The Lusenke Story
The building of a village Church-house
Lusenke village, Uganda
10 "Who shall despise the day of small beginnings?"
Dad, This time I called Joshua to come to Entebbe on Tuesday evening then on Wednesday morning we started our Journey to Lusenke in kayunga district. I wanted Joshua to help because I had some extension cords and other art pieces which I had to deliver in Kampala before we procced to Kayunga. The pieces were wooden signs/wall hangings,key holders,serving tray and table marts.
We then boaded our second pasenger van (taxi) to kayunga, then took a boda-boda [hired motor bike] to Lusenke village 23 miles from Kayunga town. We were welcomed with great joy by the pastors and elders from Lusenke and those who had come all the way from Namayingo district to represent other pastors and elders in our June conference groundwork.
Twenty three miles down a dusty road to the village venue
Next morning on Thursday, We had a wonderful ground work meeting at the Lusenke Church house. The reason why we chose to have the meeting in Lusenke is because they are under going serious challege and need much encouragement and help. Its one of the many small village churches found in the remotest/bush villages where no preacher is intrested in going. Our presence there was a great encouragement to them.This fellowship is being led by a team of elderly women. They pleaded with me to put their fellowship under BFU to lead, oversee and help deligate a rightful postor/leader who can spend some time with them,training,teaching and guiding them in the truth of Gods word. We had a great discusion about our June conference. The pastors/elders from Namayingo town council and the four nearby sub-counties have been asking us to give them also the opportunity to host BFU teaching conference in Namayingo town. This is a small town which used to be part of Busia district near Uganda-Kenya boader. So we have accepted their request and in our discusion, we agreed that the conference runs for 5days begining June 24th-28th.
Lusenke organizing Elder with Joshua and Jimmy
Lusenke Team Leaders with Jimmy and Joshua
typical village church-house
Joshua in introduction
Elder sharing thoughts and ideas
preliminary planning----close attention to detail
Jimmy-----dismissal in prayer. The people of this Church are desperate because the current land owner is evicting them from this meeting place.
Headed home to Entebbe
Twenty three miles back to the taxi stage for the long trip home in a sixteen passenger van which often carries more than twenty passengers and luggage tightly packed like sardines.
We are expecting up to more than 200 pastors and elders in the June Conference. Some pastors/elders from other parts/sub-counties where we have been holding past conferences will also come Most of the atendees will be traveling to the conference on foot and bicycles in the morning then back to their homes in the evening after the conference. We're expecting little food contribution from the local organizer becouse their food crops are not yet ready for hervesting. I will have another ground work meeting with all the organizers on Saturday next week for more planing and draft a budget as well. We then traveled back safely after the meeting. Son-----Jimmy
after hearing of the situation of the Saints at Luseke, a donor from the U.S. stepped forward to help buy land and build a Church-house for those people .
Dedicated to Catherine Shelton
In memory of her late husband Ronald Shelton
Sandy Ridge North Carolina, U.S.A.
Hope you are doing a little beter these days. We had a very succesful and exciting trip to Lusenke on Monday when we went with Joshua to pay for a piece of property for that village saints. It was all joy and excitment both from the church and us after paying for that piece of property in the memory of my dear dad [the late Ronald Shelton]. The property is along the village highway which makes it easy to acces by everyone. This place will serve a lot of people who will be comming to worship and to learn God's word. Lusenke village near the shores of lake Victoria about half a km to the lake where also we can baptize new converts. The leading team told me that they have already begin to clear the property. Mom, the joy this saints have is just too much beyond my explanation. They are singing and dancing with great joy. The church is now under full leadership of NTFI/BFU, We have named it (THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST AT LUSENKE) And We will do whatever is required to ensure that they are deeply rooted in the truth. Son Jimmy
Elders marking forward land corners along the road-----easy access for worshipers. The land is nearly 150 feet deep.
Making payment for land----local magistrate witnessing transaction from motor-bike
Magistrate signing Transfer Papers
Examining cash notes to ensure they are not counterfeit
Joshua praying with grateful Saints. Thanks to a merciful Lord
Thank you Sister Catherine------we LOVE YOU!!!
June 8 2014 update and Progress Report for Lusenke Building Project
the land is cleared and prepared for construction and the people are happy
Preparing the land
a little rest while preparing the land
a hearty African meal being prepared for the laborers
Dad--- Joshua came back yesterday with a good report. They did every rough culculations for the first half of the house. Most of the poles is already on the ground.so we will need only few more poles for the roof. He also found a herdware at the nearby village trading centre where we shall buy/perches the iron sheets, all the nails etc. He negociated with the sales man and even the transport man.
Joshua also said that the village authoriy under the health department said that we must first put up a good pit latrine as soon as posible before we continue with any programe in this site. Because the church is already felloshiping/meeting in this place without a latrine which is a risk to their health. So that means our budget for the start has increased with about 400,000= euals 180 dollars.
The saints are very very grateful for the help and they are praying for us earnestly. They can't imagin what the lord is doing, its like a dream to them. I will send the photos later today. Son
Moving forward---June 17, 2014
We traveled safely with Joshua to Lusenke last Friday very early in the morning. By 9am we were already at the church-house site in Lusenke. The village men who are an experts in building pit latrine were already waiting for us at the site. We did the measuring for the pit right away. The pit measuring 3ft wide,11ft long and 25ft deep. The three village men then started digging the pit right away. We will build mud walls with iron roof and a mud floor or a concrete floor. Concrete floor will rise our cost for the latrine construction to 600,000 [250 dollars U.S.].
the dirt taken from the pit will be used to construct reinforced mud privacy walls about the latrine
Bishop Bita [Jimmy] in the Pit
Joshua at the pit------nothing tops a good "supervisor"
projected depth-----25 feet
Marking the land-----Jimmy and elders standing in the doorway-----can't you just see it?
The church women elders team had also arrived at the site. We left when they are cooking/working on food and we went with Joshua to see the framing poles. After looking at all the poles which was already on the ground, I realized we needed more poles. So we went ahead to pay for more 40 poles which will help in both the roof and wall. We then went back to the site. The men had gone about 7ft deep and the food was ready. We all had our meal and close the day with great joy for the miraculous work which the lord is doing in this place. We went to spend a night at the pastor's house about 2km away from the site.
We had a sleepless night as we were welcomed greatly by the bedbugs which sucked us seriously. In next morning when we removed our white sleeping attire which we were putting on during the night, both of us was full of blood spots. We had small swellings as well all over the body. Am wondering if you still remember the guests [bed bugs] you had in kamuli during our December conference last year? hahahahahaha.
marking the land---Joshua at corner left
Jimmy at the side entrance
After taking our bath and breakfast, we went to the site again and begin to work on the ground measurement for the church house while the men continued to work on the pit and the women prepare the food for us. We used a white lime to mark the lines after doing the measurement. We measured 20ft wide and 50ft long, with the main entrance facing the road and the second door along the right side of the wall, with three windows at the left long wall and two at the right.
Joshua, Jimmy and driver leaving the village for home via Uganda Public Transportation--------always reliable!
When we get back to begin the construction work, we shall adjust the size depending on the materials we will have. son Jimmy.
Lusenke Church-house construction
Friday, July 25th, 2014
Dear dad and all our friends,
Am so glad to let you know that the work in Lusenke is going on very well and its now in a final stage.
This time when I recieved again another great donation funds from my American Mom (sis Catherine Shelton), I managed to travel together with my son/partner pr Josua Mukisa to Lusenke to continue with the church house and Latrine contruction project. Within two weeks time, we were able to work on the house by the help of some trained village builders. Working from the first step of cutting the poles up to the iron roofing. As you can see in the photos.
preparing poles for the superstructure
poles for superstructure
placing the verticals
vertical poles set
setting the end structure
team preparing food for workers
the African tradition----cooking on the ground
fetching water with a borrowed bicycle
setting the roof structure
the trusses are set
starting to look like a roof
the roofing corrugated sheets arrive
the roof is ready to be covered
driving the first nail of the roof
ready for Sunday morning worship--------don't ya love that ladder----I think you can get one at COSTCO
We left their on 19th last Saturday in the evening after the roofing was done. I talked to the pastor on phone on Sunday evening after their Sunday morning Church meeting. The first church meetng in the new church house, they told me that ten people joined the church that day. The church which used to have only five members for over two and a half years and met under a small structure made of dry banana leaves and grass, then moved to their own piece of land under a jack tree, now has more than 15 members and meets in a well built and wonderful iron roofed house on their own piece of land purchased by Mzungu Mom Catherine. The joy, happines, praises to God and celebrations this church has I have never seen it before. They say ''its like a dream to them". This is the greatest celebration and special gift the Lusenke christians have ever seen. We all wish Ronald [the late Ronald Shelton] was alive and could be here together with his Catherine to celebrate with us and for everyone to see them physicaly!
Special HONOR to our beloved brother Ronald who went to be with the lord and to our beloved mom Catherine, for making this posible. Special thanks to our beloved Danny as well, for introducing us to many diferent beloving and suportive brethren from USA,UK and others. You will always remain in the hearts of Lusenke church forever. Even our children will live to tell the Lusenke testimony.
They are now working on the wall,leveling the floor and the compound. Am planing to go back, buy some timbers and make some benches because they are already in need of more seats. I will also work on the wall and roof of the latrine if the lord provids suficient funds. Then when my dad (Danny) comes to Uganda in October, we shall fix the windows and door for the church house together with him. Pr Jimmy.
Continued August 1, 2014
We traveled with Josua safely to Lusenke on Tuesday.
Concerning the Bicycle and Boda guys.: I worked on the bicycle isue, the bicycle guy recieved his bicycle parts necessary to repair his bicycle and greatly apriciated the boda-boda guy for the help. He is now fully healed from the traffic accident and is now happily back on his job with his bicycle restored like new. The boda-boda guy, in the same way, apriciated so much that we helped him after the accident. He is helping to fatch water for mixing the mud. I filled his boda-boda tank with fuel and add him some little money for the work.
Church house wall work.
We found the ribs have been put all round the wall and its ready for mud daubing. So they began to mix the mud while we were still around. By the end of next week the rough daubing will be done, then the smothing is done after another one week of drying process.
preparing the mud for daubing the structure
Bishop Bita and Pastor Joshua
We were not able to start make the benches immidietly because the good type timbers we need were not on the timber seller's stock. We have make a special order. The timbers are going to be cut with a special thickness and width and will have to dry for a while before we begin using them to build the seating benches.
One of the woman elders with much joy brought a goat in the worship service last Sunday to thank God for the amaizing things he is doing in their church/fellowship. They wanted to kill the goat for us but we told them to keep this goat untill you come and we shall make a feast of it.
mmmmmmmm-----beans and goat------rice and goat---------goat stew-----mmmmm
Joshua and Elders
Bishop and Elders
Am now in Entebbe. We traveled back safly on Wednesday. Son
Sunday, August 24, 2014
After Jimmy returned to Lusenke to supervise and assist with the final application of mud daubing from Wednesday through Saturday, the Church of Jesus Christ at Lusenke met for worship. Here is that report.
We had a wonderful sunday worship service at Lusenke church this morning. The church is full of joy and happiness, singing praises, and their mouth filled with enless testimonies. Son Jimmy
Friday, August 29, 2014
The iron roof and the mud wall looks very good. I believe with time it will get full. Regina is very happy with this wonderful works the lord is doing through us for the poor village churches. I often communicate with her when am away. She is doing fine with the kids.
service in progress
after Sunday morning service
From Thursday we have been working on the Church-house wall, out side all round, putting the final layer of mud. This village guys were not doing it the traditional way I want it to be. So I am working together with them to ensure good work. The wall will be done by this evening.
the first daubing is done
preparing mud for the final daubing
Bishop Bita adding the final layer------"mud pitching", a unique Ugandan sport.
globs of mud to complete the final layer
heaps of mud for daubing
Attention: American volunteers wanted to build a church-house.
On Site training.
Available hours----dawn to dusk, just show up----no call ins.
Nutritious meals provided in lieu of wages.
Bishop Bita and daubing crew----working into the evening
final daubing done
After ground water began to seep into the pit at seventeen feet of depth we had to cease digging and research the matter of "saving the pit" after our investment in time and labor. We found that two meters of compressed soil is sufficient to prevent bacteria from entering ground water. So, we will remove the cement cap, dip the water from the bottom of the pit and begin to back-fill the pit with eight feet of soil----compressing it as we go along. We will end up with a safe nine foot receptical.
From Jimmy: Now for the latrine------We have break the original congcret floor over the latrine and are now removing the ground water so that we may put back the soil so the sewage will be a safe filtering distance from ground water. We shall then replace the original floor with a mud floor over strong logs. I have perchesed the logs already but time will not alow me to finish the latrine work. I also have to raise some money first then come back to lusenke to do a whole work on the wall and roof of the latrine.
ground water at seventeen feet
Next I will also make all the seating benches for the Church-house. The lumber is alreay in place. I was not able to work on them this time because I went alone and the work was too much. I will send all the photos when I get back to Entebbe. Now I will travel to Banda village in Namayingo district on Tomorow morning for the ground work in preparation for the November conference. From there, I will travel back to Entebbe. Son
A push toward the First District Conference and Introduction of the Church of Jesus Christ at Lusenke