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Food is Life!

 

While the pandemic has brought hardship and struggle to the world, some of us have fared better than others. Many of us have been able to shop online for food and other things, with front door deliveries. We have made use of curbside pickup and Instacart shoppers. And most of us have been able to shop inside grocery and other stores as needed. I am grateful to God for the relative ease of feeding my family during such a hard time.

 

Our friends in Uganda are facing something wholly different. Due to rising cases of Covid-19 in country, Uganda began a 42 day lockdown on June 19. People may not leave their homes unless for medical emergencies. This has put people in the ROWAN villages in a dangerous situation as they have no way to get food to sustain themselves for this long period. ROWAN asked for your help and you came through! Last week, Paster Paul and our ROWAN team (under the watchful eye of Security officers) were able to distribute food to our widows and orphans. 

Maize and beans made ready for distribution outside at Mwanga Hall of Hope.
Pastor Paul and Isaac Malinga, ROWAN Board Chair, witness the food distribution process along with police officers.

Without the generosity of donors this would not have been possible. And we’re not done yet! To sustain each person through the lockdown we need to purchase and deliver more food. Please consider giving, anything you can, to our Food to Families campaign, and help us be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to our faithful widows and orphans in the villages who need to eat. All of the money raised from this campaign is going toward the purchase of food supplies during the COVID-19 lockdown.

 

Their faces! Happy beneficiaries of food send thanks and God’s blessing to donors and sponsors.

Pastor Paul just sent this message:

 

“Good evening to you all,

Thank you for your prayers, we made it.  Everyone was excited with the food given to them—God Bless you all abundantly.

 

You may wonder why we didn’t use the Bus.  The first point was that the Kilos were too many for the Bus, secondly the roads are too bad for the Bus when packed with food, thirdly the police we had didn’t allow us because when you carry people in a Bus it can easily spread the virus, so that is why we had to use the truck.

 

But the most important thing we thank God is that we were allowed to buy food and we were able to distribute it to them.

 

Thank you so much for your help.

Talk to you soon.”

 

Pastor Paul Nyende

 

Being hungry and not being fed takes a toll on the mind, body, and spirit. Thank you for continuing to help us alleviate this most basic need for our Ugandan brothers and sisters in Christ. He is the bread of life and we give Him thanks! 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Tightened lockdown and miracles

A man happily driving a bus in Uganda

On Friday, June 18th, President Yoweri Museveni announced that Uganda would be going into a new 42-day full lockdown.  During this new lockdown, vehicular travel of any kind is prohibited.  Only essential workers or those in need of medical care are exempted from this travel ban.  In addition to all the closures announced in the earlier lockdown, President Museveni set a new 7:00 p.m. curfew for all Ugandans and mandated that all shops must now close. 

These new restrictions coupled with rising COVID-19 infections only add to the increasing hardships the people in Uganda are currently facing.  ROWAN is committed to doing all we can to ensure that our widows and orphans have the food they need during this lockdown.  Our Ugandan team is currently working to procure the needed food supplies and distribute them to our ROWAN communities.  This has been no easy task however as police have been stationed on every corner of the villages to prevent people from leaving their homes.  

Pastor Paul refused to be deterred though.  He said, “I will not give up, tomorrow I will try another person.  Pray with me.  I cannot sit back and watch my people suffer.”  ROWAN posted Pastor Paul’s plea for prayer on our social media accounts and we know that many of you joined us in prayer for our Ugandan family.  How do we know this?  We know because we had a miracle occur.  Yesterday afternoon we received this message from Pastor Paul, ” This is so, so, so good.  Our God is so exciting.  He is so good.  He answers our prayers.  Do you know what? The man I talked to, he has been able to order the district officials who are in charge of the lockdown operations to allow me to buy the food and distribute it to the people.”   What a tremendous blessing!  Thank you for the prayers you sent for softened hearts and help for Pastor Paul.  

Please keep praying for our ROWAN family and for all Ugandans.  If you can, please consider making a donation to our Food to Families campaign.  All proceeds from this campaign go directly toward the purchase of much-need food supplies for our widows and orphans.  We are so grateful for each of you who stands with ROWAN in prayer, support, and love.  

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Food to Families Campaign

Child in Uganda carrying a basket of maize on their head

It’s been nearly two weeks since Ugandan President, Yoweri Musevini, announced that the country would be going into another lockdown.  The timeline given for this new lockdown was 42 days, but many believe that the current restrictions could last for much longer given the number of COVID-19 cases and the lack of vaccines in Uganda.  

Empty classroom in Uganda

When the new restrictions were announced, ROWAN began working to put together a plan that would allow us to help our widows and orphans during this new lockdown.  After much thought and prayer, the board felt that the best course of action for ROWAN would be to provide our widows and orphans with food distributions during this time.  To this end, we recently set up a new donation campaign called Food to Families.  Every dollar donated through this campaign will go directly to the purchase of food goods that will help ensure that our widows and orphans are fed during this time of quarantine.  In addition to the money raised through the Food to Families campaign, ROWAN’s board made the decision to move our budget around from our sponsorships and put that money toward buying food supplies for all those under our care during this lockdown.  

We are grateful to those who have already donated to our Food to Families campaign as well as those who make donations through sponsorships.  Your generosity is making a tangible difference in our ROWAN communities.  We also want to give a huge shout-out of thanks to Little Man Ice Cream for their very generous donation.  Because of the generosity and love shown by all of you, we were able to send $13,000 to our Ugandan team for the purchase of food supplies.  

Crops growing in Uganda

Food prices in Uganda keep increasing and ROWAN is working hard to ensure we are ready and able to distribute food goods to our widows and orphans throughout this lockdown.  With your help, we can make sure none of them go to bed hungry during this time of quarantine.  

All photos in this post are by Bob Ditty

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Goats and Water

Our ROWAN farm is continuing to grow.  Our farmland is now up to 15 acres and our little goat herd is not so little anymore – we now have 150 goats!  One of our goals with the farm has been to create a strong and profitable business that will help provide working income for the ROWAN ministry.  With each harvest and goat, we grow closer to reaching that goal. 

 Man feeding a goat in Uganda                                                                                     

To help ensure our growing farm is running smoothly, we recently hired a new farm manager.  His name is Onyango Valiriano. 

Man standing by a building in Uganda                                                                        

We are excited to have him as a member of our ROWAN team and we believe he is going to do an excellent job!

Man feeding a goat in Uganda

With the growth of our farm and goat herd, we have seen our water needs increase.  The closest well is over 1.5 miles away and our farm manager is having to make 3 trips a day to the well to meet the farm’s water needs.  It has become apparent that we are in desperate need of our own well on the farm.  So we are reaching out to each of you and asking for your help.  The cost to build a well on our farm is $5000 (USD).  If you are able to make a donation, of any size, please click here to be taken to our Goat Well Campaign page.  With your help, we can build a well that will have an impact for good for many years to come.   

A man holding a goat in Uganda

 

All photos in this post were taken by Bob Ditty

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

New Spring Merch For Sale!

It’s time for you to buy a new shirt for yourself, a family member, a favorite teacher, a new neighbor, or an old friend! These whimsical shirts are a breath of fresh air for Spring 2021. The best news is that the sale of these shirts will directly benefit ROWAN Widows in the new Legacy Program launching next month, April, 2021! See below the photos for more details.

Check out these cool designs! All shirts come in unisex sizes XS to 3XL with multiple shirt color options. Click the image or caption to SHOP!

 

 The THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS t-shirt. So cool!
FIVE color choices!
 The GOOD THINGS ARE ON THE HORIZON t-shirt .  A feel-good-make-someone’s-day kind of shirt.  
FOUR color choices!
 The FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT t-shirt.  Read it and Rejoice!

FIVE color choices!

~All sales will directly benefit ROWAN Widows in The LEGACY PROGRAM~

 

This new program is beginning for widows at ROWAN! It’s a 4-year certificate program.

 

Through a comprehensive curriculum, training will empower widows to become successful and independent in all areas of life. The Legacy Program will focus on:

 

— Entrepreneurship & Financial Training

— Health & Wellness Training

— Literacy and Educational Training

— Family Needs & Healthy Relationships

— Life Skills Training

— Spiritual Development & Discipleship

— Social Training (addressing local issues such as women’s rights and land rights)

 

Learn more here: https://loverowan.org/a-new-legacy-for-rowan

 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

We Danced until the Sun Went Down

Sunday, May 26th was a day to celebrate…

…and if you know anything about the people of Mawanga, they know how to party.

For those of you who don’t know what a party in Mawanga looks like, here’s what you would have seen if you were there. There were 2000 community members, ROWAN members, spiritual leaders, government officials and an international team of 17.  The ROWAN women and children danced and put on skits. ROWAN honoured the 32 students who have worked hard and graduated the program.  These students were awarded certificates. But the celebrations didn’t stop there. 

Tom Dluzak and Troy Nibbelink, who were instrumental in the design of the Hall of Hope were able to make the trip to ROWAN and see the completed project. They were excited to see the work that had been done. With over 8,000 square feet of space, the Hall of Hope will be a pillar in the community and ROWAN will be able to host all their programs and events within these walls!

Help is still needed

The Hall of Hope still needs some work to be fully completed and ready to serve the people the way it was designed. If you are willing to help fill the need of a solar panel and a water pump, please click here and donate.

 

Post Author: Kris Mbabazi

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