A new beginning

Greetings from Judith

To all the churches supporting the work of PAG in the Eastern region of Uganda,

I send you my love and greetings in Christ our Lord. Uganda is good, the Lord has been so faithful to us. The Participatory Evaluation Process (PEP)* is helping to change communities across Uganda. Betty (pictured with me) is someone whose life was changed by PEP. She was inspired to go back to school and study for her O Levels. Now she has her high school diploma and has plans to go to University as well.

Judith and Betty
Judith (left) who oversees PEP in the Eastern region for PAG with Betty whose life was transformed by PEP.

Across Uganda, 2016 was a very hot year. The rains did not come in October resulting in a severe drought that affected the whole of East Africa. Crops dried in people’s gardens and much was lost, including many livestock that lacked pasture and water for drinking.

It has been very difficult for many families, who have had to spend more time and money than usual finding food. This led to delays in the PEP programme as many people’s focus was elsewhere.

Thankfully, the rains returned in March and with them people are beginning to recover from the drought.

PEP in Busoga

In the last year, six pastorates** have begun implementing PEP as part of PAG’s vision to roll it out across the country. In line with PAG’s new strategy, the leadership of the pastorate have already begun the PEP training. One of those pastorates is Busoga, which is situated just east of Kampala, near the city of Jinja.

The training began in February with the Church Awakening stage of PEP. This is where the church is awakened to the possibilities of what it might achieve through PEP. The training was split across two phases, each a week long.

In Phase 1, 42 church leaders from 6 local districts gathered to learn how to running bible studies that will help their churches explore and understand:

  • God’s purpose for Mankind
  • God’s vision for the Church
  • Jesus’ Ministry

The group also received training in skills that will enable them to facilitate the process, and allow them to lead further discussions in their own churches. After finishing the first stage of training, the group returned to their villages where they have started running the same Bible Studies in their own churches

Phase 2 was arranged to report on what progress had been made by churches. Training from Phase 1 was completed, and reviews held to determine how the first bible studies had gone. From these lessons were drawn out too, about all that had happened so far.

Unfortunately, only 25 of the original group attended this training, which took place in the town of Jinja. When exploring why attendance had reduced, we discovered that it had been due to the costs involved in travelling and staying so far from home.

To make the training more accessible, we have decided to divide Busoga pastorate into five zones. Each zone will have it’s own training and as a result Pastors will not have to travel as far to attend. Adaptations like these, where the process is tailored to the needs of the communities we work with, are really important. They ensure communities are supported in the best ways possible as they work to bring the lasting changes that will allow them to break free from poverty.

Footnotes:
* Participatory Evaluation Process, or PEP for short, is PAG’s way of mobilising local churches in the poorest areas to work with their communities to change mindsets and unlock their God given potential. Through this, individuals and communities begin to flourish and lift themselves out of poverty.
** A Pastorate is PAG’s equivalent of a Diocese. It is led by a Bishop who oversees all the churches in a given area.

Please pray:

  • Pray that rain will keep falling to nourish the crops that will sustain our population.
  • Pray for peace in neighbouring countries like Somalia and South Sudan that are affected by conflict.
  • Pray for the training program in Busoga, pray that the new zonal system will work and that more church leaders will be able to participate in the PEP training.
  • Pray for the churches running bible studies, that they will continue to transform people’s lives.
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Judith Amodoi

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