uganda appeal newsletter
COVID 19 and Uganda: how we can support our link Dioceses.
The current crisis has undoubtedly brought us closer to our brothers and sisters throughout the world because we are all suffering the same virus. Our link dioceses in Uganda have been praying for us and below you will find some ideas to help you pray for them. As you will not be surprised to read economically, the situation in Uganda is far more precarious than here, but the church is seeking to help those in most need. IF you feel you could help them to do this, there are details of how to make a donation. In these straightened times we recognise that not everyone will be able to do this, but we can all pray.
The situation in Uganda
By the middle of May, reported COVID 19 cases in Uganda were just over 100 with no known deaths. The government have imposed a lockdown, currently extended to 19th May. As here, this has provided a sense of family unity, especially in towns as families are less busy and spending time together, but there is great concern about families where there is potential abuse.
Economically, many people thrive on income from informal businesses, eg selling food or providing transport and these are all closed. Such families are already starving. The government is seeking to provide some food to struggling families, but opportunists have taken advantage of this for personal gain.
The clergy and Readers in the entire Church of Uganda are supposed to get their monthly stipends from the Sunday offertory but since the end of February, churches, schools and other institutions have been closed. Many school staff are not being paid either. The Archbishop has been broadcasting services and daily messages for the whole country, but generally technology is less available so congregations have not been able to develop e-ministries as we have here.
Words of encouragement from Uganda
Bishop Hannington writes from Kampala
“We did not ever think that boarders of our countries would ever be closed off. We had never imagined that we would greet each other minus a hug or at least a hand shake. Least of all, we had never and would see it abominable, waking up on Sunday morning to find our churches that host thousands every Sunday closed. COVID-19 has paralyzed us! In the midst of this all, we do testify that we are seeing the hand of God. We are in the fire, but not being consumed because God is with us.”
Our friend Venerable Godfrey Kasana, Archdeacon or Luttete in Luweero diocese urged us to read 2 Chronicles 6 verses 28-31
‘When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when enemies besiege them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, 29 and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel – being aware of their afflictions and pains, and spreading out their hands towards this temple – 30 then hear from heaven, your dwelling-place. Forgive, and deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know the human heart), 31 so that they will fear you and walk in obedience to you all the time they live in the land that you gave our ancestors.”
If you follow the Church of Uganda on facebook (@ChurchOfUgandaNamirembe) you can watch broadcast services, including members of the AYF choir who visited us recently.
Please pray that sufficient food supplies would be available for all who have lost their income, especially ministers and their families, school teachers and those in informal settlements.
Pray for calmness of heart for many people; For continued spiritual growth of all people despite the closed churches.
Pray for the political leaders to uphold integrity in utilising the limited resources in the nation
Prayers are also needed for the people in one of the remotest parishes in Luweero diocese - Lwampanga - about 50 miles North-West of Luweero town- who have been disrupted by the floods due to the heavy rains which caused the waters of Lake Kyoga to burst its banks.
Give thanks that Bishop Hannington, Assistant Bishop of Kampala, has returned to health and work after his Leukaemia treatment last year and that Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba was installed as Archbishop of Uganda and Bishop of Kampala at the beginning of March.
Projects our money could help to support
If you do feel able to support our brothers and sisters in
Uganda in this crisis with more than prayer, here is how
you could help. The donations received will be divided
between the 2 dioceses who will be asked to use any
surplus funds to help with projects with similar aims.
In Kampala Diocese
The diocese is reaching out to at least 10 families a week,
in Kalerwe and Kiwuliriza, 2 of the biggest and poorest
informal settlements in Kampala, providing them with food,
but the opportunity is much greater.
Last year, the Swindon Deanery group visited the schools based in these locations and saw both the need and the impact the church was having.
In Luweero Diocese
The diocese is concerned to provide food (ie maize flour and dry beans) for church ministers’ families.
Please send any contributions you are able to make to the respective PCC account (details below), marked for the 'Uganda Appeal'. Many thanks on behalf of our Diocesan Link parishes and school.
Sort code: 30-13-35
Account number: 01527399
Account name: St Michaels Church PCC Highworth
Sort Code: 30-98-41
Account number: 00323358
Account name: PCC Blunsdon St Leonards Church