Kobwin: It takes a family to raise a community

Kobwin ClassroomIt’s actually hard to believe that we are in our fourth year at Kobwin.  In reflecting on far the Lord has brought us, it truly is amazing!  New Hope Uganda’s Kobwin Children Centre family has gone from struggling with our neighbors to being a vital and active part of the Kobwin community.  This is just the proverbial icing on the cake, and all to God’s glory!

In March of 2010, twenty-three children arrived on the back of a lorry truck late one afternoon. Each child clutched a grocery size plastic bag, containing their few belongings as they were met by five staff members (their new parents) and myself. We showed them their new home.  To their amazement, they were each given a new mattress, bed sheets, towel, bathing basin and soap as they were shown their new home – a tightly grouped family compound of four houses and a kitchen attached to the dining area.  The children were shown where to bathe and after doing so came back to a hot and plentiful dinner of posho and beans. Conversation over dinner was non-existent at first. Then it caught on like wild fire, the cacophony of  Ateso, Langi, English, laughter burst forth. Next, song filled the air and the journey of relationship was birthed in family as they had never before experienced – God’s family.  “How good and pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity”… the words of Psalm 133 rang true that night and continue to today.

That year everyone could fit in one picture and you could still make out faces.  Today, in 2013, things are just a bit different.  We do better to take group photos – primary, secondary students and staff and their families or family groups and day students from the Kobwin community.  We now have two family groups – Jeremiah and Daniel families. Daniel was added last year. In January, both of these families sent children off to Kasana to participate in the Investment  Year program – eight kids altogether!  We now care for 70 children  ranging from six-years to 23. Our sons and daughters are a mixture of those from Amuria (an area three hours northeast of Kobwin affected by the LRA rebels) who make up the vast majority of the children who live with us, and local fatherless children from the Kobwin area. We now have a pre-school, P3, P5, P6,P7 and send children to the Kobwin Childlocal secondary school in all four secondary level classes( S1-S4). All of our primary children are involved in vocational instruction, one day a week. We also have two girls training full-time in tailoring.

The family that has been built and how we speak family to the community testifies to the Father’s love. Truly, our kids are amazing as they serve in community outreaches, host events on our-site, and meet weekly for our on site church, which continues to grow.  Yes! The Father has been very, very good to us at Kobwin!

We do have our struggles- water is one of the biggest but we have a plan and are trusting for the Father’s provision and perfect timing in completing it.  We have many other needs also. One of the biggest is establishing our vocational school on a much broader scale and as a full-time instructional facility.  With so many of our children being older, we are looking ahead and realize we will need to prepare many with a skill with which they will make a living. Some of our children will go onto higher education but the majority will head to a vocational skills training.  We hope to be able to provide the training for those skills in a Christ-centered environment with a Christ-centered curriculum.   Lord willing, we will do just that!  I personally cannot wait to see which of our children will become teachers in that school!  What a testimony to the community and to their younger brothers and sisters that will be!

There is so much more to tell!  We have been blessed with visiting teams and are so very thankful for those who come alongside by coming, sponsoring children, praying and supporting in other ways.  If you are interested in joining in the Kobwin family there are many ways to do so – please pray for what the Father would have you do and contact us. We would love to have you as a part of the Kobwin family!

By Constance Dobbs, support staff at Kobwin (as printed previously in the New Hope paper newsletter)

 How U Can Help
Kobwin sewing*Please pray that God will enable  us to get beneath the surface issues these young people have and be a part of true heart transformation.
*We have $30,000 Matching Pledge towards the remaining $60,000 needed for a water system that will benefit our children’s centre in Kobwin and several key spots in the community as well. Please consider giving towards this key need. Each gift will be matched!
*Contact the Constance Dobbs at cbadobbs@gmail.com for more information on how you can partner with the Kobwin team.