Monday, May 3, 2010

We are here!

13,000 miles, 1,000 pounds of donations, 25 sleepless hours, 9 exhausted people, all here for one purpose... to bring glory to our Lord and Savior. God is Awesome! There is so much to tell already and it's only the first morning. There were a few close calls during our travels, but we are no worse for the wear. I am sitting here this morning just taking in all of it. The view is incredible! I am sure that you will all hear about the sunrise. I think my favorite part so far is to sit and listen to all of the comments. I love to hear peoples reaction to this incredible place for the first time. There are no words to describe everything that is Africa, and so listening to everyone try to describe it is interesting. Day one is upon us so we are off for now...
...Back at the guesthouse and what a day! We started out with the amazing sunrise, then breakfast... tea, bread, hard boiled eggs, pineapple and coffee. Next we were off to exchange money and out to Ssenge village to start on the roof building project. As soon as we cleared the gates of our compound, the cameras were clicking and "look at that" was the saying for the day. So much to see, truly sensory overload. We can't wait to share pictures with you all, but for now we can't download them so you'll just have to imagine. At the boys home in Ssenge we worked (fairly ineffectively I might add) on building rafters out of lumber that looked like spaghetti, not a straight piece to be found. Those who weren't roofing were filling in the floors of the rooms to prepare them for concrete. The shoveling went much better... shoveling is shoveling worldwide. The ladies at the home cooked us a wonderful meal of rice, beans, posho, cabbage, and cowpeas. African food is always good, especially after working in 85+ degree weather with 99.9% humidity... really works up an appetite. After we ate we handed out some of the donations... soap, toothbrushes, games, toys, and most popularly, two soccer balls. There are 12 boys that live there who range in age from 6 to 15 and they are some of the most appreciative, affectionate boys you could meet... especially considering the situations that they came from. All of these boys are from the streets of Kampala. They were brought in out of some of the worst situations imaginable and the love of Jesus Christ that is shown through the workers at the home has transformed their lives. The change in these boys just since I met them last May is incredible.
After we left there, we headed straight to Sanyu Babies Home, the same orphanage that Isaiah came from. I think that it is safe to say that this was the hardest part of the trip so far. Just seeing those kids who have no one to love them like a mom and dad should is heart breaking. We didn't get to spend much time there before we helped put them to bed, but we are planning to go back several more times just to love them.
We wrapped up the evening by filling our bellies with a great meal cooked by our hostess, Florence, and then tried to debrief a bit before bed. "Eye opening", "sensory overload", "unimaginable", and "surreal" were just a few of the words used to describe the trip thus far. Talking, laughing, looking through pictures from the day, journaling, praying, and blogging, we wind down the day trying to get some rest and prepare for another day. "Give us rest, Lord, that we may see your face in those that we see tomorrow, and that they might see you in ours."
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's masterpiece, He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. -NLT

Trusting Him,



  1. Hubby! You are quite the writer! Great recap! Thank you - we all will enjoy and get a sense of what you are experiencing there. Praying for rest for you all!

  2. SO great to finally hear some news!! Praying for all of you!!

  3. Wow!!!Just Wow!! Love the recap. Good Job! I am on pins and needles constantly wanting to know MORE. Do you really have to sleep...I mean really?? Love you guys, especially one guy...and one girl there. Jenay

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  5. Thank you for posting even though you are completely exhausted. Tell Kevin we love him.

  6. Thank you for the news of the day. I am praying that your sleep each night is rich, deep, refreshing and restorative!
    Our love to all of you!!!
    ~Cyndy, Isaac & Olivia

  7. Praying for you, brother! Don't hesitate to ask me for anything you think I might be able to help with! So excited for you and your team, give those Ssenge boys a huge hug and greeting to all out there for me, okay? And of course, please love on my babies at Sanyu. Oh how I miss them SO much! Could you email me your Ugandan # so I could text or call you sometime? Thanks man! Blessings,

  8. Ab and I are SO wishing we were there with you all. Hug some of those babies a few extra times for us! Keep us posted. Can't wait to see the pictures! Hugs to husband and daddy. Miss you! Alex wanted to add: "Alex sure misses you!"
    -Carla, Ab, Garrett and Alex

  9. Justin and team, thanks for giving us the skinny of what is happenin' there. I love when you tell the details of what you ate. I love when you describe the feeling of going into an orphanage, or the sunset that you saw. Thanks for the detail......He is in all the detail, and I LOVE that about our Lord. I love you guys....

  10. I love the post! WE are praying for each one of you. Love, hugs, and kisses from The Chrisman's :)

  11. Tonight, I read the first blog entry of the team from our church experiencing their first day in Uganda….the sights, smells, all of the various things that overwhelm the senses and thoughts. I remember that experience in Morocco and Spain. I pray for the team to make the adjustment to the new culture and the needs around them. May you strengthen hearts, God, as they are broken. May they be able to focus and work together on the tasks at hand, rejoicing in the opportunity to do the simple things that express Your heart of love, and their desire to be satisfied in glorifying You, Jesus. I loved Justin’s prayer, “Give us rest, Lord, that we may see Your face in those that we see tomorrow, and that they might see You in ours.” Amen, brothers & sisters.

  12. I am just now getting a chance to check the blog, and this is the first post I have read. I don't know quite why I am so teary right now. Missing all of you; remembering the blessing of having you here; thinking about ministering with you; knowing how much you touched the lives of the kids at Redeemer House and the connections you made with them; thinking back to my first trip to Africa and all the emotions that it stirred and the processing that it took; wishing I could convey what a blessing you were, not just to the kids, but to me; knowing that Africa has changed you forever and it's no telling what God might do with that . . . I guess it's no surprise that there are tears. You have all blessed me so much! I love you guys, and I love your hearts. Thanks for letting me keep part of your team for a while. I am loving having Renee and Elicia here.

    I am looking forward to catching up on all your posts, seeing Uganda through your eyes, and wondering what God will do next. I know people's lives on both sides of the ocean have been touched and changed forever. I think that's what our God is in the business of doing!

    Love you all!