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Category Archives: Uganda

Uganda – Gabe Llewellyn, May 2016

uganda-photo1This trip has already taken a few unexpected turns and is forcing me to look ultimately to the Lord for guidance. The missionary couple I was supposed to meet is now stateside recovering from a serious illness. Because they were my main point of contact, I will be leaning on the Lord all the more as I seek to connect with the right people and navigate the country of Uganda. I have been given the names of several key and strategic people to meet up with during my time here. Please pray that I will make contact without much trouble and that these relationships will be fruitful.

The plan right now is for me to fly into Entebbe, spend some time with a contact point in Kampala (near Entebbe) and then make my way to Karuma (red star) where I will look to spend the majority of my time there at an orphanage called Restoration Gateway.

Blessings,

Gabe Llewellyn

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Uganda, Day 5 – February 2016

IMG_7210Being able to represent UBC at Restoration Gateway has been one of the the most amazing experiences of my life. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to go to Uganda on my first mission trip. This trip has revealed to me, on many different levels, how I should not “put God in a box” and doubt Him or what I can do through Christ. I think many of us often find it hard to believe that we can give something good to the world around us, or make a difference in people’s lives. We believe in what God can do around us, but not what He can and wants to do through us. For me, on this trip, I really doubted that I could do good in a week with two suitcases full of yarn. I doubted that my knitting could have as powerful an impact on the residents of Restoration Gateway as dental and medical care or ministry teaching. Though I was sure I would be able to assist quite a lot on this trip, I doubted that my God given talent would be very useful.

Thank goodness God is not limited by our lack of self confidence! In three days I was able to teach thirty five women to knit. Each day I taught a different pod of mothers at Restoration Gateway to knit. We sat in a circle and thIMG_7221ey picked out different yarns to work with. After a quick lesson, we chatted and laughed for several hours. The women truly seemed to enjoy having a break from their daily routines and being able to have community time with one another during the brief lulls between chores and errands.

Later in the day, I would go into town with Joyce to meet with some of the local women of Karuma. Specifically, we met with a collective of local women, who due to unfortunate circumstances, are forced to prostitute themselves to make ends meet. They have formed a group in order to support one another and learn crafting and job skills. The first day I arrived, the women welcomed me with big smiles and quickly pulled me into the center of their group and picked out their yarn. I noticed one young lady not interacting and learned that she was deaf. I sat next to her and handed her supplies. I began to show her how to knit and she perfectly mimicked everything I did. I was completely blown away and by the end of my hour long visit, she was quietly knitting away on several inches of fabric. The next day, after teaching another group of house mothers, I returned with Joyce to the local women and was surprised to see even more women waiting for me. While I sat in their circle and taught, I noticed a group of children gathering on the sidewalk watching us. When I looked up, I saw that they had picked up sticks and string from garbage piles on the street and were trying to knit IMG_7235with them! I happily pulled them over and gave them their own supplies. They learned quickly and were very happy that they could keep the soft and pretty yarns I gave them.

On the third day, we went on our outreach into the village ofJambia. I was able to work with a large group of women under a tree while they waited to be worked on inside the meeting hut/temporary clinic. I was not expecting so many women, at least thirty, to be there and only brought supplies for ten women to learn to knit. None of the women spoke English and I needed a translator to explain everything to them. Again, God proved that He is never limited by our understanding. Instead of leaving because there were no supplies for them, the women who could not learn to knit gathered in circles around the woman who had supplies and watched intently and made helpful commented on what the women should do to knit correctly. They all took turns and shared the supplies, so by the end of the day, every woman had a chance to try knitting. My translator was incredibly helpful and kind. A church elder in his village, I don’t think he expected to spend his day with a group of womenIMG_1623 explaining to them how to knit. While I worked with one group of women, he worked with another, explaining to them how to knit and even grabbing his own pair of needles and yarn to demonstrate! When it was time for me to leave, all of the women prayed for me to return to them soon and to bring back enough yarn for everyone.

The entire trip I prayed for God to bring clarity of mind for myself and to all of the women who I ended up teaching. I was totally blown away when I would teach because every single woman understood what I showed her and by the end of the lesson was knitting very well! Even if I only had an hour to teach five women, they would all end up knitting beautifully. When I would come back the next day to see how they were doing, their work would be nearly perfect, with no mistakes.

IMG_7256On Thursday we went on a safari through Murchison Falls National Park. We were able to see so many beautiful animals up close. The gorgeous landscape of Uganda was truly on display during the safari. It solidified for me that our God is the ultimate crafter. He has knit this world together perfectly and uses every person to weave beauty into His creation. When we step back and let God work through us, when we stop putting God in a box and believe His promises, the overflow of creativity and beauty will be immeasurable. I am so grateful that I was able to experience this first hand while sharing my God given passions with so many women around me.

Written by Morgan Bame

 
 

Uganda, Day 3 – February 2016

thumb_IMG_1319_1024This latest trip to Uganda provided us a great opportunity to see 2 Corinthians 4:7 lived out beautifully, as the Gospel flowed forth through many different types of ‘jars’ – whether by dentistry, medical care, knitting or teaching.  The gifts of the church and parts of the Body of Christ, all working together, to show it is through various conduits that the Gospel is carried, and yet the message is the same.  In caring for the least of these, we met physical needs, wove fabric together to make scarfs and taught the practical outworking of this Gospel message.  It was neat to see the multi-faceted ministry of Restoration Gateway served through various ministry aspects, as the Gospel was sown among the children, those who serve them day in and day out, as well as the surrounding community of Karuma.

I had the privilege of teaching in the primary and secondary school there on Restoration Gateway’s campus, ‘Oaks of Righteousness’.  It was an invigorating opportunity for me to teach the Biblical Basis for Missions, why we are involved in missions, and how we live out this idea of missions.  These kids have been learning the ‘Family Story’, as taught by Clark Lasse, our partner.  The Family Story has been taking these kids on a journey through the overview of Scripture from Creation to Christ.  I was able to help build on this foundation, and teach them the implications of how to live out this story, in their everyday life.

As I reviewed this beautiful plan of redemption with them, and the call we are given to proclaim it to those who have yet to hear, I was encouraged by theirthumb_IMG_1376_1024 retention of the Word, their resolve to understand it’s importance, and responsibility to live out the Great Commission given to them.  As I took a break between teaching sessions,  standing out in the courtyard of the school, I thought about the impact that this could have on this community of orphans and widows, the city of Karuma, the country of Uganda, and the world!  We don’t travel across the globe to just reach the nations, but to teach them to observe all that Christ has commanded us.  How many of these kids will leave ‘RG’ and find various jobs in commerce, government, education, orphan care, or even serving as church planters throughout their country and the world.

Once an orphan, now one sent on mission; once an outcast, now an oak of righteousness that has been planted to bear fruit:

“I wil greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden thumb_IMG_1355_1024causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all nations.” – Isaiah 61:10-11.

While hanging out with the kids one afternoon, I found myself under a tree, probably not an oak tree, but a mango tree with two of the kids I had just taught in class.  Ambrose, one of the boys’ names, said ‘I really enjoyed your teaching’.  That simple response of gratitude will be cherished, as I prayerfully continue to faithfully pour into the next generation, helping them to dig roots deep into the Gospel, that will sprout of into faithful, fruit bearing disciples.

Written by Ryan Martin

 
 

Uganda, Day 2 – February 2016

On Tuesday morning we woke up early and went our separate ways. As Jeff and Julie headed off to the dental clinic, Morgan to knit with the women, andIMG_4477 Ryan to teach at the school I went to the hospital. Restoration Gateway just finished building five separate hospital wards: a surgery ward, women’s ward, men’s ward, obstetrics ward, and a children’s ward. Each ward a different building in a semi-circle. While RG does not currently have the staff to fully operate this hospital they are still treating patients out of the surgery ward. They have four tables set up three of which were equipped with doctors from the States who were there to volunteer, and one Ugandan clinical officer. The medical clinic sees patients from RG as well as people from the nearby towns. Some of the people walk for several hours to get to the clinic. We saw patients with a wide variety of needs and of various ages. The majority of the patients who came in were very ill with malaria (it was like flu season in the States once we saw one patient for malaria they all seemed to have it). We were able to see the patients and give the correct medications to help treat their illnesses.

As we went throughout the day caring for all of the patients physical needs, we also addressed their spiritual needs. Before sending each patient on their way, we asked them if we could pray for them.  The people shared their needs and we prayed over them. Some people respectfully sat in silence as we prayed, while others prayed out loud with us thanking God. I was amazed with the gratitude we were shown as we cared for these patients. They never complained about the wait, or even discomfort from any procedure, they simply smiled and thanked us for helping them. While at times I felt inadequate (like my services were not of much help), God reminded me IMG_4311that even in the small things, like putting on a Band-Aid, these people needed someone to be the hands and feet and provide for them what they could not provide for themselves. It was not just about the Band-Aids, the medicine, and the medical care it was about serving the Lord. These people needed to not only be treated physically, but to be reminded or shown for the first time that they are loved and were created by a God who will never fail them.

God not only showed me and reminded me to be His hands and feet while caring for others, He also showed me, through the staff, to take the time to really slow down and see what is right in front of you. In the business of the clinic, it would be easy to do your task and send people on their way.  The workers at the clinic took the time to get to know one another and the specific talents with which God gifted each individual. They respect one another and take the time to seek out each other’s opinions and expert help on a situation they don’t seem to know everything about. They helped one another out in order to better serve the people. In taking this extra time and having another pair of eyes to see a situation, each patient was seen with a different view, a different light – seeing them like Jesus would.

Written by Bethany Patton

 
 

Uganda, Day 1 – February 2016

FullSizeRenderWe woke up our first morning at RG in Uganda with the rising of the sun and the crow of a rooster.  The sounds of the African bush waking continued as I rose to see the children doing their morning chores, scrubbing the porch, getting the water, the Mamas lighting their outdoor ovens and the sweeping sound from their homemade brooms.  After breakfast the children headed to school and we headed to the workers’ devotion time. Ryan was giving the devotion that morning and at the end the drums sounded and some of the women sang and danced to the worship music making a shrill sound that indicated the joy and excitement in their praise.

After devotion we made the walk to the dental clinic, a fairly large building with 6 treatment chairs.  The local dental officer and his assistant greeted Dr. Jeff and I.  They wash and sweep the floors every day before clinic because of the persistent red dirt that gets everywhere here.  We set up the supplies that we had brought and got ready for the patients for the day.  And soon they came, adults and children alike, lining up to see the people from the States that had come to work.. Before the day was through we would see about 70 children and 15-20 adults.

But what opportunity could we have to show God’s love and gospel here all day in the clinic? Soon we would see how God’s love works in different ways: the older man who had never been to the dentist before but was willing to try with us and how sharing with him how God’s love had sent us other the ocean to this place gave him calmness and joy for his treatment; Morris, the 12 year old boy who wanted to be brave but tears rolled down his face when we told him he needed a filling and and injection to numb and how God gave me the privilege to prayIMG_4426 words of trust and comfort over him that helped him overcome his fears and for myself to have hands that were gentle and painless; when Dr. Jeff sang songs from Frozen to help the missionary’s daughter relieve her fears to treat a tooth; for the growing camaraderie with our fellow workers in the clinic, Jasper and Tapesta, and what a witness they were to us after learning what hardships they had personally faced and yet the joy of the Lord was prevalent in them.

This day and the following days of clinic and outreach in a nearby village were long and hard and still I wondered if our work was proving the gospel of Jesus to them in the short time we encountered them in treatment. But when I saw the children at lunch and in the evening and the workers at devotion and walking on the road to and from clinic, some would say “I remember you” and the greeting of Paul to the church of Phillipi comes to mind, “I thank God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident in this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

And so now our hearts are bonded in Christ with the Ugandans of Restoration Gateway and the promise that His word will not return void.

Written by Julie Rogers

 
 

Uganda – October 2015

Michael Gaddy and Brendan Ho traveled to serve with Restoration Gateway and help them further their Business as Missions ventures.  Here are some highlights from their trip.

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Uganda in Pictures – July 2015

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