Paul & Helen Shepherd
with Esme, Martha & Tabitha
Paul & Helen have living among the Karimojong people of Uganda since January 2017, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
80% of Uganda is engaged in agriculture. The healthy economy of the 1960s was crippled in 1972 by the expulsion of the Asian business community, and then virtually destroyed by tyranny and wars. It has steadily improved since 1992. Under previous government regimes there were restrictions on persecuted Christians, but there is now freedom of religion.
Karamoja is the poorest region in Uganda and the Karimojong carry the stigma of having the lowest status among Ugandans. They live traditional cattle-herding lives in small communities scattered across a harsh landscape.
Among this group of almost one million people, there are relatively few Christians, even in spite of the fact that churches can be found in some large towns. Sadly, most villages still remain untouched by the good news of Jesus Christ. Even in places where Christianity seems to have a place, the reality is that it is often nothing more than a veneer on the face of traditional African spirituality. This is due to the common belief that Christianity is incompatible with the Karimojong way of life. There is widespread alcohol brewing and consumption, family systems are often polygamous, and many people continue to worship ancestral gods. When someone becomes a real follower of Jesus they are often rejected by their families and evicted from the village.
Initially the Shepherds are living with their team in Kotido in northern Karamoja, spending the first six months of their time in Uganda building relationships and learning the local language and culture. After this, they will be working with churches and church leaders to encourage and equip the local church to reach out to its own people with the message of salvation. In addition, they will explore ways in which they can serve the community through using their medical skills both in the town health centres and in the manyattas (villages).
Could you partner with the Shepherds in this work?
Partner with the Shepherds
The Shepherds work in Kotido, Uganda among the Karimojong. They serve through healthcare whilst working with the local church.
If you would like to partner with the Shepherds in your prayers, gifts and practical support, please download and complete this form and return to Freepost RTJH-JRZE-XXKX Africa Inland Mission, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN.
For any queries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest prayer points
- 30 November 2018
Helen says: “At the Health Centre, things have been a lot easier, especially since Joe and Timothy have come in. They have been amazing, and now there’s a really good atmosphere there, and the staff seem much more invested in working there. That’s really helped me get a better work-rest balance; I was carrying a pretty heavy load there at one point and it was getting a bit overwhelming, really. So I have been able to rest – learned to rest – a bit more. Homeschooling has been going well, and I’ve started my Masters as well. Every Wednesday I have a full day in my hut by myself, and I’ve been enjoying my Masters… Please pray for people to come and join us here, because we’re looking for people to join the team towards the end of next year; we are especially looking for somebody to come and help me with homeschool. Please pray for somebody to feel the ‘call’.”
- 7 September 2018
“Wendy, an experienced AIM missionary and ethnomusicologist came to help us run [a song composition] workshop in a few rural villages. We wanted to create some Scripture-based songs in the local singing styles, and we particularly wanted to focus on some of the dancing styles that are so close to the hearts of the Jie [The Jie are the sub tribe of the Karimojong here in Kotido]. It was a great success, and we’ve already heard of some warriors demanding one of our church teachers teach them these new songs…please continue to pray that these songs would strengthen our rural churches and bring God’s Word to those who would not otherwise hear it.”
- 1 June 2018
“Helen has had a difficult month at the health centre with staff problems, corruption and money for salaries being delayed. She enjoys working there and loves the staff, but it has been tough. The last week has been much better and there are some encouraging signs of improvement. Please pray for wisdom for Helen in her work in the health centre and for deepening relationships with the nurses.”