Men of Willow Update

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Water Project #1 Brings New Life
Since the completion of Men of Willow’s first water project in Ndejje, Uganda, lives have been forever changed. The water system, located on a hill next to Glory Center Church, quenches not only physical thirst but spiritual thirst as well.  Pastor Charles Kwagala says that “for many of the people of Ndejje, they are now beginning to see the love of Christ through clean water.” Referring to the water system as “a practical Gospel,” Pastor Charles is amazed at what is happening. In just the last two weeks, for example, 30 children and adults have accepted Christ. Electricity for the church is another practical benefit of the water system, making it immune from Ndejje’s many power outages.  On one evening in particular, when the village’s power was out, light and music emanated from Glory Center Church on the hill.  Seeing this, Church Administrator Prossy realized that the church really is the light of the world, even in the darkness.  But perhaps one of the most touching stories related to the water system is the one of Esther Kisaayke, a 13-year-old girl. Abandoned by her caregiver the year before, Esther was found sleeping on the dirt floor of Glory Center Church. The girl was hopeless, with no education and the mind-set that she wanted to die. Things changed when Pastor Charles took her into his already crowded home and told her that Jesus loves her. Recently, Pastor Charles happened to see Esther standing at the water system, telling a little boy about Jesus. Stories such as these “are quite encouraging to all of us here,” Pastor Charles says, and to Don Neuman, co-founder of Men of Willow. Upon hearing about Esther, Don brought her a gift, her first doll, during his last trip to Uganda.

Water Project #2 Brings New Hope
Having raised enough money for a second water project, Men of Willow is close to selecting its location in Uganda.  It is no coincidence that the second water system will also be located near a brand new church, an extension of Glory Center Church.  Although the new church consists of only a pole barn, Don is assured that the people and the need are there. Don says that the theme passage capturing his vision for this second water project appears in Isaiah, Chapter 41, beginning with verse 17: “The poor and homeless are desperate for water, their tongues parched and no water to be found. But I’m there to be found, I’m there for them and I, God of Israel, will not leave them thirsty.”

Water Project #3 Brings a New Possibility
Amazingly, Men of Willow is already one-third of the way into its third water project. The $30,000 water project sells itself, Don says, because Men of Willow is “pretty low-key on fundraising.” The solar-powered water purification system, identical to the one on display in Willow’s lobby during Celebration of Hope, is built by Water Missions and filters water that “people wouldn’t want to walk in.” In giving Ugandan villages something people in this country take for granted, Don is “humbled and honored to be part of what God wants to do.” For more information about Men of Willow, please visit their website.

Category : Global Connections

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