Greetings Donors, Supporters and Prayer Partners!!
Phillipians 2:13 God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him. Hallelujah!
Wish you all could have been with me in Masaka, Uganda. July is the most comfortable month to be in Uganda. Temperatures and humidity were all bearable. The trip was absolutely fantastic and God has been moving mightily. I don't even know where to begin relating all the news. It's gonna take a couple newsletters to cover it all.
First of all, Divine Junior Primary School is the best christian school in Masaka. We have a fantastic staff from the Headmaster to security guards to teachers to kitchen staff, van drivers and all the support staff. They are committed to the education and care of our children. The ever-present smiles on the kids' faces testify of their joy in being part of DJS. The children are receiving a fine education and are well loved. Uncle Fred Wangi oversees the day to day operations of the school compound and equipment. He works many long hours and the school is growing under his leadership and guidance. The student body has increased to 196 pupils when I came home. Children range from the baby class to Level 5.
With the growth, several needs have become evident. We need to expand the restroom facilities first of all. At this time, we have 2 stalls on each side to service students and staff. We are exploring ways to expand for the long term. More info will be forthcoming. The second need has been noted by governmental officials. Guidelines recommend installation of playground equipment. We visited several companies which make swings, slides and climbing bars. The cost will run around $1200.00. We currently have $450.00 available. Any ideas for fundraisers for this would be greatly appreciated. Share the need with your churches and friends please.
The financial status of the school compound is ever changing. We do have a good number of students who are able to pay tuition as well as boarding. Your sponsorship also helps cover the costs for many students. About 80% of our student body are transported from surrounding communities. The school is gaining a good name for itself in the area and is becoming a sought after school. Our two vans make three runs twice a day picking up and delivering students. Transportation is probably the biggest expense right now due to the high price of gas and maintenance of vans from the bad road conditions. Many of our teachers came from other schools and had to take a pay cut to work at Divine. This speaks well of their commitment and love for our school. After learning much from the operation of the school since the first of 2022, we have found it necessary to make a change in policy for the students who are sponsored by donors. All but the destitute and children who have no family, the existing family is being asked to pay a small amount towards their child's education. It has been discovered that in doing this, the families are taking a more active role in school and are demonstrating to their kids how important an education is. The policy seems to be working well. Of course, any special hardship is considered in paying the fees. A parent-teacher organization has been established to develop cooperation between school and home.
Every Friday has chapel time for students and staff. It is a delightful, fun-filled time. The kids start with praise and worship, then there is a message for and by the children. The kids actively participate and learn lots. It was one of my favorite times while there. The staff has "after school" chapel time on Friday as well. They too, begin with praise, worship and prayer followed by a message of encouragement. We have such a talented staff.
I was so thrilled as a teacher myself, to be in Masaka while schools were in session. I visited the schools of the older students to see how each is faring. I was able to participate, see and hear lessons for all ages. I pray all of you will be able to do the same. It is a wonderful experience. Hope you all get a chance to hear the kids sing their school song.
Tears came to my eyes many times during this trip. We are so blessed to be a part of God's work. This was a trip of affirmation for me believing the Holy Spirit is very much involved. Thank you sponsors for bringing hope to these children's lives.
A real highlight of the trip, was to celebrate the college graduation of one of our sponsored students. What a joy to witness. Lawrence obtained a degree in videography. He is already providing pictures for newspapers, magazines and area evangelists. He is a hard-working Christian young man who still finds time to help out at the school as well. God's blessings to you Lawrence!! We also have several young ladies and men attending college at this time. Let's keep them all in our prayers
I have so much more to share in future newsletters, Report cards came out today for the students at Divine Junior School and I will be sending those out to you. Students are also writing letters for their sponsors. Students will now be on break from school until September. Rest assured, I checked on all of your kids and was well pleased overall with what is happening for each one. Please continue to pray.
I promised teachers that all of you would be praying for them and the children. I am including the first names of staff. They have an awesome responsibility and are doing it well. Thank you for your support.
Names are: George, Esther, Joanita, Margaret N., Ritah, Geofrey, Dorah, Sylvia, Margaret, Michael, Tanansi, Fred L, Henry, Lawrence, Margaret, Moreen, Flavia, Passy, and Fred W.
Enjoy the rest of your summer. Why not plan on visiting Masaka sometime soon. More trips are being planned.