A Bible school’s inspiration to bring relief to their community is bringing people to God.
Would you be surprised to learn that in 2017 Uganda hosted more refugees than any other country in Africa?
1.3 million people fled their homes in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo into the fertile and relatively stable Uganda. While this solved the immediate danger to those refugees’ lives from militant groups and famine, it created a massive food shortage in Northern Uganda.
To make matters worse, Uganda’s most prominent food crops, matoke and posho, are not very vitamin-rich. Malnutrition has begun spreading across the country.
A Local Solution: The First Blessing
A local pastors’ school in the Gulu district of Northern Uganda realized there was a serious issue growing in their community. They began praying for an answer.
The solution turned out to be a double-blessing.
The school purchased over 1,500 chickens and built several tilapia ponds to help create nutritional diversity. They also bought three milling machines: one for rice, maize and sunflower seeds. Here they were also able to offer local farmers fair market value for their crops, providing a nearby option for them to sell their produce and make an income.
In addition to the mill, they also built a grain storage facility, which was another great improvement for the community. Almost a third of Uganda’s crops are lost because poor storage and rot, according to a study done by The Borgen Project this year, and that loss has had a heavy impact on the local community.
With the storage units, the school was able to keep and then sell main staple food products for the surrounding community members and local schools later.
With the profits generated from the mill and storage facility, the school expects to soon be able to cover many of their own operational costs, with the goal of complete self-sustainability by the end of 2022.
God’s Presence: The Second Blessing
Most importantly, the school’s farm and mill has become a witness to the community.
Rather than just telling people that God cared about their malnourished children or poor crop-sales, the local pastors and missionaries in the school had shown God’s care to the community by providing a service to help solve both of these issues.
The school workers’ friendliness, equitable pay to farmers, and a willingness to share God’s love has given them a solid reputation in the community, and they do see a lot of the community.
On average, over 1,000 people in the town and nearby farms use the mill every month, and the workers make a point to share Jesus with whomever they do business.
While a simple conversation might not sound like much, it can have enormous and unforeseen impact.
Recently, one of the mill’s worker discovered that the two women she was working with were seriously contemplating suicide. She shared Christ’s love with them and prayed with them until they agreed not to harm themselves.
Multiple people have even received Christ in the grain-house as they were having their produce milled.
Lift Them Up
In addition to training a lot of new Ugandan pastors, the school is now starting to help revive the economy in their district and acting as a blessing to the nearby towns.
More than anything right now they need prayer for blessings on their labors and for protection.
- Ask for God to protect the workers, school instructors and missionaries from spiritual attack as they expand their work.
- Pray for protection from Islamic militant groups and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) which, despite its name, is a terrorist organization.
- Many of the refugees from the Congo and Sudan are Muslim. Ask God to bring more of the refugees as well as local people into relationship with him through the workers in the school and their mill.