by Gordon Skopnik
UGANDA – Queen is an outstanding and very capable community leader in one of the refugee camps of northern Uganda. Tall and slender, she has a presence and confidence that matches her name.
Growing up Catholic, she knew religion and some of the traditions of the church, but then something unexpected happened. After watching the Jesus film she actually encountered the presence of the Spirit of God for the first time and she gave her life over to the lordship of Jesus Christ. The local pastor, who is one of the team leaders with Serving South Sudan, has been investing into Queen’s life and leadership as a woman of God.
God has really used Queen to bring hope and transformation in her local district through a small community based banking program. Group members contribute a minimum of 5,000 Ugandan Schillings each week (less than $2 a week). The group has about 30 members, mostly refugees. With loans given out and fees incurred, the group makes up to $2000 US a year.
With this kind of income, the livelihoods of the members are completely changed. After the first year, Queen’s group was able to get their own deep well drilled, so as to provide water, not just for group members, but for the whole community. This last year they planned to buy a cow for each family unit within their group, moving the group toward self-sustainability. Most of the refugees in the camp are living with a “hands out” mentality, but people like Queen are helping them understand a “hands up” mentality lifting them out of extreme poverty.
The group meets together to plan, to save, and to learn the Bible and pray together. There is transformation that takes place both within the group and their families, but also within the community. The transformation is not only social and economical, but spiritual as well. Community members are hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and people are submitting themselves to the Lordship of Christ.
All of this is happening because of one person, Queen. She is an ambassador for the kingdom of God, leading in her community and the surrounding district. God is using her to impact more people than she could ever imagine.
Please pray that God would raise up more leaders like Queen, to impact their families, churches, and communities with the holistic Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Gordon Skopnik (Wymark) serves with Avant Ministries. The story is used with permission.