Oakseed Ministries International supports indigenous ministries in sharing the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and ministering to the poorest and most neglected urban communities around the world. Oakseed accomplishes its mission through strategic partnerships with local ministries, assisting partners in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ while caring for the poor and facilitating pathways to break the cycles of poverty and addiction through prayer, counseling and training, capacity building, and financial support. Oakseed believes that the gospel is a whole gospel, addressing the whole person, and that mercy ministry adorns gospel proclamation through practical demonstration of the love and mercy of God.
As Dr. Rick Horne, Oakseed Ministry Liaison to Africa and the Dominican Republic, says, “It’s a cup of water in the name of Christ. It’s not just a cup of water, but it’s in the name of Christ.”
Rev. Sam Oluoch, Oakseed Ministy Liaison to Africa, says: “If we have to think in terms of posterity, those are the people we have to nurture: the ones that are dying of hunger, the ones that are dying of lack of proper healthcare, the ones that can’t go to school. You know, even in ministry, when we think of pastors in the future, they must be schooled to be able to read and understand the word of God.”
Poverty as the Primary Reason for Illiteracy
In an update to Oakseed about educational support, Bibian Baralemwa, Ministry Leader of Jars of Oil Mission Africa (JOMA) in Uganda, writes:
Thank you for supporting us with school fees for the vulnerable children who would ordinarily not have an access to education. School in Uganda is not free, and it is extremely difficult for poor families in Uganda to afford the cost of sending their children to school, and as a result these children miss out on a vital education and end up in casual labor and other odd jobs at a very early age, usually exposing them to a very risky lifestyle and a recycling of disease, poverty, and desperation. According to the UN, three out of every four children who enroll in primary school in Uganda will drop out, and only three out of every five of those who finish primary school will make it to secondary school. We in JOMA are praying that each of the children we support end up in a better place. A place where they can take care of themselves and their families, and, best of all, be able to testify and be living examples of God’s goodness. Although education is a basic human right and vital to breaking the cycle of poverty, it is still out of reach for so many children in Uganda!
Poverty is one of the leading causes of the lack of access to education in Uganda. The Ugandan government has made efforts to improve access to education by providing free primary education and infrastructure upgrades. Efforts have been made to make tuition free, but many families struggle to meet their basic needs and cannot even afford the costs associated with schooling, such as uniforms, textbooks, and other fees. This financial strain often forces parents to make difficult decisions, to choose between sending their children to school or withdrawing them altogether. Often, parents with limited resources opt to send their sons to school instead of their daughters, resulting in a higher illiteracy rate among women than among men. Lack of education then perpetuates the cycle of poverty, making it difficult for individuals to secure stable employment and provide for their families as adults. It also contributes to other social issues, such as violence and crime, as individuals without access to education may turn to illegal means of income generation. Addressing poverty and promoting access to education is essential in breaking this cycle and building a better future for Uganda’s children.
Oakseed’s Role in Making Education Accessible in Uganda
Oakseed Ministries International partners with Jars of Oil Mission Africa to provide access to education, supporting orphaned children by sponsoring school fees for the children who would ordinarily not have access to education, breaking the cycle of illiteracy, unemployment, and violence. This equips these orphans with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed. Oakseed also provides additional support to JOMA, including resources for child evangelism and discipleship, assistance to home improvement recipients, medical care, income-generating projects, and other programs to help the children’s families thrive in their community. Through this initiative, Oakseed and Jars of Oil Mission Africa are transforming the lives of children in Uganda, giving them a brighter future and opportunities to break free from the cycle of poverty.
We are grateful to God that 15 of the children we support are back to school and we are very encouraged by their interest and progress they are making with their education despite the challenges they face everyday as AIDS orphans. The need and demand is much greater. We have so far received over 200 requests for school support which we at the moment are not able to handle.
Keeping the Children in School is a Challenge
Once the children are enrolled in school, additional challenges include motivating them and keeping them in school. Baralemwa writes about this dilemma with some of the children and JOMA’s desire to help them carve their own future.
We are sad about J___, S___’s beautiful daughter, who has shown no interest in going back to school despite our efforts to get her and her parents to understand the importance of an education for her. We hope that she is able to get some skills training to help her earn some income. We visited the school where E____’s three boys go to. All three boys had been advised to repeat their classes. Knowing this may not be of very much help to improve their performance, we negotiated with the school to offer them remedial classes. And engaged with Esther and we hope she will support her sons better to ensure they attend their classes more regularly.
We are praying and making every effort to keep the children at school, to get an education enough to help them get a decent career to sustain themselves. This however comes with its own challenges. Many of the universal primary “free education” government public schools perform very poorly. Most of these schools are understaffed with children left unattended for long hours. These children end up failing national exams meant to promote them to the next class. The private schools that teach and attend to the children better are a lot more expensive.
Despite the challenges, JOMA remains steadfast in its mission to support the education of Ugandan children, recognizing that education is critical for these children’s futures, working tirelessly to provide them with the resources and support they need to succeed. Through its programs and initiatives, JOMA continues to help improve the lives of children in Uganda, empowering them to pursue their dreams and achieve their full potential.
Faith and Patrick
Faith and Patrick’s admissions to two different schools are a testament to how the Lord is using JOMA to bless the children in their community. Despite the challenges that may come with sending children to school, the Lord has rewarded their efforts. Faith and Patrick’s stories re just two examples of how JOMA is making a positive impact in the lives of children and families in their community through service and sharing of the gospel.
Bibian proudly wrote the following about Faith and Patrick:
Faith was offered a place in senior one in a private Secondary School…located in the town of Amuria. We are taking a leap of faith for Faith to join the boarding section trusting that God will provide for the subsequent terms.
Patrick wasn’t accepted into the school of his first choice, but has been accepted by the school were he sat his Ordinary level exams. He has today 5/03/2023 received his admission letter into A level, to study Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics. He hopes to report to school before the end of the next week.
Bibian also writes :
We believe that education is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty and disease. Education is a lifeline to these children who previously had no opportunity to have an education. JOMA is already having a positive impact on the children and our aim is that our efforts and resources don’t go to waste and that these children will grow up with a solid spiritual and education foundation and be able to gain employment in the future.
Prayers for JOMA and the Children of Uganda
Of course, education is not an end in itself. What these children need most is to know and trust in the Lord as their savior, the One who provides for all of their needs and who will rescue them from their greatest enemies, sin and death. As we celebrate JOMA’s successes and their efforts to provide education and support to children and families, our prayer must be that the Lord will cause His word to be sown in hearts, bringing them to faith in Him. As the children grow in knowledge in school, our prayer is that the Lord will use that to draw them to Himself and that they will learn to depend more on him for their every need and find comfort in His presence.