Kasana Community Church is truly a community church attended by the staff and children who live on our main site and the New Hope Academy site, but also by many of our neighbors in the community around us as well. For the last hour of the service while the preaching takes place the children are dismissed to go to their Sunday service. I have the opportunity to help lead the 6 – 11 year old age group about four Sundays a year, assisted by ten of our teenagers who have been trained to help out.
At New Hope we really make the effort to make sure each child feels loved and cared for and this has cared over to children’s church where each teenager leads a small group of 10 to 12 children. Usually we start with some group work where the children have the chance to share something about their week or to play a game together. Then the Word of God is shared and usually we end with working on a memory verse of applying the Word to our lives. The same teenager leads the same small group every week and I was recently blessed when one of the teenage boys in David family (one of our seven family groups at the Kasana Children’s Center) was visited by his group member from Children’s Church. The children’s in children’s church are not all New Hope kids, some of them come from broken homes, go to different schools and we only see them on Sundays. It is one way for our kids to reach out and love those in the community around us.
- Nancy Kirsch
We want every child at New Hope to feel like a part of the family. This can be very difficult based on the child’s past. One of the most important first steps is trying to “replace what has been lost”. The sons and daughters we work with are often struggling with identity, security, and other relationship issues. We seek to allow God to work through us to provide the love, care, discipline, and support they need. When those things take root and the child becomes free to give of themselves, it is such a blessing to see. A few weeks ago, our church service was put on by the youth and I felt proud of the Worcester family kids who helped lead. We strongly believe in putting our young into age appropriate “battles”.
When we give our young the opportunity to lead a church service, or put on a Vacation Bible School in a local village, or serve as tutors for the former child soldiers we are working with at our Kobwin Children’s Center up north, it helps them grow and it teaches them to rely on the Lord in a way that no words or teaching can ever do. Still in recent self-evaluation, we realize that we are not challenging our young adults enough. It is something that we continue to work on.
- Tal Anderson
Football (soccer) is the unquestioned king of sports in Uganda (probably in everywhere but the US it seems). The World Cup is always a big deal but the fact that it is being held in Africa makes it even a bigger deal here.
One thing we have been trying to do at New Hope is to “play” together more. Saturday night we had a time of recreation enjoying the World Cup.
Joseph Ruyondo, our head of Childcare, and his family hooked up a TV, projector and some speakers so that we could all watch the England-US game together. It started at 9:30pm but a large crowd turned up anyway (church starts at 10:30am here so there was still time to sleep after:).
I’m not quite sure yet who the favorite team at New Hope is for the World Cup. But on this night all the US staff were trying to recruit as many as possible to the US side while the UK staff was doing the same. We all had a great time and ending in a tie was just fine (at least it was for the US supporters:)
- Tal Anderson
Chronological Bible readers in the administration building the day of the launch.
At 10:30 am each weekday, the Kasana primary site bell rings and we all know it is Chronological Bible (the Bible arranged as it happened chronologically) reading time. Everyone stops what he is doing and starts reading the Bible. Every classroom is reading. All staff are reading too. Some read silently. others read aloud in groups. The Bible is also being read in Luganda on our Musana FM radio station.
We started reading the Chronological Bible three weeks ago. All New Hope sons and daughter from P6 on up are reading it in class along with the commentaries that go with it. Those in P4 and P5 are reading the majority of what everyone else is, and our youngest school children are getting the same information in story-form.
At the administration building a group of us, meet in the conference room each day and read aloud. We usually have some time for discussion and questions following. Another group in the admin building is doing the same thing in Luganda for our staff who speak primarily in Luganda. It has been a blessing to be able to discuss the stories in various places on campus and know that we have all read it.
- Tal Anderson
While Tal dishes out credit to various people for the new website launch, he deserves the lion’s share for bringing all the pieces together. And while he is frequently made fun of for the sheer numbers of whiteboards he owns and his silly hat, he and his family have been an invaluable asset in bringing unity, organization, and a contagious dedication to the New Hope family.
A HUGE THANK YOU TAL & FAMILY!!!
We lived in Seattle before moving to Uganda and experienced our share of rain there. In Seattle, rain was something that was just a part of life – sometimes a bit annoying, other times it was a good excuse to stay inside and sit by the fire, but mostly you just lived with it and many times almost didn’t even notice it.
Here our perception of rain has changed completely. We are so dependent on rain for our daily sustenance. When we arrived in late 2008, New Hope was in the middle of a very poor rainy season and crops here, and in the surrounding community, suffered for it. In the first half of 2009 (we have two growing seasons a year), we had another poor rainy season and it made things quite tough. We especially noticed this in our sons and daughters who come to school for the day and then go home at night. For many of them, the lunch they got at school was their only food for the day.
Praise God that the second half of last year, we had very good and consistent rains. The first half of this year the rains have also been very good. Our family groups worked very hard to increase the use of their land for crops this season and we are seeing wonderful results!
Every time it rains, we not only notice but are very thankful for it. We are so aware that God is our Provider and we are thanking Him for His blessings.
- Tal Anderson