NEWSLETTER: The Summer Is Here
The summer is here, school is out, and people are taking time to rest and recharge their batteries before the next seasonal celebrations begin.
Yes, Christmas will be upon us before we know it, and it’s one of the most important times of the year for the Christian believer. Without Christmas (the supernatural birth of Christ) and without Easter (His death, burial and resurrection), there is no basis for our faith. Even if one element of His miraculous life, death, resurrection or ascension is removed from the Gospel message, there remains no faith, hope, salvation or second coming.
This is the joy we live for: to know that out of the body is to be present with the Lord. The Apostle Paul said, “I would rather be gone to my Maker than to stay here with you lot, but it is better for me to stay so that I can take some of you with me.” (Paraphrase)
Gospellife International are pleased to bring you the latest update of our mission activities:
The Redeemed of the Lord Evangelistic Church Bugobero.
We had some good news this week. You may recall that over the past three years we gave two substantial deposits of cement to churches in eastern Uganda. The good news is that first church to be completed is holding its dedication ceremony on 29th July 2015.
It was my desire to be there to celebrate with them, but as I am planning a trip to Uganda in the autumn to hold our first Ministry Association Conference, I don’t want to use our resources in haste. We are, however, sending our Ugandan team to represent us and I know they will have a great celebration.
(Images show building under construction in 2014, completed 2015)
Pastor Godfrey would like to thank the Carmel Bible College students and all who donated towards the cement to make this project possible.
May/June Conference and Crusades
Following the Conference and Crusades we held in western Uganda in May/June 2015, we have been receiving some very encouraging reports. The pastors from the three churches we visited are saying that, even now, the churches are enlarging in numbers. This increase is not only happening where we held the Conferences and Crusades, but also in adjoining villages. We praise God for His increase and thank Him that we had the privilege of being chosen for such a time as this (pictures to follow).
One sad note from this mission was that the heart of the Pajero, our dedicated mission vehicle, decided to stop (its engine).
It was quite miraculous how Richard managed to drive it back to Kampala, which was a five hour journey. A couple of different mechanics had advised us not to even attempt to drive it. But because there is no such thing as roadside assistance in Uganda, if your car breaks down, you need to sort it out yourself. Otherwise, if you leave the vehicle where it us, when you return, only the shell of the car will be left intact. This was especially prevalent for us, because all of our crusade equipment was inside the Pajero. We can testify that prayer works: Richard drove back over night because of the intense smoke coming from the engine, and the car made it back in one piece.
Our mechanic in Kampala saved the day, although he commented about the engine: “It is dead beyond repair!” He searched around and found a block (the bottom half of an engine) and a replacement crank shaft. He refurbished those, plus he refurbished the head and put it all back together. It cost just over 2.8 million Ugandan Shillings, which is £650.00. The mechanic said it was dead beyond repair, but praise God that it has been brought to life again! A replacement vehicle would have cost around £4,500, so we’re truly thankful for this miracle.
Now, the inaugurating trip for the Pajero with a new heart will be to the Redeemed of the Lord Evangelistic Church, Bugobero for the church celebrations.
Alina ‘Children Street Rescue’ (we are searching for an appropriate name for this work)
Alina started working with street children in Mbale two months ago and she is now taking care of 14 completely homeless and destitute children. These children age from 6 to 15 years.
Her morning with them starts at 7.30am. She takes breakfast to them, tends to any sickness, washes them, washes their clothes and gives them a change of clothes. After this, she can start to teach them. Her day finishes around 7.30pm where she supplies the children with an evening meal.
We praise God for this new ministry opportunity, but it is not without its difficulties. The main problem is that there is nowhere for the children to sleep at night, so they sleep on the streets. This is unsafe, and the children become subject to night bulling, sexual assaults, theft and, in some instances, police harassment. Imagine trying to take care of children after a night like that.
Alina is working alongside the relevant authorities, such as social workers and the police, but in a third-world country, contacting these agencies and getting help from them is not easy.
Additionally, Alina has no washing machine, so she washes the children’s clothes by hand, which is time-consuming and physically hard work. She prepares the children’s food herself too, so her day is very busy. Alina’s own personal needs are taken care of in the late evening so that she is ready to go back and take breakfast to the children at 7.30am the next morning.
At present, Alina is subsidising this work with her own money and is receiving no help from outside sources (she feeds and clothes them, replacing their rags with new clothes, and pays for their medical treatment). We would like to change this. It takes just a couple of pounds (GBP) per week to feed a child.
We are sending out the first funding from Gospellife International and plan to meet the needs of the children. To continue this invaluable work, we will be searching for suitable accommodation to house these homeless children. We would also like to be able to buy a washing machine to help Alina with the washing of the clothes.
Proper housing will not only give these children a new start in life, but it will also protect them from the sexual and physical abuse they suffer living on the streets.
Alina says, “I am beginning to see a change in these young people’s lives as they begin to trust me and know that I am not going to harm them.”
Now that we are registered with the Ugandan Government we are now able to fully embrace these projects and expand the work Gospellife International has undertaken.
Another exciting project we are embarking upon is one that we have been planning for the past two years: Bible training!
The significance of this is that we are planning to take Bible training to rural and isolated areas of Uganda. Those who live in the cities have access to limited Bible teaching seminars at a cost, but it’s almost impossible for those in remote village areas to attend. The pastors of these rural churches, and even pastors of city-based churches, have received little or no Bible training.
This autumn, Gospellife International will be starting Bible training in very remote and isolated areas of Uganda. Carmel Bible College, Bristol, UK has kindly given us the material to use. Two of our Ugandan team members have graduated from Carmel Bible College and we are now in the position to send them out to train others.
Ever since my first visit to Uganda in 1997, this has been my dream. I saw the hunger for the Gospel and the deep need for training and equipping. That’s why teaching has always been the main thrust of all our conferences and, as a result, we have seen leaders grow into strong believers.
The pastors of the rural villages are eagerly awaiting the news of the inception of this training programme and I know that the teaching will be gratefully received and will have a long-lasting impact on their lives and ministries.
In one area alone, over 40 pastors and leaders have signed up and are eagerly awaiting the start of this training. Due to the logistics and distances involved, the Bible training course will take place over a 2 year period, so this is a commitment from the pastors and leaders who will attend, as well as from our team members and Gospellife International.
Thank you for taking the time to read our latest news. None of this work is possible without your valued prayer and financial support. Together we are making a difference.
If you would like to make a financial contribution to any of the projects mentioned in this newsletter, please visit our website, www.gospellife.org.uk and click on ‘Donate’.
From all at Gospellife International