- Jenny Smyth
Give and see what happens
There are many ways to bring a smile to someone.
My phone kept buzzing as WhatsApp photos arrived. First a carpenter’s workshop with some brand new tables, then the inside of a small shop piled high with school books, stationery and educational supplies, followed by a pickup struggling through the Kampala traffic piled high with furniture, solar panels and lots of boxes. A day full of bargaining, loading and the heat and dust of the capital city.
Then a message from the sender of the photos...
‘The traffic is just so annoying…now stucked in a jam… we moved 1km in the last 30 mins…’
Rainbow Mike, hot and tired, but with the shopping done. Thanks to a legacy gift through CMSI, all these supplies were destined for the newly constructed Shalom Reconciliation Ministries' Learning and Resource Centre. Another long day lay ahead, driving 343 km north to home in Kotido town. In Uganda, travel is measured in hours: a 10-hour journey with a heavy load.
Shalom Reconciliation Ministries started in 2005 when communities were shattered by rebel activity. Many young people lost their homes and families and ended up living on the streets of Kotido town. These vulnerable young people are offered practical help and support through mentoring and provision of opportunities to learn and develop. At the heart of the ministry is the desire to see young people bought together in reconciliation in their fractured communities and reconciled to their loving Heavenly Father.
CMSI was approached to help equip the new Learning and Resource Centre, and was able to respond with a grant from a legacy gift.
Rainbow Mike arrived back safely with the new resources. The young people all joined in to help unload and the staff set about organising and arranging. New courses are now up and running in tailoring, IT skills, literacy and numeracy, homework support and even book binding. It is fantastic to see the centre now bursting with activity as young people enthusiastically engage with the new opportunities to develop their skills. It is even more wonderful to know that as they learn to follow Jesus, He will bring complete wholeness and new purpose to their lives.
A gift from a County Down farmer in his will had brought new hope for these young people half way across the world.
‘..give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap...’ (Luke 6:38)
CMSI is a member of Will To Give - a group of over 60 Northern Ireland charities working together seek to raise awareness of the difference a charitable gift can make to your favourite charity.