Subject: Looking up

What a relief! Thirteen thousand dollars buys a lot of food in Uganda! That's how much you have given to date. With thankful hearts, full bellies, and some food in the storeroom, our Ugandan team is feeling optimistic. Prices have gone down slightly, and it has started raining. Everything is looking up again. Thank you!!

One of the perks of my job is hearing from Mustard Seed alums – those who are working and those who are enrolled in higher education. Today, I heard from Tasha (class of 2017, a primary school teacher), and I want to share with you her sweet sentiment. " and your team really did a great job of supporting us from nursery up to college. We are really grateful – you darlings." I also heard from Daniel, class of 2016, who's about to finish his degree in computer engineering. I wrote to him, "Wow, you have come so far!" He replied, "Yes, and I'm so elated and grateful."🥰 Daniel's the one with the big smile and blue shirt above.

You may have seen this post on Facebook about Dorica, another Mustard Seed graduate who has risen above her beginnings.

Dorica was in Primary 7 when Nate Atwater spent the summer in Uganda at Mustard Seed Academy. While there, in 2013, Nate made a video called A Place to Sing. While the school's campus is vastly improved today, the school's message as a place that nurtures and transforms hurting children remains. If you missed the video, you can click here to view it.

Dorica, Tasha, and Dan are just three Ugandans you have helped rescue with the Mustard Seed experience and are now leading productive lives. Weekly, we feature amazing young adults on the RPU Facebook page:

Latest from Lukaya

Dining in the Shade
At long last, students will have a nice place to eat out of the sun and protected from rain! The High Mountain Dining is almost completed (tables have been ordered) and will be ready for the new term. It's located next to the kitchen and will accommodate three classes at a time.  

Between terms: Time for cleaning, repairing, and gardening

All of the seventh graders and 'seniors' in high school are continuing to board during the school break as they prepare for their exams, which will be given in November.

Nearly seventy students from other classes are also staying at school during this break. They do chores such as sweeping, mopping, and gardening. They are happy to be together and where they are safe and sure of regular food.

In the photo below, some secondary students are cleaning the sidewalk by the Primary School classrooms. Like most American families, the Mustard Seed family has chores – especially during school breaks.


We are pleased to introduce a new feature on our website – monthly reviews of books and other media related to Uganda. And we are delighted to introduce longtime child-sponsor and enthusiastic partner Judy Dederick, Ph.D., as our reviewer. As a professor of psychology and a therapist, Judy devoted her career to teaching teachers how to understand and teach children and helping children and adults recover from anxiety and other psychological problems.

Judy writes: I have always wondered about the “back stories” of the Mustard Seed children.  At the same time, did I really want to know? Jessica Yu’s Garden of the Lost and Abandoned both answered my questions and affirmed my fears. I’m recommending it to you because it also gives me hope.

Click here to read Judy Dederick’s review of Garden of the Lost and Abandoned: The Extraordinary Story of One Woman and the Children She Saves by Jessica Yu.  Houghton Mifflin, 2017.  

What's Up?

Dana and Kathryn Hiscock and I (Elaine Griswold) are planning to spend the month of October in Uganda. We have a lot to accomplish including:

-Documenting progress on projects and the health and welfare of the children

-Photographing and interviewing students and staff

-Co-teaching with MSA teachers

-Celebrating the accomplishments of our P-7s (seventh graders) and S-4s (seniors) and wishing them success at a candidates' blessing and celebration

-Visiting MSA Grads now working or studying at different institutions

-Planning with the board of Tree of Life Ministries and Mustard Seed's leadership team

-Sharing with you what is happening at Mustard Seed. Stay tuned; we have something unique planned for you.

With three of us there, we hope to do more to communicate with you.

We'd love to hear from you, especially while we are away. It's great to feel connected while so far from home. Maybe you'll have a question we can answer while we are there. Let us know what you are thinking – how you are doing.

Communicating with students and teachers? We encourage you to send a card, note, or photos (to RPU, 5 Sicomac Rd, #203, North Haledon, NJ 07508)  for students and teachers you know or sponsor. It's always a highlight to see how excited kids of all ages are when their name is called for something from American friends.

Or send an email to RPU with your communications to the children and staff of Mustard Seed attached. Then, we will print them to be ready to deliver. You can find a template, guidelines, and suggestions for communicating with your student on our website: Click here. Please make sure we have your correspondence by September 19. This will give us time to get everything ready and packed.

Special thanks to the High Mountain Presbyterian Church for the new dining shelter! What a great addition to the Mustard Seed campus.

Huge thanks to all 48 donors who gave $13,000 to "Feed Mustard Seed!"  

Thanks to YOU for all you do to partner with us in supporting vulnerable kids in Lukaya, Uganda!

Just for fun– did you know?

Last month we asked what it means when a Ugandan says, "She digs for what to eat."

Perhaps many of you were too busy digging to reply 😉. "Digging" is almost synonymous with "gardening."  In Uganda, digging involves more than moving dirt; it encompasses watering, weeding, pruning, etc. Interestingly, even a vast field of maize or beans is called a garden.

For this month: "I love Irish." What is it that I love? Reply to give your guess. Hope to hear from you.😄

Your prayers, well-wishing, notes, comments, and questions mean more than you can imagine. We are in this together– changing lives!

With all my best,


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