Hospital ward and place of worship: New CURE Uganda chapel
CURE Uganda has recently completed construction on their new 200 person chapel. There was a groundbreaking and dedication ceremony in December 2019 back when COVID-19 was still just a phrase whispered in the news. Despite the global pandemic and the worldwide disruption of services, CURE Uganda and Gabikan Engineering, the contractor for the project, adjusted and completed the project in a manner that kept CURE Uganda employees, the construction workers, and – most importantly – the patients and caretakers safe.
The work of the Lord persists in the face of the Devil’s worst intentions.
“We had a very big need of a new place to meet and pour out our hearts to God,” Associate Spiritual Director Simon Peter Alelu said. “The chapel we had been meeting in could hold only 40 people and this made meeting together, as Christ commands, very difficult.” Indeed, the original chapel had been constructed over 20 years ago when we could not even fathom the ways the Lord was going to bless and grow our ministry. At the time, a chapel with a 40 person occupancy was more than adequate to host the regular staff devotions, chapel services, and spiritual formation classes. But over the years, the CURE Uganda staff has grown to over 150 meaning attempts to meet as a work-family became a regular game of Tetris. Seating would spill far outside the chapel doors.
With the new chapel complete, a new era of spiritual ministry for both staff and patients is on the horizon. “We are very grateful to God that now we will be able to sit together as a CURE family even caretakers and patients can join us and we can have a very good time to worship, all of us together.” Pastor Simon Peter rejoices. The new chapel allows the spiritual ministry staff to comfortably teach and speak to more of our community at one time, rather than preach to people stuffed into a space far too small for them.
The new chapel has also had unexpected blessings. CURE Uganda’s staff has not only grown over the last 20+ years but as the hospital’s reputation for excellence in the treatment of children with neurological conditions has grown, so has the sheer volume of patients seeking help at our facility. As a result, our ward has needed serious expansion and a larger ICU is under construction. Currently, the new chapel has been converted into a fully functioning ward since worship is taking place outside to observe social distancing guidelines. This blessing has allowed us to continue providing life-saving surgeries to babies in need during the pandemic, and the new ICU will help us treat more babies and children in the future.
God had a plan all along.
Furthermore, the new chapel is a billboard for the mission of CURE. The large, illuminated cross and the iconic slanted roof boldly proclaim CURE’s Christian principles to everyone passing by. “We are the only hospital in Mbale with a place of worship,” Pastor Simon Peter says. “The whole building is unique and lets people know this is a place where there is life. This is a place where Christ is.”