Encouraging an island in Uganda

Encouraging an island in Uganda

The church is thriving among the fishing communities hugging the shoreline of Lake Victoria’s Ssese Islands.

It has been just four years since evangelist Sam Tsapwe - a former MAF employee - began reaching out to the fishing communities hugging the shoreline of Lake Victoria’s Ssese Islands.

Isolated and difficult to reach, even by MAF plane, the Gospel has found fertile ground amongst Ssese’s slum inhabitants.

Beginning with 4 pastors, the Church has now grown to 38 pastors and over 300 believers worshipping in several churches dotted across the 84 Ssese Islands. When Pastor Sam flies to the islands, he visits a different church every time to remind them that they are not forgotten.

Daily life is difficult for Ssese’s people, so when the opportunity came for some international visitors to encourage the islanders and share fellowship with them by hosting a picnic, Sam was delighted!

‘It broke my heart when one of the Bukasa Island pastors told me they had been feeling worthless,’ shares Sam, but then they heard that these people were coming from so far away, showing them that they mattered and were loved!’

As they flew the short flight with MAF Pilot Rembrand Rodenburg, the group of 12 visitors experienced how remote these churches are. They mounted motorbikes loaded with picnic boxes, before continuing their journey with a two-hour boat ride. The half-day journey would have taken an additional six to ten hours by boat.

Specially ordered MAF lunchboxes were filled with some rare ‘picnic’ delights – chicken, chapattis, cake and fruit juice provided for people whose staple diet is mainly smoked fish.

When it was made clear that they could keep the containers complete with cutlery, the crowd let out a cheer of thanks. Sam later commented, ‘The MAF picnic boxes will be treasured by everyone who received them for a very long time.’

For people that have so little, it’s difficult for many of us to realise what this kind of gesture means and how long the memory of this picnic will live on.