Final Thoughts from Our Trip to Uganda
Final Thoughts by Chuck & Nancie
Our trip to Uganda this year was amazing! Every year, Uganda feels a little more like home. Every year, we grow closer to our children, the Pastors and members of the local churches. We just returned home less than a week ago and we are already dreaming about next year.
While King’s Kids Africa partnered with the First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma to plant a new church, we were also able to expand the reach of our ministry by promoting 2 new sustainability initiatives (sewing and farming). As King’s Kids Africa, it was a special joy to have Nancie’s sister, JoAnn Knutson, and our niece, Hailey Droge, with us. Together we were able to:
- Teach the men’s and women’s Sunday school classes;
- Present our testimonies during nightly crusades;
- Conduct an all-day sewing class for 19 women (including the mommas from our 4 Kid’s Kids homes and the local churches). Praise the Lord! Since our Day 9 posting, “My Dream & Vision Came Alive Today,” five families have generously pledged 5 new sewing machines for King’s Kids sewing ministry in Uganda;
- Present 40 hygiene kits to the women of the local churches and villages;
- Meet with the Management Committees for the Presbytery of East Africa and each of the 4 homes.
- Visit/observe 4 of the 6 schools that children from the King’s Kids homes are attending;
- Observe a trial “smart farming” program for the King’s Kids homes;
- Host a dedication ceremony for our latest King’s Kids home in Lutonyi, that was attended by 120 government officials, local villagers, church members and children;
- Present each of the 4 King’s Kids homes with clothing, sandals, books, play equipment/toys, art supplies and “prayer bears”; and
- Present letters to each of the children from all of our sponsors
But, the best of all was our chance to:
- Participate in the hut-to-hut and school ministries, where we bore witness to 29 students and local villagers accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior;
- Spend time with the children from our 4 King’s Kids homes and observe the changes in their lives – from abandonment, abuse and despair, to joy and a budding love for our Heavenly Father and His Word; and
- Announce that sufficient funds have been received to start construction of our 5th King’s Kids home in September.
That’s what it’s all about! Yes, we want our children to have the love of the house mommas and the local church; know the security of a loving home with regular meals; obtain proper healthcare; and have the opportunity to go to school, but most of all, we want them to know Jesus!
One last thing, we did splurge on a 1-day safari in Murchison Falls National Park where we got up before daylight and hopped into an open-air jeep to see a mother lion and her 2 cubs (at just 20’) and numerous “parades” of elephants, “towers” of giraffes, “schools” of hippos, “sounders” of wart hogs and thousands of antelopes (of various varieties). Then, later in the day (before starting our 41-hour trip home), we took a river tour down the Nile where we saw more “schools” of hippos, “basks” of crocodiles and numerous animals of all types watering along the river banks.
It was a wonderful ending to a spectacular trip! To God be the glory!
Thank you to our donors, sponsors and everyone else for following our trip and faithfully praying for us as we conducted the work of King’s Kids Africa. To each of our sponsors, we will be organizing our pictures/videos over the next 2 weeks and will be sending them out to each of you.
To everyone, please start thinking about joining us in 2019 (probably in June). We aren’t asking you to become full-time missionaries to Africa, but we are asking you to consider putting your heart on the line and helping us serve these beautiful people. If you come, your lives and the continent of Africa will never be the same to you again.
Also, if you have any “spare capacity” and the work of King’s Kids Africa tugs at your heart, we would love for you to come alongside us and give us a helping hand or be a part of our team.
Final Thoughts by Hailey (our Niece, 17)
If I had to describe my trip to Uganda in just a two words, it would be this: “eye opening.” The first thing I noticed in Uganda was how incredibly kind the people are. The second thing I noticed was how little the people had. My initial reaction was to feel bad for them, bad that they didn’t have all the luxuries that we have here in developed countries. But, then I realized I also feel bad for people here in the United States. All the people of Uganda need to live a full life is God, a little food, and some modest shelter. I was inspired. Here, myself included, people always want more. We’re never satisfied.
I was also inspired by their trust in God. They trust Him for every need they have. I tend to try and control everything in my life. My time in Uganda really reminded me that I just need to step back and realize that things are not in my control. The whole trip tested my ability to trust God in the activities I find very uncomfortable, such as public speaking.
Another blessing this trip brought to me was a validation of my future plans. I still don’t know exactly what my career path will be, but I do know that I want it to involve children. I will leave the rest of those plans up to God. Overall, this trip made me much stronger in my faith and I’m forever grateful for this experience.
Final Thoughts by JoAnn Knutson (Nancie’s Sister)
When Nancie and Chuck asked my 17-year old granddaughter, Hailey, and me if we’d like to accompany them on their trip to Uganda, we were overjoyed. How exciting, I thought, to be able to be with my sister, brother-in-law and granddaughter to visit Uganda and the King’s Kids homes and be part of their ministry.
After much encouragement and prayer, we readily accepted and started preparations for this amazing adventure. This was going to be a life changing experience, I thought, and I was looking forward to it. Nancie sent me a packet of information and the 4th paragraph on the very first page caught my eye immediately. DANGER – There are rebel forces 150 miles away. We drive through the heart of Kampala’s traffic jams and there have been some terrorist attacks. Conditions in the field are primitive, the hotel is simple but comfortable with security. It is dangerous to be outside the hotel compound after dark. To say that I was scared to death is an understatement. I called Nancie right away and told her I was having second thoughts and that maybe I really shouldn’t be doing this. She assured that little tidbit of information was OLD and that I shouldn’t pay any attention to that paragraph. OK, really?
I prayed for God to give me calmness and assurance that all would be well and that I would survive. After months of preparation we were ready to fly to Uganda. We left on July 5th. It was a LONG and grueling trip – Nashville to Chicago, Chicago to Istanbul, Istanbul to Rwanda and Rwanda to Entebbe and then a 7-hour van ride to our final destination.
We went to the very first King’s Kids house on Sunday morning and arrived during the church service. The children came running to the van and were overcome with joy and excitement – we got hugs and greetings from everyone. Their joy was palpable and they hung on our every word and movement. It was AMAZING!! My eyes filled with tears. I have never experienced anything like this. Their love for God is so strong and they worship Him with all their heart and soul.
We spent the week going hut-to-hut, spreading God’s word and getting to meet and talk with the people. They live on parcels of land where they grow their own food and the conditions are unimaginable. Their houses are small mud huts with dirt floors, no toilet facilities and no electricity – there is filth and trash everywhere. The children are running around playing and caring for their younger siblings. Their clothes are mismatched, filthy, oversized and are torn to shreds. They wear shoes that don’t fit and are falling apart. There are no toys, yet they seem so happy.
I sponsor two little girls, Esther and Peace, and was able to meet them and spend quality time with them. They are adorable and I wanted to bring both of them home with me. Watching Nancie and Chuck in action and being there to see what they do and all that it takes to keep their dream alive was something to behold. They have done an amazing job and I’m so impressed and so proud of them. They have dreams of building more homes and more churches and bringing more children to a safe place. The children are thriving and learning – they have a home, food in their tummies, good health care and people who love them and care for them. They are so eager to learn and absorb things so quickly. They are learning about God and can already recite all the books in the Bible. They are beautiful children with faces that can’t be forgotten.
This trip has opened my eyes and made me realize that we take life for granted. I am so thankful for all that I have – my family, a roof over my head, food on my table, my health and the comfort of knowing that I live in the greatest country in the world. I will never forget the kind, gentle, incredible people of Uganda and the fact that I never felt any fear. The people are so friendly and they welcomed us with open arms and took care of us. I felt safer there than any place I’ve ever been and can’t thank Nancie and Chuck enough for taking me with them. It was a trip I will never forget!
29 New Brothers & Sisters
Spending time with the children.