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Christmas Greetings

Dear friends, family, and supporters,

Greetings from…Canada! Yes, I have returned to the Great White North yet again – Surprise!! I have been enjoying the snow, the bitter cold, the crisp air, and valuable quality family time with my awesome family in Canada. I sing praises to the Lord for blessing me through my family – they are the ones responsible for bringing me home from and to Uganda because of their hard work in all that they do. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35).

It certainly has been a joyful reminder to be back for the season of Christmas in Canada. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes, and the warm hugs are all very unique and special to me during this season in Canada. However, it also saddens me to see so many people rushing and bustling around to ‘be ready for Christmas’. Let’s not forget that Christmas is not about ‘being ready’ but ‘being present’. The Lord Jesus Christ came to be present amongst us and with us – He is our ultimate present of joy, peace, hope, and love. May all these things from the Heavens above flood over you and yours throughout this Christmas season.


GIFTS THAT GIVE

As mentioned a few weeks ago, the students of our tailoring class at Soweto Youth Fellowship have made some beautiful pouches, purses, and tote bags. I have brought them to Canada and are for sale, however, most items are already gone. If you are interested, please simply let me know via email at kurt@sowetoyouthfellowship.org.


Also, Change 2 Change is excited to now offer tax receipts to anyone who wishes to support the project financially with financial donations ($20 (CAD) and above). Here are the details:


If you don’t care for a tax receipt but still wish to give, you can do so online at our websites or more conveniently visit our GoFundMe page for our Uganda Boys Home, click here: https://www.gofundme.com/ugandaboyshome. All options accept donations by credit card. Thank you for your gracious support!

 *(If you’ve recently sent donations to St. Clements Anglican Church, don’t worry it still counts.  However, please now send to St. George’s Wakefield Anglican Church from now on (details above)).

In Uganda, it has also been a busy time as I left while many things were on the go. Here’s a brief update…

NEW BEGINNINGS

Since September, our Uganda Boys Home has faced some unexpected, abrupt changes, however, the Lord is indeed good! If you’ve been following our updates, you may recall that we’ve had to move with only 3 weeks notice. That 3 weeks notice was given to us by the owners to have us find a new place and relocate as they decided to sell the house (Uganda law states that tenants are allowed up to 3 months to move out). After praying and asking the Lord how to manage all of this, He challenged me to bless the owners and actually move out as they said, as quickly as possible and trust that regardless if we found a place to live or not that He would provide. Well, we obeyed and guess what – He did provide! Were you surprised? He never disappoints!

He led us to a much larger home complete with more bedrooms and a large garden space – all that I had asked Him for, with a very small increase of monthly rent per month. However, nothing goes easy without opposition. Therefore, we had to wait approximately two months before moving into the place due to several repairs that needed to be done inside the house. Regardless, the Lord blessed us by providing us a safe temporary place to stay during those two months at a home for young children from the streets called ‘Born Like Others’. I thank the Lord for using my good friend, brother, and SYF board member, Robert (a local Ugandan who is the director of Born Like Others), to house the 3 boys and myself in his office space. It was tight, but we endured with thanksgiving. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for this situation and our new home. Please continue to pray as we settle in.

THE WORK CONTINUES…

As we slowly settle into the new home, there are still some things to be fixed up to help us operate the home more smoothly. Therefore, it has been a fun and interesting time and an opportunity to bring out my old skills and talents I learnt on the farm during my childhood and teach the boys a thing or two about painting, carpentry, and a few other things. However, I wasn’t the only one doing the teaching! Reason-being, they know a whole lot more about what can grow in Uganda than I do, therefore, while I was teaching them about painting and fixing up this and fixing up that they were teaching me about new vegetables and fruits we can plant in our new gardens to get the biggest bang for our buck (shilling). Thanks to the Lord it has been a great experience and continues to be!


YOUTH CENTER

As for our Soweto Youth Fellowship Youth Center, we have not moved…yet! We were given notice to leave by the end of December, however, due to several (positive) changes within the local government that notice has since been scrapped – the Lord works in mysterious ways! Therefore, our Pastor (Sam) and myself took it upon ourselves to visit the Chief Administrative Officer of Masaka Local Government to inquire and request for continued use of the building for our Youth Centre. We are still yet to receive a decision, so please continue lifting this up to the Lord in prayer.

BUZZING

At Soweto Youth Fellowship it has been buzzing. With all students and children out of school since late November, the Christmas season, and a relocation of the Masaka Market right in front of our Centre it has become a buzzing place of activity. Therefore, we have been able to welcome more young people to our activities and programs, which include our ongoing tailoring classes, youth fellowships, junior fellowships, movie days, craft-making days, girls’ fellowship, and others. I truly thank the Lord for our staff and growing young men and women who can help run the show, especially in my absence during such a busy time. Thank you for supporting us through prayer, encouragement, and financial donations.

SYF FUN Day

In November, Soweto Youth Fellowship held its first-ever FUN Day. The day included several team-building games, relay races, scrambles, sports, story sharing, and snacks. Partnering up with another local organization, Let’s Serve Christ Ministries (Born Like Others), several young children and youth attended the beautiful sunny day at the local park. The purpose of the FUN Day is to build and encourage teamwork and unity amongst the children and youth, to make new friends, to test some of the youth as leaders, and to just have a good ol’ time outdoors. Needless to say, it was a great time for all!



LATE RESPONSES

On a more personal note from me to you, I would like to apologize for not responding to so many of you who have sent me emails, facebook messages, made phone calls, or sent text messages over the last few months. I don’t wish to bring excuses because I value each and every one of you and the thought and time you have put into your means of communicating with me. Unfortunately, I’m still a ‘one man show’ when it comes to those things, therefore, I have fallen quite behind on them due to the many things I am leading and directing in Uganda, and also in Canada. Please forgive my tardiness in responding, however, please know I thank you deeply for your love, care, and support. I kindly request your patience.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

On behalf of all of us in our Uganda Boys Home, our Soweto Youth Centre, and our wonderful volunteers at Change 2 Change in Canada, I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry and Blessed Christmastime surrounded by the joy, peace, and love of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the real reason for this beautiful season. Thank you for your many blessings you have given to us all!


God bless you,




Kurt Petersen

Executive Director

Change 2 Change / Soweto Youth Fellowship

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