Any up to date reports from Ruti will be available from our magazines.
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 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 support 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 weekly finances.
Just before Christmas 2015 Richard Tusiime, wrote thanking us for sending some money towards the cost of their new toilet. It is the law in Uganda that each church must have access to toilet facilities. The long drop toilet that they had been using has started to collapse. Because Uganda is such a fertile country, many forms of wildlife exist, including termites. These are tiny burrowing insects that particularly like to chew their way up, inside, any wooden structure. The damage became so bad that the toilet door could not be closed. The church’s new long drop, brick built, toilet was completed in 2016.
In March 2020 Richard told us that termites have now eaten and weakened the wooden poles that support their church building. They are now collecting money to buy bricks.
In an email we told Richard about how UK churches prepare for Christmas. That we light an extra candle for each week in Advent and co-operate with the other island churches to sing carols in Hayling Island’s various care homes. It is quite different from the way Christmas is celebrated in Uganda. Richard tells me that most Ugandans leave the towns and return to their villages. This means that the town churches are usually empty but the village churches are bursting with people.
Ruti Church is the focus for roughly 13 other churches who meet regularly for fellowship, teaching and evangelistic meetings, Richard is their lead pastor. Please pray for them in their Christian ministry.
Modified by Geoff Hall on 24th May 2020.