August Newsletter

August Newsletter

Welcome to the August edition of our Luwero Newsletter.  The Projects, and indeed all of Uganda, continue to be impacted by the affects of COVID-19.  However, folk at Luwero and Kiryanyonza are continuing to try to live as normally as possible and I have a lot of news to share with you.

The Kijjambus

Gabriel, Deborah and Priscilla are all well. However, Deborah’s health recently gave some cause for concern and she spent 10 days in hospital.  I am happy to inform you that she has since been discharged and Gabriel advises us that she is well. Her babies, thought to be triplets, are due in September. We continue to pray for their safe arrival and her continued good health.

 

 

 

COVID-19

Uganda is still in lockdown.  At the time of writing there have been just over 1,200 reported cases of COVID-19 and 5 deaths.  Whilst there has been some easing of lockdown restrictions, school pupils and staff have not returned and churches cannot hold services.  Some shops have been allowed to reopen, public transport is now operating on a limited basis, private vehicles are limited to 4 occupants per vehicle and there remains a curfew in place between 9.00 pm and 6.00 am.

Gabriel is continuing to meet the needs of local people facing food shortages or financial hardship due to loss of employment.  The funding of sponsored children is continuing and is happening indirectly where they have moved out of the Projects and relocated to their villages.  The Ugandan government is expected to make further announcements regarding lockdown restrictions next month.

School News

With the continuing ban on schools returning, Gabriel is directing his efforts towards retaining teaching staff so that the schools are fully staffed upon resumption.  Similarly, he is intent on maintaining pupil numbers so that as many as possible return in January.   

Work to complete the boys and girls dormitory blocks at the secondary school will restart soon.  The blocks are both complete at ground floor level and are inhabited by pupils when school is in session.  The remaining work involves the completion of the upper floors to increase their capacity and allow for more living space for the pupils.

Farm News

Purchasing additional land to extend the farm remains a priority for the project.  More land means more crops and less need to buy in food to feed the staff and pupils at the Projects.  A number of potential sites have been identified recently and you will be kept abreast of developments once information becomes available.

 

Uganda Elections

Government elections are scheduled for January 2021 in Uganda.  The country has been blessed with political and social stability in recent times and we pray that this continues during the election period, particularly since public meetings may not be allowed.  The ability to receive foreign visitors and the desire of visitors to go to Uganda depends heavily on political stability.

‘Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns’

Copies of Gabriel’s CD ‘Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns’ are still available. They have been a great source of blessing by many and can be obtained via our website.

 

 

Luwero Calendars

In October Luwero calendars for 2021 will become available for purchase. Details will be included in our next newsletter.

Postscript

The schools may be closed because of COVID-19 but, just to remind us of the joy and innocence that usually denotes the ethos of the schools in the Project, I have included a short video of the primary school children in action.

 

June Newsletter

June Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of our Luwero Newsletter.  The Projects, and indeed all of Uganda, continue to be impacted by the effects of COVID-19.  However, folk at the Projects are continuing to try to live as normally as possible while adapting to their new “normal” and I have a lot of news to share with you.

COVID-19

Uganda is still on lockdown. At the time of writing there have been 616 reported cases of coronavirus in Uganda, 103 have recovered and there have been no deaths.

Some easing of restrictions is being considered and some changes have been implemented.  Businesses have been allowed to re-open apart from salons, gyms and shopping arcades.  Most shops are still closed which may cause problems purchasing school resources.  Public transport was suspended in Uganda months ago, but private transport is now allowed so a lot of cycling is taking place from Luwero to Kiryanyonza and further afield.  Facemasks are compulsory to everyone going out in public.

​Preparations are in hand for the phased reopening of schools at some point during this month, albeit in a limited format. Work is under way to clean the school premises extra thoroughly, work out how social distancing can be effectively applied in the schools and dining hall, resolve school transport issues and train the pupils in the use of hand sanitisers etc.

Exam candidates and all final years’ pupils are to be allowed to go back to school soon and the rest will follow in due course.

Gabriel was delighted with, and grateful for, the emergency relief package sent to him. Consequently, he has been able to pay teachers’ salaries and give support to sponsored children.

The Kijjambu Family

Gabriel advises us the Family Kijjambu is on the point of expanding further.  He has informed us that Deborah is four months pregnant and is expecting twins!  She has been carefully quarantining herself to protect her health. Please pray for her and that her pregnancy runs full term and healthy babies are born in due course.

Pastors and Church Leaders Conference 2020

The pastors and church leaders conference which was scheduled to have taken place during May was cancelled due to the current situation with COVID-19.  The possibilities of doing some work for pastors in some digital format is being investigated.  However, given the limited access pastors in rural areas have to digital resources this may not be possible or effective.

The Farm

One positive consequence of COVID-19 is that a lot of extra time and labour has been deployed on the farm.  Lack of activity at the schools has freed up people to devote time to cultivating the crops. As you can see from the photos below of the maize and beans planted during lockdown, it seems to have been effective.

Bush has become a farmer

Bush has invested in becoming a pig farmer.  She originally bought 3 pigs – some of which were pregnant – and her stock is steadily growing.  She assures me the pigs are thriving and that she is getting better at being their “mother”. We wish her well in her new enterprise.

Luwero Community Projects Board Meeting

The next meeting of the LCB Board takes place on Friday 12th June. If you have any items that you would like them to consider, please contact them at the LCB office.

Postscript

PrayerWith the phased re-opening of schools across Uganda, please pray that all pupils are actually able return to school.  Lack of family income and fractured contact with school could lead to a drastic fall in families sending their children back and our prayers should be directed towards preventing this.

April Newsletter

April Newsletter

Welcome to the April edition of our Luwero Newsletter.  The Project has experienced some significant events since I last wrote to you in January and, as with most of us, the Coronavirus has impacted upon the Projects.  However, we have some good news to share too.

Gabriel

In February Gabriel contracted typhoid and was hospitalised for a while.  He made a full recovery and is now back to normal and he is back leading all the aspects of the project.

Nurse Joy

I am delighted to inform you that the Luwero clinic has a new nurse. Her name is Joy Harriet.  Nurse Joy replaces Nurse Rose who left Luwero following her marriage last November. We welcome her to the staff at the project and wish her well as she embarks upon her new post.

Container

We have been working with a fellow charity, Rock Projects Uganda, who are building a clinic for their own ministry in Kampala. Early in February they despatched a container to Uganda and we were able to send some equipment to Luwero via the container. We are very grateful for their assistance. The container left Glasgow at the beginning of February.  Its journey was disrupted by heavy storms initially but it is due to arrive in Kampala on or about 4th April.  Goods for Luwero include primary school reading books, theological books for the Bible School, footballs and new baby clothes. About 18 months ago we were contacted by a supporter who owned a small industrial sewing machine and an overlocking machine.  At the time, we were unable to ship the machines to Uganda, but the donor was willing to keep them until such time as we could. Six months ago, a retired tailor contacted us and said he wished to go to Luwero for approximately six weeks to teach children and staff sewing techniques.  About the same time our friends at Rock Projects were preparing to send a container of equipment for their clinic. ‘All things work together for good …’ (Romans 8:28).

Visitors

A team of 3 UK visitors were at Luwero during the first two weeks of March. Tom, his wife Eileen and colleague Terry (pictured) spent two weeks at the project meeting and encouraging all those involved in the work at Luwero. Tom is a keen Northampton Town supporter. Below, he and his wife are seen making presentations at the award ceremony.  In addition, Tom also presented two local football teams with football strips for their entire squads. They were received with much jubilation by the team members.

Witchcraft Attacks

On a more sombre note, the project has encountered some problems in recent months arising mainly from witchcraft.  There has been an increase in witchcraft activity in some areas of Uganda, and Luwero has not been exempt.  Some key members of staff have been forced to leave the project, not because of any involvement in witchcraft themselves, but due to external pressures and influences.  This is a phenomenon with which we are unfamiliar in the UK.  Wisdom and guidance need to be given to leaders handling such issues. Please pray for the protection of the folk of Luwero against such attacks.

Coronavirus

COVID-19 is now affecting visitors to Uganda.  As a consequence, two people who planned to visit at the end of March and a team of 11 people scheduled to go out in May have had to cancel their visits. Other visits in April (from Germany) and July are being cancelled.  During Gabriel’s visit to the UK, a number of people expressed a desire to visit Luwero either in 2020 or 2021.  Anyone planning to do so should contact the office to discuss alternatives given the current and continuing restrictions on travel. The May 2020 Pastor and Church Leaders Conference, Children’s Club and ICCU events have all been cancelled. The September 2020 Youth Camp is also under review and may be cancelled. Food prices have rocketed and long queues are evident at banks as people try to withdraw cash.  Effectively, the country is in lockdown.  At present we are monitoring the situation with Gabriel and will keep supporters advised of changes in the situation as time progresses. The Board is looking at a number of options to help support Gabriel and his ministry at this time. Many people have lost their jobs and there is no social security support or infrastructure from central government. Businesses have no responsibility to pay people who are unable to work. People who are suffering turn to the church as their only means of support.

School News

The Ugandan government has closed all schools and banned all public meetings in Uganda for one month even though, at the tiSitting Examsme of the imposition of the ban, there were no reported cases of coronavirus in Uganda. The school term which has been aborted was due to end on 1st May with children returning to school on Monday 25th May. The situation may well change between now and then. Please pray that the pupils and their families are able to cope with the restrictions imposed upon them and that their absence from school will not be permanently detrimental to their education. Please pray especially that all of them return to school when it re-opens.  Lack of family income and contact with the school could lead to a drastic fall in families sending their children to school and our prayers should be directed towards preventing this.

Kiltwalk 2020 Cancelled

Mass participation fundraising events across the UK, such as Scotland’s ‘Kiltwalk’, by which many supporters have made significant contributions to support the work at Luwero, have been cancelled because of COVID 19. To offset the drop in income as a consequence of the absence of these events, any  supporters, donors and intended participants who would have been making a financial contribution are asked to consider making a donation to the projects using the existing methods, ie through the website or by post.

Postscript

This newsletter contains an unusually large proportion of negative news.  Whilst we accept that this is largely due to circumstances that we are well aware of, it is worth remembering why we subscribe to this newsletter and support the work being undertaken at Luwero.  In dark times like this, the value of the Project and the benefit it provides become more obvious.  Its role as a hub for the community of Kiryanyonza is reinforced as people turn to their church in times of need.  We must continue to support in whatever ways we can and we must pray that they will be sustained in their work and that they will all make it through the tough times ahead.
January Newsletter

January Newsletter

Gabriel’s Tour of Europe

As you may be aware, Gabriel returned to the Project just before Christmas, having spent time in Europe during October, November and December to meet with supporters.  He arrived in the UK towards the end of October for a nine-week visit.  Immediately before that, he had visited our German sponsorship group Christliches Kinderhilfswerk Luwero Uganda (CKLU) at various locations across Germany during his three-week visit.

Whilst in the UK Gabriel travelled extensively across the country from Gairloch in north-wests Scotland to Worthing on the south coast of England.  Venues have included Northern Ireland, East Kilbride, Prestwick, Northamptonshire, Colne, Leyland, Glasgow, Cheshire and Dumbarton.  He visited supporting churches, primary and secondary schools, para-church groups, Bible Colleges, participated in radio programmes and sang at a specially arranged concert near Glasgow.  At times his programme was quite intense.  Over one 3-day period Gabriel visited seven primary schools and spoke in 17 classes to tell children about life in Uganda.

Contact with many who have supported Gabriel and his work over the past 20 years has been renewed and consolidated. New contacts have also been established during his visit. At the concert in Glasgow, featuring Gabriel and the Inspire Choir, a CD featuring Gabriel singing some of his favourite hymns was launched.  Copies are available from the office via the website or by post priced at £8.00 each.

Gabriel kept fit and healthy during his visit, due no doubt in part to the kind and generous hospitality shown to him throughout his time here. We are grateful to the many people, churches and organisation who hosted Gabriel during his visit. He is indebted to everyone whom he met whilst here.  We acknowledge the sacrifice made by his family, Deborah and Priscilla, and the team at Luwero who continued the work of the Projects in his absence.

Gabriel returned to Uganda shortly before Christmas where he went straight into a busy programme with the local churches in Luwero (after a big hug from Precious!).

Christmas and New Year at Luwero

The Christmas Day programme included morning service at the church, Christmas lunch and the final match of a local football competition hosted at Luwero.  Boxing Day was spent distributing 600 gifts in the local community and New Year’s Eve was taken up by an all-night prayer service at a local football stadium, where several thousand people joined together.

Staff News

I am delighted to report to you that Nurse Rose, who has been in charge of the clinic for the past 3 years was married on 30th November.  She has now left the project to embark on this next stage of her life with her new husband.  All our best wishes and blessings go with her.

Gabriel’s Greatest Hits

As previously mentioned, Gabriel recorded a CD entitled ‘Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns’.  The CD has been produced, mastered and now launched.  It includes timeless classics like Amazing Grace, What a Friend We Have in Jesus and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.  Copies of the CD, priced at £8 each, are now available from the office and can be ordered by email or post.

Luwero Visits

During Gabriel’s visit to the UK, a number of people expressed a desire to visit Luwero either in 2020 or 2021.  Anyone planning to do so should contact the office to avoid dates of visits overlapping.

 

 

School News

School pupils are on holiday from school until 3rd February when the new school term starts. Those who sat P7, S4 & S6 exams still await their results.  Please pray that the children had a refreshing break and that their exam results are positive.  Please pray especially that as many of them as possible return to school for next term.

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.