Uganda has been hit hard by the COVID-19 Delta Variant in the past months, causing a new shutdown of the entire country. The country is experiencing high levels of disease, as well as food shortages and high prices for the food that is available in the local markets. The population at large has restricted movement, due to public transport being closed. This means people cannot get to their places of work nor can they travel to their gardens to grow or get food. In a culture where people work each day to feed themselves, this is devastating.
At Shepherd's Gate, we have land and are able to grow some food crops, which we share with our neighbors and the families of the children we support, as possible. When schools reopened this Spring, Shepherd's Gate paid school fees to ensure their supported children could return to their studies. Unfortunately, the schools in Uganda are now closed and it is unlikely that we will be able to recover these school fees in the future. The children of Shepherd's Gate are now living with their guardians during this difficult time and the Director continues to monitor their care.
In early Spring, Shepherd's Gate had begun to use their building as a Community Centre and began hosting small group meetings, focusing on bible fellowship as well as vocational training for tailoring and carpentry. These meetings and classes have been halted due to the new restrictions.
Shepherd's Gate is working to help local families by providing food and helping them find other community resources for their needs.
We are thankful beyond all measure for your prayers and support during this difficult time and are confident that God will continue to bless His work at Shepherd’s Gate. All we do is in service to our Lord Jesus Christ.
In March 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Uganda and measures were taken to protect the vulnerable population. Many businesses were shut down, schools closed, and public transportation was halted, causing most Ugandans great challenge and a lot of suffering. Food supplies have been limited, and most people eat each day from what they earn at their jobs. For people outside of the cities, dependence of their local gardens became critical. For those living in cities, many depended on family in the country for food or they went back to their villages for the quarantine period.
At Shepherd’s Gate, we had to make serious adjustments during the early days of the pandemic. When the schools closed in Kasanje, we also lost our house mother, who returned to her family. With no one to care for the children and with transportation to and from the Centre limited, Collins Yawe, the Director of Shepherd’s Gate brought the children to their guardians for care. The guardians live closer to Entebbe and Collins was then able to visit and monitor the care of each child and to also support their families with food from the Centre. As transportation restrictions eased, Collins was able to drive to Kasanje to get food and take it to each of the families. Collins was also able to mobilize the neighbors in Kasanje to help protect one another’s crops from those who would take the food from the field. Our Caretaker stayed in Kasanje and helped tend the crops there.
It is now permissible to have some outdoor meetings of people and we are cautiously planning our gospel outreach events and medical assessments for children.