St. John's Update July, 2019

We recently received an update from Lawrence Ssemakula, cooperative and teacher at St. John’s Primary, our partner school in Uganda.

Dear Brethren ,
Greetings in the name of our LORD and savior Jesus Christ.
I am grateful to the Lord for the privilege he’s granted me to share with you this small update regarding the work that is going on at St. John’s. I wanted to let you know that because of your participation in this work through various ways, many have been blessed and their lives are changing positively.Thank you for your continued obedience to the Lord by participating in his work that is bearing fruit as it improves lives of the children at St. John’s.

Introducing parents to St. John’s teaching staff.

Introducing parents to St. John’s teaching staff.

Our enrollment for the students is now at 387 and we’ve tried as much as we can to not get more than we can really serve. Really this number is still big but we are trying to meet their needs. The teaching staff is at 14. John is the newest addition to the team, because of the growing number of children as it’s been very evident compared to how things were in the past years, the school has been able to get a few more teachers. Little by little we are making bundles.

With the teacher seminars that the EA St. John’s committee has been organizing and sending people to implement them here, the teachers are getting refreshed and implementing the ideas they have been getting so as to improve their classroom performance as they serve the children. We are so grateful to you all and thank you Cameron for making sure that teacher development gets to happen.

Last week we had a parents general meeting and in my communication to the parents I was reminding them the need to fully get involved in all aspects that concern their children because it’s their primary responsibility among other things.

The Lunch program was my major point of discussion because our goal is to see that its sustainable rather than depending on external support.They appreciated so much the support we’ve extended to them since the Lunch program started as we’ve been sharing with them our food from the Faithwell Gardens something they’ve never experienced before. As the seasons didn’t happen as expected,the harvests were also greatly affected and so their contributions were very few.I encouraged everyone to contribute whatever little they have so that together we can realize something to take us on.

I made reference to the story in the gospels where we learn that Jesus was able to feed thousands yet there was not much he started with. The small contribution that the boy gave was something Jesus valued to start with. From this meeting we had parents who promised to send in some contributions of food. And so I went to some families to collect it because some of them were old ladies who had no means to deliver it.

We also elected village representatives who will be moving from one family to another to remind them of their food contributions so that we can have the program moving forward.This was part of our action plan especially if the harvests continue to improve. We think that little by little we can create a system that will eventually be sustained and managed by the parents, school administrators and the Parents leaders.

I also reminded the parents of the opportunities they have with the TRADE where they can bring food items for exchange to get shoes and other items for their children. The opportunity to do some work and get paid was also part of what I communicated and days after we started having parents wanting to come for work at our property so that that they can get some funds to meet other needs for their children.

Recently we’ve also registered quite a big rise in Malaria infections among our children at school and only in the last couple of weeks I took back over 13 children back to their homes and these were really sick. Most of these are living with single mothers and Very old grandmothers.
The parents whereabouts are unknown and the children are just on their own with the Grand parents.The conditions they live in according to what I was seeing during these visits are major factors contributing to the sickness sometimes.

While I was at Diana’s village, I collected cassava from her Jajja(Grandma). I felt like Jeremiah when he went to that widow. They had little food for their family yet were willing to share some, so that they can also contribute something. I really asked her to stop even though she still wanted to give some more. She has about 5 grandkids and Diana in the (pictured) was born with HIV and so her needs are different.

While I was at Diana’s village, I collected cassava from her Jajja(Grandma). I felt like Jeremiah when he went to that widow. They had little food for their family yet were willing to share some, so that they can also contribute something. I really asked her to stop even though she still wanted to give some more. She has about 5 grandkids and Diana in the (pictured) was born with HIV and so her needs are different.

We are also trying as much as we can to continue hearing children’s stories especially those living under difficult circumstances so that we can know how well we can advocate for them.
In the story of Jairus and his daughter, we see that her issue is presented to Jesus by her Father and she got the help that was needed. Many children are voiceless and silently going through much agony which is as result of many unknown factors that we can address as people of faith.
We’ve identified many children who need a lot of advocacy and the issues are really overwhelming from torture and mistreatment by step moms, child labour, early pregnancies and marriages etc.

Josephine and myself are planning to visit a family where two young boys need us to speak to their Dad who is not treating them well and violating a lot of their rights as kids. We’ve been feeling the LORD leading us more into advocating for the children in various ways rather than just focusing on what happens in the classroom.

I am really thankful to God because of the way that his word has continued to open our eyes to the needs that the children have. Our ears continue to become sharper in listening and hearing the voices of those that are oppressed and our sensitivity continues to improve.There is so much that’s needed of us and others to be able to do God’s will as he expects and to do it his way. Pray for us then so that we may Put on as God’s chosen ones, Holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, etc. Pray so that everything we get to do in word or deed as individuals or team, we get to be mindful of the reputation of our LORD.

-Pray for the Lunch program so that the goals we have can be a reality.
-Teachers to consider the needs of the children in all ways.
-The peace of the Lord to prevail in people’s families.
-Government hasn’t yet responded with the construction of the boys toilet yet it’s full and no longer needs to be used. There is urgent need for a new toilet for boys.

Thank you so much for your patience and taking the time to read this update.Its always a pleasure to share with you the good things the Lord is doing in our midst. Even though I would like to share them with you face to face, but I am content that we can have other means to do so. The Lord is so faithful and has continued to bless us abundantly. I am so thankful that you and us here are privileged to take part in this kingdom work to save the world. I am excited for yet more greater things that the Lord has planned to reveal to us.


May His name be respected in our midst.
Amen.
Love.
Your Brother.
Ssemakula.