Follow by Email

Monday, September 2, 2013

Africa- Uganda 2013

         I've been meaning to get on here again and make sure I document for you our experiences visiting the country of Uganda in Africa, because I DON'T WANT TO FORGET.

      I don't want to ever forget the beauty and strength of these people. I don't want to forget their welcoming beautiful smiles (their white and often straight teeth too-I have never seen so many people in the poorest of conditions with such amazing teeth!)
      I don't want to forget the women in the poor neighborhoods of Kampala whose faces smiled graciously as they told me of how much they are thankful to God for. These are women who have 4-6 children, they had all lost their husbands and they had to make ends meet on their own. God helped them find a business or a labor job and now they are proudly putting some of their children through college.
      I don't want to forget Apostle Alex Mitala who never owned a pair of shoes until he was 16, but now he owns a pair of cowboy boots (he says they are to hide his poor beat up feet), he runs an orphanage (that schools 2,500 kids and houses 900 children-many of these children have lost family to AIDS), he harvests food to fund and feed the children and still he has greater visions to do more for his people (more things that the government fails at doing like building fresh water wells and medical clinics).
     I don't want to forget the beautiful faces of the students and orphans we met at Destiny School, nor the exuberant members of Saints' Gate Church in the slums of Katwe.
     I don't want to forget the images I saw of mothers on the street carrying children on their back and furniture or goods on their heads. Nor all the adults and children walking or riding bikes for miles to the nearest clean water well after they have already had a long work day. These people work so very hard, day in and day out. I could see myself complaining if I had to do all that they do!
     I don't want to forget Uganda because these Ugandan people taught me much. They taught me how much I have and how UN-grateful I am for it, for they thank God for what little they have. They taught me how selfish I can be when a small moment of my day can go wrong, for they know how to rely on God for everything when they have lost greatly and suffered much. They taught me how important education is, for they eat up knowledge and are eager to learn how to overcome their challenges with it. They taught me that maybe all that I have is a detriment to me, because it makes me rely less on God and his higher power. I admire them. I am in awe of them. I saw God working so evidently in this country that I felt honored to be just a witness of the many miracles that were going on. God is able to move in a country of people who get on their knees and need him greatly. God's power is made perfect in our weaknesses as the Ugandans have shown me (2 Corinthians 12:9). I may have gone there to share some of my little story, sing some little songs and teach a little hula, but they, they were the one's that taught me everything, not the other way around. I am grateful for these teachers of strength, gratitude, faith and the enduring human spirit.
 Children of Katwe always ready to smile and see their picture after! Many smile and wave and begin to follow you. However some will cry and run, because apparently some of them get told that if they wet their bed the white man will come and eat them!

 walking with the sweet children of Katwe, who just grab your hand as they walk along side you.
                               I admired all the older kids taking care of the younger ones.
                                      This boy wants to be a pilot when he grows up
The typical walkway in the neighborhood of Katwe right next to Saints Gate Church.
                             A popular gathering place (a clean water well) in the bush.
He is precious!
Children gather at the water well daily collecting water for their families. (the children of Katwe at the well above)

 The ladies at the Nehemiah Training school enjoyed swaying their hips to the hula. (To my left is Annette, a brilliant woman. She was my translator. I'm sure explaining the hula moves was a bit of a challenge for her, but she did it!)
 Chelsea (L) and Connie Surratt (R)with Apostle Alex Mitala next to one of his vegetable fields (above). He was loaned money from members of Seacoast Grace Church (Cypress, CA) to buy and make a profit from these fields. He said it taught him good business practices and how to handle money well and he paid his loan back!
                                           Alex's employees that help him at the farm. (The boy in the yellow t-shirt grew up as an orphan under Alex's Good Samaritan Home)
                                A busy and well attended medical clinic (available for the villagers by generous donations) the girl standing to the left also grew up as an orphan from Alex's Good Samaritan Orphanage and she now is a leader in this community.
Get as many bananas on there as you can!!!
 This was a regular site along the road both in the city and in the country side. Adults, mostly women walking with loads on their heads, loads on their backs and loads on their shoulders.
 Bikes are a useful tool that not all Ugandans have. Bicycles are useful to carry family members, water from the wells, food and goods to sell etc.  Ugandans are very talented with what they manage to fit on a bicycle (above)
Destiny School and Orphanage, so many beautiful kids.

                                         Tyrone makes a little church buddy
                                        On our way with Nurse Terri! (Terri answered all kinds of health and first aid questions for the people, she was very helpful even for our team!)

                                               Cindy, Cathy, Elina and Connie
      In front of a newly built medical center, funded by generous donations.
              Lots of our meals provided for us consisted of "Irish"-what they called cooked potatoes, rice, meat, plantains, bananas, cassava, beans etc. all very tasty.
The majority of our team is included in this photo (missing: Tyrone, Doyle and Cody Surratt)
                    Walking around a village in the bush that has already received a clean water well, medical center and church. Things are looking up for this community. (L to R: Cow w/horns, Terri, Connie and Cindy)
Dan and Cathy Burgner started a fundraiser called Uganda 3:16 to build a clean water well, medical center and church for over 2,000 people.
The leaders of the village church that will receive the well, medical center and newly built church. They sang, danced and gifted the Burgners with a goat.


It was an honor for us to witness the groundbreaking of a new clean water well, medical clinic and church going up in the bush of Uganda (Lut/Kikooba Village) If you would like to donate and be a part of the good going on in Uganda, please visit this website :
http://verityproject.org/pages/uganda316




 Children of the slum neighborhood of Katwe, Kampala, Uganda that surrounds Saints Gate Church. SGC serves the Katwe community. (Tyrone and Pastor Doyle challenging the kids)
 A few of the many beautiful children of Destiny School and Orphanage (above and below)
Cathy handing our toothbrushes (above)




Scott demonstrating his toothbrushing technique to the students!

The following video below (that I quickly edited)  is just to show you a brief glimpse into some of our experiences, but no way did we capture enough of the story.  

To learn more about the new clean water well, medical clinic and church going up in the bush of Uganda (Lut/Kikooba Village) go to:

 If you would like to donate and be a part of the good going on in Uganda, please visit this website :
http://verityproject.org/pages/uganda316

To donate money to the women of Uganda you can purchase beautiful jewelry that they have made at:
http://verityproject.org/collections/all





5 comments:

  1. Awesome! Thank you for sharing this journey. God will bless you for being His hands and feet and singing voices! xo
    Connie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow sounds amazing and something I would like to expieriance. Hope you and Tyrone continue making a difference while your there! Crystal Martinez

    ReplyDelete
  3. THIS WAS SO BEAUTIFUL! Elina! I absolutely loved reading about your appreciation, admiration and love for the people of Africa. I also really enjoyed watching you and Tyrone lead them in dance and songs. What an amazing adventure. So proud to call you my friends. Love you!
    ~Brenda

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing. I am living in Haiti currently and love hearing of friend's travels to spread the good news and learn from the orphan, alien, and the widow. :)

    ReplyDelete