As I stare at the messy, scribbled out, erased-then-rewritten calendar, I find names of some of my students. Students’ names hidden between the harsh Sharpie-black lines. Names of students whom we have journeyed with, cried with, and shared joy with.

Today I am thanking God for my students. Whether the individuals who labor at the piano bench, or those who stretch and discipline their rebellious fingers around the fret board. Those students who endure through the boring areas of music theory or those who sit through worship team practice time and time again. And those who bear it all by opening up their mouth and letting out that joyful noise He has given them.

In what can feel like a dark, obnoxiously noisy world, there are some who desire to break through the shadows with a sound. A sound that lifts High the One who gave them that voice, that talent, that desire.

It is a joy to watch these students grow, to see God’s perfect love transform once fearful hearts, and to be a part of their story.  I thank God for them.

- Hannah Kusler

Youth and Music Ministry Coordinator

Kasana Children’s Centre


Photos courtesy of Allison LaBianca and Wesley Steeb



It’s the 27th of January and our eight Investment Year is about to start as the students arrive at our location in Kampala. As they arrive they bring a mixture of feelings from excitement over the year ahead, and all that the students will experience, to feelings of fear due to the responsibility I have to these young people. As I look at them arriving, I quietly whisper thanks to God that the year is dependent on Him and not me and help me to remember that this year.

IY 2014 students

IY 2014 students

There are 33 students this year with 11 of them from ‘Good Shepherd Fold’, an organization near Jinja. We are very excited to be partnering with them this year and look forward to further partnership in the future.
The first couple of weeks of the IY programme, we all spend together to set a foundation for the year ahead. There were over 40 of us squashed into our house; it certainly makes for cozy community. The benefits are that by all living together, we all get to know each and form an IY community, and I was very happy with how the young people mixed and got to know each other.

The training over the two weeks ranged from note taking, worldview, authority of Scripture and how to read the Bible, Money matters, finding your mission and purpose in life, to journaling. It was a busy couple of weeks.
The students are now experiencing life in their first round of internships and will be there until April 17th, be sure to read our next post to discover more about these internships.

Money matters discussion

Money matters discussion

Steve Brown,Early Adulthood Coordinator

‘Investment Year’(I.Y.) is a cutting edge one year programme designed for students who have complete S4 before they go on to any higher/further education and training. It is designed to help young people in Uganda develop the skills, knowledge, and character necessary for success in further education, future careers, and in their personal lives, enabling us to raise up future leaders of Uganda and cultural influencers who will take a stand for righteousness and integrity in the business world, the arts, medicine, the political arena, the church, families, their communities, and in global issues.




Happy New Year to you all. Thank you for your prayers. We praise God for the new science teachers that the Lord has brought to serve together with us in the school as we bring His Fatherhood to the fatherless children in the school. The photo above is of the staff, with the Headmaster at the extreme right. We also want to thank God that we now have a school mother whose role is to help the school administration in caring for the school children, especially the girls.


We opened term one on 3 February 2014 with almost all our children back to school by the grace of God. We started straight away with our 35 Senior one students even though their National Primary Examination results were not yet out. We thank God that all the primary seven pupils who joined us even passed very well. The primary seven pupils are normally given interviews at secondary school after their National Primary Living Examinations are done, those who pass the interviews are then issued with admission letters to join senior one as they wait for the term to begin.

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We normally have parade at school every Monday from 7:45 – 8:00am where we sing the National Anthem, the Kasana Anthem, and also commit the day and the week to the hands of God. The photo above shows the students in the parade on Monday (second week of the term) with the first year students enjoying not wearing their uniforms while theirs are being made.

We are calling for all your prayers for the teachers to continue making God known to the children through education.


Hello and greetings from New Hope Vocational Institute. At NHVI we offer 5 courses as part of our regular ministry and training operation. Over the past years we have trained students in Carpentry and Joinery, Bricklaying and Concrete Practice, Motor Vehicle Technician/ Metal working, Textile Arts (Tailoring), and Catering and Hostel Management.

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Hands-on instruction in tailoring.

We praise God for the work He is doing in the lives of the young men and women attending our school.

Every year we receive applications from interested students from mid-December to the end of January with school beginning in February. This term opened on February 3, 2014 with the rest of New Hope Uganda’s schools. Each year NHVI graduates about 15 students from all its different courses and our total enrollment for the past years has been about 30- 45 students.

Currently, we have 16 students in their second year training and a few first year students. We are registering more interested students.

We would appreciate your prayers for:

  1. Students to have a personal relationship with God.
  2. God’s provision towards our hostel need as we see many people are interested in boarding possibilities. We also see this as an opportunity to reach out to a larger group of young people with the Fatherhood of God through promoting Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
  3. More dedicated and committed staffs and particularly for a tailoring teacher to join our staff.
  4. Community to see the value of vocational education and training and that God would bring the right number for His purpose.
  5. God’s provisions for children towards their training as most of them are struggling to meet their fees.
  6. Vocational textbooks, tools, and equipment for the training.

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NHVI students sharing with their instructor.

It’s amazing to see some of these students share what God is doing in their lives including a group sharing about their past with their instructor.

Our prayer for these young people is that they would come to a true point of knowing God as their Father even through their training here with us.

We really praise God for the opportunity to join in His work here at the Vocational School.

Thank you,

Onyait Sam, Principal NHVI.


Things are in full swing at the clinic. Just this past week, the primary and secondary schools started a new school year…. and with the beginning of their school years, the popularity of the clinic has also heightened. The kids and staff come in with different needs, different ailments… but all needing attentive care and attention. And so we care. We clean wounds, listen to lungs, and test for malaria. We listen, educate, and pray with.

And the word that sticks out to me personally is the word, “we.” We. We are the staff that make up the clinic. We are a clinical officer, an assistant, and four nurses. We are a team… handpicked and crafted by our God. And I personally celebrate the way in which our God has brought us together…. increasingly so in the last couple of months.


Clinic staff gathered to prepare and share a meal.

And I believe that one of the people that God used to bring us together was a sweet little girl. It was back in November when we first met her. She was brought to the clinic frail and sick with dangerously low blood levels, pressure wounds, and need for treatment of her sickle cell anemia. Sweet little Suzan….. with her momma at her side. Her voice barely above a whisper…. yet her grace and sweetness spilled from her. Money was tight, uncertainty ever present, and there was an acute awareness that without a miracle, this young girl would die. As she lay on a bed in our sick bay, God did something so sweet. It my opinion, it was on this very day that God brought to culmination something that had been in process for a long time. It was the day, I believe, that we became a genuine team. As a group of individuals desiring to help this young girl and momma, we formed a plan. Each of us had a distinct role…. with a common goal. Together, as a team, we took an impromptu offering…. together, we allowed Jesus to use each of us to be His hands and feet to this girl and her momma.

Before Suzan left that day to go to Kiwoko Hospital for further treatment, we were privy to an amazing miracle. We watched as she gave her heart to Jesus and asked Him into her heart. We knew that no matter what happened physically that this little girl has just experienced the ultimate healing. And so she went. Her journey took her from the local hospital near New Hope to the Mulago Hospital. And added to her illnesses was metastatic cancer. After a month long stay at Mulago Hospital, it become clear that Suzan’s time on this earth was coming to an end.


The clinic team celebrates their work unity at a shared meal.

Again, it was a time for our team to unite… to work together as a team along with the Special Needs Department to orchestrate her return home. And home she came. Her dad, who had been distant and uninvolved reconnected with little Suzan. And shortly before she went home to her Heavenly Daddy… her earthly daddy accepted Christ into his heart. Sweet Suzan…. we only knew her such a short time… but I really do believe that God used her in sweet and real ways. And I am so thankful. Her life was forever changed and I am confident that our team was also forever changed.

- Kimberly White, Nurse

Kasana Children’s Centre Clinic


usimon 018 I do hereby write this to share some praise reports with you all our friends and partners of New Hope Uganda and Essubi Eppya Vocational Primary School in particular. The school opened February 3 and 272 out 302 students were present. Sometimes students do not come to school during the first week making this a great turnout!

As usual, the teachers led the assembly and I shared the gospel with the students. Praise God for the fifteen or so students who committed their lives to Christ. Please pray for their spiritual growth.

I also praise God for the good Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) results from last year which all students across Uganda must pass to graduate Primary School. All our 52 candidates who sat for these national exams passed with eight in Division One (the highest pass grade), 42 in Division Two and two in Division Three.usimon 016

As the year commences, would you please join us in prayer:

  1. For the good health of our 26 teachers and 302 children.
  2. For God’s provisions spiritually, financially, socially, and emotionally.
  3. For wisdom for the school leadership and all the teachers to put Christ at the center of their teaching and learning and every activity.
  4. Pray for the accomplishment of our strategic goals for this year as indicated below:

Children will learn understand and demonstrate at least 3 aspects of  Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (BMW)

Achieve and sustain a high quality Christ-centered academic and vocational Education.

Active partnership with the community as we seek opportunities for our boys and girls to promote and demonstrate BMW aspeusimon 017cts.

Thank you,

Katabazi Nicholas Simon

Head Teacher, Essubi Eppya Vocational Primary School



Aunt Jennie sharing stories of New Hope's past.

Aunt Jennie sharing stories of New Hope’s past.

The final day of Envisioning 2014 focused on New Hope as a family whose history portrays God’s hand throughout every step. Jennie Dangers  briefly shared New Hope’s history highlighting the call to remember the faithfulness of God. Philippians tells us that He who began a good work will see it to completion. We can rest in this knowledge that God already knows the solution. Aunt Jennie personalized a couple passages of Scripture to remind the New Hope family to give thanks for what God has done.

Deuteronomy 8 re-worked by Jennie Dangers:

REMEMBER how the Lord your God led you all the way in the bush these 27 years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.  He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with posho and beans- which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

When you have eaten and are satisfied… when the land has been cleared of the huge trees, ant hills, and thick bush and there are no more land mines, when your crops produce good food, when there is a maize mill- AND electricity or a generator- to mill your harvest, when you no longer have to walk a kilometer to get drinking, bathing, or washing water but have water in your cisterns and in the 3 boreholes on site and treated water in the tower, when the ministry has more than one vehicle- and there is petrol available in any town you happen to drive to, when there are things to buy not only in Kampala, but also Kiwoko and Kabubbu, and even at the shop near Hajji’s house, when you no longer have to crowd 80 students in 2 classes into one classroom, when you don’t have to walk to Luweero because there are boda bodas and taxis to take you wherever you want to go, when you have cell phones AND network, when UMEME is on and you have solar lights if UMEME is off, when you have internet and can communicate to those you love in far-off countries in seconds rather than in months —praise the Lord your God!!
BE CAREFUL THAT YOU DO NOT FORGET the Lord your God, failing to observe His commands…

OTHERWISE, when you eat and are satisfied, when you have nice classrooms, painted and plastered houses made of brick and that have electricity, when the name New Hope Uganda is known in many parts of the world, when Uganda is one of the main tourist destinations in Africa (instead of being one of the last places in Africa anyone wanted to go to!), when you have a clinic on site AND a good hospital up the road (instead of a doctor treating malaria and wounds and delivering babies on the open verandah of a house), when you have over 10 teams come a year and you have faithful and generous donors-  then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God.

REMEMBER: HE led you through the thick and dreadful bush with its thorn bushes, venomous snakes, monkeys, and wild cats.

HE brought you water- through rain, 3 boreholes, a solar pump, and a water purification system!

HE gave you posho to eat- something your fathers had never known to humble you and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.

You might say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this…. BUT REMEMBER the Lord your God, for it is HE who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant.

Do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness…. It is not because of your righteousness or integrity that you took possession of this land, for you are a stiff-necked people.

Envisioning 2014

The whole crew at 2014 Envisioning

In fact, it is not even for your sake, O New Hope family, that I have acted in the past, but for the sake of My holy name…and I will continue to vindicate the holiness of my great Name… and Kabubbu, Wakayamba, Kasana, Wabitunda, Katooke, Nakaseke, Kampala, Uganda, and the NATIONS will know that I am the Lord, when through you I hallow My Name before their eyes. (Ezekiel 36 and Matthew 6:9)


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Preparing Indian food for the Administration department meal.

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Tending relationships while cooking rice.

The New Hope staff came together for dinner on the Saturday of Envisioning. Each department enjoyed food of a selected ethnicity including American, Ugandan, Liberian, and Indian meals. Staff shared the preparation of the meal turning the afternoon and evening into a time of fellowship.

The teaching portion of Envisioning resumed on Monday with Pastor Brian Watts from Canada discussing Biblical marriage and parenting. He centered the discussion around God’s glory reminding the audience that whether they were single or married; biological, spiritual, or adoptive parents; everything should be oriented to God’s purposes and glory.

Pastor Brian identified obedience, unto the Lord, as the goal in Biblical Parenting. For those with older children, the challenge then becomes how to move them from obedience towards submissive questioning to discover the “why” where they previously operated in response to the “what” so as to grow in obedience.

Drawing from Psalm 127, Pastor Brian described children as arrows. He encouraged parents to pray that God might reveal some hint of the direction their children will go so they can actively cultivate those gifts and prepare them. An arrow means that it will go where the shooter is not and must be released to fulfill its purpose. After actively listening to the child, then nurturing and cultivating their God-given gifts, Pastor Brian reminded the staff that children must be handed over to the Lord just as God sent His Son because He loved the world.


Envisioning Day 3

January 20, 2014 · 0 comments

in Envisioning

Several different teachers spoke about Biblical Education on Friday during Envisioning 2014. Branching from the discussions of hallowing God’s name, Pastor Brian Watts discussed that primary level lessons should reveal God’s character to the students. He challenged the audience to return to the Bible for the basic lessons in all subjects and demonstrated that mathematics begins in Genesis 1 with a Biblical foundation for division, multiplication, inequality based on the difference between God and man, and the general concept of bringing order out of chaos.

The choir opened the day with morning worship.

The choir opened the day with morning worship.

Dr. Gillian Kasirye, a professor at Makere University, introduced the New Hope family to the current state of education in Uganda. She expresses that teachers are needy for values in all areas of their lessons. As an example of this, Dr. Kasirye shared that in geography, “we show students the physical features, marvel at the beauty, and we edit out the hand that created it.” She brought to light the reality of the Ugandan and international educational systems that are influenced by materialism and gave a call to the Ugandans and all present to create a better future for our children. She challenged us to bring education back under the hand that created it beginning with our teachers.

Godfrey Kyazze shared the vision of the Master’s Institute for Education (MIE) that will train teachers in Biblical Education methods and models.

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Uncle Geoff and Uncle Tony dialog about practical matters.

  Uncle Geoff Britton and Uncle Tony Muwanguzi spoke to the family on practical matters of living together in community. In an entertaining, but sincere question-and-answer session, they  addressed the challenges of serving together as family encouraging the staff to be aware of challenges yet not let it deter what God is doing. Throughout exploring these different topics, Uncle Geoff and Uncle Tony encouraged us to check whether our actions and behaviors glorify God and the disposition of our hearts.


Interview with Uncle Katabazi Simon

wjs 024Who are you?

I’m Katabazi Simon and I’m the headmaster of Essuubi Eppya Vocational Primary School here at New Hope. I’m a father to five biological children and a father to many other scores of spiritual sons and daughters. I have been at New Hope for the last 18 years and they have been the best years of my life. God has blessed me personally and in many other various ways, but the biggest blessing I have received is the blessing of fatherhood and family, because this was the biggest need that I had in my life. I thought that I came here to serve, but I have been served and ministered to more than I have been able to serve. I am so blessed.

How come fatherhood and family was your biggest need?

Having growing up with just my mother, I hadn’t received and experienced fatherhood or seen it practically working out. When I came to NHU, I was blessed as a young man to see a typical biblical family setting, as well as interacting with fathers who would speak into my life when I was struggling with many issues as a young man.

How did you become Head Master?

I started off as an assistant teacher trainee, in P2 in 1995. I trained on the job, until I qualified in 2000 as a P3 teacher and continued to do more schooling as I worked during holidays, until I obtained my second training level which put me at a level where I can head a school. I have a diploma in Primary education, so I’m a grade registered teacher, qualified and registered by the government. For the future, I’m mainly interested in teacher training and development. To do that more effectively I need to have a degree in teacher education, so I’m planning on joining Makerere University for holiday training. This will put me in a P 3_Group Photo position to pass on what I have learned over the years to other teachers, not only at NHU, but to the nation. We are dreaming of setting up a Teacher Training College where we teach teachers to teach from a biblical perspective, so it’s one of my goals as I advance in my teaching to multiply myself in that way.

What are you goals as being Head Master?

Our goals at the Primary school flow from our four main ministry goals, which we have set for the next 3-5 years. The ministry goals are: having every child known, loved, and cared for; having every staff trained and equipped to serve; engaging the community to partner with them; and being good stewards of what the Lord has given us. Our school mission is to train and education the whole child. By the whole child we mean the spirit, soul, and body. We want our children to be job creators not only seekers. We want them to be productive and independent so they can not only support themselves, but also be a blessing to those around them. With that in mind, we have three main goals for us as a school. The first goal is to cultivate deep and growing vertical and horizontal relationships among the staff and the children. The second goal is that we want to achieve and sustain superior academic excellency. Our third goal is to produce well-balanced and wholly trained children with multiple skills.

We practically reach these go

Primary Candids_013

als by celebrating their birthdays, reading and discussing the Bible daily, beginning each school day in prayer, having memory bible verses for each week, (ex. Psalm 1, the Apostle’s Creed, the ten commandments, and our Lord’s prayer), having active growing relationships with their mentors, encouraging our children to attend Sunday school and worship service, having each child’s home or family visited at least once a term, trying to cultivate the God-given special gifting of each child. For academic performance, it’s our desire to see at least 90% of the learners getting promoted to the next class by the end of each year and for our teachers to teach from a completely Christ-centered worldview. We have continuous assessment of each student by our teachers, not only academically, but spiritually and once per term we have teacher training along with regular evaluating and monitoring of each teacher.

Our main goal as a school is, “To bring the Fatherhood of God to the fatherless…” through Christian education. Also, to lay a solid foundation for their future learning and growth in life; this age is very foundational and they are at a level where their hearts are still soft to receive the message of the gospel, this is an opportunity we need to make good use of.

What are your challenges/needs at the primary school?

The biggest challenge that we face is the negative influence we have from the community. A majority of our children come from the community, and yet [in many ways] the community is not supportive of what we are doing. There are many discos that go on during the night and we find our children struggling in school the next day because they were either at the disco or the loud music kept them up all night. They come to school with their hearts and minds somewhere else, making it a challenge to teach the children or reach their hearts. Through this we have our children influencing each other negatively.

Another big challenge we face is the majority of our children come from dysfunctional or non-existent families. One staff member said, “The children are the care givers to some of the guardians!”Primary Candids_014

The third big challenge that we face is training teachers to do what they are supposed to be doing. It’s one thing to train and it’s another thing for the teachers to really receive the training and apply it to their day to day teaching. When we do our teacher training here, it’s different from what they have been taught their whole life because it’s from a completely Christ-centered perspective. After their training it’s natural for them to revert back to their old ways, and this is somehow affecting the progress of Christian education. Some teachers are still struggling to embrace the Christian philosophy, because other philosophies through their training are still coming into their minds. It’s like a war between the Truth vs. the lies and the principles of the world.

Another challenge we have is limited resources to do what we want to do. Right now, we need more textbooks; we have one book that is shared between 2-4 students. We need more textbooks and other resources that would make teaching more real and interesting. Also, our classrooms need to be renovated and it would be nice to be able to take our children out for field trips and educational tours. It would be nice to have a real office. Right now, my office is in a classroom, our dream is to have an administration block where we can have an office and a staffroom. Also, we used to be able to give each child two eggs in a week, but we can’t afford that anymore, so our children are only eating porridge with milk and posho and beans. We use a small amount of eggs, but not enough to reach the nutritional needs of our children.

How have you seen God working at the primary school?

I have seen God working here in a number of ways. One, He has really united us as a team here. We are all from different backgrounds, tribes, and languages and yet He has united us all together so we are speaking the Primary Candids_015same language. I have also seen Him work in the hearts of our children. He has taken children with pain and despair and has healed them and they are now blossoming. I have been here for the last 18 years and every day we have children walking back and forth on the busy roads around our school and none of our children have been hit while walking on that road.

At one point I received a call from an Indian in the community saying that their cow had swallowed a mango and they had to slaughter it. It was a very big cow and he donated over 100kg of meat for our children to eat free of charge. I could see God touch this Indian who was not a Christian to donate this meat, which our children enjoyed very much. God has provided in amazing ways for this school and these children.

How can people pray for you and the whole school community?

We need prayer for God’s wisdom, strength, and courage to advance His purposes. Please pray for good health, for both staff and children and for continued unity and cooperation amongst the staff and children. Also, pray for God’s divine provisions, especially the spiritual need of our children to come to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and that they would continue to grow in their relationship with Him. Please continue to pray for God’s protection for the children at home and as they walk back and forth on the busy road. I also am requesting prayer, as I’m planning on being launched out to live in the community, so I need prayers for God to use me there as a light and a father. Thank you for your support and prayers.

Interview by Devin Hiller


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