Abraham and Sarah had waited their entire married life for a child. Even after God promised them a son, they waited for many years. Then Isaac was born. Here was the promised one. Here was the one through whom God would bless the world.
Then God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. “What! I’m supposed to kill the child of promise?”
Hebrews tells us Abraham believed God could and would raise Isaac from the dead. In effect, Abraham did receive Isaac back from the dead, because when God stopped him from killing Isaac, he stopped a man fully committed to follow through on his decision to kill his own son.
Abraham believed God, and so was credited righteousness. Why credited? Because righteousness is God’s to give, not ours to earn. The same righteousness credited to Abraham is credited to us, not because we deserve it, but because we accept it.
Do you see why righteousness is a by-grace-through-faith reality, rather than a behavioral exercise?
“[Jesus] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).
We receive both of these when we, like Abraham, “believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead”(Romans 4:24).
Abraham could not earn God’s blessing by his own behavior. Look at his failures – Hagar, two different kings with Sarah – when he tried to “help” God’s plan. But he did receive God’s blessing when he took God at his word. Note those two words, “earn” and “receive.”
We simply cannot earn God’s blessing, but we can, by faith, receive the gift offered. Jesus’ resurrection guarantees it.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1, 2).
Because Jesus lives, I live. I have no fear of what tomorrow brings. Because He lives; His Grace abounds.
Happy to live peacefully: Drua Christine, 17-year old mother. Village 13, zone 3 Bidi-Bidi refugee settlement.
She left her village and travelled to Yei with her child. She then spent six days walking to the boarder, pushing on despite the hunger and hot weather. She brought nothing but a few clothes for her child and has started a new life in Africa’ largest refugee settlement camp.
The Bidi-Bidi camp hosts over 270, 000 inhabitants, the settlement was forced to close to new arrivals in December 2016, due to overcrowding.
Currently the most recently opened Imvepi camp is home to more than 55, 000 and is filling up fast with 2,000 average arrivals daily.
As long as Uganda offers a hospitable environment, the South Sudanese such as Drua can live peacefuly and return home once the civil war ends.
22-year old Viko Gloria graduated in January 2017 from the Skills Training Centre Skills Training Center of Welthunger Hilfe. She is now a co-instructor for the Carpentry and Joinery class at the center in Rhino Settlement in Arua District, Northern Uganda.
“My performance was good and that is why I was retained to teach. I am already earning a salary and I also plan to make furniture such as beds and roofing material for sale to earn extra income during my free time”. With this additional savings income, Gloria will be able to take care of her parents and educate her younger siblings.
Gloria was among the youth attaining livelihood and labor market relevant quality skills to create jobs and improve their standards of living. Gloria was the only girl in her class. Moreover, the class that she teaches currently has no female student neither, nevertheless with her recent promotion she plays a role model amongst fellow young girls.
She is one of the few nationals from the host community at the center. The Ugandan Government programme ‘RE-HOPE’ focuses on integrating both refugees and host communities in its programme ensuring co-existence.
The European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) through Belgian Development Agency (BTC) promotes skills development as part of the Support Programme for Refugees Settlements and Host Communities in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU). EUTF is supporting improved training programmes such the one Gloria graduated from. By working with national Ministry of Education and Sports BTC Uganda aims to ensure quality, standardization and certification of skills training for refugees and host communities.
Congratulations! On Tuesday 9th of May a photo taken by Josephine Omunyidde Zhane won in the Europe Day 2017 photo contest.
The winning picture shows a carpentry training in the Rhino Settlement at Arua district, which is part of the skills development project implemented by BTC under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund. Its aim is to sustainably improve labour market relevant skills to create jobs and enhance the standard of living among Northern Uganda’s refugee population and host communities.
First published on EUTF website: https://eutf.akvoapp.org
- Can contribute to local development and prosperity.
- Can be a bridge between cultures and between tradition and modernity.
- Have the interest, energy and passion to address issues and concerns, such as heritage management, sustainable tourism, local development and community involvement.
- Have affinity for information and communication technologies to network and transcend geographical boundaries.
- Are in the position to act as potent agents of positive social change that will yield greater economic and social well-being in the perspective of sustainable development for generations to come.
“My name is Esther Keji Nelson. I am a 17-year old mother of two children. I came from South Sudan in 2016. After losing my parents in the war, I dropped out-of-school and got married at the age of 14”.
Esther walks to Ariwa Primary School, 7 kilometers from her home in Rhino refugee settlement in the Northern Uganda district of Arua. She leaves her 3-year-old and 9-months-old children under the care of an elderly friend in pursuit for a bright future. “I decided to enroll back in school because the man I got married to cannot take care of me. Therefore, I must find means of earning to take care of my children.”
Esther is one of the 56 girls out of the total of 74 pupils enrolled this year in level 3 of the Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) implemented by Save the Children. Save the Children aims to enable out-of-school children back to the education ladder through remedial education, as part of the Support Programme for Refugees Settlements and Host Communities in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU) funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF).
Esther’s dream is to become an accountant one day. Through this she hopes to earn income, build a house and take care of her children. She advises fellow young girls to enroll back in school because with education their future is bright.
“My name is Kenneth Tako aged 26 years and I am a refugee from South Sudan. I was trained to become a trainer of farmers in February 2017, this is a dream come true!”.
“I am now the trainer for Munguci, Asante and Unity farmer groups in Wanyange village, Rhino settlement in Arua district, Northern-Uganda”.
Kenneth is one of the 10 trainers that underwent the Training of Trainers(ToT) in Participatory Agro Enterprise Development (PAED) Emergency Enabling Rural Innovation (EERI) livelihood approach. Each farmer group he trains comprises of 25 to 30 members.
Kenneth notes that during the ToT, he was trained on how to train other farmers in leadership, group constitution, approaches of mobilizing farmers, visioning, innovative agricultural practices for house-hold food security and self-reliance among others.
“As a trainer, I am targeting by mid-2017; at least 90% of the households within the farmer groups that I am training to have a kitchen garden that will improve their diet and also act as an income generating project for each family represented” says the enthusiastic Kenneth. As part of his role, he was given a bicycle to monitor individual households under the three farmer groups practicing the PAED EERI approach.
Kenneth was shortlisted after an advert by ZOA that required an agricultural certificate, reference letter from the Refugee Welfare Council (RWC), and a refugee native among others.
“I trained in agriculture but needed to practice the knowledge I gained and this is a great opportunity for me. I now earn an income to take care of my family. I hope to study further and contribute to the betterment of my community”.
Under the Consortium of NGOs led by Danish Refugee Council (DRC), ZOA is supporting refugee settlements and host communities in the Northern Uganda district of Arua (Rhino Settlement) to achieve home based food security, income and empowerment with funding from the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF).