Monday, January 20, 2014

Harriet the Co-Wife

Meet Harriet

Harriet is the first wife of a village man in Naigobya.  Her co-wife passed away in November while giving birth to her husband’s baby.  The husband placed the newborn baby in Harriet’s arms and said “you take care of my dead wife’s baby.”

What is Harriet to do?  She is a poverty stricken woman, struggling to care of her seven little ones. There is no money for even the necessities of life. Food, firewood for cooking, medical care, school fees, soap, clothing....  Where are these crucial provisions to come from?   This baby means more work for Harriet and even less resources available for her own seven children.

                                       There are many ways that one might respond to this:

I am angry and jealous!

Why wasn’t I good enough for you? 

Why did you have to seek out another wife?

How can I love this baby that was conceived from you and your second wife?

Give the baby to your mother!

How can I take the little that we have away from our malnourished children to care for your dead wife’s baby?

How could you do this to me?

We had the privilege of being able to meet and help Harriet.  She is an amazing woman!  She willingly and lovingly took this baby into her arms, nursing her for 2 months.  When her milk ran dry we stepped in to help.  Afayo was able to purchase formula and bottles for this little baby girl.
We were blessed by Harriet's ability to accept the responsibility to care for this child. It was a privilege to pray for her and encourage her.  Afayo will be keeping up with this family to strengthen them to weather the storm that has come their way.

        Please pray for Harriet and her (now) 8 children.

  • When a mother dies in childbirth, it’s very common for the baby to die within the first few months.  The child is given cow’s milk (if they can afford it) which doesn't have the proper nutrition to keep the baby from getting the many diseases that often strike a newborn out in the village.
  • Often the co-wife will reject and mistreat her husband’s other children.
  • A can of formula costs more than most families in Naigobya make in one month.  That would be like the average American spending over $3,000 on ONE can of formula!

We believe that with the help of our Afayo team here on the ground and those of you in America, these orphan babies can have a chance at life.

Would you be interested in helping us purchase or donate much needed formula for babies whose mothers have died?  

A can of formula lasts about 4 days and costs $12 in Uganda.  If you are interested in helping, please click on either button to the left.  Designate your gift for the Afayo Project: Baby Formula.

If you are interested in donating formula please e-mail us at or We have a container coming out in the next six months, and cans of formula could be easily shipped to Uganda!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Reason to Smile Again!

Two weeks ago we shared with you about Yairei, who suffered from an uncomfortable and disfiguring growth behind his right ear.  He needed to have surgery in a town about an hour away, at a cost of about $100 plus travel costs.   Some of you responded to this need with financial gifts that enabled us to send Yairei for the surgery.

This photo was taken before the surgery:

Thanks to your generosity and prayers, here is Yairei today:

Yairei says THANK YOU for giving him a better life!  He is an active member of our men's Bible study and is grateful to God and his people for the help given!  He has a reason to smile again!

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Ministry Trifecta: Evangelism, Discipleship, and Meeting Physical Needs

Happy New Year!

Recently the Afayo team has been studying the Francis Chan book Multiply.  It's a book about making disciples, who then make disciples, who then make even more disciples.  It is both an encouraging and a terrifying concept!  As we study this challenging material together, our sending organization, Every Child Ministries, has encouraged us to emphasize evangelism as we go about our ministry here in Uganda in 2014.  As we have discussed these critical issues as a team, we have come to realize that there are three necessary ingredients for doing mission work: evangelism, discipleship, and meeting physical needs.  All three present significant challenges in a cultural and economic setting such as eastern Uganda, and it can be difficult to do all three well.  But to be effective ministers of the gospel, we really have no choice!  We must 1) present the good news of Jesus Christ, 2) help those who believe in Christ to grow and live out their faith, and 3) be the hands and feet of Jesus in meeting the physical needs of those around us.

In a very beautiful way, this concept becomes reality as we minister to and live life with our brothers and sisters in Naigobya.  In our weekly men's and women's Bible studies, we regularly share the gospel message with those who attend.  Just yesterday, as we studied the power of the cross and the riches we have in Christ, five men gave their lives to the Lord!  Another man stood up and said "some of us aren't quite ready yet - we need to hear more!"  God is working in the hearts of these men!  That's evangelism and it's at the heart of what we do.  However, it does not and cannot stop there!  Like the other men and women in their Bible studies who already know the Lord, these men need to grow in their faith; they need to be discipled.  Through regular interactions with the Afayo team, these followers of Christ receive teachings that help them to strengthen their walk with God and which encourage them to share their testimonies (and the gospel message) with those around them.  That's discipleship, and is absolutely necessary if the message of Jesus is to transform this community.  But again, even this is not complete if we don't also help to meet the physical needs of those whom the Lord brings before us. Not because evangelism and discipleship are incomplete in and off themselves (a person can be saved even on an empty stomach!), but because we as messengers lack credibility with those we are ministering to when we refuse to help those in need (James 2:16-17).  And if our faith, without actions, is dead, why would anyone really want to listen?  In an attempt to put feet to our faith, the Afayo team has undertaken the task of helping two men from the Bible study receive much needed surgeries, one for a hernia, and another to remove a large growth behind his ear (see photo below). Each surgery costs only about $100!

You might be asking, "is there something I can do to help?"  While our Current Needs page gives you many ideas, I would like to highlight one that is associated closely with our community Bible studies.  Recognizing that very few of the men and women we minister to have Bibles, I decided in late October to challenge the men to attend our weekly Bible study consistently, and promised them a new Bible as incentive!  With over 30 men attending regularly, it has been a challenge for me to find the resources to purchase the Bibles!  But God has provided, and we have been able to give 21 much needed and appreciated Bibles to those who have met the attendance criteria.  In the coming weeks, many more will be awarded a Bible in the men's class, and now that the same incentive has been offered to the women, many will be needed for them as well.  Would you be willing to purchase a Bible (or several!) so that we can get the Good News into the hands of as many people as possible?  A Luganda Bible costs only about $12, but its value is immeasurable as we live and grow together in Naigobya.  If you would like to contribute to this cause, please send your gift to:

Every Child Ministries
PO Box 810
Hebron, IN 46341


Follow this link to the Donate Now site on ECM's web site.

In either case, designate your gift for the Afayo Project and indicate that it should be used to purchase Bibles.

Evangelizing. Discipling. Meeting Physical Needs.  I can't think of a better way to spend my time in the coming year!  How about you?