Kinkisii visit 2014

Bishop Dan and team, with his wife Flora and youngest child

Kihihi School - linked with Ringwood

Kihihi School - linked with Ringwood

Presenting the new printer for the ultrasound machine

Presenting the new printer for the ultrasound machine

the printer in action

the printer in action

A maribou stork -  a scavenging bird that will go close to people to get food.  This one definitely did!

A maribou stork - a scavenging bird that will go close to people to get food. This one definitely did!

Carried on a Wave of Prayer……

As chair of the Kinkiizi Action Group for Christchurch Deanery it has been my privilege to visit Kinkiizi Diocese Uganda again. Kinkiizi is our Deanery linked overseas partner and strong ties have developed over a number of years.

The distance between us is large geographically speaking, but small when you consider they are part of the Worldwide Anglican Communion; our brothers and sisters in Christ and closely linked to us through the amazing power of prayer. Travelling to Kinkiizi takes 9 hours flying nonstop from Heathrow to Entebbe plus a further 10 hours or more by road to reach South West Uganda near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo where Kinkiizi is situated. But once there the joyful reception we receive and the shared fellowship we experience makes the travelling time seem to disappear into insignificance….

Some weeks before my departure each year I begin to collect things to take with me that I now know are in short supply in Uganda and will be beneficial to our lovely friends there. It is amazing how God works in this time and items keep appearing for me to cram into my case! This year I was able to take supplies of pens, pencils and chalks (always in short supply!) for schools, medical equipment for the Health Clinic, bags of basic things like soap, toothbrush and toothpaste for some students at an Institute run by the Mothers Union, funds for supporting elderly people with supplies of bedding and simple foodstuffs, baby clothes for some of the new additions to families on the Diocesan staff and some Christian books impossible to buy in Uganda for the Bishop of Kinkiizi +Dan and his Diocesan Secretary Revd Justus.

In addition, after the ‘Walk a Week for Water’ sponsored fundraising initiative across Christchurch Deanery which resulted in an amazing total being raised of more than £2000, we were able to promise Kinkiizi we would install not one, but two rain harvesting tanks in places that were in particular need.

Everything was received with joy and thanks to God for His generous blessings shown through our gifts. The prayers of thanks are followed by enthusiastic singing and dancing as the natural reaction to anything we take. My heartfelt thanks go to all those people here in Christchurch Deanery who made it possible for me to show our love for our friends in this way.

Kinkiizi is a place of opposites. On one hand this remote mountainous area has stunningly beautiful scenery; steep hillsides lush with banana trees or tea plantations, dotted with small houses whose tin roofs sparkle in the sunlight. The National Parks are inhabited by elephants, lions, leopards and mountain gorillas to name but a few. But on the other hand the people there live incredibly challenging lives, existing in many places without easy access to clean water and no electricity in their homes of little more than one room. They try to feed their families from a small patch of ground which is a dust bowl in the dry season and a quagmire when it rains. Roads are frequently impassable for vehicles in the rainy season and a health hazard from the plumes of dust in the dry season. However they live with fortitude and resilience, they share what they have and care for each other in a way many in the UK would find hard to imitate. God is usually central in their lives and prayer is particularly important; giving thanks for their blessings is always uppermost in their minds. They may be materially poor but I would consider them to be spiritually rich and a real example to us in this respect.

This devotion to prayer is something I find particularly uplifting when I am in Kinkiizi. They continue to pray for the partnership between Kinkiizi Diocese and Christchurch Deanery and give thanks for our visits to them as their mission partners. I know too that people at home are also praying for Kinkiizi and for me and my companions when we are away. I feel truly blessed to have so much prayer surrounding me – it’s as if I’m being carried on a wave of prayer for the time of my visit to Uganda and beyond, and I thank God for it.

Gill Tybjerg       July 2014