|2018: More Than We Could Have Hoped or Imagined
By Julie Secrist, President
The theme of my speech for the dedication ceremony of our first permanent high school building was that God can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). My heart was truly bursting with gratitude as I stood in front of a magnificent finished building filled with new furniture and a proper lab. The dedication was attended by 1000 people including a member of Parliament who traveled all the way from Kampala in the rain to acknowledge this huge achievement in his district.
We had hoped for enough funds to construct a two-room classroom block, but God provided so much more: six classrooms and funds to construct six more which are underway now. Since stepping out in faith in 2005, God has continued to call us to do more, and we thank all who have partnered with us along the way to equip us for the expanding vision.
So much progress was made in 2018 because of the generous gift of time, talent, prayer, and financial support of so many. THANK YOU! Below are a few of the highlights:
- Most importantly, children's lives were transformed. About 500 children attended school daily where they received education, meals, health care and daily discipleship. Some children walk three hours each way for the opportunity to go to school.
- Dozens of families representing hundreds of children received scholarships, participated in the work program, or only paid a portion of their fees due to their financial situation. You, our donors, equipped us to keep the doors open wide to every child.
- Sustainability increased as the schools grew in their financial independence by providing about 50% of the operating costs on their own.
- Water harvesting systems were installed on our teacher houses providing increased water for the staff.
- Dental and improved health care was provided to 1000 children and adults at the October medical outreach provided through Sound City Bible Church. Over 1/3 of the villagers were positive for malaria parasites and were treated to decrease the cross transmission. 1140 life-saving mosquito nets were passed out for further prevention.
- Two small houses were purchased and renovated for a temporary high school dormitories.
- The primary school received multiple upgrades: ceilings were installed to make the classrooms quieter and cooler, and the outsides were finally plastered to prevent the bricks from dissolving in the rain. The classrooms got a coat of paint and the whole campus was fenced to increase the security for all.
- Furniture! 50 new bunk beds meant no more children sleeping on the floor in the dormitories. Primary teachers finally have desks for their classrooms, and the new high school building was furnished with "single-seater" desks with chairs.
- We were equipped to purchase another 17 acres of land to increase the size of our school farm and high school campus. 240 fruit trees were planted on the primary campus to provide the children training and an improved diet and for future income for the school.
- So many of you gave generously to our Amazon Wish List providing preschool learning materials, mats, books, Bible memory prizes, medicines, and more. It was pure joy delivering items that aren't available in Uganda.
THANK YOU FOR LOVING OUR KIDS!