-Post authored by the Morrison Family, Missionaries to Uganda
We started off the month celebrating 5 years of joy with Moriah and Josiah. March 3rd, 2014 is the day God fulfilled his promise to us bring us our little lady, and we got the best bonus ever to keep her company.
Next, we got our new friend, Henry, enrolled in a very good Secondary School in Jinja. He was so excited and grateful for the opportunity to continue in school and he dreams of becoming a doctor one day. If you don’t remember from last month’s email update, Henry recently converted from Islam and became a believer in Jesus! This is him enjoying a nice, traditional Ugandan meal before we dropped him off for school.
On March 7th, not only did we welcome our Vision Trip team from FCW, we also celebrated our amazing social worker, Trevoh, as he graduated from Kampala Christian University with his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. We’re so excited to have Trevoh as part of the FCW team here in Uganda and will have some big news to share about him in the near future. Stay tuned!
We had a whirlwind of a week with the FCW Vision Trip team but were able to get so much accomplished in that little time. We also made sure to take time to appreciate our Ugandan staff while some of our U.S. leadership was here. This is Cathy, Maureen, Jane, Doreen and our team enjoying a nice dinner out.
The team also took some time to enjoy the beauty of Uganda by spending a day at the Shine House on the Nile River. This is what we woke up to! Even though we were there to rest a bit and enjoy the beauty of Uganda, we still managed to get some major work done.
One of the things we accomplished while on the Nile was meeting with our bag designer, Isaac, to discuss our prototypes and make design changes for the bags we plan to make and sell as a self-sustainability project for our new microcommunity program. Isaac is a gifted designer with some very neat ideas for our FCW products.
Here is a sneak peek of one of his designs. We are loving this girl’s book bag and it seems to be a hit with our Uganda team and the folks back home. These bags can be easily produced and sold to elementary-aged students in the villages here which will help us employ Ugandans, serve the community we work in and help sustain our project. And that model is a cutie, huh?
Some of the other things we accomplished while the team was here are major steps in the vision for FCW’s work in Uganda. This is a picture of the view from the land we are in the process of purchasing just south of our home.
Over time, this land will be developed into a safe place for our older students to come for one year to be loved on, discipled, mentored, and trained in a vocation and life skills to help them transition to adulthood. There is a huge need here in Uganda to help the older students really focus on their future and make right decisions about the next steps in their education.
We also decided on a temporary rental space in our town, Mukono, that will serve as our project headquarters as we develop and build on the land. This house perfectly suits our needs and will be a great place for our team and the first year of students in our program. We are all set to sign the lease in the next few days so April is already shaping up to be another busy month!
Another huge accomplishment that was just finalized was the addition of Simon Andule to our Social Work team. Simon brings years of experience working with programs like FCW’s child sponsorship and he is on track to graduate with his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work this October. Simon will work with our sponsor kids and families in Kaliro, Uganda and we’re so excited for him to get started on May 1st.
Finally, the while visiting, the FCW team enjoyed an evening celebrating the diverse culture of Uganda. They really enjoyed the traditional dinner and learning all about the many different tribes of Uganda and their unique customs. This reminded us that learning about and appreciating the culture is a key component of effective missions.
The more we understand the cultural of the people we are serving, the easier it is to build lasting relationships with them. It’s abundantly clear in scripture that the main focus of Jesus’s ministry was discipleship done through close relationship.
Effective missions work shouldn’t be only about “doing stuff,” but rather, discipleship through meaningful relationship.