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Jambo! Alpha in Kasese

Last March Jambo! café’ threw open its doors for business. Nearly a year on, with the help of BMS World Mission worker Bethan Alpha course at Jambo! CafeShrubsole, three of the original Jambo! ladies, Alice, Eliza, and Moreen, are hard at work making their café a success. And they are so proud of their business.

What’s more, they are now realising their vision to share God’s word as well as God’s love with their customers through running a weekly Alpha course.

'We are happy because people from all over the world are coming here to know God and to get services they like, such as good food, at a place where they can ask questions they wouldn't ask in church,' says Alice, whose husband, Pastor Alfonse, is leading the Alpha course.

Since the course started in November it has been attended by people from all over the world including Brits, Americans, Germans and Ugandans. Although there has been just a handful of attendees at each session, everyone who’s come has been open to hearing more of the gospel which is really exciting for the women at Jambo!

One American man who has attended the course since it began says that he really values the opportunity to come to Alpha and discuss what he considers to be fundamental issues.

'It seems that when westerners travel, their minds open up to both new cultural and religious experiences and they leave behind the idea that discussing faith is embarrassing or taboo,' says Bethan. 'It is in this light that Jambo! hopes to help people meet Jesus.'

Jambo! has been receiving a steady stream of Western customers since its opening – from tourists who are passing through Kasese on route to see sights such as the Rwenzori Mountains, to regulars who are based in or near Kasese working with the Church of Uganda, Peace Corps or volunteering in the mission hospital. Some of the locals love it too.

Bethan believes God has provided these customers and given Alice, Eliza and Moreen opportunities to share their faith. 'Alice’s husband is a pastor and so he is always out evangelising,' says Bethan, 'and she could be seen to be ‘stuck in her café’. But actually God’s bringing people to her so that she can also take part in sharing the good news!'

The ladies are planning to host a Valentine’s night, featuring a movie and tasty heart-shaped treats, for all those who are single or missing loved ones at home. And on 4 March (pancake day) they are having pancake party to celebrate the café’s one year anniversary. Bethan’s also teaching the ladies how to look up recipes on the internet so that they can learn to make new, exciting dishes. It’s all go at Jambo!

Described by a satisfied customer as “a slice of heaven in dusty Kasese” on TripAdvisor (that’s right – Jambo! now has its own page) it sounds like all the hard work is paying off! Who would have thought that three Ugandan women in a little café in a small town in Uganda could achieve so much in so little time?

This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission

Sarah Stone, 14/02/2014
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