A student works with a trowel on his assignment.

A student works with a trowel on his assignment.

Kobwin Vocational 1

A student using a level to make sure the wall is flat.

Avoiding the sweltering heat of the sun at Kobwin Children’s Centre is not always an easy task, but gathered under the shade of a few large trees was a group of boys with piles of bricks and “local mortar”, a mixture of dirt, sand, and water.

Meet the Kobwin Primary School vocational class. They have sessions every Monday and learn from Uncle Julius. Brick-laying was the lesson on Monday, March 2. Not including a break at 10:30am and lunch, the class worked on their structures from the morning around 8am until 3:20pm.

Building along a string helped keep the walls straight, along with encouragements from Uncle Julius like, “Your house will fall down if you don’t straighten the wall!” The whole operation was very professional, with plum lines and trowels used quite expertly to create upright and sturdy walls. Brick laying is a valuable skill to know, especially with the expansion that often happens at Kobwin. One of the staff houses there was expanded by graduates of this vocational class, which goes to show how useful this can be.

Praise our heavenly Father for enabling the Kobwin staff to teach their students such a practical and useful skill!

By Jensen Anderson, Investment Year participant




Kara Peterson, an Investment Year intern with Hannah Kusler Youth Music and Worship Coordinator, shares what God has been teaching her during her first few internship weeks.

“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done…” Matthew 6:10

Your kingdom come, Your will be done… this is the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray to their heavenly Father, and the vision and theme for New Hope Uganda in 2015. What does praying that prayer mean on a day-to-day basis, especially for Aunt Hannah and I as we work with worship teams, primary classes and individual piano students?

One area where we need to be praying this is within the Heart of Worship Team that I am a part of and am currently helping with during my IY placement. Are we nudging the kids in the team to really embrace Him as King of all? Because really, when we are standing up front and leading people into worship, we are leading them somewhere – and our goal is to lead them to the Throne of God, where we see His Holiness and our desperate need for His Grace. But when we get there, we often don’t realize where we are! So we pray His Kingdom come in our hearts and the hearts of each individual in the worship team so that we are able to realize why we are singing, and how we should be singing (i.e. where are our hearts?) to the King of kings.

Sometimes, teaching in the Primary school is a challenge. Sometimes, the kids are eager and willing to learn about music. They love to move their bodies to a fast beat and giggle at an opera singer. But at other times, you can see in their eyes a battle raging in their hearts; a battle between sinful nature and obedience. As we interact with these children, teach us how to pray Matthew 6:10 over these children- let His kingdom come into their hearts! Let His will be done in their lives, not our will!

And our prayer is that His kingdom will be evident in our lives- that even if we’re teaching individual piano or voice lessons, or teaching the Primary baby classes, we would be showing the kingdom of God through our actions;* whether it be a different way of thinking or doing, or even being. *

The truth of His Kingdom coming and His will being done is very freeing because our responsibility is only making sure that His kingdom is presented to these children or teenagers. We leave the rest up to God, because He’s going to work His will in their lives and hearts. We have no control over their hearts, but if we have done what God called us to do, we can trust that God will move somehow to bring His truth and His kingdom.


The girls line up for their race.

The girls line up for their race.

On a hot Friday afternoon, eight contestants lined up, feet on their bike pedals, ready to begin. February 20 marked the date of the bicycle races at New Hope Academy. Shortly after two o’clock, the first race began. The girls went first, along a route that runs to Kiwoko, a town a few kilometers away, and back. Following them in a car was Nancy Kirsch, the Kasana Manager, to make sure everyone followed the route. Along with the car were a number of support bikes ridden by classmates and friends.

Namuyiga Lorreen finishes first in the girls' race.

Namuyiga Lorreen finishes first in the girls’ race.

About fifteen minutes after the race began, the first biker rolled across the finish line, got off her bike, and collapsed on the ground. The collapse was over dramatized, and Namuyiga Lorreen, the winner of the girl’s race, enjoyed her victory with her friends. A few minutes later, Birungi Josephine arrived at the finish line, followed by Birungi Rachel and Nanyombi Christine. Nakasale Francisca came fifth, and Nalawombe Lillian had a bike failure and had to be picked up by a car.

Once the girls had finished, it was time for the boys’ race. Run along the same route with the same support vehicles, a decently sized crowd awaited the racers at the finish line, eager to see who would come out on top.

Kasajja Deimon rounds the final turn to win the boys' race.

Kasajja Deimon rounds the final turn to win the boys’ race.

When the dust cleared, Kasajja Deimon had won by a fairly large margin. Following him was Sembatya Livingstone in second, Mutebi Moses in third, Kibuuka John, in fourth, Ziwa Fred in fifth, and Kalyango Gerald in sixth.

These races are part of Friday afternoon games that take place every week at New Hope Academy. A good time was had by all on this sunny and fellowship-filled afternoon!

By Jensen Anderson, Investment Year participant

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Mama Jane on the far left.

Mama Jane on the far left.

Kasana Community Church started focusing on discipleship last year with staff fellowships, sermons, and Sunday school classes devoted to the topic. Growing from this focus, periodical Sunday updates have highlighted church members stepping further into a life of discipleship.

During the fall, the New Hope Institute of Childcare and Family offered its first institute taught completely in the local language, Luganda. Of the fourteen students, many were New Hope staff members as well as some community members. All who attended received the opportunity for the growth and teaching previously unavailable in Luganda. From equipping the students to more effectively serve at New Hope, many participants in the Luganda Institute have also reached out to their villages and communities, expanding the impact of these trainings.

This Sunday one of the New Hope Uganda staff members was recognized for the efforts she has made to disciple others in her community. Mama Jane, as everyone affectionately calls her, felt inspired by Acts 2:41-47 Matthew 28:18-19 from Luganda Institute and started co-leading a community group, feeling the call to actively go and make disciples, as well as encourage those who are struggling in their faith.

Pastor Paul, one of the Institute teachers, explained a few impacts of having the class in Luganda, “Generally there was real transformation. Worldview was a big thing, very confronting. The [students] were more confronted with God’s truth into their belief systems which influenced their lives. Manhood and womanhood were also impacted strongly. Marriage and family was another one. For many the orphan heart was deeply confronting as a topic. [We saw] lots of healing in those areas. People reconciled with past pains and wounds which were affecting family and church relationships. Those who have finished bring up testimonies about what they had learned and how it impacted them in their families even now that the class is over. Basically it was a way of discipleship. Most people learned how to go to God’s word and understand what it means. They could read and seek understanding for themselves. They were given tools to help them feed on the word of God to make relevant applications.”

Prayer requests: for their group and those they are impacting; also the dream of having a local church in Kasana and Wabitunda villages, which are located near Kasana Children’s Centre.


A student takes a quick break from work to pose for a photo

A student takes a quick break from work to pose for a photo

Young men and women busy at their desks, teachers writing on chalkboards, and the Ugandan flag waving proudly over the assembly area – all typical events during another school day at New Hope Academy (NHA).

NHA Students studying

NHA Students studying

With the first school term in full swing, I found several students at NHA raking up leaves on the school grounds in the afternoon shortly before the bell rang signifying the end of the day. Among these compound-cleaners was Moses, an S3 student attending the academy. After greeting him and asking permission, I interviewed him.

Me: Coming back from school, was there anything new that you didn’t expect?

Moses: Yeah, I think I didn’t do very well in exams and I knew that maybe I won’t come back to school, but the good thing was that I prayed to God and he helped me to come back to school and change my mind.

Me: Well done, so are you happy to be back in school or kind of sad?

Moses: Yeah, I’m happy because I love it, you know. I enjoy studying and I want to have a good future here.

Me: Thank you!

An NHA student helps his friend

An NHA student helps his friend

Completely unexpected but certainly welcome, this young man’s encouraging testimony is a beautiful witness of God’s sovereignty over all, even something so seemingly trivial as whether or not to return to school.

By Jensen Anderson, Investment Year participant


Yesterday, Kasana Community Church got to hear the best kind of pre-sermon announcement. It’s been circulating around the greater New Hope community and we are delighted to share it with you all today.

Dear friends of Aunt Ketty Okoth,

Our meeting with the oncologist began at 7:45 p.m. Friday in Kampala. I had the CT scans and written report in my hands at 2 p.m., but the words of the radiologist were ambiguous so I kept my numerous thoughts to myself and didn’t share them with Aunt Ketty as I didn’t want to speak out of turn.

When we walked out of International Hospital Kampala after 8:30 Friday night we were beside ourselves with emotion. It had been a very long day. I had been awake since 3:15 a.m.and left for Kampala at 5 a.m., Geoff had taught in Kampala the day before to the Investment Year students and had stayed in town overnight, and Ketty had traveled to town with the Vogt family who took her to lunch to celebrate God’s miracle work in her body–even before any of us knew actual CT results.

The oncologist’s words included: “remarkable improvement”, “dramatic”, “remarkable response to radiation”, and as he provided details in medical terms of what he saw I noticed Ketty’s glazed over look. She was not comprehending what was being said. She stopped him and started, “Doctor, forgive me, but if we could go back a little and review, what are you saying? Am I healed of the cancer?” To which he replied, “Yes, Ketty, you have responded well to the radiation and chemotherapy and it appears that the esophagus has no more cancer, and though there is a small spot on the brain, it is most likely scar tissue.”  Ketty asked, “So, what does that mean? Are we done? What about my liver and abdomen?” He then gave her the good news that no sign of cancer was seen in any of the organs. Her face was unchanged except for he big eyes and raised eyebrows. She then breathed, shook her head, clapped her hands and said, “God, be praised.” The doctor reminded her of their words together before her being sent to Nairobi last November regarding expecting God to continue His healing in her. And so He has! The follow-up plan is to perform CT scans every six months unless she is experiencing symptoms warranting an earlier check.

Okoth FamilyOn the way home she called her family and I sent notification texts of the great news. Geoff simply tried to drive as safely as possible given that we were caught in Kampala Friday night jams and then were traveling in village darkness coupled with bright oncoming headlights until we reached home around 11:30 p.m. Some of her children and her husband were still awake and enthusiastically greeted her as we pulled up to their home. We fell into bed well after midnight, full of thanksgiving.

THANK YOU for you financial support, your prayers, your messages of encouragement to Ketty and her family and your faith in the LORD GOD’s goodness! Please continue to pray for her body to remain free of cancer in the future.

The follow-up CT scans cost $300 and each doctor consultation appointment costs $30 with trxansport at $65. Our first follow-up appointment is March 6 and is simply for her to meet with the doctor to discuss her progress. If you desire to be a part of the financial support for these costs you may send monies to New Hope Uganda Ministries, P.O. Box 154  Belle Fourche, South Dakota, 57717 designating it for the Ketty Cancer Fund on a separate piece of paper (or donate online).

Thank you all so much for your amazing support throughout this journey!!!!!

Mary Britton

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Hello from sunny, dusty, hot Kasana Children’s Centre!


Monday saw the children returning to school from the extended holidays over December and January. Teachers, headmasters, students, parents, and others joined together for the opening assemblies at each school. Staff took the this opportunity to dedicate the year and the children to the Lord. The primary school headmaster welcomed and prayed over each new student starting their journey with New Hope Uganda.


The first day of school follows a national calendar so our children and staff at Kobwin Children’s Centre are also back at school today. For some students, including all of those past the Primary 7 level, this means a walk along the perimeter of the site property to the local secondary school.


The 2015 class of Investment Year students ventured to Kampala for their second week of training in character, knowledge, and skills as they prepare to begin the first round of internships.

Underway for a little under a month, the New Hope Institute of Childcare and Family is underway with a large class including students from Uganda, India, the United States, and England.


The Treasures in Jars of Clay (special needs) class also resumed this Monday. We are thankful for the new student, too!

Please join us in prayer:

- With the influx of students, return of all our staff, and the middle of dry season (no rain since Christmas), our borehole is unable to handle the increased users. We have been unable to provide drinking water for our students at both the secondary and primary schools. Please be praying for creative solutions to handle the water supply issue in the short term, and for the rains to return – soon!

- For the Hearts and Minds of students in the different schools and courses to have personal encounters with Jesus – the Truth.



Maize Harvest

Golden sun reflected of yellowed maize, with each rustle, snap, and crack indicating the presence of someone amidst the maize. Weaving among the yellow, dried sentry stalks I discovered the majority of the kids from Jonathan Family hard at work bringing in the maize harvest. Just getting to say a brief hello has brought life back to Kasana. This same scene of finding young people where there were only reminders of them for the past couple months is repeating all across the site. Greeted with many smiles and more opportunities to wave during normal walks across the site, all the staff now celebrate that the kids are back!

Throughout the December and January school holidays, Kasana Children’s Centre seems hushed and empty as the majority of children living on site go to visit their families. Thursday, they started to return – ready for time in their family groups before school begins on February 2. The long holidays of the year occur in December and January during the hottest part of the year here in Equatorial Africa. Kasana is located at enough elevation that it is often a comfortable temperature, but these dry months can see the temperature spike to 100 degrees F.

Would you pray with us during this transition:

1. Praise Father God for the safe return of these children.

2. That hearts will be open this year – in both staff and children – to receive from Him and each other.

3. For us to seek God’s Kingdom and that our prayer would continue to be “Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be Done.”

- Wesley Steeb, NHU Communications Coordinator


Envisioning 2015

January 22, 2015 · 1 comment

in Envisioning

What does an egg drop, picnic in the park, and Communion have to do with each other?


Pastor Brian speaks about the sacred secular divide in different jobs and how people try to classify certain occupations as ministry or not when they are all part of the Kingdom if done to the Glory of God.

They all represent bringing the family of God together and are some of the more unique aspects of New Hope Uganda Envisioning 2015. NHU Staff members came together from Kasana and Kobwin Children’s Centres and Musana Camps. Envisioning strives to set a unified trajectory for the year and encourage expectant hearts to receive from God throughout the coming months. The 2015 theme “Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done” continues in Matthew 6 building upon 2014′s “Hallowed Be Your Name.”

Pastor Brian Watts returned from Canada to challenge staff to search for ways how each of us, as individuals and collectively can participate in the process of bringing and building God’s Kingdom on earth. This does not necessarily translate to an easy life, but rather praying “Your Kingdom Come” acknowledges that in the midst of all the crazy and bad, we can realize that Jesus’ Kingdom has come and He is the King ruling here and now. Yet, in this acknowledgement of God’s Kingdom exists a tension that parts of his Kingdom have not yet come providing us hope for the future when he will bring everything under his dominion.

The Wellington Toss during British cultural night.

The Wellington Toss during British cultural night.

Between the sessions about the theme and practical matters of serving the children in our care, staff drew together to fellowship. Through games together, the group put into action bridging the sacred secular divide that Pastor Watts spoke about demonstrating that even an egg drop can occur to the Glory of God. On Friday afternoon, Uncle Chris divided everyone into their birth months and led an afternoon of games culminating in each team packaging their egg with natural materials gathered from around the site to hopefully survive a drop from the water tower. The majority of the eggs remained intact after meeting the concrete in their varied and creative vessels.

Monday evening brought a picnic in the park with twinkling lights and picnic blankets spread on the grassy primary school field in celebration of British cultural night. Our UK staff outdid themselves preparing country dance lessons, a wellington boot toss, proper tea preparation instructions, how to use cutlery according to British custom, and a visit from the queen – our own Aunt Jill.

The attendees were still delighting over the time of fellowship and relaxing together from the picnic as the final day of Envisioning commenced Tuesday. After visiting more practical matters of serving at this ministry, the staff drew together to close the week and dive back into the first month of 2015 having joined together by taking Communion.

And that is how we want to live – as individuals and a ministry – doing every activity and task to the Glory of God, praying for His Kingdom to come, seeking His will, and engaging in fellowship through the promise of Christ’s death and resurrection. We find hope knowing that God’s Kingdom is here and the completion of it is coming.

Do you follow us on Facebook? Look for photo albums of more pictures from Envisioning 2015 coming soon! Come find us at facebook.com/newhopeugandaministries

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Thank you, Teams!

January 5, 2015 · 0 comments

in NHU

Happy 2015 from all of us at New Hope Uganda! We are thankful for each of your role here – as friends, prayer and financial supports, visitors, sponsors, parents, sons and daughters, and many other capacities.

As we look forward to this year and anticipate many opportunities to grow in relationship together and with God, we want to highlight the impact of our many teams throughout 2014.

• 17 teams visited with a total of 162 people:

- from eight states (WA, SD, ND, UT, IL, AK, KS, CA)

- Four teams from the UK

- Our first ever team from Mexico

- One team from South Africa


• Three dental teams came, with each site receiving this much-needed specialized care

• Two eye teams served at Musana Camps and Kasana Children’s Centre

• An additional full medical team (including dental and eye care) visited Kobwin and Kasana

• Six different medical outreaches were facilitated in Nakaseke District (where Kasana Children’s Centre is located)


• Teams also painted two family bandas at Kasana enhancing the location of children’s meals and nightly family devotions

• Additionally, $5,000 in profits from the guesthouse went into ministry operational expenses

• Team members donated over 70 pieces of luggage with medicine and medical supplies, clothes, and sports equipment.

Webale nyo!! (Thank you very much!)


If you are interested in serving on a team at New Hope please let us know here.


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