Message from the Executive Director

We entered 2016 with uncertainty about how we would once again provide water to thousands of Ugandans following the end of government funding last March. But here we are, entering a new year by celebrating another 9,200 Ugandans served in 2016! A huge thank you to all of you who have made this possible!

On a personal level, navigating this transition has been both satisfying and stretching. At times, I’ve felt that my role requires more of me than I am able to sustain. In all of this, I’ve been led into a season of intentional vocational reflection and considering what the future holds for both me and for ACTS.

It’s through this reflection that I’ve decided to leave my role as Executive Director, following the June AGM in Comox, when we expect to introduce a new ED.

It’s been an honour to serve with ACTS these past three years, and I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to lend my perspective, gifts and energy in stewarding the organization, its mission and its services. I consider it a gift that my experience during this time has been instrumental in helping me hear my “inner teacher,” as Parker Palmer describes the soul, calling me in a different direction.

As I enter into the final months of my tenure with ACTS, I want to express my gratitude to each of you for giving so generously of your money, your prayers and your advocacy with others on behalf of ACTS’ mission in support of those thirsty for change.

Nate Lepp
Executive Director

Bwirambere Begins!

On November 24th, our team in Uganda broke ground in Bwirambere, home of our latest Gravity Flow System (GFS). The occasion was cause for celebration, with the local mayor, the bishop, health officers, community councillors, and other religious leaders all turning out. Bishop Nathan Ahimbisibwe gave a speech, telling those gathered that “where there is water, living things flourish.” The GFS will serve 6,000 people in the community of Bwirambere, which is comprised of five distinct villages and five schools. When completed, the project will include 13.5 kilometres of pipeline, two reservoirs, and 27 taps.

Back in the spring of 2015, we met Christine. Christine’s family spends hours every day collecting water from a swampdirty water that gave her mother typhoid. Her mother recovered, but only after a painful few weeks and an expensive trip the the doctor.

“When we get safe water at home, we will have a blessing of wealth.”

Christine, who is 22, is now studying business at Mbarara University so that she can fulfill her dream of starting her own clothing boutique.

She’s excited for the daythis spring!when clean water will arrive in her neighbourhood. “When we get safe water at home, we will have a blessing of wealth,” she says. Her family’s income will increase with the money saved from treating sickness and the time they’ll save from not having to walk to the swamp.

Talking to her neighbours, there’s a buzz of excitement. “They will start businesses growing vegetables and selling porridge and tea since they will have water to use near their trading centres,” Christine told us. “Teachers are happily saying that enrollment at their schools will increase.” Clean water is just the beginning. The time saved inspires growth throughout the community. Good health saves money and improves productivity.

Soon every single one of Christine’s friends, family members, and neighbours in Bwirambere will experience this giftall because of support from donors like you. Thank you for giving Christine and the people of Bwirambere the chance at a flourishing life.

Celebrating Richard Roberts

Over 30 Years of Service!

The ACTS team extends its deep gratitude and appreciation to Richard Roberts, who is moving on in April of this year, after over three decades of service to ACTS.

Richard has served in a number of roles with ACTS, including his present role as Program Manager. He has served as board member and board chair of ACTS, and has been instrumental in introducing two generations of leaders to ACTS.

Richard’s courage, pragmatism, mature faith and good humour have helped ACTS successfully navigate the complicated challenges of international development. He has ably led many of ACTS’ most complex projects, liaising with governments and partners in both Canada and Uganda. Working primarily from his home office in Langley, but visiting Uganda annually (often with his wife Jenny), Richard has planned projects, guided engineers, mentored volunteers, represented ACTS in churches and villages, negotiated with partners, and encouraged supporters.

“Richard Roberts is hard working, very open and straightforward. He likes a clean environment whenever he is in camp and we adopted that from him. I hope God will use him to continue serving in other ways.” —Richard Musinguzi, ACTS Project Manager

Of particular note are the relationships Richard has built in Uganda and Canada. Not only has he become a trusted leader and friend of ACTS’ program and construction teams, his rapport with Ugandan pastors, community leaders and citizens has lengthened and strengthened the bonds of friendship across continents. His impressive networks and bold ministry starts here in Canada, where he began a successful interchurch refugee ministry. Richard’s heart for service and his courage to enter unexplored areas have made him a true kingdom builder.

On behalf of his many friends and supporters in Canada and Uganda, we want to thank Richard for his long service and wish him and Jenny many blessings in the future.

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