Maranatha Gateway the vocational training centre that John and Sue are building in the Sesse Islands, Uganda, has progressed rapidly during the last six months 2014-2015. A second accommodation/classroom block has been built and will be completed when they return in summer 2015.
They are working with several schools on the island and are hoping to build a nursery school in Kalangala which can also be used by the local church at weekends.
New Life Church provided the money for the purchase of the land and a private donation has been given to start work on constructing the nursery.
Maranatha Gateway, Kalangala - June - Dec 2015
The second accommodation block has been completed with all plastering and painting as well as all bedrooms fully equipped. The pathways connecting the buildings have been laid with stone, making access much easier.
2 carpentry courses have been held with some wonderful furniture made - especially from the Module 2 course, which consisted of students from the previous module 1 courses over the last 12 months.
New Rock Foundation School, Kampala
The school gates have been painted as well as other improvements to the kitchen which have been made possible by the support of St Paul's Primary School in Hereford.
Bridge of Hope school, Kalangala
The nursery building is nearing completion with the walls mostly in place. This is as a result of the support from St John's Primary school in Sandbach.
Chosen Children Primary School, Nansana
This school has recently been 'twinned' with All Saints Primary School, Gresford, Wrexham. We look forward to the benefit that both schools can make of this connection.
A small team is coming out to Uganda in August to visit each of the above schools and work with the children, as well as see other aspects of African life. This is an exciting event and we hope to accommodate many more such visits in the future.
So what’s this about the Church’s Birthday? Wouldn’t that be Christmas or Easter?
Well, no. We’re not saying those occasions aren’t important – they are, very. But Pentecost was when the global Church was born. Before that day there was a motley group of a hundred or so believers. Their hero had been crucified, died and risen again, had spent some time with them but then had left them again, telling them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for a gift. They were all gathered together when God’s gift arrived – with such an effect that the onlookers thought they were drunk! That day three thousand were added to their number from all parts of the Roman Empire and they took the message that Jesus’ death and resurrection offered forgiveness and the opportunity of a fresh start.
So, we think it’s fair to say that was the day they went from a group to a dynamic and organised body. And so we’re having a Birthday Party – there’ll be singing and dancing and food, but hopefully if anyone gets drunk it will be on the right Spirit!
John & Sue return to Uganda on 28th August 2014 for another 6 months to continue with their project Maranatha Gateway - providing vocational training in areas such as carpentry and brick laying to young adults who have missed out on their education.
They will also visit the other projects New Life Church & Equipe oversee in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, and minister in various churches as opportunity allows.
Please pray for them and if you would like to receive regular updates please email Sue.
At the June meeting of the Mothers’ Union Mrs Sue Gasston spoke about the work that she does, with her husband, for Equip Uganda Ross. In 2001 Sue felt called by God to go to Uganda and although she had no experience of working in Africa she said that when God calls, he enables and gives you a passion for the work.
The first project was to refurbish New Rock Foundation School and now the work is with RAHAB, a ministry to help prostitutes off the streets of Kampala, as well. A dynamic lady, Pastor Margaret, shows God’s love to these women in a practical way by teaching them that there are other ways of earning money. They are given help to set up small businesses such as selling tomatoes, bread or water or taking in washing. At the moment a base is being built so that the ladies can live together while they are taught and treated for AIDS, which is a huge problem. The St Mary’s Piecemakers sent out sewing equipment so that the ladies can develop a skill.
The latest venture is on the Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria building a Vocational Training Centre. Interestingly, Ugandans do not like water and very few from the islands have travelled to the mainland, therefore they need help in developing hospitality skills, carpentry, building etc. It is hoped that the first courses will be available in January 2014 when someone from the UK will be matched with a local person to develop their skill.
It was good to see slides of the work which is very similar to much of the work that the Mothers’ Union does through the Overseas Fund.