Side by Side Ministries is in Bethlehem in the Kyotera District (previously Rakai) of Uganda.  War and the HIV epidemic devasted this region and left thousands of children orphaned and destitute.  Pastor Ntale Pius was the founder of Side by Side Ministries.  Tragically, Pastor Pius passed away in March of 2017, leaving his wife, Ntale Brenda, and two daughters, Ntale Jemimah and Namuyomba Jane, to run the thriving ministry.  

Engage Hope partnered with Side by Side Ministries in 2010 and focuses support on the Bethlehem Side by Side Wisdom Center Primary School that sits adjacent to the Bethlehem Side by Side Church.  The school currently provides a Christian education for over 350 children.  

Engage Hope raised funds to support Side by Side in the following projects:

• purchased bunk beds for the girls’ and boys’ temporary dorms
• repaired the well on the school property
• provided the school with a printer/copier/scanner
• constructed a new classroom block (each block has five classrooms)
• constructed boys’ and girls’ showers
• purchased and installed a water filtration system to combat a typhoid outbreak
• constructed boys’ and girls’ dormitories
• purchased bunk beds for the permanent dorm
• built new pit latrines and a septic tank

Engage Hope has initiatives that offer assistance in the following ways:

Sponsor-a-Child – Through Engage Hope, generous individuals from the United States sponsor children in the Side by Side program to provide them with a Christian education, minor medical care, a daily meal, and the teaching of life skills to enable self-sufficiency.

Short-Term Mission Trips – Every year, Engage Hope sponsors students from Prestonwood Christian Academy on their March trip to Uganda. Also, Engage Hope sponsors an additional team, made up of anyone interested, that visits in June or July.    Team members share the gospel with students through Bible stories, and arts and crafts.  Teams also provide medical, dental and vision clinics, teacher training, discipleship training, work projects, and door to door evangelism. The goal of each Engage Hope trip is always to meet physical needs while sharing the gospel of Christ. 

Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) – ACSI is an international accreditation organization that sets high standards and offers quality training and support for teachers in both academics and biblical integration to increase the quality of Christian education.  Engage Hope paid for Bethlehem Side by Side Wisdom Center Primary School’s membership in ASCI and for the headmaster and all teachers to attend the ACSI Transformational Teacher Training.

COVID Relief Fund – To prevent the spread of COVID, the Ugandan government locked down the country, including closing schools and prohibiting public and private transportation.  Engage Hope raised funds to send to Ministry Partners to help them purchase food for families of sponsored children as well as other families in their ministries who were going hungry.  Also, Engage Hope partnered with Prestonwood Baptist Church to send monetary gifts to the teachers in each of our ministries’ schools to help the teachers who were not getting full pay during the COVID lockdown.  

Yearly Meet the Need Campaign – Every summer, Engage Hope raises funds for our ministry partners that allow them to meet the greatest needs of the students in their programs.  Ministry Partners have distributed mosquito nets, mattresses, blankets, shoes, school supplies, soap, and many other necessities.  

Yearly Christmas Party – For years, Engage Hope has raised funds to give to each of our ministry partners to allow them to provide a Christmas party for the children in their programs.  The parties include a meal for the children, fun activities, and sharing the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth.  Children look forward to these parties all year long!