We have the privilege of receiving regular updates about what’s happening on the ground in Uganda and planning next steps and new initiatives. We get so excited about what God is doing that we easily forget we need to keep our friends up to date. Sorry everyone! So, in a nutshell, here’s what’s up.
The shock of what we saw at “M” last year hardly sank in before we learned there were 5 other facilities. We immediately knew we needed to reach these other facilities, so Moses made contact with 4 of them early this year. In March, we sent a team over to visit the new prisons for the first time and it was overwhelming to say the least. The conditions and population at each prison vary, and needless to say the spiritual and physical needs are great. The ones that are far from Kampala tend to be in worse shape and need more attention. We hope to hire someone who lives near each facility so we can be present on a more regular basis ministering to the children.
We also discovered a government run babies home that was in desperate need of immediate attention (especially medical), and we have begun regular visits there as well. So of the 7 facilities we know of, we are now visiting 6 on a consistent basis.
Currently, the weekly program is for Moses and the team to visit three facilities (“M” and 2 others in Kampala) four days each week. Two days at “M” and two days at the other 2 facilities. These three represent the largest of the 7 and have the most children and greatest needs. Friday is a floating day for the team where they are able to do other work, including writing reports, visiting other facilities around the country, and building relationships with our partners.
Thankfully we have been able to increase the size of the team to a total of nine. We will be updating our “Team” page to highlight these incredible additions. Needless to say they are all fantastic at what they do and passionate about their faith and their work with the children. On a recent trip, we were staying next door to some of them and after a time of prayer they just broke into singing hymns. I can’t tell you how beautiful it was to hear them praying and rejoicing.
In all honesty though, they need more help! There is much work to do and as you can imagine it is physically and emotionally exhausting. So we’re praying we can add more team members soon, particularly nurses and counselors. In about two months, Kelsey and Kirby (our first two volunteers) will be arriving in Uganda from Florida and everyone can’t wait to have them there.
Our local partnerships have also been growing. Cornerstone Development has been a great friend to us and we have expanded our relationship. We hope to partner with them in opening as many as 10 new homes for the children. We are also working more closely with the government and they have welcomed our help. The resources are incredibly scarce particularly for facilities like these. The structures are in bad shape and in some cases there has been limited food and water (which we hope will not be an issue any longer).
Since there is much more to report we’ll post another update in a few days. In the meantime, if you have any questions please email us or post them.
From the bottom of our heart, thanks to all of you for your incredible support and continued prayers for the ministry, the children and the team! We are grateful for everything you do to support the ministry and share the love of Christ with imprisoned children of Uganda.