Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hello from Kabale! Yesterday we left Kampala about 1pm because we had to update our three Ugandan cell phones (which as of now are still not working!), get money exchanged and buy Israel a wardrobe and toiletries for the week. We tried to find him clothes in Kampala with no luck and knew we had to leave to make Kabale before too late.
We stopped in Mbarara (about 2/3rds of the way between Kampala and Kabale. (total 8 hours drive). It was dusk and Sue and Israel dashed into a darkened alley way with tiny shops of clothing. We found one with men's clothing and Sue began tossing shirts and pants his way! It was completely pitch black and we really couldn't see anything. I used my Blackberry to light up the counter so the woman could write out a receipt for me!
Off we dashed and over some newly paved highway and some typical really huge potholed roads we made our way to Kabale. Christopher, our driver drove the van and Charles Tuhaise drove his car. After Mbarara town, it got dark and we still had 135 kilometers to drive to Kabale. Night visibility was nearly nil. Charles later said he was driving on auto-pilot, but thankfully, that was after we arrived at our hotel in Kabale.
We arrive in Kabale at 10:30pm. Another very, very long day (the third) of travelling. Our hotel in Kabale is very nice. We left this morning at 8am for the village. The new highway is awesome but it still took us about 45 minutes. Everyone was very excited to see us. Tito greeted us on the road and ran along with the van to the office. We attended All Saints Anglican church (right by the ACT office) this morning from 11am to 2pm. Before that, Charles suggested we drive up the highway above the marketplace toward Kisoro to see an "aerial" view of the marketplace. It's the first time we have had that view! We discussed ideas for land for ACT activities.
David was the main preacher in the service and as always, was outstanding. Charles translated his sermon as he went along. There was much dancing and singing and praising God.
Following the service, we had a huge lunch prepared for us Ugandan style. After lunch we started the ecumenical service under a large tent. We are estimating there were about 300-400 people there. It was momentus! Charles did a roll call of all the churches who were attending and there were 7 churches represented. David again preached and painted the vision of all Christians coming to gether to restore the church. It was truly inspiring. Father Bruno translated this time. This service ended 5:30pm and there was many photo ops and visiting. All in all, a very, very good day of fellowship with our precious partners.
We arrived back in Kabale by 7:30, had dinner and Charles and I are now sitting writing this blog. He has some greetings for you:
Hi everyone. We just had an awesome day in Muko at the inter-church fellowship. Apart from what Sue reported, what was remarkable for me was that we I asked God for a rainless afternoon in my prayer this morning. Rain would really have made the inter-church fellowship difficult. The tent was a 100-seater and we had nearly 400 people turn up. Guess what. God answered our prayer. Its rainy season here, but as we started the afternoon meeting, the sun suddenly broke through the clouds as to confirm God's presence at the meeting. The whole afternoon we had a beautiful sunny afternoon as rainfilled clouds threatened an invasion at a distance. But something (I think God's presence) just kept them away. It started raining as we drove back to our Hotel in Kabale. Talk about answered prayer! We saw this today.
We thank you for coming back to read on the progress. Overall things are moving as expected since we arrived in Kabale. We have a board meeting Monday morning and look forward to another successful day.

Thanks, Charles...We are signing off now. It's 11pm and we are both pooped!!! Take care, keep praying and tomorrow night we will try to get back sooner to town and maybe upload some photos. Be well. Goodnight. (Sue)

Friday, February 26, 2010

We're Here!

We arrived at about midnight last night at Entebbe after some difficulties traveling. Wie received all our luggage except Israel's suitcase. There is no way to get his suitcase from Entebbe airport to Kabale so we are going to buy him some clothes to take! We will be leaving Kampala around noon today to drive to Kabale. We are sitting at the Turinawe's house, the nicest Uganda home David's ever been in, having coffee and then will visit MTN to update our cell phones.

We got to bed at 1am and are a bit tired. Christopher, our driver, has loaded all the suitcases (except Israel's) and we are off! Please pray for safe travel today to Kabale.

We look forward to the two worship services tomorrow in the village. The first will be at All Saints Church and David is preaching. Then we will have lunch and the big ecumenical service begins at 2pm (or thereabouts...) David is preaching at that service as well. We expect hundreds to attend from at least 17 churches: Church of Uganda (Anglican), Roman Catholic, Pentecostal and Muslims.

Be well - we miss you and wish you all could experience what we are experiencing. We'll do our best to convey that through this blog and when we return.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Trip Schedule

Our Visa into Uganda

ACT-Michigan Mission Team visit to Uganda Feb 2010 Schedule

Here is our schedule as it stands today. When in Uganda, we will be 8 hours ahead of EST in the U.S. If you want to send a message to the team, you can text my phone at 989-859-1700. To receive texts is free for me; to send them $.50 each so I likely will not reply unless you ask me to! Thanks for your prayers...

Thursday, Feb 25th
Leave for DTW at 10:00am from Waechter’s.
Leave DTW at 2:30pm for Dulles then Amsterdam

Friday, Feb 26th
Arrive Entebbe at 8:40pm (KLM #561). Pick up by the Adonai Guest House van.
Richard and Generous and Charles to greet us at airport

Saturday, Feb 27th
8:00am Christopher pick us up at Adonai Guest house to go to Turinawe’s to see the kids before we leave.
9:00am or later, leave for Kabale. The drive to Kabale will give us time (8 hours!) to talk about some of the work.

Sunday, Feb 28th
10:00am Service at All Saints Church of Uganda in Muko Marketplace (Rev. Joshua, Dr. J. David Pierce preaching)
Lunch and fellowship with partners. (provided by All Saints Church)
2:00pm Ecumenical Service in Muko Marketplace between Muko Martyr’s Church and All Saints Church. (David will be the main pastor in the service)
See clinic and possibly Habuhinga land. Meet with Blasio at Clinic to discuss the solar power and water

Monday, March 1st
AM - Meet with ACT – Muko Board (Agenda items: ACT Project Approval Process land, ACT Centre, MEP – building the business, Muko HOPE, Strategic Planning, review document from ACT-Michigan Board for project proposals.
Lunch with ACT-Muko Board – Muko Campsite
2:30 PM (Muko) - Meet Mr. Didas Mukasa (Chair LC111 Muko Sub-county) about the land for the ACT Centre
3:30 PM (Muko) Mr. Nelson Bikangiso (Muko Sub-county Chief) about the land
Meet with Blessing to discuss how Muko HOPE is going and his vision.

Tuesday, March 2nd
9:00am Meet with Kabale District Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) regarding the land

In village, meet with MEP women and leaders to plan the future of the business. (Israel and Sue) At the same time, David, Ced, Tim & Charles go to land to further investigate the site and the building possibilities and water for clinic (inspect the gravity water scheme) and inspect the solar power system. If time allows, visit the HOPE Seeds nurseries.
Lunch (at Bunyonyi Campsite Restaurant)
Sue teach quilting techniques to the MEP women. Ced teach solar cooking or water education

Wednesday, March 3rd
Spend time with Blessing visiting a few orphan homes.
Meet with the Orphans/Guardians at the ACT office for thanks/greeting/distribution of orphan packets.

Ced, Tim, David and Charles continue with land/building/water agenda

Thursday, March 4th or Friday, March 5th
8.00 – 10.00am visit children in schools – Kabale
2:30 pm. Depart our way back to Kampala, arriving around 10.30pm.

Friday, March 5th
AM Market - Purchase baskets/handcrafts to bring back

Minister of Education or Early Childhood Education officials to hear presentation about the Legacy Center and the Tote program
Other Meetings in Kampala?

Saturday, March 6th
Purchase fabrics for the Ecumenical Sewing Group

Sunday, March 7th
7:15am – 9.30 am Worship in Kampala at the Turinawe’s church St. Stephens Kisugu Church of Uganda (Rev. Huntington Mutebi) (David participate in service)
10.00 – 12.00pm Worship service at Watoto Church (Charles Tuhaise’s church that sponsors the Watoto orphanages and Children's choirs)
Fly out at 10:55pm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Packing, Packing, Packing

Five 50lb suitcases will accompany the five of us. Filled to the brim they will contain about 250 Siebert T-Shirts to distribute to villagers, 48 packets of schools supplies for each sponsored orphan, 20 donated t-shirts from Scott Haines, gifts to hand to people we meet (e.g. Minister of Education), quilting materials to teach the women to make quilt pieces, fabric for quilting, 150 or so little dresses made from pillowcases by the Ecumenical Sewing Group for the girls in the village, and other miscellaneous items.

We are preparing our own, personal "stuff" to take including a water bottle that has a built in filter for having potable water on us at all times, mosquito repellent along with our Malarone tablets to help prevent Malaria. Some of us have purchased clothing to wear on the trip and then leave behind with villagers.

Please pray for the acquisition of land for our ACT Centre, the resolution of some personnel issues in the village, the strategic planning of the ACT-Muko Board of Directors, the establishment of the Muko Empowerment Project business of making handcrafts to provide for earning wages and revenue for other ACT programs, assessment of getting water to the clinic, and safe travel for all of us (U.S. and Ugandans).

God is good!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Preparing to depart once again...

Dear friends and supporters,

Our 2010 Mission Team is preparing to depart for Muko Sub County, Uganda on Thursday, Feb 25th and returning home on Monday, Mar 8th. Our team is comprised of Rev. Dr. David J. Pierce, Ced Currin, Tim Yeurgens, Israel Pacheco-Santos, and Sue Waechter.

Our goals for this trip are to:

1. Furthering our relationship with our Ugandan partners by spending time in worship and fellowship with them.

2.Assess the Muko H.O.P.E. (Helping Orphans Prosper and Endure) Orphan Sponsorship program.

3. Assess the land for our proposed ACT Centre.

4. Agree on the purpose/function of the building (ACT Centre) with our partners in Uganda.

5. Assess getting water to the health clinic.

6. Beginning to build the Muko Empowerment Project organization in order to provide wages for villagers and sustain revenue to all ACT programs.

That's alot for only having 5 days in/near the village! Pray for us as we prepare. Pray for our hearts, our patience, our safety and the well-being of those with whom we will spend time in Uganda.