I didn’t expect to go back to Africa. Or at least not this quickly. But, since last summer, I’ve let go of my own agenda. So, if God calls me (or us) to something, I want to be there. That doesn’t make it easy. My heart was shattered in Africa.
So when the door opened to go to Uganda/Kenya, I hesitated. I spent a lot of time praying about it. Honestly, I asked God not to ask me to go. But I couldn’t escape the feeling that I was supposed to go. So I’m going to Kenya and Uganda.
We’ll be serving orphans in Uganda and Kenya in East Africa. The number of orphans is growing in Africa. Here are some facts about the countries we’ll be serving:
- There are about 3 million orphans in these two countries. Many of these orphans are the result of HIV/AIDS. Uganda has 2 million known orphans, and nearly half are due to AIDS(940,000); Kenya has the third highest number of HIV/AIDS orphans in the world (approximately 890,000).
- Children who are orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS are likely to live on the streets, begging, scavenging garbage bins, sniffing glue to stave hunger pains, entering prostitution or pick-pocketing to seek a living.
- Over 25% of the population live on less than $1 per day in Kenya
- 700 children are orphaned every day (that is a child every 2 minutes) in Kenya
- In some regions of Kenya, over 25% of orphans are acutely malnourished
- 12-15% of homes in Kenya are headed by an orphan sibling
- Malaria, respiratory infections, and diarrhea are the main causes of under-5 mortality in Uganda.
- Illiteracy is common for Ugandan residents, particularly females
- Uganda children and women comprise 80 percent of the 1.4 million people forced to flee their homes due to conflict. They live in more than 200 camps, with limited services.
- The Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has abducted more than 25,000 children since 1986.
- In the conflict-affected districts in Uganda, around 40,000 unaccompanied children – the ‘night commuters’ – walk every night from their homes in outlying villages to urban centers, in search of protection from the threat of LRA abductions and attacks.
Now I feel compelled to go. These children face a reality that is far beyond their years. I long to show them the love of Abba Father. I want to be the hands and feet of Christ to them.
Please pray with us as our team (which is 30 members strong already!) prepares. There’s a lot that goes into a trip of this scale. I’m asking that supporters pray with us, that:
- We would be diligent to allow God to prepare our hearts to minister to the children (and workers)
- All of the trip’s financial needs would be met in a timely fashion
- Our leaders would be prepared and have the wisdom to direct our trip
- God would keep us all safe
- Travel details (passports, visas, etc.) would be processed in time
- Strong teamwork and unity as 30 people come together for one purpose
- The team would be a blessing to those we meet on the trip
- God would meet the needs of the children we met on this trip
- We would be good stewards of what we see and experience when we get back
The cost of the trip is $3,600, and that doesn’t include supplies for arts/crafts, donations (like formula or diapers or toiletries). If you feel led to support this trip, you can donate online at Visiting Orphans (designate my trip December 26-January 6, Uganda/Kenya and me as the specific team member). A donation to VO is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE (woot!). You can also purchase a wristband to support the trip. (They are awesome wristbands!)