My name is Tendo Jackline. I'm 23 years old, and I graduated this August from Africa Renewal University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration specializing in accounting and finance. I joined God Cares Schools under Buyamba Uganda ministry in 2005, and I'm thankful for their support beginning in primary all the way through university.
My father passed away when I was young, so I grew up with my mom and siblings. My mom used to sell charcoal to take care of us. My siblings and I had no hope of going to school until the day Pastor Bethuel Dongo accepted us all to join God Cares primary school. He was so kind that he gave me everything that I needed to go to school and he always encouraged me to study hard. It was great being at school because I lacked nothing … unlike when I went back home, we had nothing to eat at all. I would collect scrap and sell it to raise money for my brothers and sisters. Life was very hard, but we had to endure. When I reached high school, things got worse because mom fell ill and was unable to work. Mom had nothing at all, she couldn’t even afford our books, so she decided to take my siblings and me back into the village. At this point, I thought everything I had ever dreamt of was coming to an end. I cried out loud and asked God to have mercy on me. Immediately I decided to go and talk to Pastor Dongo to see if he could help us out. After praying, I changed my clothes and made the journey to church. I walked slowly through the crowd at the church down the hill to Pastor Dongo’s office, and I felt so nervous and shy. I knocked and the door, he welcomed me and as soon as I sat down tears started rolling down my face. I explained everything to him and to my relief he was so understanding and kind that he told me not to worry because he was going to cater for every single need at school not only for me but also for my siblings. I was so happy and returned home to share the good news with my family. School tuition was no longer our problem, and for that we were grateful.
When the time came for me to graduate high school I got a job and started working. I worked and saved money because I knew when university came around I wanted to be able to support myself for the things I needed. Although difficult times came, God always helped me succeed, and He was with me through all my hardships. The Buyamba ministry was there for me as well to support me in my tuition. I will forever be grateful to God Cares Schools, Buyamba, and the Dongo family. Mostly I am thankful for Pastor Bethuel Dongo who had become like a father to me. May your soul rest in eternal peace.
I am now empowered to reach my goal of becoming a philanthropist and do the good works of God.
When Bonnie found out that she could take advantage of numerous tax benefits by making a Qualifying Charitable Distribution directly from her traditional IRA, she was on it. (A QCD excludes the amount donated from gross taxable income.) Following the rules, she made a donation with the check coming directly from her IRA trustee to her favorite charity, Buyamba.
Bonnie says, "Giving to Buyamba is a blessing because I believe in what God Cares School is doing. I have been there and seen it all with my own eyes. I know that the ministry does what it says it does and the money I give really does go to help these children."
Written by: Taya McLoud
I was wearing my red shoes.
I purchased the red Puma sneakers because I knew whenever I’d wear them and look down, the color would remind me of Jesus’s blood being shed for me. It was just one more way to have Jesus fill every nook and cranny of my life. Soon the shoes were packed for my Uganda trip. Our team would be spending time at both of the God Cares School campuses as well as within various communities. If anyone asked about my bright red sneakers, I figured they would be a great way to bring up the topic of Jesus. Little did I know that when I arrived in Uganda, I did not need my shoes or anything else to transition to the topic of Jesus. Jesus, I found out, was already deeply rooted in this beautiful country. He wasn’t merely a topic for discussion. He was a beloved member!
He was in the nurse’s tender care of the cut on my finger, even though her medical supplies were scarce. I could go on and on…
they would be evangelizing in the streets of Kabalagala, knowing that God wanted ministry in the middle of the growing city. As the street church grew into a tent, then a building, Samalie served alongside the pastor couple as KPC’s accountant.
In 2000, Samalie moved in with her sister Milly and husband, Placide DaSilva, to Thousand Oaks, California. When Dongo visited the U.S. in 2001, he contacted Samalie, and she invited him to visit. Milly and Placide introduced their new Ugandan friend, Pastor Dongo, to their own Pastor, Larry DeWitt, at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village the following Sunday. Milly recalls that they found Pastor Larry right before church started to make an introduction. Even though Pastor Larry met Pastor Dongo five minutes before the service, he recalls, “God put on my heart to be open to this Ugandan brother, and I also trusted the integrity of Milly and Placide.”
needed to be photographers sent to Uganda to take pictures that could tell the story, so when Milly went to Kirk to ask if maybe Calvary should send a team of people to see the work happening on the ground, the church was ready.
Milly recalls that when she asked who should lead such a trip, Pastor Kirk said “This is a great idea and YOU are the leader to do it!” Milly and Placide led that first Calvary Community mission trip with a team of 26 people. More than half of these were high school students who were added to the team at the last minute. The planned high school trip to Zimbabwe had been cancelled due to the political climate at the time. The team returned called and charged to care for the children of Uganda, and the church involvement grew, sending teams every year, sponsoring children, and helping with significant building support for God Cares Schools.
Degna ended up sitting in church that same Sunday that Dongo was introduced. She went up to him after service and told him the story of seeing him the previous day. She recalls, “Pastor Dongo took my hand and said, this is truly a divine appointment.” Degna had many connections, and she soon started making them. She became an ambassador for the ministry, connecting people both in California and other states. Pastor Dongo would stay with Keith and Degna Horton for years to come, and he affectionately called Degna “Madam Secretary” as she would schedule meetings each visit with different churches, schools and individuals that would evolve into lasting partnerships.
By Susan H.
I pass by an infant sitting in the red, soft dirt by herself...soft brown eyes staring with wonder at the muzungu...white person...smiling down at her. I was also wondering...Where is her mother? Had she crawled over here on her own through the dust? Another older child, maybe 5 or 6, ages are sometimes hard to tell due to lack of nutrition and proper growth, biting her lower lip with shy, hesitant eyes peeking out at me. Curiosity winning out over apprehension as she touches my arm.