From Kippax to Kabale

From Kippax to Kabale

Heather Jamieson

In August a group of 10 people, including 3 from the Parish of Kippax with Allerton Bywater and Swillington, visited Kabale, Uganda’s second largest town, for two weeks.  The timing enabled us to take part in the Kabale Convention which is held every ten years. The Convention celebrates a huge revival of Christianity in Uganda in 1935 and provides a focus to renew people’s commitment to living out and proclaiming the Gospel in Word and Action.

It was an amazing experience to be with 10,000 Christians meeting on a hillside to share worship and listen to speakers (with interpreters!). Children’s Church of c500 children meeting alongside the main Convention was also quite an experience: some of our group helped to lead this (though we were rather overwhelmed when we realised that there were only 3 or 4 Ugandan leaders involved!!)

Apart from the 3 days of the Convention we also visited a variety of Christian-based projects including hospitals, schools, a water project, and caring for Street children.  All of these had been started by Churches, Mother’s Union or individuals and were actively supported by their Bishops and clergy. It was extremely humbling to experience the generosity of people who materially had so little and the dedication and commitment of people who were determined to make a difference.

A few of us had visited some of the projects three years previously. It was incredible to see some of the changes that had happened in that time. One school had literally built their own school hall – including making the bricks! That school also now had two laboratories and equipment as well as an IT suite with 40 laptops!! The hospital now had two full time doctors instead of one and a considerable number of nurses which had not been the case before.

It is hard to capture in a few lines the impact the visit had on each of us. The area around Kabale is extremely fertile with every possible patch of land producing fruit, vegetables and cereals and yet hunger is a real problem for many. Multi-nationals are buying up land to grow crops like tea for export. There has been much progress in Uganda in the last 10 – 20 years or so but stability is still fragile and the General Election in 2016 is vital. Please pray for Uganda and that the vitality of its Christian witness may continue and grow.

Heather Jamieson is a member of the parish of Kippax with Allerton Bywater and Swillington in the new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.