Poverty’s chains broken for heroic grandmas

By December 20, 2011

Uganda (MNN) — Imagine an epidemic sweeping through the very heart of a community and attacking a single generation. Often, only the very young and the elderly are left in the wake of the catastrophe. The result would be patchwork family structures and many, many orphans.

Unfortunately, this image is a reality for many families in Uganda. AIDS causes the deaths of 64,000 Ugandans per year, according to the CIA’s 2009 estimate. Many AIDS victims are middle-aged mothers who leave behind children in parentless households.

These children are fortunate if they have a grandmother who can step up and care for them. But too often, these grandmothers-turned-nurses are living in dire financial situations. While they are sacrificing everything to raise their grandchildren, the question is: who will help the grandmothers?

This is a question that The Way Home outreach with Every Child Ministries is actively responding to through their “Grannies” program. Working in the Luuka district of eastern Uganda, head coordinators Russ and Marcia Baugh have identified and are working with 20 grandmothers and their 83 orphaned grandchildren.

One area of need for these grandmothers is their living situation. Many of their homes are falling down and are made of nothing but mud and sticks. To respond, Russ Baugh says, “We have raised funds for 2011 so that for those 20 grannies we could build or repair their homes…and now they have a secure, stable home where they can raise these grandchildren.”

Beyond raw home repair, they also have been bringing these grandmothers into Farming God’s Way, a program designed to teach the Biblical, managerial, and technical processes of farming.

According to Baugh, this farming program “can improve [grandmothers’] food security greatly, while at the same time turning their whole heart to God and believing in His all-sufficiency. [Pray that grandmothers will] turn away from the witchcraft and the ancestral worship that just plagues people as the distraction from God here in this area.”

Ultimately, sharing the love of Christ is what it’s all about. The Baughs along with Granny coordinators work at developing relationships with these grandmothers and their families, and even lead Bible studies. The children also have access to a Discovery program which teaches the Bible to kids.

Each year, the Granny program hopes to take on 20 additional grannies. While the opportunity to help more families is exciting, they can’t do it alone. If 100 people donated $40 per month, the Baughs could continue their ministry sharing the love of Christ and the support of the church to many struggling families. To help out financially, you can click here.

Please be praying for the growth of this ministry and for safety of the grandmothers since the Luuka district is mainly Islamic. Pray that the Gospel may be spread and that these grandmothers may be spiritually encouraged because of this ministry.

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