Happy New Year!

Happy New year!!

The last few weeks have been the busiest weeks I have ever experienced. Our school is set to start at the beginning of February, and our HR was tasked to hire staff. The first set of interviews did not go well as we had many applicants, but few met our standards, and I began to panic as time was running out. Thank God, we were able to do massive advertisement again, and we had another set of interviews which helped us get the teachers we need.

It has been stressful and sometimes I felt lonely, but I got encouraged each time I prayed and let God take charge.

My parents and sisters came to my home, and we celebrated Christmas together. We shared the day with our staff that was working such as our medical staff, Baby Home Mothers, and Security Guards, and we also shared it with our patients that were admitted to the Medical Center.

I took a few days and vacationed with my family after Christmas and that was energizing. In times when I am done, I just imagine the thousands of kids that will walk through this school, know Christ and be nurtured to become Godly leaders that will impact our country, and I am so humbled that God has called me to be a part of it.

A few weeks ago, nothing was up at our school, but I am thankful to God that we have built six classrooms, and they are now on the roofing stage. It is not just about the buildings, each day over 20 men come and work on our site, and I see 20 families that are cared for because of this building project. We have bought bricks from local villagers, and they are thankful to earn money so that they can feed and educate their families; our local businesses have also been boosted because of the cement and supplies we continue buying from them. Thank you for your prayers and support. Our goal is that the school will be done in 3 weeks pray for me.

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Our annual camp starts today; we invited all the kids that we sponsor to come to the Village for 3 nights. We will be sharing with them from Romans 12. We are blessed to host a team from Chicago that will be helping us in the camp, and will also be doing a medical outreach as the team has two nurses and a doctor.

We continue welcoming in new babies at the village, and each day we receive referrals for babies that need to be rescued. This breaks my heart knowing what these kids go through, but I am thankful we have a safe place where they can be. Our last set of kids that we rescued are twins, Kato and Wasswa. They are currently at the national referral hospital to receive treatment for malnourishment.

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Please Pray:

  • Pray for Kato and Wasswa that they will be fine soon.
  • Pray for good weather that our builders are not delayed.
  • Pray for me and my fellow staff that God will give us strength in this time.
  • Pray for the Camp that our kids will be transformed by the power of the gospel.
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The Rugumba Family on Family Vacation!

What Happened This November

It has been a while since I last posted.

Lots of things have been going on, and I would love to keep you posted. My trip to the USA went well; Vena and I got to meet friends and supporters.

On my visits, I share about what we do and why we do what we do. I get to step out of the leadership of Mercy, and as I am away, my senior managers lead. I am always encouraged and energized seeing what God is doing and has done at Mercy in just a short time. Can you imagine that 7 years ago that was just a bush and we were caring for only 30 kids? Today, we have grown to over 200 kids, a Microfinance serving over 500 people, a medical center that saw 6,000 patients last year, and a church of close to 500 members growing in Christ. Only God can do such a thing. Thank you for all your support and prayers.

We had a tragedy here in Uganda when a fishing boat, turned into a boat cruise, capsized. Over 120 people were on board, but only 27 have were reported to have been rescued. Most lost their lives because they had no life jackets and did not know how to swim. Our nation is mourning over the loss of these young middle class business men and women that passed on. One of our church members lost a sister and her Fiancée in this incidence. As I have been thinking and mourning over that, I am so thankful that on my trip to the USA, through Market of Hope, an event organized by LBC church, we were able to raise enough money to give our kids swimming lessons through out the year as a life skill.

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We also raised enough money to start on the remodeling of our school and building more classrooms.

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This past Friday was Worship Night; this is an annual event we organize, where we invite the nation for a night of prayer and worship. Normally, we do it in a stadium, but this time we organized it at the Worship House, our main campus. We had a very big turn out, close to 20,000 people attended and our overflow section was filled, so many people stood around.

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Friday was declared a national mourning day for families of those that died in the boat tragedy; we spent time praying for them at our worship night. We had special musicians, from all over the world that performed. Jack Cassidy, from the United States, who was on the Voice TV show last year came and performed. He is staying with my family for the next two weeks.

On Saturday, we had our staff, Isaac and Tracy’s wedding. Isaac works as our accountant and Tracy is a physician assistant at our medical center. I had the honor of doing their wedding, and the reception was held at Mercy Church.

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Last week, we had a national MTN marathon, I missed running it because I was preaching. After my birthday, some of our staff that participated discovered that they could run, and three of our staff participated. Mujuni, our security guard, placed seventh in the half marathon race, out of the thousands of people that participated, including professional runners from Kenya. This was his first time to participate. We plan to start a running team at Mercy as running has become a part of our lives.

We held our first set of staff interviews for Mercy School. We want to employ 10 teachers, and we have already hired 7 out of close to 100 applicants. We are advertising again and have interviews scheduled for the end of the week, where we hope to get the remaining 3 and a head teacher. At the end of December and January, we shall start having teacher training.

Prayer requests:

  • Pray that we get the right teachers to be selected on our team.
  • Building has started, so pray that our builders get work done fast and nice before February when our school year begins.
  • Pray for more money to come in to enable us finish building and furnish the school.

Preparing for Fall Trip to USA

This coming week, my wife and I will be traveling to USA. The purpose of this trip is to visit our supporters, share updates and raise money for renovating Mercy school so that we can meet building code and build 4 more class rooms.

The school will start running by February next year, and around 150 of our kids will join this school where they will have quality Christ-centered education. We have already started recruiting good teachers.

I will be traveling to Michigan, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Austin, Baton Rouge, Washington D.C., Iowa and Chicago in the next 3 weeks. If you are available to meet me or you have some one you know who you could introduce me to, please reply me back and we can make plans.

A few weeks ago, after waiting for over a year, our tractor arrived from England. We are so excited, and our staff is learning how to use it. We plan to use it on our farm, and people in the community have already started contacting us about hiring it. We intend to hire it out the community and raise extra money to support the ministry and care for the tractor when it breaks.

Tractor

We are always looking for new opportunities to reach the youth in our community. Last Sunday, we had a free dance concert, and we hosted over 500 youths from the community at Mercy Church. The gospel was presented to them in a music dance performance.

Please pray that the seeds that were sown into their hearts will bear fruit.

 

Friday night, I visited Mohammed; he was our neighbor about 16 years ago, when we planted the Nansana Church under a mango tree. We would witness to him, but he was negative to the gospel. The church later moved to the main road, and he moved to Bukasa, near Mercy Church. Three weeks ago, I met him and told him that we had planted a church near by, and he promised to visit. Since then, he has been coming to church. We went and prayed with him at his house, and at the end, he and his entire family gave their lives to Jesus. I feel so encouraged to never to stop sharing my faith; God is able to save anyone.

Pray for him and his family that they are able to grow in the Lord.

Mohammed and Fam

Fruits of Faithfulness

Tuesday is a day of prayer and counseling. I drop the kids off at school early in the morning, and by 8:00am, I have started meeting with people, listening to their needs and praying with them. I must admit this is the hardest part of my job, seeing brokenness in families that I meet with; marriages are breaking and some are in desperate poverty. I am glad that I can introduce them to Christ, pray with each one and direct them to the help they need.

My high point was when I met a guy who walked into my office named Richard. He was a famous witch doctor, and after having had arguments with his fellow sorcerers, they tried to kill him twice through the mob justice. He survived with bruises, and after sharing the gospel with him, he decided to give his life to Jesus. Our missions leaders have started to help him by getting him a bible and teaching him more about Christ. Such stories keep me going an extra day.

Let me share with you another story that encourages me. A few years ago, I visited Katanga slums and met Florence, one of the leaders of our savings groups. She lived in a small room in the slums with 6 kids. One of her kids that touched my heart was Hasifah; Hasifah was born at a time when doctors at the main referral hospital were striking over low and delayed pays. She had a condition called birth asphyxia, (the same condition that killed our first daughter, Chosen.) No one could help with surgery, so she ended up giving birth to a child, Hasifah, with special needs.

Hasifah was 6 years old but could barely move. Mercy started sponsoring her, and in a few days, she was able to sit and now, with speech therapy, she smiles and tries to say mum.

Florence has been enrolled in our vocational skills empowerment program. This is a group of 12 ladies that Mercy supports to go and learn skills as a way of empowering them, so that in the future, they can be in a better position to care for their kids and families. Florence is now in her second term at school learning a certificate in hairdressing.

Through our Homes of Hope program, we built a decent, 3 bedroom house for her family next to Mercy Church, and they now no longer live in the slums.

This family is now thriving. Florence and her husband now serve as ushers at Mercy Church, and they recently acquired a cow from our Calf program.

What touched me the most, is that recently this family decided to adopt Dalton, one of our babies at Mercy that needed a family. Dalton moved to their house, and he is being loved by this family.

These success stories are happening because of God’s goodness and the fruit of your faithfulness. We are able to do all of this because of your prayers and support. God is changing lives, and I can’t thank you enough. These stories of success help me not to become burn out, but they encourage me to continue doing more for the Kingdom of God.

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