News from Uganda: Summer 2023 Update

Catch up on all the details from our team's most recent trip to IChooseYou Uganda. We celebrated an amazing graduation for 5 of our students and got to check in on our students' academic progress!


Kids and families

Wow, we thank God for you - that He has worked in your hearts to care for and be a part of this ministry (some of you for a very long time now) and to share His love with the children of IChooseYou. It’s wonderful how you give so generously to the great work God is doing there, even though many of you have never been to Uganda in person. We want to share good news and testimony of that great work in this newsletter.

In May, we packed our things, dropped off 2 of our kids with grandparents and took our 8 year-old daughter Faith and set off on our yearly visit to Mbale, Uganda. This trip was a jam-packed 5 days. We planned an outreach event on our first day. The three of us along with about 10 other IChooseYou kids helped to pack up beans, flour, and soap to be distributed to about 50 families, the poorest of the poor, in Namatala (the slums area of Mbale). It was a wonderful sight when we arrived and news spread quickly; soon, many had gathered under a large tree and Mama Aida lead a song (Jesus Loves Me) for all of the children before we distributed the food.

Graduation Day

The next day was set aside to celebrate the graduation of Paul Mwanga (who studied Metal Fabrication); Lesse Namoywe and Betty Illukor (who studied cooking and catering); Rebecca Namuru (who is studying nursing and moving on to her internship); and Goret Ichumar (who studied teaching). This was an all day event starting at 9am and ending at 4pm. There were many happy tears shed, speeches, and of course singing and dancing, cake, prayers and a large meal for all of the guests. Many of these students were the first in their families and tribes to graduate.


Into Namatala

The following day we went into Namatala to collect information for children that are candidates to enter the program and to visit families. The sights are still overwhelming as we saw so many still living in mud huts or run down rentals with little to no suitable clothing, and babies sitting alone in the dirt. It was a good reminder that the need here is still so great. God willing, we want to add 11 new children by the start of the next school year, in February 2024. On a side note, most of the village kids rarely see mzungus (white people), but almost certainly none of them had even seen a mzungu child before; so Faith was having her arms and skin rubbed, poked, and touched out of curiosity. She was a good sport and willingly gave out smiles and high fives.

Other updates

Somehow we also managed to get to some of the more administrative things too. We had an IChooseYou board meeting where we met some of the new board members in Uganda, prayed together and discussed what God is doing in the ministry. We were also able to discuss how each child is doing academically and catch up on all the little details that need taking care of in the organization. We reviewed report cards and all of the kids are doing SO well in school!

Last but not least, we took about 50 of the IChooseYou kids to Sipi Falls on a special field trip. Many of the younger ones had never been on a bus before, traveled that far from Mbale, seen a waterfall, or climbed a mountain. There were so many smiles at the end of the morning as they chatted about the day while eating their chapati snack and drinking a soda.

We praise God for allowing us to experience these things. At the end of our visit we prayed, sang, and danced together. We said our goodbyes but we continue to rejoice because of God’s grace and goodness.

Some other things we learned

Namatala is changing.

Even though this sounds like a good thing, the poor who lived in these slums are being charged higher rates to live there, and those who can’t afford are pushed to even further distances away from town. In a nutshell, some of the kids being added to the program are walking longer distances to get to school.

A higher standard of education is becoming more and more important.

We already knew that students who attain higher education degrees are more capable of sustaining themselves and families upon graduation; but we’re seeing that more employers are requiring a diploma or a bachelor’s degree for incoming workers.

Prayer Requests

That Vicky Nachap’s and Meddy Masaba’s visas to the US would be granted for a visit in 2024. We’re having a lot of trouble getting them approved.

For God to give our new college students wisdom and a spirit of hard work in their studies.

That God would allow for the completion of a new website this year so we can do a better job telling the story of IChooseYou.

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