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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

United we stand; Divided we fall!

The young people at River of Life have always had a good time at their youth meetings, so they chose to occasionally invest whole Saturdays to attend (and organise) special Youth Events. These events include sports and games, doing community work so as to bless others, learning about business, and many other things. Their motto is: “United we stand and divided we fall”, as they hope to really see young men and women working together to achieve God’s will for their lives.

Preparing for serious work - and a little bit of silliness too!

The events can be tiring, but it’s well worth it, as the young people really see their lives, and approach to life, changing – their hearts becoming more and more open to working for others, and helping those who have a hard deal in life.

As for business, some of our youths have started simple businesses, whilst others are employed by other people. But the key is, they try to put God the first in everything they do, to honour their bosses, as well as caring for their customers. The young people encouraging each other to maintain integrity is exactly the kind of peer pressure we love to see!

Persist and Kellen get stuck in with building!

And when it comes to sports and games… well, it can get a little competitive!! But it’s great fun nevertheless.

Participating in these events teaches a lot about team work and organisation.  In a recent event, the young people bought pork and travelled up to the Misaali Prayer Mountain together for a cook-out… no small feat! The young people assign the different duties amongst themselves: some organised and sourced the equipment they would need, some made fire, some prepared the meat, whilst others were put in charge of cooking.

Tonny prepares the wood for the fire

It might not seem like a major learning opportunity, but in fact, the way they learn to communicate with each other is very important – we all end up working with many different people, in different situations, and learning to communicate well within a team sets you up well for the path for success!

Team work from chefs du jour: Kellen & James

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Teeny tiny miracles at the Baby Unit!

Asiimwe’s baby was in haste to arrive, popping out before her mother had a chance to reach the labour suite, at just 27 weeks gestation (one week below the official Ugandan “survivable gestation”). This did not bode well!

Nkozi Hospital gave the baby oxygen, but realised they were ill-equipped to provide for all her needs, so this cute little girl was referred to Kitovu Hospital. On admission to our baby unit, she weighed in at just 760 grams!

We provided warmth to her (via an Embrace warmer), antibiotics, aminophylline (to help prevent her from stopping breathing) and intravenous fluids – and closely monitored her blood glucose levels. On the second day of the baby’s life, we introduced small amounts of breast milk, and she grew slowly with the addition of breast milk fortifiers.

Some 38 days later, baby Fortunate weighed a stonking 1.26kg, and was discharged home with her very happy mum! Here she is on her day of discharge with Cathy (below). And on review a week later, she has grown even more! We as River of Life want to thank the nurses, headed up by Cathy, who work tirelessly to help more mums go home with healthy babies. And another big thank goes to those people who support the Baby Unit (and even specific babies!) in prayer, finance and tangible things such as equipment for the Unit.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Multiplication of blessings!

These young people have received so much over the years from River of Life, and it was great to see them blessing the community around them, in Bujja village (the site of the River of Life church plant). They tirelessly collected firewood for the elderly ladies in the area, fetching water, and digging in the gardens. It’s all part of putting faith into action, and it was wonderful to be able to bless these new church members – they left some very thankful jjajas behind!

Despite the fact that such activities involve a lot of energy, the youth reported that “it’s cool to bless other people most especially the old ones – they hardly have any people to help them out with such heavy work”. They report that they’d like to do the same thing at least once every holiday – something that brings them to work together as a body of Christ, as well as an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company.

What they ALSO said was that they found they didn’t have enough tools to use for digging, jerry cans to carry water, and pangas to cut firewood. So if you would like to support this work, or help other aspects of River of Life outreach work (there are many!), then do get in touch!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Till we meet again!

The 28th of October 2015 was a day of sadness and mourning for River of Life Church, and a day of gladness and rejoicing in Heaven, as our senior pastor Duncan Kibaya finally went to Glory after 5 years of battling multiple myeloma (a kind of cancer of the bone marrow).

As most of you know, Pastor Duncan and his wife Mary are the founders of River of Life Ministries. His vision at times seemed so BIG as to appear impossible to our mere human minds, but he has achieved great things in his life for the glory of God.

Together, he and Mary started up the Church, and then (responding to a real need that they saw), welcomed a number of children who had been sleeping on the street, and the White Eagle Project was born!

He has been a big inspiration to many Pastors, and non-Pastors alike, all over Uganda. He hated tribalism, and worked hard to promote unity amongst the body of Christ. He reunited the leaders of Full Gospel and Elim Churches, helping to heal a previously acrimonious split, and bring harmony.

He was a man that loved and accepted everyone, regardless of where they were in life, and spoke positively towards everyone, and this drew many to follow his example. Not to say that he wouldn’t challenge behaviour – he DEFINITELY would. But with love!

On the 1st of November, we held a Thanksgiving Service to honour Pastor Duncan’s life – and as you might expect, the church was rammed! Many pastors from the region came, and spoke of him with great fondness. They described him as their role model, and spoke of the way that he cared for all people of all ages.

At River of Life, we thank God for this man’s life because he gave us a true and reliable example to follow. The fact is that we are going to miss him a lot, but we are going to move on with the ministry because he trained us well. He was never selfish with his skills, and instead used them to inspire others.

There’s a big Duncan-shaped hole in the world now, but hearing all the amazing testimonies about his life reminds us of the fruit left behind – and spurs us on to continue his good work, so that when we head to the Father, we too might be able to leave a legacy behind us.

Thank you everyone that has prayed for Pastor Duncan, but we now know that it was time for him to go Home and join the party!