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22 December 2011

Book donations build up Ugandan libraries

Book donations build up Ugandan libraries

In just two months 80 new libraries have been created in Uganda, where there is a real lack of good Christian literature.

Richard Smart has been travelling to Uganda for ten years so knows firsthand what little resources they have. Each time he has travelled there he has taken books with him, and also shipped books at other times through Tools With a Mission (TWM). During the latter half of 2011 he teamed up with four other Christian organisations - Sovereign World Trust (SWT), Lance Lambert Ministries, New Wine Press and Derek Prince Ministries - to expand the work.

Each contact was made through a previous one, until the whole initiative snowballed to enable the creation of so many libraries by the end of the year. "Because I enjoy reading Christian books so much, I like to buy books that I can give to Ugandans to read too," said Richard.

Richard managed to get many people involved with what he was already doing. In June 2011 he was introduced to SWT in Tonbridge, Kent. They gave him over 3,000 books. "I had already read quite a few of them myself so I knew they would be a great blessing to many Ugandans," he said.

Richard SmartOne book given was Jacob I Have Loved by Lance Lambert. Richard emailed Lambert and told him that he was sending many copies of his book to Uganda, and then received an email back asking if he would like any copies of another book Lambert had just written. He gladly welcomed the book and within a month he received three boxes containing 100 copies of Lance's latest book.

"SWT told me about another organisation, New Wine Ministries, that were happy to sell me books at a discounted price for the Ugandans," he explained. "So one day I travelled to their warehouse and purchased quite a lot of their books to send with all the others.

"A few weeks before I last departed for Uganda, I shared with Derek Prince Ministries what I was doing and inquired as to whether they had any books they might like to pass on. They were very pleased to do so and agreed to send me some books."

The books Richard collects are all shipped out to Kampala, put into smaller sets of books that are then sent to villages to enable church pastors to be able to create their own libraries - which they would never be able to afford otherwise. Richard counts it a real privilege to be able to co-ordinate this initiative, which will really help Ugandan Christians grow in their faith. As one individual he has already made such a difference, but he believes that the growing work has only been made possible through "the love and generosity of people here in the UK".