormitory block has been constructed as far as the first-floor concrete slab level.

New Headteacher Joins

As was mentioned in the last newsletter, Aminah, the long-standing Headteacher of Luwero Community Secondary school resigned her post.  Her replacement is David, who started work at the beginning of this term.  Please pray for David in his new post as he sets about leading his staff and pupils into a new stage, under a new school name and pray that all the schools continue to thrive.

July Visit

The arrival of 20 visitors from East Kilbride is eagerly anticipated at the Project, and the group are entering the final stages of their preparation.  Last Saturday saw a Coffee Morning held at Westwood Evangelical Church in East Kilbride which raised over £1,000 due to the generosity of the congregation.  The group are now making final preparations for their last 2 fund raising events and are meeting on Saturday 22nd to pack their “extra” 20 cases with supplies for the folk in Luwero.

While the party is over at the Project they will be helping in the following ways;

  • working in the wider community with jobs that Gabriel has organised,
  • painting the new dormitories,
  • oral checks and dental education,
  • teaching geography,
  • peer support for the primary and secondary Headteachers,
  • sewing and handicrafts,
  • homework help,
  • security evaluation,
  • maintenance review,
  • rebuilding the volleyball court and building a new basketball court.

Please pray for a safe journey and productive visit.

 

If you have any news that you would like to share with other supporters, please send it to the Luwero CP offices using the address shown on the accompanying email.

 

April Newsletter

April Newsletter

Welcome to the April edition of the Luwero Newsletter

Work about to begin on new wells

Following the situation regarding the chronic shortage of water within the Project, Gabriel and the Trustees have acted quickly to address the drought situation at Luwero.  Quotations were received from contractors, contracts agreed and work on boring 2 new wells within the Project will begin soon.  The rig for digging the wells is on site and we look forward to hearing how the work progresses.  A number of you have kindly donated towards the funding of the new wells and we are very grateful to you for that.

Similarly, the team of 20 people who are visiting this summer are focussing their fundraising towards raising funds to contribute towards the costs of the drilling the 2 boreholes: any additional money raised could go towards completing the construction of the girls’ dormitory or buying food to compensate for the poor harvest.  We are all taking part in the Glasgow Kiltwalk for this purpose (details are below).

https://glasgowkiltwalk2019.everydayhero.com/uk/luwero-2019/members

Pastor and Church Leaders’ Conference and Children’s Club

Preparations are in hand for the Pastor and Church Leader’s Conference and Children’s Club being held 29th April to 3rd May.  A team of 5 are travelling to Luwero on Friday 26th April.

Three Scottish church leaders (Stuart, Darnell and Ernie) will speak at the conference and two ladies (Karen and Sandra) will assist a Ugandan team with the Children’s Club. The Children’s Club theme is ‘Jesus is alive today’.

This year’s conference theme is ‘Renewing our Covenants with God’.  Each speaker will have approximately nine sessions at the conference over three and a half days.  Stuart will speak on Covenants in the Bible, Darnell on the Five Purposes of the Church (Evangelism, Discipleship, Worship, Fellowship and Ministry) and Ernie on Selected Psalms.  In parallel with the pastor and church leader’s conference, there will be 3 x 1½ day modules run consecutively over 4½ days for ICCU:-

[1] God’s Plan of Salvation (Romans 1-6),

[2] Christian Discipleship (Colossians 1-4)

[3] Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

A total of four and a half days will be taught at the ICCU (International Christian College, Uganda) which has been established at Luwero.  Our three conference speakers will rotate between the conference and college.  A cohort of 32 students will attend.

Farm News

The work of the farm continues, despite the hostile conditions it is facing to grow.  Crops have been planted recently and we pray that they will grow and provide food for the Project.  The really good news is that some rain fell on Luwero recently and we hope and pray that this continues.  Please remember to keep praying for rain to sustain the crops.

School News

Dormitory Construction

Following the hiatus in construction work on the boys and girls dormitory blocks at the secondary school, I am delighted to be able to tell you that work has recommenced and is progressing, albeit slowly due to lack of water.

School Roll Figures

The confirmed school rolls for this academic session are:

399 children are attending the primary school

196 children are attending the secondary school.

Secondary Headteacher Leaves

Aminah, the long-standing Headteacher of Luwero Community Secondary school has resigned her post so that she can spend more time with her two young sons.  She leaves with the good wishes of all at Luwero and she hopes that the Project continues to thrive.

Marion’s Visit

Marion, a former ICC Glasgow student with Gabriel, travelled to Luwero recently to spend a fortnight visiting the project.  I am delighted to include a short report from her on her visit.

My return to Uganda after more than 10 years was all I had hoped it would be. The opportunity to catch up with old friends and participate in the lives of women and children in Luwero was as heart-warming as I remembered.

I ran a 4-day conference on ‘The empowerment of women and womens’ role in the church’. I helped out in the nursery classes and the primary school.

My first teacher asked me to draw 10 wall charts for her …. my worst nightmare, since I can’t draw two straight lines! It took me 3 hours!  The next teacher gave me craft to do – my next worst nightmare.  I really think God was having a good laugh.  I moved on to marking – much more my style and also some interactive Geography and Science teaching.  I loved being back in the classroom albeit with 56 pupils, no electric light and fixed blackboards, the top half of which I couldn’t reach!

I was invited to preach on the first Sunday I was there.  The African style of worship is so joyous with the drums and dancing I was more than happy to join in.

The Ugandan diet was just as I remembered!  If I never see another banana this year it will be too soon, not to mention goat and beans! Though the fresh pineapple and mango were amazing.

The best thing of all, apart from renewing relationships, was to see how the projects I’d been involved in had reached fruition. God is so good.  Bishop Gabriel’s community has gone from strength to strength in an amazingly short time.

To see how folk live there and how their faith in God sustains them through so much hardship is very humbling. I was incredibly blessed throughout my time of sharing in their lives.

If you have any news that you would like to share with other supporters, please send it to the Luwero CP offices using the address shown on the accompanying email.

February Newsletter

February Newsletter

Welcome to the February edition of the Luwero newsletter

Gabriel’s Travels

Gabriel has been very busy over the month of January, locally and further afield.  He was invited to speak and lead at many camps and conference engagements in various parts of Uganda but is now safely back in Luwero.

Gabriel is in the process of trying to renew his visa with the UK authorities in Kampala and Nairobi.  His current 5-year visa has expired, and he is seeking to get a renewal for at least 5, and possibly 10 years.  Obtaining visas can be notoriously difficult so please pray for a smooth, successful process.  Plans are also afoot to enable Gabriel to visit Germany this year: the Trustees have been assisting friends in Germany to establish their own Trust for supporting Luwero.

 

Naming ceremony for Luwero Community Secondary School

The naming ceremony for Luwero Community Secondary School (formerly Luwero Brilliant High School) took place just before Christmas.  It was a joyous occasion and marks the start of a new chapter in the life of the school.  To see photographs taken on the day and video footage of the celebrations, go to the News section of the website.

 

New School Session

Pupils started back to the nursery, primary and secondary schools on the 2nd of February.  Another year of study and hard work commenced, with the hope of good grades and success.  Last session’s P7 and S4 pupils performed very well in their final exams.  In P7 the pupils obtained 15 first grades, 21 upper second grades, 3 third grades and 1 fourth grade. In S4 the pupils achieved 4 first grade passes and the others managed passes at second and third grades.  The pupils of P7 and S4 gathered together to be congratulated on their successes and to hear the recommendations for their next levels of study.  To see photographs taken on the day, go to the News section of the website.

A negative note about the return to school is that not every pupil managed to make it back.  The economy is not favourable at the moment because of the lack of rain and the effect this has had on crops and earnings.  The Board of Trustees has launched a Bursary scheme to support pupils whose parents cannot afford to send their children to school: please pray for its success.  Please also pray that as many pupils as possible can last the full year and devote themselves to their studies, regardless of the hurdles they have to overcome to be there.

On other school matters, the slab for the first floor of the boys dormitory is finished and work will commence soon on the plastering of the ground floor.  Work on the construction of the first floor of the girls dormitory has had to be halted due to the high costs of building materials: the materials will be purchased when prices fall to a more realistic and affordable level.

Drought

Please pray for rain.  Everything has dried up and the country has a terrible shortage of water.  The animals are suffering, and their futures are not secure.  The crops have not yielded the return that Gabriel and the team were looking and hoping for. The (only) borehole at the secondary school is so crowded that it causes long delays during lessons and eating times.  The team are all praying for the rain but also for an additional water source, eg a borehole at the primary section.

 

Visitor to the Project

Marion, a former ICC Glasgow student with Gabriel, is travelling to Luwero next week to spend a fortnight visiting the project.  Please pray for a safe journey for her.

 

Team Luwero 2019

In July of this year a team of 20 people, including me (team Luwero 2019), will be travelling to Luwero to help at the Project.  As well as going over to lend our brain, brawn and skills as required, we are also attempting to raise as much money as possible in sponsorship to give to the project.  We have not set a specific target but, given the news about the lack of accessible water, we would like to raise £4,000 to fund the drilling of another borehole: any additional money raised could go towards completing the construction of the girls dormitory or buying food to compensate for the poor harvest.  We are all taking part in the Glasgow Kiltwalk and would be grateful for any sponsorship we can raise through the Facebook team page.  If you would like to donate, please click on the following link:

https://glasgowkiltwalk2019.everydayhero.com/uk/luwero-2019/members

If you have any news that you would like to share with other supporters,

please email it to the Luwero CP offices.