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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

River of Life serving Living Water!

Oh for those innocent days, when we had no high-tech machines… our worship and praise sessions were only accompanied by the (sometimes!) melodious beat of the drum!

Some people even find it hard to connect with God without things being polished and “just so”. But out in the village of Mweruka, about 50 kilometers from Masaka town, it’s a different story…

We’d gone as an evangelism team, and were able to share God's word – nearly 30 came to faith during that time. The local church members were strengthened by the visit, and the Pastors expressed gratitude.

The aim was to serve Living Water Church, and serve them we did! We had a lot of fun, and got stuck into every activity on offer, be it sweeping, cooking, collecting water, or many others.

A couple of thanks. Firstly to our fantabulous team who went with open hearts and open arms. And then, to those of you that support our ministry. None of this work would have been possible without you!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dental Delight in Nyendo!

All were welcome when a fantastic team of dentists from Dentaid came to serve the members of the River of Life family and community, as well as many others besides!
In Uganda, it’s really costly to have your teeth filled or removed, and because of that many people end up simply enduring the pain. It’s a wonder that Ugandans are so smiley and friendly – I definitely wouldn’t be if I had a constant toothache! Well, as you can imagine, our community was certainly excited to hear the good news that Dentaid were coming back to visit!

They started early and worked hard, treating nearly 400 street children, school children, orphans, widows and other members of our community over the course of their two-day visit. Even our own worship leader Julius got some assistance.
And it wasn’t just the blood-thirsty tooth yanking… they also ran oral hygiene sessions at two of our neighbouring schools (Good Foundation School and Hope School), as well as running a session for social workers/healthcare workers around Nyendo.

So on behalf of our community and some neighbouring communities, we would like to say a MASSIVE thanks to Dentaid for all you’ve done to help us keep our pearly whites ... er... pearly white!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Saluting Ssali!

Synergy is doing a lot of work to reach out to the young people in Masaka, since football is such a “universal language” – and Ugandans LOVE their football.

 We wanted to tell you about fifteen year old Ssali Abaasi, as we’re really proud of all that he has achieved! Ssali had sadly lost his father at an early age. His single mother struggled and struggled, in order to send him to Hill Road Primary School where he could get an education. This is where he met Synergy Academy coach Abbey, when the school were having a friendly match against Synergy. He was encouraged and inspired to join Synergy.

He says: “When I joined Synergy, I liked the attitude the boys had towards the game. They were friendly, and understanding: I was so glad to be part of this. Whenever we gathered together, we were encouraged to be disciplined as we play, and to also always work hard at school, since opportunities in life are grabbed by those that are ready for them.
I took this message seriously, and worked hard at school. Last year, I achieved 4 aggregates [ed: this is a really good score!!] in my primary leaving exams (PLE), and I was offered a scholarship at London College. This has really reduced the pressure on my mother, as she had struggled to search for school fees for a number of us.” For those that don’t know London College, it’s one of the best secondary schools in Uganda! We believe that this young man is going to be our light in this school, and beyond. He tells us: “Despite the fact that I am a footballer, I would like to be a doctor in future”.

Well done Ssali! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

I was sick and in prison – and you busted me outta there!

Ok we may be paraphrasing Jesus just a wee bit … but still, that’s what we’ve been doing!

Elder Betty heads up our community ministry; a way of reaching out to the individuals and families that are suffering in our community. Some of these individuals include isolated elderly, vulnerable young children, parents that struggle to provide for their children, sick members of the church and many others. Meet Jacent from Mabeera, who at 37 years, has 6 children.
Hers is a tragic story, fleeing her first marriage after discovering a plan to involve her children in witchcraft, only to have her subsequent happiness marred by an economically crippling fire, followed by the sad and sudden loss of her second husband to illness. Now with 6 young children, little income, and overwhelming debt, she was really feeling the pressure. Finally, one debt collector had had enough, and reported her to the police. Lickety split, she was locked up with many other women whose only crime is losing control of a desperate financial situation.

Jail breaks aren’t usually our speciality, but in this case, on hearing that Jacent was sick and imprisoned, leaving her 6 children without their mum, River of Life felt the need to intervene. Helping her out of this bind is one thing (and an important thing), but we don’t want Jacent to end up back in a hole again.

 That’s why we hope to help her, and others like her, with our Family Empowerment Fund, which aims to equip families to provide for themselves, though microfinance combined with education and mentoring. Want to get involved? Get in touch!