Thursday, July 21, 2011

Welcome to the "Okies in Uganda" Blog!

This is the story of a team of Oklahomans that left their "comfortable" lives at home to go volunteer their time in Lira, Uganda - giving hope and bringing joy to those most in need. The team included a pastor, two teenagers, a stay-at-home mom, and five business men. It was a life-changing experience for them all that they will never forget!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Days 11 and 12

The team left Lira, Uganda on Wednesday, July 13th and headed west for Murchison Falls National Park for a two-day safari! Once again, the ride getting anywhere in Uganda is always interesting...

The team  stayed at Paraa Lodge, an amazing oasis in the middle of Nowhere, Uganda...

Here's pics from their safari...

These were taken on a boat ride down the Nile River...

And here's pics from their hike to the water falls...

Murchison Falls was a great ending to an amazing two weeks in Uganda. The trip was life-changing, for sure, and traveling to any third-world country makes you realize how blessed and fortunate we are in America. May we use our blessings to honor God and never take them for granted.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 10

Day 10 was spent hanging out with the kids at Calo Me Lare. Kinda bitter sweet as it was their last day together...

Lots of donated clothes were given to them on this day. These are some super cute dresses some ladies at Discovery Bible Fellowship made for the girls. Aren't they adorable?!?!

And these are the clothes the team bought for the boys at market the day before...

The team had such a great time getting to know these AmAzInG kids! It will be so neat to watch them grow and see how God uses their lives. They've been through so much already, He must have great plans for their future. Maybe someday they'll be doctors, teachers, social workers - maybe even a future President of Uganda! The skies the limit!

If you are interested in sponsoring one of these kids, please visit Project Hope Worldwide's website here.

Your Hand,
Your Help,
Their Hope!

Day 9

On day 9, the DBF Team participated in an AIDS Education and Testing event that they organized. The government had some of their locally, trained people there to perform AIDS testing on anyone who was interested in it then the DBF Team was there to provide AIDS education and counseling. They were also available for prayer, if requested. Amazingly, about 320 people were tested that day! Sadly, about 20 tested positive, including a nine-year old girl and a pregnant mother. All in all, it was a great event that will hopefully spark positive change in the Lira area.

Day 8

Day 8 (Sunday) was quite an experience! The team got to worship with the kids at Calo Me Lare, along with about 200 local villagers! They found their way of worshipping to be so authentic, uninhibited, and real - such a deeply spiritual experience...

After church, the team ate lunch with the kids at Calo Me Lare. Also joining them were the two administrators and their wives. Tony and Dennis are AMAZING, godly men that have dedicated their lives to helping others. Calo Me Lare would not be the same if it weren't for the time and efforts these two men have put forth into building the orphanage into what it is today. 

Thankfully, lots of clothes have been donated to the girls living at Calo Me Lare; however, there was a shortage of donated boy's clothes. So after lunch, the team went shopping for clothes that the boys could wear. 

They found lots of "cool" soccer jerseys and shorts they thought the boys would enjoy. You can see pics of them wearing their new clothes on Day 10 :-)

Day 7

The drive from the hotel to Calo Me Lare - a bit of a bumpy ride!

The morning of the seventh day was spent at Calo Me Lare hanging out with the kids...

And the afternoon was spent with more hut-to-hut evangelism.  Truly, a great experience...

Day 6

Day 6 began back at Calo Me Lare. School was in session so the DBF Team didn't really get to hang out much with the kids.

Although Jarrod and Clay did manage to squeeze in a little Kung Fu action with some of the boys...

Later that day, the team paired up in two's and went hut-to-hut with an interpreter telling people about Jesus. Most people say they are Christians in Uganda; however, many still mix in witch craft and other religions, which naturally dilutes the truth. Everyone was very receptive and welcoming to the team and some people even made decisions to follow Jesus!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 5

Day 5 was another fun day of Vacation Bible School with the kids living at Calo Me Lare. The team had so much fun singing songs, making crafts, and playing games...

VBS was a great opportunity to get to know the kids at Calo Me Lare and they had so much fun learning about Jesus!

Day 4

The next day, the team went to Calo Me Lare to get a tour of the orphanage and do Vacation Bible School with the children there. To their amazement, they were greeted at the gate by the Calo Me Lare family with song. Such sweet voices...

It's amazing to see the progress that has been made since the orphanage's opening in February 2011!

After the gracious welcome, the team read Bible stories, sang songs, did crafts, and had a blast playing games with the kids...

Tomorrow's adventure? Another fun day of VBS at Calo Me Lare!

Days 1-3

The team left Tulsa on Sunday, July 3rd and flew to Washington D.C. where they stayed the night. They had time to spare, so they went sight-seeing and saw some amazing well-known sites around the area including the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the White House, the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Korean War Veteran's Memorial.

The next day, they boarded a plane that headed for Ethiopia, then on to Uganda. After they landed in Entebbe, they drove northeast to Lira, Uganda where they stayed the rest of the two weeks they were there. It was quite an adventure getting there, and after seeing the way people drive in Uganda, they will never complain about driving in America again! ;-)

These are pics of Margarita Hotel where they stayed...

Tomorrow's adventure? VBS with the kids at Calo Me Lare!