WHAT CHRISTMAS IN UGANDA LOOKS LIKE
The country is in the middle of a busy time getting ready for Christmas, as you can imagine, with the streets and markets flooded with people buying and selling almost anything from clothes, livestock, entertainment, gifts and more. As always, a tense but exciting time.
Farmers start selling their cash crops like cotton in a mad rush to allow them enough money to celebrate over the season.
But as the Christmas days get closer, the cities get increasingly deserted as the celebrations move to the rural areas. Services in churches are often sped up so that people are given more time to party at home! We love the traditional carols sung throughout the churches – often accompanied by plays and skits which are fun. Loud music is played in some homes all night over the Christmas period! Which means the villages and towns are alive all through the night with celebrations.
A LOOK BACK AT 2017
We are thankful for so much that God has provided PAG in 2017 – and we thank you for your continued prayers.
In response to the influx of South Sudanese refugees earlier in the year, we joined with Tearfund and seven other partner organisations to tackle the crisis. We took on water and sanitation projects as well as immediate needs for food and basic supplies. Our response has helped us in proclaiming God’s glory as we’ve been able to pray and share the Word. Our staff are now active at Sunday celebration centres in the refugee settlements, and we are the only church-based organisation working there, alongside multi-billion dollar agencies – we are so thankful for that.
Over the past few years, Uganda – as well as most East African countries – has been suffering with drought and subsequent hunger. This has meant programmes and Bible studies have had to slow down or be postponed as families were often away finding food.
As much as we hoped to have responded to all of the worst affected areas across Uganda, we could only focus our capacity on the most critical ones such as the South Sudanese refugee influx. As we build our capacity for 2018, we hope to reach more areas who need our help, and so we look to God for guidance and support.
Despite this, PAG has enjoyed the favor of Christ working through us this year. People give us their time and energy, which means we have an opportunity to demonstrate His love to those we serve. Compelled by His love we move on.
OUR PRAYERS FOR THE NEW YEAR
We pray that God will grant us wisdom as we work alongside more church leaders and tackle the needs of the worst affected by the drought and refugee crises. We also pray for the political stability of East African countries like ours, so that the efforts of PAG and Tearfund are not halted or reversed.
We have seen a revival in our churches across Uganda, especially with several new churches being planted. We’ve seen the love of sharing as a family has been growing stronger, with people caring more for one another’s problems, grieving with each other but also sharing joy.
We can only pray, and ask you to join us, that this would continue, and that 2018 would see God move more than ever in our country.