Sarah and Simon Cawdell, Uganda

Sarah and Simon Cawdell, Uganda

Coming alongside local Christians, helping them to grow in their faith, teaching theology to local leaders and building self-sufficiency.

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After many years of terrorism by the Lord’s Resistance Army, which only ended in 2010, Gulu is a place where people are still dealing with trauma and want to learn more about how best to use their resources.

We are both called to help people grow in faith, in different ways. We are committed to working alongside the Diocese of Northern Uganda (DNU) towards their vision of giving local Christians the tools they need to live out their faith in all areas of life. Sarah is called to work with the staff at Archbishop Janani Luwum Theological College. Here, she will train clergy and readers. Simon will work with the diocese to help people in the church and wider community grow in faith and explore ways to build financial stability through agriculture and keeping livestock.

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Sarah and Simon’s story

Sarah will work with staff and students at the theological college to coordinate training and supervise students in the early years of their ministry. As she leads the college, Sarah will join the rest of the staff in seeking the guidance of the Spirit as she, fellow staff members and the student body (around 25 people from northern Uganda and South Sudan) learn from Scripture, pray and worship God together. As college students grow the food they need, Sarah hopes to encourage good agricultural practices alongside good ministerial practice.

Simon will work within the diocese to help disciple local Christians using resources designed for a culture where people don’t have easy access to books. Having previously worked as an economist, he will also work with communities in developing ways in which Christians and churches can become more financially self-sufficient. The area is rich in fertile land, which can produce food for the needs of a family and a bit extra to sell for necessities.

Sarah worked as a short-term mission partner with CMS from 1988 to 1990 in western Uganda and we have both long been aware of a call to mission. We have three adult children and are confident of our call to serve in these complementary roles. We are both priests in the Church of England and have served in rural parishes in south Shropshire for the last 24 years.

Sarah is excited by life and especially loves exploring the ways of God in the world. She is enthused by this calling to live on the edges in Gulu and work with both staff and students to develop a rounded understanding of what it is to be part of the Church in that place through prayer, study and work.

Simon came to faith following a profound experience of God in his late teens, which blossomed into a call to ordination. He first gained a degree in economics and worked as an investment analyst. He has combined parish experience and serving on general synod alongside three overseas mission visits. For him, this call draws on his experience of the wonderful economy of God and he looks forward to learning from local churches and working with them towards a deepening of Christian discipleship and greater economic development.

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