Our History (cont'd)

Our History - the River of Life Church – building and people!What does this mean for Robinah, Nakawuki and Kyesake? Masaka, 80 miles south of Kampala, has its fair share of street children. With a population of about 100,000, Masaka is the fourth largest urban area in Uganda, and historically one of the worst affected by HIV/AIDS. The River of Life Church, pastored by Duncan and Mary Kibaya, has been working with Masaka's children for over 10 years. "We received God's call to the children of Masaka when we were working with dropouts and alcoholics in London," recollects Mary, "I cried out to the Lord, 'Why? Why does it have to be like this?' I heard God direct us to street children, to prevent them becoming like the men we worked with." With trepidation and little more than the contents of their suitcases, Mary, a straight talking woman from Leeds, and Duncan, her Ugandan husband, established the River of Life Church in the heart of the poorest area of Duncan's family's hometown of Masaka: Nyendo, also home to Nakati's daughters.

As Uganda pulled itself back from the brink after the brutality of the Amin and Obote regimes, their limited resources were stretched to breaking point. "I had never seen people so desperate," remembers Mary. Duncan recollects the pain: "We had to look after so many, living hand to mouth. To be husband to a wife you cannot feed? It was so hard." Yet throughout that time, they testify to God's presence and provision. "Psalm 23 kept us going. We would see the words on the back of taxis, and even heard someone sing it in perfect English!" Although anxious to start working with children, it was obvious that they would first need to train and pray with the church to build up a team.

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