Preparing for Uganda

Preparing for Uganda

Camille is preparing for a mission to Uganda. She leaves tomorrow! She shares details about this mission nd how you can pray.

Dear Praying Friends,

I’ll be off to Uganda May 31 for two weeks. Thank you for praying with me that God would provide the means for this ministry to South Sudanese refugee camps. He has provided these means – material and spiritual – above what I could have expected. In addition to funds which have enabled us to purchase tents, curriculum, and related ministry needs, God has provided me with a gift I didn’t even know to ask for. Karen Ellis will be joining me on the trip, and though she is an accomplished teacher, she means to focus her energy on praying for and supporting me in the work. Wow. Thank you, Jesus. What must You mean to accomplish through Karen’s work? And now I ask you all too to pray for God to do His work through me and the rest of our East African team members.

Ministry projects:
Conference at Bethesda Ministries (Rev. Titus Baraka’s ministry compound) on pornography and sexual addiction. Conference & Outreach at Morobi Refugee Settlement, near Moyo, Uganda. We will be working with refugees of South Sudan’s current brutal civil war and man-made famine. We will do a 3-day conference with uprooted clergy living in the camps, discussing ways the church can help its traumatized folk (though many of these clergy are, no doubt, traumatized themselves).
c) Outreach in Kajo-keji district, South Sudan. While 100s of 1000s have fled horror and chaos of the war to the camps in northern Uganda, there are still some people (including rebel soldiers) remaining in the neighboring district across the border. We have had an invitation to go and share Jesus there.

For Prayer:
a) Power – from the Holy Spirit to give us needed words of comfort, hope and truth; to control our words, actions, motivations; and to produce fruit for His Kingdom.
b) Provision – planning, logistics, travel mercies, health, joy,team-spiritedness, Holy-Spirit empowered humility + confidence in the Lord’s authority & power.
c) Personnel – Bishop Immanuel of Kajo-keji, Rev. Canon Titus Baraka, Rev. Jale, Rev. Jonathan Soro, Francis Candiga (all of whom are members of the Kuku tribe, the primary ethnic group we will meet in the refugee camps), other local team members.
d) Protection – *Refugee camps can have poor sanitation; cholera etc. are possible. *Our visit to South Sudan needs special prayer because of current warfare. *Pray for the binding of Satan and any people he has deceived and influenced. *Pray for security & the will of God to be done. In all things.
e) Praise – For God’s bountiful provision of ministry material; for Karen joining the team; for the guarantee of His Kingdom’s victory– even when we can’t see it.

Support Camille here.

From fear to fiery preaching

From fear to fiery preaching

I so love how God can turn what appears to be one thing into another… and it’s such a joy to watch that happen, and an immense privilege to be a part of it.

When I made the chapel rota for the student-led services this semester, I had more students than slots available. Hannah (not her real name) came to me, begging to be put on the schedule. I explained the problem and apologized. She asked again. I explained and apologized again.
So when one of her classmates had to find a substitute for her week on the rota, naturally, I assigned Hannah, and assigned her the sermon her classmate was to preach. I thought she’d be thrilled.

She wasn’t. She called and asked if someone else could take the sermon. I declined, and reminded her how much she wanted to be on the rota. She pleaded to not preach. I reminded her that we’re training her for ordination, and that preaching is part of ordained ministry. She begged again, and I told her I needed to understand what was going on, so could she please come explain?

Hannah came over, and as we sat on the veranda, she told me she has a phobia about public speaking. This seemed a bit odd for someone who is pursuing ordination, so I asked what she was planning to do when she was on Sunday placement and the vicar asked her to take a reading, lead the service, or preach. She said she’d manage, but I wasn’t convinced, so I prodded her a bit more about the root of this fear.

As it turns out, a lecturer (from another faculty) had publicly humiliated Hannah during a class presentation some time ago, and since then, she has been afraid to speak in front of people. Ah. That made sense.

I asked Hannah if I could pray with her about this, and we prayed an abbreviated inner healing prayer. After a few minutes, she told me she needed to forgive that lecturer; she had seen him that morning, and had avoided him. After a few minutes more, she shared that she had been intimately abused by a family member as a child. I asked if we could pray through that also, and one again, I was privileged to see Jesus set one of His children free.

The next day, we went to the chapel for some desensitization training, and though nervous, she was able to stand in the various places to lead worship, to include the pulpit. I was so proud of her!

Later in the week when she served in chapel, she read a lesson, led a service, and preached a fiery sermon – the same student who begged to be released from preaching. Praise God for His healing and the freedom it brings!

Missing Meri

Missing Meri

On April 4, my sweet Meri died. I started this post a couple weeks ago, but it’s been hard to write; I think that writing it for the interwebs makes it a bit too real.

I am struggling with a bit guilt over this; she wanted breakfast at 2:00 am, and since there is no universe in which that was going to happen, I put her outside. She never came back. I found her nearby while on my way to chapel that morning, and spent the service trying to alternately hold back and wipe away tears. The current theory is that she found poison that had been put out for the feral dogs, and I can’t help but wonder whether if I’d fed her this could have been averted.

The Dennisons, from whom I inherited Meri, have been incredibly gracious and have absolved me of any guilt. They pointed out that Meri had likely far exceeded her nine lives even before she came to stay with me.  Let’s remember that this is the kitty who would play with monkeys. Sigh.

I am missing my Guardian of the Galaxy (or at least the Honors College). I miss seeing her sitting on the final set of steps as I climb to my flat. I miss seeing her on the verandah. I miss hearing the girls next door greet her as they come and go. I miss having someone to talk to, even if she woke me at horrific hours.

Ugandans tend to be very pragmatic about death, especially about animals, as they tend to be more house workers rather than pets. But a few students have by and asked have where Meri was, and when I told them she was with Jesus, they were very sad. Their sympathy and empathy touched me deeply.

Meri was therapy for me when the Dennisons left; not only did I have a small reminder of them, having someone to talk to and care for gave me something to focus on. Even though I could never teach her to tell time, she was very bright: I’d tell her “let’s go,” or “time for chapel,” or “time for lectures,” and she’d head for the door. Well, unless she was feeling teenager-ish, and then she’d whine and we’d fight to get out the door.

She was a gift, and I’m grateful for the two years I had with her.

Happy construction noises

Since yesterday afternoon, I have been serenaded by the happy sounds of heavy machinery beeping as it backs up, and motors grinding as the machines work. Yesterday, we begin to tarmac [pave] the campus, and it was a glorious day. Of course, students writing their exams may not have liked the noise, but it was music to my ears.

Our beautiful campus still has marram [dirt] roads, which aside from being dusty, are slippery when very dry, and are also slippery when wet. The hill going down to the Bishop Tucker building is on a steep incline, and that hill and I are not friends (in either direction, but especially down). Walking at night is always an adventure, as marram roads are always uneven, but their landscape changes daily, particularly in the rainy season (such as we are in now).

But now, the initial phase of tarmacking the campus has begun, and since this involves the roads I use most frequently, I am ecstatic. In addition to increased safety and reducing the dust that floats into the main library each day (and hurts the books), I’m hoping that this facelift will give UCU a much-needed aesthetic boost among potential students. As one friend commented, no one wants to enter the main gate then feel like they’re back in the village on marram roads.

Of course, we commissioned the work before it began, with the Vice Chancellor even firing up the grading vehicle and driving it a few inches. Quite a crowd gathered to commission and pray for this work that we are all terribly excited to see come to fruition.

As a Church of Uganda university, we receive no funds from the Ugandan government, and must fund this work ourselves. Would you be willing to prayerfully consider contributing to this effort? It is not easy to raise funds for capital projects, yet they are sorely needed. This project will cost about 800,000,000 (yes, eight hundred million) Ugandan shillings, or about $222,000 USD. In addition to beautifying the campus, you’ll be helping to make it safer to traverse, for which your favorite missionary in the Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology would be most grateful.


The wonderful people at Uganda Partners will receive money for this and other projects for UCU, and they ensure that the money arrives here safely. If you would like to donate online, click the Donate link, choose the Multiplying Talents Fund (general fund), and in the Additional Comments field, note that the donation is for the tarmac/paving project. But please do take a look around the site; UCU most assuredly could not function as it does without the fundraising that Uganda Partners does.

God bless you.

How Gospel Goats is Impacting Gulu, Uganda

How Gospel Goats is Impacting Gulu, Uganda


Mary McDonald
is a SAMS Associate Missionary and a veterinarian. Recently, SAMS caught up with Mary after her recent mission to Uganda.

SAMS: Tell us about Gospel Goats and the need you saw in Uganda.

Mary: In Uganda, there are families who have been affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Men grew up as boy soldiers and women were abducted to be wives of officers. The majority have received little education about health and nutrition and many are living with HIV. I had a call to equip and empower this marginalized group in Uganda. Gospel Goats is a revolving goat loan program that does that. We teach health, nutrition, and care for the goats which helps these marginalized families on the path to financial and food security. They are able to breed the goats and sell the offspring. With each training, we teach the Gospel and love of Christ. The first goat that is born to those who went through the training is donated back to the program. They learn that they are blessed to be a blessing.

How has Gospel Goats and an education program impacted the region?

When we surveyed the area to start Gospel Goats, there was a school across from an Islamic institute. This school hardly had pencils to work with. I went to the Bishop of N. Uganda and asked about starting a Compassion International sponsorship program at this school. So we prayed that children would be sponsored, and in the first year, we had 200 students sponsored by our church in Virginia. When I returned this year, there were 115 more students sponsored. I discovered that people were taking their children out of the Islamic institute and bringing them to the school. The pastor and volunteers said that Compassion International paired with Gospel Goats has helped stop the spread of radical Islam in the area.

How have you seen God at work through the people in Uganda?

With each Gospel Goat training, we do a clear sharing of the Gospel story. At the end, we ask if anyone would like to receive Christ. At the last training, 15 people prayed to accept Christ. 150 people between the two projects have received Christ, including 5 Muslims. One individual told me that they have felt like the poorest in the community, but because of the gift of a goat they feel like God cares about them and that God is a living and tangible God who cares for both their physical and spiritual needs.

How can people who want to help get involved?

There are already many refugees in Uganda streaming in from the civil war in South Sudan. Now this region is facing an extreme drought and famine. In Uganda, families are losing their crops and livestock. This week, I received a letter from Bishop Johnson writing:

A humanitarian crisis is at our doors. We are trying to share the little we can but both the refugees and the host communities are facing starvation due to prolonged drought and the leading to a shortage of food. As a diocese, we are appealing to whoever can help us to support the refugees to do so now. Thank you for making the appeal on our behalf.

Please pray for the people in Uganda and all of Africa. Please give so others may live. Go to donate go to the SAMS-USA World Relief Fund and designate the country of Uganda in the comment box
or by check to P.O. Box 399 Ambridge, PA 15003.

Share your stories 

I am the first to tell my students that testimonies are powerful; by hearing about what God has done, we are encouraged our faith is built up. Yet for some reason, I struggle with whether the same can be said of my own testimony. 

This is the semester in which the chaplaincy focuses on mission, and the theme is “ordinary people for God’s mission.” I was asked to preach last Sunday on Matthew 10:5-15, with the topic, “will you go?” Amos told me that I was to give my testimony of how I came to be a missionary, something I’ve done before. 

For some reason, I really struggled with this sermon. Part of that is length; it’s hard for me to preach for more than 20 minutes, and to an African, that’s just getting warmed up. But I think another part is that although I knew my testimony was the meat of the sermon, I was concerned it wasn’t enough. Like I should have been teaching more, or have something else to say other than what God has done to get me to Uganda. 

Much to my surprise, several people shared with me after the services that they were in a similar place of wrestling with God and what He’a calling them to, and that my testimony encouraged them.

Continue reading Share your stories  at Here I Am.