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!
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!
This idea was not only a great example of Buyamba Creative Giving, but more importantly, Brent believed that this gift would help honor a man whom he admired so much. He explained, "Mike's genuine passion and joy in serving Jesus and helping those in need continues to be a great example for my family and me. Having visited Africa on mission teams with church, Mike was especially passionate about Buyamba and the children of God Cares School. It has been a natural extension to share that joy and passion with our restaurant teams."
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.