There is one God and Father of all people, who is Lord of all, works through all, and is in all.– Ephesians 4:6
Please keep on praying for our brothers and sisters in Uganda. Pray they will see God work in and through this hardship and feel His love and peace during this difficult time.
The update below is from Ruudy Olupot, our Director in Uganda. He is married to Beckie, who is originally from Michigan. Ruudy and Beckie are missionaries working with LOCODI, a ministry they founded in Soroti. They also partner with us to help oversee the work of Arrows + Hope. We are grateful for them and the hearts they have to serve others.
The day after sending this update, Ruudy shared with us that even those who have money often have nothing to buy because the markets are finding it hard to stock food. The president instructed anyone working in the market to sleep in the market and not return home to avoid the spread of this virus. Let’s keep praying for the people of Uganda and those all over the world who are struggling to feed their families or receive medical care.
Uganda Status Report
Written by Ruudy Olupot, A+H Director
On Tuesday, the president of Uganda addressed the country to provide a status update on the lockdown. Everyone was glued to their radio, television, social media, etc. to hear whether the lockdown would be lifted. The 14-day lockdown had already had its toll on the citizens, with many in our community having to make do with one meal a day.
When the president announced a 21-day extension there was silence, worry, disappointment, and the general mood in our community is that of loss and hopelessness.
The three biggest needs for a majority of people is beans, posho and salt. Even in Kampala where the government had started distributing food to the most needy, the process has ground to a halt because the government has run out of beans and people refused to be given only posho.
We are closely monitoring the situation of the kids in our program to see who will need what and when so that we can coordinate with the US team to help meet these needs. So far, about 20% of our beneficiaries will need assistance soon, and we project that by the end of next week we will have more families needing food.I have personally never seen this level of hopelessness since the great famine of 1993 that ground everything to a halt again and people had to stay home because there was no food and no one was strong enough to keep going. The people who are under immense pressure right now are the fathers who have to face their families every morning and are expected to provide food. The other lot is those who are working like us. Our desperate immediate and distant relatives keep calling everyday begging for food help. My phone has almost become a customer care phone with calls coming in almost every 30 minutes.
Please remember Uganda in your prayers. A country where almost 80% of the population survives on small scale farming and a predominantly informal economy. We did not have good yields last year because of the unreliable rains and the dry season has persisted this year than normal and has affected the first farming season already. Most people have not planted any crops so far, some in our neighboring districts have had their plants destroyed by the locusts. We expect the people from our community to experience food shortage next year again because the rains have delayed to come.
Our economy is already shaking and reeling from the lockdown and we expect things to get worse by the end of the current lockdown. Our prayer is that the lockdown will be lifted soon and people get back to making meaning from whatever will be left of their lives. So far, Uganda has 55 confirmed cases; nine of these have recovered and been discharged from hospital. No one has died so far and we praise God for that.
I would personally like to end by thanking all the donors Stateside who, despite their own current plight, continue to give to Arrows + Hope so that we can keep the kiddos and their families fed and sustained. May the Lord himself reward you and continue to supply all your needs according to his riches in glory. Shalom
Note to Sponsors:
Thank you for your continued monthly support of these children. Your sponsorship continues to support the ongoing education, medical care, and additional needs of the Arrows and Hope children. The school fees for first term were paid at the beginning of February. These fees will not be reimbursed by the schools, even though children have been sent home. School fees and scholastic materials will need to be paid and bought for the second term at the end of May.
Although children are not currently in school, your monthly sponsorship is still being applied to the same needs, and we are relying on additional donations to assist the children and their families with food during this time. We have already received several generous donations to assist with food! If we receive enough funds to help each A+H child and their family with food, any extra will be distributed to those most in need within the communities we serve in.