Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
Dear Friends and Family,
We pray you are all doing well and enjoying this summer. We have heard that many places around the world are now opening back up. We praise God for those answered prayers.
In Uganda it is a different story. Covid variants are ravaging the country and the people. It seems so strange because last year when the rest of the world was really suffering, here in Uganda we had hardly any cases and very little death. Now that we are hearing praise reports from other countries we find ourselves back in a strict lockdown with more cases and death weekly than the last wave. All businesses besides food vendors and essential services are closed. No public or private vehicles allowed. To go shopping people must walk or ride a bicycle. You can have groceries delivered but there is a curfew at 5. If someone works in a food market the government has asked them to sleep there. They have provided mosquitoes nets to the vendors since many of the stalls are out doors.
Many of our church members work in the market place. The churches, schools and all public gatherings are banned completely. Police are out in full force on the streets ensuring everyone is obeying. Failure to obey the lockdown rules or to be caught with your mask down can mean 2 months in prison. One of the problems the country is facing is lack of vaccines. They had an initial push for the vaccine but quickly ran out when people who had received the first shot had not yet received the second dose and less then 1,000,000 people were vaccinated. Recently the government procured enough vaccines to finish giving those the 2nd dose. The end of next month is when they are expecting that they can begin to vaccinate again. The president has said he can not relax the covid measures until 5-7 million are vaccinated . While we understand having the SOPs for people’s safety we are hoping this strict lock down will not last that long. During the last lockdown the government tried to assist the very poor with food but this time they are not. They have said they will give the equivalent of $30 to the very needy, only time will tell how this turns out. We have been trying to help the members of Arise Christian Fellowship and those in our community who are in need the best we can.
The last time we were in lockdown and the church was closed Brian would put his written message online and send in messages for the church to read because many of our church members do not have smart phones or computers. This lock down he has been doing the same but is also doing a video service for those who can view it. With the severity of this wave and with so many deaths close to home we felt that being able to see their pastor and hear the message would be comforting.
For those who can’t view Brian is trying his best to stay in contact through phone calls. Last year many people in Uganda did not even believe covid was real because most did not know someone personally affected. This year at least 3 church members have lost a parent and many others a family member. In the missionary community, we have lost 3 missionaries, one a young lady who had just given birth 2 weeks earlier and leaves behind her husband and a 2 year old as well. We continue to pray for these families who have lost loved ones and for this pandemic to come to an end.
We often say God’s timing is perfect. Recently we have seen how true this is. Right before the lockdown we got to experience two wedding celebrations. My oldest nephew had invited me to come and be apart of his wedding in Ohio. I wasn’t sure if I should go because I knew I couldn’t take the kids but since the last five times I went home sickness and death were the main reason everyone agreed I needed to go home for a happy occasion. Brian and I went for a week and had an amazing time with my family as well as me being able to get an extensive eye exam that I was needing. Besides the wedding we also were able to see my youngest nephew graduate from high school. The timing was perfect.
While we were there is when Uganda really began to get bad. We made it back just a couple days before the total lockdown. Literally the day before the president closed the churches our drummer, Timothy and our bass player, Ruth had their wedding with all their friends and family present. If any of these wonderful events had not taken place at the time they did, either they would not have happened or we could not have been apart of them. God’s timing is perfect and we will trust and pray for His perfect timing to bring and end to this lockdown and to the covid pandemic.
Thank you for praying for our family and for the ministry in Uganda.