...the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few
So send I you, my strength to know in weakness, My joy in grief, my perfect peace in pain
To prove my power, my grace, and my promised presence:  So send I you, eternal fruit to gain.

The words of this hymn continue to be in my thoughts as I reflect on our missionary project to build a septic tank for the proposed new toilet and shower block under the direction of Miss Noreen McAfee and Mr Andy Foster at Emmanuel Christian Church and School in Uganda. In February 2018 a team from Calvary Free Presbyterian Church in Magherafelt, flew from Dublin to Istanbul and then on to Entebbe followed by a three-hour road trip to Nsaalu. The team included Barry and Ruth Stewart, Denver McGuckin, Robert Bell, Kyle Wenlock and Robert Fleming.

Barry and Ruth left a week before the rest of the team, to meet up with missionaries at the mission station and to take the Lord’s Day services while Rev Miller was at home in Northern Ireland. Barry also preached at the prayer meetings, the boarders Bible studies and morning assemblies, and Ruth spoke at Sunday schools and staff Bible studies. When the team arrived, they also helped at the services with Kyle giving the children’s address at some of the morning assemblies and others testifying.

In advance of the building work commencing, Barry built a fenced compound to separate the four cattle from the play area which the Ballymoney team erected. Barry was assisted in this work by a local man – George, and two of the students who had finished their studies at the school - Elijah and January. These men, along with pastor Andrew, also helped with the main building project. In preparation for the arrival of the rest of the team, bunk beds and mosquito nets were arranged in adjacent living quarters and final arrangements made for the delivery of building materials.

When the rest of the team arrived, they were warmly greeted by children swarming around them and treating them like royalty. As work commenced, we very quickly realised that the building of this septic tank in the hot conditions, with very little by way of machinery, was going to take a lot of sweat and effort. At this point I must say that the Lord blessed us with favourable weather for the task, with most days having light cloud cover and at times a pleasant breeze. Even with that, we still consumed litres of water every day.

The pit for this new tank had already been excavated while Rev Creane was on site. This had been achieved by hiring a thirty-year-old digger which had to be brought on the three-hour journey from Kampala. We then got to work and tied all the steelwork in the base by hand and mixed and poured the concrete on Friday - the first day. On Saturday, the team transferred the building blocks down onto the newly laid floor of the tank, ready to build first thing on Monday morning.

The team, along with Noreen, Andy and his fiancée Hannah (who was visiting for a week) travelled in two vehicles to the local town – Masaaka. It was an experience, travelling along the local mud-baked roads before joining the main road that goes all the way to the Congo. It is a real sight to see the roads lined with stalls, and motor bikes all around, carrying everything under the sun - from a family of five to a coffin!!

Sunday was a day of prayer, worshipping and rest. Then, Monday to Friday, from dawn to dusk, the team worked with great unity and purpose, enjoying many laughs. At the end of each day, our very tried bodies were revived a little with a cold shower and as much dinner as you could eat, thanks to the cooking skills of Ruth, Noreen and Hannah, and sometimes assisted by the men! Each evening we would plan for the following day and catch up on email and whatsapp until the solar batteries went low and the electricity went out. Nobody needed rocking to sleep.

Day by day we saw the walls come up and then on Saturday, we finished this part of the build with beams shuttered and the steel encased with concrete to allow the toilets cubicles to be built on top. As the mixer was stopped for the last time, a big cheer went up from the team. We were all tired but full of a sense of fulfilment on seeing the completion of our phase of this big project.

Click here to see a video report from the team
Click here to see more photos of the project

We can all tell of how the Lord dealt with us in a personal way – before we went, while we were there, and now as we bring that experience back home with us. We thank the Lord for His mercy and blessing during our work trip and pray that all that has been done, will be to the glory of our great God and Saviour. Please continue to pray for the work at Nsaalu, that many souls will be brought into the Kingdom.

Barry Stewart
On behalf of our Mission Board and Missionaries we would like to extend our Christian sympathy to our brother Douglas Kyaligamba in Uganda on the sudden death of his wife Faridah on Easter Sunday 1st April. His wife had left Kampala on Wednesday to attend a Christian Seminar at Mbarara. On the return journey on Good Friday morning on a Coaster twenty-eight seater bus, the vehicle met with an accident at which seven people died instantly at the scene.

Faridah and the others who were injured were taken to the local Mbarara University Hospital where she was admitted to ICU. She was unable to be transferred to hospital in Kampala as the doctors felt she wasn’t stable enough to make the journey.

Despite the valiant efforts of her husband Douglas to hire medics, a life support machine and an ambulance from the International Hospital in Kampala she died in the hospital in Mbarara. She was a genuine and sincere Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and though we mourn her passing we know that her soul has gone to be with Christ.

She leaves behind three children, Jireh aged eleven, Jairus aged seven and Javeline aged five. Together with her husband she helped to look after seventeen other children three of whom are students in Emmanuel Christian School.

As a Mission Board we have appreciated the help given by Douglas in various practical matters in the work in Uganda over these past few years. In the early formative days of the Emmanuel School, Faridah was a director and bursar. She and Douglas were also married in the Emmanuel Church.

We want to assure Douglas and his family of our prayers and support at this sad time.

Our condolences are also extended to Rev. and Mrs Noel Kelly, as Faridah was their adopted daughter in Uganda. We pray that the Lord will draw near to them all and comfort their sorrowing hearts.

We ask for special prayer for Rev. David Park who has travelled out together with Mr Hugh McClenaghan at very short notice to be preach at the funeral service on Tuesday 3rd April. Do pray that the ministry of God’s Word will be a help and comfort to all.

Please remember in your prayers Miss McAfee and Mr Foster that they together with the Staff of Emmanuel Christian School will be able to support and encourage the family in the days ahead.

We know not the divine reasons behind such a human tragedy but we are assured there is a day coming when God will unfold the canvas and explain the reasons why.

John 13:7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

1. My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me;
I cannot choose the colours
He worketh steadily.
Sometimes He weaveth sorrow
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the underside.

2. Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skilful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
We are glad to have Mr. Colin Maxwell visiting through until Easter time. He has been covering some study units with Pastor Andrew on Covenant Theology, Personal Evangelism and the Offices of Christ our Mediator. He has also been taking an active role in the school assemblies and other meetings.

Do pray especially for the church services over the Easter period as it is a time when we usually see many visitors in under the sound of the Gospel. There is much ignorance of the true Gospel around and we need to seize every opportunity to share the Good News.
The March 2018 edition of Missionary Vision is available in the gallery section. This edition includes articles on James Hannington, Pioneer Missionary in Uganda, the Pastor's Conference in Uganda; reports on the 50th Anniversary Missionary weekend in Ballymoney and Noel Shields’ Commissioning Service. We also have a short article to introduce our latest Missionary candidate - Miss Christina Logan

Click Here to view the magazine.
Having taken over the school in January 2017, we assessed the key areas that would require additional work to bring up to standard for registration. One of the key projects was the complete refurbishment of the kitchen area and the installation of cooking boilers, sinks and water supply. The school kitchen project was also a great opportunity to work with the young men from school, during the school holidays, and rescue a tired building after years of service!

This project was an interesting challenge and not something you encounter often. There was no ventilation in the room, so the walls were completely black from smoke damage and the tin roof was warped from the heat.

We basically spent the first week or so stripping back the building to its bares bones. Cracks in the walls were fixed, the black walls were scrubbed, and the plastering began. As the cooking generates a lot of heat, we also took the opportunity during the renovation to insert buffel wall to provide increased airflow.

Afterwards we turned our focus to the roof! We kept the old roof as long as we could to allow for working in the shade, something important near the equator! The new roof structure was made from steel and was built to endure the heat from this commercial kitchen and we trust stand the test of time.

During this renovation work we had the pleasure of working with Rev Creane and his wife Jayne, who both really got involved in the work. They helped get supplies, lay block, fit the sinks, lay some tiles on the floor and by painting the kitchen. We are extremely grateful for their help and are happy to report that with the stoves fitted just before they left, the school kitchen is now in use!
The stoves look great and the cook is getting used to the new way of doing things.

We have a few small things to do to finish and I will look forward to sharing the finished project in my next prayer letter. Click Here  to see more photos in the Gallery.

We would also like to sincerely thank everyone who financially supported this project – it will make such a difference to the lives of everyone at the school.
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