Uganda schools have now been closed for over 77 weeks, which is the longest shutdown anywhere in the world, and is affecting all Arrows + Hope children. Despite this harsh reality, we have watched the Lord graciously open doors and turn this seemingly difficult situation into something so beautiful through newly formed homeschool groups!
This news of an extended school closure may raise a valid question:
Is it still necessary to send my monthly sponsorship donation if my sponsored child is not going to school?
We wanted to use this opportunity to explain why your continued sponsorship still matters, and in fact even more now than it did before. If you sponsor a child (or several children), we assure you the needs of each child are the same – and likely greater – than when they were in school. Below are the ways your sponsorship continues to make an impact, both now and eternally in the life of your sponsored child and the ongoing ministry of Arrows + Hope!
Homeschool programs are happening three times a week at the House of Hope for Omalera and Soroti children in primary grades. We have hired four gifted teachers from a local Christian school to teach the different grade levels. The small class size and individualized attention has turned out to be such a blessing, as most of these children would otherwise be in a classroom with 50-100 children! We truly feel this is a gift! The children are also being fed breakfast and lunch during homeschool days, which is helping their families as many are struggling to feed everyone at home.
The House of Hope garage has been transformed into a mini library for secondary level students (high school). These students can do most of their work during the day, and then borrow textbooks if needed for further reading in the evenings.
Home visits are still being carried out by the Ugandan team on a regular basis. During these visits, the team assesses living conditions and often provides emergency food, as many families have been found to be surviving on only one meal a day. The team in Uganda also assesses the physical and emotional health of the children, encourages the caregiver, and points the child to Christ in all they do. In addition to emergency food, our team will often provide fast-germinating seeds during the planting season.
Many children have been sick lately with malaria and other illnesses. Sponsored children have access to quality medical care at Bethesda, a local hospital we partner with. This helps prevent families from going to witch doctors or other village clinics, which often are unable to effectively treat or care for their needs. The children are always prayed for and pointed to the Lord who is their healer.
We believe it is important to come alongside the caregiver of each child. If we can help caregivers provide for the physical and spiritual needs of their children, we are also keeping children out of orphanages, off the streets, and out of trafficking situations – and families stay together! Whether the caretaker is an aunt, grandmother, single mother or single father, we desire to help them provide for the children in their home. We have done this by assisting mothers with business training, business start-up funds, audio Bibles in their language, seeds, goats, medical care, and more. Again, all of this is done while pointing them to Christ as their provider.
Most important of all, each child is being discipled by the Ugandan team. Susan is the Discipleship Director for Arrows + Hope in Soroti. She is a constant role model in these children’s lives, pointing them to the One who is their perfect Father. The One who never leaves them, always loves them, and is always for them. Children in the Entebbe Center are attending Emmanuel Church which was planted by Daniel and Jalia. These children receive discipleship from programs offered through the church.
Chris Fisher arrived home from a visit to Uganda earlier this month. The purpose of his trip was to hold team meetings with the staff, and to meet with lawyers to ensure we have everything in place to continue doing ministry in Uganda. It has been two years since these meetings could be held, so there was much to be discussed! Overall it was a very productive trip, and he was so encouraged by the team working there. These meetings were held in Entebbe, so the team in Soroti traveled to where he was in order to have more time together.
Sandy Holtrop and Michelle Fisher will be traveling to Uganda on November 27 to visit the sponsored children in their villages and homes. It has been two years since we have been able to set foot in the homes of these children! This trip is necessary for accountability and assessment of the ongoing work of the Arrows + Hope team in Uganda. We will have an opportunity to see the work Claude, Sophy, and Susan have been doing each week with the children. It will also give us the opportunity to talk with the children’s caregivers, so we can see how Arrows + Hope is making an impact physically and spiritually, as well as learn where we need to make adjustments. Please pray for safety, wisdom, and the Holy Spirit’s leading!
We will be delivering letters from our previous cancelled trip this past June. If you did not write a letter to your children last June, we would love to deliver one for you on this trip! You can email your letter to email@example.com or mail a printed letter to: Michelle Fisher, 5796 16th Ave, Hudsonville. MI 49426.