South Hayling URC

Our Partnership with Ruti Church, Uganda

Any up to date reports from Ruti will be available from our magazines.

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 typically in Malawi, Uganda and Zambia, so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 

In May 2010 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 32 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 southwestern region, has one of Uganda’s four universities and a 300 bed hospital.

Often many more than 300 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 small UK garage with not more than 2 rooms. Cooking is done with a charcoal stove. Matooke (savoury banana), sweet potato, Irish potato, chicken, rabbits, pineapple, mango, are typical foods.

Ruti is in the trading area about 2 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, where 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. They started a school for people who cannot afford the normal school fees. The school also offers teaching experience for trainee teachers.

On 14th April 2012 Richard and his fiance, Faith, were married. We were able to send gifts for their wedding and money to provide water for the church and other repairs. Please see the articles in the church magazines.

Just before Christmas 2015 Richard Tusiime,  wrote thanking us for sending £500 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 through any wooden structure. It’s my guess that they are responsible for the collapsing wooden toilet. This is now so bad that the door cannot be closed. The church is able to use the facilities at the adjacent school, but Richard tells me that the smell is really bad. The church’s new toilet is being built using concrete and Richard will send us some photos when more work has been done. 

In our last 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’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. 

Richard's son Timothy will start school for the first time in February 2016. Also, his wife, Faith is expecting their second child in February or March this year. Faith had a difficult pregnancy with their first child Timothy. Please pray for her and the new baby.