Friday, May 31, 2013

Uganda or Bust

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So most of you, if not all, have heard that Chris & Taylor have the opportunity to go to Uganda this summer. Two whole weeks!! Which means I'll be without BOTH my helpers for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. When? In JULY. The month I want to pack up everything and move to anywhere but PHX, preferable CA or just spend thousand of dollars and put my kids in all sorts of camps so they'll stop driving me crazy. Of course that requires me to get into my 130 degree car so I'm back to moving. Needless to say I can't guarantee I won't have moved to a house on a beach, or put a second mortgage on my house and built a pool in my backyard with water slides when they return. BUT I can say, in all honesty, it was me pushing them to go. I was the first resounding, YES, you have to go and you have to take Taylor, when Chris first presented me with the opportunity. I. am. so. excited. for them! Below you can find our "support" letter which at this point has only been seen on Facebook and people in their amazing generosity are already giving to the fund!

We have a super easy way to donate coming up in about a week that hopefully some of you will love and get on board with! But even if you want to donate today you will still get that super awesome thing I'm talking about. Stay tuned!

Uganda was once famously described as 'the pearl of Africa' for its beautiful landscape. Unfortunately, many people live in absolute poverty. Dirt floors and mud soup are not uncommon in the slums and rural village areas. This is something that we may know in our heads, but it's really hard to fathom as prosperous Americans. As we've begun reading about Uganda, it's opened up our hearts to see the deep physical and spiritual needs of these people.

We've recently been connected with a ministry called Project Nanzala. The goal of this program is to reach out to children in the slums and rural areas who are unable to attend the public school systems due to lack of funds and supplies. These children are stuck in their desperate situations without hope of self-improvement through education because they can't afford it. The Uganda public school system itself is underfunded and supplies in the classroom are slim to none. The teachers have a good heart for the kids but are often untrained in how to run a classroom or effectively teach. This is where Project Nanzala comes in with a three-fold effort.

The first effort of Project Nanzala will be to provide those children without means of their own supplies and cost to attend school. This includes giving them books, paper, pens, and a pack to put their supplies in. It also includes the school uniform that must be worn by all the students. Incredibly, this can be achieved for approximately $10 per child per month.

The second effort of Project Nanzala will be to transform the public school system into one which is an environment that is equipped in all facets of education. Teachers will be trained to effectively put lesson plans together and conduct class in efficient and productive ways. Schools will be repaired and rebuilt. Classrooms will be equipped with blackboards and desks. It is often the simple things these schools are lacking that we take for granted in the States.

The third and most important effort of Project Nanzala is to share the gospel with the people of Uganda through the ministry and relationship we create through revitalizing their school system. Uganda is very open to Christian values and principles taught in their school system. Chris and Taylor have an opportunity to dramatically affect the future of this nation through the Word of God. We all could not be more excited!

Their plan is to travel to Uganda for two weeks in the summer to press forward these goals. They will be running a teachers conference where teachers from the states will be giving tools of success to the village teachers in Uganda. They will help repair a school building and meet with some of the children who have been enabled through Project Nanzala to attend school and given hope.

They will also be running a Vacation Bible School program for many of the children in the local villages. They need prayer in planning and executing this event as it can be a powerful tool for sharing the gospel with the young children as well as teaching them the solid principles of discipline, hard work, and relationship building. As a pastor, Chris will have unique opportunities to work with and train some of the local pastors, thereby strengthening their ministries. He's already planning to preach twice in the Uganda churches during the trip!

Taylor has had a heart for mission work every since she was introduced to World Vision in 2011. When she heard about the opportunity to go to Uganda, she was scared but also excited to join the team. She wants to help change lives, especially the children in Uganda. She is going to be serving in the VBS by acting in the morning skit and I am so pumped! She is also going to be working with many of the children, helping with music, Bible, crafts, and games.

We are asking for partners to invest in these goals. Here's how you can help:

Pray – Apart from prayer, Chris and Taylor's efforts will have minimal long-term effect. Please pray for their health, for their travel, for the finances, and for the ministry in Uganda. Also, pray that God continues to break our hearts for the Uganda people.

Give – We need to raise almost $7000 to cover the expenses of the trip, along with money to support the VBS initiative. We can't fund this all on our own, though we would if we could! We would be grateful for any amount of investment.

To give:
Please go to this link and select Mission Fund or mail gifts to 7825 W Deer Valley Rd, Peoria, AZ 85382. Please make any checks out to Grace Church with Mission Fund in the memo line. All giving is tax-deductible.

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