Happy Feet…Happy People
Posted by
August 2, 2011
by Jeff Rogers

The part of our group that went back to Juba took part in a women’s outreach there. There were about twelve women who were widows and other mothers that do not receive the respect they deserve. Each member of our team paired up with a lady and washed and massaged her feet.


We also rubbed Vaseline on their feet and legs and let them soak in bags. We painted their finger and toenails and applied lipstick to their lips. When we showed them in the mirror, many were incredibly touched and became ecstatic. After we pampered them, we filled their basins with rice and beans. We gave them some pencils and pens along with crackers and some juice to drink.


After they finished their drinks they broke out into joyful song and dance. Many had never been treated as well as this, exclaiming this was the happiest day of their life!



Nambale Well Dedication
Posted by
August 1, 2011
by Jeff Rogers

This afternoon we split into two groups. One group headed back to Juba for a women’s outreach. This group went to care for the widows and mothers of the Juba village.

The other group went to a clean water well dedication in Nambale village which is in the Bugiri District of Kenya. This well was funded by the Stone family of Manhattan Beach, CA who gave the well in honor of Lincoln Stone’s 50th birthday. Lincoln’s wife, Amy (a doctor on our trip) surprised him on his birthday with this honorarium.


The village was extremely happy and thankful for the bore hole. It brought tears and cheers to everyone.



With each clean water well dedication comes a hygiene session to further educate the village members how to prevent the transmission of germs and diseases. Sam, the hygiene man, is a funny and effective teacher. “Wash your hands!” he shouts.


In addition to the well dedication and blessing, we distributed pillow-case dresses and mosquito nets to the children.


Visiting Juba
Posted by
August 1, 2011
by Jeff Rogers

This morning we visited the village of Juba. It is one of the poorest villages in the area. The amazing work of Hope4Kids and their partners Kingdom Preparation have done amazing things here.


We visited the classrooms they have built.


Although they have some permanent classrooms, they have some less-permanent ones, too. The new ones built to accommodate growth are rough and do not have concrete floors or concrete walls. It was tin roof supported by corner logs and planed boards. The recently added doors keep the animals from going inside.


We also saw the poultry farm where the have begun to generate commerce and support the hospital ministry with eggs. They have about 400 hen chickens currently in their farm.


The children of the schools at Juba did signing and dancing for us. Each of the grades from baby school through Primary 5 performed welcome songs and blessing songs.



Hospital Visit
Posted by
July 31, 2011
by Jeff Rogers

This afternoon we went to the Tororo government hospital to visit patients. The hospitals here are unique in many ways. The facilities and conditions in hospitals are incomparable in nearly every way to the United States system.

If you are sick in Uganda, there is no food, and very limited medicine. The facilities are scarcely a thin mattress on a frame and a mosquito net. Your family is expected to care for you while you are in the hospital. They must bring food for you and any linens…otherwise you go without.

Today we partnered with a ministry that brings eggs, sanitation supplies, and prayer to patients there. Although this is a government hospital, they are receptive to the help and assistance.


We bought, prepared, and delivered 360 hard-boiled eggs to the patients. We visited the men’s and women’s ward and then the children’s and nursery areas.


As mentioned in the Mzungu posting, people here think that when a Mzungu visits and touches you, it is a special thing. If that helps a person to have a positive outlook for their wellness, then we helped to deliver that hope today.


It was difficult for me to see people in such need. We came next to them, held their hands, and said prayers with them. My heart was in my throat. Tears flowed.


Posted by
July 31, 2011
by Jeff Rogers

When traveling in the bus it is very common to receive stares by the people as you pass. They are not being mean, generally, they are noticing our skin color which is starkly pink compared to their extremely dark skin color. It is something quite different for many here. We know it is curiosity mostly because when we wave hello they enthusiastically return with one and sometimes two-handed waves.

We have been to villages where they have told is we are the first white/red people they have ever seen. Many are very curious and a few are apprehensive.

Because white people are known for bringing things, there is a common misconception (or even legends) about Mzungu. Since Europeans are the primary ones to bring bore holes, water, and medical help to villages sometimes they mistakenly think we are special. Some people want us to touch them or their babies thinking it is good luck.

Some children curtsy or bow when we extend a hand to shake. In the villages they sing “welcome visitor” and “congratulations” songs on our arrival. We often are asked to sit in prominent chairs up front at events. Being treated like a dignitary (or a rock star) just for being present is a very awkward feeling.

Personally, I do not like this attention, but I’m coming to realize it is a necessary and helpful part of our experience, not to pump us up, but to humble us more…to remember how we are blessed and where we can (and must be) generous with what we have received.

None of us gets to choose where we are born or into what economic circumstance we begin. What is important is what we do with whatever we are given.

This Mzungu, for one, is learning about perseverance, sacrifice, and toil…and what it means to be satisfied in all circumstances.


Church – Not Like in America
Posted by
July 31, 2011
by Jeff Rogers

Sunday church in Uganda is not like in America…at least any church that I know. Our team joined the True Vine service at 10am as the celebration was just warming up. It had already been going for some time and went a few more hours after we were there.


In Uganda they say church in America is good, but in Uganda it is great! Today was proof of it. They had several pastors speaking, lots of singing, dancing, and praying. Our Pastor Bob Mooney did his famous “This is the Day…” chant and gave a message, too.

Another visiting pastor (who had also spoke at the women’s crusade earlier in the week) evangelized again. His message was powerful and spirit-filled. The hour and a half went by quickly. After thirty more minutes of prayers and stories, there was a call to receive Christ and prayers for healing and casting out demons. Many responded to having these needs. Not a typical Sunday in the OC!


On invitation, our team did a little dancing, too.


The poor are very rich in faith! This is certainly true…and it is especially so here in Uganda.

We purchased some homemade items at the widow’s store at True Vine before returning to the Rock Classic Hotel for a late lunch.

This afternoon there are garden and medical opportunities.


Sparks and Sputters
Posted by
July 31, 2011
by Jeff Rogers

Political squabbles and pay delinquencies between the Ugandan government and the regional utility companies have caused the electricity power to be sporadicly off in protest.

Additionally, the general electricity infrastructure in the area and at the hotel are sometimes at the root. On the first night there was plumbing problems that caused power lines through the hotel to get wet and short out.

Diesel generators are commonly used at night or in places where more consistent power is required.

Each day you can expect there will be periods of no electricity. (I am describing this for the hotel and developed areas only).

In the small towns and villages (ninety percent of the areas we visit) there isn’t any electricity service at all. Small kerosine cans and flames are the evening lighting source in homes


In Their Midst
Posted by
July 30, 2011
by Jeff Rogers

Today, some of team went on a medical clinic visit and to dedicate a clean water well in another village.

The other half of us spent the day at the True Vine site. We got to know some of the children there better.



We played frisbee, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and jump-rope. We also spent time talking, singing, reading, and running.


Everyone had a good time together! Crazy faces!



Smells of Uganda
Posted by
July 30, 2011
by Jeff Rogers

One noticeable thing about Uganda is the many smells and aromas.

The exact aroma at any given time depends on the hour of day and location, but a mix of these is certain…

Smoke–burning papaya or sugar cane fields; also there are piles of trash that are perpetually burning as a regular part of daily life
Barbecue–various meats and vegetables are frequently cooked on outside grills
Exhaust–diesel and 2-stroke motorcycles are always in motion and they churn out puffs of black especially on incline hills
Dampness–the smell of tropics and greenery wet with dew and rain
Dust–roaring trucks and buses kick up red soil into the air. It is a gritty and fills the bus through the open windows and after a rain gets washed down the back of it.


Yesterday, while driving through Tororo we stopped for school supplies and we smelled popcorn! That was a pleasant smell, unexpected.



Weather Changes
Posted by
July 30, 2011
by Jeff Rogers

The weather here in Uganda has been tropical. Most days it is cool and damp in the morning. By midday the temperature rises to the 80′s (degrees F).

On several days it has rained some. Last night it rained fairly significantly. The morning is cooler and the moisture and humidity are up.


The roads are primarily dirt and they have become rather washboard and spotted with potholes. The bus drivers are expert navigators down these roads at a rather quick clip. Occasionally, they can’t avoid all of them and the bus riders get a good jiggle.


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