Monday, August 31, 2009

Mt. Elgon Trip

Last weekend I climbed Mt. Elgon, the second-highest peak in Uganda (14,176 feet). What a refreshing trip! Two fellow missionaries went with me on this 3-day backpacking adventure, and we enjoyed getting to know eachother, praying for one another, and marveling together and what a talented Creator-God we serve.

There were no switch-backs on the trail – the trail just went straight up – so the climb was often exhausting and sometimes treacherous. Here are a few pictures.

The man with the gun was our trail guide, Moses. He was an interesting man to get to know, and his story is not uncommon in Uganda. He is a professing Catholic but wants to become a “born again” (they are seen as completely separate religions here). The one thing stopping Moses from becoming a “born again” is the fact that, although he has a wife and son, he and his wife were never officially married (in a church, with a ceremony, with a party, etc.). There are two sad realities about this predicament. The first is that many village churches would probably not accept him and his wife into their congregation because they'd not had a wedding. The second is that Moses and his wife did not have a wedding because they couldn't afford to have one in the way that is expected. It seems that religion can sometimes keep people from knowing God. We prayed for Moses and promised to write.

Many thanks to Em for holding down the fort while I was out, and to our new friends who came by to check on her and the kids.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Construction Photos

Here are a couple of shots of the site. This one is the foundation excavation of what will be an "Aqua Privy", which is a cool sweet-smelling compromise between a pit latrine and a flush toilet. We cast the strip footings on this building tomorrow!

And here is the site for one of the four dormitories on the campus. This will have three big rooms (8 youth per room) with lots of light via clerestory windows and built-in beds and cabinets. Each dorm will also have its own open roofed veranda. That huge mound of soil blocks the view of the Nile.
I often feel as if I'm figuring a lot of things out as we go, but that makes it exciting.