Busia Community Church Thrives

Pastor Steven shepherds the flock

A little while ago, Pastor Steven Birungi was recruited to lead the newly opened Busia Community Church which was founded by Willy Ouma. Pastor Steven’s direct and biblical preaching style and his heart for evangelism make him a perfect choice to lead this burgeoning community of believers.

The body is growing in faith and in numbers. We look forward to the day when we will outgrow our current building as God brings more and more disciples into His kingdom.

   Pastor Steven with two of his four children

Pastor Steven with two of his four children

 

Crusade launched

Over the school break, Pastor Steven led a group of young people on a evangelistic crusade to Simasse Village. The group used song, dance, and preaching to spread the gospel to this very needy area. We pray that God will bring a harvest from the seeds we sowed while there.   

   Our crusade team, made up of members of the Busia Community Church which meets at the Give Hope Ministries campus

Our crusade team, made up of members of the Busia Community Church which meets at the Give Hope Ministries campus

New speakers and Holy Communion plates

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the church (and Proverbs Junior ) are now benefitting from new speakers as well as new Holy Communion plates for Sunday morning worship. We love and appreciate our donors and praise God for your generosity. As the Apostle Paul writes in the fourth chapter of Philippians, “the gifts you sent (are) a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

   Our new speakers and Holy Communion plates

Our new speakers and Holy Communion plates

Proverbs Junior Hard at Work, Despite School Break

 

SEPTEMBER 1, 2018

Though we are currently in between terms, there is still much activity going on at Proverbs Junior!

Improvements for our school

Currently, tiles are being laid and paint is drying in both of our new classrooms and our new, modern bathrooms. We are very excited about the completion of these much needed capital improvements and look forward to our students returning next semester to an improved school grounds. These improvements will promote better learning and improved hygiene for our students as part of our school’s holistic approach to bettering the lives of children in Busia, Uganda.

  Work progresses on our main building. Here it is shown with its fresh undercoat, ready for the final coat to be applied. At the same time, tiles are being laid in the building’s two upper classrooms.

Work progresses on our main building. Here it is shown with its fresh undercoat, ready for the final coat to be applied. At the same time, tiles are being laid in the building’s two upper classrooms.

Primary 7 students hard at work

Our younger students are enjoying a well-earned break, but our oldest students, those in Primary 7, are right now hard at work studying for their upcoming National Exams. Historically, our students have performed extremely well on this test against their Ugandan peers with 95% of them scoring in the 1st or 2nd division (out of six total divisions). We look for great things from our current class of P7’s as well.

The National Exam is very important for our students as it determines the quality of the secondary school which they will be able to attend. Also, it is very important for the Proverbs Junior as a whole since parents use it as a gauge for the success of the school and an important factor in their decision whether or not to entrust their students to our care.

   Some of our P7 students in front of one of their dorm rooms

Some of our P7 students in front of one of their dorm rooms

      

Teachers prepping for next semester

Immediately following the close of the school’s second semester, our teachers gathered to discuss improvements for the next semester with our Chairman and advisor, Stanley Ojiambo. Mr. Ojiambo is a retired teacher with 39 years of experience. The teachers discussed the difficulties and successes of the past semester and how they can improve in the upcoming semester.  

One of the many things that distinguishes Proverbs Junior from the country of Uganda’s public schools is our small class sizes – 10 students per teacher on average vs. 70 or 80 children per teacher in some public schools. The teachers heard an international perspective from a visiting worker, Peter Melnik. Mr. Melnik shared from his experience attending a school with small class sizes. He gave advice to the teachers on how to best take advantage of the school’s small class sizes to individualize their approach to teaching and motivate their students to achieve their academic best.

New sports uniforms

The kids at Proverbs Junior love soccer (especially the older boys) as well as many other outdoor activities. The teachers and administration are glad of this and we promote healthy activities for all of our students so that their bodies, as well as their minds, continue to develop into the full potential which God planned for them. We are currently working to design and order school sports uniforms to supplement our school’s uniforms. These will promote school unity and bring a strong new look when our students face off against other schools in athletic competitions.

   Our upper level boys practice soccer in the school’s field

Our upper level boys practice soccer in the school’s field

SMILING

Guest Blog -Pastor Paul Gilbert, Grace Fellowship, Buffalo, Wyoming

I always enjoy looking at the Give Hope website or Facebook page.  I continually find one common denominator; lots of smiles!  A smile is an expression denoting pleasure, contentment, happiness, and joy. The smiles of the children of Give Hope are not with just their mouth and lips, but with their eyes and ears. If you want to see a grimace or anxiety on the face of a child, then Give Hope is not for you.

These are smiles of hope as the students are being taught, being loved and given purpose.  These are smiles of contentment because the children are being cared for and nourished with good food and clean water.   Their contentment is not only physical, but emotional and spiritual.  The smiles you see are smiles of confidence as they are learning mathematics and other subjects that will help them not only graduate, but have employment when they reach the job market age.

The smiles are contagious because the student always see Willy Ouma (Founder and CEO) and the rest of the staff smiling.  The staff is smiling because they are living by faith, trusting God to provide for them and they know His faithfulness.  They are smiling because of the joy that comes from making a difference in a child’s life.

I think Jesus smiled a lot.  He smiled because he was often surrounded by children.  In Matthew 19:14 (ESV) Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”  I think Jesus not only smiled, but each child He touched had a huge grin cross his or her face.

 

How about you?  Do you smile enough? Often? Not so much?  That could change for you! Check out how the Amplified Bible translates, 2 Corinthians 9:7 Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift].  What a wonderful thought!  When I give with a smiling heart and make a difference at Give Hope Ministries, not only will a child smile, I will to.