David & Heather Sharland

Last Updated: Monday, 18 January 2016

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Serving with the Church Mission Society (CMS), they are based in ARUA, North West Uganda, working with Bishop Joel and church leaders for the diocese of Madi and West Nile.

David and Heather have a calling from God to work with the rural poor, vulnerable and marginalised. This call has taken them to serve for more than 25 years in East Africa. Over this time, both have gained a wealth of experience of rural community development work and they share a deep love and commitment to the people of Africa.

 
Sustainable living is about relationships and David and Heather strive to maintain good friendships with the local church and the community in which they live.
 
 
They have a particular passion for:
Farmers caring for the land and practicing good agriculture 
The improvement of women’s health, especially mothers 
Trees in the farming system to regain the balance in the environment 
A better hope of survival for babies 
To see a deepening faith outworked in daily life, affecting home and family.
 

Before moving to Arua they worked in the diocese of Lui in South Sudan for 10 years.

They both have a vision to see individuals equipped and empowered to use their God-given talents to benefit their families and communities.

Found in Translation from Heather Sharland on Vimeo.

 

David is an agriculturalist and enjoys teaching people how to make the best use of local resources. He teaches how to use local plants as natural medicines, how to farm fish, to produce a rich source of much needed protein, how to keep bees and produce high quality honey, how to grow a wider variety of fruit and encourages farmers to farm their land sensitively, to maintain fertility and avoid erosion. With the changing climate, he encourages the use of drought resistant crops, such as soya and sorghum.

In the diocese he helps on the model farm - Eden farm - and the archdeacons are excited about the CHAI programme which means he brings teaching and training to their archdeaconries.

Farming is a challenge because of loss of soil fertility, environmental degradation and unpredictable rainfall. Tobacco growing and beer brewing are tempting sources of income for poor farmers.

Heather uses her midwifery skills to teach and promote safe motherhood and child health among women. She also enjoys Health promotion among school children.

She is a memebr of the Health Board, which oversees the health strategy and vision for the diocese. Through the CHAI programme she trains the health officers in each archdeaconry to help them to teach the local people.

Uganda is the "youngest" country in Africa. It also has the highest teenage pregnancy rate. The number of young girls getting pregnant after finishing Primary 7 is a major concern for the diocese. Working with the Women's Department, Heather is developing clubs for teenage girls, where they can be taught about a biblical approach to relationships and inspired to live pure lives and have a positive impact on those around them.

Latest news and prayer points

David & Heather have been looking at next year's work plans. 

Pray for wisdom and energy with so much still to be done this year, and for planning for next year.

Heather is involved with family planning training in the last week of September. Ugandan women on average have 7 to 8 children.

Pray for her as she teaches and for the mothers attending the training sessions.

David has been running a Young Farmers Club in school to teach the youngsters good farming skills and to encourage them to make best use of the land to produce a good harvest. This has taken the form of a competition and the children have been enthusiastically tending their plots. The time is now here for the judging of the best team.

Pray for the young farmers, that they will take the skills learnt here into their adult lives, and for David as he judges the best team.

Please pray for a good harvest for the people living in West Nile Diocese, Northern Uganda.

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Pray for the thousands of young trees that have recently been planted around the diocese, that they will be well tended and flourish, helping to provide food for the people, and prevent soil erosion.

 

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More information

Their link person at St Leonard's is Mel Mullen.