As we continue to endure this season of separation, we see God clearly at work through many of you! Our sponsors and donors are standing firm in faithfulness in their giving, and it has resulted in keeping the ministry stable during these uncertain times. Some of you had even stepped forward to give extra for food for the students' families who are homebound in the slums, and others who are doing well at this time have intentionally given more to make up for others who are not able to give.
One long time Buyamba sponsor, Jason Fielder, explained, "My wife and I are both teachers and blessed to have a job right now, and we can give more as others maybe can't right now, so just give us another child to sponsor!"
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!
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."