Monday, November 9, 2015

Exploring Justice

While in Uganda this past summer of 2015, we had the pleasure to meet Samantha Lakin. She accompanied Papa Greg's friend and partner Dennis from Rwanda. During their short visit, we had compassionate and engaging discussions with this fellow American, lover of the African people and researcher of the Rwandan genocide. She challenged us with her thoughts about Christianity and was open to partake in all our crazy Ugandan adventures. She is doing big things here in America, as well as on her many trips to Rwanda. She had the opportunity to do a TedTalk not too long ago, and we wanted to share that with you!


Love,
The Team

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Update from Eastern Uganda [October 2015]

Brief Report of  UCC/Uganda chapter (from Pastor Richard):

-When a stone is thrown into cool waters, it produces one wave/ripple that  reproduces into other bigger waves. This ripple effect has positively influenced events in Uganda ever since UCC and partners cast their ‘stone’ in the waters of Eastern Uganda:

- Bukigai and the entire District hasn’t remained the same. The Bukigai Revival Mission Church  (BRMC) and its new building has already hosted two big district prayer rallies. The recent one this month was a prayer meeting for candidates who are to sit for their final elementary and secondary exams this year. So the BRMC building is not only serving the local community of Bukigai village, but serving the entire district !!! Glory to God and thumbs up for the UCC team.

Like I had stated in our proposal: A decent building commands respect to the church and positively influences the perception of the relevance of the church in a community. Its now a pride to identify with BRMC. New members are joining the church as the old members have been highly motivated to be committed to God the more. I will liken the now status of BRMC to the White House in the US !

Family Hui (FH)
-Reports from parents from the entire region indicate they have learnt to refrain from canning /beating a traditional way of disciplining children using a stick. This is curbing domestic violence.
-Nutrition of children is getting better with the aid of FH materials.

Poultry / Agriculture 
-A number of trainees have started making composite hips as an organic fertilizer to fertilize their gardens as opposed to synthetic fertilizers which ruin the natural soils and also affects the health of people who consume these produce.
-Contours/terraces are placed in gardens to prevent soil erosion.
-Poultry: Farmers who attended the training acknowledge improved yields. Chicks no longer die massively as previous times of ignorance the necessity of vaccines.
Some farmers have reported a higher yield of eggs enabling better nutrition especially for children. Some eggs are sold off to meet other needs in the family. Children are able to have fun with food as taught by Family Hui.


Personally I’m constructing a shed that could shelter 1000- 2000 chicken in Mbale. This could also serve as a demonstration farm in the region (see photo below). The shelter is still under construction.


You are loved,
Liz

Update from Eastern Uganda! [October 2015]

Brief Report of  UCC/Uganda chapter (from Pastor Richard):

-When a stone is thrown into cool waters, it produces one wave/ripple that  reproduces into other bigger waves. This ripple effect has positively influenced events in Uganda ever since UCC and partners cast their ‘stone’ in the waters of Eastern Uganda:

- Bukigai and the entire District hasn’t remained the same. The Bukigai Revival Mission Church  (BRMC) and its new building has already hosted two big district prayer rallies. The recent one this month was a prayer meeting for candidates who are to sit for their final elementary and secondary exams this year. So the BRMC building is not only serving the local community of Bukigai village, but serving the entire district !!! Glory to God and thumbs up for the UCC team.

Like I had stated in our proposal: A decent building commands respect to the church and positively influences the perception of the relevance of the church in a community. Its now a pride to identify with BRMC. New members are joining the church as the old members have been highly motivated to be committed to God the more. I will liken the now status of BRMC to the White House in the US !

Family Hui (FH)
-Reports from parents from the entire region indicate they have learnt to refrain from canning /beating a traditional way of disciplining children using a stick. This is curbing domestic violence.
-Nutrition of children is getting better with the aid of FH materials.

Poultry / Agriculture 
-A number of trainees have started making composite hips as an organic fertilizer to fertilize their gardens as opposed to synthetic fertilizers which ruin the natural soils and also affects the health of people who consume these produce.
-Contours/terraces are placed in gardens to prevent soil erosion.
-Poultry: Farmers who attended the training acknowledge improved yields. Chicks no longer die massively as previous times of ignorance the necessity of vaccines.
Some farmers have reported a higher yield of eggs enabling better nutrition especially for children. Some eggs are sold off to meet other needs in the family. Children are able to have fun with food as taught by Family Hui.


Personally I’m constructing a shed that could shelter 1000- 2000 chicken in Mbale. This could also serve as a demonstration farm in the region (see photo below). The shelter is still under construction.


Love,
The Team

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Buikgai: Church Construction

Most of what we give and get in Uganda is intangible: love, stories, relationships, encouragement, joy, praise, worship, prayer. The biggest tangible contribution we have made to the community in Bukigai is the financial provision for their new church. Three years ago, Alex and Milly Wori were sent with the beginning funds to start the foundation of a new church.
You can see the original papyrus structure on the left, and the men building the foundation.

Two summers ago, our large team of thirteen people were able to raise enough money to bring up the walls. This last year we watched the building transform as a roof was constructed and completed.




Leading up to our trip, and even while we were in country, we received an abundance of support so that we could also put in doors and windows. It was truly magical leaving the village knowing our brothers and sisters would have their first sunday worship in their new, fully enclosed building very soon


We left the village at this stage in the building.


Very soon after, it was totally enclosed! 

The people in Bukigai are very excited about this new building! It is the biggest structure for miles, and people are already inquiring on how to rent it out! It speaks volumes of the BIG God that wishes to do BIG things in the people of Eastern Uganda. On our first day in the village this past summer, the choir of the church, called Bukigai Revival Mission Church (BRMC) sang us the original song!



Lyrics:
Bye bye the church of papyrus
We are now in a concrete one
We congratulate you our friends from UCC
And the partners who supported us

We were ignorant people in papyrus
(something) with nothing to do
We appreciate you for the love that you showed us
Because now we shine shine shine

Praise God! It is honor to spread His provision and blessings to our brothers and sisters across the globe. Thank you for partnering with us! 

Love,
The Team




Uganda CELEBRATION!

Mulembe! (Ma-lem-bay)
Greetings! (Gre-ee-teens)

We are happy to announce that we will be having a celebration of all that God did this past summer through us and in our friends in Eastern Uganda. We will spend time sharing pictures, stories and encouragement from our most recent trip, as well as talk about where God is leading us next in this long-term relationship. It will be a time of great joy & celebration and there is rumor that there will also be some Ugandan treats!

Here is a sneak peak of what we will be sharing!


Join us to hear and see MUCH MORE! We would love to celebrate with you!

October 25th at 6:30PM
UCC Youth Room

Love,
The Team






Sunday, October 11, 2015

[July 2015] Update from Muganja

We received this email a few weeks following our return back to the U.S. It is written by our dear friend Geoffery Wori, Alex's brother and the pastor of churches in Muganja/Tororo area. He writes:

Greetings in Jesus's Wonderful Name!
I would like to update you on the impact of the recent training at Muganja in Tororo Uganda. On Saturday 25/07/2015 I went to Mbale and bought poultry vaccine for Newcasttle disease ( the Kukustar). I bought vaccine for 500 birds for the beginning and yesterday and today we happen to supply vaccine for 467 birds recorded plus my own 37 birds. That is 504 birds vaccinated in these two days.More farmers missed and on Friday I am going to collect another batch. I went to the district veterinary official  who was with us in the training at Muganja and he told me that he has the vaccine for  fowl pox of which we are making it available to the farmers on Saturday 1/8/2015 God willing.
Thanks for your care that we are now equipped for this to meet the challenges of poverty and its effects. I know more developments are going to be realized as we go along.
God bless you all!
This is such great news! Our short time in Muganja is already showing its effects. It is encouraging to our team to know that our message was well received, and encouraged people to action. We continue to hear positive reports from this region and from the other churches that we spoke too. Stay tuned for more details and stories!

Love,
The Team

Saturday, July 11, 2015

[2015] Home.

We have arrived safely back in Davis! Or at least, most of us. The Wori family has extended their time an extra week, and Moses will be staying an extra two weeks to visit with family. The remaining four of us (Greg, Jenny, Cyndie and Liz) traveled 30+ hours over the past two days, and returned to Davis last night exhausted! We were thankful to once again have paved roads, hot showers and our own beds!

With that said, we already miss the green landscape, the bright smiles and warm hearts of our brothers&sisters in Uganda. It is always bittersweet leaving behind these things, and returning to the normalcy of everyday life. All good things have to come to an end. And like our friends in Bukigai remind us, if we didn't live here, we wouldn't be able to fund all the things God is doing there.

We thank God for His provision, His glory and the chance to participate in His work across the globe. We are excited for what God is doing and will continue to do through us, through UCC and the churches in Eastern Uganda. Here are some pictures from our time there!

The very bumpy road to Bukigai

Almost to the village (Bukigai)

There are always lots of kids to play with!

Jenny and Ramich 

Ezra and Emmanuel working on the roof.

The construction crew!

Apparently, we will be going back next year for the next annual seminar! ;)

Since our seminar in Bukigai was three days long, we had a lot of time to break into groups to increase discussion and participation. 

Baby Jaden...we fell in love with him!

Ezra, Alex, Ramich and Jenny
The church and its beautiful view!

The River Manafa 

One of the many schools we visited! 

J. Chillin'

Greg looking (unintentionally) pensive.
Moses planning his next move. 

The seminar group in Bukigai with their certificates!

James and Jessica with their adorable baby Jaden. 

Just a typical visit to a school- lots of introductions, sharing and smiles!

Every school had a song to share!

Justine, Ann, Robert, Jenny (baby Kaleb) and Pastor Jessica. 
We were joined for a few days by Denis (left), who works with Greg and his non profit organization, Lead for Tomorrow. He brought a lot of fun and joy to our team during the middle of our trip. 

The villagers in Ikiki were very excited about their certificates, as well as taking pictures!

Jenny with Pastor Ruth (left) and Sarah (right), who is holding one of her new baby twins.

The view from our hotel in Kapchorwa! 

Greg is presenting a special soccer ball to Pastor Charles at Faith Community Church in Kapchorwa. The money for the balls was raised by a youth in Davis. We were able to give away six of them, and each time the people were beyond excited!

Hanging with some babes in Kapchorwa.


The group in Kapchorwa.

Clouds and cows.

The green in Kapchorwa just seemed a little more bright!

We stopped at Sipi falls on the way back to Mbale. 

Jenny did her very first seminar lesson. We were so proud of her!
Since Liz did not teach a seminar, she had a lot of opportunity to hang out with the kids! She often visited schools and shared with the children. This is in Miganja, at the New Vision for African Child school. 
In Miganja, the local District Veterinarian Officer join us at the seminar! It was awesome to make this connection, and hear from a local expert on the veterinarian issues and barriers in this region. 

Our time in Miganja was very special! It is unique place, full of joyful, Spirit filled people! Our seminar ended with a full blown dance party!

More pictures, updates and information to come! 

Love, 
The Team