Ugandans (MNN) — Ugandans use
the phrase "you are welcome" to greet strangers and get to know them better, in
order to welcome a friend instead. The people are about relationship, so when
it comes to confronting massive poverty and a deadly HIV/AIDS virus, it's no
surprise that "relationship" carries the message of the Gospel.
That's been the approach of Compassion International to a holistic ministry. Country
director Sylvanus Turyamuijuka says, of the children they started working with
nearly two decades ago, "They are now adults on their own — fulfilled Christians,
impacting society. We have Christian lawyers. We have Christian doctors. We
have Christian business people. They have the integrity and the credibility. They
are the leaders we need in Africa, and in Uganda, in particular."
Compassion's work in Uganda began
28 years ago in rural Masaka and Busoga, focusing on meeting spiritual,
physical, economic and socio-emotional needs in a country fresh off of
Compassion began intervention work with
the Child Survival Program, even before the children are born. When children are three years old, they
register in the Child Development through Sponsorship Program, where they are
exposed to teaching and training until they are between 12 and 22 years old.
Many of these children needed to
be given a chance to succeed, and they have shown remarkable growth in areas of
leadership and academics. They are
also trained, educated and discipled to become biblically-grounded leaders
through the Compassion Leadership Development Program, which often includes a
From infant to adult, Compassion
walks step by step with at-risk children throughout Uganda. Through their journey, they earn the right to
be called "friend" as well as the responsibility to be part of the childrens' family.
The ministry's main mission is to
find a way to build up God's kingdom, but that means there are needs that have
to be met…overwhelming needs.
They can't do it alone. Turyamuijuka
says says right now, Compassion works closely with 280 area churches. Through the church's influence and reach,
they are helping over 58,000 children throughout Uganda, with more coming
As the global food and economic
crises grow, the team expects to have over 100,00 children in their
programs over the next five years.
Tomorrow, we'll meet some of the
sponsored children who are in college and see how the hope of Christ has transformed
their lives. Click here to find out how you can help change a child's future.