Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prep for Uganda

Now that I've decided to go to Uganda, I have begun the necessary prep work to go. Last week, I went to the health department to get my first round of shots - including Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Polio, Yellow Fever, and MMR. I go back in a few weeks for a second round, then I am supposed to go again in six months to complete my vaccinations.

The girlz went with me and were such great support. Although I was a little concerned about the side effects of receiving the shots, actually receiving them didn't bother me, but it did the girlz. I spoke with the health department nurse for about 30 minutes about the vaccinations I needed while the girlz listened on. When she left to get the shots ready, out of nowhere, my 8 year-old, "A", took a pen out of my purse and started writing on my hand. I asked her what she was doing and she said she wanted to write me notes of encouragement so I wouldn't be worried as I got my shots. Here's my hand by the time she was done - I think she enjoyed that a little too much ;-)

 A little hard to read but this one says...

Go Mom

I Heart U

You are Awsum

The other side says...

I Heart U




Skype Me!

Of course, my 10 year-old, "M", had to get in on the action...

Hers reads...

Go Mom!


Follow your heart, gut and God

Trust in God


You're fab!

And the other side says...

Bring these things with you to Uganda: Courage, Hope, Faith, Skype, your phone

I love my sweet little cheerleaders! I couldn't help but smile as I saw the notes all over my hands as I was getting my shots. And so far, from what I can tell, there were no side effects ;-)

I also applied for a passport for the first time. I had to expedite it since the trip is coming up so soon and I need it to get my visa. Thankfully, it only took a little over a week to come in!

A large part of prepping for the trip is learning all I can about Uganda and the area we'll be traveling to. I began a post on my blog here where I'll add interesting information as I find it. My pastor also suggested I read a book called Girl Soldier by Faith J. H. McDonnell and Grace Akallo. The product description reads, "For several decades a brutal army of rebels has been raiding villages in northern Uganda, kidnapping children and turning them into soldiers or wives of commanders. More than 30,000 children have been abducted over the last twenty years and forced to commit unspeakable crimes. Grace Akallo was one of these. Her story, which is the story of many Ugandan children, recounts her terrifying experience. This unforgettable book--with historical background and insights from Faith McDonnell, one of the clearest voices in the church today calling for freedom and justice--will inspire readers around the world to take notice, pray, and work to end this tragedy." It's very difficult to read the horror stories in the book but necessary to understand where the orphans are coming from. I love to hear testimonies of triumph and how God is saving these children from a life of despair - showing them grace, mercy, forgiveness and unconditional love.

The most important thing I think I can do to prepare for the trip is to pray. I would like to ask you to join me in praying for the following things for our small team that is going to Uganda…

• Safe travel and that we will remain safe while in Uganda
• God’s favor, wisdom, and discernment in making business decisions pertinent to Calo Me Lare
• God will equip those He has called
• Good health
• God will provide for our families back home

The countdown is on!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Uganda - "The Pearl of Africa"

Since I'll be going to Uganda soon, I thought I better read up some about the country and it's customs so I'll know a little of what to expect. Here's a few interesting facts I learned...

Uganda Weather:

Uganda has tropical weather conditions which are moderated by the high altitudes. The hottest months are from December to February but it is still cooler at night. The wet seasons in the south of Uganda are from March till May and in northern Uganda from April to October. You can find current weather conditions in Lira, Uganda here.

Seasons in Uganda:
Spring: November - December
Summer: December - February
Autumn: March - April
Winter: May - October

Uganda is a little smaller than the state of Oregon.

The average flight from Oklahoma to Uganda is about 32 hours long.

50% of the population of Uganda is 15 years of age or younger.

Websites About Uganda:

A Traditional Wedding:

Peace Africa Children:

Complete Guide to Uganda:

Lord's Resistance Army:

"I Will Follow" - By Chris Tomlin

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Last year, I got involved with a non-profit organization called Project Hope Worldwide (PHWW) which is building an orphanage, medical clinic and school for orphans and widows in Lira, Uganda. I helped plan an auction and dinner, called “Kwero”, and we were able to raise close to $45,000 which went straight to the orphanage. You can see current updates and progress of the building of the village (a.k.a. “Calo Me Lare” or “Village of Redemption”) on the PHWW facebook page here.

The pastor of our church is on the Board for PHWW and recently asked me to be the “official” blogger for PHWW and write weekly reports on the progress that is being made. Well, a few nights ago, I was at dinner with some friends and I received a text from him that read, “Would you like to go to Uganda with us on our next trip?” Wow! What do you say to that?! Well, I spoke with him at great length the next day and he said he was planning a business trip to go to Lira, Uganda in November of this year. As the PHWW “blogger”, he asked if I wanted to go to interview and take pictures of the first orphans that will be living at Calo Me Lare. I would also be reporting on the progress that has been made on the building of the village and the work still to be done.

I’ve always thought it would be “neat” to go to Uganda but now that I have the real chance to go, the thought of it makes me a little anxious, to say the least. I’m really excited at the thought of it but at the same time I’m thinking, “Why me?!” I’m so unqualified – yes, I know God used lots of people in the Bible who were “unqualified”. But still, I just think someone else could do a much better job than me – which also makes me think God must be calling me because He could have called anyone else. But why me of all people?

And of course, as a mother and wife, I think, “What if something happens to me?” And there’s the concerns of the cost, who will watch the girls while I’m gone, side effects from getting shots and taking malaria medicine, etc. I suppose that’s when my faith must step in and I have to remind myself that God loves me, has a purpose for my life, has his hand on me, and goes before me wherever I go.

So... after MUCH prayer and talking things over with my hubby, I am actually going to Uganda! Wow! Can't believe I just wrote that! It's all happening so fast! The unknown is still a bit frightening to me but as my friend, Sandra, reminded me, "God does not give you a spirit of fear." Another friend, Kelley, who will be going with me to Uganda, said she came across this quote from a book she's reading called, Primal"faith equals God-ordained risks in the face of fear." I am claiming John 14:37 as my verse for this season of my life. It says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." And while I feel there are so many more people out there who could do a much better job than me, I am also believing the promise that God equips those He calls. It's not about me anyway - it's about me joining God and His passions and allowing Him to use me to accomplish His will.

We told the girlz the news tonight and thankfully, they were really excited about it and even wanted to go, too! We love to do volunteer projects as a family, but this one I'll have to do alone. It will be so hard to leave them behind but I know I have their love and support. They prayed the sweetest prayers for me tonight - brought tears to my eyes. When I kissed "A" goodnight, she said, "Wow, Mom! Uganda's like on the other side of the world!" So I suppose that maybe they are learning something from Steve and me, there is life outside of our little family box - and God doesn't always call us to do what is "safe".

Looks like I just signed myself up for a new adventure! Stay tuned and keep your prayers coming for our small team going to Lira! They are MUCH appreciated!