Luwero Newsletter  December 2020

Luwero Newsletter December 2020

Welcome to the Christmas edition of our Luwero Newsletter.  As Christmas approaches, we are very aware of the impact that COVID-19 will have on our celebrations, both here and in Uganda.  However, folk here and at Luwero are determined to celebrate the birth of Jesus despite the restrictions in place

Christmas Worship in Luwero

Covid-19 restrictions mean that services cannot be held after 6 pm because of curfew.  Churches at Luwero are able to meet; numbers are limited to 70 people per service with protective measures in place.  Gabriel informs us that this limit has been increased from 70 to 200 provided social distancing can be maintained.  The church at Luwero can easily accommodate that number, even with restrictions.

The Christmas programme has been curtailed this year because of the coronavirus restrictions.

Programme    23rd December   –        a Carol Service is planned in the church

                         25th December   –      one Christmas Day service will be held

                         26th December   –      Christmas gifts will be distributed throughout the local community to orphans and needy families

                         31st December    –     a day of prayer 9 am to 6 pm

                         1st January            –   between 3 and 6 pm church members and local villages will be visited for evangelistic outreach

The Kijjambus

The Kijjambu family are all well.  Gabriella has recovered well from her recent health problems.  She received good treatment initially from the main hospital in Kampala and then at Kiwoko hospital, about 10 miles away from Luwero.

         Priscilla and her 3 baby sisters

Please remember Gabriel, Deborah, Priscilla and the babies in your prayers.

COVID-19

There have been a number of coronavirus cases in the Luwero area with a few reported deaths.  At the time of writing there have been 22,499 cases reported and 206 deaths across Uganda. Lockdown restrictions still apply across the country.  Numbers continue to grow.  Funds continue to be sent to Gabriel to enable relief to be given to staff and pupils at the projects as well as the needs of local people with whom Gabriel has contact.  We are indebted to those who continue to support the work at Luwero both prayerfully and practically.

 

School News

The first  term for P7, S4 and  S6 pupils ended on 18th December; exams will be taken next March/April.  It was anticipated that a full return to school would take place on Monday 11th January, however this has been delayed until 18th January because of elections next year.

 

 

Farm News

Crops have been growing well;

  • maize was planted recently following a period of rain
  • coffee was harvested
  • the cows have produced 3 calves.

We hope that these successes continue, as the farm is crucial to the long-term sustainability of the projects.

 

National Elections

National elections take place on 14th January 2021.  Such events can often be accompanied with violence and problems: pray for peaceful elections and ongoing stable government in the country.

 

2021 Calendars and Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns

Final call for Luwero 2021 calendars and Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns CD for delivery prior to Christmas.  Small desk calendars £5 and A4 wall calendars £9..  Copies may be ordered by email (mailto:[email protected]).  Copies of Gabriel’s CD are £8 and may be ordered in the same way as calendars.

 

Knowing and Doing

Printing of the Luganda translation of Knowing & Doing by John McQuoid is expected during January 2021: we are working with the publishers to finalise outstanding issues.

 

 

 

Prayer Points

We ask that you continue praying for following:

  • everyone involved in arranging Christmas services and celebrations at the projects and within Kiryanyonza,
  • the Kijjambu family and the 3 babies in particular as they grow stronger,
  • all the children and their families as they come together at this time of year
  • the pupils, and their return to school after the Christmas break,
  • the continuing success of crops and livestock at the farm,
  • a peaceful and civilised national election, free from violence and disruption,
  • 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.
OCTOBER NEWSLETTER

OCTOBER NEWSLETTER

Welcome to the October 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 Luwero and Kiryanyonza are continuing to try to live as normally as possible and ask that we continue praying for them.

The Kijjambus

On 10th September the Kijjambu family doubled in size when Deborah gave birth to girl triplets.  All three babies were born healthy, although their birth weights were understandably light (between 1.7 and 2.5 kilos).  After a couple of weeks being cared for in hospital, Deborah and all three girls were discharged to return home.  The names of the babies are Gabriella Adams Kijjambu, Peggy Bayton Kijjambu and Debbie Phillips Kijjambu.

There is no doubt that it will be a busy house as the girls make their presence felt.

Please remember Gabriel, Deborah, Priscilla and the babies in your prayers as they adjust to family life.  

COVID-19

Uganda continues to be in lockdown.  At the time of writing reported cases of COVID-19 were approximately 9,500 with 85 deaths.  It is believed that the number of reported cases is lower than the actual number of cases, due to limited testing facilities and reporting systems.  Since August the number of daily cases has increased substantially.

Entebbe airport re-opened for business on 1st October.  The curfew that was imposed between 9.00 pm and 6.00 am still applies across the country.  Gatherings of more than five people are prohibited and everyone over the age of 6 must wear a facemask in public.  Some relaxation of shops reopening and travel restrictions has taken place.

Funds continue to be sent to Gabriel to enable relief to be given to staff and pupils at the projects as well as the needs of local people with whom Gabriel has contact. We are indebted to those who continue to support the work at Luwero both prayerfully and practically.

 

School News

The Ugandan government has allowed schools to open for pupils in P7, S4, and S6 as long as they observe the Corona precautions.  All the pupils will be boarding. The reopening of schools on a more general basis is unlikely to happen until January 2021.  This means that the schools at Luwero will remain closed for most pupils for the foreseeable future.

The pictures below show walls being constructed to prevent members of the public from entering the Project schools easily.  This was done to comply with part of the government’s new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).  An inspection was conducted in the Project schools to verify that the SOPs had been put in place and certificates of compliance were granted to operate as a boarding school until further notice.  A lot has been achieved in a short time, but a lot of challenges remain.  The pupils have lost motivation in studying during this situation, the teachers had gone into other businesses since the lockdown, and the running costs of managing small numbers of pupils is relatively expensive.

2021 Calendars

Luwero calendars for 2021 are now available for purchase.  Prices are the same as last year – small desk calendars £5.00 and larger A4-size wall calendars £9.00. Copies may be ordered by email (mailto:[email protected]m), our website, by post or in some cases your local church representative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing and Doing

The book Knowing and Doing by John McQuoid has been translated into Luganda.  The book has been translated into almost 50 languages and has sold almost 1 million copies worldwide.  The Luganda edition will be the latest version of this valuable Christian resource and we anticipate ordering 2,000 copies.  The translation work had been undertaken by a small team of people at Luwero and has been largely a LCP project.

 

 

‘Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns’

Copies of Gabriel’s CD, ‘Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns’, priced £8.00 per copy, are also available and may be ordered in the same way as calendars.

 

Prayer Points

Please pray for all at the projects, and indeed further afield in Uganda, as they continue to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the negative impact it is having on their lives.  Please also pray for those “finalist” pupils who have returned to school and are trying to concentrate on their studies whilst coping with a very different “normal”.

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.