Beginning in the middle of March, the federal government of Uganda began issuing very strict lockdown orders in response to Coronavirus. The entire country is under a stay at home order. The only vehicles allowed to be on the roads are official government vehicles and those that are delivering food. Permission must be obtained before transporting persons to the hospital, including emergencies. Buying and selling of anything other than food is forbidden. Those who continue to work must find lodging at their place of business in order to avoid travel. If lodging at the business cannot be found, then they are to stay at home. All weddings are forbidden. Funerals can only be attended y immediate family members. Gatherings of more than five people are forbidden. Police have been instructed to arrest anybody who is not in compliance with these orders.
In the midst of all of this, the school of preaching has sent the students home. Christians are worshipping in their homes. We are staying in close contact with the faculty at Rwenzori, and doing what we can to respond to needs in the area. We are also working together to make sure we are prepared to reopen the school whenever that becomes possible. In the meantime, our focus has turned to the farm itself. We have increased the food crops, and these are doing well. We anticipate a continued need for food as the recession caused by lockdown drags on.
We have remained in contact with our eight graduates during this difficult time. The reports that we are hearing from them are most encouraging. At graduation, we gifted each student with a variety of seeds for food crops and a goat. The graduates have reached out to express their thankfulness for these things during this difficult time.
Wilber has informed us that he has bred his goat, and she is soon going to deliver. Maate John has sent us pictures of his garden. He promptly planted his garden upon returning home. During this lockdown, his family has been eating crops from his garden, and the harvest continues. With nobody allowed to work or leave their villages for any reason, the means to obtain food have become scarce. Maate John has been able to share his vegetables with others in his village, which is providing wonderful opportunities to also share the bread of life.
While these hard times have everybody looking for answers, the Lord’s church in Uganda is using this opportunity to share treasures that do not fade away. Construction on a new church building at the village of Kirindi has continued. While working on the building, a backslidden brother came and asked to be restored to Christ and become a part of that congregation.
Meanwhile, an in-home Bible study yielded a baptism. While returning from the baptism, the new Christian was heckled by members of the denomination she had just left. Other villages saw their behavior, and rebuked them, commending the Christian conduct of the saints. Finally, the manager of the hotel in Kasese has been joining the church in Itasca, TX for worship online!