Thursday, June 30, 2011

Off to Uganda Again!

I have some very important things to share here today, even though my poor blog has been neglected lately.

Once again I have been preparing to travel to Uganda. In fact, we leave tomorrow! So many preparations have been underway–talks, lesson plans, collecting and packing materials and ministry gifts. It has been a year-long effort, and especially busy during this month of June.

Two projects in particular deserve some special attention. Norma Vogt of Cedar Valley Bible Church headed up a project of sewing book bags.

She did an amazing job of coordinating this effort. An unbelievable number of people participated, and hundreds of bags are now packed for travel and distribution.

Following a presentation at Valley View Baptist Church in August, 2010, the ladies of that church began meeting to sew pillowcase dresses and collect shorts for boys. Consequently, we also have hundreds of dresses and pairs of shorts on their way to Uganda as well. Many orphans will be blessed through their efforts.
(photos pending)

Last Saturday a group of several individuals met to help sort and pack all the donated items, including bags, shorts, and dresses. It was a joyful event, and such fun to share it with some of those who made the trip possible. We held hands and prayed after all the bags were packed, and I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for each person who has given of themselves, their resources, or their abilities in any number of ways –young and old, even many that I don’t know.

Some of the packers really got "into it!"

These two women celebrated landmark birthdays by asking for donations for trip projects.

These two children gave money to buy fruit for hungry children. One emptied her piggy bank, the other ran a lemonade stand.

Another child asked each person who came to her birthday party to bring a pillowcase. Then she and her mom sewed them into dresses.
The stories could go on and on. In fact, if you are reading this and you know of another story, add it in the comments!

“Thank you” seems such an inadequate expression when I think of all the support and help we have received. As eight of us travel from Cedar Rapids and then meet up with twelve more from other parts of the U.S. we each feel a heavy weight of responsibility in taking not only these hand-fashioned and carefully selected items to the poorest of the poor, but above all, taking the free, yet extravagant, gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ to them as well.

Yes, “inadequate” describes my expression of gratefulness, and it also describes my ability to do this job. I know that many of us have been feeling this way. It is important to remember, however, that when I am week, that is when I am strong –strong in the Lord, that is. I couldn’t do any of this without Him.

I am especially happy that my husband, John will be going along this time. He has been supportive of the other trips and feels like he already knows many of my Ugandan friends. I am looking forward to them meeting in person. I also look forward to spending the time in ministry together. Our stay will be extended an extra week, along with our missions director, Denise.

Tomorrow we will all travel to Chicago by van, spend part of the night in a church there, fly out early Saturday morning for Washington DC, then fly from there to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and finally to Entebbe. Many of our friends in Uganda will be waiting to receive us. It will be such a happy reunion!

Please continue to pray for all of us as we travel and share God's love.


  1. Oh, I'm so excited for you, and for those on the receiving end of your ministries. God bless you with safe travel, good health, and all the blessings you will receive from those in Africa. I look forward to learning more when you get home.


  2. Oh, SHarlyn. I will be praying for you every day - what a blessing God has allowed you to be a part of. ALSO thrilled your husband is going along this time. Blessings, my friend!


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