This summer we are celebrating seven years of ministry in Uganda! In 2015, we began with a mission of pointing orphans and vulnerable children to hope in Christ through discipleship and education.
Today, well over 100 children are currently sponsored in three different centers, in addition to those who have already graduated! We are also thankful for the House of Hope, which opened in 2020 and has served as a safe home for young girls/women who have found themselves in unsafe situations at home or on the streets of Soroti.
Over the years, as we have continued to work toward our vision of seeing lives and communities transformed, we have recognized the importance of abiding.
The Webster dictionary defines abide as this: to continue to be in a place for a significant amount of time. Some synonyms of abide are remain and stay, while some antonyms are abandon, runaway, and escape.
The majority of the children we work with have experienced the opposite of abide. Most of them have a mother or father who left them, either because they passed away, or because they ran from their responsibility when life got too hard. We get to show them something different. We get to be a stable and constant source of hope and encouragement in their life while pointing them to the One who will never leave them or forsake them!
I will never forget the words of a street child who we befriended on the streets of Jinja in 2014. He said, matter-of-factly, “You won’t come back.” He spoke this from a place of familiarity. His father left. His mother left and she never came back. He was raised by his grandmother.
This is why the team on the ground visits and encourages each child regularly, and why we, as a US team, visit each year. We get to show them what abiding looks like while pointing them to the One who is perfect at it: Jesus.
“… And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:20
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”John 14:18
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”John 15:4
This past month, school outreaches began with Susan and Claude visiting the boarding schools attended by the older youth of Arrows and Hope. They are planning to soon begin a study called Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood!
April Vision Trip
Another successful and adventurous vision trip took place in April with a team of five from the US. While in Uganda, they were able to see and hear the testimonies of life change in several of the young people they visited.
One of the young men they visited is named Michael. He is a half orphan who was sponsored in 2015. He completed high school and then went to trade school to become an electrician. He is now able to fully support himself with this career as well as assist his mother. He gives glory to God for using Arrows + Hope to transform his life. He said he would not be where he is today without the assistance he received
Sarah is also a half orphan, whose mother is mentally disabled. She was raised by her grandparents. Sarah was sponsored in 2015. Following her completion of high school, she went to university for a certificate in Agriculture.
With the knowledge she received in school and with the support of her sponsorship, Sarah started a piggery in her village. She recently attended a Farming God’s Way training to learn of a sustainable way of farming which is also a discipleship tool. She is now giving back by assisting the Arrows + Hope staff with the weekly discipleship programs in the village of Omalara, and teaching the youth Farming God’s Way! Sarah is planning to continue with her schooling to earn a diploma.
Rhoda is another young woman they visited. She recently graduated from the Arrows + Hope program. Rhoda used to live in an unsafe situation at home with her father, and ran to the streets. She was found sleeping near a church entry. In 2019, she was sponsored and was able to finish high school.
Rhoda completed an apprenticeship in tailoring during the COVID shutdown while living at the House of Hope, and has now opened her own tailoring business! Rhoda has a gift for sewing, as well as a beautiful voice which she uses in the worship team at her church.
Thank you for partnering with Arrows + Hope to point the orphaned and vulnerable children of Uganda to Hope in Christ. They are becoming leaders in their families, churches and communities! We look forward to sharing more stories of transformation as these youth realize who they are in Christ!