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.
I have been so blessed with good news and also we experienced some challenges.
- I was chosen as Western Seminary’s Distinguished Alumnus for 2023. This was the most shocking but the most exciting news of my life.
- 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.
- My granddaughter Praise passed her Ordinary Level (Junior High) examinations very well. This year on March 5, she is beginning her Senior High School.
- My husband Sam is now officially a retired minister. This means he falls back on me for his financial needs.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)