October is a good time to think about committing yourself to attending one of our Church’s Home Study Groups. Enjoy sharing the Word, time for prayer, friendly discussion and good fellowship, not to mention tea and coffee etc. The Groups and times are as follows:-

Monday Morning Group:- Contact Elizabeth Duncan or Pat Parker for more information.

Tuesday Morning Daar Lodge Group:- 10.00am at Daar Lodge. Contact Graham Finch.

Tuesday Evening Group:- meets at 7.30pm. Contact Irene Robertson.

Sunday Evening Gathering:- Meets at 7.00pm - 9.00pm in Upper Room, Church Hall. Contact Alistair Simpson or Howard Brown.


Our Church member Hamish Waddell writes to us from Kampala Uganda about his experiences of another month in his life there;-

Dia Vandy is the son of Solomon Vandy, the fisherman in Blood Diamond. When the Revolutionary United Front attacks their village, Vandy is forced to work in their diamond mine and Dia is kidnapped to become a child soldier. Vandy then finds and hides the diamond shortly before Government Forces occupy the mine. The RUF (off screen) take back control.  The two are later reunited there, when Vandy and Danny Archer (the smuggler) find the diamond, and Archer’s former Mercenary colleagues take control of the mine. After Archer betrays and kills the mercenaries, Dia briefly holds them at gun point until Vandy reminds him of his family, his home and aspirations for the future. Dia then goes with his father and Archer to
safety. Archer later dies, giving the diamond to them.

Recently I met and have got to know a former child soldier for the Lord’s Resistance Army. His name is Amos and, akin to Dia, he too was forced to join. After escaping from the LRA, Amos lived on the streets. He regards both as a difficult time in his life, and feels happy that he made it but also sad because others didn’t. Now he works with children who lived in the slums, trying to
give them a new life away from the desperation and suffering. He does this via “Titans Katwe Junior Soccer Academy” and so gives them a skill to learn, and an aim to achieve; to be good at soccer (football!)

His project isn’t unique though as there are others who have an unpleasant past who do similar things. One example is Fred who actually lived on the streets the same time as Amos. Fred’s program is similar as he works with children in the slums and has a medical attachment run by foreigners. Fred concentrates on helping the children get over their addictions, getting them
places to stay and potentially returning them to their original homes.

We volunteers have been going to and helping out with Fred’s program for a long time now, and are good friends with him. We donate money, food, other items and of course time and love. We come from various places, have different backgrounds and experience, work in different programmes here in Uganda and have different plans for the future. But every time we go to
Fred’s program we, and everyone else there, wants the best for these children.

So it doesn’t matter who you are and what your past is. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived a difficult life or a privileged one. It doesn’t matter if you were in the LRA or Boys Brigade. If you have an opportunity to help others in need, I think you should.

Why? God? Your Heart? For the sake of others? To prove yourself? To give something back? Honestly I’m not exactly sure why I’m helping at the moment, but right now I can, which is good enough for me. And it’s my hope that that’s good enough for everyone else.

So to conclude. From Malteser International (Suubi Lyaffe bosses/partner) to Meeting a former child soldier. From Rafting on the Nile (again) to Rainy season. From Volunteers who have been here before to Visiting a mosque on a Sunday. From Street Children to sadly saying goodbye to friends who I’ve known since I arrived. This has been my second month in Uganda. This is part of my story.


Hamish, an IVHQ Uganda Volunteer


Back to School in Malawi

A Report from Gary Brough:-

It’s that time again when Facebook is awash with pictures of children all set for a return to school. Oversized uniforms show parents’ optimism that their children will grow into them before the knees and elbows are full of holes.

For us, there are a few weeks of holiday left before Eilidh returns to school. This week includes a trip to a seamstress in the hope we can eke out one more term for the school dress.

At the same time, proposal research has brought my focus to the plight of school-age girls in Malawi. It’s a stark contrast.
About a month ago we received a call at the office asking for help. A girl had gone missing from school, supposedly abducted by a young man for marriage. A colleague managed to get teachers, the man’s family and local authorities together and establish what had happened.

I remember clearly the picture of the young girls’ classmates. Just 12 years old. Halfway through her school career. A child, not a wife. To this day the girl remains missing.

Currently, our office is supporting a group of eight girls through education. They are orphans and as such at high risk of early marriage. Small grants have covered school fees, boarding fees and help towards the cost of uniforms and school supplies. Visitors from Scotland brought a gift from Nithsdale Church of Scotland Guilds which will buy the girls solar lamps so that they can continue with their homework and studies in the evening.

“Malawi has one of the world’s highest rates of child marriage, with half its girls married before the age of 18 and teen pregnancies contributing to 20-30 percent of maternal deaths in the country. The practice of child marriage condemns girls to a vicious cycle of poverty. They are forced to miss out on education (in Malawi, only 45 percent of girls remain in school
past [S2]), are rendered more vulnerable to violence, and forced to bear children before they are physically and mentally prepared.”

UN Women

The legal age for marriage in Malawi is 18. However, this has only been the case from February 2017. In parts of northern Malawi, more than 1 in 4 married ‘women’, are just children. Even without pressures to marry, girls are forced out of education because of period poverty, because they need to work or care for family members or simply because there are few role models that show the opportunities education can hold for girls.

So, this week will be one of contrasts as we with parents worldwide prepare for the return to school. Full of pride as we seek to encourage our children to do their best. Invested emotionally and financially in nurturing their aspirations and protecting the possibilities that education opens.

At the same time acknowledging that education is not a universal commodity and for too many girls it remains a luxury. That schools are not always a safe haven. That when poverty, culture and a lack of protection collide, girls are the ones who often pay the price. What they miss in stolen classroom days, they pay for throughout their lives.

Opportunities to make a difference are plentiful, resources, however, are not. For now, I have to find hope in the eight girls we are ale to help. I pray that proposal researching and writing turns into an opportunity to help more girls get access to justice and education. There are countless others fighting for the rights of girls in Malawi and worldwide. If you have a chance to help them, please do. As you pray for and encourage families returning to the school run, please do the same for families in Malawi and girls in particular.

Gary Brough


Our funds increased by £717 in the first 6 months of 2019 as follows:-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        £

Restricted Accounts (excluding Atkinson Place and Palmer Bequest)                  -1629
Designated Accounts                                                                                      7658
Unrestricted Accounts                                                                                    -5312

INCREASE                                                                                                        717

Note: Designated Account includes Bequest totals of £8,000 so the 'underlying deficit' for 6 months is £7,283.

On behalf of Finance Committee-2/8/19


(This “Thank-You” message from Rev. John Collard, our recent Interim Minister, arrived just after the publication of our last Newsletter at the end of June., so it is a little late in reaching you. Ed.)

“Many thanks to all who came to my final service at Kirkcudbright at the beginning of June and contributed to making it such a special occasion. It was lovely to have some of my family there to also share it. A particular mention to Addie for her work on a truly memorable cake –  wonderfully decorated and savoured by many, and also to the team responsible for the lunch after the service that day. We were quite bowled over by the very generous gift of £1000, to which so many of you contributed. Thank you. We haven ’t yet decided what to put the money towards, some of it I think will go to charity and the balance spent on something that reminds us of Kirkcudbright.

We continue to remember you all in prayer and in particular pray that in the Lord’s timing the right person will
be called to the settled ministry of the congregation ”.

John Collard