Our children are an integral part of their village community. Just as the wellbeing of each child brings hope to the whole community, the thriving of the community supports all of our children and their families. Donations to Mountain Children’s Ministry enable us to address community needs as well as unusual medical issues or specialized educational resources for our children which arise from time to time and exceed the sponsorship fees.
A stronger community means stronger family units that are willing to help provide homes for orphans in need. Shared community resource projects benefit MCM children’s families, but also the wider community. To the extent, possible materials and labor are sourced locally to further support the economy.
They give birth to hopes and dreams, instruction and life direction - even to pre-readers. The library also provides rooms for students to continue being the storytellers, drawing not just MCM children but ALL the village children to hear, in their oral tradition, their cultural stories too. In the words of Joyce Gibson, visionary of the library construction, “My dream was to see a library for our Mountain Children in Uganda. Quality books that make reading appealing to young children to spark their desire to learn and grow. Books open children’s eyes and broaden their world to discover how they can fulfill their dreams and be people God uses for His glory.”
Begun in April, 2020, the project was accelerated with the help of our students sent home from school due to the pandemic. Our kids came to the worksite daily and offered their help digging the foundation, moving rocks for a floor, carrying water for cement, and running errands. Our vocational students in construction and carpentry came to help build the structure, further learning their trades with professionals at the site. Additional donations purchased tables, shelving, books and computers to equip the library. God's Joy Library opened its doors to the community in October, 2020, and sees about 600 student visits per month.
The daily challenge for people to walk several hundred meters down the mountain to fill their Gerry cans with well water and then haul them back up to the village - this is what we saw when we established MCM. To ensure an accessible, clean source of water for the village, in February 2014 MCM contracted for a borehole to be drilled from our location to create a deep well to share with the community. This well provides life-giving water to approximately 25 families in the village. It is also used for watering animals, crops, home repair and cleaning.
By the time children get home from school and complete their many family chores, the sun is setting. Our village children cannot study or read in the dark. Therefore, our kids cannot compete with children in urban centers where there is power and they can continue their studies at night.
In 2015 MCM gave out and instructed 20 families in the use of solar-powered electrical systems able to light one large room, replacing inadequate and dangerous kerosene lanterns. Since then MCM has installed an additional 18 solar panels on the rooftops of children's mud homes and added wires to light bulbs installed in ceilings controlled by switches installed in walls. A couple of our MCM boys who are training as electricians have done much of this work.
Here is what it was like when one of our children turned on his new light inside that dark hut previously lit only by a charcoal stove. WOW!! The light filled the little room so you could suddenly see into every corner! He and his grandma began singing praises to God immediately! We were all laughing and clapping!
When the coronavirus pandemic hit and all of Uganda was locked down including the market places, the subsistence farming village economy of the Kabale region was devastated. Our children and villagers were starving. We were forced by these circumstances to put out an urgent request for special donations for food and many responded generously with the resources and prayers to help feed our children and their families for over a year.