A routine conversation between recently returned missionary Elder Ronnie Kyammbadde and a member of a ward in which he had served led to a remarkable opportunity for service and ministering across the miles.
Brother Paul Simcock of the Burnley ward, Chorley Stake and Ronnie kept in touch after Ronnie returned home to Uganda. During one of their conversations Paul felt impressed to ask Ronnie about his home ward and soon learned that some members were not attending church because they felt that they didn’t have “respectable clothing”.
With the approval of the Chorley Stake Presidency, Brother and Sister Simcock along with High Priest Group Leader Brother Haddock, launched a Stake-wide appeal for new or ‘as new’ Sunday Best clothing for all ages. The response from across the Stake was immediate and enthusiastic.
Burnley ward took the lead collecting, sorting and packing the donated clothing. Rossendale Valley Relief Society joined sisters in Burnley sewing feminine hygiene products to send with the clothing. One sister made dresses for younger girls and knitted small teddy bears to put in the pocket of each dress she made. “When I found out I was really moved” said Brother Simcock.
Over a thousand items were packed and shipped with the support of Bishop Stewart Butler, the owner of a local shipping company.
Additional funds were raised by local members to cover import duty imposed at the last-minute, only to find that the duty had been covered by the shipping company. Rather than return the additional funds, Brother Simcock felt prompted to ask Ronnie to buy food and give it to the Bishop to distribute to those in need.
Brother Simcock said, “Unknown to us there were people who had been praying hard because they had nothing to eat that day. When Bishop Maraka of the Mukono Ward gave the food to the needy, many shed tears and thanked Brother Simcock for answering their prayers”.