A School with No Water...

by Jason Bollinger on June 15th, 2015

Pastor Valentine (above between Herbert & I) leads a church and school way out in the Western part of Uganda in Kamwenge. Valentine and his team join us each year at the Pastors/Leaders Conference at Wellspring in Kampala. We stopped to visit his work on my last trip, and I was blown away. 

We arrived at about 7pm, and the children at the school were finishing up their dinner. By 7:30pm they were back in class. The school in Kamwenge has over 500 students. Nearly 200 of those students are boarding students from all over the country.

In Uganda, it is common for school to be all day. The value of education is very high. Parents will sacrifice most things in order to pay for school fees. Kamwenge is a very rural area, and there are a lot of farming families who are a part of this school. To make tuition more affordable, Valentine allows families to pay some of their tuition with their crops. We spent time in several different classrooms while we were there, and the students were amazing. We talked about dreams and hard work, and they told us they wanted to be doctors, nurses, engineers, pilots, teachers, and on and on. These kids have big dreams, and they are being given the tools to make those dreams a reality.

The school buildings were much different from the west. There were no doors or windows, and there were cracks in all of the siding board. At night, there was one light bulb for each classroom, and astonishingly, they serve all of these kids with no well or running water. Our meeting's main purpose was to talk about the possibility of bringing water to Kamwenge. Water is usually the first step in community transformation, and we are now working to make this a reality.

In addition to the school, the church is reaching out to the community and is full of life. As we were leaving, people were gathering for a 9pm prayer service.

One after another, members of Valentine's team came up and asked me if I remembered them from the conference in December. I did, and I told them the impact their testimonies had made on me. I also remembered the dance their crew led us in. They were so humbled that we would come to where they are and see their work. 

The power of showing up never ceases to amaze me. Showing up to this particular place meant navigating a terrible road. I know there are a lot of terrible roads in Africa, but this was one of the worst I've seen. We stopped by Kamwenge on our way to another destination, and Valentine knew that we could have taken a better road that would've taken far less time. He told us, "Thank you for taking the bad road to come and see us. You have encouraged and blessed us."

It's funny how they always say that, but I'm the one who leaves encouraged and blessed. If you feel so moved, would you take a minute to pray for Valentine and the church and school in Kamwenge? They are doing amazing work. Also, if you would like to know more about their work or would like to get involved financially there, please let me know

For the Kingdom,
Jason Bollinger

 


Posted in not categorized    Tagged with Links International, Mission, Uganda, Wellspring, Wells, Linksfamily, Kamwenge


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