Kingsway Fall Newsletter – October 2023

Dear Friends of Kingsway Christian High School,

We greet you in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ! We heartily thank you for your continued prayer, encouragement, and financial support.

We have successfully closed school for second-term vacation for three weeks. Most of our children have gone to their homes and relatives! Term 2 was very difficult because food prices soared to three or four times higher than at the beginning of the year! Through you, the Lord fed us through the term. For this we cannot thank God enough!

School News

My daughter Comfort is traveling in northern Uganda, following up on our past students and collecting their stories. Students have been very happy to reconnect with Kingsway and share how it has changed their lives.

Reward is working on the Ministry of Education requirements for Uganda National Examinations, which will take place at Kingsway from mid-October to mid-November. This will be the first time our students are sitting for the national examinations at Kingsway since COVID! Pray for us for the resources for running the national examinations, which are always very expensive.

Staff and Building News

We employed four new teachers: an English teacher, a biology and chemistry teacher, a geography and entrepreneurship teacher, and a physics and mathematics teacher. We are still looking for another cook to employ to replace Godfrey. We are also looking for an assistant teacher to help out with Comfort’s subjects.

For the girl’s dorm we’ve completed the most difficult part of the project, installing the roof slab between the floors. We still have some work to do to finish the ground floor and the new toilets for the building.

We were able to install solar panels in the staff residence (below) and we will  do so soon in the examination hall too. Having electricity and lights to study and grade papers in the evening is an answer to prayer for our teachers and students, especially as national exams approach.

Challenges and Prayer Requests

Frequent Power Blackouts

We need funds to install more solar lights at school. In this past term, we had frequent power blackouts, which left the school in total darkness.

The Girls’ Dormitory

We need to finish the girls’ dorm so we can register Kingsway as a boarding school. This will help us to avoid problems with Ministry of Education.

My Travel to the USA This Year

Thank you for your prayers for me for a visa. I did get the Visa to travel to the US in October. I will be in the US from October 12 until November 29 and hope to see some of you. Please pray for me for safe travel to the US. We will send an update soon about US travel.

We thank God for each one of you, remembering you in our prayers for your labor of love for Kingsway, especially for feeding us and providing an education for our vulnerable orphaned children. Your labor is not in vain. May the Lord reward you greatly!

Milly

Celebrating Progress on the Dorm

Work on the girls’ dormitory has been ongoing, persevering in spite of rain and power outages and lack of manpower at times. They still need to plaster and paint the interior and finish the floors inside before the students move in. But things are getting done.

Finally the students were invited to come over and check out the progress.

The girls were pleased to imagine living in their new home:

And the boys were very happy with the dorm too!

Fun on the Football (Soccer) Field at Kingsway

Some of the girls’ team

Kingsway has been teaching children to train to succeed and building confidence and teamwork by having both boys’ and girls’ football (soccer) teams . They have had a great year so far!

Teamwork is great fun!

In the first term they played against two other schools and won both times. This term they have two more games.

 

 

You can enjoy one of their post-game victory celebrations below.

They arranged with one school that the boys’ team would play against their girls team, just for fun. The boys didn’t take the game too seriously until the girls started beating them! At the end the girls won, 2-1. You can imagine the shouts of joy.

They also had a game between the students and Kingsway’s teachers. The teachers’ team didn’t have enough players for a team so they invited some Kingsway alumni to play with them. But the students still won in the end, 3-2!

Kingway’s teachers look confident that they’ll win
But Kingsways’ student team looks pretty tough!

Their uniforms were donated by Milly’s son Hope Feni, to give the school some team spirit and allow them to look polished when playing other schools.

Kingsway is currently working on improving their sports programs, because sports are very popular with students in Uganda. If you would like to donate towards this project, go to this page.

They are also asking for donated sports equipment in west Michigan, while Dr. Erema is visiting the US in October/November 2023. Contact kingswayministriesuganda@gmail.com for more information.

Dr. Milly Maturu Erema earns award from Western Theological Seminary

Amazing news!

Dr. Milly Maturu Erema has been named as the 2023 Distinguished Alum of Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, USA. She attended the seminary from 2000-2001 , where she earned her Th. M. (Masters of Theology).

Here is the article that Western Seminary published about her:

Distinguished Alumni 2023
Rev. Dr. Milly Maturu Erema ’01

Rev. Dr. Milly Maturu Erema ‘01 was one of the first students from Uganda to study at Western Theological Seminary. After she received her Th.M. from WTS in 2001, she was ordained as an Anglican priest. With her husband Sam Erema, who is also a priest, she co-led St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Okuvu, Uganda, for several years. She then earned a Ph.D. in 2018 through Asbury Seminary and became one of two women in Uganda to be ordained and to hold a Ph.D.

For almost twenty years, Dr. Erema has been a lecturer and professor at Uganda Christian University, teaching Hebrew, Greek, Church History, Theology, Youth Ministry, and numerous classes on the Old and New Testaments. She has had an enormous influence on Uganda’s future pastors by lecturing and overseeing their graduate work. She guides and grades their thesis research and evaluates their pastoral skills in their field placements.

Dr. Erema has also been active in addressing women’s issues. She has spoken at clergy conferences on the struggles of women in ministry in Uganda. In 2023, she will publish her first book, Tears on the Altar: The Challenge of Clergywomen’s Ministry in Biblical Perspective, which discusses the many biblical texts that support women in ministry.

Overcoming Adversity

Dr. Erema’s career has been marked by significant barriers and challenges. In her early years, Dr. Erema’s home in northern Uganda was devastated by two horrific wars that ravaged her family. As a teenager, she lived as a war refugee for almost two years.

During Idi Amin’s reign in the late 1970s, she was just thirteen when her father died, and her mother suddenly needed to raise nine children on her own. Soon afterward, they lost their home, forcing them to travel on foot to Sudan, where many succumbed to disease and death.

Dr. Erema’s parents had been teachers, and she was always at the top of her class. Rebels forced schools to close when she was only in eighth grade, so she spent years away from school. While raising her six children and working to support her family, she studied independently to finish high school and pass the national exams.

Educational Journey At WTS

During her time at WTS, Dr. Erema studied in the Th.M. program under the supervision of Dr. Tom Boogaart, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament. Dr. Boogaart recalled his amazement at Dr. Erema’s intimate understanding of the ancient world when she took his Old Testament course, attributing her connection to her heritage as one of the Lugbara people, who, until 50 years ago, lived much as Ancient Near Eastern peoples did.

“Sometimes, you encounter a person and a life so astonishing that you are moved to a deep respect and appreciation for the individual as well as a deep gratitude and praise to our faithful God. Dr. Erema is one such individual. WTS is privileged to have been a part of her educational journey. We are so pleased to honor her as the Distinguished Alumni of the Year.”

– DR. FELIX THEONUGRAHA PRESIDENT

Kingsway Christian High School

When Dr. Erema arrived in Michigan in 2000, another war had broken out in northern Uganda. Her mother and brothers’ families were sent to an internal settlement camp for their safety. She was studying at WTS when she learned that rebels had overwhelmed the camp’s guards and killed many inhabitants, including four of her brothers. This meant that she would be responsible for educating her brothers’ 22 orphaned children.

Because of the need to educate her nieces and nephews, the Eremas established Kingsway Christian High School in 2008 with the help of several churches in Holland, Michigan. Additionally, the money that Dr. Erema saved from doing work-study at WTS paid for the land where Kingsway was built! Since 2008, the school has rescued hundreds of other youth who endured the horrors of war. Kingsway has paved the way for many young people to get a strong, faith-based education and find employment. It continues to redeem lives today.

From Tragedy to Blessing

Dr. Erema has also helped heal northern Uganda by working with a charitable organization to bring Ugandan doctors to host temporary medical camps in her area. After all the wars, no medical facilities remained in her hometown. In response, she and other pastors ministered to the crowds and shared Christ’s love. The grateful townspeople gave her land to establish a permanent medical clinic there, a project she continues to oversee.

Over the years, Dr. Erema’s unstoppable faith in Christ has turned her family’s tragedies into blessings for thousands of northern Ugandans. Western Theological Seminary is delighted to be able to honor her through this award.

To learn more about Dr. Erema’s work at Kingsway Christian High School, visit KingswayUganda.com.

May 2023 Kingsway Newsletter

Kingsway has ended its first of three school terms, and here is the latest news from Dr. Milly.

MAY 2023 NEWSLETTER

KINGSWAY CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL

Milly at Kingsway on Palm Sunday

Dear Friends of Kingsway Christian High School, we greet you in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

We sincerely thank you for continuing to stand with us in prayer, encouragement and financial support.

This is the time we can look back and see the far God has brought us! Surely this far, the Lord has brought us! The Lord has comforted us with 1 Samuel 7:12

“Thus far the Lord has helped us!

Over the past Term 1, we have truly seen God’s continued care about every aspect of our lives, and of the children at Kingsway. Right now, we look back and marvel at how the Lord has carried us through the term, with 63 children finally coming to study! Certainly, we can say, Ebenezer!

Our Term 1 closed for a break on May 3. Term 2 begins on May 28. We have 3 Terms per school year. Most of our children have gone to their relatives and others to their families for first term break, which is officially three weeks. There are five girls and thee boys who remained with us at school because they have no families to go home to. Two of the girls said they will go to see their relatives in the last week of the break.

My daughter Comfort and my son Reward, who do much of the work of teaching classes and running the school, cannot take a break. At the very beginning of the break, they started traveling to Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) headquarters to restore our examination center, which was not functional during COVID. This week they are registering our Senior 3 and Senior 4 candidates for their Examinations. This is a very hectic time for them!

Your prayers are very much coveted for Comfort and Reward this time.

Comfort with two girl students

Class Achievements

All our Advanced Level students: both Sciences and Arts students are on normal progress.

Senior 4 students are on serious preparations for end of year Uganda Certificate Examinations.

Senior 3 students started preparations for their DIT exams, which will be done this year.

Second term will be very busy with preparing the candidate classes for the national Examinations. This will go hand in hand with regular class lessons.

Here the students are studying and reading in the school library. Our tables can only accommodate 20 students, which means it is difficult for many students to do research in the library at the same time. In the next term, we plan to make more tables for the library.

Fun Playing Football (Soccer)

This past term, both girls and boys have had great fun playing football (what Americans call soccer) against teams at other schools. Check out their joy in the video below from their games at St. Andrews school, when the girls tied 0-0 and the boys team won 2-0! They have yet to be beaten by another school, so they are very excited. They will have two games this next term.

Girls’ Dormitory Building

The carpentry work for the last portion of the slab of the dormitory was completed this week. The builders are now doing the metal work. We are left with pouring the slab.

Last term we were blessed with much rain. You might think we would be happy since last year was a very bad drought. But this created problems for building the girl’s dormitory. Since Kingsway School is on the slope of Kituuza hill, it was very difficult to take building materials uphill. This delayed the finishing of the planned work on the girls’ dormitory.

Members of the Sub-county Education Committee came inspect the girls’ dormitory in March. These people threatened us with a tax they have not disclosed. They said they were going to work it out, and they will send to us the tax-bill. Pray with us that God will direct them to tax us fairly.

Progress, but slowly because of the rain…

Staff News and Employment

We have advertised three places for employing new teachers.

    1. Teacher for English
    2. Teacher for Biology and Chemistry
    3. Teacher for Geography and Entrepreneurship
    4. We are looking for another cook to employ to replace Godfrey. Pray with us.

NB: we are doing interviews for teacher selection next Saturday, please stand with us in prayer, that God can direct us to select according to His will!

Palm Sunday at Kingsway

Challenges and Prayer Requests

Health challenges

In term 1, we had a number of health challenges:

    1. Shaban (Senior 4) was cut by a broken glass. It was a serious situation, which kept him at home for one full month.
    2. A number of students suffered from malaria, cough and flu.

Although we managed to handle the sick students at school, it took a lot of money to fully treat the children. This made treatment one of the highest expenditures in the school during term 1.

Transport Challenge

Kingsway has no vehicle to help us with transportation. When we go out to purchase foodstuff and materials for building, we end up hiring vehicles, which are very expensive. And also, the lack of a school vehicle has limited us from transporting students who could live at home and come to school daily.

Most times we end up using bodaboda (motorcycle) transport. This is very risky transport system, which sometimes ends up in fatal accidents. Nevertheless, we continue to be amazed at how God in so many ways is taking us through these challenges one by one. And we rest in the certainty that He will continue to do so.

Frequent Power Blackouts

Because of the frequent rainstorms, many times in during this past term we had power blackouts, which rendered the school in total darkness.

We pray that the Lord will provide us with finances to install solar panels in the school to provide us with alternative source of lighting in times of power blackouts. Also, electricity is expensive so this would save money over the long term too.

Uganda is on the Equator and receives a lot of strong sunshine, so solar panels work well here.  It will cost about $1800 to equip each building and we have six buildings that need solar panels.

Some Prayer Requests

Please join us in thanking God and praying for the following:

•  We thank God for the people He has brought for his service at Kingsway.

•  Pray that God will give our students good health and good minds when they return to study for the next term.

•  Pray with us that, God will bring the persons of His choice to come for the job interviews, and that He will direct us to select the persons for Kingsway, according to His will!

•  We thank God for this far He has brought us with the construction work. Continue to pray for us that God helps us to speed up the work of the girls’ dorm, so that, we can register Kingsway as a boarding school. This will help us to avoid problems with Ministry of Education.

•  Pray with us that, the Lord will provide finances to install solar panels in the school to provide for us during times of power blackouts. Pray also that God would provide for a school vehicle so that transportation of our goods and students can be affordable.

•  Pray for us that the Lord will continue to provide the finances needed to meet all the school requirements.

My Travel to the USA this Year

Please also pray for me for as I am seeking an American visa to travel to the US in October. It is not always easy for us in Uganda to get an American visa. However, this time, it is Felix Theonugraha, the president of WTS, who is trying to get a visa for me to come as a visiting scholar to the seminary. Pray that God will reward his efforts by granting me the visa.

Along with being a Visiting Scholar at Western Seminary, I will be giving a presentation at the Evangelical Theological Society Annual meeting in November.  I submitted a proposal called “Reading Psalm 82 from a Ugandan Contextual Perspective” which was accepted! I praise the Lord for this opportunity. Please pray for my research and preparation for my talk.

As always, we thank God for each and every one of you, and for all of the ways in which you have prayed for us, encouraged, and supported us. Ebenezer!

Hearty Thanks,

Milly.


Educating girls for the Future


The girl’s team celebrates victory!

Celebrating Palm Sunday in Uganda

A year ago I (Lois Tverberg) had the most amazing time celebrating Palm Sunday with Milly in her home area in northern Uganda. It was truly special to celebrate Jesus’ triumphal ride into Jerusalem with Christians from across the globe. It felt like the whole world was praising Christ as its King.

We even sang “All Glory Laud and Honor,” the traditional hymn for Palm Sunday that goes back to 500 AD!

They have interesting traditions here – you needed to buy your palm before you got to church, and there were people selling them up and down the street.

Everyone seemed to be carrying them, even guys on motorcycles had them.

We bumped into one of Milly’s former Kingsway students, Trinity Yikiisi. This lovely young lady had graduated from university and was now looking for her first job. You can read her story on this page.

Clothing Drive Culture Shock

When Milly visited the United States in the fall of 2022, she returned to Uganda with multiple suitcases of donated items. It was a huge blessing to have clothing to bring back for the community at Kingsway, and we are so grateful for the generosity of the churches who participated in the clothing drive.

As Milly was sorting t-shirts and pants to take back with her, she was startled by the size of some of the garments which were donated. Why are American clothes so big?

It was because churches assumed that she would need them. In the West, poverty can mean surviving off food stamps, which usually buy cheap processed food. It is difficult to find healthy food options on a tight budget, so many become obese. This causes discrimination against people living in poverty, raising health concerns along with financial struggles.

Poverty in Uganda, however, is different, Milly pointed out. You never see a poor person who is overweight or obese. There the struggle is to find any food at all, regardless of its nutrition level.

Americans hardly realize the great blessing we have here, that regardless of one’s financial status, it’s not hard to avoid starving. We have a strong social net here. Conditions are much scarcer in Uganda. Many days people eat just one meal, and it is unclear where the next will come from.

This isn’t just true for Uganda. “Have you eaten?” is a common phrase for small talk in many countries in Asia. It’s the first thing a person says after greeting a friend. We chat about the weather, but meals are what much of the world chats about. It’s always good to check and see if a person is hungry, they assume.

It’s hard to imagine a reality where food is scarce and expensive. Gaining perspective is always the first step, and from there we ask the Lord to give us open hearts to how we can help. Donating to a clothing drive is a wonderful way to do that (thank you to everyone who did!), but it just might come with a bit of culture shock.

Update Letters from Milly Erema

Milly and her family have had many blessings and challenges as they have worked to get a new academic year started at Kingsway this past month.

Milly wrote an extensive letter to friends of Kingsway that you are welcome to read at this link – with pictures (pdf.) Her shorter family update is below.

 

Family Update

I have been so blessed with good news and also we experienced some challenges.

Blessings

  1. I was chosen as Western Seminary’s Distinguished Alumnus for 2023. This was the most shocking but the most exciting news of my life.
  2. I am publishing my first book in life. A publisher approved the manuscript of my first book ever for publication. This is a great achievement for me because I have struggled to publish this book for many years.
  3. My granddaughter Praise passed her Ordinary Level (Junior High) examinations very well. This year on March 5, she is beginning her Senior High School.

Challenges

  1. My husband Sam is now officially a retired minister. This means he falls back on me for his financial needs.
  2. Our daughter Comfort fell sick with Typhoid fever for a long time. This brought a lot of anxiety and some pressure on the family because she became very frail.
  3. Reward injured his already frail back while carrying timber for building the girls’ dormitory. Reward was unable to walk for two weeks! Reward’s situation caused delays in the progress of the construction because he is the chief purchaser of the building materials.
  4. Slow progress in building the girls’ dormitory. When the Engineer and his workmen left for Christmas, the Engineer lost his father. Due to the long time he spent at his father’s funeral, many of his construction men found new jobs elsewhere. Getting them back to continue with construction took a long time. And up to now he has just got a few of them. Others are still working elsewhere. This situation has delayed the completion of the girls’ dorm.
  5. Lack of beds and classroom furniture. We have unexpectedly admitted more students this year. This has been caused by the influx of children coming to Kingsway. The reason for this influx is:
    1. After COVID many private schools struggled financially and closed. Hence children who studied in the schools which closed are looking for new schools to continue with education. So many came to seek admission in Kingsway.
    2. Last year’s drought caused an increase in prices of foodstuff causing most schools to increase their School Fees. Most schools increased their fees so much that many financially struggling families ended up sending their children to seek admission in Kingsway.
  6. The Ministry of Education’s demand that all Secondary Schools must introduce one Industrial Subject in school. This is any hands-on subject, such as Welding, Carpentry, Weaving, Soap and Lotion making, Brick-laying, Pottery, Bakery, Tailoring, etc. These Subjects require some good money to buy the requirements. There needs also to be money set aside to pay the instructors. This is a serious challenge for Kingsway financially.
  7. Introduction of Senior High. Some of our last year’s children have now reached senior high level this year. We have about 5 students studying Sciences and 5 studying the Arts. This situation forced us to employ 4 more teachers. We may also need to employ 2 more part-time teachers to take care of specific disciplines in the combinations of these students. This will require some extra money for paying the extra teachers.

~~~~~

(Note from Lois:  There are a few details about the influx of students that you should know. Last year Kingsway had only 20 students because they were on the brink of closing after COVID (40-50 students used to be normal). Our financial help during the year made Milly prayerfully decide to enroll 30 more students to return to full capacity in 2023, which I thought showed remarkable faith.

But Milly got a surprise as the new term was beginning this year. A flood of needy families came with children who had absolutely no other options, because Kingsway is pretty much the only school left in Uganda that will help orphans now. They decided to take an extra 20 students on top of the 30 they had enrolled, which will stretch them to 70 students, well beyond their capacity. They simply couldn’t ignore the critical human need in front of them.

If you want to hear more about the implications of this decision, read Milly’s update letter at this link.)

Moving Into Kingsway

In Uganda, the new school year starts in February, so Milly and her team, especially her family, has been very busy in preparation for the students to return. By the grace and provision of the Lord, Kingsway is ready to begin another semester.

Over the past few weeks, students have been arriving at Kingsway, some returning and some new, many of whom have never stayed away from home before. Beds for the dormitory are still scarce, so many students have brought their mattresses from home, if they have them.

Rice is a treat here in Uganda. As a celebration and welcome for the arriving students, they enjoyed rice with their meal, but first it had to be cleaned of rocks that may have contaminated it during its growing and processing. In this photo, girls sort through the rice to prepare it for a meal.

Meanwhile, other students walk to the community well to collect water for the school. Unfortunately, the well at Kingsway has been unable to provide enough water for all the students and faculty members, so the students must travel a distance to draw water at the community well. Please pray that the Lord would provide resources for a sustainable pump to be built at Kingsway.

Even amidst scarcity, the Lord has continued to provide. The Kingsway community has a constant faith and dependence upon the Lord, day by day, and He has always come through with all that is needed. We ask that you would continue to lift up Kingsway in your prayers as they enter a new school year. In particular, please pray for the safe arrival of each and every student, steady progress on the girls’ dormitory so that students can move in as soon as possible, and sustaining energy for Milly and her team.

Progress on the Girls Dormitory!

After months of prayer, planning, and preparation, we are excited to announce the progress that is being made in the construction of the girls’ dormitory! The new school year at Kingsway begins on February 6, so the girls won’t be able to move in right away, but after many hurdles, the Lord has finally opened the door for construction to begin.

An engineer is currently putting together the slabs, which will create the ceiling for the lower level of the dorm and the floor for the upper level. This takes a lot of time and expertise in preparation for pouring the slab, since this will be an essential part in the stability of the building. Meanwhile, builders have begun to dig septic tanks for the restrooms.

 

Right now it is the rainy season in Uganda, which can make transportation especially difficult. Trucks get stuck in the mud when they are arriving with deliveries of building materials, and this slows the work that can be done. Nevertheless, the foundation is being built, and we are rejoicing in the headway that is being made.

   

Please continue to lift up Kingsway Ministries in your prayers! Pray for smooth transportation of building materials, safety for workers, and sustaining grace and wisdom for Milly and her team of administrators. Also pray for all students and teachers as they prepare to return back to school.

 

Latest News Blogs