The Power Of Light

Samuel Mwesiwga – Kerith Ministries

I would like to thank you so much for the great work you are doing through Kerith Ministries. We know that God continues to use each of you in so many ways. Because of your support through Harvesters International Ministries, we have been able to accomplish much and create a lasting impact in the community and in the lives of individuals.

In addition to providing a home for 32 children, Kerith Ministries offers an outstanding Christ-centered education to more than 165 children each day in our primary school. Our school children, most of whom walk from one of five surrounding villages, receive breakfast, lunch, medical care, and a great deal of love each day.

We are thankful for a recent special gift that God provided so that we can begin a new, micro-finance program. We will be making small, but life changing, loans to widows and single mothers in our area. Currently, 18 participants are undergoing the screening and orientation process to receive loans that will help them purchase needed items to begin or enhance their small business enterprises.

God has blessed our evangelistic efforts with over 400 new believers accepting Christ so far this year. Our new church plant among the Mening people in far northern Uganda continues to grow. Please pray for the new pastor who has recently moved there to reach more of these people for Christ and to disciple the new believers there. The material needs are also great in this area. On a recent medical outreach, our team met an 18 month old boy named Amon who was suffering from malaria, pneumonia, and scabies. Amon’s father died when he was two months old. His mother, three sisters and two brothers struggled greatly due to poverty and mistreatment by her deceased husband’s family. When the team met Amon he weighed only 11 pounds. The team was able to take him back to Kerith where he is living with the other children in the ministry’s full-time care. He is receiving regular medical care as well as proper nutrition. We are so grateful for his tremendous improvement! Please be in prayer for him and his family.

I would like to share with you our urgent need to install electrical power to our ministry property including the orphanage, clinic, and school. For years, we have been using solar panels to provide power. Due to the growth in our work and our vision to expand the ministry, we need access to regular electrical power. Using solar panels has turned out to be very expensive and inefficient to run the lights and support our office work. We have faced several challenges because the batteries break down often and are very costly to replace. During the rainy season, they do not generate enough power for lighting. All of this results in several dangers and issues for us. We have too much darkness at night, which attracts thieves who have tried to break into the health center. We need security lighting to also increase the safety of our children in the orphanage. Likewise, improved inside lighting will help our children to read at night and complete their homework assignments. Dependable electrical power will allow us to use electrical appliances in the clinic to provide better care and service to our patients. We will also use power to train young people in skills like metal fabrication, use of our electrical sawing machines, and computers.

To have electrical power at our ministry, the utility company must construct lines that will pass by over 30 other families. Those families will then have opportunity to have electricity for their homes. The total cost of this project is approximately $12,000 and will provide great, ongoing benefits that will impact many lives and our community in a wonderful way.

We are trusting God in all these matters. Again, thank you for your prayers and support.

From Uganda With Love

This summer, I had the privilege of traveling to Pallisa, Uganda, to meet and work alongside Pastor Sam and his wife, Mercy Mwesigwa, for two months. While there, I learned so many valuable lessons such as living a selfless life, showing the love of Jesus to others, and the way we should effectively do missions. As someone who has been on multiple mission trips, including those within the states and all throughout various parts of the world, it was interesting to learn more about creating a ministry like Kerith Children’s Home and what it means to be missionaries within your own culture and country. At times, it was personally difficult to see the poverty and the struggles that these people are faced with daily. Struggles that most Americans will never be able to comprehend. I believe that it’s important that people go on mission trips. It changes your perspective on life and what it really means to love and follow Jesus. I know it certainly has changed my perspective.

Pastor Sam has a heart for reaching people with the gospel, discipling believers so that they can grow deeper in their faith, and church planting. He has planted churches in places where people have never heard about the love, hope, and grace that we have solely in Jesus. Mercy’s heart for orphans and other vulnerable children is evident in the work of Kerith Ministries. In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus instructs his followers that the world will know they are his by the way they treat others. Mercy and Sam are the living examples of these verses. Through their actions and kindness, they show Jesus to the very least of these. What a selfless example they are of being Jesus to a lost and broken world.

During my time at Kerith, I taught at the school. I taught English classes to multiple grade levels, which allowed me the opportunity to meet and interact with children not only from the children’s home, but from the surrounding community as well. As an educator, it was exciting to learn about the education system in Uganda. Kerith Ministries is constantly growing and has an exciting vision for the future. Kerith is equipping their students to have a chance at life once they reach adulthood. It’s horrifying to think where some of these children might be without Kerith. Most of the children at the home were rescued by Mercy. The stories of their lives prior to being rescued will bring you to tears. The children’s home, school, health clinic, and farm are some of the many ministries that make up Kerith. It was a privilege to serve with them during my time in Uganda.

My life has forever been changed by my summer in Uganda. At times, I felt so inadequate being there. How could someone so insignificant as me make a difference in the lives of these children? I came to the realization while in Uganda that I can’t change the circumstances of every person I meet, however badly I may desire, because only Jesus can do that. However, I can be present in the life of that child and show love to them while I’m here. As a follower of Christ, I am called to simply love others just as Jesus loves me. So with every hand held, every cup of porridge served, smile and hug given, and every broken English word learned, I am constantly learning to simply be love.

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Virginia is a senior at the University of West Florida. She is currently student teaching at a school specifically for students with special needs. After graduation, she would like to teach high school students with special needs. She would also like to get more involved with mission work.

Have A Heart For Missions?

Harvesters is committed to helping encourage a passion for missions in the hearts of those God allows us to meet and to offer opportunities for them to serve, grow, and learn. Internships, short term trips, and even actively participating in our work here in the U.S. are all great ways to be part of what God is doing through our ministry partners. Anyone interested in any of these opportunities should contact Doug Radford to learn more. He can be reached by email at doug@harvesters.net or feel free to call him at 252-230-9742.

 

Urgent Needs At Myanmar Bible College

Harvesters’ partner in Myanmar, Fellowship Bible Church has successfully operated Myanmar Bible College (MBC) since 2011. The current group of 47 students is the largest since the school began! MBC, under the leadership of “Pastor Ben”, operates in three rented buildings. Two are used for dorms, while classes are held in the third. Several years ago, Harvesters received a special gift that was used to purchase five acres of land to be developed as a permanent site for the MBC. There was one existing building on the property, which has been renovated for future use; however, the funds needed to move the school have not been available.

Over the past few months, we have sensed a great urgency to proceed with the relocation of MBC to the new property. The importance of this move has been highlighted by the difficulty Pastor Ben has had each year with securing housing for the college students. At the end of this past school year, one landlord said he would no longer rent his building to MBC for the student’s dormitory, possibly due to MBC being a Christian college. Just days before the arrival of the students, Ben was eventually able to find a house for the women’s dormitory. Unfortunately, the rental cost increased $1,200 over last year.

The MBC staff is now searching for a different men’s dormitory space due to the poor conditions of the current location. During the rainy season, significant leaks occur. Two of the students have plastic over their beds to keep the rain off of them during the night. Ben is also concerned that the building is not structurally sound due to water damage. A new men’s dormitory will likely increase the rental costs, just as the new women’s dormitory. This will result in rental costs for the three buildings used for dorms and classroom space to total at least $12,000 to $13,000 per year.

We have recently revised the Phase 1 development plan to construct the basic buildings and infrastructure needed to quickly move MBC to the new site. This could be completed for approximately $82,000 and will eliminate both our annual rental costs and the perpetual anxiety of not knowing if the current rented properties will remain available for the college. Our hope is complete Phase 1 so that MBC can relocate prior to next year’s new term, which begins in June 2020. In September, a team of engineers and surveyors will visit the site to gather the information needed to finalize plans for construction.

Special gifts are needed so that we can begin work right away and meet the June 2020 goal. Your consideration of helping fund this important project would be appreciated. Myanmar Bible College is providing both a biblical education and ministry training to some very bright and motivated young people who desire to reach Myanmar with the Gospel and strengthen the existing churches there. Myanmar is a spiritually dark place in great need of Christ. Harvesters is thankful for the supporters who will be used by God to help continue the progress being made by the Myanmar Bible College.

Will you help us facilitate this first phase of development, which will provide young men and women with safe living and learning environments while they are equipped to become world changers? If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Dave Stansbury, our Asian Partner Liaison, via email at dave@harvesters.net.

 

Hope For A Child

The things a child needs to survive are obvious – food, shelter, clothing, and the like. Sadly, in many places where Harvesters is working, countless children struggle daily for these necessities. Some are orphans whose parents have died due to disease, accidents, or violence. Others live with impoverished families who lack the means to meet their basic needs. Out of our first-hand witness of many children forced to live under such circumstances, Harvesters International has developed Project Hope 127, our new child sponsorship program. This is an easy, effective way for those who want to provide life-changing love and support for a child in Asia or Africa to do so with confidence.

Project Hope 127 takes its name from James 1:27 which says “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress…” This verse expresses the same truth as many others do, that God’s love working through His people takes the form of life-impacting action.

Sponsoring a child helps bring wonderful change to the shape and direction of a child’s life in many ways. As the name implies, Project Hope 127 is not only about providing food, health care, clothing, education, and a home to the children we serve. Beyond their material need, a child will quickly lose hope when struggling to survive in places that offer little or no opportunity for their future. At that point, giving them love, stability, and a sense of safety is vital to building their confidence that life is worth living. Teaching them about God’s love helps them understand that they do matter. Most importantly, helping them understand the Gospel provides a child the opportunity to live in the hope of knowing God for eternity.

Sponsors play a vital role in bringing hope to a child that goes beyond financial support. Both formal university studies and our experience confirm the wonderful reaction that occurs for a child when they know that someone they have never met cares enough about them to not only provide for their material needs, but to also send them letters of encouragement. Sponsors are much more than faceless donors! They develop a relationship with a child that needs to experience being loved by as many people as possible. Sponsors may also travel to Africa or Asia and meet their child.

Currently, we have children from Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo who are awaiting sponsorship. These children are in the care of our ministry partners. Beginning a relationship by sponsoring a child is easy! It begins at www.ProjectHope127.org. There, you can see the photographs of our children, learn about their background, and become part of their lives by sponsoring one or more of them for $45 per month each. Below are just a few of the amazing kids that need sponsors.

 

Aganze Kulondwa
My parents were taken captive by rebels, and I am unsure what happened to them. I am 11 years old and want to be a businessman.

 

 

Nadia Balume
I was born in Kibumba in 2008. My parents were killed by rebels in 2016. I am 11 years old and want to be a teacher.

 

 

Myo Min
Insurgents killed my father when I was very young. My mother is disabled can’t care for me. I am ten years old and hope to be a police officer.

 

 

Solomon
I came to the children’s home in 2016. My parents are sick and cannot take care of me. I am ten years old and hope to become a doctor.