Skip to content

Wrapping Up

March 25, 2015

Hey everyone!

I finally have a chance to sit down and finish up with this final entry on my time in Ugnada.  I know there has been a bit of a gap between my posts, but I think it’s been good for me to be able to take some time and process some of the things the Lord spoke to me and taught me.

During most of my second week in Uganda, I was able to have the opportunity to spend time with my brother and take part in his work with Empower-a-Child.  (http://www.empowerachild.org).  EAC is a Christian ministry that has been around since 2008.  Their primary mission is to move kids from “poverty to possibility” and work to help children discover the love of Christ and grow to a place where they can become successful.   They started out by providing sponsorship for kids all throughout central Uganda, but the director later felt God’s calling to provide a central location for their ministry base.  God allowed the ministry to acquire a 40-acre plot of land in Zirobwe, about an hour from Kampala.  This area used to be a very spiritually dark place, and the people used to perform child sacrifices and consult with a local witch doctor.  There was a local primary school in the area, but the education was very poor quality and the kids would often get beat and abused.  It was amazing to see how the Lord has already transformed the place, and is making an impact for His kingdom.  A church now stands at the exact spot where the child sacrifices used to take place, and EAC was able to acquire the primary school and transform it into a place where kids from the community can receive education, care, and love, and are shown the love of Christ.  I have been able to follow my brother’s work through updates he sends, but it was awesome to be able to experience it with him first-hand.

Before heading up to the village, I joined the EAC team for a ministry outreach to a local children’s hospital.  We gathered the kids together to hang out and play games, sing songs, and act out a Bible lesson.  I wish I could have taken pictures, but it is the hospital’s policy that pictures are not allowed.  It was great to see the joy in the kid’s faces, and how genuinely excited they were to spend time with us, despite their disabilities and illnesses.  It reminded me of seeing the kids at Cherish, and the kids at the deaf and blind school in Burundi.  Many of these kids are not otherwise given care and love, and their disabilities are a source of embarrassment for their parents, so they are put out on their own.  It was encouraging to see the work the hospital is doing to help out these kids.

After spending time at the hospital, we headed up to the village.  It was great to see my brother “in his element” in the village, and see him interact with all the kids.  It was awesome to see the genuine excitement of the kids to see us, and how eager they were to get their picture taken and look at themselves in the camera.  It was funny that almost everyone would ask my brother and I if we were twins, and their shocked look when I told them I was two years older.  After hanging out with the kids at the school, we went into the village to meet with some families that a couple other volunteers were planning to give chickens to raise.  It was great to walk past people’s homes in the village, seeing the simplicity of their lives and how they are content without all the distractions that we deal with daily.

The next day we gathered the younger kids before school started for a Bible lesson and singing songs.  I really had to step a bit outside my comfort zone and just open up and be ridiculous in front of the kids.  After that, we spent some time finishing up the brick work for a storehouse for the food that the kids are fed during lunch.  Right now, the food supplies are stored in the staff homes, so this permanent storage unit will be a great blessing.  I really gained an appreciation for how difficult it is to lay brick, and was even more impressed by the high quality construction that was done at Cherish.  I also got a chance to meet Moses, the Ugandan boy that my brother is sponsoring.

After finishing up our work, we came back to the church to lead Scripture Union, the weekly chapel service for all the primary school children.  It was great to see all the kids gathered together, and see them joyfully worshiping.  The volunteers take turns every week with sharing the message, and one of the guys gave a great message on Job, and waiting on the Lord.  We invited anyone to come up and pray afterwards if they wanted to give their life to Christ or needed prayer for anything.  While no one came up immediately, as we were wrapping up one little girl came and said she wanted to give her life to Christ.  It was a great reminder that it’s not all about the numbers, that even though dozens of kids didn’t come up, there is still rejoicing when even one comes to join God’s family.

After Scripture Union my brother and I walked around the EAC site to hang out and talk.  As we were walking, I felt two little hands reach up and grab mine, and I discovered a group of several kids following us.  It was great to see them so excited to just walk with us, and spend some time hanging out together.  After the kids got out of school, we got the chance to hang out and play games with the kids, and brought out the soccer ball and football.  It was fun to just hang out and spend some time with them.  In the evening, we had the chance to go and visit Moses and the rest of his family.  It was great to meet all of his siblings, and I was encouraged by seeing his father sacrifice and prioritize his family and his kids.  Many fathers in the village are absent, and go away for months on end, leaving their wives to fend for themselves and take care of the kids.  Moses’ father is breaking this trend, and is a role model for other men in the church.

The next day, we spent the morning meeting with several women who are part of the “Women Empowerment” program.  As I mentioned earlier, many of the men in the village are absent, and the women are left to fend for themselves.  This is a relatively new program, where EAC has stepped in to help the women earn a living through farming or making bead necklaces that are sold in the States, and it helps empower them to be able to provide for their families.  We went to follow-up with some of the women who are part of the program, to figure out what their needs are, and how we can more effectively serve them.  Many of these women have 6+ children, and it was cool to hear about how this program has really helped them to provide for their families.

Overall, my time in the village was awesome, and it was great to be able to get a first-hand experience of the work my brother has been doing.  There is something refreshing about getting away from the city, and going somewhere where there is no running water, electricity only when a generator is running, and not having access to phone, e-mail, and internet.  As I’ve felt before, I was struck by the simplicity of the lives of the people, and how they are content with very little by Western standards.  It was great to interact with the kids, seeing their smiling faces and joy in just hanging out with us, playing games, taking part in activities, or just walking with us.  I loved seeing their passion to learn and go to school, and how they count it as a gift and a privilege.  It was awesome to be able to take part in the ministry of EAC, and it’s amazing how the Lord has already used them to transform the community in Zirobwe, and make His light shine and glory known.  I’m excited to see how He continues to use them.

After returning from the village, I spent one more day wrapping up my work at eMi.  I was able to arrange a meeting between some of the leaders at EAC with some staff at eMi, and it was great to be able to facilitate and allow an opportunity for both ministries to share about one another.  EAC has some big plans and visions for their land in Zirobwe, and they are a great example of the type of ministries that eMi likes to come alongside and help plan out their future vision.  There is a real possibility that someday in the future, eMi will be able to host a project team, and it would be awesome to be able to go back to Zirobwe and use my engineering knowledge to help with some of their future building designs.

Along with wrapping up at eMi on Friday, I was asked to again share at Owino market at their daily lunchtime service.  Along with the radio ministry, Pastor Arwin leads a worship service everyday at lunchtime.  I was able to share the Word when I was there two years ago, and it was a privilege to again be able to get up in front of everyone and share with them.  I shared about the church in Laodicia in Revelation 3, and how we need to fight being lukewarm by allowing the Lord to draw us to Himself.    Pastor Arwin has a cool ministry in the market, and it’s so good to hear about the Word of God being openly preached in a public setting at the busy market everyday.  I pray that the Lord will continue to use the ministry to draw people to Himself.

In the evening, Ramadan had us over to his house for a “local style” dinner.  This was similar to what I had before, where everyone sits on mats on the floor and shares communal food in the middle.  This was one of the neatest cultural experiences I had when I came before, and I’m glad my brother and some of his volunteers got to come as well.  It was great to see some of Ramadan’s friends from the market including Hakim and Eddie, and it was a great time of community with some of the local people.

Before I knew it, my time was wrapping up and it was time to head back home.  I enjoyed spending my last few hours hanging out with my brother and Ramadan, and some others from EAC.  It was really encouraging to especially talk with Obbo and Patrick, two of the local Ugandan staff with EAC.  Both of these guys work tirelessly, and really sacrifice a lot to help the work of the ministry.  Obbo works every single night as a guard to ensure the safety and security of the compound, but he always has a big smile on his face and is always happy to talk and takes a genuine interest in people.  Patrick drives the volunteers and staff to various ministries and twice a week drives to and from the village to bring the team for their mid-week work and church every Sunday.  On top of that, he always jumps into the work with both feet, and it was inspiring to see him working so hard and diligently while we were in the village, even though he wasn’t feeling very well.  He also frequently is asked to make special trips, and will always give rides whenever there is a need.  On top of driving to and from the village when we were there, he made special trips across town to pick us up from the worship night at Doors, take us back for our meeting with eMi, and also took me to the airport.  Both of these guys are two of the most hard-working, sacrificial people I have met.

What really struck me was that while I was talking to them, they said that I was an inspiration to them.  They really thought it was inspiring that I would take time off work to come and help serve, and that I use my abilities as an engineer to help those who are in need.  I really feel like I’m not doing that much, but it was really humbling to hear from them, two guys who do so much to serve others, that I was inspiring to them.

Overall, my time in Uganda was awesome, and I’m so grateful that I was able to go back.  Even though the time was quick, I’m grateful I was able to help out at eMi, get a taste of my brother’s minsitry with EAC, reconnect with so many people that I’ve grown so close to, and get a focused time away from all the distractions and responsibilities back home.

“I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath into you, and you will come to life.  Then you will know that I am the Lord.”  -Ezekiel 37:5-6

The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

-Isaiah 58:11

During my two weeks in Uganda, I really felt like I was able to draw near to God, and that He used this time to strengthen me and uplift me.  In some ways, I felt like I came alive again, and I renewed my focus and energy in trusting in Him and being satisfied in Him.  In some ways, I feel it has been easy to allow life to become routine or mundane, and just go through the day doing the same thing over again, feeling like the Lord isn’t really working.  Along with that, I feel like I have been struggling with chasing after things that won’t satisfy me, rather than finding my true satisfaction and contentment in God.  My time in Uganda helped me gain a fresh and renewed perspective on things, and really helped remind me of how big God is, and what He wants to do in me and through me.  As I continue to press into Him and seek after His will, I am eager to see how He continues to grow me and shape me into the person He wants me to be.

Please continue to keep the people and ministries I have been able to connect with in your prayers.  It was refreshing to be able to connect with them again, and I’m excited to see how the Lord has used their work and ministry, and am eager to see how He continues to work in them.

Thank you so much for all of your faithful prayers and support during my time in Uganda.  I’m really grateful for each one of you, and appreciate your continued prayers as I fulfill my calling here in Washington, DC.  I am going to sign off for now, but I plan to continue to use this blog to post about future trips with eMi and other opportunities that the Lord presents.  Thank you for reading, and many blessings!

In Christ,

David

Spiritual and Physical Healing

March 9, 2015

Hello everyone!

I meant to post more while I was in Uganda, but things got really busy with activities and limited internet access.  I made it back safe last weekend in the middle of yet another east coast snowstorm, and had to wait for a train from Newark to DC due to flight cancellations.  I’m grateful I was able to get home that night though, and didn’t have to wait in the airport overnight.  Like many of you, I’m definitely ready for Spring to come!  I wanted to break up my remaining entries about my visit back to Uganda into a few separate posts, since my experiences were so different and varied.  I’ll be writing several updates in the coming days, so you can look for that.

On my second Sunday, I was grateful to have the chance to go back to All Nations Discipleship Church, the small, 50-member Ugandan church that become my home when I was there.  It was great to be able to reconnect with Pastor Albert, Pastor Sam, and the other members.  Everyone remembered me from before, and it was great to introduce myself again, and share about how even though we are separated by many miles, we are all together in the family of Christ.  I enjoyed being back for the service, and was struck at how free and open everyone is with their worship.  Everyone was genuinely excited about being there, and their joy resonated and overflowed around them.  I think this was another aspect I got used to when I was here, but it was great to again experience an authentic Ugandan church service, where people are open to get up and dance in the aisles and move around.  I was also struck by how joyful people are in giving.  Instead of just passing a plate around during announcements, everyone joyfully dances up to the front to give their tithes and offerings, and it’s something people get excited about.  It’s a great picture of being a cheerful giver from 2 Corinthians.  It was a blessing to again hear Pastor Albert preach, and he shared a great message on the need for workers from Matthew chapter 9, and the need for prayer to gain a Christ-like perspective and compassion for others.

After church, Jeremy and I were graciously invited over for lunch at Pastor Albert’s house.  It was great to be able to sit and catch up, and also hear more about the missions and outreach work of the church.  The church does a big outreach trip every December to various parts of the country, to share the Gospel to remote villages and equip and enable to pastors in those areas.  It was awesome to hear stories about many people putting their faith in Christ, including a former witch doctor, who now is training to become a pastor.  Pastor Albert shared that he is working on sending a team at least once per month to those villages to meet with the pastors and follow-up with new believers, to be able to equip and strengthen those who have recently put their faith in Christ.  He talked about the work of discipleship, how it is an on-going process, and it was great to hear about their commitment to these new believers.  We often hear about teams from the States going abroad on missions outreach, which is a great thing and is needed.  But it was so refreshing to hear about a local Ugandan church going throughout the nation to outreach and equip and share the love of Christ.  I’m struck how a church that is relatively small, with I’m sure a small budget, still places an emphasis and importance on missions and reaching the lost.  They may not be rich by worldly standards, but they have a Heavenly perspective, and it’s awesome to see how the Lord has been using them to reach the lost, both in Kampala and elsewhere.  I’m reminded about the opportunities that the Lord has given me right here in Washington DC, and that there is work to be done even locally.

On Monday I spent part of the day working at the eMi office, wrapping up the designs for the first of 3 buildings I was able to work on.  In the afternoon, I had the awesome opportunity to go back to Cherish and see the completed Hope Health Center, the first project I worked on during my time in Uganda.  As a quick review, Cherish as an organization that outreaches primarily to kids who have HIV or are affected by HIV.  Uganda has gotten better over the past couple decades, but HIV is still very prevalent, especially in some of the rural areas, and there often is a very negative stigma associated with the disease.  Many children who are HIV-positive are refused treatment at hospitals, and are cast underneath the scope of proper care and treatment.  Parents are often embarrassed about it, and the kids end up staying at home until they die.  Or, there is an attitude of “they are going to die anyway, so we won’t provide care for them” by the hospitals and clinics.  Cherish takes these abandoned kids in, and provides housing, education, and healthcare for them.  They have about a dozen children’s homes on their site, and also a primary school.  eMi came in two years ago to help them expand and improve the healthcare aspect of their ministry.  We provided a 3-phase masterplan for a hospital and clinic, and detailed design for an outpatient clinic for their first phase.

I’ve shared about this before, but it was an awesome project to be able to work on, and I was blessed to be able to see the project all the way from conceptual design and meetings with the minsitry, to surveying the site, to finally seeing groundbreaking right before I left.  It was awesome to be able to see the entire design process through, and it was rewarding to be able to come back to years later and see the finished product.  During design we had to work through some unique challenges.  Cherish wanted the building to feel very open and inviting, which meant high ceilings, exposed trusses, and long spans.  We had to come up with a design that wouldn’t warrant the need for intermediate columns in the waiting room, and allow a high ceiling with a clerestory in the middle of the clinic, to allow for light and airflow.  As I was walking through the building, I remembered working on the designs, and getting particular areas to work the way they were supposed to.  I was even able to meet one of the local workers who helped with the construction, and tell him personally how good of a job and high quality work they did.  This is the first building design project I ever worked on, and it’s both rewarding and humbling to think about how the Lord will use it to help those in need and spread His love. It will really make an impact not only on the affected children, but also be an education center and healthcare resource for the community as a whole.  The closest hospital is many miles away, so this will allow people to get the necessary medication for HIV prevention and help out with other sicknesses and diseases.  The building will open in about a month, once they get the rest of their needed equipment for the laboratory and other resources.

During these couple of days in the middle of my two-week visit, I saw a clear picture of the healing presence of the Lord, both physically and spiritually.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  -Isaiah 41:10

It was so awesome to see how the Lord provides healing for the nations, both physically and spiritually.  Hearing the stories from Pastor Albert of God’s redemption in the lives of people in the village outreaches showed me the Lord’s healing power, and how He brings people from darkness to light.  Seeing the completed health clinic, and how the Lord will use the facility and the staff to meet people’s physical ailments and ultimately show His love also reminded me of His power over sickness and death.  Above it all, the Lord is in control, and will provide the strength and endurance we need, and will take care of our physical needs and satisfy our spiritual hunger.

I’m going to wrap this up for now, but look for another post in the coming days where I will share about my time with my brother and the village outreach with Empower-A-Child.

Thank you again for all of your prayers and support.  This trip was truly a blessing, and I’m grateful for all of your prayers during my time.

Blessings,

David

Serving and Reconnecting

February 24, 2015

Hello everyone!

I hope you all are doing well and are staying warm, I’ve been hearing about all the snowstorms hitting the east coast and the cold temperatures in the midwest.   I’m about halfway through my visit back to Uganda, and it’s been an awesome time!  My days have been packed, and it has been great to be back here to serve again with eMi, reconnect with friends, and visit my brother.

Upon arrival, I was struck by how different things are here than in the U.S.  When I was here before, I think I grew so accustomed to the way things are that I didn’t even notice it anymore.  Things such as being awoken by the rooster crowing early in the morning, shops along the side of the road open late at night, seeing fresh fruit stands seemingly at every street corner, the craziness of riding through the city with lack of traffic regulation, and seeing chickens, cows, and goats along the side of the road.  Yet in many ways, it feels like I never left, and everything came back to me as if I were here yesterday.  As I was riding back into Kampala from the airport, all of the many great memories of my time here before came back to me, and I felt so grateful for all the amazing experiences I was able to have when I was here.  In some ways, it has felt like returning to returning to my second home.

I’ve spent most of the past week working at the eMi office here in Kampala on the Amazima project.  I shared in my last post that the project consists of a secondary school campus which will be used to increase the scope of what Amazima is able to do.  Right now, they have children’s homes and a boarding school up through 8th grade for the kids, but after they finish they have to find elsewhere to go to school, which can present some challenges.  The secondary school will be vital to continue their growth and education, and prepare them for university.  It’s a very large project by eMi standards, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to help.  There are no structural interns working on the project this term, so it’s been nice to be able to come and assist in developing the building framing systems.  My focus has been on the housing units for the students and staff.  To fit in with the natural landscape, the buildings are designed to curve with the topography lines and have shallow roof slopes, which presents some interesting and unique challenges.  Former interns Sam and Ellen also worked on the project last year, and it’s been nice to again work with Jeff, who was the project manager for the Cherish clinic and was also my mentor when I was here.  It’s been neat to again work with the construction materials and methods that they are able to utilize here in Uganda.  Besides work, it’s also been great to reconnect with all the staff and meet the new interns.

In the evenings, I’ve had the chance to go into town and reconnect with old friends.  I’ve been able to reconnect with many of the local people in the neighborhood, and it was also great to be able to see my old house and talk to Ali and Jackson, the guards at our house.  I’ve also been able to meet up with Ramadan several times, and it’s been great to be able to see him and the others at the market in downtown Kampala. I’m remembering how warm and welcoming everyone is, and how genuinely excited people are to see me and spend time together. I was able to meet some of the new people that Ramadan works with, and enjoyed spreading “Spartan pride” as Ramadan gave away some of the MSU t-shirts I had brought. I also met up with Pastor Arwin, who runs the radio ministry and daily church service at the market, and had the opportunity to get on the broadcast and share about the parable of the sower from Matthew 13. I’m again struck how open everyone is to the Gospel message, and while sometimes the messages can be overly emotional or overly focused on fire and brimstone, I really can see the Lord working here, and it’s exciting to see Him move.  My younger brother is here in Kampala working with another organization, and it’s also been great to be able to meet up with him.

Last weekend I met up with my younger brother, Jeremy, and we headed out to Jinja to get away for a couple days and go rafting in the Nile. It was a great time away, and we had a blast crashing through the rapids and flipping over into the water a couple times. We had a good time hanging out in the evening at a camp along the river, and it was a nice relaxing time to get away and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. It’s awesome how the Lord led my brother to the same place I spent so much time, and it’s been great to follow his work here and exciting to hear about him meeting some of the same people I got to know so well. I’m looking forward to spending more time with him this week and take part in his work with Empower-a-Child.

A highlight of my week was going to the weekly worship night at Doors, a ministry that takes in kids from the street and nearby slums to provide them a place to stay and schooling. God has provided in big ways for them. They recently were able to move to a new house and they have converted their old house into another boarding school, which will expand their influence and outreach.  One of the best parts of the night was meeting up with Irene, one of the two girls that I am helping to sponsor.  Very soon after I arrived, the Lord allowed Paul, a fellow intern, and I to cross paths with this family that was living in a slum nearby to Owino market.  Their home was about 3 feet wide and 10 feet long, and I really saw what true poverty is.  There were two young girls, Florence and Irene, who were staying with their grandmother who was HIV-positive.  Through the course of my time in Uganda, we were able to go back there with Ramdan, pray for them, and help them.  The grandmother received the best care back in her village, but needed to stay in the city with the girls so they could go to school.  Throughout my time here, Paul and I felt the Lord’s calling to help sponsor the girls in a long-term setting.  Ramadan and Mallory, the leader of Doors, were able to find a boarding school for the girls, and we are able to send money through Doors to sponsor the girls.  It’s such a blessing to be able to support them, and I’m just blown away at the Lord’s goodness and allowing our paths to cross.  I’m also incredibly grateful for the people here, who make the sponsorship possible.

Irene is attending the new Doors school at the home, and is staying with Monica, a former house-help for eMi.  I’m so grateful to Monica, as she has taken Irene in as her own, and is providing care and support.  When Irene saw me she had a big smile on her face, and ran up and gave me a big hug.  The last time I saw her, she was still living in the slum, and it was so good to see her doing so well.  She didn’t even know how to speak English the last time I saw her, but this time we were able to have a conversation.  I have been able to follow her progress from afar, but seeing her made it all the more real.  She is doing well in school, and I’m so grateful that the Lord chose to use Paul and I to help the girls and their family.  Please continue to pray for Florence.  I did not see her since she is at the boarding school, but I found out that she is struggling with having a good attitude and enjoying school.  The time of worship was also great, and awesome to see so many different languages and cultures come together to worship our Lord.

There is more to update, but I’d better wrap up this post.  I am back with my brother now, and we will soon head out to the village of Zirobwe, located about an hour north of Kampala.  I’m grateful to be able to spend some more time with him, and experience his work and ministry with Empower-a-Child.  Thank you so much for all your prayers and support.  It has been a tremendous experience so far, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be here.  I’m looking forward to seeing the Lord continue to work this week.

Many blessings to all of you!

In Christ,

David

“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”  -Psalm 103: 1-4

 

Return to Uganda

February 9, 2015

 

Hello everyone!

I hope all of you are doing well in your various places and activities.  Things have been going well for me, and it’s hard to believe that I’ve been in DC for over a year!  I’m very blessed to have a job that I enjoy, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know so many new friends and explore around the DC-area.  I’m confident this is where the Lord wants me right now, and I’m excited to see what He has in store in the future.

Anyway, I’m excited to say that I have been given the opportunity to go back to Uganda!  I will be there for two weeks, starting on Friday.  Ever since I finished my time in 2013 I knew that I would like to go back and visit, and I’m grateful that the Lord has allowed me this opportunity to go and serve once again.  I will be volunteering with eMi on an in-house project at their office in Kampala.  A year ago, eMi hosted a project trip to begin schematic design and master planning for a multi-phase project for a ministry called Amazima.  Amazima provides outreach and care for the poor and vulnerable in central Uganda, specifically to orphaned children and teenagers.   The ministry was started by Katie Davis, a young woman from the U.S. who felt the Lord’s call to move to Uganda, adopt several orphaned Ugandan children, and start a school and orphanage.  She wrote “Kisses from Katie” a well-known book where she talks about her decision to take this step of faith and about the work of her ministry.  The project eMi worked on last year was for a secondary school (high school) campus, which would expand the scope of what Amazima is able to provide with their primary school (elementary and middle school).   More information can be found here, which includes some renderings of some of the buildings eMi has begun to design: https://amazima.org/what-we-do/amazima-school

eMi has developed construction plans for the first phase of the project, and they would like to submit them to hopefully begin construction later this Spring.  Additional buildings have been added into the first phase that need to be designed, and eMi would like to expedite the designs to be able to add them into the contract for the first phase.  I will help develop structural framing for these buildings so they can include them in the first phase.  My internship experience will help out in this, since I’m familiar with the design software and procedures they use.  I’m thrilled to be able to return, and am grateful for the opportunity to once again use my engineering knowledge to help serve those that are in need.  It will be great to reconnect with the staff and volunteers I got to know so well over the 9 months I was there.  I’m also looking forward to seeing the completed health clinic at Cherish that I worked on designing, and also the construction for the new eMi/MAF office.

I’m also looking forward to spending some time with my younger brother, who is serving in Kampala with an organization called empower-a-child.  His work involves outreach and ministry to kids in Kampala and also a village north of the city.  I will be able to join him and his team in the village outreach during my second week, and am looking forward to take part in his day-to-day ministry.

I’m also going to be able to reconnect with several of the local friends I made during my time in Uganda.  It will be great to reconnect with friends like Ramadan, Hakim, Pastor Albert, the people at Doors ministry, and others.  I’m going to be able to take part in ministry opportunities at Owino market once again, and am excited to be able to attend church at All Nations again.  Besides serving with eMi and empower-a-child, my time will be pretty flexible, and I’m eager to see the opportunities the Lord opens up.

Psalm 34:8-9 speaks to me as I prepare to go:

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.  Fear the Lord, you His holy people, for those who fear Him lack nothing.” 

I can see the Lord’s goodness and provision in allowing me to go, and am so grateful for this opportunity.  I’m excited to see what He has in store during these two weeks.  Here are some specific ways you can be praying for me during my time in Uganda:

  • Work with eMi:  Please pray that I am able to work efficiently and diligently on the building designs, and that the Lord will provide me the necessary knowledge and endurance to finish the work that needs to be done.  Pray that I will remember that I am ultimately working for Him and His Kingdom.
  • Time with my brother:  Please pray for the time that I will get to spend with my brother, that it will be fruitful and uplifting for both of us.  Pray for me that I will be open to whatever empower-a-child has for me to do, and that the Lord will strengthen me during times I am outside my comfort zone.
  • Reunions with friends and other ministry opportunities:  Please pray for my reunions with the friends I have made in Uganda, that we will continue to build into one another.  Pray for other opportunities for ministry that may come up, that I will be open to whatever God has for me to do during my time in Uganda.
  • Remaining preparations:  Please pray for me over the next few days, as I gather together everything that I need to take, and make final preparations to go.  Pray that I will be a good steward of my time, and that I will use these next few days to continue to prepare mentally and spiritually.
I’m very grateful for each one of you, and am thankful for your faithful prayers.  I am hoping to post at least once while I am in Uganda, and will definitely post again after the trip.
Many blessings,
David
209850_779084102204_1061591258_o