Many people have been asking what exactly the work is here that we’re doing and I’ve intentionally delayed in my response because quite frankly, I wasn’t sure of all the details myself! I thank God for the desire of Pastor Danny and Dovie to inch me into the work slowly, so I can effectively take on what’s being asked of me. So here it is… right now I’m taking on the position of Program Administrator of Uganda Assemblies of God (UAOG) Rescue, which is a humanitarian wing of UAOG. UAOG Rescue was a byproduct and response to the floods in the North back in 2007. Now, UAOG Rescue continues with it’s office in Hoima with Pastor Danny and Dovie as the Program Directors. Since their move to Hoima in 2009 they have developed an array of social projects under UOAG Rescue.
Right now they have a project called F.A.I.T.H. (Food Always In The House) that has two programs and beneficiaries to it. The first is a group of women who are HIV positive (formerly known as the Restore Hope women), who gather every Sunday evening. This project offers microfinance loans for the women with existing businesses, helping them with their savings and growth of their businesses. While the microfinance loans are a small piece of what we’re offering, our goal and aim of this project is to give these women a community where they can learn how to live with hope with their condition and illness. They gather for fellowship, counseling, and discipleship and are some of the sweetest, most loving ladies I have met yet! Also within our F.A.I.T.H. project we have a livestock program where pigs and goats have been given to members in the community.
UAOG Rescue also has HIV/AIDS prevention which is part of our health project within the community. We target many of the secondary schools and trade schools with our health promotion program. There is also a self-sustaining medical clinic out in the village of Kapapi which existed far before UAOG Rescue made its base here. There are currently three nurses at this clinic, including my roommate Julia. The clinic is equipped with a small pharmacy and inpatient care.
One of the biggest and fastest growing projects under UAOG Rescue is our Fish Development Project. This is where Pastor Danny (in his expertise of aquaculture) has created fish cages to replenish the lakes with a main staple food here, Tilapia. I believe we have three model farms right now on two different lakes (mind you, Lake Albert is over 100 miles long) and some other private cage owners. As we place the cages in different areas, the effect is far reaching, benefiting many within the community. The fishing community and local leaders are being provided with training about the fish cages and then offered income as they raise up the Tilapia fish. Then as the lakes are replenished, this offers a greater market for those selling and product for those receiving. I look forward to updating you more on this sustainable livelihood project since I am currently in the process of reading 15 page documents all about it!
Finally, UAOG Rescue has a nursery school called Precious Children. There are 6 different classes: homecare, middle and top class, with 5 incredible teachers (one is about to give birth so she left and her class got combined with another). Our office is actually one door away from the classrooms, so I have the joy of hearing the lessons, songs, and chatter from those kids every day. One of my favorite parts is watching them gather for “assembly” in the morning where they sing and dance together.
So beyond the social projects, Danny and Dovie also pastor at Victory Family Church which also has an array of ministries. This has been the bulk of my work since these first six months are acclimating me to the work of UAOG Rescue so that I will be able to fully take over the administration of each project. Right now there is morning staff devotions each day at the office, Tuesday night praise and worship practice, Wednesday night Bible study, Thursday evening home Bible study (that I’m leading with 4 ladies at their house), Friday prayer meeting, Saturday praise and worship workshop and church home visitation and Sunday campus ministries (where Christian students gather at the secondary schools for a service), and service at VFC. So things have a way of being very busy yet open here! For the month of November I am preaching on Romans 4 at VFC and preaching for the campus ministries before our main service. I am constantly in awe here of the devotion of our staff and fellow co-laborers. The work here is such a gift from God and testimony to His power and influence within a community. Now as I write you can follow all the odds and ends here of our work in Uganda!