Meet The Kiwanukas
One couple who is changing the lives of many women in Uganda
In November of last year I had the privilege of traveling to Uganda to meet Fred and Judith Kiwanuka. They hosted me at Divine Holistic Ministries (DHM) in Jinja, which they founded ten years ago.
Though I’ve been to various countries in Africa many times, this was my first trip to Uganda alone. And as a solo traveler, I was relieved to see Fred and Judith waiting for me as I walked through the airport doors! From the moment I met them, I knew I was in good hands.
Cultural differences melt away when you experience the reality of being part of God’s family, a connection that knows no boundaries! His presence was tangible and close to our hearts, from the 7-hour drive from the airport to Jinja till when we parted company six days later.
Fred and Judith have served the Lord for many years, first in YWAM and now as the founders of DHM. Fred was an electrical engineer who, after a near-fatal accident, left his profession to follow the call on his life. He is now a seasoned minister who is bearing much fruit!
As director of the Victims of Sexual Violence Ministry, I was especially interested in learning about Women of Hope, founded by Judith 10 years ago. Women of Hope was birthed as one small group that met each week, and has now multiplied to many groups throughout Uganda. Their annual conference in 2017 was attended by over 1000 women!
Women of Hope exists to help meet the challenges our sisters in Christ face. Extreme poverty, HIV, rape, spousal abuse and alcoholism are a part of many participants lives. Most, I learned with sadness, have a childhood riddled with pain and suffering beyond comprehension. Judith brought me to share at a different group each day and I was amazed by the strength and beauty of these individuals—despite the suffering they experience! Emotional support, fellowship, prayer and counseling are producing a good work in hearts and lives, and spiritual growth is taking place.
In addition, Women of Hope (through Divine Holistic Ministries) provides registered savings accounts with meticulous record keeping so women can bring their hard-earned income to a safe place for “wealth” to accumulate. This is a necessary step to alleviate poverty for these women, especially those whose husbands would squander it on alcohol.
Not only does DHM provide weekly fellowship, they have also founded six churches and two schools. Children as well as grandchildren are sponsored by DHM to attend their schools in two locations. A grade is added each year and will serve the children through 8th grade. How blessed I was to meet the students and see the classes in action right there on their home base!
Divine Holistic Ministries is a force in the community of Jinja as they reach out to be an influence for the Kingdom of God. Their ministry is set on a hill, which they later learned had been a location for child sacrifice. Truly, our God is a redemptive God! How blessed we are to have a part in all they are doing for the Lord.
God bless you as you strive to bear fruit for His Name!
Director, Victims of Sexual Violence Ministry