Learning More About Uganda and Missions

If you are interested in learning more about the country and region, or just interesting things we have collected along the way; below is a bunch of books, articles, documentaries, and videos that will help to give you a greater understanding of Uganda, as well as Africa, and missions in general.

Books recommended to us:

  1. The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget – This is an interesting perspective on the Yoweri Museveni, the current president of Uganda who has “won” elections for the last 30 years.
  2. Wizard of the Nile – Perspective on Joseph Kony and his rise to power and some of the political turmoil which drove him to what he did
  3. Kisses From Katie – A feel good story of a pretty incredible girl who started an organization in Jinja, Uganda
  4. Girl Soldier – Story of a child living in Northern Uganda during the LRA’s reign of terror
  5. Having People, Having Heart: Charity, Sustainable Development, and Problems of Dependence in Central Uganda – The title nails it
  6. Too Small to Ignore: Why the Least of These Matters Most – Founder of Compassion International one of the most influential child sponsorship programs in the world
  7. Just a Minute: In the Heart of a Child, One Moment, Can Last Forever – Another book by Compassion International founder
  8. When Helping Hurts – Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor.
  9. African Friends and Money Matters– A look into some of the cultural behaviors and practices that we just might not ever understand/accept/rationalize and things to expect regarding money and gifts. Our team is encouraged to read this book.
  10. Aboke Girls – The kidnapping of 139 secondary school female students from a boarding school by rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in 1996.
  11. War Brothers – Based on true events about the capture of Ugandan schoolchildren forced to serve as child soldiers in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
  12. First Kill Your Family Told by those who suffered. This illuminating expose examines a forgotten region of one of Africa’s most promising nations—Uganda.
  13. Developing Uganda 

We also have recommended these movies:

War Dance – (Was on Netflix at one point)

Queen of Katwe – (Is on Netflix)

Remand Documentary

Articles and videos worth checking out:

Water throughout the world

This is linked to Congolese refugees a friend works with in Uganda.

Who are we partnering with in Uganda?

Mission4Water 

Lead by Sue (and Engineer Sunday)

#Ugandaexcited

Learning More About Uganda and Missions

Three for our Third Time in Uganda

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Three clean water wells for our third time in Uganda!

We are kicking off preparations for our third trip to Uganda!

As preparations begin, we are meeting with people to give more information, sending lots of e-mails answering questions, and plans are flying! After all, social media posts, sponsorship letters, and fundraising for our 2017 Uganda Mission team is already underway!

Why Uganda?

Clean water, that’s why.

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The average Ugandan walks 6k a day for water that isn’t even clean.

The bulk of the responsibility goes to young children or girls, and the watering holes are typically unsafe and/or unclean. Contaminated water can cause a wide variety of illnesses, many of which are easily treatable. But, some of which if they go untreated can cause death. However, because many in Uganda cannot afford the medication, let alone the hospital bill, the contaminated water can pose a real threat. Learn more about water illnesses here.

  • Each clean water well that Mission4Water digs serves on average 350 people.
  • Each well costs around $4,000.
  • Each well costs about $12 PER PERSON it serves to provide clean, safe drinking water for the rest of their life!

However, since this year we will be in the Entebbe region (just outside of Kampala), there’s a good chance the wells will service a larger population. – Making the per person cost much lower, but the overall cost about the same.

What Are the Trip Details?

For our third year (in a row), we are sending a group of 15 people to Uganda for two weeks in July to partner with Mission4Water.org to dig THREE clean water wells!

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In previous years we have dug two at a time and left additional money for them to dig wells after we are gone! But, this year, we have been able to work out the logistics to add a third clean water well while we are there!

Our goal is to raise enough funds to dig three wells, and provide them the money for an additional two after we leave!

Why are we stoked? Because after the completion of this year’s trip, this particular mission will have helped Mission4 Water dig 15 clean water wells!.. EACH serving around 350 people, meaning over 5,200 people will have clean water in Uganda after the 2017 trip! A drop in the bucket begins to add up!

As the leaders, we are SO excited to be returning to Sue, Sunday, and “the Boys” (the six full-time drillers) that we can hardly stand it! As a team, we have six people returning from last year’s trip, and are stoked to add an additional nine people to the team! Making this trip a fun generational experience since each year has had people from the previous trips.

This year we will be splitting into three groups during the workday hours to hand auger (drill), dig, prepare PVC piping and filters, lay cement, and pump in order to get three working clean water wells!

The entire process takes anywhere from 7-10 days depending on how deep the holes need to be dug, which depends on the time of year (rainy or dry season), and of course the type of ground we are digging through. – Last year one of the teams could not get past a couple feet of sandstone, ultimately having to abandon the hole and start over!

After the wells are finished and commissioned, the team will head up to Murchison Falls for two days of rest, a safari, and debriefing before returning to the US.

The 411 on Money

You can donate directly here.

Each person that goes on the trip will need to raise funds to cover their expenses during the two week trip which will be $2,950.

As a team, the additional $4,000 per well is not included in the per-person cost of the trip. – So, ultimately we dig as many wells as we have funds to cover.

Last year, with the help and support of local organizations, companies, restaurants, individuals (friends, family, and strangers), a ton of legwork on the part of our team, and the Fairfax JDC doing a learning project and fundraising event, we raised $43,125, significantly over our goal! With this money we were able to send 10 individuals, dig two wells, and send money for additional wells! Miraculously we were able to raise literally THOUSANDS of dollars to change the lives of people on the other side of the world for the rest of their lives.

We are stoked to see how 2017 turns out! We believe that this year will be reflective of the excitement building within the people joining the team, and we have no doubts that this year we will continue to increase the support that we received last year!

  1. We will have our third annual Race for H2Ope 6k Run/Walk in May. – Previously raising $10-15k each year!
  2. We will have another silent auction and house party! – Providing community, laughter, goodies, and of course an amazing support base for our team!
  3. We are a creative bunch, so numerous additional fun events will be planned and coming!

Be sure to keep a lookout for ways to join our community of supporters, meet new people, learn more about Uganda, and of course support an amazing organization with Mission4Water!

Join us on this journey!

Come to our events, follow this blog and our updates on social media, pray for the team, and please consider supporting us financially! Together, we can each be a drop (or two) in the bucket to make a tangible difference in the lives of hundreds upon hundreds of people in 2017!

Three for our Third Time in Uganda

Uganda we miss you…

Disclaimer: This blog post was written by Joe our last day in Uganda, but the delay in posting was due to travels!

Today is our final day here in Uganda.

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The wells were completed and fresh water flowed. Both communities had ceremonies with local, tribal, and government officials present.

Cutting the ribbon on #TeamAmy`s well
Cutting the ribbon on #TeamAmy`s well
Getting presented with our well certificate!
Getting presented with our  clean water well certificate!

Now my thoughts are slowing turning to the life I left behind for two weeks. Here in Uganda, the pace of life is much slower, everything runs on Africa Time meaning, nothing is urgent. I now see where CP TIME (Colored People Time) originally started from. LOL….

Here in Uganda, you hear birds chirping, you see wild animals walking across your hotel lawn, knowing that you are there but aren’t afraid of you… At night, you can see the stars light up the Uganda night….. it’s absolutely beautiful.

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There`s a Water Buffalo 30ft away!

Also, here in Uganda, there’s a silence that’s so deafening at times. For a few days, I couldn’t go to sleep because it was simply too quiet. I’m use to hearing police and ambulatory sirens, gun shots, people having loud disagreements, cars on the road, trucks back firing and dogs barking, loud music blaring from someone’s vehicle, and very loud neighbors. Ah! There’s nothing like city living. LOL…..

The flight home from Dubai was delayed about twenty minutes due to wrong luggage being placed on our flight home. But its all good, after our 13 hour flight home we landed safely at Dulles right on schedule.

We went through customs, picked up our luggage and headed towards the exit for our ride home.

We hugged everyone and said our goodbyes… But you could tell within our team that thoughts about our everyday life here in america were slowly creeping back into our thoughts.

Uganda we miss you……

-Joe

Uganda we miss you…

Prayers for Uganda

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Our team sans Rachel at our Commissioning!

We leave TOMORROW!

We have all of our shots, our money is in, our bags are (somewhat) packed, our excitement is mounting!!

What are we doing again?

We are partnering with Mission4Water and HAND AUGERING two clean water wells in the Rukungiri area of Uganda, Africa!

How can you pray for us?

  1. Health – But really!… We have 10 people going to do really hard work, with lots of opportunities for things to happen.
  2. Water – We need to hit water TWICE!
  3. Safety -We have 10 people going to do hard work, with lots of opportunities for things to happen. (haha.. This is also a big deal)
  4. Awareness – For many this is their first Mission, please pray that we are aware of God’s presence, and know when to speak, and when to listen.
  5. Fun – Pray that in the midst of it all we have fun!

Teammate Rachel asks:

“That God will ordain a divine appointment, and I will recognize it when He presents it and have the courage to step into it.”

Teammate Jessie asks:

  1. A new season with God. Praying that we each experience God in a new way and God reveals more of himself to each one of us. Praying for God to open our eyes to things we have not seen before. Praying for vulnerability with the team and that we would be able to have an unbreakable bond with one another.
  2. Focus and presence. I pray we would each allow ourselves to rest in him and be present in Uganda and all that he has to show me and the team. That I would not be worried about what will happen when I return or finding a job.
  3. Prayers for how we carry ourselves and interact with the people of Uganda. Praying we lead with love and that we are sensitive to their culture and learn more about their lives. That we would not come with our agenda but Gods agenda and that we would know God has been and will continue to be present in this wonderful country.

Below is a prayer written by our teammate Tia:

Dear God,

Its tomorrow! We’re leaving tomorrow! It has been months of researching, preparing, praying and asking (really begging) for money and now its tomorrow. I am beyond #Ugandaexcited. I am in Uganda disbelief. When I met Krista and Amy months ago in a coffee shop, I could not have pictured this place I am in now or the feelings and emotions stirring within me. Isaiah 6:8 reads: ‘Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”‘  Here we are Lord, send us! God be with us. Walk where we walk. Use us, work through us. Let us be vessels of Your holy presence. Change the atmosphere in Uganda and Lord change us. May we never be the same. Do what only You can do Lord. Let hope flow through us, as fresh water flows through pumps. Thank You for calling us and allowing us to be on Your team Lord, in this mission and in life. It is in the might and matchless name of Jesus I pray.

Amen.

We are #UgandaExcited and #OnMissionEveryDay

Team Uganda,
Amy, Krista, Thomas, Joe, Debbie, Nicholle, Sally, Rachel, Jessie, Tia

If you would still like to donate, you can here!

Prayers for Uganda

37 days, and I am absolutely Overwhelmed.

37 days until we leave for Uganda again.
37 days until I step foot back into the country that has such a big place in my heart.

As I sit back and think through all that is about to happen, about this trip, about all that has already happened, my heart and my spirit are completely overwhelmed, but in the absolute best way possible.

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I am overwhelmed by the generosity of those who have donated to this cause; to the wells that we are digging and to everyone’s trip costs. We have the some of the most amazing friends, and family (and strangers). Through our 2nd annual Race for H20pe alone, we were able to raise enough money for both of the wells that we will be digging while we are in Uganda! And, we were even able to forge a relationship with HumanKind Water, who came and hung out with us on race day, donated water, and walked away as new friends!

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I am overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness. Over and over, He continues to show up and show off. He continues to remind me that He has called me to this, and He will bless this trip and my efforts; and through the stories of my nine teammates, I get to see and hear that He is doing the same thing for them. That we are each uniquely called to this trip, and He is showing up and providing for them. I am already seeing and hearing the ways that God is stretching them, and strengthening their faith via this trip, and we haven’t even left yet!!

I am overwhelmed with excitement. I’ve told people over and over again,

“If you have never seen the look on someone’s face, the first time they see clean water…your life will never be the same after.”

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We dug two wells last year, so I got to experience that twice, and I still get tears in my eyes, and chills just thinking about those moments, about the absolute shouts and screams of excitement and gratitude as the well is commissioned and handed over to them… AND, I get to go back and do it all over again! I get to do this! Plus, as an added bonus, I get to witness my teammates experiencing this too. I can’t wait for them to have those moments. – I am so excited for them!

I am overwhelmed with anticipation. The more I think about and pray about this trip, and this team… the more I am counting down the days. I cannot wait! Knowing all the ways that God has already shown His faithfulness to us, all the ways He has already shown up, and showed off… I am filled with Holy anticipation at what all is to come on this trip.

We will dig two wells; we will provide around 700 Ugandans with clean, safe water for the first time in their lives! That’s what we are going there to do, and I can’t wait for that. But, I’m also so excited about all of the ways that God is going to use us while we are there in the lives of the people we get to work with, and the ways He is going to use us in the lives of one another on this team.

Thinking ahead to this trip, my eyes fill with tears, happy tears. I can’t wait for the relationships that will be formed, and the ones that will be solidified. I know that everyone of my teammates chose this trip, because they wanted to make a tangible difference, and they will. But, I am so excited to see and hear about all the ways that they are blessed through this trip and through this experience. God is good and faithful!

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I am so grateful, that God has called me to this!

I. Get. To. Do. This!!!

~Amy

#UgandaExcited #OnMissionEveryDay

DSC_0085 (missing Nicholle)

37 days, and I am absolutely Overwhelmed.

With God (2015)

Originally posted on August 24, 2015.

“With God every project succeeds!” These were the lyrics on the back of a work truck that I noticed today as we were driving to our work site this morning. I’m always amazed at the speaking of God even when I am not intentional about hearing Him. What impeccable timing He has to give me the perfect message for what’s going on in my life at that time….building a well in Uganda!

I can only imagine what God would say to me if I made it a point to focus on Him in all that I do. I hate to think about all the missed God messages because of my carelessness in seeking Him. It has been and continues to be my prayer to seek God with intention in every aspect of my life. Through my seeking I desire to know Him and to strengthen and grow closer to the God identity in me. So much so that I’m not frustrated or  bothered by the challenges of life but rather welcome them as an opportunity to be a part of God’s story for His glory!

With God every project succeeds!

We are half way through the building of the two wells in the subcounty of Barr in Lira, Uganda yet we did not come this far without challenges. The other day we arrived at the worksite to find out there was an obstruction, a large rock lodged down the pipe of our well. It was surmised that a person(s) from the village, perhaps a child out of curiosity threw the rock down the pipe.

Uncertain if we could undo the damage, we proceeded through with our physical corrective measures, but only With God! Our team leader Amy gathered us together and proceeded to pray over the project and resolution to the overnight event that had temporarily halted our progress.

We proceeded to follow instructions to chip away at the lodged rock with hopes that we would dislodge it from our pipe and continue building the well and still finish it according to schedule. We worked with a determined mindset and a willingness if necessary to redo three days of hard work.

We continued to persevere using the apparatus to chisel down the rock into pieces to be removed from the pipe. Within 20 minutes we hit the jackpot, chunks of rocks were pulled out.

Sometimes obstacles and setbacks allow us to see the power of God at work. It’s a reminder that what seems impossible is more than possible with God!  We can get caught up in the work, reaching the goal, or accomplishing the task that we lose sight of the purpose of our work.

Reading that signpost today, was a reset of my mind to put God first in all things. It was a prompting that in all things seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all other things will be granted. It’s a fact, “with God every project succeeds”! So in my project of life I go it not alone, but With God!

Almost Ready Well

Written by Kimberly

With God (2015)

Most Welcome (2015)

Originally posted on August 23, 2015.

Greetings are natural and expected even if it’s nothing more than a formality. “Most Welcome” is a greeting that is definitely a formality in Uganda, yet it is an expression that has been imprinted on my heart with expanded appreciation since arriving here.  I not only hear welcome I feel and see welcome throughout Uganda!

When we arrived at Kanberra Hotel in Lira, I immediately developed a relationship with Phiona the receptionist who was exemplary of the Uganda term I was sure to hear again, “most welcome.” My request to charge my cell phone prompted the response, “you are most welcome.”  During one of my most welcomed conversations with Phiona I told her we stayed in Kampala at a place called Banana Village. She was very familiar with it and proceeded to educate me on a few things. She told me that Entebbe where we landed means “take a seat” and Banana Village was a place of welcome. Phiona related it to inviting someone to have a seat in your living room as you do with family. She told me Kanberra was also a place of welcome. Quite naturally I expect the welcome experience in the hospitality business, but I saw it in the Uganda culture. I feel it in the gentleness of their tone and the warm spirit that subconsciously begins to soften me.

While building the well and meeting the people in the community “most welcome” was not spoken but rather experienced. The children greeted us with their presence at the entry point of the worksite. Others waved and smiled at us as we drove off in the van. A few extended a helping hand. An elder in the village offered his seat to me in the shade. What an Entebbe moment! My most heart warming experience of “most welcome” came when the female children as young as 2 or 3 years of age would extend their hand and bow with a quick curtsy. With each wave, smile, gesture or word I found myself most welcoming Uganda into my heart!

As we traveled around to visit the various private schools in Lira, we were greeted by the officials and the staff with the words welcome, you are most welcome.  From Kenframa to Amazing Grace and finally to the Uganda Christian Nursing Institute those words were a common language. It was obvious the extension of such a greeting and a warm reception to our given title of friend was customary yet the words resonated with me. It was an energy, a spirit that made me reflect on “welcome” from a different lens. I began to consider the perfect demonstration of “most welcome”…Jesus! The author of what it really means to welcome. Jesus welcomed us to life eternal with Him. With arms stretched out, He welcomed us into the holy family!  There’s nothing like the welcome of Jesus!

So the Ugandan’s most welcome is their walk in the truth of  Hebrews 13:1-3 which reads, keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Entebbe Uganda you are family!

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Written by Kimberly

Most Welcome (2015)