All posts by ChrisWillB71

Freedom in Recovery – Zambia Independence Day celebrations

Shiloh Hands of Hope celebrate

On the 24th October each year the people of Zambia celebrate their Day of Independence following British colonial rule, and in 2019 Shiloh Hands of Hope, through funding from the Potter’s Wheel, brought together the Recoverers groups along with their families, to celebrate their own special freedom.


Crowds of recoverers and their families celebrating together

The program has grown considerably thanks to the dedication of Pastor Lackson and his team.

In addition all the 12 Step literature has been translated into Tumbuka, the local language, and has been copied so that it is now widely and freely available..

There has been increase to 14 Recovery groups with over 200 members, spread over 10 communities; not to mention the groups comprising spouses and families of those afflicted.

Family fun

Chipyola Recovery Team after Independence Day celebrations

The day of celebrations consisted of many activities, but a main event was a debate on the topic of whether or not illicit drugs should be made legal. This discussion would clarify for all present the suffering and loss associated with the abuse of chemical substances; of lives and relationships ruined.

On a cheerier note, testimonies were given by people whose lives had been transformed by God’s grace, by means of following the 12 Step program. This was not simply restricted to those set free from their addiction to alcohol, drugs or gambling, but extended to spouses and other family members who had reached reconciliation through following the steps.

Food and fellowship

Celebration lunch

The day was made enjoyable by provision of an excellent lunch and once this had been digested there were sports which included cycle racing, football, volleyball and netball.

Recoverers cycle race at Independence Day celebrations October 2019

Telling others about hope and healing

Shiloh Hands of Hope were joined by members of other organisations to enjoy the day, who would learn of the power of the healing process and of lives, families and communities transformed.

Members of various organisations joining with Shiloh Hands of Hope to celebrate freedom

A great Day was enjoyed by all – no beer –  just laughter, fun and fellowship.

To God be the glory and the praise!



Outreach in Uganda – September 2019

Pastor Stephen has shared news to say that the groups remain active, and he has started teaching in a place called Wandago; the nearest big town is Jinja, 10 km away.

Wandago is very well known in Uganda for brewing and distilling. Many of the local people have become addicted.

Once the beer has been brewed it is heated in stills to produce a potent spirit called waragi.

In addition to the teaching Stephen is providing one of his team has established a church there.

Kingdom Growth in Uganda – July 2019

Pastor Stephen writes:

There are now 22 groups meeting together, based in nine centres.

  • The groups in Mayenze have increased by three and the spouses group has divided, as they were advised at the last visit. They are active with their projects which include drama, brick making and breeding pigs.
  • Some people come from distant areas, which allows Pastor Stephen the opportunity to establish new churches.
  • Lives and relationships are being healed:  a girl from Mayenze has rejoined her family home and returned to school;  one who was in prison is now sober and works in a hair salon;  in Bugema a husband who was a Muslim has recovered and accepted Jesus as Lord;  a wife and mother called Sharon who had left home has returned to her family; a young Muslim couple have married and are living peacefully with their first child; a man who used to drink now uses the money to educate his children, giving all the glory to God.
  • Pastor Stephen re-visited Sigunga, where on the last visit in October 2018 teaching was impossible because the drunkards
    Pastor Stephen teaching in Sikunga
    July ’09 – Pastor Stephen teaching 12 Steps in Sigunga

    who did not want the teaching played amplified music and beat drums very loud. This was particularly frustrating as the community was very remote and difficult to reach, with treacherous roads and steep inclines. Nevertheless Stephen made the hazardous trip and was successful, teaching not only those with the problem and their families, but also local pastors. The son of

    Trainees with copies of the 12 Steps
    Pastor Stephen with local pastors and recoverers holding copies of the Twelve Steps in Sigunga

    one of these pastors has returned to home and to his school; he is now working with Pastor Stephen giving his testimony and taking photos.

  • The new groups which were started last year in Magale are doing well with testimonies from two people who were addicted to both drugs and alcohol. One has returned to school and is showing promise to the extent that he has received Government sponsorship for a course of study.

Pastor Stephen has a vision to grow the ministry to operate from 14 centres, increasing the number of groups, and establish new churches.

May the gracious Father who we love and serve grant us to see success as He brings this into being. May there be healing and freedom, in Jesus’ name.

Growth in recovery – June 2019

Pastor Johnstone continues to work diligently supporting 11 recovery groups both sides of the border between Uganda and Kenya. This is most remarkable as the average distance he has to travel to reach each group is 120 kilometres!

The number of members has now grown to 93. Sixteen have achieved sobriety, in terms of being sober for more than six months, and five have come to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

In addition 3 brewers of beer have changed their ways and found other means of livelihood.

Akuuru group
Pastor Johnstone with recovery group in Akuru, Uganda. Recoverers are holding their copies of the Twelve Steps

Here is Pastor Johnstone standing with the group at Akuru, Tororo, Uganda having supplied copies of the Twelve Steps to members of the group.



Another group in Boresha, Kenya have also received copies.

Boresha group
Recovery group in Boresha, Kenya with copies of the Twelve Steps

Mbale & Tongaren 2018

In October 2015 we had journeyed with George and Diana Franklin to Mbale, Eastern Uganda and over the border to Kitale, Western Kenya to teach and set up addiction recovery groups in seven communities.

Now, three years later in October 2018, there was opportunity to return; to re-visit the groups with Pastors Johnstone Kapa and Stephen Nambako, as well as to start new ones!

Recovery and Growth

  • The groups were found to have increased both in size and in numbers. In Mayenze, for example, the two original groups had become five.
  • Wonderful testimonies were given of lives that had been changed and of healing of family relationships
  • Recovery was not restricted to alcohol abuse, but also of heroin users. A group of 16 young people who through use of this drug had become involved in fights with other gangs, sometimes with the police, had formed a church which meets three times a week; they now give dramas at schools and churches to raise awareness and warn of the problem. They had not been present at our first visit, which shows how the message can roll out and transform.
Mayenze drama
Heroin overcomes enacting drama at Mayenze church
  • Pastor Johnstone has been elected to the County Alcohol Committee and has formed a relationship with the District Officer who accompanied us on our visit to Tongaren Vocational Training Institute that Johnstone has founded, as well as to other projects.
Tongaren Vocational Training Institute
District Administrator inspecting poultry project at Tongaren Vocational Training Institute
  • Many projects have been started by the recovery groups, e.g. keeping poultry, sheep, bees, as well as horticulture; “table banking” was a common enterprise, but is not without problems.
  • Groups of spouses – those living with the problem – were also continuing to meet.
sheep project
Sheep project at Maram, Kenya

New Groups

Groups were started both for those having the problem and for their spouses in four communities in Uganda: Bunasimolo, Tororo, Bugabero and Mgale – the latter is a village spread over a large area where there are already groups functioning; this was fresh teaching to “Mgale II”.

In Tororo there was a group of 15 young problem drinkers who joined to form their own group separate from the older people.

Issues recognised

Reviewing the established groups the overall picture was very encouraging. However, there were a few issues which needed a remedy:

  • Groups were tending to become too large; perhaps as many as 27, rather than limiting numbers to 12 or so.
  • People who wanted to become sober were then told to go away to form their own group.
  • Group projects were the dominant topic of discussion in meetings rather than the 12 Step program and spiritual growth.
  • Table banking was something of a failure as borrowers tended not to repay loans, and in some cases were never seen again.
  • Money raised was being used for funerals and school fees rather than investment to generate wealth.
smiles at teaching
Bugema group smiles

Advice given

  • The discipline of following the program and achieving sobriety with spiritual growth must be the Number One issue.
  • To this end “Step Meetings” should be kept separate from “Business Meetings”.
  • Business meetings could then be optional for those who wish to invest money into projects, distinct from the small sums of money gathered merely for refreshments.
  • New groups must be formed for healthy functioning. These should comprise old as well as new members.

The essential role of the pastors – Johnstone Kapa and Stephen Nambako – in maintaining the proper running and development of the recovery groups is very evident.


Mayenze News

A church is birthed!

Following the trip in October last year Pastor Stephen has been busy visiting five of the communities – Mayenze, Mgale II, Shikunga, Bugema and Bugobero; teaching new groups in a sixth locality – Budunda – where a church has been started!

He is due to review groups in four other localities – Tororo, Bumwangu, Mafudu and Mgale I – which is difficult for him owing to the distances he has to travel.

There are many interesting projects being undertaken, including pig rearing and tailoring.

Money raised by the group activities is used to de-worm children and to support the school and orphanage where Pastor Stephen is Director.

His report may be read by clicking below:

Stephen’s report Feb 19


Games in Tongaren

On the 29th December, 2018 the Recovery Campaign Groups were brought together in Tongaren for “End of Year Games”.

The purpose was fun and fellowship – not just for recoverers, but also their spouses and children; to replace shame and suffering with laughter and friendship.

egg and spoon race
Tongaren egg and spoon race







There were 105 participants (and an unknown number of observers) from six communities – Murram, Vumilia, Boresha, Mulika, Providence and Mwangaza.

Notable among the games were the egg and spoon race, the sack race and climb the slippery pole, videos of which may be seen in the Gallery.