Spring Report From Pastor Gerald
Greetings in the most Precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Thank you for accepting to be used by God in Hope Ministries Uganda in such a great way; we couldn’t do what we are doing without your support both in prayer and finances. May God bless you! Through your help and support God is working mightily in the Batwa Communitiesand especially in the lives of the Batwa Children at Seeds of Hope Orphanage and School .
There are many smiles on the faces of the children. Lives are changing and we give all glory back to God and we say thank you for partnering with us.
MONTHLY FOOD SUPPORT
We thank God that for the Seeds of Hope Children, because of the monthly food support, they have been able to have three nutritious meals a day, that is breakfast, lunch and supper, and this has been consistent daily and has brought more joy among these little ones and our children are now looking healthy. Thank you for the support!
This meal includes most of the times posho(corn), beans, cabbages (greens), Irish Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Rice, Matoke, G.Nuts and meat depending on the budget and the cooking schedule. This has given them strength, and good health, and they are now growing and praising the Lord!
With the help from our generous monthly donors, our children are able to get other basic needs met: clothes, underwear, sanitary pads for girls, washing and bathing soap, and medical care. This is helping them to learn well and be built up into the kingdom of God.
Our prayer is that the food and home budget increases and becomes consistent.
THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN THE ORPHANAGE INCREASES FROM 130 TO 207
Since we started working with the Batwa children, the children staying outside the orphanage were at risk of rape, different types of child abuse, while some of them were dropping from school due to the long distances they had to walk to and from the Seeds of Hope School. It was therefore a decision taken by the board to have all of our children join Seeds of Hope Home because of the challenges and abuses they were facing as they walked distances to get to school and back home. It was decided that if we are to raise them and build them up into the next generation of leaders, we would need to move them to the Seeds of Hope Home to protect them and also to allow them to have the best opportunities for learning.
PURCHASE OF MORE BEDS
We began the year with the dormitories being congested, but we thank God that in the month of April, 80 mattresses, 80 blankets and bed sheets were added in both dormitories and you can't imagine the joy this brought in the lives of the Batwa Children. There has been an increase in the number of orphanage children from 130 to 207 this year .
Because all the children are now in school and residing on the campus, this has boosted their willingness to learn since they have time to read their books, and are around our well trained teachers and a team of matrons. All this together has improved the children’s performance as can be reflected in their Performance Reports.
Though we have not had major health complications, we have had a few minor health challenges. The Matron, teachers and the social worker have always taken the sick children to health units on our campus for treatment and have been able to have first aid under health workers instruction. This helps us on minor health issues like headaches, de-worming, simple cuts and fever, and other minor health issues. With the help of our monthly donors, we are able to meet the medical needs of the Seeds of Hope Children and their health is well monitored. Thanks to our monthly donors and may God bless you mightily!
This year with the help from the USA partners and a partner in Panama, we have managed to establish the dining hall which can accommodate a maximum of two hundred forty children. The facilities that accompany it are a washing center, dining tables, chairs and the serving area. We are glad to inform you that the Batwa Children of Seeds of Hope are very happy and they enjoy their meals in a home environment.
Before we had the dining hall the children would be served from the kitchen and eat from outside the classrooms or sit on the ground. Today they have their food from the dining hall.
Due to the establishment of this dining hall, the way of conduct has greatly improved among these Batwa Children. This is in the way that Children are called for lunch, they wash their hands gently, are served their food, then they take time and pray for the meal, after they move out gently thanking God, wash hands again and go to class. Sanitation training will follow them all their days and will help them to be healthier because of it!
SPONSORS VISIT THEIR SPONSORED CHILDREN
We thank God for the families that visited the Batwa Children they sponsor. Great thanks to Judy who visited Molly Nyamureeba and Alison's family who visited Victoria. This visitation made the children very happy and excited because to them it was a dream come true. The moment where the children feel so loved even in the middle of discrimination and their challenges . We wish it was possible for every sponsor to visit and meet their sponsored child face to face! It is an experience thatyou will never forget. (If you are interested in finding out about future trips, please contact us through the website)
FARMING & GARDENING
We have managed to start up a project of farming with the small piece of land we have at Seeds of Hope Orphanage. It helps to sustain the school in terms of vegetables, which we praise God for. The farm helps the children to learn agriculture as well as a source of vegetables for the home . Since the year began we sometimes get vegetables from our own gardens which improves of the nutrition for the children. Our orphanage farm has a number of activities including rabbit keep , goats, and sheep. The animals work as the source of meat, most especially rabbits since research says rabbit meat is nutritious and good for the children.
Besides all we see happening and the social-physical transformation, there has been a tremendous spiritual transformation in the lives of the Batwa Children at Seeds of Hope.
These children are taught the Word of God daily; every evening and Wednesday and Saturday we have morning and evening devotions led by the Rubuguri Hope Discovery Church Pastor Frank. They can now pray, recite Bible verses and sing hymns. This growth in their relationship with Jesus has become strong and promising. Through this we see God raising leaders who will truly transform the Batwa communities.
The orphanage has a well trained Batwa Choir. This choir has great performance ability both in dancing and singing and can perform both locally and internationally. The Seeds of Hope Children’s Choir preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ through music, dance, and drama. We thank God for Pastor Frankwho is doing a great job to train the children in different dances. These children are great artisans.
In February 2017, we established the central office in Nyanamo community and recruited the Accountant Social Worker who is also the IT personnel and the Human Resource/Administrative Pastor. This has improved the planning, monitoring, evaluation and the reporting of the ministry projects and programs.
It has also helped in bridging the gap between the Batwa community and the organization and is providing solutions to the immediate and urgent issues.
Most of these are still volunteering and we are praying and believing God for their upkeep.
We can't afford losing their services.
SEEDS OF HOPE CAMPUS NYANAMO
Due to the demand, the setting of the community and the need for expansion of our ministry programs and services, and most especially protecting the rights of these children, it was found necessary to shift the Seeds of Hope School and Orphanage to Nyanamo Community where the Central Office, church oversight and vocational institute are located.
The transition and shifting was done well, the children love the new location and they are just so excitedand we are expecting great results.
As a mean of eradicating poverty at the Batwa household level, we have started a piloting vocational training program in the Nyanamo community. This brings the Batwa girls who are beyond joining primary school and can’t afford training anywhere else a chance to be equipped with skills. We train them in skills of tailoring, knitting and Salon, and home management. We believe that upon finishing they will surely break the cycle of poverty. We also impact them spiritually and raise them to be leaders in their churches and communities. We have a total of forty-five Batwa students now. Please keep praying for the vocational section as we don’t have any donor for this program yet. We find it important if we are to break the cycle of orphanhood. (Note from stateside: We are currently evaluating starting a cottage program in Uganda. We have upcoming meetings in May and will be taking this proposal to Uganda in July.)
CHURCH MINISTRY AND PARTNERSHIPS
Besides the school and children's home progress, our Hope Ministry Churches are progressing and doing very well in their respective communities .
We so far have planted churches that are growing and we are yet to plant more. We also partnered with other churches around Uganda and the neighboring churches of DRC and Rwanda to further the great commission building the Kingdom of God .
NYANAMO BATWA COMMUNITY CHURCH
The Nyanamo Hope Discovery Church is led by Pr. Asiimwe and a team of elders.
It provides leadership and spiritual oversight to the other sister churches. The pastor is also the team leader at central offices. The church has a temporary shelter. They have completed the floor and are believing God for the furniture and the Public Address System.
The Nyanamo Church has good progress in Spiritual growth. They are reaching the community with a message of Hope and Restoration. In one of their recent conferences a mad person was healed and more that 10 people got saved. For sustainability, they planted a garden of Irish Potatoes and it is ready for harvest. They are also putting up poultry and piggery projects to support the church budget and support their pastor.
MUKUNGU BATWA COMMUNITY CHURCH
The Mukungu Hope Discovery Church is led by Pr. Vicent and concentrates most on the Batwa people. Last month we had an end of month overnight prayer that had all the HDC pastors and their congregations. It was a great remark in the Batwa community where by at least 30 people gave their lives to Jesus Christ.
The Mukungu Church has the membership of more than 150 Batwa people plus their children. The church has been renting a small room where the church has been fellowshipping, however because the number of members has increased, they needed their own land for the church. The Batwa people recently collected one million shillings which they paid as a deposit for the land they are buying for their church. We thank God for this community and we are seeing Jesus doing greater things in the Mukungu Batwa Community. We are looking for church partnerswho can support the pastor of this church on a monthly basis.
The church has a poultry project that generates income to the church and is supporting their pastor.
KASOVU BATWA COMMMUNITY CHURCH .
The Kasavu Hope Discovery Church is also growing spiritually day by day and God is working among this Batwa community.
In an overnight at the end of February 2017 the Batwa were so amazed by the gospel and songs performed to them by the visiting teams that they left no stone unturned. All the Batwa people were joyful and still thank God for the team.
The Pr. of the Church in Kasovu is called Sonia. In her speech, she honestly thanked God for the new hope that was discovered in the Lord and brought to the Batwa Community.
RUBUGURI BATWA COMMUNITY CHURCH
The Rubuguri Hope Discovery Church is led by Pr. Frank. He is at the same time the school Chaplain and the trainer of the school Choir that is growing and doing well.
The Rubuguri Hope Discovery Church also gives spiritual guidance to the Batwa Children at Seeds of Hope since it is near the school location.
The church has managed to put up a small office where the pastor meets the Batwa people for counseling, guidance and prayer.
It has put up projects like rearing sheep, goats, rabbits and poultry. These sustain the pastors and elderly in their community.
HOPE DISCOVERY CHURCH PARTNERS
Reaching out to the unreached!
The Hope Discovery Church partners is a team of Apostles and Evangelists from Hope Discovery Churches that are committed to reach the unreached communities in Uganda and all over the world with the Word of God . This has brought great impact in places reached.
Isingiro outreach. While There, many young and old gave their lives to Christ on a crusade in Ruborogota where Apostle Gerald gave a powerful message of the Lord as my Sheppard.
Another impact was made greatly on the Tanzania Border where a prophetic word was spoken on many Christians' lives in the church and they all thanked the mighty works of the Lord.
Hope Ministries Uganda is fulfilling the great commission and vision God has given to us. We are partnering with churches in and outside Uganda to preach the Gospel.
About 150 churches have subscribed to the call to Redeem, Restore, Rebuild, and Raise Up. In March we had a mission to Northern Tanzania and more missions are planned and scheduled.
A FEW CHALLENGES THAT HOPE MINISTRIES UGANDA FACES
Please pray for us as we still face lots of opposition from the people who wouldn’t want to see the Batwa transformed.
We also have limited finances needed for the work that is supposed to be done. We pray that all of our children will be able to get sponsored so that we will be able to raise these children into a greater nation. We also need better homes and classrooms and facilities if we are to transform these children.
PRAYERS AND APPRECIATION
We thank you so much for the great work your doing through partnering to support the Batwa children and their communities in Uganda. Thanks to our sponsors and donors for that big heart and may the Lord bless you so much. We look forward to remaining partners with you for the sake of these children.
May God Bless Each and Everyone of You,
Apostle Tugume Gerald
Hope Ministries Uganda