I started the quest process with what I thought was a good idea of what I would learn, but instead what God taught me was of much more value. My mindset going toward Uganda, at first, was that I would be ministering and showing sympathy towards an impoverished people; sharing what I had, but actually, I had it completely backwards. Through the people and culture of Uganda, God taught me that even though the majority of people there lacked the 1st world comforts that I am used to and their living situations didn’t meet the “American standard,” it gave them an advantage over the many who have all of those things. Without the distractions of the material, the Christians there were able to commune with God in ways I could only begin to understand. Relying on him completely for their immediate needs and finding joy by abiding in him made their faith so evident in their lives. In listening to the story of a pastor named Emma I was struck by these words “and I was a Christian, so I shared Christ with her” (referring to a woman he came across while walking through a local slum.) Throughout the whole of his story you could see very obviously where God spoke and he responded. After coming back I realize how challenging it is here to commune with God and hear his voice over the shriek of the daily distractions, but after experiencing the sweet silence of Uganda, I know it is not impossible, it will just take more perseverance. -Savannah
I didn't really know what to expect when we went to Uganda. I didn't know what I would learn, what I would see, what I would do. But once we got there it became so obvious that God placed us there and His hand was doing so much there. He taught me so much about what it means to be humble, and he reminded me that I am no better than anyone there. All those people in Africa are loved by the same God, and just because I live a cozier life doesn't make me more important. I was taught so much about joy from all those children, who never ceased to be happy and praised God with everything they could. I pray I get to go back someday, and the entire experience strengthened by dependency and my faith in God. Rachel
the team was delayed out of uganda but made their connection and joined the City team on the last leg home.
bags however did not make the quick connection. heading out on the shuttle soon and they will call parents.
watch for a team summary soon.
This will be our last update from Uganda... there is a mixture of sadness and anticipation to get home in our leaving.
On Monday we headed to Kaliro, a village 3 hours from Kampala where director Ben grew up. We were able to experience life as many millions do: without electricity, without running water. Our students learned how to pump water from a bore hole, and step by step discovered how valuable water can be when you aren't able to just turn on a faucet.
Nurses Gladys and Annalynn and Dr. Brian accompanied us to the village so we could host a medical outreach. Our students led the hand washing, deworming, and wound care stations. They were able to see firsthand how simple medicines can save lives in remote areas.
We woke up on Tuesday morning to the sound of rain on the tin roof. We packed up early and drove to Jinja, where we encountered the Nile river! We were able to relax on a lunch cruise around the Nile, spotting local birds and enjoying each other's company (and yummy food!) We drove back to Kampala and enjoyed time with our CLD family.
Wednesday was a full farm day! We woke early to drive out and got our hands dirty putting wood ash and manure in an entire field. The boys also got to try out the irrigation system called the "Money Maker" while the girls learned how to shuck corn. After a delicious lunch, we headed to Thread of Life to join the weekly English class led by Florence. The class students were talking about their families this week, and it was touching for all! We were also able to help support Thread of Life by purchasing some hand made products for our friends back home.
Today we will be heading to the school to help the teachers with their geography curriculum. We are looking forward to spending one last afternoon with all the children. Tonight we will be packing, and spending one last evening with our new CLD friends. They have been very gracious hosts to us and many new friendships have been forged. We are particularly sad to be saying goodbye to our friends Leticia and Dinah, who have accompanied us most of our days in Uganda.
We are looking forward to sharing with you all we have seen and learned. Here are some brief quotes from our students:
Juan: Thank you for all the prayers! The weather here is awesome. (te quiero mucho mami)
Savannah: Love you all! I'm only coming home because I have to.
Rachel: Thank you for all the prayers. You can really see God working here and His love everywhere. I can't wait to get home!
Ethan: Thanks for the prayers!
Emily: Thank you for praying for me and the team! Mommy, charge and bring my phone please! And a ying yang drink from Fairy for Josh. To everyone else, God love you.
Via: Hey guys! Thank you for thinking of me. I'm having an amazing time here and I can't wait to be back home.
The Quest Celebration will be held on Saturday, February 21 in Northborough, MA at 11:30. The celebration is open to immediate family members, youth leaders, mentors and pastors. We are expecting a larger crowd so please be sure to RSVP with your name, number of attendees and the quest that you are connected to. Looking forward to a great time of sharing and celebration. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been without internet for the past 2 days, and are preparing to head to the village where we will be without for 2 more days!
On Saturday, we started with a great morning devotion with the Come Lets Dance crew. They asked our students some hard questions about why they were here and what they've learned so far about being a servant, and being a leader.
We then drove out to Double Portion Farm, the 20-acre farm that helps feed the children at WCIA and also serves as a vocational training center. Farm Manager Emma took us on a tour of the farm, explained the Farming God's Way practices they use, and introduced us to all of the farm workers and students. We learned about how to make compost (it's like baking a cake!) and helped input fertilizer into the soil. We ate a delicious fresh lunch and enjoyed some musical entertainment from one of the farm students. We spent the remainder of the day at the Kids House, playing with the students and enjoying games and laughter with them.
On Sunday we visited Great Army church near the Katanga slums for a time of worship. This is the same building where we visited the slum school on Friday, with Headmaster/Pastor Emma. Our students were able to present a brief song to the congregation, which they greatly enjoyed! We enjoyed seeing the contrast in worship between Uganda and America.
Below is the group singing their song in church on Sunday. Juan is not pictured because he is down on the floor playing the local drum.
We were able to visit the African Craft Market in the afternoon to shop for souvenirs. Then we headed to the home of Emma and his wife Annette. They have three children-- Kato, Kizza, and Joshua. We had a GREAT time playing with them at their home! We were also able to witness how much time and effort goes into making a meal here. Annette was a very gracious host and cooked for us a feast! We finished off the night by sharing some testimonies and hearing about Pastor Emma and Annette's stories.
Today we are heading to the village of Kaliro, where CLD director Ben grew up. We were able to hear some of his story last week so it will be exciting to put a visual to the story. We will be hosting a medical clinic this afternoon, and will be stopping by the Nile on our way back home tomorrow.
We continue to covet your prayers! Everyone remains healthy and excited to hear from you.
Yesterday we arrived very early in the morning and took a quick nap at our beautiful guest house. We then enjoyed a Come Let's Dance overall orientation. After a local lunch of kikomando, we headed to Wakiso Christian International Academy for a tour, led by Grade 6 student Maria. We heard from headmistress Sherinah about creating sustainability for the school, how to incorporate critical thinking into education, and the difficulties parents face in putting their children in school. We also toured the Kids House, where many students board. We were able to join the students in their daily Worship session to end the school day.
Today we heard the life story of Come Lets Dance director Ben. Inspiring! Then we took a tour of Thread of Life, the sewing and craft shop/community center that works with moms from the slums (many of whom are parents of kids at WCIA). We walked through the local fruit and vegetable market and experienced what it's like for a typical Ugandan to buy food. In the afternoon, we headed to a small school in the slums to teach for the afternoon. This was a challenge for our Questies, as they ran into the language barrier in the younger classes. They DID enjoy playing with the kids outside before and after school.
As we've been meeting CLD leaders and Ugandan friends, we have been asking them their definition of servant leadership. One of the coolest explanations we heard today came from Aaron: serving comes first, and leadership follows naturally.
Everyone is healthy, and so far enjoying the local food! Thank you for your prayers, we love you!!
Heard from the Uganda team! They have arrived safely. Pray as they adjust to climate, culture and jetlag.