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My Uganda Story
I am heading back to Uganda at the end of April for two weeks. I am excited to be going as a team leader with several members of Raymond Baptist Church. For as long as I can remember I have had the desire to “disciple” others; to encourage them toward an authentic growing relationship with Christ. I believe that God began to pull on my heart for the sake of the poor and oppressed back in January of 2006. As a result of reading The Hole in the Gospel, this quote, borrowed from Richard Stearns, appears in my journal from 1/21/06: “What do we imply about the Savior when we seek God’s will concerning personal decisions but neve seek His mind on the plight of the poor and oppressed?” Our small group engaged the church in helping dig a well in Uganda. This allowed girls to attend school rather than spend their days carrying water to their village. That led to child sponsorship in Uganda as well. In 2010 I was invited by World Vision to visit the Aber Region in Uganda to see what God was doing there. I applied for my passport, received all required immunizations, raised support and was ready to go, or so I thought, but God thought differently and the trip was cancelled just two weeks prior to leaving.
In December of 2013, I was introduced to ChildVoice through our Women’s Ministry Christmas Project. When the invitation came to visit the Lukome Center with Childvoice in Northern Uganda, I was ready to go: passport, immunization, support, and a heart that God had spent the better part of the past eight years preparing. When I visited Uganda in August of 2014, I saw that as an opportunity of a life time and never imagined that I would return. I was deeply affected by the plight of the girls and was amazed by their abilities! Yet, I did return in 2015 co-leading a larger group. This second trip was a greater learning experience for me for several reasons: I was no longer totally overwhelmed by the masses of people living in extreme poverty, I had a better understanding of cultural differences, was part of a group of people gaining understanding together, was able to build on relationships with some of the girls and staff that I had come to know the previous year. Visiting graduates, in their villages and places of business said it all!
Again, we will be partnering with ChildVoice, working with child mothers both at the Lukome Center and at the Imvepi Refugee Settlement. ChildVoice acts on the conviction that children broken by war can be restored in safe, therapeutic settings with loving care, spiritual and emotional counseling, and effective education and vocational training. This is accomplished through both community-based and center-based programs. I have witnessed, first-hand, the transformation in the lives of these girls and I am committed to spread the “whole gospel” that changes everything both at home and abroad!
Our trip activities include:
- Assisting and supporting ChildVoice staff and students in whatever way they desire while we are there.
- Spending time with the girls, their children, and the staff, observing the work that God is already doing among them and learning from their experiences.
- Visiting ChildVoice graduates in their communities and places of business, encouraging them and praising God together.
- Assisting in the Early Development Children’s Program at the center.
- Joining the girls in Community Service projects among the villagers.
- Working alongside the girls in planting fruit trees.
- Participating in the “THRIVE” project (teaching health and hygiene, and providing personal hygiene products) with adolescent girls at the refugee settlement.
Would you please partner with us in praying for these war-affected child mothers and their children? Pray that we will demonstrate the hope of the gospel, and that our team would be humble encouragers and supporters as we come alongside the girls and Ugandan staff.
Please also prayerfully, consider contributing to the financial requirements of the trip. We will personally fund a portion of our trip and we take your investment in this trip very seriously. We are committed to making this trip one piece in a process of learning and action. We will be exploring how to support, engage with, and foster effective ministry and poverty alleviation efforts – whether in our own community or across the globe.
The Gospel of Christ when applied to the "whole" person brings hope and changes everything!
Love and blessings!