Watch this short video to see what we have planned for 2019
For taking the time to consider partnering with us to help the people of Kiwungu, Uganda. Many of you have been by our side, committed to bringing hope to this community since 2015. Without God's work through you, and those who may be supporting for the first time, none of this would be possible. So much amazing work has been done. But the need is still great as many still lack the most basic needs. We are excited to see countless more lives positively impacted as we head back at the end of May. We are forever grateful for your hand in all of this.
Thank you for helping us bring hope to Kiwungu.
How it all started, and where we are now...
The vision began in 2015. My college pastor Dan and I traveled to Kiwungu, Uganda with two goals in mind: to provide clean water and to make a positive change in the lives of Ugandan men by teaching biblical principles at men's conferences that we hosted. Many of these men were alcoholics and/or abusive and neglectful toward their families.
Since 2015, Dan has gone back to put in over thirty wells, providing clean, disease-free water for thousands throughout the villages. His church has partnered with a church from Colorado to build a school where 370 children are currently getting an education for the first time.
In 2016, I went back to Uganda with my cousins David and Oliver. We continued the men's conferences, and Oliver began raising support for the construction of a medical clinic near the school. The clinic was dedicated to the community in May of 2018. We still hear heartbreaking stories of Ugandans in this community, including young children, dying from malaria and other illnesses because they don’t have access to medication or basic care. Communicable diseases account for over 50% of Uganda's morbidity and mortality. Malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB, respiratory infections, and vaccine-preventable diseases are the leading causes of death. We’re praying for a fully-functioning, self-sufficient facility as we continue work on a water well, solar-powered electricity and purchasing basic medical supplies and medications.
In 2017, I went with my friend Cristian. On this trip, in addition to the men's conferences, Cristian and others made it possible for three homes to be built and five cows to be given to poverty-stricken families. Since then, over ten homes have been built for widows and orphans in the community. Over a dozen cows have been given away, lifting many out of poverty and giving them new hope.
In 2018, going back with David and Oliver, we continued with the housing project, sustainable-income project (cows), put a roof on a church, and saw marriages and families transformed through the men's conferences.
In addition to the wells, medical clinic, school, homes, cows, and men's conferences, we have also been able to bless hundreds of Ugandan children in need. Since 2015, we have received countless donations to provide toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, shoes, clothing, and toys to kids who have nothing. I saw many children (so excited for their first pair of shoes ever) go to bed with their shoes still on, smiling and laughing.
Plan for 2019
On May 25th, I will be heading to Kiwungu, once again, with my cousins David and Oliver. With your support, we hope to provide the following:
| Orphan's Day |
This is a new vision for 2019 that God has given my cousin David. There are an estimated 200-300 orphans in and around the village of Kiwungu, many abandoned by their parents. Others have lost their parents to AIDS, malaria or other illnesses. Our hope is to raise enough support to bring in orphans from the surrounding villages for a day where we would provide meals, new clothing, and other basic needs. We are expecting over 200 children, and we hope that through this, we begin to move closer toward our vision for an orphanage in this community.
| Men’s Conferences |
“…be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes” (1 Kings 2:2B)
For many men, the culture of masculinity in Uganda is one of abuse towards wives, neglect towards children, dependence on wives to generate income, and alcoholism. Sadly, when these same men eventually hear the Gospel, they proclaim Christ but fail to end the abuse and neglect of their wives and children. For the last five years, we have been going to different villages and teaching these men what the culture of masculinity in the Bible looks like: reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously, and expect God’s greater reward. We cover these four principles among other lessons over the course of a year with the same men, feed them each day for every conference, give out Bibles to those that don’t have them, and offer a graduation ceremony at the end of the year with diplomas. At every conference, God has brought Muslims, witch doctors, alcoholics and others to repentance and many men leave renouncing physical abuse to their wives and neglect towards their children.
COST: Each three-day conference costs $400. This covers food, writing materials, transportation, supplies, and the work of the pastors, translators, and sound team.
| Housing Ministry |
“My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places” (Isa. 32:18).
What you see above is all too common. Mothers and fathers have a lot of children, get overwhelmed and abandon them. Oftentimes, if it’s not abandonment, they die of AIDS, leaving grandparents to take on the task of rearing the orphans. Other times, husbands abandon their families, leaving wives to raise their children. These men will return just to physically assault their wives every few months and leave as soon as they are done. In the case above, widowed grandmother is left to raise ten grandchildren. These families live in homes as cramped as the one you see in the picture above. There is no privacy and only room enough for them to lay down, side-by-side at night for rest. Snakes get in because of the poor work on the home, and rain seeps through. There are no windows for ventilation or a door. We have been supporting a team of construction workers to give these families a new life. One-bedroom shacks are turned into three-bedroom homes with three times the height of what they had before, plastered walls to keep out snakes, etc., steel roofs, steel doors, glass windows.
Below are pictures of the process of the houses being made:
￼￼￼￼COST: $2,000 (7000 bricks, 4 trucks of sand, 20 bags of cement, 70 pieces of timber, Nails, polythen building bag and feeding of the builders, 30 pieces of iron sheets, one role of iron hook, 4 pieces of iron bars, transportation of materials to site, transportation of the workers, labor fees, plaster for the walls and floor).
| Sustainable-Income Project |
“For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills” (Ps. 50:10).
The average income in the villages of Uganda is only $200 a year. Even with little to no expenses or debts to pay for, this amount of money is just enough to scrape by with minimal food and a few necessities for the year. It is incredibly hard for families to get ahead, and with public school costing money in Uganda, most children do not receive an education. For families that earn even less than this, have more mouths to feed or have lost their income because the sole provider has passed away, lost work, or has been injured, we have been raising support to care for them. The milk that these cows provide is of high value, giving the family that has it something to sell or trade in the marketplace to help the family out of their humble circumstances. Additionally, a bull is brought to the cows after some time for mating, and the first calf that is born is given back to the project to help other families in need. This way, the project should flourish in giving dozens, and eventually, hundreds of families sustainable income. The picture above is of a cow purchased in 2017 for a family in desperate need. The picture below is of a calf birthed by this cow in 2018 that has been given back to the project to help others in need.
￼￼￼￼￼￼[First-born calf of every purchased cow goes back into the project to help others in need]
COST: Each cow is $400.
| Bible Distribution |
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16).
After finding out that Christians in Uganda, many of which are pastors, are abusing their wives and refusing to work on fathering or providing income, we knew that people needed more access to God’s Word to change their behavior from darkness to light, from Uganda-accepted norms to God-expected righteousness. With Bibles costing $10 in the Lugandan language and with so many people earning only $200 a year, we knew that we could not just tell them to go buy a Bible. That would be equivalent to telling a family that earns $100,000 a year to spend $5,000 for just one Bible! In 2017, we began bringing Bibles to each of the men’s conferences to equip them with the Word that they might have “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17) to fight as men of God against the enemy. We also bring them to the church that David Balabyekubo pastors to ensure that his flock has the Word. He is in the picture to the left, our friend and contact that we work with in Uganda. In 2017, we were able to give Bibles to 240 people, and we are excited to see more people equipped with Truth over the years to come.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” (1 Tim. 2:1).
Pray that when we preach the Gospel and other biblical truths at the men’s conference, church, over the radio, and anywhere else, it would be the counsel and power of the Holy Spirit that guides our every word. We ask this similarly to how Paul did in Ephesians 6: 18-20: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit … be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel … that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Pray that the lost would come to know their Creator by a saving grace through faith.
Pray for team unity. A united body is a God-glorifying one.
Pray for us, the American team, to bless and refresh the Ugandan missionaries, pastors, and others that we are working alongside and those we are serving.
Pray for safety, for health, but mostly for me and my team to have the energy and drive to constantly bless the people of Uganda.
If you have any questions, or would like to know about tax-deductible options, please follow these steps:
I. Tax-Deductible Option (Online)
b. Scroll down, click on ONLINE GIVING
c. Click GIVE ONE TIME
d. Choose GLOBAL OUTRACH TRIP
e. Write “UGANDA MAY” in memo box
i. Don’t forget to write “Uganda May” or the funds will not go towards the mission. Don’t write my name or anything else, just “Uganda May”.
f. Follow remaining verification steps
II. Tax-Deductible Option (Check)
a. Mail checks to the following address:
i. River City Christian Church
ATTN: Mark Shetler
10933 Progress Court
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
b. Write the check out to “River City Christian”
c. Write “UGANDA MAY” in memo box
i. Don’t forget to write “Uganda May” and nothing else or the funds will not go towards the mission
III. Quickest Donation Options (Not Tax-Deductible)
a. Send money through Zelle, Venmo or Cash App (I’m not using Gofundme in order to avoid fees)
b. Send money through PayPal (my email address is [email redacted])
100% of all donations will go directly toward funding the projects in this campaign.
Thank you beyond words, and God bless!
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’"
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