Upendo Children’s Village
Upendo (which means, “love” in Swahili) Children’s Village was founded in 2010 by Bishop Samuel Mkisi, his
wife Florence and Steve Butcher, a lawyer from Rochester, NY.
In 2011 Bishop Mkisi was guest speaker at Faith Chapel and became friends with Dave and the others. In
the meantime, Steve Butcher shared his vision of the orphanage with the congregation of Faith Chapel.  Steve said
they are building the Administration Building first but needed the first of four houses built for the children as Bishop Samuel was housing them in his house and was running out of room.
The entire church was so taken and inspired by the work being done for the children and wanted to do something meaningful for them.  We decided that Faith Chapel would build the first house for the kids.  In just nine months, over $30,000 was raised from a small congregation of about 45 people!
Pastor Dave, his wife Pat, Pastors Tom Johnston and Matt Atkinson and his wife Jen, along with future missionary Lynda Cowie, first traveled to Mzuzu, Malawi, Africa at the invitation of Bishop Mkisi in 2012. We were able to see the first
house being built, and Dave had the privilege the following year to be there for the dedication and grand opening of what Bishop Mkisi dubbed, “Churchville House”!  Since then, three other houseshave been built along with an outdoor kitchen and outdoor bathrooms.  A well has also been dug.
Currently, five churches, including
Riga Congregational Church support Upendo on a regular monthly basis, along with individuals as well.  The needs are many and are always growing.
Thank you, Riga Church for your faithful support!


SWEM is a community food cupboard serving the southwest region of Rochester/Monroe County.  They provide emergency food bags at satellite sites through requests to a telephone Help-Line.   Riga Church supports SWEM through food donations in the form of bulk food donations as well as holiday baskets.  Some members of our congregation also volunteer to help deliver food bags to their elderly clients each month.
Items for Christmas baskets:
1   fruit cocktail; or canned fruit 
2 soups
1  large fruit drink
1 Instant potatoes
2 regular or 1 large sweet potatoes or Yam
3 canned vegetables
1 cranberry sauce
1can gravy
1  bag or box of stuffing
1 box dessert
Please add $10 cash or check donation ( SWEM) to cover the cost of meat eggs butter or other SWEM costs for this Ministry