When news of the COVID-19 pandemic reached Uganda, many had no idea how it was affecting the rest of the world until a national quarantine was announced. Masulita village was hit especially hard. First, families began experiencing hunger. Then despair hit.
Pastor Cyrus, whose church partners with Compassion, quickly set out to alleviate both. “I realized that the families we were encouraging had more than just spiritual needs; they needed food. Compassion came alongside us to support us in giving to this cause,” he says.
In addition to the pastor sharing some of the harvest from his own garden, Compassion's church partner provided food parcels to over 90 families. To promote long-term food sustainability, they also distributed fruit and vegetable seedlings so families could grow their own food. Each week, children and parents join the pastor on his farm to learn effective farming methods.
“I planted watermelon, beans, maize and potatoes from the seedlings that Pastor gave us," says Victoria, who is part of the Child Sponsorship Program. "I learned to plant my own food and fertilize it as well.”
Once the community's nutrition needs were met, the 54-year-old pastor and his ministry team supported them spiritually, even while the church's doors remained closed. They encouraged families by visiting homes, interceding and making phone calls.
Cyrus believes that when the doors of the church reopen, they will be more connected to the community than ever before. “I have seen God at work all my life, but even more during this pandemic. He has opened doors for ministry,” he says.