Discipling and equipping the next generation of leaders in Uganda – that was the goal in 2006, when Watermark began partnering with African Leadership And Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM) to serve orphans and at-risk children in Uganda. Through our orphan care partnership with ALARM and its network of churches in Uganda, people throughout our church family are funding the education, feeding and discipleship of children, teenagers and, in some cases, young adults. Each individual in the program had their life and educational opportunities interrupted in some way by the civil war in Uganda that has only recently ended.
It’s a ministry that is more about relationships than resources. Sponsors are paired with individual kids who are shepherded by mentors and the staff of ALARM Uganda. Twice a year sponsors are asked to write letters of encouragement to the children. Those letters are carried to Africa by Watermark teams and then hand-delivered by the ALARM mentors to the children in the program. The children in the program are assisted in writing letters once or twice a year to their sponsoring family in return, updating sponsors on their lives and experiences in Africa.
We may never know the eternal impact that sponsorships like this will make on the people of Uganda. But the letters you’ll find below (from a currently sponsored young lady, a young woman who has completed both school and the orphan care program and a former sponsored child who, now as a young man, is mentoring others) provide a glimpse of how the Lord is shaping hearts and lives in Africa through this partnership.
“My name is Mwima Ivan, a second year student doing a course in tropical agriculture at Bobi Polytechnic. I am aged 21 years. ALARM started supporting me in 2012 when I was in senior two. I play keyboard in the church near my school. Because I am doing so well both in church and in school, the church decided to give me a piece of land (3 hectares) where I practice my agricultural skills. I have planted maize and green vegetables, which I sell, share with my aunt and others, and supply to the school. I also plan to buy animals like pigs, cows and also chickens to be rearing them for business.
“My mentor is also an agriculturist, and my interest in doing an agricultural course came from what I saw from him. He is so supportive to me both physically and spiritually. May the good LORD bless everyone who is supporting me in Orphan Care.”
“My name is Ogenrwot Amos, born again and aged 22 years. I live in Gulu town. I thank God for the way you have been supporting me, starting in 2006 when I was in primary five. Now I am in my second year doing a course in electrical installation and brick laying. I have a business of laying and selling different types of vents, slabs, and many others. I have learned the skills of both wiring and making different types of bricks. This has helped me to raise some money that I use to rent a shop where I sell electrical appliances.
“I pay school fees for my three younger sisters and help my grandmother buy food and other basic needs. I am one of the mentors in ALARM now, mentoring 10 children in primary school. I am also a Sunday School teacher in my church. Had it not been for JESUS, I don’t know where I would have been by now.”
‘‘My name is Aber Proscovia, a mother of one child. I am aged 22 years, and I live in Gulu town. I am a grade III primary teacher at St. Joseph Primary school. I was once a beneficiary under the Orphan Care program, when I was in primary six. I really thank God for it because I am able to take care of myself well now. With the pay I got from school, I managed to plow three hectares of land for my aunt. I also bought three cows, one pair of pigs and three goats to help her. The two bulls help us in plowing and one cow helps us with milk. I also buy food, take care of my baby and my brother’s daughter who is staying with me.
“I would like once again to extend my sincere, deep thanks to my sponsor who really did a lot in my life. I look beautiful because of your help and the love you showed me. I pray to do for other needy children as you have done to me. May our Heavenly Father shower you with much blessings. I love my sponsor, and I pray for you.”
Right now there are about 100 children waiting to be paired through sponsorship with someone from Watermark. To partner in the ALARM Orphan Care ministry, you must be a Watermark member and commit to both regularly pray for the child you sponsor as well as write them a letter two times a year when requested.
Please go to watermark.org/orphancare to find out more about Child Sponsorship or if you are interested in sponsoring a child.