Subject: Notes of Hope

May has been a month of highs and lows for Mustard Seed.

From Rising Waters to Soaring Melodies

Dear Friend,

May has been a month of highs and lows for Mustard Seed. Raging floodwaters caused the lows. More than a foot of water turned Lukaya's highway into a river. A week later, a major bridge outside of town collapsed. This brought traffic and commerce to a halt. As the Monitor headline below indicates, Lukaya looks like it's deserted.

The image below was taken in the same area as the one above. The scene occurs many times a day when traffic is flowing from the Kenyan coast all the way to Rwanda and beyond. But not now!

Usually, street vendors mob busses. Trucks pull off the highway to rest and have something to eat. Tourists stop for a cold drink. The lack of traffic spells a crisis for many townspeople.

Thanks to you, Mustard Seed families have a safety net. There is still time to give during this crisis to make sure students can stay in school. You can go to the secure and easy donation page by clicking here.

Despite all the challenges, notes of hope can be heard at Mustard Seed. Keep reading...

Latest from Lukaya

Many Mustard Seed students were home for three weeks between school terms. But Secondary students remained at school for hands-on learning. In the picture above—baking. Below—computer skills.

Above, a tailoring class is excited to use the new sewing machines. Below, budding musicians are delighted to have their hands on real Yamaha keyboards!

Mustard Seed's chess team had a great experience at a huge competition in Entebbe. They excelled against much bigger and richer schools.

Kyembasa Ivan (second from left) won the second-place trophy for the whole tournament!


More good news—rabbits have been added to MSA's farm animals and are thriving.

We began new initiatives in sustainability in 2019. No one could have anticipated the Covid-19 pandemic, severe drought, an E-Bola outbreak in Uganda, historic flooding, and a major bridge collapse. It has been a learning process to find the right balance between the diversity of enterprises and large-scale farming.


Selling farm products will be challenging until the bridge is repaired and traffic begins to flow through Lukaya again. Still, the Mustard Seed team is innovative, and small profits are being made while important learning takes place.

Book Review

by Judy Dederick

What was your favorite childhood story? Cinderella, The Three BearsBatman? Our stories shape our lives and beliefs.  Kirabo, a Ugandan girl, grows up with the beliefs of her tribe's traditional stories, and they are very different from ours!


A Girl Is A Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a delightful coming-of-age novel through which the reader experiences traditional Ugandan life.  I couldn’t put it down. 

Click to continue reading Judy's review of A Girl Is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi.

Heartfelt thanks to Amy Straub and her company, Amy Straub Design. Amy’s monthly donations support skills education at Mustard Seed. With her generous support, students had the chance to use sewing machines. They learned to make dresses for little girls! Thank you!

Phyllis Ross and Michael Minard made a remarkable contribution to the music program. Thanks to them, six Yamaha keyboards and accessories are now available at MSA. Nurturing musical talents takes on wonderful new possibilities. 

Sharon Pierson and Bernie Milano have been tremendous supporters for many years. Recently, their generosity provided new technology. Ten new computers (some pictured in the computer lab above) and a much-needed copier/printer are now in use at MSA.

Sincere gratitude to all who helped children have “A Chance to Dance.” Mustard Seed’s dance troupe is ready to compete. Your kindness has brought joy and confidence to their lives.

Thanks to you for being part of this compassionate community. Together, we are creating a safe and nurturing environment and transforming lives!

Just for fun– did you know?

OBs are Old Boys, which is the term used for classmates after finishing school. Likewise, OGs = Old Girls.

The DH is the Dining Hall.

One of the OGs messaged me this morning, saying, "We are beginning our UAHEB examinations on Monday." I replied, saying it sounded important. 😉

Luganda is a challenging language for most Americans–add the endless acronyms, and it's a wonder we can communicate. It's humbling.

Dana and Kathryn Hiscock (Treasurer and President of RPU) will be on their way to Uganda in a few days. A week later, their son and his family will join them. Wishing them traveling mercies and a wonderful trip. You can expect to see some fabulous new photos from Mustard Seed soon.

Do you dream of visiting Uganda—perhaps to meet a child you've been sponsoring? There are many different ways this can happen. One way may be to join a small group going in the summer (2024). Feel free to let me know if you'd like to learn more.

With all my best,


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