Get Flash

Monday, May 31, 2010

Who do you call for a blocked open-sewer?

Operation ARK! Operation ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) has been a great success this year. For four days from the 2nd - 6th May 2010, scores of young people from the local churches in Nyendo took to the streets and defying the expectations of the locals, undertook a massive clear-up operation... I'll let Julius, Operation ARK Coordinator, make his report:
The theme for Operation ARK was “Faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead!” (James 2:17). 13 churches from Masaka were represented, which was really a privilege to have them join us bless the community. 80- 100 youth turned up everyday during that week to bless the community and impact it with the love of God.

This year we were privileged to be joined by people from England’ France, and Holland. We divided into 3 groups, one was to paint, the other to clean and the third group preached and prayed for the people in the areas that we worked every day. We had different pastors from different churches teaching on different topics in line with the theme, and then we moved out painting homes, clearing rubbish off streets, and giving out 50 'Boxes of Blessings' to people - food and other basic necessities - this was amazing to see them happy and exited. Amazingly, 19 people gave their lives to Jesus within those 4 days of Operation A.R.K.

The most exiting thing in that week for me was this blocked open-sewer that we found in Kitaka Zone Nyendo. Before Operation A.R.K had come in to help, people couldn’t do anything about it; it was blocked up to the level of 6 feet deep. All the men around made all these funny comments on how we were going to fail and not make it because it was so deep and stinking a lot. But thank God that we were able to join our efforts together and managed to unblock it and all the people were astonished and surprised on how we managed to unblock it at last. News started spreading out in the area on how the Christians managed to unblocked the filthy trench!

We can’t wait to see what 2011 holds for Operation A.R.K.
Thank you! Julius
There'll be plenty of pictures and video clips making their way onto this site over the next few weeks so you can see for yourself what Operation ARK has achieved!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lizzy’s Letter from Uganda – Episode 3

Hello from uganda! Hope everyones just as lovely as ever :) This week has been quite a hard one - the girls have all gone back to school, and its odd how much I miss them being around! But it has meant I have had the chance to take part in some different ministries...

On Monday I had my first day on the Hospital Ministry. We go around a local hospital, praying for the patients and helping out with food and medicine where we can. The hospital is government run but people still have to pay for their care, treatment. Also they dont get given any food, so patients have to rely on friends or relatives to bring them food.

The first thing that stood out was that there were people just asleep on mats in the hallways. The wards were also so packed, there were about 10 patients in a room, that in England would hold around 4! The first ward we went on was supposedly a recovering womens ward, but when we walked in the shock really hit me, a lady had just died, and had been covered up with a white sheet, but you could hardly tell there was a body underneath it, the lady must have been so thin.

Then we went over to a lady who was having breathing difficulty, she had liquid in her lungs, in England they would usually be able to drain the lungs, but here they dont have the equipment, so this lady will simply die. Then the first lady we went over to pray for, was so thin, she was virtually a bag of bones. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I just couldn't handle it, and I had to stay out side, it was to hard seeing all the suffering. I felt so helpless, and bad. But then I realised how the only way we can help and give hope to these people is through prayer, and I realised then why River of Life has the Hospital Ministry. What if someone was on their death bed, like quite a few of these people are, and they die without knowing God? At least we give them the opportunity to know Jesus.

On Wednesday, we went to Nazareth Children’s Home. One of the older girls there unfortunately hasn't been able to go back to school as she could no longer live with a family that had been supporting her. Last year she used to live with a family in another village. She used to help out around the house and was able to go to school in return. Now she is back at Nazareth Children’s Home and is helping out there - she can't go back to school until school fees can be found. It’s so sad, but such a common story.

Also one of the other children at Nazareth called Bridget, who's about 3, has bad scoliosis, and so her spine is twisted around her organs, which gives her a hunch back, and stops her being able to learn to walk. In England she would have been able to have a back brace from a very young age, or maybe an operation. She went to the doctors last week, because she hasn't been well, and the doctor said she has T.B, but he can’t give her any medication until August - if she still has it. But I don't think that TB can just go on its own, as many people die from it over here! So we are going to try and keep a close eye on her, and take her to hospital if she gets any worse! But also because they can’t do anything for her spine, as she grows, it could grow more around her spine, and end up suffocating her. It’s so heartbreaking holding a child knowing how ill she could really get.

On a positive note we’ve developed a new programme at Nazareth with the staff there, teaching the younger children who aren’t at school. It’s starting off well, although it’s very new for the children and they are finding it hard taking so much in! But we have time, and we are positive its going to help them :)

If you would like to help fund the new Nazareth Programme run by River of Life, or the Hospital Ministry, please email Rob

Lizzy normally lives in Manchester, and is currently with us for her Gap Year. She has very kindly agreed to post some of her thoughts about life at River of Life on our blog - cheers Lizzy!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Working together to help more of Masaka's Orphans

Thirsa, one of our volunteers, has been battling against all the odds to put together a proposal on how we can help our friends at Nazareth Children's Home. What with power cuts, a stolen laptop and limited internet access, she's done wonders to draw up a plan, with help from Anna and Lizzy.

Nazareth is a children's home in Nyendo, providing residential care to 25 vulnerable children. They are primarily supported by the guys at Uganda Rural Fund, and we've made some great connections there over the years, supporting the feeding of some of the more malnourished children and practically helping out with chores. Over the last few months we've been looking closely at how we can help develop the fantastic work that goes on there.

With Anna and Lizzy, Thirsa has written up a proposal that focuses on regularly assisting Nazareth with practical help and a program to stimulate Early Learning Skills through structured play and interacion - so crucially important for children! Due to staff shortages, the children are not receiving the developmental input which is crucial in their early years, so by developing a team of local volunteers, including the White Eagles, we hope to help set-up a sustainable program that will have a long-lasting impact on the life-chances of some of Masaka's most vulnerable children.

If you would like to have a copy of the proposal, or would like to support this initiative, please send us an email

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nazareth and High School Musical - Anna's African Adventure

Hello everyone!

As you know I have been going to Nazareth Children's Home two days a week. On Wednesday, Lizzy, Thirsa and I went and the children acted differently to usual. In fact, instead of crying for attention they were playing and laughing. We just watched and couldn't stop laughing ourselves.We are now going to implement a program to offer the children a chance at being able to develop skills they would usually use at nursery. We had to go slowly in order for our input to be accepted. We are very excited about teaching the children, at least, I know I am.

With the girls we have been enjoying evenings of High School Musical. I actually really enjoy it! I think I have been caught singing a few of the songs. We have High School Musical Three on now. I must say, it is hard typing in the dark!

The talk went really well. I did indeed talk about Surrender. Everyone there listened and participated.

Sadly, Saturday, when were due to go to the pool, it rained, very hard to say the least. However, it did give me the chance to perfect my Matatu skills, a card game that everyone plays here. There is no point trying to introduce any new ones, noone takes any notice! It rained again today so we played cards very often. I think I lost just about every game I played though!

I am not so patiently now waiting for three packages. The girls keep asking for chocolate too. I am growing impatient too!!!

The holiday program is ending soon. Sunday will be the last day of the holiday. I am impressed at how much some of the White Eagles want to go back to school. They really deserved a good break. On Monday, the usual program will start again and things, will become a little more relaxed I feel with more time to pray which I am really looking forward to.

Anna normally lives in France and is currently staying with us for 4 months on a Gap Year. She's giving us her special flavour on all things River of Life in a series of posts

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lizzy's Letter from Uganda - Episode 2

Can’t believe how time has flown since I’ve been here! Hope everyone back home is doing well,

I’m still having a great time, I’m getting use to the swing of life out here, and the holiday club is still going well! Last week was so great!

Operation ARK took place, we painted peoples shop fronts, and houses. We moved rubbish tips from people’s doorstep, which wasn’t the most glamorous job, but it was great when people walked past saying thank you! And asking why we are doing it, so we could tell them about Operation ARK, and River of Life Church. We had a lot of people asking us for prayers, and people giving their lives to Christ! This was amazing to see. On the final day we went out into the community to give out boxes, which were filled with daily essentials, such as beans, bread, matches, oil, everything! Before we gave them out we went out in group of 4s, to find people who we thought needed the boxes the most, which was so hard, because, I felt everyone needed them! It was hard seeing how people live, we went into compounds where families of 4 lived in 2 rooms, which were so small, and simple, and so dark! It just hit me how different our cultures really are! But it was such a great week, Tim and Sarah have visited this week for Operation Ark, it was so great having them, as they really inspired and got the kids up ready for going out into the community with God's will on the hearts.

Nazareth is going really well! On our last visit, the children were all so happy, but instead of crying, and pushing each other around to get attention, they were all running around with huge grins on the faces, they all seemed so happy, I really think they are getting to know us more, which is so great! We are starting to plan some sessions with the children, like teaching them simple things like colours and counting, which we are all really looking forward to doing! Please pray that God will give us guidance as we prepare the sessions for the children, that we are teaching what god wants to be taught.

The other night, 2 of the lady upstairs' chickens were stolen in the middle of the night, even though we had our night guard on, (which me and Anna didn’t mind as they always woke us up at 5 am!) but I think this may have worried the girls a bit, as they feel more protected because of the night guard, but this has worried a few of them, so please pray that the girls trust in God for protection, and also that God does protect the girls home.

Lizzy normally lives in Manchester, and is currently with us for her Gap Year. She has very kindly agreed to post some of her thoughts about life at River of Life on our blog - cheers Lizzy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Operation ARK, Lake Nab and a Party - Anna's African Adventure

I have been having an awesome week! We have just finished Operation ARK. I remember telling you about the painting last newsletter, which was by far the funnest day! However, I also cleared rubbish and mud and such which was fun too; anything is fun with Uncle Julius singing and dancing! Many people got saved which lead to Auntie Thirsa and other people on the team going into a school! Recently, I was walking through Nyendo and people pointed at me shouting out Operation Ark!I know that I stick out like a sore thumb. What with being a muzungo, but still!

Everyone enjoyed a rewarding day out at the lake. The weather was beautiful by the end and swimming in the lake was gorgeous. I really wish we could go back. It was a good day! TO get there, we were in a truck that usually transports cattle and goats, it was one of the funniest things ever, even if I did need looking after! In the evening we watched Avatar which was awesome. I did intend to rest that evening because I was exhausted but I ended up cuddling various scared children at some bits of thefilm but that was ok. They loved it by the end and enjoyed all the explosions.

On Sunday, I was on worship for the first time!!!!!! It was a tad scary to begin which but guess what? I sang in Lugandan. St Mark's get ready for some very internatational worship! I couldnt have done without Lydia, another girl in the team she helped me with the Lugandan.

I found a party outfit in the end! The party was lovely and Julius obviously enjoyed himself! Gerrard's party was equally funny and we have decided that we need to invent another excuse for a party, just to dance all together in the church, it was so much fun!

The boys saw photographs of my family yesterday which they really enjoyed.

The holiday program had started again so we are very busy again! Yesterday we had a debate, or what was meant to be one, it just degenerated into who can shout the loudest. The kinds claimed that they wanted to develop their speaking skils but they really just enjoy being raucous!

Anna normally lives in France and is currently staying with us for 4 months on a Gap Year. She's giving us her special flavour on all things River of Life in a series of posts

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sarah's Story - burglars, chocolate and sewers!

Hellooooooooooooooooo everyone!!! I hope that you are all well!!! So, the last month has been interesting...

First of all, we had two burglaries about a month ago (both were done by the burglar reaching through the window in my room - one while we were at church, and one during the night). We now have a night guard, and a guard while we're at church, and lots of extra security measures!

On a good note, though, since my last newsletter, Lizzy (a gap year student from my church in Manchester) arrived to stay in the girls' home and help out with the White Eagle Project and Nazareth Orphanage for four months. She came equipped with chocolate, "Friends" DVD's, a new DVD player, and presents from my church in Manchester! Yeah!!! It's really great to have her and Anna (the other gap year student who's here for 4 months) here, and we're having a great time!

The kids have been on holiday for the last 3 weeks, so life is REALLY hectic, but fun!!! We've got the holiday programme up and running, so my time is being taken up with doing dance sessions, aerobics classes, debates (which don't involve much debating at all, but do involve lots of ridiculous and hilarious objections!), group discussions, life skills sessions, games sessions, volleyball (watching and keeping score, you understand, not doing!!!), Fellowships, prayer meetings, etc., etc., etc. There have also been a few parties, swimming trips, worship events, and other things thrown in to the mix.

Last week, we had "Operation ARK" (Acts of Random Kindness), which involved the young people (including all the White Eagles) from the churches in and around Nyendo going to the poorer areas of Nyendo and doing things to bless the residents, including: painting houses (in rather garish shades of green and blue, mostly!!!), sweeping streets, cleaning and sweeping up the market area (very smelly!), clearing a rubbish heap (even more smelly!), clearing a drain (the most smelly of all!), and giving out "Boxes of Blessing" (boxes with basic supplies in, like rice, sugar, tea, etc.). It was soooooooooooooooooo much fun!!!!!!!!! There was much hilarity, alongside the hard work, and the atmosphere was great! I REALLY enjoyed it, and it was good getting to know the youth from the other churches, and great to do a hard day's work and see a difference at the end, and see the residents really happy with what we'd done (- at least, that's how I interpreted their faces, but they could have been grimacing at the smells created by unblocking the drain, etc!).

We also went to Lake Nabugabu last Friday with all the kids, as Tim and Sarah (an English couple who came for Operation ARK) took us. Tim volunteered here at the White Eagles Project for several years, and Sarah is his new wife, so they took us to the Lake to celebrate their wedding and the end of Operation ARK (which was Tim's idea in the first place and has been run by him for the last 2 years). It was wonderful, and everyone had a fab day!!! We all swam loads, ate loads, and, in my case, drank loads, because the Lake was really choppy that day, and I swallowed rather a lot of rather brown-looking water whilst swimming... but I haven't had any ill effects, so far! We finished the day by watching "Avatar", cinema style, in the boys' home - it was amazing, and a brilliant end to a brilliant week!!!!

Unfortunately, Jack the dog died yesterday. Jack (who was actually a lady-dog) had been the White Eagles' dog for 7 years - she was a stray who sort of attached herself to the project - and despite them spending months trying to get rid of her initially, she was much loved in the end. She will be remembered for her affection (she always walked the kids to the nearby schools, or to and from the girls' home/church), as well as for her promiscuity (- she had puppies every year she was here practically!). The kids held their own funeral today, which was half tongue-in-cheek, and half serious - it was both funny and solemn at the same time!!!

We've got a week and a half left of the holiday, then the kids go back to school. At the moment, it is well and truly grasshopper season, and they are all over the place (there were about 30 flying and hopping about the toilet at the office today - it was a scary experience using it, as they are huge compared to English grasshoppers, and they kept flying or hopping onto me whilst I was in there!!!) The kids catch loads everyday, and then fry and eat them. Today, I had a lesson from some of the younger kids in de-legging, de-winging, de-tailing and de-antennaeing(!) a grasshopper!!! I never realised how soft and squishy grasshopper bodies were until I kept squashing them by mistake today when I wasn't gentle enough de-winging them!!!

Sarah is originally from Manchester, UK, and is currently our Girls Home Aunty in the White Eagle Project. She's very kindly agreed to us publishing her newsletters on our blog to give a taste of life as a missionary at River of Life

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Operation ARK & Kids Club - Anna's African Adventure

Hello there!

We had the first day of Operation Ark today. We painted the outsides of shops and buildings! I feel I got more paint on me than the house but we had so much fun, even if I was picked on a little! Today I think I shall be sweeping streets which will hopefully be less messy!

I had a lovely day off on Friday. We went to the bakery and bought various different treats. For lunch we enjoyed a mixture of various different cakes and samosas! Yummy!

Uncle John, gave me some disappointing news, that my package has not arrived yet! Hopefully it will be here by next weekend. I can't wait!

We had our first Kid's Club session on Saturday. It went well. We are learning from our first session on how to improve and already have ideas. If you have any good craft ideas, which are easy then please do send them.

I am thinking about talking about Surrender on Monday to the White Eagles. However, I am in no way sure that it is from God but I think I should step out in faith. Any words of encouragement, feel free to send those too!

Anna normally lives in France and is currently staying with us for 4 months on a Gap Year. She's giving us her special flavour on all things River of Life in a series of posts

Monday, May 3, 2010

With the World Cup round the corner...

... what better time to update you on Ball-line Soccer Academy? Thanks in most part to the efforts of manager Walusimbi, Ball-line has been going from strength to strength. With the World Cup just around the corner we dream of a day when we might see some of our talented youngsters playing in such a prestigious tournament at the highest level.

The truth is, the ability is clear for all to see and with the right investment, there is no reason why some of our players couldn’t end up playing at the top level.

Just recently Tim managed to acquire over £1000 of football training equipment for the sum of just £130! Under the watchful eye of the Ugandan Under 17s national coach, we put this new equipment to good use to showcase the awesome potential of many of our young players. He was extremely impressed with our set up, the resources we had and level of talent on show!

Over 15 of our players have now acquired football scholarships to local schools, enabling them to receive a proper education, as well as working on their football! A handful have even been scouted for possible futures on the international stage, representing their country in their age group.

With 3 titles under our belt already in 2010, Ball Line Academy is struggling to find competitive opponents these days, and are looking further a field to places like Kampala to find teams that can match us and help challenge our abilities.
We are all excited about what the future holds for Ball Line Academy, especially as manager Walu progresses in his training qualifications and rubs shoulders with some of the most influential people on the Ugandan football scene. In a recent conversation Walu smiles and says, “The future is bright, some of these boys are seriously impressing important people at a young age, even at 8 or 9 years old! Every where we go Ball-Line Academy is on people’s lips! If we can do that with the few resources we have now, imagine what we could do when we get serious investment into our academy!”

To find out more about Ball Line Academy, please send us an email.