How We Serve

By Samuel Mwesigwa – Kerith Ministry, Uganda

The Kerith Ministry family and our community would like to thank God for His protection over us and for using you to support us during this trying moment. In the midst of all the challenges that come with COVID-19, we want to let you know that we are doing well health wise and spiritually.

Through HIM donations, we have been able to support more than 300 families during this time with food, salt, and soap.

Halima (seen here with Mercy Mwesigwa) is a widow who lost her husband to HIV/AIDS. She lives a few blocks from Kerith in a grass thatched house with four of her grandchildren. We were able to help her with food that will last her two weeks. Halima has challenges to sustain herself and her grandchildren since she does not have a piece of land to cultivate her own food. Halima has taught us to have faith in the Lord even in the hardest times like these. Halima received Christ three years ago after having been a Muslim all her life. We ask that you pray for her that the Lord will meet the needs of her life.

 

We were also able to assist Goretti, a widow who lost her husband six years ago. Her family lives in a ramshackle, grass thatched house; and she singlehandedly struggles to educate and feed her three teenage children. I met Goretti during our community outreach on Parenting God’s Way for single mothers. Like many other widows, she cannot earn any money because of the lockdown. We were able to provide food for her family. Our long-term plan for Goretti is to employ her as a trainer of our teenage children, women, and single mothers in tailoring and sanitary pad making. We are trusting God for five sewing machines to be used in the training. If we get the machines, we will be able to train more women like Goretti.

Kerith Ministry is also providing counselling and prayer to families that are facing hard times feeding their families and paying bills. Others are facing domestic violence due the challenges in the families. Because of the restrictions of movement, we do this by making calls, and those we cannot reach by making a call, we make a short visit.

Kerith Health Centre is also providing medical support to people that are facing health challenges and cannot afford the costs. We have also provided free maternity services to the delivering mothers to help reduce the maternal mortality rate, which is on the rise due to the lock down.

We want to thank God for His unending love, care, and protection to all our friends and ministry partners.

New Fish Farm

We are excited about our new fish farm project. Fish production is the third largest income generating activity in Uganda. Over the last two years, we have been studying fish farming to see if our land is suitable and if it would generate both food for our children’s home and some income for self-sustainability of our ministry. Our findings gave us the encouragement to embark on this project.

We are employing locals to help in the excavation of the land and construction of the farm, giving them new skills they can use to provide for their families. Once the farm is yielding, we can easily move to a larger scale operation since the property is adjacent to wetland.

Our objectives with this project are to improve the living conditions of our community, to promote biblical values of work and conservation of the environment, and to contribute to the income of Kerith Ministry. To that end, we anticipate that we will sell approximately 75% of the fish raised, while the remaining 25% will be consumed in our children’s home.

 

 

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.

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 and meet their child.

Currently, we have children from 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.

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.

A Heart For Orphans

Hope for Life Homes in Russia provides an alternative to the institutional setting that most orphans experience there. The children are nurtured in loving, Christian homes by a couple who has a heart to care for orphans.

HFL also reaches out to children who are living in government-operated orphanages and sends a number of them to a Christian camp each summer where they learn about the love of God. Many come to faith in Christ and take that message of hope back to the other children and staff in the orphanages where they live. We are excited to share with you the stories of three children that have been impacted by HFL.

Polina

We met Polina in the Ussuryisk orphanage seven years ago. At the time, she was a sad and withdrawn girl. Her parents regularly abused alcohol. They divorced and decided it would be best to take Polina to an orphanage. Although it didn’t seem like it at the time, Polina now knows that it really changed her life in a positive way. It was in the orphanage that she was exposed to Christians and learned of God. Her hunger for Him was strong, and we were able to send her to the Transformation Camp where she gave her life to Jesus. Her walk with the Lord has been such a blessing to see. When she graduated from the orphanage at 15, she entered into a vocational school in Vladivostok so that she could attend the Vladivostok Bible Church.

Polina found and talked with her parents. Her mother hated her for coming back since she would have to share her apartment with her. Her dad tried to be supportive, but his wife didn’t want her around. In spite of that, Polina keeps in touch with, and prays for, her parents. Her eyes always get watery when she shares about them. She says: “I don’t know what the future has in store for me, but I know that without God I won’t have a future.”

Polina was baptized last fall. She has a beautiful ministry of greeting people at the church door each week. She will be graduating from vocational school next year and wants to enter Far Eastern University to become a teacher. She also has a strong desire to adopt a child from an orphanage when she has a family. She longs to see her parents come to church. Polina trusts God sincerely and is excited to see what He has in store for her.

Angelina

Angelina’s parents lost their parental rights due to alcohol and child neglect. Her health was extremely poor. The doctors and local authorities tried to talk Misha and Lena, our HFL house parents, out of taking her. Of course, they didn’t consider giving her up, even for a second. Lena spent one year in and out of hospitals with Angelina because of her severe lung and allergy conditions. Then, God granted them a miracle! Angelina’s health changed to perfect. She has grown into a very bright, always smiling, kind, healthy girl who loves both the Lord and the church. She loves helping her mom in the kitchen and around the house and is quick to take initiative. Her favorite verse is Luke 1:37: “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Elijah

Dear Elijah came into our HFL 2 Home when he was four. His birth mother abandoned him just after birth because she had a problem with alcohol and had no means to raise him. He was adopted by a non-Christian family, then abandoned again.

Even at the age of four, he was not trusting of people. But when our HFL 2 mom, Lena, came into the orphanage where he lived, Elijah must have been moved by God to just run to her as fast he could and ask whether she would take him to her home. She did.

Elijah will be 13 this year. It has taken many years of questioning for him to accept that his HFL parents really love him and want him to be part of their family. He now has peace that he is loved unconditionally. He is a challenging child, but also bright, kind, and loves the Lord.

Last year, Elijah’s birth mother came in contact with his HFL parents. They learned that she is now a believer and had been praying for the son she abandoned. She now raises a handicapped daughter. Our HFL Home parents help by taking her to doctor appointments or for groceries, and she often comes to spend time with Elijah. We trust that Elijah will root his life in God and that He will use him to lead more people into the Kingdom. We believe in him and we trust our God and praise Him for using us to minister to Elijah.

Sion Assembly Ministry

Thank you for your continued support of our ministry.

At present, we have 45 children living in our orphan home. We are looking forward to starting a school that will also allow children in the slums to attend alongside the orphans. We have raised some funds for this project, but still need $4,000. These funds will enable us to start the school and continue through the end of the next academic year. The funds will provide for paying teachers and staff, as well as the purchase of benches, desks, and white boards.

Providing activities for the children in the SAC Orphan Home and the community is a huge priority for our ministry. Several years ago, we constructed a playground. The swings, slides, and basketball goal need to be replaced or repaired. We would like to provide two televisions for the children to be able to watch Christian cartoons and movies, as well as our SAC broadcast. Our sewing machines are also in need of repair. These machines are used by the children and are also available to people in the village who wish to learn how to sew. The combined costs of this project are approximately $2,200.

As pastor and leader of SAC, I am often traveling between ministry locations. In order to continue our Skype services broadcast, I have given my laptop to the church for use when I am traveling. I am in need of a new laptop so that I am able to continue to work while traveling. The cost is $1,200. Thank you for considering our needs. We are grateful for your partnership!

Kerith Ministry

We want to thank you so much for your continued support and care. As Kerith ministry, we would have completed so little without you, but we are so grateful to God for you. Your continued prayer and support has enabled us as a ministry to accomplish all the Lord has enabled us accomplish.

In the same way, we want to let you know about the projects that we are embarking on for the betterment of the community and our orphanage children.

School Block Roofing

There is a tremendous need for a primary school in the place where the ministry is located due to a large number of children. We have studied the expenses from previous years in terms of gas for transporting the kids to and from school in town, school dues, and health risks. As a ministry, we thought it wise to start up a school project to cut down all those expenses and meet the general community need of a school. God is faithful! Through your support and prayers, the first three-classroom school block was built and roofed, and it is already being used.

Most of the second phase, a four-classroom block, has been completed. We have a great need to roof this building which will enable us to accommodate the anticipated number of children in the next academic year, which starts in January 2019. We are believing God for a total amount of $3,800 to have that project completed so that we see the school being used at full capacity.

School Furniture

With the increasing number of children in the school, there is a need for more desks. We would like all of the children to be able to have a place to sit with their books to study. Currently, we have a need of about 20 desks. Each desk costs $25 for a total cost of $500.

Skills Training Center

In the past, we successfully trained 14 women in tailoring. They are currently using that skill to earn a living and sustain their families.

Our community is faced with a large number of young adults who have had access to partially attend secondary school, but have not had money to take them for higher education or to attain a skill which can take them through life. This makes the young people opt for early marriages, which has resulted in having irresponsible young parents. Because they have no skills or way to support their family, we have a substantial number of street kids in the community. Our ministry has observed this need and started up a skills training project where we are equipping people with tailoring skills. We started with four sewing machines. There were so many that wanted training, but we could not meet the number of students needing training. Because of limited sources of funds, we are finding it hard to pay the trainers on a consistent basis. This results in a lapse in the training and increased time to complete training. It will cost $100 to pay for the trainers for one semester. Due to number of students, we would also like to add five more sewing machines which would cost $600.

Union of Baptist Churches

Harvesters’ partner in the D.R. Congo continues to grow their ministry and impact lives there through church planting, training pastors and leaders, educating children, assisting widows, and providing orphan care. Recently, a team from the United States spent several days in Goma conducting sessions for pastors, leaders, women, and children. Everyone was blessed by how God used the time to encourage both the team and the Congolese people involved. It is impressive to experience the joy that is present among God’s people who live in such a difficult place.

In our recent newsletters, we’ve described several efforts to strengthen the Congolese churches and open doors of evangelism through efforts to meet material needs. Ongoing, there are continued opportunities to bless people and communities in special ways. Our partner there is praying for funding to install a second water storage tank to serve widows in Kibumba, typically referred to as “the widow’s village”. The tank, which costs $2,400 to build, is used to capture rainwater that is stored for later use during the dry season. This project “pays for itself” since it reduces the amount of water that the women must purchase to sustain their families when the rainfall stops for several months each year.

As with widows, the orphans of the D.R. Congo also have pressing needs. At our “Orphan’s Framing Center” there, $500 will provide 1,000 meals, and $200 will cover the annual cost of education and needed uniforms for one child.

Thank you for your willingness to be part of what God is doing in D.R. Congo!

Good Samaritan

We praise God for all of His provision! We continue to serve the children of our community and trust that God will bless our work.

Each year, we give our 195 students a new sweater, socks, and shoes for Christmas. For many, this will be the only new clothing items they have. The cost per student is $13.50 for a total of $2,632.50.

Happy in their new sweaters!

There is a long waiting list of 120 students to enter the Kollukhedi Village School. Only $19 per month will provide each student with an education, uniforms, and text books. These children are a great asset to our ministry for the present and the future. Through them, we get to meet the parents and grandparents at our monthly Parent – Teacher meeting. We are able to reach many in the village with Christ’s love through teaching these children.

In 2005, your donations provided a four-wheeler for our ministry. After so many years, it required frequent costly repairs. Thus, a new four-wheeler has become an urgent need. The cost to replace this vehicle is $12,900.

Thank you for your prayers and support as we continue to show the love of Christ to our students and their families!