My Trip to Uganda

Uganda MapAs part of my M.Div program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) and as a result of God’s work in my heart, I will be traveling to Mbale, Uganda this May for a two-week missions trip. This is specifically designed as a “vision trip,” to expose me to other cultures (particularly in the majority world) and to provide vital experiences which will help our family discern if God might calling us to teach or minister in another part of the world.

I have created this page to to journal through this experience, focused on these goals:

  1. To keep you updated, including where I’m at, what I’m doing, fundraising and other preparations, etc.
  2. To share prayer requests and stories of God at work in my life & those around me.
  3. To share pictures and insights into the Ugandan people and culture.

I look forward to your joining me on this journey.

Uganda Theological Reflections

What I didn’t really count on when I left for Uganda was that I would come home with some deeply-probing new questions. Of course, I looked for the theological implications attached to and underpinning my experiences while preparing and while I was in-country, but I wasn’t really expecting my theological reflections to fall into totally different categories than the questions that were pressing on me as I was preparing to go. I guess I should have expected that, but I didn’t. What can I say, I’m a bit slow.

Instead, when I got home, I found I was spending a lot of mental cycles on three specific questions. Having devoted a few weeks of thought and prayer to them, I’d like to share my current thoughts. They will no doubt continue to evolve, but here’s where God’s got my head and my heart at the moment…

1. Tuesday, June 27, 2017 — What is success?

2. Thursday, June 29, 2017 — How does Matthew 25:31ff relate to Uganda?

3. Saturday, July 1, 2017 — What can the Western church do for Uganda?

And that concludes this adventure. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these reflections, or any other aspect of the journey. God has really blessed me through it, and through the many people who loved and supported me through it. Thank you all!

Sunday, June 18, 2017 — Presenting Uganda

block_uganda_presentation_20170618I presented my trip to Uganda to my church family. We celebrated Father’s Day briefly, but it was predominantly a day of missions. First, as a group, we sent our friend Amanda (not the one who led our Uganda trip; a different Amanda) off to Israel as a long-term missionary. Then we spent the rest of our time together talking about Uganda. Of course, we ran out of time, so we didn’t get to discuss theological implications nearly the way I’d hoped. Instead, I’ll be publishing those soon. In the meantime, check out the presentation I made to our  church (note: it’s a 38MB PDF download).

Uganda Travel Journal

Saturday, August 5, 2017 — Ugandan Shillings for SaleUgandan Shillings

I thought it’d be easy to exchange my leftover shillings for dollars. I was wrong. (Read more)

Sunday, June 4, 2017 — My Tribe

Of course, I had to bring some local garb back with me from Uganda for the Bablock tribe. This is us, at Culver’s, after church on the Sunday after my return…

Block Tribe

Tuesday, May 31, 2017 — The Journey HomeFlights to Uganda

It only took 30 hours, but we’re back in the States. (Read more)

Sunday, May 29, 2017 — Church, Debrief and DancingWatoto Church Service

We attended Watoto Church, a megachurch in Kampala, spent the afternoon debriefing, then took in a show. (Read more)

Saturday, May 28, 2017 — Tyranny and Tourism Uganda Team at Mengo Palace

We spent the morning learning some history about Uganda as we toured the Buganda palace at Mengo. Then we shopped, relaxed, and swam the afternoon away. (Read more)

Friday, May 27, 2017 — Traveling Cross Country

We left Mbale, dropped off our UCU friends, and wound up back in Kampala. A day of travel and tearful goodbyes. (Read more)

Thursday, May 25, 2017 — Really Busy, but Really GoodKids Running Around

It was a cray day today. We probably tried to pack too much in, and I struggled with grumpiness. But God is good, and the day was good, and looking back I’m very grateful for it. (Read more)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 — Water, Water EverywhereWaterfall 1

Today was a day of living water, drinking water and falling water. We worshipped and prayed, we hiked, and we visited a JENGA bore hole in the slums  (Read more)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 — Soccer and Prison Ministryprision ministry

We gathered up in a big public field to play football (soccer) with a bunch of kids from the city, and then headed up the mountain to preach at a local prison. (Read more)

Monday, May 22, 2017 — A Day of RestRest

I skipped out on what ended up being a brutal hike in the mountains. I very much enjoyed a restful time of prayer and journaling at the Guest House. (Read more)

Sunday, May 21, 2017 — Worship and Communityhouse-of-prayer

The first day in Mbale was the Lord’s day! I had a wonderful time with a local church, where I preached, and then we rested at a local resort. Great day! (Read more)

Saturday, May 20, 2017 — Journey to MbaleJourney to Mbale

We left Mukono (suburb of Kampala where UCU is located) and traveled East to Mbale, where we’ll spend the bulk of the rest of the trip. (Read more)

Friday, May 19, 2017 — Okuzimba and KidsOkuzimba Museum 1

We visited the Okuzimba museum, which commemorated martyred missionaries, and then spent time with some wonderful kids at Children Alive Ministries. Fantastic day of “field trips” in rural Mukono. (Read more)

Thursday, May 18, 2017 — A Day of ConversationUCU Symposium

We spent the day with our UCU friends in lectures and symposiums, discussion all kinds of social, cultural, and theological issues. (Read more)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 — TIU, meet UCUUganda Christian University

Uganda Christian University is one of the premier universities, Christian or otherwise, in Uganda. (Read more)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 — Arrived in UgandaArrival in Entebbe

We made it. After only 25 hours of travel, we are wheels on the ground at Entebbe International Airport. We’ll stay in Kampala tonight, then on to UCU. (Read more)

Saturday, May 13, 2017 — Counting Down to Departure

This is getting real. I leave Monday. So grateful for my family, for my church, and to have a weekend between last week and wheels-up. (Read more)

Sunday, May 7, 2017 — Praying, Packing and PlanningPlanning

Heading to Uganda in 8 days. Can’t believe it’s almost upon us. The closer we get, the more exciting it becomes. But there’s a lot left to do. Thought I’d share an update. (Read more)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 — A Vaccinations TaleVaccination

It was a big of an adventure, and quite educational, to get all my meds and vaccinations for the trip. Here’s the more-than-a-little-interesting tale. (Read more)

Saturday, April 8, 2017 — Uganda trip fully funded!

Praise the Lord, and celebrate with me! Thank you to all who gave and are praying! Our fundraising is complete; we are at 100% (Read more)

Friday, February 24, 2017 — So grateful for so many

As of today, I’ve reached the half-way point in my fundraising, as so many friends and family have pledged support of both money and prayer. This includes Life Bridge Community Church (our wonderful church), which is now officially sponsoring me. I’m so blessed and grateful for all the loving support we’re receiving in this adventure!

Saturday, January 14, 2017 — I’m going to Uganda!

Official support letter — We invite you to partner with us in prayer and financial support.

Photo Credit: Visit Virunga National Park (background); Lower Park School (map)