Dear Friends and Family,
Since my last newsletter, I have traveled to Gulu and back several times. Gulu is part of the war-torn area in the north that was ravaged by the Lord's Resistance Army for more than twenty years. For those who don't know, this was a terrorist group that went through the villages killing and kidnapping children for their army and to keep as sex slaves. The stories of what was done to them are some of the most horrendous you'll ever hear. About the time I left Uganda four or five years ago, that war was was finally ending. Now the rebuilding has begun.
My heart is definitely being called to participate in that rebuilding, and I have already been working on several projects in the north which promise to have a great impact there, bringing hope, rejuvination and the love of Christ to the people.
Sanctuary of Grace
One of my favorites is a school called Sanctuary of Grace. The missionaries there, Keith and Lisa Coggin, came to Gulu as the war was ending. Although they believed they would begin an orphanage like the one the had run in the south, God had other plans. Instead, Lisa began a Christian school, revamping a Christian home schooling curriculum from the states, replacing American stories and culture with those of the Acholi people in Uganda.
The children are learning at an amazing rate, and their parents as well as top level government officials are astounded. Educating the children at this level is creating hope and a new generation of Ugandans that can truly make a difference. Because of the war, most of their parents never received any kind of education at all, but in these villages hundreds of children now have that opportunity.
Our hope is that the media I create can be used to help the missionaries duplicate these schools throughout the north, reaching teachers, government officials, Christian organizations, and churches that can send funds and teams out to help build schools throughout the country. School is not funded by government and the local villages are so poor, so these children must be sponsored from outside the community.
Because the curriculum is Bible-centered, the children are bringing new values in to their homes and villages. It's amazing to see. Here are some of the photos from our recent trip there. We leave this Sunday to go and do some more media work, pray for us as we are leaving during the Uganda election time.
Bible Studies with University Students
KIU Bible Study began with a small group of women last week. I will have eight women, and we are studying the book Twelve Extraordinary Women. Our first study was received very well. The women were sharing with me that in this culture, women are generally regarded as unimportant and worthless. This study focuses on how much God loves and blesses women, and how they have played such an important role in Christianity.
Back to Kampala. In the city, there are slums where people from the north moved during the war in the north, hoping they would find work in the big city. But when they arrived there were no jobs to be found. They found themselves in a place where they were crowded together, without land to even plant food. As a result, many turned to whatever means they could to find a way to stay fed and sheltered.
A few weeks ago, we went in to the Natete slum to document the water and sewerage conditions there with a friend of ours, Douglas Oliro, from International Missions for Christ. We hope to find ways to bring awareness and change to this neighborhood through the media that we create. See for yourself what it's like in this slum:
Prayers and Blessings
As you can see, the need for media is one that is growing, and I already have several other projects to share with you next time. I find that I need more help as I go, especially with working partners, and keeping my equipment and software up to date.
Please continue to pray for me, for others to partner with me in this ministry, and for God to provide all I need. Also pray for a new web site that we are creating called Changing Story that tells stories of the lives that have been changed by the outreach ministries of God's people.
I have been seeing how each of these ministries is changing many lives, and bringing many to Christ, because they can see the love of Christ reaching out to them in a very real and tangible way. For all those who partner with me in prayer and finances, never forget that you are a part of that. I hope my photos and videos bring this work to life for you. Thank you so much for your support.
May God bless you,
Melia Missionary to Uganda and beyond
Global Outreach International
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or contact Global Outreach at 662-842-4615, P. O. Box 1 Tupelo, MS 38802.