A Video Message from Julie Dimas and Worship Dongo
Please take a moment to watch the video above featuring Buyamba's Executive Director, Julie Dimas, and Executive Director in Uganda, Worship Dongo Byakika, as they offer updates concerning actions being taken in the ministry both in the U.S. and in Uganda in light of COVID-19.
The Ugandan government ordered all schools to close for a month, making reopen day April 20th. This closure was a shock to the God Cares School administration because there wasn’t even a case of COVID-19 known in Uganda when this directive came (although there are 33 currently upon this writing). Schools across the nation were closed, and that included all 900 boarding students at God Cares High School.
Worship Dongo reported that many of the students did not want to go home, and many were crying. It took encouragement and prayer to help all leave. Many students went home to the slums and into a situation where there may not be enough food. The Dongo family is there helping the most desperate families with food for many families were unprepared to have their children back home.
The Buyamba office has gone remote, and the staff and many volunteers continue to work at home, for there are many different tasks involved in running the ministry, and each worker knows their area well. Donor support has been wonderfully steady. We are following the Lord’s lead to be at peace and to continue to stand as always with those we love and support in Uganda to the best of our abilities. There is and will be adjustments, but we are trusting in the Spirit to lead us in the right direction as we ask for wisdom daily and
give over our concerns to the Lord, who is more than able.
Our Focus During This Time
Buyamba is God’s ministry. We have grown and adjusted under his directives, and this time in history is no different. Our focus now is two-fold…. one, on you, our Buyamba Family, and also on the community of God Cares Schools that we serve in Uganda.
SOME OF YOU HAVE ASKED... how you can help beyond sponsorships and building support ... our new need is simply funds for rising FOOD COSTS. This rise is prevalent everywhere in Uganda because they are dealing with the locust problem in the north and the virus situation throughout. You can give on our donate page, as usual, designating "FOOD" in the note area intended for your designation.
Through volunteering, not only do I get a sense of joy for service, I also have learned and continue to learn life lessons every time I’m in the office. The office has given me a safe place where I can be myself, love others, and truly do some amazing work. Julie is someone who I highly revere, and I hope to be an ounce of the person she is one day. She has the biggest heart and is so loving to everyone and everything. I have found a personal mentor in Melissa. Not only has she been an amazing superior who teaches me every time I’m there, she is also a great friend. It is the people and their huge hearts here at Buyamba which fuels this organization to thrive. Without the God-driven kindness of everyone here, it would be nowhere as successful as it is. I hope that people will see the amazing work Buyamba Uganda is doing, and that their hearts will open wide to the children of Uganda, just as mine has.
We're so thankful for our volunteers like Makena. Buyamba only has two full time paid staff members and there's more work than two can do. A lot of our work gets done by volunteers who give of their time and talents. If you're interested in volunteering with Buyamba once a month or on a regular basis, please let us know!
Students transferring to God Cares High School will need an additional sponsor if they are not already living at the school. Due to the location of God Cares High School, the majority of the students live at the school and therefore need a residential sponsor. If your sponsored child is in P7, please be praying for a second sponsor, or share the blessing of sponsorship with a friend, and let them know about this opportunity.
We are overwhelmed by the sheer number of students that are moving through God Cares Schools, receiving a quality faith based education. They are being empowered to impact their nation for Christ!
The final term of school comes to a close on November 29, 2019. The S6 students of God Cares High School, as well as the S4 students, are preparing to take their national exams. S4 students take what's called, "O-level exams" and this determines whether or not they will proceed to S5 and S6 for further education or continue on to a trade school or enter the workforce. S6 students take, "A-level exams" and this decides whether they will have the opportunity to continue to a university, college, or some other form of higher education. Test results will be released in the late summer of 2020.
There are thirty seven students in this year's graduating S6 class and all of them have been praying about what God would have for their futures. Thanks to each of their sponsors, they have been granted the opportunity of education, which encourages them to dream and hope for a bright future.
If you're sponsoring an S6 student, we would ask that you also join us to pray that God would give each child His vision for their future. Please pray for them to stay on course with their studies and walk in faith through the season of waiting until the test results are released.
Does the Sponsorship Journey End Once My Student Graduates High School?
No.... our mission is to offer love, hope and a future through education and discipleship ... one child at a time. If a student wishes to continue their education beyond high school, we want to fully support them! Buyamba strives to cover a student's education from nursery to university. If a sponsor continues his commitment of $35 a month, we can continue to come alongside that child. We may need to add a couple of additional sponsors to a student if a particular university requires more. A given institution could require fees that would equate to one to three sponsorship(s) of $35 a month. A degree can take up to three years to obtain.
We also have a University Scholarship Fund where an individual, church, or business can create a scholarship in their name for $3,900 - the cost of three years of schooling for the most popular university with the Buyamba students, The Buyamba Scholarship Fund will be available to students with top scores, good behavior, good attendance, and a demonstration of good leadership. Learn more about University Scholarships Here.
This past weekend, Calvary Community Church hosted our fourth annual Buyamba Pumpkin Patch. This pumpkin patch is made possible thanks to the generosity of a donor who grew and donated over 2,000 pumpkins, in an assortment of beautiful colors, shapes, and sizes to raise funds for our dorm building efforts!
A good time was had by all and hundreds of people made their way through the patch and selected a special pumpkin (or a wagon full of pumpkins) to take home to decorate for the season. People gave generously and many took advantage of the great photo opportunities in the patch.
God multiplied the efforts of everyone and we ended up being blessed with over $37,000 towards the girls dorm building!
Edward will be a companion and a husband. My children are in full agreement with me on this decision. He will not have a say in any of Buyamba and other ministry decisions, neither will he have any portion to share from Dongo's estate. His role will be in the power of his prayers.
I will stay as a senior Pastor at KPC as well, and a director in God Cares Schools and Buyamba Outreach Ministry... as my roles have been, they will stay.
As my children and family have accepted him and honored my decision with love, I pray you also do the same.
I'm personally happy and at peace.