- Please read the following letter about what has been going on with KidsUganda and Maranatha -
What is going on with KidsUganda? April 2018
It has been over two years since we have actively promoted KidsUganda (“KU”). KU was formed in 2006 as an outreach ministry of the Community Church of Lake Forest & Lake Bluff, specifically to support the Maranatha School & Orphanage in Mityana, Uganda. In short order, KU generated significant interest in the local community, so we formed a separate 501(c)3 charity to house the program and help facilitate broader support.
Over the years, through volunteer leaders and generous supporters, KU has provided food, shelter and holistic education to countless needy Ugandan children under the leadership of Marantha founders Patrick and Eva Walusimbi and their team. Since the last Bright Night Benefit in 2015, KU’s primary focus has been working with Maranatha on financial and strategic planning. Our hope was to reach an agreement to guide our partnership into the future. Unfortunately, some new important financial planning, control and accountability practices were not being implemented or embraced by Maranatha.
On March 15, KidsUganda Founder Tom Dickelman and I notified Patrick and Eva Walusimbi by phone that 2018 would be the final year of our Maranatha partnership. The unanimous decision by the KU Board of Directors was not made lightly, and came only after a significant period of time, much debate, and heartfelt prayer. In short, KidsUganda could no longer enthusiastically support the direction or leadership at Maranatha.
The focus of KidsUganda moving forward is four-fold:
- to close our Maranatha relationship with grace;
- to reflect on our successes, failures and learnings;
- to celebrate the impact of KU, which will occur in part at a special Worship on the Beach service this summer;
- to take a step back and consider what the future holds for KU.
Thank you for your interest in and support of KidsUganda. If you have questions, contact either Tom Dickelman or me at your convenience.
David S. Andersen, President Thomas S. Dickelman, Founder
Because every child is precious
KidsUganda supports the Maranatha Integrated Schools Project in Mityana, Uganda. Providing this inspiring organization not only monetary support, but invaluable strategic support through cultural exchange.
Meet the man that has started it all and impacted so many people along the way, Patrick Walusimbi.
Did you know that our good friends at Bluffington's Cafe in Lake Bluff are generously donating 99 cents from each ice cream cone or cup to two charities: Beacon Place and KidsUganda! The goal? How about 10,000 ice cream cones - which means $5,000 for each organization. We are fortunate to have partners like Bluffington's.
So a special treat for you also means a lot of special things for some kids who need your help. Please stop in today for an ice cream cone today!
Here is a loving song performed by Jennifer Hall
"I wrote the song, Believe, in 2010 after spending time at the Maranatha schools in Uganda. My time in Uganda was short, but it certainly made a life long impact on me. The gratitude all the children had for life and for each other was absolutely beautiful. As the lyrics in my song state, “with so little possession, but so much faith to give.” When I returned home from Uganda, I realized I was feeling so heavy with emotion and I just didn’t know how to explain the power of this trip to others. In order to lighten my soul I decided to sit down at the piano and let the music take over. This is when I wrote the song, Believe. It was truly amazing; I sat down and the song was just there. I barely had to work at it because it was pouring out of me, and I couldn’t stop it. I wrote the song in one sitting. The song, Believe, expresses my feelings far better than I could ever describe in conversation or writing. “Where words fail, music speaks” -Hans ChristIan Anderson"