Amy keeps laughing and marveling at the fact that, “This is really happening!”
The Maternity Ward/Urgent Care Facility is underway!
Long before we ever get to Uganda, and for a decent while afterwards work is happening! Stateside we are fundraising, and still need funds (please donate here), in Uganda is the real hard work of clearing land, laying stone, mixing and pouring concrete, and laying bricks!… And that’s just so far!
We are amazed at all that the Lord is doing, it is actually quite overwhelming to stop and look at the timing of everything. Every single time we needed to send money ahead so that work could start, continue or materials could be ordered we miraculously, by the blessing of the Lord had the money donated that week. He is going before us literally to start this project before we get there, and by prompting literally (on last count) 462 individual people to donate money to support our project and team!
SO! With that as the backdrop… Three weeks out from today, we will be LANDING in Entebbe Uganda, aiming to get a few hours of sleep, and then make the long drive up to Arua in the far North West area of Uganda.
The preparation for this type of project and trip takes a full year of planning, preparation, work and of course fundraising. – At the beginning of the planning process, it always feels a bit like getting ready to hike the largest mountain, navigate crazy terrain, traverse waterfalls, and often doing it all blindly in prayer and faith while leading a team of people behind us!
This year’s team is full of incredible people.
I (Krista) always say that getting to know, love, and then sharing the full year of learning and experiences of a project like this is my favorite part. We are a unique group and so full of varying personalities and perspectives, but, it has been so fun to see the constant within the team to be encourage and support first, followed by lots of laughter, prayer, and so much love.
At this point, it looks as though when we get there in three weeks, we will be joining the construction team in laying brick on the interior walls, mixing and pouring concrete/cement for the outside sidewalk area around the building, and likely plastering walls. It is always a unique experience to learn the Ugandan way to do these things (especially if we have never done anything like this stateside!). One of our big goals as a team though is not to push our American timelines or methods, but instead learn… learn, support, and work hard!.. But, also we want to build relationships with those we are working with.
We believe it would be a waste of time to go, build a beautiful Ugandan Hospital for the Imvepi Refugee Settlement in zone 2, and not to walk away with friends and stories to share from these incredible people.
This is really happening! We have no idea all that the Lord is going to do in and through us on this trip in just a few short weeks, but, we are full of holy anticipation and excitement.
So, at this point, we are getting a lot of questions somewhere along the lines of:
How can you support us?
Here is our short answer:
1. Prayers – For travel, health, safety, the Ugandan workers, our team, finances, the refugees, Pastor Bob and Sue (our on the ground contacts/partners/planners and friends), the team leaders (Amy and Krista), our team’s spiritual formation, and against spiritual attacks.
2. Finances. We still need about $26,000 to cover the last couple of phases of construction. (Our team’s expenses are fully covered, and the first two phases are mostly covered).
3. Send us encouragement. – Seriously, commenting on our social media posts, asking questions, write us notes.. whatever it is, the physical presence and engagement of those we love is HUGE.
4. Follow along with our journey! – We love all that the Lord is doing in each one of us, in Uganda long before we ever get there, and there is a building excitement and anticipation of what will happen while we’re there (and after we get home)! Follow along and be a part of what is happening!
Thank you to every single person who has donated,
shown up, encouraged, and prayed for us on this journey!
We aren’t even at the mountaintop high and God’s faithfulness is beginning to overwhelm us!
So much love and gratitude,
This year our team has taken on the incredible task of working with local Ugandans to build a Maternity Ward/Urgent Care Facility for a Refugee Settlement in Northern Uganda!
Previously, our team has gone to Uganda to provide clean water (which is a huge issue throughout Uganda) and Mission4Water continues to do amazing work! They have taken some time to go back and re-visit wells to service them, and in some cases needing to entirely fix them! So, due to the nature and time it takes to plan these trips, we have decided for this year to shift the focus to a new project!
To help us identify needs and navigate logistics far ahead of our mid-summer arrival, we are working with Bob N. an amazing local Ugandan (who is also connected to Mission4Water)! Bob invests all of his time in helping shift the culture of Uganda, focusing on leadership development and community care trainings. He wrote a book you can get here and learn more about what he’s doing here and also watch this video.
Maternity Ward/Urgent Care Facility for a Refugee Settlement in Northern Uganda!
This is the floor plan for the building that we’ve decided to go with. It is much smaller than our original goal, but since it is already pre-approved by the government it means significantly less red-tape to jump through (which is worth it)!
Imvepi Refugee Settlement
(On the far West side of the image)
The current plan is to build in zone 2 of the Imvepi Refugee Settlement.
Imvepi is largely comprised of South Sudanese refugees; and this particular zone has a greater chance of being around for quite some time over the original hope of building in a different zone with greater need (but less chance of being around for as long). – So after lots of discussion about where to place the Maternity Ward, the long-term impact of zone 2 just couldn’t be dismissed in part due to the larger native community that would be also impacted, and better served currently as well as once the South Sudanese are able to return home safely.
Watch the video above to see the (likely) location for our building! The two semi-permanent structures (tents) currently serve as the health facility and double as offices for food distribution to another zone.
The current plan is to be in country for 14 days in the middle of summer. – The exact dates are still to be determined, and largely depend on trying to get the least expensive flight prices for our team in order to save travel costs that can then be applied to the project!
However, we will send funds ahead of our arrival so that they can lay the foundation, begin preparing with brick making on site, ship all materials, and of course tackle the very real need for water here as well. – You can’t make bricks without water, nor can you pour concrete!
Team leaders Amy and Krista have a passion for building a community. – Specifically in rallying people together with common goals, and creating a way for people to learn, grow, and be a part of something that can change the world for the better.
Why this project?
After lots of discussions, Amy and Krista felt it was important to both highlight the work, and give a voice to the refugee crisis that is happening in Uganda. There is incredible work that is already happening, but the South Sudanese refugees (along with lots of other people from places like DRC, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Burundi, Rawanda and others) that are fleeing to Uganda, and largely being overlooked due to other refugee crises around the world.
So, the big question that we asked ourselves was, “What practical way can two people, leading a small team, backed by supporters impact and improve the lives of refugees?”
Lots of back and forth discussions with Bob N. and it was finally settled on the very tangible need for the refugee women to have a place to safely deliver their babies. Currently women are delivering children on the floors of their tents, which is dirty, dusty or muddy depending on the time of year… OR they are walking crazy distances to get medical care.
We decided that at the very least, we could rally people and companies to support us in literally saving the lives of innocent children, and providing medical care for those who have already experienced extreme trauma.
How can you help?
There are four main ways to help and support our team!
- Support us financially* or join one of our events!
- Follow along with our blog and on social media via the hashtag #ugandaexcited
- Learn and Share about the refugee crisis in Uganda
- Pray and send our team encouragement to uganda[at]aoneeight.org
Thank you to our family, friends, and the companies for the amazing support and encouragement already!
~Amy, Krista, and the Uganda team!
*Any donations received above our fundraising goal will be donated to the local NGO’s we are working with to ensure proper care and support for the community.