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August 20, 2014

Dear Friends

God is up to BIG plans all over the world and we are blessed to be a part of what He is doing in N. Uganda!  We know that it is succeeding because of God's Spirit though we are few and weak who started a new adult literacy adventure this year.  

God says not to despise a small beginning for His eyes rejoice to see the work begin.  He was referring to the building of the temple in Jerusalem, but it also applies to anything that God's Spirit begins. 

Zecchariah 4: 6-10  (NLT) Then he said, “This is God’s message to Zerubbabel:[a] ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty—you will succeed because of my Spirit, though you are few and weak.’ Therefore no mountain, however high, can stand before Zerubbabel! For it will flatten out before him! And Zerubbabel will finish building this Temple[b] with mighty shouts of thanksgiving for God’s mercy, declaring that all was done by grace alone.”*

Another message that I received from the Lord said:

“Zerubbabel laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. (Then you will know these messages are from God, the Lord Almighty.) 10 Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin...

I'll try to use the bullet method to make the update easier to read.



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1.  "Learning to Read to Read the Bible Program":

  • The future of the Lango Tribe people of N. Uganda, illiterate because of a long war, now becoming readers, is looking brighter by the day.  What started out as a dream to teach several hundred people to read in their own language by the end of 2014, and produce 1,500 readers by the end of 2015, has become a tidal wave of people clamoring to have classes in their villages.

  • In January this year, our Hands Across Nations team of 9 people; 6 Ugandans, 1 Congolese, and 2 old Americans (Keith and Carolyn Jones of Chewelah) started writing the 2 primer books in the Lango language.  By February, the drafts were completed, and the first teacher training workshop was held.  52 students became literacy teachers and teacher trainers and we were off and running.

Many women, just like these from the Boke School Adult Literacy Class, are learning how to read which will change their lives forever as they read the Bible and other great literature which will be translated into their language.


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  • This is a remarkable program developed by Literacy and Evangelism International.  We call it "Learning to Read to Read the Bible" as it has a Biblical basis, as learners are introduced to Christ and to simplified Bible stories through the 72 lessons.   All non readers are invited to join the classes.  The teachers are ordinary people, who are believers in Christ and who can read.  They must have a heart for God and for the poor and be willing to teach without pay.

  • Because virtually all charities in Uganda have employees who receive quite nice salaries, many said this method would never work - no one would work for free.It seems they might be wrong as we now have more than 350 volunteer teachers and over 1,670 learners in the classes!  Most are held in mud hut churches with dirt floors and grass thatch roofs miles out into the bush.  We now have over 77 classes with at least 2 teachers per class.  Teachers are telling of their joy at seeing their illiterate neighbors and even their family members learning how to read.  It is worth more than gold to them.

1,000 copies of Primer book #1 have been printed, with thousands more needing to be printed.  The local print shop in Lira can't keep up with the demand so we have researched how more books could be printed for a much lower cost. 

  • An industrial strength printer using 220V, plus all the stapling equipment and a person to coordinate folding and collating  the books, for the demand we are now facing, would cost between $4,000 to $5,000.


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  •  With a printer belonging to Hands Across Nations, 4 books (Primers #1 & #2, Pilgrim's Progress and the Learner's Bible) all in the Lango language, can be printed for the price of one Primer from the print shop.  They would be printed more quickly and they would be of much higher quality.

  • Hands Across Nations not only provides the books for learners and teachers.  We also provide the materials for the classes: flip charts on which teachers draw lessons, colored markers, tape and abbreviated "Bibles" which contain the verses used in the lessons.

  • Plans and strategies are being planned to help each church or charity to have a self sustaining program.

  •  As this tidal wave expands, more funds are needed though the cost to produce each new reader is quite small.   We believe this will be a culture changer from corruption and thievery to industriousness and caring for each other.  So many years in the refugee camps has taken a toll on their character and lifestyle.

Keith just purchased 30 sets of teaching materials such as the ones used for Ceaser, one of our teacher trainers.  HAN will be well prepared for the new classes and those to come in the next month!  Who would have thought there would be such a far reaching effect from such a small beginning.   

 2.  GREAT Fund Raiser Coming Soon!

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  • On October 11, Hands Across Nations will have its fundraiser dinner, music and auction at the Chewelah Civic Center.   Last year's extravaganza was a huge success and we hope to make this year even better.  A limited number of tickets will be available.  Stay tuned for more information and put it on your calendar, SATURDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 11, so you won't miss it!   We need helpers for cooking and serving the dinner, setting up and taking down all the tables, chairs and equipment, and people to donate quality items and theme baskets for the live and silent auctions.

3.  About Keith & Carolyn 

  •  Keith has remained in Uganda to carry out and oversee the literacy program expansion and will return just in time for the fundraiser.  Carolyn is home in Chewelah, taking care of planning for the fundraiser and giving free informational presentations to local churches and groups about Hands Across Nations work in Uganda. 

God Bless all of you for being a part of this – we never stop thanking Him for each of you and your prayers, effort and contributions to making this program possible.  I hope you don’t get tired of hearing the words of appreciation – our vocabularies are not large enough to express the enormity or your part in bringing Life to people struggling for decades.  Together, God stretches our abilities, strengths and finances to complete His work.


Sharing the love of Christ in practical ways,

Carolyn and Keith

You may send emails to each of us at:

Carolyn: carolyn.jones@handsacrossnations.com

Keith:  keith.jones@handsacrossnations.com

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