An Appeal and a Promise

My friends, I am completing my fifth month in Kabale, Uganda, where I volunteer at AICM’s Vocational Training College. In a country where more than 80 percent of college-age kids are unemployed, learning marketable skills to create a job or find work is necessary.

The college has an ICT program to train computer science students. However, the machines are more than 10 years old. They are slow. They cannot run modern programs. Students here risk falling further behind their counterparts around the globe.

Team in Faith, a public charity helping education projects in Uganda, is asking for your support to purchase a network computer to accommodate nine terminals. This system will run the latest software and help train people who can hit the ground running with practical experience. We have received a good quote, which is listed below.

AICM

Would you please consider a gift to help us purchase these items and make the Vocational Training College the ICT leader in SW Uganda.

Donate at teaminfaith.net. Your gift is tax-deductible in the US and I promise it will make an immediate impact. Thank you.

Help Wanted

Thanks to you, Team in Faith is establishing its presence in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Team in Faith is based in Kabale, Uganda, where it supports education, health care and evangelism projects in the region.

evangelism

In five months, TIF has been privileged to support students, schools, churches and others through grants in aid. A big hug to our friends and donors for your support. Your tax-deductible contributions are helping to affect lives in Uganda.

Among its activities since March, Team in Faith has issued grants
* supporting 30 HIV-AIDS orphans in Kasese with school supplies for their primary school studies
* funding radio broadcasts of the good news of Jesus Christ across five countries
* supporting Kitojo Integrated Development Association’s (KIDA) hospital activities in Kabarole District in Western Uganda
* supporting university-level students in Kenya
* for uniforms for St. John’s Karusandara Orphans Primary School near Kasese

Extreme poverty affects many families in this region. Money for basic necessities, like food and water, is very tight, so affording school fees for young students is a challenge.

Team in Faith joins existing organisations that serve these marginalised populations. One of our main partners is African International Christian Ministry, or AICM. It conducts community outreach, and operates a vocational training college. More than 10,000 alumni have built careers over the past 30 years. Today, young men and women learn skills with which they can become ready to join the work force, or create new jobs as entrepreneurs.

Among the programs at the college is an ICT class that teaches students computer skills. Technology is a leading industry throughout the world. Africans deserve and want the chance to learn alongside their western colleagues with equipment that meets today’s demands.

computers

Students and schools here can no longer use aging equipment. With advances in technology in this competitive world, new computers are needed as a platform for training eager young minds.

To meet this demand, Team in Faith embarks on this campaign:

* Upgrade the 10-year-old computers at the ICT lab. We aim to raise $5,000 for two powerful servers, with which to network the classroom with the latest softwares. These would help build a web hosting business, teaching students the latest in network management.
* In order to keep the computers running, TIF will raise an additional $7000 for solar panels, batteries and inverters with which to supplement the municipal power.

From this platform, the campus can become wireless enabling students, faculty and community guests to enjoy first-rate Internet services, like the ones we take for granted.

You know the value of education and practical experience. You know that up-to-date computers are needed in today’s world. Would you please make a tax-deductible donation to help see this project to completion.

Make a monthly donation of $100 for one year at teaminfaith.net. As a team, we can build brighter futures for the talented young men and women from Uganda, South Sudan and DRCongo who study at AICM.

My Life’s Work

I received some sad news this morning.

Africa’s Children-Africa’s Future (AC-AF.com), an organization in Tanzania I visited the past two years, announced it will cease operations at the end of the year. I am heartbroken to think of the loss this will mean to the young students, many of whom are orphaned by HIV/AIDS, in Dar es Salaam.

They learned and laughed with Phil, a Swahili-speaking American from Boston, and others, and enjoyed the programs and services sponsored by the organization.

phil dar

It is only by the grace of God that I have all the advantages over the poor and unfortunate in the world. I sit here in the wealthiest land the world has ever known. Today, like many other days since my return in September, I weep over a lifetime of failures to serve others. I think of the beautiful, innocent faces of all ages I met this year throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. I see them suffer in silence, without complaint. Africa has had a profound impact on me.

I ask, no, plead, that Mukama (God) return me to Africa to be in fellowship with my brothers and sisters there.

pat dar kids

I have taken steps to help them but I need others with empathy and a commitment to make a difference. A new charity, teaminfaith.org, is under my direction. With it, I will raise funds to support education and health care projects that will lift the lives of many in Uganda, DRCongo and South Sudan. Please help me.

I will return to Africa next year. I will redouble my efforts.

This is my life’s work.

Homily: from Butembo, DRC

Homily at Anglican Cathedral, Diocese of North Kivu, Butembo, Democratic Republic of Congo
10 August 2014

Delivered with Swahili translator

Habari ya asabushi..(Good morning)

Bwana asifiwue…(Praise God)

I would like begin by thanking Bishop (Adolphe) Muhindo for giving me the opportunity to speak with you today.

I would also like to thank my friend Bishop Enoch Kayeeye for his support and fellowship in the past year and vision in bringing me to the Diocese of North Kivu.

I bring greetings in the name of Christ Jesus from the Diocese of Northern California, USA.

I come here today from Bwindi, Uganda, where I’ve served as a video volunteer since March.

My first visit to Uganda was last year. When I arrived I knew no one.

However, as a Christian man I knew that I would meet other Christians and have instant fellowship.

I feel the same with you today. Even though we have never met, we have a life in common in Jesus Christ. Therefore we are brothers and sisters and friends in Christ.

Bwana asifiwue.

In today’s Gospel, we hear the familiar story about Jesus walking on water.

But unlike in the other accounts, the writer in Matthew adds an exchange between Jesus and Peter.

When Peter sees Jesus, he wants to join him. Jesus calls Peter.

Peter stands for a while, then panics as he sinks.

What happened? Jesus says, “Oh you of little faith! Why did you doubt?”

Isn’t that what happens to us when our faith fails us? We sink!

And it can happen a lot. Our faith is often weak. When we lose faith we lose confidence in the Lord.

Peter must have lost confidence. We never read of him trying to walk on water again.

When we lose faith, or our confidence in the Lord, how can we get it back?

The answer, I think, is sitting right next to you.

It is in fellowship, and in prayer, and in scripture, and in worship together than we can be restored and regain our faith.

My faith has sustained me in Africa.

I had no idea I would ever visit Uganda once, let alone twice.

I never in my dreams expected to be standing here at the Anglican cathedral in Butembo.

Bishop Kayeeye and I often discuss how things happen in God’s time. This appears to be my time.

I was baptized as an infant, and later confirmed by a bishop when I was in secondary school.

I was called to follow Christ and serve others.

But it wasn’t my time.

For more than 20 years, it wasn’t my time.

But when my son was born in the hospital, more than 23 years ago, I was in the delivery room and saw the miracle of life.

I think at that time I was born again, too.

It marked the beginning of my time.

I rejoined the church and began to give OF myself instead of taking FOR myself.

God has heard and answered my prayers. It has been his faithfulness to me, and the encouragement and fellowship of Bishop Enoch that has brought me here.

Bishop Kayeeye has shared his experiences of God at work in the Congo and Uganda..and they have inspired me.

I have been blessed to get a glimpse of God’s great plan here..

It is written that Faith without works is dead.

For three days here, I have personally seen examples of God at work throughout the Diocese of North Kivu.

I’ve traveled with your diocesan secretary, Rev. Everest.

I’ve met with Charlotte and Fagan from Africa International Christian Ministries.

The works underway around Butembo and Beni shout to everyone God is alive and working in North Kivu and your faith is strong.

There are primary and secondary schools that are teaching young students…there are new churches, well built, that will soon welcome worshippers.

And there are health services provided by this diocese that serve the local communities.

And slowly, but surely, in God’s time, with the help of God’s people, these missions of God will be fulfilled.

It is their faith which drives Bishop Muhindo and Bishop Kayeeye to serve you, the people of God.

It is your faith which leads you to arise each morning and deal with significant challenges with the hope of a new day.

It is our faith which tells us that that the new day is coming…for all of God’s people.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote….in chapter 29, starting at verse 11….

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.

Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

My friends, like Jesus to Peter in the boat, God calls us to step out in faith and follow him.

And whether conditions are beautiful or terrible, he will be there.

With the support and fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ, let us grow our faith and serve others in his name.

Asante Sana.

Amina….