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Ian and Silver's Newsletter

Spring/Summer 2004

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Kenya Camp
Vehicle Situation
Crusader Link
KBC Youth Camp
Uganda Youth Forum
Ambassadors of Hope
Mission Teams
Harmony Six

Kenya Camp

In early December 2003 we ran a youth camp in Mpeketoni, Coast province, Kenya. In previous newsletters you have read of the joys of traveling in this area so we will skip that on this occasion & focus on the work done;

For the 2nd time we were accompanied by a team of youth from Mombasa Pentecostal Church. The partnership there is getting stronger. Also 2 youth from KBC came along. Together we ran the entire camp programme.

Mpeketoni is a resettlement village, originally started by the Kenyan government in the 1950’s. Different tribes from all over Kenya live there & it is dominantly a Christian settlement in a mostly Moslem district. It is agricultural as the area is fertile. Each family owns a shamba (small farm). A contrast to the dry bush you travel through to reach it. It is close to the Somali border & hot. Very hot!

Our link in Mpeketoni is with the AIC (African inland Church) & they hosted us for the week.

We set up camp under a shade tree. That brought the temperature down to about 30c in the tents!! And we made ourselves as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately the programme for the week was to take place in the unventilated, tin roofed church. (You could have baked bread in there.)

In the course of the week we had bible teaching (I was the main speaker) discussion groups, games, sports, question panels, sing-n-fun nights. All the usual youth camp stuff. The team was kept busy ……

About 90 youth attended from the district, including a group from Lamu. The camp was a new idea for Mpeketoni & was well received. A number of youth made either a first commitment or re-committed their lives. The church is now forming a youth team to plan future activities & we are invited back soon to train them.

Despite the heat we were sad to leave. We made an impact on the community & a whole load of new friends.


Vehicle Situation

 
As you know Silver experienced a break down in Mubende on his way back from Fort Portal last week. This turned out to be a major engine problem. Although the bus is back on the road again it is not really in good condition.
  • Our mechanic should be able to sell off the old unit for spares afterwards.
  • Therefore we will do everything, sell off the old unit & see what the balance is then. We can’t put figures on anything yet but will do as soon as possible.
Before this happened we had begun writing a proposal recommending to put a reconditioned engine/gearbox into the bus as this would give it a much longer working life. As a result of this latest breakdown we have fast forwarded this plan & asked the mechanic to look for a good replacement unit. The verdict of all of us including the mechanic is the engine failure is due to high mileage & excessive use over the last couple of years. Does that surprise anyone ??? Hopefully this work will be done in the next few weeks as we need the bus in good condition for multiple mission trips etc.

Obviously this has financial implications but not as scary as you may think. We will explain.

  • We will go ahead with the engine/gearbox transplant using money in the house budget as necessary. We have already done this for the breakdown expenses.
  • Ingrid has given us a generous gift towards this work as she was concerned about what had happened.
Proposal

The current vehicle had a major break down and we decided that the best course of action is to replace the engine and gear box. This we are in the process of doing so the car should be back on the road by the time you read this. We feel this should give it several more years of use as a mission and team bus. This is a simple job that can be done by our usual mechanic.

We wish to plan for another vehicle, possibly a Land Rover Discovery imported from the UK.

The long term plan is to keep the Delica on the road indefinitely as mission & team transport & use the 2nd vehicle for all other work.


Crusaders Link

 
Most of you already know of our long term link with Crusaders, helping to develop their work in East Africa. During our visit to the UK last year we met with the Crusader team at the head office & the link is now stronger than before.

So an update of how things are going in East Africa.

This year we are expecting Crusoe (short term summer teams ) to come to Uganda & Kenya. The Uganda team will be in Hoima working at Mustard Seed orphanage & doing schools ministry along with the Church of Uganda Diocese youth team.

The Kenya team will go to the Mathare Valley family hope centre in Nairobi & be involved in various programmes carried out by this project in the slum areas.

We also look forward to welcoming the first Crusader gap student to Hoima in a few weeks time to work at Mustard Seed. We hope that other gap volunteers will come to placements in East Africa in the future.

Alongside this we are doing quite a lot of training & more is booked for the next few months.

If you read this & are interested in being involved with Crusoe or Crusader gap please contact Mike Freeman at Head Office, Kestin House, 45 Crescent Road, Luton, Beds,LU2 OAH, tel 01582 589850 email@crusaders.org.uk


Kampala Baptist Church Youth Camp

 
People

This years’ camp brought in quite a few new faces, mostly in the group of ´kids –turning-youth´. This is an excellent thing as most of those who don´t quite fit in Sunday school any more just get lost in the church crowd. It is good that they have been absorbed into the youth ministry.

A lot of the younger youth have matured & taken on many responsibilities. The running of the programme this year was to a large extent the responsibility of these new generation leaders.

This year also brought a complicated mixture of cultures : Kenyans both from Nairobi & Mombasa (quite noticeably different from each other) , 2 Belgians, 1 half Canadian & of course lots of Ugandans ( including Wycliffe from Mityana )

Place

At first glance , Focus campsite in Garenge is nothing to look at : poorly constructed dormitories, 1 block of pit latrines, half built bathrooms & lots of wild trees.

This was our home for 1 week & everyone loved it . The beach was a major attraction. The lake looked breath taking, especially at night when the moon shone its light over the water. The wild trees provided shelter when it got too hot.

 

Programme

The programme was fully packed in the morning : Devotions, Bible Hour, Corporate prayer time, Quiet time, Small group discussions & morning games.

The afternoons were mostly free with swimming, competitive group games, crazy Olympics etc.

The evenings were exciting with sing-n-fun & different activity nights with a dedication night on Thursday.

Everything went smoothly & the programme was adhered to except for Friday when the preacher was 2 hours late & the morning prayer time evolved into a deliverance service. Lunch was at 2pm.

Programme Highlights :

Morning games which were very popular.
Bible Hour – a different pastor came each day & the variety was refreshing & much appreciated.
Discussion groups: Voted the most popular sessions of the week.
Crazy Olympics on Thursday afternoon.
Sing-n-fun sessions at night.

Future Recommendations:

  • Have 2 separate camps to cater for the needs of different age groups & the convenience of University students who are always in session in January;
  • Involve more church adults in youth activities including camps;
  • Invite representatives from nearby churches to develop links in the neighbourhood

Uganda Youth Forum.

I seem to mention UYF in passing, so most of you probably know it exists & that I am involved in some way, but not so much information. So I thought it time to give a little more air time to it…..

UYF was founded by the 1st lady of Uganda , Janet Museveni about 10 years ago & she is still the patron. She realized in the face of the Aids epidemic , that young people were especially at risk & not enough was being done to sensitise & educate them. Also, as a born again Christian, she felt concerned that much of the information going to young people was not Godly. Usually it was based on practicing safe sex rather than the biblical model of abstinence from sex till marriage.

The activities carried out by UYF include school visitation, counseling services, parenting seminars & conferences for youth. There are up country conferences plus a national conference each year in Kampala that attracts between 3 – 5 thousand young people each day.

I have been on the executive board of UYF for 2 years, & a volunteer for about 5 years.

The national conference in Kampala took place just a few weeks back & was a great success despite a rather chaotic planning period. As usual the daily attendance exceeded 3000 & we filled the national conference centre.

My star turn this year was to host a panel of parents. 8 intrepid parents sat on the platform while I fired very candid, open questions to them from the youth. Fun for me, but probably scary for the parents.

The problem is having appeared on stage in front of that many young people my face is now even more recognizable in Kampala than before. Maybe I should try radio instead !

On the final day the President came to address the youth. I had to sit on the platform with him & officially shake his hand at the end. I guess that makes me a VIP at last…..


Ambassadors of Hope

One of the first things I did when I came to Uganda six & a half years ago was to run a training seminar along with Peter Empson of Crusaders, for the staff of A of H.

A of H is the charity that run the ´African Childrens Choir ´ which is often seen performing in North America & Europe. Their work is to support orphans & develop schools in areas where many children are not getting an education.

Recently the link with A of H has started up again & I have run one very successful training workshop with the teachers from their schools & more is now planned.

Next week I will be doing training in Mityana with an orphan project affiliated to A of H.


Mission teams

It is that time of the year again when the young people on long vacation get to go out of their bubbles and do something for God through missions. The places are the same this year, deliberately as we are aiming to strengthen the links in specific places.

We will go hang out with Wycliffe and co in Mityana first and then off to Kamuli, Hoima and Mpigi. A lot of the youth on this tie have been there before so we expect things to go a lot smoother than the previous years (especially if the team actually starts singing songs in the same key and at the same tempo.)

The aim for this year is to leave team members in each of the places we will visit to help the local churches in implementing the ideas of the mission team and also follow up on anyone who will dedicate or recommit their lives to God.

Harmony six

Last year ended on a busy note for Harmony Six. The end of the year /beginning of this one found the boys in Mombasa trying to strengthen links with the guys at the coast. We got an opportunity to sing at the college and career camp organized by Word of Life.

There is a lot in store this year. The main goal for the group is to get a clearer plan of how to fulfill our calling. We have set ourselves a target to reach 500 young people with the good news of the gospel of Christ by June this year.

Together with Pastor Andrew, we have committed to establish and sustain a regular outreach team to the hostels around the area. The starting point was Makerere advanced girls hostel which was hugely successful. This will continue as a regular fixture all the time that university is in session.

The group has recorded a song that is playing on all the local fm stations. An album of 8 songs is in the making as well and this will go a long way in opening up opportunities for ministry and keeping the group busy and focused. If there was a time when we really needed your prayers and support, it is now.