If you are familiar with the Barber Shop Chronicles, on at the NST City before Christmas, you will appreciate that the barber shop is an important community hub in many African societies. Enable Busoga has been asked to invest in setting up two such shops in Uganda. When the solar power business expanded into this remote rural area, the manager found that the locations where the panels were installed could accommodate more than just the facility to charge mobile phones, so it was suggested that they could try establishing barber shops with any electrical equipment powered from the panels! For the equivalent of £250 the shops have been set up.
The tree nursery business (Transcending Hope Uganda) has been running successfully in Busoga since 2013. Over 1.2 million timber and fruit trees have been planted. This includes land at 17 churches and on nearly 5,000 small holdings. A typical rural Ugandan church will have about 1.5 acres of land usually not demarcated, nor used for growing crops. There is much interest in planting trees to delineate boundaries and provide timber and fruit.
Tree cover across Uganda has fallen from 24% in the 1990s to 9% in 2018 and there is a Government backed push to restore much of what has been lost. A typical tree can sequester up to 0.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 25 years of growth and planting out millions of tree seedlings will act as a great natural carbon sink – they just need to be looked after until they have become established. So, you might be interested in purchasing some trees yourself – at around £0.05 each it is a very cost effective means of making a significant contribution towards climate change mitigation!
Elderberries seek to spiritually resource
older people in our Parish
The World Health Organisation has designated 2020-2030 the decade of healthy ageing.
We are all getting older, but we live in a culture where ageing is something we try to deny. Nigella Lawson turned 60 this week. She talked about the guilt she feels at outliving her mother who died at 48. She describes how she longs to embrace growing older and rejoice in it, and is determined to do just that!
I wonder if you’ve ever thought about God’s perspective on growing older, and how the Bible would define ‘healthy ageing’? There are many accounts of people living to a ripe old age, and we know that middle eastern culture reveres old age. Verses which talk about the honour of grey hair are there, but how are we to apply them to our lives now? I think the answers lie in the way God wants us to live, throughout our lives, not just when we get older. He longs for us to:
Penny and Katy flew to Uganda on 30 January and return to Southampton on 21 February. They are in Uganda for their 14th visit, which is also their penultimate one. This visit is particularly significant as they have arranged a meeting with government officials involved with disability issues. The goal is to obtain government funding to meet the needs of disabled children in the villages. The Barbara Project team can demonstrate how such a service can be run and give an idea of costings.
Penny and Katy will be involved in assessment clinics in five villages, and repeat visits to some of these villages to issue equipment. On their three Sundays they will visit and give talks at each of three different churches: Bupadhengo, Matovu and Namusoga. At these churches they will share meals and spend time with special friends made over the years. They will spend a day visiting a school in Itukulu (a sub parish of Bupadhengo) where Enable Busoga has funded several significant improvements to the school buildings.
1. For a successful outcome from the meeting with government officials to ensure the work of the Barbara project will continue into the future.
2. For Benson and Steven (Ugandan colleagues on Barbara Team) as they face the reality of continuing the service when Penny and Katy hand over in 2022.
3. For safety in travel and good health.
4. For stamina especially when working in the heat of the mid-day sun under a tin roof!
5. For wisdom when they are placed in tricky situations (a frequent occurrence!) or have to make difficult decisions quickly.
6. That the work of the Barbara Project would continue to point the children and their families to the love of the Lord Jesus.
Penny Allen and Katy Barnes