Fr. Peter Basaliza Mubunga Visits St. Joseph
By Dorette Headley
On Sunday, August 19, at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Queens Village, Bridge For Peace (West) hosted Fr. Peter Basaliza Mubunga, Roman Catholic priest who oversees the operation of the organization in Uganda, at a glorious celebration of God’s great and marvelous goodness to this small organization.
The evening began with a brief introduction of Fr. Peter (his first “live” visit) to the gathering by our Sister Annette Eckart who gave us a synopsis of what Bridge For Peace is doing in Uganda under the local directive and guidance of Fr. Peter. She then invited him to give an honest and sincere overview of the achievements.
He opened with prayers and outlined the amazing progress of the organization’s work and expressed the fact that the group has the blessings of the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda. Not only is Bridge For Peace recognized and acknowledged but Sister Annette has the distinction of being allowed to preach God’s Word from the pulpit of the local Roman Catholic Church with permission from the Bishop.
His brief report included an update on the general situation, but particularly the progress with the acquisition of the land for the building of the orphanage for the survivors of victims of many diseases including malaria but notably HIV-Aids which has plagued the territory over several years. This has left a huge chasm in the life of these infant survivors who grow up not having much hope for education due to poverty. Bridge For Peace has “stepped up to the plate” and has been providing scholarships so these kids can attend private schools.
The public schools have 100 or more students in a class with one teacher, thus resulting in inadequate teaching and learning. This year, there were 14 scholarships awarded and this has been matched by another agency making a total of 28.
There are also two nurses in training, thanks to the efforts of Bridge For Peace.
Fr. Peter delivered the message from God’s Word using as his text the passage from St. Luke’s gospel chapter 19 (the story of Zacchaeus’ encounter with Christ).
There were various testimonies from members of the gathering and Ed Eckart gave additional updates on the progress with the orphanage project including the fact that the lands around the orphanage would be cultivated with bananas to assist with providing nourishing food for the residents with excess to be sold to provide additional food items.
Bryan Carrott provided music for the Praise and Worship session of the evening and was returning from Uganda on a mission trip which involved mainly praying with the people of two opposing tribes in a search for peace through the intervention of God’s mercy. He reported on this trip to the gathering. Bryan had accompanied George McCormack on this trip at George’s invitation.
The evening ended with a lively praise and worship session, prayers and refreshment at a reception in the undercroft of the church.
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