The following was written by one of our trip leaders, Eric, about a day-in-the-life of a Man Up trip to Uganda. Eric is a Sports Physical Therapist from Iowa and went to Africa in 2012 with Man Up. Here he recounts a travel day during June 2014 trip, as told on his blog, We Were Made 2B Courageous.
Every day in Uganda is full of adventure for the Man Up teams. This day was a “travel” day for us. We left Jinja and headed towards Pallisa with plans to stop and see ministry partner George and his wife Sylvia at Ebenezer orphanage. I was fortunate to meet George and Sylvia 2 years ago as they were just setting up their orphanage and ministry. They started with very little, in a less than desirable setup. They serve children affected by HIV/AIDS. The children either have been infected with HIV, or have lost parents due to HIV/AIDS. With the help of partners like Man Up and Hope Grafted In, George and Sylvia have made great improvements to their orphanage. More importantly, they have demonstrated the Father’s love to these special children by providing them with love, shelter, food, clothing, and education. I love spending time with George and Sylvia, the entire staff at Ebenezer, and especially the children. Based on information from the Man Up team that returned to the USA just before our team left, we knew Ebenezer was in need of sheets and blankets. With the amazing help of many donors to our team, we were able to provide many blankets and sheets for these children. Check out the happiness below!
I was so excited to see how Ebenezer has changed. They have acquired additional land within walking distance from the orphanage and have begun construction on a new school. What a blessing! Here is a pic of the current school followed by a pic of the school currently under construction.
We were blessed to have the children sing for us! What a glorious sound they make. We also were able to eat with the children and spend some time playing. Les even lead them in songs.
As a team we decided to purchase 5 mattresses to complete the bedding for one of the orphanage rooms. We feel blessed to be able to help in this small way. Unfortunately, due to our travel schedule, our time with Ebenezer was all too brief.
After lunch we headed off to Pallisa. Pallisa is a different experience than Jinja. It is primarily a Muslim region. We are very fortunate to be partnered with Pastor Samuel and his wife Mercy. We were able to stay with them at their home. The back half of their lot is home to the former orphanage (it was the orphanage last time I visited), and they have made it available to teams that come to visit. Mercy, God bless her, provided all of our meals. I love her and her cooking. She makes amazing goat and chipati and is a great hostess.
Unfortunately, we had electricity only 2 of our 5 nights in Pallisa. Oh, well, as the saying goes…THIS IS AFRICA. We had water (not always warm), we could shower, and Mercy’s cooking made up for any lack of conveniences. An additional benefit of being a small team and staying with Pastor Samuel and his family was that we were able to sit and converse each night in their living room. It made for great learning conversation and allowed us to form even deeper relationships. He is an incredible man with a passion rarely seen to serve the Lord and spread the Gospel. Pastor Samuel regularly holds public debates with local muslim leaders. The crowds are large (several hundred to more than a thousand) and the debates are intense! His courage is absolutely provided by God.
We ended our day with a great meal and settled in to our new home for the upcoming week. Sunday would be a day of worship with Pastor Samuel’s church and Pastor Abraham’s church.