Fall 2020 Update of Kenyan and Ugandan Child Missions

Top Primary and High School classes in Uganda and College classes in Kenya and Uganda have in fact opened as planned in October. Much of the College classes are on-line. The Primary 7 and Secondary 4 classes in Uganda are open to allow the students to complete their studies and test for the next level. Over 10 older kids in Uganda and Kenya have been accepted to and begun College studies beyond High School. They are in studies ranging from nursing to IT. The kids and their extended families partner in this with MSM and provide laptops, upkeep, and supplies as they can. Many kids have student loans.

Pandemic safety is a challenge that the kids and schools that MSM supports are embracing and have been prepared for. Temperature testing equipment, hand washing stations, and distancing procedures are in place at the schools and homes and have been approved by the government.

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The kids are excited. These are some from Child Redeemed Mission Home (CRM) that are attending Promise Primary (PP).

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P7 class is open at Rock View Primary (RVP).

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MSM has funded the current construction of a new latrine and will be assisting Love Exchange United (LEU) in constructing a new multi room class building this fall at RVP.

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All is well otherwise at the missions. I often get requests from kids and others there to pass on their greetings and prayers to us in the US for protection from COVID struggles. They are very sweet! Thank you all for your support and prayers. God be praised and honored always!

Update 4 about Kenyan and Ugandan Child Missions under Covid19.

Since my last post in June, all plans to open schools have been delayed. Last week Ugandan President Museveni announced plans for limited openings in October for those students in grades that are transitions to higher levels such as the last year of Primary School and High School. Also churches can open with reduced capacity. Roughly 15 kids from Child Redeemed Mission Home (CRM) are excited to get back to school.

The Bwase Redeemed Church partnered with MSM to build a home for a family that lost the mother during childbirth. Twins were born and are doing well and about 3 months old. This family is related to one of the older CRM kids, Julius and cares for him out of school. They are doing a great job.

Most of the children from CRM are living there and receiving some tutoring and refresher lessons from the idled teachers from Promise Primary. Everyone seems happy being productive.

The children at Lord’s Servants Home in Kenya have been placed with extended family guardians and are awaiting school to reopen in January. Most colleges and Universities have opened in September and a number of our sponsored children are college students. Sharon is starting a Business degree program, Fidelis in Engineering, and Bridget in Teaching, while Ken and Mika are continuing in Nursing and IT respectively. Brian just finished truck driving school and is employed. MSM is blessed to help these kids reach their potential in a fulfilling career.

President Museveni also announced that the Airport will open to international tourists (not mission workers yet). I am hoping we can make a mission trip in January.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. The Covid shutdowns are very difficult for the general Ugandans and Kenyans. Many are struggling to survive without work and services.

Update 3 about Kenyan and Ugandan Child Missions under Covid19.

A month ago I reported that the plan was for schools to open on a limited basis on June 2nd.  Not only did that not happen but a new plan has not been established.  Schools, both government and private have been ordered to continue to pay teachers.  I would expect many private schools to fail and close.  Promise Primary, being sponsored by Mission Servants Ministry has been able to pay the teachers and use the store of maize grain that was intended for Term I for needy families and teachers in the area.

The economy however is hit hard in Africa and the poor are struggling in a big way.  There is no ability to work during shut down and no government assistance.  People are without food and in trouble.  The good news remains that the number of reported cases of COVID19 and deaths are not high in Kenya and very low in Uganda.  Uganda still claims zero deaths.  Of course we can’t plan our usual July/August trip to visit the homes due to the pandemic.  Our prayers are for a January trip to be possible.

The kids that are stationed with extended family during shut down are visited and needs addressed.

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Usually food is left with them.  Roughly 15 kids are staying at the CRM home since it is safest for them, many of them enjoy learning craft skills while on shut down….

We did take advantage of most of the kids being away to upgrade the cooking stoves.  The old stoves were cracked, had broken parts, hot, inefficient with wood, smoked a lot, and were too large.  We replaced them with 4 smaller units with precision fitting pots and an outside grill.

Look for another update in July.  Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

 

Community Bridge Project in Kenya. Finished just in time!

A project alliance between the Lyavo community leaders, Lyavo Bible Church, Bridgeway Hope Academy, and Mission Servants Ministry began in January and a bridge was conceived, designed, and built in time for the new flooding this April.  A meeting was held during the January Mission Trip 29 and the idea to love the community with a bridge project was met with great enthusiasm.  MSM previously sponsored two other bridges for this community.

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It has been a very wet year in Western Kenya going back to mid 2019.  Flooding continues to be a problem even recently.  Last year, the heaviest used of 3 bridges that allowed people, bicycles and motorbikes to cross a small flooding prone river to get to the school and church, washed away.  MSM built the other two above the high flood mark 1/2 and 1 km away from this one.  This bridge was a simple log bridge set on the dirt banks of the river. 

The design plan for this bridge was to have the span surface be at least 1 foot above the previous high water mark, massive concrete footers at each end, a mid stream support, long approach ramps that extend past the mud, and use materials that prevent decay for a long lasting solution.  The implementation plan was for all labor to be provided by the local community and church and the funds for materials by MSM.  Construction expertise was provided by Pastor Ken of the church, a concrete builder by trade.  It was completed in 3 months…an incredible job and great example of Community/Ministry Partnership.  A bridge, literally and figuratively.

What follows is a series of photos in sequence on how this bridge was built.  The cost to MSM to help make this important community loving project happen was less than $2,000.  Praise Jesus.  Thank you all for your support and prayers.

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Update about Kenyan and Ugandan Child Missions under Covid19 Threat.

Nearly every corner of the world changed dramatically in early 2020 with the rapid spread of Covid19.  Most countries have responded with travel restrictions, shut downs, and quarantines.  East Africa did as well.  The regions around the children missions funded by MSM are a world of centralized (roadside and trading center) commerce, public transportation, no freezers or refrigeration, often barter commerce, large schools, few government support/welfare programs, and very very few hospitals and medical facilities.

Where many of us enjoy personal vehicles, ability to work at home, on-line schooling, Amazon delivery, government assistance (stimulus checks, unemployment, SBA loans, etc.) and food pick-up options.  People in rural areas of Africa are experiencing food shortages and high prices and lack of work and commerce.

Here are specific updates on the children that are MSM sponsored, funded, educated, and cared for at Child Redeemed Mission Home, Promise Primary School, Rock View Primary School, Lord’s Servants Home, and Bridgeway Hope Academy.  Following government rules:

  • The schools have been closed beginning in the end of March which includes PP, RVPS, BHA and all High Schools the kids attend.
  • Teachers salaries have been reduced but supported as much as possible.
  • The churches at LSH and CRM have suspended worship.
  • The children at LSH have all been able to be placed in homes of extended families.
  • All but 12 of high risk children at CRM have been placed in homes of extended families.
  • Shut down and shut in rules will remain in effect until at least May 5 when updates are expected.  Schools have tentative plans to reopen in June.

This situation is a serious cause for struggling in an already day to day existence for most people.  I have simplified things quite a bit and our prayers are needed.  I do find it interesting to think that we are all in the same STORM.  However, we are not all in the same boat.  May God have mercy on those of us affected most harshly.

On the positive side, several projects that were funded and begun in February have able to be completed or nearly so.  Updates on these to follow.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  Here are a group of the 12 from CRM and a song they made up during quarantine to praise Jesus.