April 27, 2021
Part of why I joined Plymouth Church more than 30 years ago is the many opportunities here to put Love in Action through service. I believe God calls us to think and act for justice internationally as well as locally.
During the last 6 years, through Plymouth’s Community Service and Social Action Board, your mission money has funded full, six-year scholarships for 4 students from different villages and towns in Uganda.
Today we rejoice as these students: Rhoda, Susan, Erasmus and Kenneth, take their final national exams to graduate from Beacon of Hope Secondary School in Soroti, Uganda.
Scholarship applicants are selected by their village leaders because of their academic potential and leadership skills. Lack of family support ended their schooling after 6th grade. Applicants are interviewed by Pilgrim Africa and admitted to Beacon of Hope School based on the number of scholarships donated each year. The student body is composed equally of girls and boys who receive a STEAM education grounded in Christian faith and values. It is the equivalent of our junior and senior high school years, in a live-in setting where everything is provided: food, books, medical care, extracurricular activities like robotics, soccer, and dance.
This ministry has brought to me personally as a Plymouth member, joy, opportunity, cultural expansion, and deepening of my faith. Louise Halm and I visited Beacon of Hope 2 years ago and met these students. Their dedication to their studies, even during 7 months of COVID shutdowns, and the hope they bring to their families and to the country of Uganda is huge. Achieving their high school education opens a door for them to take the next step toward realizing their dreams. Plymouth, your love made that possible.
They have big dreams – for Kenneth, aerospace engineering; for Rhoda, a teacher or lawyer; Erasmus wants to be an accountant and Susan, a lawyer. High exam scores and scholarship opportunities will determine whether college is open to them. Please keep them and the other graduates in your prayers.
I believe our whole church has benefited from this relationship with Beacon of Hope, even without traveling to Uganda. We have hosted Denish, Patience, Yasmin, Mercy, Benson and Rebecca, as well as their extraordinary teachers like Moses, when they came to Seattle for fundraising and robotics. They touched our hearts with their stories, their openness, faith, and joy. COVID, and denial of visas prior to that, have brought a halt to their visits here. However, email and photos are how we remind them that we still care, and they are not forgotten.
I believe our mission dollars are well spent educating future leaders of Uganda at Beacon of Hope, even if we never meet them. Louise and I hope that more of you will join us in taking an active interest to keep these scholarships and relationships going. Thank you, Plymouth, for putting your love in action in Uganda! -Carol Mooney
THE CHURCH BUILDING IS CLOSED
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