The St Ebbes Uganda mission team, 2016, have recently returned from an excellent visit to AICM. Led for a second year by Nick Wooldridge, a second year theological student from Wycliffe College , Oxford, the team give thanks to God for His gracious protection on our flights and on our many travels on long and dusty roads. The visit was very full with a very varied programme, thanks to the folk at AICM who planned it.
Here are some highlights:-
Much fun with Batwa primary school children with our rainbow parachute.
Joining with two great head teachers and staff at the two Batwa primary schools at Rwamahano and Murubindi for bible teaching and lots of games. These two schools are very remote, dealing with the poorest of the poor -
Joining in the joyful dancing, thanksgiving and praise to God with local communities learning to integrate Bakiga and Batwa communities. Please pray for AICM and their field staff who are teaching these communities to work together and support one another. It is challenging work requiring great commitment and resources .
Joining with students and staff at the AICM vocational college each morning for praise and worship and bible teaching from John`s gospel. Great times of sharing. Pray that they will continue to read their bibles each day and for their faith to grow.
A visit to the local government prison. An overwhelming and humbling experience from a huge number of prisoners, many full of praise to God and ready to hear His word. Their singing was amazing. God is plainly at work here.
The opportunity to give a gift of a sheep to members of various rural communities, on behalf of Friends of AICM whose alternative gift scheme provides gifts of sheep or goats. Let’s try to encourage more folk to use this scheme for various gifts as it is a vital means of providing resources to these needy communities. It was a privilege to see such gratitude.
The opportunity given to Nick, our team leader, to preach at all three services at All Saints Church, Kabale, the third service in the local language where he was interpreted by a bishop. A surprise wedding was part of this service!! This is the major Church of Uganda church in Kabale. Please pray for the clergy to be well trained and faithful in bible teaching.
These are only a few highlights. We give thanks for many opportunities to work alongside the small but committed team at AICM and to begin to understand the challenges of sharing the love of God amongst such needy communities. Our experiences have fuelled our prayers. Please join us.
The Rwamahano Project
In our November newsletter it was reported that, following a Trustees’ visit to the Batwa communities at Rwamahano and Murubindi, it was apparent that various major improvements were needed for them to provide adequate protection for the children during the extreme weather conditions associated with the communities’ locations. This was especially true for the timber classroom building at Rwamahano. This school currently has approximately 140 primary age children attending school and Murubindi has 88 and these numbers are rising.
We can now report that most of our recommendations have been completed and the children have dry and relatively windproof buildings to continue their schooling.ct
However, this was only a temporary solution, and in July 2016, FAICM launched an appeal to raise sufficient funds to construct a new brick building providing four classrooms and a head teachers office at Rwamahano. Plans were prepared by one of our trustees and this formed the basis of our appeal. A team of trustees researched the various trusts and grant funding bodies, launched internet appeals, spoke to friends and supporters and held various fund raising activities. We were greatly encouraged early in the fundraising process when a funder was found who was prepared to match fund the project so every pound we raised was worth two.
Meanwhile, Mike Peachey sent out his plans to recommended builders in Kabale interested in tendering the contract. Receipt of the tenders provided a better idea of how much we needed to raise, as it was impossible to know how much the difficulties associated with the site location, in getting labour and materials to it would cost.
The tenders were reviewed in detail and then in February 2016, Mike and Colin visited Kabale to interview the best two contractors. By this time we knew we had raised £46,000, with promised gifts still to come, and were in a position to appoint a contractor. After a gruelling week of site visits, meetings with contractors and AICM Board of Directors, we were all in agreement on the best contractor and he was duly appointed. After a couple of weeks getting the contract document together and signed we are pleased to confirm that works commenced on 12 April 2017.
Completion is due in about 5 months with a further visit to Kabale planned for September for handover.
We praise God for the generosity of our many supporters without whom this much needed building would not be a reality. A big thank you to you all.
We are also very aware of similar needs of the Batwa community at Murubindi and will be looking to continue our fundraising to provide them with a similar building.
External repairs to the building at Rwamahano to improve protection from wind and rain
Mike Peachey, Faith and Colin Townsend
and Colin Townsend
Part front plan view (just over one half) over one half)
Other end of front view, plus end elevation
The foundations complete and concrete floor slab being laid.
(Note the stunning but very exposed location)
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