We are a mere three weeks away from leaving for Uganda to dig three clean water wells for 16 days!
Before each person joined our team, we prepared them for how much would be involved in getting ready for our mission in Uganda. Often joking about “owning” their life for the first 7 months of 2017 (haha but really)!..
- We have had meetings all year,
- We have read and given reports on a collected book list,
- We have been intentional in creating space for people to invest in what we are doing.
- We have been creative in our fundraising and storytelling.
- We have been getting shots and visas,
- Attempting to teach our bodies to drink the appropriate amount of water each day,
- And of course, preparing our minds and hearts for what is to come.
As the leaders, our goal is to prepare without over educating, so, we have shared movies, articles, and passed on stories and information via friends from Uganda to help everyone get an accurate picture of what is to come.
We do not want to go to Uganda feeling like the work we put into our three wells has saved the country in our short time there. Instead, our goal is to be three little drops in the bucket of support that works to lift up the people of Uganda a bit more.
We are a unique and diverse group of people, men and women, different ages and ethnicities, spanning feelers and thinkers, extroverts and introverts (and somewhere in between). We are believers, followers, and lovers of Jesus of varying lengths. I am not sure there is a more diverse group of people to have gone on mission together before (ok maybe slight exaggeration!)
Everyone on our team has stepped out and purposefully sought after unique things in the preparation for this year, it has been so fun to watch everyone’s journey and faith change!
As the leaders of this mission team, we have set up expectations to help our team push themselves beyond what is even listed above. Everyone will take a turn leading a team devotional, they will get the chance to share their story with everyone, as well as write a blog post while we are in Uganda so that the myriad of viewpoints will be captured for you to follow along!.. And that isn’t even counting their official team roles! (First Aid, Prayer, Encouragement etc..etc..)
What can you do to support us?
Pray for all 15 of our team members, all 6 Ugandan drillers, and Sue and Sunday:
- We need to hit water three times!
- Health is always something to be taken seriously in prayer while in another country!
- That we each are able to create space to be fully present mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to experience what God has for us.
- Pray for our friends, family, and housemates that remain behind carrying on normal life while we are gone.
- For the communities that these clean water wells are going into, that it would be a blessing, but also a community building and rallying force for them!
- That the clean water would save lives, and create space for girls to go to school.
At this point ALL the money that is donated will be given to Mission4Water to continue to dig clean water wells long after we leave on July 21st!
Every year I am blown away by how quickly time goes. I always think I am prepared, but somewhere between “it’s so far away” and every day life, the trip sneaks up on me and then suddenly is right around the corner!
If you want more information about what we are doing, read this post, but also peruse through our blog or search #ugandaexcited on Facebook and Instagram!
~Krista (and the leadership trio)
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!
Clean water, that’s why.
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!
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
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!
- We will have our third annual Race for H2Ope 6k Run/Walk in May. – Previously raising $10-15k each year!
- We will have another silent auction and house party! – Providing community, laughter, goodies, and of course an amazing support base for our team!
- 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!
Originally posted August 18, 2015.
We made it to Uganda safely! Just over twenty-four hours after we began our journey. However, once we arrived, we still had to get from Entebbe to Lira. An eight hour drive to the north. It ended up being a blessing that we did. It allowed us to see so much more of the country.
The landscape we passed was beautiful, with stretches of thick jungle-ish (not a word?) shrubbery and other, sparser land punctuated by those striking African trees we all know from the movies. What was more interesting to me, however, were the people we passed along the way and their homes. I had seen them before, those tiny thatched huts that people use to house entire families. I had seen them in quite a few poorer countries across the globe. But this was different. Here they weren’t the primitive lodgings reserved for the underprivileged few who live on the outside of society. Here they seem to be the norm.
Uganda is indisputable a hugely impoverished country.
The other thing that was striking to me was that, while everyone we’ve met have been very friendly, we don’t seem to get the ready smiles and greetings that I’ve found in other areas of Africa. In fact, I don’t see them laughing with each other as much either. I’m sure it’s a fluke, that I’ve just been looking at the wrong times. I’ve only been here a couple of days after all. It’s also likely that they’re not greeting the tourists because this is not a typical tourist area. They’re not used to seeing us. They’re not trying to sell us anything.
I can’t stop thinking that it might be something else, though. That just maybe, as a people group with minimal access to water, a shortage of food resulting in (on average) one meager meal a day, and an entire family sleeping on the floor of a tiny structure cobbled together out of sticks, clay, and cow dung… it might just be that they don’t have much to smile about.
And yet, Ugandans are clearly an active, vibrant people group. Everywhere we’ve been, people are outside, going here and there, hanging out with their friends in front of the local shops. It feels like they are forever in motion, taking jerry cans of water home for their family or heading down the cratered dusty roads, making their way to some place I can only imagine.
It’s that zest for life that is opening my eyes to the fact that God might have brought us here to bless the Ugandans with clean water, but He will likely end up using them to bless us right back.
* I’m going to post entries in order of experience. However, due to limited time, Internet access and tech issues, most entries will be a few days behind. Also, posts will be contributed by different team members. So, if some entries seem to depict wildly differing experiences or observations, it’s not because of schizophrenic issues.