Saturday, June 27, 2015

[2015] We made it!

Malembe! (Greetings!)

We arrived safely in Uganda last night at around 10:30pm. We only lost one piece of luggage, and luckily that didn't include any of our necessities! We were greeted by part of our Uganda family as usual! This was the first time I have had my name written on a sign in at the airport! Jenny and I felt very special :)

We are currently at Anderita Beach Hotel in Entebbe, which has beautiful views of Lake Victoria!

We are waiting for our dear friends Pastor Richard and Alex Wori to come pick us up! From here, we head to Bukigai, in time to have Sunday worship with them tomorrow. Please be praying for safe travels along the road here!

We will probably won't have any internet in the village, so the next update won't be until later in the week (Thursday). Please pray for our workshops and trainings that we will be conducting- that they will be fruitful and lead to positive discussions. Also pray for the relationships we will continue to build and the new ones we will create!

I appreciate you!

You are loved.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Update from the Wori Family!

Here is an update from Milly we received a few days ago!
We (Alex, Ramich and Milly) arrived in Uganda safely on June 16, 2015. Glory to God and thank you for your prayers. We also give thanks to all those who have supported this Mission both financially and through prayer. We look forward to receiving the rest of the mission team members on June 26, 2015.   
On June 18th, 2015, the Roofing materials that had been purchased  mostly in the capital, Kampala, were transported safely to Bukigai Village. On June 19, 2015, the carpentry work, led by Ezra (the Chief Carpenter-Alex's brother),  begun. Today, June 20, 2015, is when we took the attached photos as the timber for roofing was being joined before it is put up on the building. The community is very very pleased and very grateful for the support and they all send their greetings.
Below are the photos:

Alex, Ramich and
(Alex's brother and the head carpenter for the construction project this year)

Milly, Alex and their daughter Ramich

The construction begins!

Every thing is cut and done by hand to save costs! 
We hire Alex's brothers, cousins and family friends because they are carpenters by trade in Uganda.

That is all for now. We leave TODAY! Please be praying for the rest of the team as we travel to join the Wori Family. Our flight leaves SFO at 1:50pm and we should arrive in Entebbe by 10:40pm the following night in Ugandan time. They are 10 hours ahead of us, so our arrival time in CA will be around 12:40pm Friday afternoon. 

From there, we will spend the night in Entebbe and head to Bukigai the following day! Last time, we had a lot of detours and mishaps, so it took us a whole extra day to get there. Pray against any unnecessary barriers, and that we will arrive in the village during the day (driving on the dirt road at night is dangerous). We will have sunday worship with the church in Bukigai, we are really looking forward too! 

Thank you for your prayers!

You are loved,

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Grants upon Grants!

This year I have been blown away by the way God has provided funding! Over and over again, people and organizations have come forward and awarded grants, extra support and and abundant blessing over this upcoming trip. I wanted to give you all an outline of some of the organizations we will be partnering with as we continue our relationship with the Bukigai church.

In the fall, one of our team members Kelly Huff found an organization called the Paraklete Foundation. This word "paraklete" means "to come alongside" in Greek. Their vision is:
The Paraklete Foundation proclaims, demonstrates and expresses God's love by supporting those in need of education, training or experience in life skills, spiritual nurture, and/or Christian service in lower economic communities.
We submitted a grant proposal to fund the next critical phase of construction of the church: the roof! It is vital that we add the roof to the structure soon so that the walls do not get worn down. Praise God- THEY GRANTED US THE WHOLE AMOUNT! Nine thousand dollars later, and we will be providing this community, the preschool, and the church with a brand new, leak-free roof.

This spring, our new team member Cindie encouraged our team to apply to the Blum Center at UC Davis. They mission statement is:
The Blum Center for Developing Economies addresses the needs of poor communities in developing countries. We prepare students with the theoretical understanding, applied skills, and experiential learning. Our courses and grants programs enable students to become agents of change in the war against world poverty.
We found out about this possibility at the last minute, but Cindie and our other team member Jenny worked hard to make sure they got it in by the deadline. Praise God- they received a four thousand dollar grant for their chicken project! Not only will this cover the cost of supplies, but will also cover some of the in country travel costs.

Lastly, our team has somehow (thanks to Jesus) gotten connected to Veterinarians Without Borders (VWB). This organization has initiatives in various countries, including Uganda. Their goal in Uganda is:
implementing regional trainings to teach smallholders to recognize signs of disease and report them to their District Veterinarian so steps can be taken to control disease before an epidemic occurs.
Another woman from our church has volunteered with VWB and encouraged us to contact them. Within weeks, we had set up a partnership between VWB and our two team vets, Jenny and Cindie. This organization has agreed to cover nearly the entire cost for these two, including airfare! That means all the financial support they have raised will now go to help the rest of the team! This is a huge reason why I was able to go.

CAN I GET AN AMEN?!? God is so good, and has continued to provide for us and our brothers and sisters in Uganda. He is not limited, and will use whatever means necessary to further His kingdom.

You are loved.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Until then, we wait.

Lately this phrase has brought me a lot of peace: Until then, we wait.

It seems like we are always waiting, doesn't it? Even after God has provided so abundantly and thoroughly in recent weeks, I still feel like I am waiting. Waiting for my job to start, for my husband to come, for real life to begin.

I have been reading this book called "When the Heart Waits" by Sue Monk Kidd. It has been exactly what my heart and soul has needed during this in between time. It is helping me redefine what it means to wait, and has fed the fire of the hope inside of me.

Our culture as a whole is constantly moving forward, barely slowing down to appreciate the milestones and memory markers along the way. We think we are wasting time when we are not doing something. Near the beginning of her book, Kidd quotes a monk she met during her visit to the St. Meinrad Archabbey:
" 'When you're waiting, you're not doing nothing. You're doing the most important thing there is. You're allowing your soul to grow up. If you can't be still and wait, you can't become what God created you to be.' " (22)
 Instead of waiting, we often fill our time, schedules and lives with movement.
"Movement is a kind of diversion from our inner misery. Without the stimulation of forward motion, we're troubled by thoughts we usually keep at bay. Yet, stillness is essential." (33)
And often times, it's painful to wait. It can seem like the "rawest kind of agony," (21). You beg and plead with God to fulfill your needs now. I mean, if God and/or Jesus can satisfy all my desires, why doesn't He?? 

Because often times, what we need is found in those times of waiting. Spiritual growth and ultimate fulfillment come as we painfully wait for what we think we want. As we trust in Jesus and obey His commands, we find the satisfaction, joy, love and worth we have been longing for. As Kidd writes:
"Transformations come only as we go the long way round, only as we are willing to walk a different, longer, more arduous, more inward, more prayerful route." (19)
There are no short-cuts in God's kingdom. God cares more about the process than the product. Even then, when we arrive at our long awaited destination, we find that there is always the next thing we are waiting for. I am starting to see that it really is in the "in-between times" where the most growth happens. Moreover, it is where most of life happens.

My hope in this time of waiting grows as I recall each time God has been faithful to His promises. I have been here before, waiting for the next revelation, for greater understanding. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. And I have more faith than ever that it will happen. And when it does, I will once again be amazed by God's greatness and abundant provision.

Until then, we wait.

You are loved.

PS- Sorry, this post has nothing (directly) to do with Uganda. Just wanted to share :)