And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Dear Friends and Family,
This past month has been reminiscent of last year when Uganda first went into lockdown because of Covid. It is crazy to think so much time has past and yet we are still battling the same thing. 6 weeks in lockdown seemed like a very long time but last year we actually were in lockdown for 4 months before we had the freedom we have now following an easing of this past lockdown. For the next 60 days we have what is called a partial lockdown. People can drive again but only 3 people per vehicle, which makes it hard for families to go anywhere together, businesses can work at 20% but still only essential markets are allowed open. Churches and any type of religious gathering are closed for these 60 more days. Schools are closed until the government can acquire the Pfizer vaccine and vaccinate the 12—18 year olds. Weddings and funerals can have 20 people present. The government put out strict steps to follow as they ease the lock down but the picture here is a picture taken the day after the president spoke. It was as if all of Kampala came out at once.
As a church we have been trying our best to minister to those who have been most affected by the lockdown and the inability to go to work. Our church has many people who live day to day. We have a few widows and very many children from the slums. This lockdown, while there were many police checks and soldiers around, was not as strict as the last when it came to getting help to the needy and the movement that was needed to do so. We are very thankful to have had support to help provide these less fortunate ones with the basic necessities. We were also blessed by our church members who were quick to help one another and to bring to our attention those who were the most in need. It shows much spiritual growth to see them focusing not only on their own needs but also the needs of others.
Arise Christian Fellowship helps quite a few church plants and outreaches around Uganda. We have a heart for God’s Word to go out to the whole of Uganda, Africa and the World. During the time of the corona virus and lock down we have tried to reach out to those closest to us since movement was limited. A lot of ministry has taken place over the phone or the internet. Churches may be closed but ministry continues and we believe the church is growing. For some of the pastors that Brian has discipled and the church is assisting, they took this time of lockdown to literally begin building their churches physically. We have a pastor in western Uganda that we were able to help with materials for him and some of the church members to begin making bricks and burning them. They have made great progress and we are hopeful that in the next 60 days of church closure they will have even began the building of the church.
Another event that people have made the most of during the lockdown is weddings. In Uganda weddings are normally very expensive, extravagant events. Couples often go into debt because their families and friends put so much pressure on them to have a huge gigantic wedding and reception. With the president mandating that weddings can only have 20 people many people have actually chosen to get married during this time since it makes getting married easier and less expensive. Arise Christian Fellowship has a missionary, Ivan, we sent to South Sudan a couple of years ago as a worship and youth leader. Earlier this year he got engaged and brought his fiancé, Maggie, to Kampala to introduce her to the church. They had planned to get married in June but then it was extended till lockdown was over. The first weekend of the partial lockdown they were able to get married. It was very interesting to be at a wedding in Uganda with such few people present. Only 2 members of our worship team came to provide the music. The couple only had a handful of family and friends each. Brian had the privilege of walking the Bride down the aisle and giving her hand to Ivan. Even with the reduced numbers and celebration time because of curfew being at 7pm the couple were very happy and smiley. We are so happy for them.
Thank you for praying for our family and for the ministry in Uganda.