We are blessed and honored to have Bishop Robert visit us this week from his diocese in Fort Portal, Uganda. Last summer; we had the good fortune to get to know Fr. Francis Muhenda, from this same diocese when he spent three months at St. Thomas Parish. Over the course of his stay, he made many friends and he shared insights into the stark contrast between our lives and those of his parishioners near Fort Portal, Uganda. The generosity of people from St Thomas the Apostle sent him home last August with money to buy a used truck to visit his 33 villages, a water catchment cistern system and a solar panel to provide the rectory with electricity to power a light.
Before leaving us, he talked of his hope to address the poverty by encouraging his parishioners to engage in tree planting and building of chicken coops. Our modest Uganda Empowerment Project grew out of this idea, and in the past year St. Thomas donors have sent almost $3000 to fund these activities. Thousands of tree seedlings have been planted and additional thousands are growing in nursery beds for future planting. Coops have been built and the chickens are laying eggs.
Former St Thomas church secretary Meghan Gilbert is now in Fort Portal spending five months in ministry with the people in Uganda. She has already helped plant 100 pine saplings. Last weeks bulletin included a moving description from her about her time spent with Fr. Francis. Come join us at the parish hall Sunday September 13 at 2:00pm to see a video presentation Fr. Francis sent us about the work being done, village life and the needs which must still be addressed. Hope you can come!