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If you’ve been at Rocky Peak the last few years, you know that several times a year, we turn our attention to somewhere in the world where people are suffering and where we can make a difference. We call these special projects Generosity Initiatives.
Over the last few years, we have raised scholarships for pastors in war-torn Sudan, dug water wells in Africa, built a home for high-risk girls in Uganda, and helped open a new homeless shelter here in Los Angeles, as well as many other projects.
This year for our Christmas Generosity Initiative, we are turning our attention once again to Uganda where we have a long-term partnership with Pastor Peter Kisirivu. Pastor Peter not only leads a large church in Uganda and Africa Renewal Ministries, he also serves as the informal leader for a large network of 700 churches.
This fall we reached out to Pastor Peter to see how the churches in Uganda are coping with the Covid-19 crisis, and the news was not good. This has been an extremely challenging year for them because they simply don’t have the medical and governmental support to help cope with this crisis. On top of that, they have experienced serious flooding from Lake Victoria, and this has devastated many people in their church who lost their homes or businesses and are struggling to survive.
We asked Peter how we can help, and he gave us these three specific suggestions:
Many people in their churches operate small shops or kiosks in their local markets to help support their families. For example, they sell airtime (for cellular phones), or milk, vegetables, or wood to burn. But due to the crisis this year, these businesses have been wiped out and they do not have the resources they need to restart them. And it doesn’t take much! Peter says that many of these single moms and families only need $200-300 to relaunch their businesses.
Due to Covid, many churches have not been able to support their pastors financially. This has created a crisis not only for the pastors and their families, but also for the churches they serve. There are two specific ways we can help.
The first is to purchase small, inexpensive motorcycles, called boda bodas, for these pastors. They can use these motorcycles to visit their members on the weekends, and as taxis to support their families during the week. The cost of one boda boda is only $1200.
A second way to help pastors in more rural areas is provide them with a dairy cow. These cows not only provide milk for their families to use and sell, but they can also be bred to produce more livestock for the future. A cow only costs $1500.
Right now, Pastor Peter has 23 new churches that are in the process of building their first church building. These congregations have purchased the land and raised the walls made of mud bricks. But the most expensive part of these projects are the metal roofs, windows and doors, and cement floors. Right now, these projects are on hold due to the economic crisis. A metal roof costs $5000; windows and doors cost $3500; and the floors cost $1500.
As a whole, we are calling this Generosity Initiative Hope for Uganda. These are three tangible ways we can help our brothers and sisters in need in Uganda this Christmas. If you’d like to give to the initiative as a whole, you can click the link below. You can also mail a check or give at our on campus, in person services on Sundays at 10am.