Uganda (MNN) — This will not be an ordinary school year for the students of Upendo Christian School. After nearly a decade of dreaming, students are finally arriving at their new campus.
Upendo–once known as Camp El Har–was dedicated in mid-May. The new buildings were up within a year, including include eight classrooms and residence halls for an expanded ministry. MNN's Ruth Kramer was in Uganda for the school's dedication.
While Kramer was in the nation, she discovered that the dream for Upendo actually began in 2002, when Reuben Musiime with AMG International felt led to follow a new ministry direction. "I sensed a need [to help] children whose parents died, especially of AIDS. Those children were languishing in the village…nobody to care for them," Musiime told Kramer.
Years later, that dream is finally realized. The school is bigger than ever, and its headteacher hopes it will eventually be enrolling about 300 pupils. Upendo not only has begun their community school for its inaugural year, but AIDS orphans living on campus are happily settled into their new home as well.
On a recent trip to Uganda, two AMG staff interviewed a few of the students about their new life.
Tadeo told the staff: "I love my new home, Upendo, because there is enough space so we can play, read with no inconveniences or disturbances from neighbors. We have very good meals, and our aunties and uncles give us a lot of attention. Our dormitories have a lot of space, and we are now more comfortable. I would love to be in this place forever and ever. Thanks be to the Lord. Our views are taken seriously, and our every need is provided for."
Lydia noted: "I love my new home, Upendo, and I never wish to go back home because while here, I feel my life is complete. I am able to get everything I need, and my aunties and teachers love me so much. We are able to do fellowship and sing without fear. Praise be to the Lord because from the day I heard about this new home, I have been praying about it and eagerly waiting for that day. I have learned that the Lord answered prayer in His own time; you just have to keep praying."
The school has been a testimony of God's love and grace for Eva, who says, "I have come to believe that God answers praying in His own time because we prayed and fasted. I now thank God that we finally own our dream home, glory be to God! The dormitories are well spaced. Gone are the days when we used to walk long distances before we get to school. Now our school is right by our dormitory. I thank God for our teachers. They are so kind to us in that we can ask any question we have. Long live AMG! Long live Upendo!"
Upendo still has several more phases of work before it is complete. This year, the school plans to focus its efforts on the construction of a secondary school, since currently Upendo only offers schooling through seventh grade.
Continue to pray for AMG Uganda as they complete the construction of Upendo and as they continue to serve the community through the Orphanage, Sumba Childcare Center, and Upendo Christian School.