Our Partnership with Ruti Church, Uganda
At the October 2010 church meeting our church decided to join in partnership with Ruti Reformed Presbyterian Church in Mbarara Uganda. The Romans One Eleven Trust links churches in UK with churches in Uganda and Zambia, so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. See http://romans111.org.uk/
In May 2010 and in September 2014 Richard Tusiime, the pastor of Ruti Reformed Presbyterian Church, visited our church to tell us how God had encouraged him to learn English, to study and gain a diploma in theology, via the Romans 1:11 Trust. In Ruti, a poor district of Mbarara, the church has grown through Richard’s ministry, from a few to more than 150 people in a short time.
Uganda is a small land-locked country in East Africa, with a population of approximately 44 million people. It is astride the equator, on a plateau 3,600ft above sea level with a pleasantly warm climate. Mbarara, the chief city of the South Western region, has a university and a 600 bed regional hospital.
Often many more than 600 patients are admitted; they sleep on the floor. Life for the average Ugandan is much simpler than in the UK. The family house is the size of a UK garage with often not more than 2 rooms. Cooking is done with a charcoal stove. Matooke (savoury banana), sweet potato, Irish potato, chicken, rabbits, fish, pineapple, mango, are typical foods.
Ruti is in the trading area about 3 miles from the centre of Mbarara so it has electricity and possibly water to outside taps. Five miles from Mbarara is the rural district of Nyamiyaga, where Richard is the director of the Spiritual Life Centre. There he trains pastors for Christian ministry. Here the buildings do not have piped water, and electricity will only be installed if one pays for the poles and wires needed.
Ruti church is vibrant and is helping their community. The church building is frequently used as a refuge for mothers with young children fleeing from alcoholic husbands.
In April 2012 Richard and Faith, were married. We were able to send money towards the bride price and gifts for their wedding. They now have four children: Timothy, Treasure, Philemon and baby Philip who was born in April 2020. As a pastor Richard does not get paid by his church. He and Faith supported themselves by office work, duplicating and party photography. In 2018 our church was able to help Richard and Faith buy the house that they previously rented. This is a major help in their finances.
Ruti Church is the focus for roughly 13 other churches who meet regularly for fellowship, teaching and evangelistic meetings, Richard is their lead pastor. Our church has been able to send generous financial donations that have been used by Richard and his fellow pastors to keep their existing church buildings in good repair and to build new churches. Typically their churches are built using wooden poles with either: matting, wooden slats or mud and wattle walls, with a corrugated metal roof. This provides shelter from the burning sun and from torrential thunderstorms.
Each year they attempt to organize at least one 4-day conference at one of their venues, to which they invite all the associated church congregations. They hire tents, sound systems, organize their own meals and sleeping arrangements. Richard and his fellow pastors send their heartfelt thanks for our financial generosity and prayers; it has enabled the churches to grow dramatically.
In March 2020 Richard told us that small wood burrowing termites have now eaten and weakened the wooden poles that support the Ruti church building. The congregation are now making bricks and preparing concrete foundations for their new church alongside their original wooden building.
pray for Richard, Faith and their family, also for all the churches associated
with Ruti. They have a wide Christian ministry in Uganda.
We have collected some of the short videos and
photographs that Richard has sent to us about their ministry in Uganda. They are shown here.
Modified by Geoff Hall on 12th February