0 comments Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Today is our last full day here in Uganda. It's also the first rainy day we've had here; really dreary and extremely unusual for the climate here. It matches some of our moods when thinking about leaving this beautiful country.

We had a good day, however, visiting New Creation School one last time and doing some shopping for friends and family (and ok, some for ourselves). We also had time to stop at KPC to hear the Watoto choir practice for their world tour (www.watoto.com for more info). These children are incredibly talented.

We just wanted to thank all of you for praying for us during this whole trip. We still have a lot to process but we do know for certain that your prayers have definitely made an impact. We leave for a morning flight tomorrow and will be back in Newark around 11 or so on Thursday. Hopefully we'll see most of you on Friday for cell/youth group.

I'll let the others share with you their personal experiences. See you all soon!

1 comments Sunday, July 1, 2007

Hi everyone! Internet here has been very sporadic... in addition to slow internet we have frequent nightly power outages. Sorry for lack of updates.

We've been doing quite a bit this week -- did a total of 3 medical/de-worming clinics (one on SeSe Islands which took a 45-min boat ride and 5 min additional ride on a "boda boda), and two in orphanages. We've also had opportunities to visit more orphanages and schools and did some sightseeing as well.

At our last debrief meeting, our team spoke on one common theme: our corporate sense of feeling immensely blessed by God through the children we met at the orphanages. They praise God with hands uplifted; pray out loud without being prodded or coaxed; and sing and dance. And boy, do they SING and DANCE! I am convinced that music is a gift that God especially blessed Africans with. It also encouraged me personally to spend less time surfing the net/playing video games... I really think these things stunt the growth of our natural God-given talents. But I digress.

In short, we've been having a wonderful time falling in love with this country. It's pretty safe to say that most, if not all of us, are seriously thinking about returning to Uganda next year, if our schedules permit. We have all been blessed so far during our stay here: Joanna and Anita with the opportunities to use their professional skills in direct service to those who need it most; Diana and I with the opportunities to get to know the children, to learn African dance with them and to enjoy enthusiastic worship; and Eric with a renewed passion for working with youths and children.

For the next three days, we'll be spending time at the equator, the Nile River, and the last day with the kids at New Creation Centre. Stay tuned!

0 comments Sunday, June 24, 2007

Today we rested in preparation for a VERYVERYBUSYWEEK! We visited Christian Life Church which is a more traditional African church compared to KPC (which we visited last night and was run by Canadians). These Africans are on fire for God - their services last 2 hours, an hour of worship and an hour of sermon. This really tested our ability to stay awake and pay attention and alert (especially for Diana). Regardless of the length, however, the worship was awesome and you could really see their passion in the way they praise. People were free to dance and raise their hands in the chairs; nothing could contain their joy and obvious displays of love for Christ. It would be so cool to see such a lack of inhibition in our own church. The best part was at the end of service when one Ugandan came up to us and said, "Because you came to our church, you are my friends and I love you." It really warmed our hearts to receive such love from a complete stranger. We are really encouraged now to demonstrate the same level of enthusiasm in welcoming at RCCC.

After church we went to an Italian restaurant for a TWO HOUR lunch (everything runs on Ugandan time). Afterwards Jo, Anita, and Eric went to see one of the kid's school performances which turned out to be a FOUR HOUR African extravaganza of children dancing, singing and reciting folk poems. Wherever we go, the children and people are so enthusiastic to see us - they were just in awe of how different we look. The best reactions from Ugandans is when we attempt to speak in their language - all barriers are broken and they smile and wave back.

Meanwhile, Diana and Grace spent the afternoon sorting the rest of the donations and getting to know Anne, the daughter of Maria (owner of the guest house). We had some interesting conversation about the politics of giving (more on that when we return) and the relationship between muzungus (non-Ugandans) and native Ugandans. We are looking forward to giving the rest of the clothing away to some of the school children, the Sanyu orphanage and Sherry's new orphanage.

Please pray for this coming week. It will be our first full week here and we will have a lot to do. There is no set schedule, but it will definitely be packed. We are always on the run, driving around the city, running errands, going to different orphanages, medical clinics, sightseeing, visiting people and other various ministry work. Stay tuned!

3 comments Saturday, June 23, 2007

Grace: Hi everyone! This is Grace & Diana reporting in on our second full day out on the field. Like the rest of the team wrote yesterday, we went to Jokalaira village today to run a medical and deworming clinic, help out with a VBS, and spent the time playing games and passing out candy, toys, and toothbrushes to the children.

Diana: Jokalaira is a rural village of Uganda full of huts and unpaved roads. Very third world country like. Driving up to the village, it was a bumpy ride, we almost got attacked by some branches, but Grace was my shield. We took lots of pictures of the area and we can't wait to show you guys when we get home. Despite the living conditions, the people the were all full of joy and thankfulness that we were there.

G: We ran the medical clinic indoors in the church, while the deworming clinic was run outside in a little porch-like area. People kept streaming in one after another and we were there working for about 5 hours with very little rest. The toys we brought from RCCC were gone in literally three minutes and it was amazing to see how each children clung to their toy as if they were the most precious things in the world. When the villagers ran in a mad rush toward the church entrances and lined up to get a toothbrush, it really hit me how people are living in what we would consider a substandard environment.

D: After visiting Jokalaira, we had the opportunity to go to a church service called Kampala Pentocostal Church. ONE WORD: AMAZING!!!! Everyone there were all dancing, praising the Lord, arms lifted high during worship. It almost felt like a concert! After worship, we spent time praying with someone next to us about the world and the lost. Oh! One thing that was really cool was that we were told to hug five people around us. that was pretty cool!! it made it feel really welcoming. The pastor was also really good. Is in the middle of a series called Practical Christian living and he talked about deliverance from demonic powers. Definitely a very unique experience!

We definitely have so much more to share, but we'll save that for the teahouse when we return. We really can't wait until we can share with you all our photos! The children are precious.

Please pray for rest and health -- we're exhausted after today. God bless!

1 comments Friday, June 22, 2007

Hello!

We have arrived safely in Uganda! It is BEAUTIFUL here! The weather is gorgeous! It is not humid, it is very breezy 80 degree all day. The people here are very warm and friendly. Our team is composed of 15 people from the US, Canada and Australia. We have already gone to Sanyu Home for Abandoned Babies to help feed, take care and put them to sleep. We have also visited the New Creation Center which is a school established by Sherry (the director) for Sudanese refugee children. They sang and danced for us today and welcomed us with open arms and huge hugs! We also brought them to buy shoes in the market, they were so excited and loved every moment of the time that we spent there. We also spent a lot of time playing with the kids who live across the road from Maria's Place (where we are staying, very very beautiful and comfortable).

Tomorrow we head over to Jokalaira village (a rural village outside of Kampala) for a deworming clinic, HIV testing, medical clinic and VBS. We are planning to give out our toothbrushes, toys and candies to the kids.

Please continue to pray for us. We are all healthy, NOT sick praise God. We are getting enough sleep and we are getting to know everyone very well. The area of ministry that we have been to have been very safe. We are being taken care of by both Sherry (who has been here for more than 6 times) and also by native Ugandans. Please pray for continued team unity, a heart to know God more. Please pray for compassion, a servant attitude and love for all people.

We miss all of you and we have so much to share with you when we return home. We have soo many pictures!!!

Walaba (goodbye in Ugandan!)

**TEAM U!!**

2 comments Monday, June 18, 2007

Hey all! I had the opportunity to speak with a member of Team 1 who just returned from Uganda. Here are some of the things she shared with me that I thought I'd pass on to you so you can help pray for us more effectively. =)

Current climate: In the 80's, frequent thunderstorms and rather humid (ick)

What Team 1 did: They spent most of their time at Sanyu Babies' Orphanage and some on the streets, getting to know people. They conducted one medical deworming clinic.

What got in the way: The preparation for the Queen's arrival (now I hear it's November, not this month) did get in the way of them locating street children. But I've been assured by the Team 2 leader that we will still be able to minister in the slums.

Living situation: "More comfortable than expected." Food is supposed to be great. Internet is dial-up and painfully slow, however, so we'll probably have to rely on this blog for updates.

What Team 2 will most likely do: Decorate/clean orphanage building in preparation for move-in; holding more medical clinics in 3 other sites; work at Sanyu; and I have a feeling we may have more opportunity to work with adults because of the added obstacle of orphans being relocated.

Ministry style: My friend said Sherry works day-by-day, meaning that although in general there is a range of stuff we can do, she's very "improv" -- there is no set schedule or itinerary. I think for some people that's ok, for someone like me it can prove to be a challenge to adjust to, so please pray for that.

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Finally, thanks again for everyone from our cell groups who trekked out to Staten Island for our send-off. We're going with joyful hearts, knowing that we're part of a bigger, healthy Body of Christ. =) If you'd like to send us off, we're going to be at Newark Airport by 6 pm (taking British Airways). Give us a ring if you're going to head over there so we'll keep an eye out for you!

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Much thanks to henry and rob for the pictures!
We are soo blessed to have all of you who came out for the send off dinner!! =) Thank you for all your prayers!!!


5 comments Monday, June 11, 2007

i think it's time for each of us to introduce ourselves...

Name: Grace aka "yin yan"

Age: 24

Job: 3rd year grad student, she can almost read your mind! but has 2 more years to go!

Current Activities: Being a SLAVE to my master's thesis; praying desperately that her summer class will run so she'll have some income; preparing for her practicum externship next year at Children's Specialized Hospital

How'd she heard about this trip? "I always feel called to Africa for a missions trip. Through prayers I felt that this summer was the summer to go. I went on a STM search engine online and found this ministry opportunity. Got in touch with Sherry who runs the ministry and now here we are!!! :-)"

Why'd she wanna go on this trip? "I am seriously considering a future in full time ministry. I am going not because I feel called and I find it to be a joy to do compassion-oriented service, but rather because I am trying to narrow down the precise field where God may want to place me in the future, whether that is serving abroad or in a local church."

What are she most excited about this trip? Meeting the children! Hopefully expanding their hearts toward Christ while they expand mine toward other people

What does she dread the most about this trip? the FLIGHT to and from Uganda!! AHH!!

Random facts: LOVES green tea ice cream and spending time with Carmen (her cat!)

Personal Shoutouts: Thanks to YOU (yes, you) who are taking the time to read this and praying for us! :-)

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Name: Eric aka "Erica" or "the man"

Age: 18

Job: Rutgers Biomedical Engineering and Pre-med student (class of 2010) , Enhanced classroom support tech @ RU

Current Activity: last minute preparation

How'd he hear about this trip? heard from grace

Why'd he want to go on this trip? wants to help children. "I want to make a difference in people's lives and I want others to realize that there are dire problems outside of our borders that need our attention."

What is he most excited for this trip? meeting new people

What does he dread the most? the drugs we have to take

Randomness: "Please pray for me as I am the youngest and the only guy going with 4 girls from my church!"

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Name: Anita, aka "siewyunyun"

Age: 24

Job: Physician Assistant Student at Seton Hall University

Current Activity: being delirious from running around the hospital, it's her last week! studying for her last final of the year!

How'd she hear about this trip? heard from joanna

Why'd she want to go on this trip? "cuz...GOD is awesome!" seriously... she has a burning passion for those who are in need and wants to answer God's call for her life.

What is she most excited about this trip? the children...! being in a completely different environment...seeing AFRICA! sticking out like a sore thumb!

What does she dread the most about this trip? bugs, scary bugs and animals. she doesn't like bugs.

Randomness: absolutely LOVES strawberries. "strawberries are the bomb...woo! strawberries + chocolate = bomb +1!!!"


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Name: Joanna, aka "Jomama"

Age: 25

Job: professional drug dealer @ memorial sloan-kettering cancer center. haha. i'm a pharmacist

Current Activities: working working or playing around with this blog, reading the books that she got from Na, organizing and preppping for the trip!

How'd she hear about this trip? heard from grace!!! through a random conversation after church one day.

Why'd she wanna go on this trip? She has always wanted to use her profession as a way to minister to people and furthering God's kingdom. So she wants to use this opportunity to see what God's calling for her is. Plus she has always wanted to do a STM in Africa :-)

What is she most excited about this trip? meeting different people! seeing God in ways that she'll never imagine! maybe learning some african dancing. hahah

What does she dread most about the trip? bug bites. "i don't like itchiness"

Randomness: "i have a loud voice. i wonder how far would my voice carry out in the safari?? um??"

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Name: Diana, aka "annadi"

Age: 22

Job: Dietetic Intern (done on thursday, 6.14.07!!)

Current Activity: interning 'til thursday, then recharge/catch up on sleep and preparing for the trip!

How'd she hear about this trip? JOMAMA

Why'd she want to go on this trip? "I've always wanted to see how I can incorporate my passion for nutrition into ministry and serving God and building up His kingdom. He has shown me once again, how awesome and powerful and BIG our awesome Lord is!!! I'm hoping by doing on this trip, it'll enable me to get a greater grasp and vision if this is the direction that God may be opening up for me. "

What are she most excited about this trip? the KIDS!! She has always loved being around kids and seeing them led to Christ. Also super duper excited about meeting the rest of the team as well, they are from all around the country who are being called to serve God in Uganda. How awesome is that?!?

What do you dread the most? AHHHH! BUGS!!! MOSQUITO BITES! (wait, there are mosquitoes in Uganda right? hahahha --> this is a seriously question)... and no crazy side effects from the drugs

Randomness: "I tend to say a lot of random things. hahaha. and a lot of my comments can be seen as outright hilarious, although I truly am serious about them when I ask them! really I am!!!!"

Shoutouts: "Thanks for all your prayers and support!!! We wouldn't be able to go without all you guys!!!!"

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Host: Team U!
Location: Anita Liu's House
When: Saturday, June 16, 5:00pm

Come join us for a send-off dinner, prayer, praise night as Team U sets off for Uganda on June 19!! We're all so grateful the amount of support we've received from our friends and family. God is good! And we would love to have you join us for this event!

*Food will be provided. Just bring some $ to chip in.
*We'll also be packing the donation items we have received (praise God we've gotten so many donations that we will be able to bring over to Uganda!). Any help would be much appreciated!

Please RSVP by Wednesday, June 13, so we can know how much food, drinks, etc... we need. THANKS! =) See you there!

**To be additional information, please email us @ rccc.uganda@gmail.com

Hi!
0 comments Sunday, June 10, 2007

welcome to our blog! just created this so that you can check back with us often and see how our trip is coming along.

you can find all sorts of things on this page:
- updates
- pictures!
- prayer requests
- profiles
- our travel itinerary
- other important dates to remember!

we are hoping to update as frequent as we can while we are in africa. but our director (sherry) has been telling us that there is frequent black outs and the internet is just so slow! but we'll try our best to update!!! keep an eye out!!

the best way to keep up is to subscribe to our feed (on the bottom) =)