Katonda Mulungi :)
God is good!! Today was absolutely perfect. Of course we also fell in love with all of the boys in the Homes. We were greeted with open arms and lots of smiles. It was great having Katie, Andrew, Ryan, and Mallory around at the NLHs to help guide us. After greeting the boys, the team introduced ourselves and had an opportunity to play a few games with them. Let’s just say we really broke the ice…even though it was super hot today ;) A storm rolled through right when we were about to start worship, so we crammed inside one of the Homes and sang to the Lord! It was incredible to be surrounded by these faithful boys who have been through events we can’t even imagine, and we were amazed by their passionate souls. We had the opportunity to sing in both Luganda and English-both of which were interesting with everyone’s accents! :) When the rain stopped, the boys continued teaching us Luganda, even as we walked to the bus to say our goodbyes. Those boys have already touched our hearts, and we can’t wait to spend all afternoon and night with them tomorrow to bring in the New Year!
We left the NLHs to head back to the guest house for dinner. For starters- Ugandan food is SUPER delicious. We had some cabbage thing for lunch with fried fish. We ate chicken tenders, pineapple, and rice with sauce for dinner. YUM!!! (some of the team just wanted me to brag about the delicious food we have been eating ;))
Once dinner was all cleaned up, we went outside to have a bonfire and devotion time. All 18 of us sat around the fire in peace just worshiping the Lord. We sang some songs and just let the Lord talk to us. It is such a serene feeling to be surrounded by people whose love for the Lord is so prevalent.
Currently, many people on the team are asleep as Shannon massages Katie’s, Erica’s, Amanda’s, Holly’s, and Kate E.’s backs.Yep. She’s great! haha! Ryan and Andrew can’t stop laughing at us. Gosh, we are so in love with our lives right now!
Please keep Jansen’s ear infection, Amanda’s bronchitis, and Erica’s allergy to malaria meds in your prayers. Thank you all so much for your love and support!
Tomorrow’s plan: plan for the week, eat, and go to the NLHs until we countdown to 2012. :) Yep. Paradise.
Good Morning from Uganda!
Everyone’s first reaction when they walk outside on the front porch is just “WOW.” Kampala is absolutely gorgeous and I must say that the view is so breathtaking from our guesthouse. It is beautiful sunny weather, and we all feel like it’s summer (but not too hot!) Everyone right now is eating a typical Ugandan breakfast and really taking everything in! We all slept pretty well, and jetlag only affected a few of us. We fell asleep to dog barking and woke up to rosters crowing. It’s good to finally be here!
Today we are going over orientation-like stuff and then going to the New Life Homes or NLH for short after lunch! The Homes are full of 42 wonderful boys ranging in age from 9-19. These boys are sponsored by people all over the world, which allows them to go to school, have a safe place to stay, and meals to eat. These boys will truly capture the team member’s hearts that they haven’t met yet. I know this because Melanie and I are jumping for joy to finally be reunited with them!!! :) Then, we will come back home, eat dinner, and plan for the upcoming week.
As for updates on the last post: We had issues in Dulles before even flying out! We luckily split into teams allowing only 4-6 to go to the airport at a time. When the first 6 got in line to check our bags, the airline said we were only allowed to check one bag. This really upset us because we spent the whole entire day before packing and weighing bags. After the rest of the team arrived, we prayed a lot and waited on our travel agent to call back to resolve the issue. The only solution was to pay $60 per extra checked bag. As you know, the team was challenged this year with raising funds, so this just seemed like things “couldn’t get worse.” BUT-the Lord provides. I think we forgot that for a sec, and man, did God blow us away. I guess He was just preparing us for Uganda! ;) haha! Well… one of the team member’s parents paid the $840, and we couldn’t thank them enough. However we understand that this was another fee that the team is responsible for, not for one parent to pay. That is why we are asking for your help once again. We know that you have given so much sacrifice for us to be here, but if you feel led, the paypal account is still open. The link to give online is: http://katondamulungi.blogspot.com/2011/11/final-countdown.html. If you do not feel called to give, please pray for our team. We know that He has a purpose through this!
We thank each and every one of you for your love, support and prayers throughout the past year in raising funds, donations and just there for us when we needed it!
WE MADE IT :)
WE ARE OFFICIALLY IN OUR LOVELY HOME IN KAMPALA!! :) Everyone has bonded so much through experiences in the airport, going through security, praying, and riding through Uganda together. We have met up with Mallory, Katie, Andrew, and Ryan (who are Americans who have been here for 3 months). We will all be living together for the next two weeks and are so, so excited!
We had a couple of issues in the Dulles airport, which I will explain in a later post. Everything worked out, though! But, now it is time for bed! It is officially 2:08 am and we are exhausted. The team was welcomed with screams, hugs, and Ugandan food. YUM!
Good night everyone! We love you all. Thank you for everything you have done to make this trip possible. :)
Thank you supporters!! :)
"United and It Feels SO Good"
We are finally together at last!!!!! The 14 of us have met since 3 o’clock this afternoon and have already fallen in love with one another. We are overflowing with joy, laughter, tears (already), and a whole lotta’ love!! :) We are so incredibly thrilled about how God is moving in our hearts and cannot wait to meet our family in Uganda. In less than 24 hours we will be flying to London and connecting to Uganda! WOOHOO!
When everyone was first arriving at Shannon’s we dropped our bags in the living room, upstairs, in the basement, in the garage, and in the kitchen. aka-we took OVER her house with donations. More than 5 cars were entirely full of toothbrushes, bibles, and clothes. I have never seen so many toothpastes in my life! Thank you for every single donation you made!! God truly showed up as we began organizing all of the items. Shannon’s parents were a little shocked to say the least, but they were amazed at how many items we gathered to bring to Uganda. We are currently packing bags full, weighing them on a bathroom scale, and bonding over how the Lord has been working through us over the past year.
After packing a few bags (or just trashing Shannon’s house), the team decided to gather in her basement. Miracles happened there. BIG miracles happened. God spoke through a bunch of us like I have never seen before. All of our doubts and fears are gone. I can’t explain it. All we know is that God has COMPLETE control over this trip. We gave the Lord our selfishness, our stubbornness, our fears, and most importantly the feeling of control. The team spent over an hour praying for each individual on the team as a group. Once we prayed for each other, we turned out all the lights and worshipped with pure hearts. We prayed that God will give us more and more of Him. We want Him to set a fire in our souls. We cried out time and time again for His healing power over infections and health issues. We cried out for redemption. We cried out His pure LOVE.
God is here in this place. God is healing, moving, and changing our hearts. And, guess what? We haven’t even left yet.
I think this process really has the team dumbfounded. We’ve worked on raising funds, praying for this opportunity, talking about it, thinking about it, and even dreaming about it over the past year, and wow. Tonight is the last night we will be spending with our families in our warm beds. Packing is definitely a stressful experience for most of us, too. To be completely honest, I wish I could skip this whole process and be there already! :) But, taking the time to pray as we sit on our suitcases to make sure they shut, hearing yells from downstairs to make sure we packed everything, and lugging a bunch of toothbrushes, bibles, toothpaste, shoes, t-shirts, etc. out by the front door is incredible. It has come down to this.
Tomorrow we head to Shannon’s house in northern VA where we will organize the thousands of donations we have collected, pray, worship, get to know each other, laugh, get excited, plan, and so much more. We will sleep and then fly out Wednesday night. WOW. It is so real now. It has been an idea for far too long!
Uganda, we are ready for your love.
Merry Christmas from the Uganda team! :) We wanted wish all of our supporters a wonderful holiday season. We hope that God truly shines through your family and friends this holiday season. Thank you for all you have done for us. Have a great Sunday and rest of your week!
Only 3 more days until we leave for Kampala! Please keep praying for the team and our health. A few of us are starting to get colds, ear infections, etc. Prayers would be greatly appreciated as we heal and prepare for our arrival in Uganda! Thank you once again and have a blessed day!
Dear friends and family,
THANK YOU for absolutely everything you all have been doing for us over the past year. We can’t believe it has been such a long process, but we’ve definitely grown from this experience already! Thank you for supporting us when we mess up, say something wrong, forget to send in something, or to reply to your questions at times! You have been such a blessing in our lives and we can’t even think of words to thank you. You all are great, and we are so thankful to have each and every one of you in our lives.
Because of your support, we have raised over $43,000. If you have not given yet, or feel called to give again, we will be accepting funds until Friday! The link for this is http://katondamulungi.blogspot.com/2011/11/final-countdown.html Or, you can send donations to me. To get my address, please email me.
On a positive note: Only 6 more days until we are flying into the beautiful country of Uganda!! :) Please be in prayer for: the Ugandans, the people we will meet in the airport, the team as we grow closer to God and one another, the weather, our pilots and staff that will be aboard with us, funds, and Abaana!
Once again, THANK YOU!!!!!!
We are Still Collecting…
Here is an updated list of items that the team is collecting for the street children of Uganda:
64 bags (simple athletic drawstring bags/old book bags)
2 rain coats
1 set of full size sheets
13 year old boy clothes
8 mosquito nets
7 sets of window curtains
home school curriculum (grades 2-5)
first aid booklets (simple how-to guides)
Please contact Amanda if you have any items to donate, and she will give you the address! :) Thank you!