Mission Statement

In classical sacrifices, the people get the good bits, and the gods get the refuse, the bits that would get thrown out otherwise.

Not our God. Leviticus (particularly Leviticus 3) describes the sacrifices that our LORD demanded from His people of Israel. God gets the kidneys, the tail, and all the fat. He gets the prime steak, He gets the best.

Today we do not literally give sacrifices of animals. For us the ultimate sacrifice has been made through our Lord, Christ Jesus. But should always be our ambition to do the same thing - to offer God the best of what we have, to offer Him the fat, and not the smoke and bones.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Wednesday 09.11.11 3rd Full Day in Uganda.

Wow! What an incredibly busy day! I haven’t stopped or had a chance to write since waking up.

At devotions I asked Lisa when I would have a chance to change my money. She told me she would arrange something, and then a short time later told me that I could go into Kampala with Unia at 10:30. So I went to Baby class (this time with my camera) until break, and then dashed back to my room to get all my money to change. The bad news is I cannot find $50. But even so, I will have heaps I think.

We caught 2 taxis into Kampala. A taxi is more like a bus in Australia; as many as can fit in catch it, getting off along the way.

A taxi

Before going to the bank we went to pay a parking fine. We walked through crazy traffic, with Unia grabbing my hand whenever we had to cross so that I wouldn’t get mown down by the cars.

We changed my money, and boy, I have never felt so rich! My money stack is huge! (I’ve taken photos!) Then we bought a Luganda Bible (EkitabooEkitkuvu). It cost 37,000 shillings ($14.80). We then got on the taxi by the market. While we were waiting heaps of people came by the sell us things. I bought a bottle of water for 1000 shillings. Unia got him down to 700 shillings, but he then pretended that he didn’t have change. I said it was fine. 1000 shillings is equivalent to 40 cents.

I got back to the compound at 1:35, thinking that that was just enough time to eat and go to school. Lisa told me that I didn’t need to, but I didn’t come here to hang around the compound. I went to our house, only to find that the house was locked! I ran back to the office, waited while they found the keys, then ran back and opened the door, struggling with the bolts which I had to open through the hole in the door. Then I dashed around, hiding my money and camera, grabbing my stuff, and eating a bowl of cold old fried rice. Then I ran out and walked to the primary school.

Amina wasn’t there, so Justine, the principal, asked me which students I wanted to see. I said Gideon and Esther, and worked with them. Esther is improving – she mostly lacks confidence. Then Amina arrived, but took sport outside, so she told me which child to work with – a boy called Gasper (pronounced Jasper but with a G, not Gasp-er). Amina and I walked back together. Her baby and husband are both sick with malaria.

Me and Esther

After school I got to supervise some of the P6’s rehearsing a dance, as Lisa had a meeting. They were all really good, with a girl called Sarah being a real performer, if not the best dancer in the group.

Then I was finished for the day, so I went back home and wrote this entry, stopping for dinner, until now.

On Friday I have been invited to take part in LOT, their Youth Group (standing for Leaders of Tomorrow), from 4:30-6:30, which will be exciting. Hopefully I will be able to go shopping on Saturday, because there is no school or anything, and I will go crazy with nothing to do. I finally understand why people don’t want to be SAHW/SAHMs, though at home there is always so much to do (and you know all the different places to go). Here even the cooking, cleaning, shopping and washing are done for me, and I have less and less to read each day. I need to buy another book before going to the airport. But at least I will be able to sleep on the plane.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

08.11.11 My Second Full Day in Uganda.

Up early – before either my alarm went off or the rooster next door crowed. Had my quiet time, and am reading one of the books on Uganda that was on the lounge table. The Ugandan flag has the same colours as the Aboriginal flag, and two of the three have the same meaning. Yellow for the sunshine, black for the people. The red, which in the Aboriginal flag symbolises the land, in the Ugandan flag symbolises the brotherhood of man. Ironically, the dirt here is the same red as it is in Central Australia.

The fruit here is terrific! The pineapple are much sweeter than back home. There are tons of bananas, and I’m going to have some more types of fruit soon.

Devotions was good. Lisa asked me before we started if I was a Brethren. Oscar (one of the teachers) asked me just afterwards if I was a nun. I told both of them that I wasn’t. Lisa then told Oscar off for asking in such a blunt way. I told them that my mother had said far worse things about my head-covering.

Britt spent the morning vomiting, and Andrew spent it on the loo. I’d say that they have the same thing, but Britt’s is just her malaria pills.

School was much the same as yesterday, except that I am getting more able to tell who the different children are. It’s difficult because all the children look the same – they all even have the same haircut – very, very short (shaved through to buzz cut). Girls too!

I doing fine with interacting with them. I’m a lot quicker to notice misbehaviour than their regular teachers. Lisa said that as a rule, the teachers have difficulty doing more than one thing at the same time, so helping children with their work and watching out for misbehaviour is tricky for them.

The children are both extraordinarily compliant and extremely badly behaved. In some ways it’s like Frankston children: they’ll punch each other up the second the teacher isn’t looking.

Most of the Baby Class are 4 years old. However, several are older, as children start school when they can pay their school fees – and if they drop out and restart later, even years later, they continue where they left off.

One of the children, Elijah, is 6. He’s tiny, and hunchbacked. Apparently he only started walking 5 months ago – and now he is running about, slightly unsteadily, along with the rest of the children.


The class is slightly bigger – 32 children in each of the two classes. There are two teachers. The thing that most Westerners would notice early on is just how much the rooms smell like wee. Luckily for me, I’m used to worse smells!


I think the thing that most surprises me is just how ordinary everything is. It is what always strikes me about being overseas; it just doesn’t FEEL different. I think it will feel like I’m upside down, and it just doesn’t. It’s also hard that I don’t know how useful I am being here. I know that this trip is more about visiting for the first time, seeing how my health can handle being, and just experiencing it a bit. I also know that first time short-term missionaries are more a hindrance than people realise, but I expected… well, to feel more useful.


Primary school was pretty much the same as yesterday. I walked up by myself. Lots of people waved to the Mzungu on the way up. While at school it rained, and the rain here is like our summer showers – heavy, thunderous, but over pretty soon. It turned the tracks by the road to mud.

On the way back a bunch of Hope Primary children walked alongside me, asking me a ton of questions, including am I a nun, if not, why do you have that head-covering, am I married, and finally my name and other personal details. They were aghast at my name (pronounce SAHM here). “That’s a boy’s name,” I was told. I might have to change my name when I move here. I know Em from Em on a mission goes by Emmarie in Uganda, because Em is short for Emmanuel here.

Before dinner I went out for a walk. I went to the top of the street and turned the opposite way from the Primary School. The houses were terrible and there were little market stalls. A boda stopped and asked if I wanted to hop on, but I said no. Maybe I will catch one the weekend. Lots of people said, “How are you?” or waved at the mzungu, There was only 1 western style shop, a small supermarket / convenience store. I will probably go there for food treats once I have changed my money. Aside from that, there is a limited amount I want to buy from the local shops. I hope to go into Kampala proper to go shopping. I want a shirt that says mzungu, and some paper-bead necklaces for presents. Another book to read would definitely not go amiss either.

In terms of adapting, I’m not really homesick. I miss being around the people who ‘get’ me – Kallie especially – but I’m going ok. I think being a bit of a loner means that I’ve found things a bit easier in that way. As I don’t have a TV I’m not missing that, and am managing ok only having had the internet once. I’m glad I’ve scheduled posts in advance for that.

Time zone wise I’m fine. I’m getting up at 6-6:30 here (compared to 6:30-7 at home) and am going to bed earlier (between 8-9, compared with 9-10:30 at home), but I’m sleeping most of the night and am not too tired during the day.

My list of Luganda words has grown to 13, with a correction being made. I took my notebook with me to Primary school and was able to get the children to tell me a few words. Some I couldn’t even copy down, but small steps add up!

I was just thinking about what I miss from back home, when God sent a lizard into my room! Reminded me of my pet lizard, Robespierre. God is so good!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

07.11.11 My First Full Day in Uganda

I woke at 3, but was able to go back to sleep, and rewoke to my alarm at 6:45. So I’m more or less on the right time zone, though I’m feeling a little tired.

I did my quiet time, then ate breakfast. All the cereals etc are not GF, so I had a banana and 2 GF/CF cookies with a cup of tea and my malaria pill. Then I did some reading before Lisa (the education officer here) came and got me for the Baby School (kinder/prep age).

One of the teachers in the Baby Class (kinder) had not shown up for work that day, so I was there the entire day. Things are a bit different – it is more structured than education in Australia. It is also in a mix of Luganda and English. Primary school onwards are just in English, but for the little ones, it is their first year in English instruction. I’ve taught ESLs before, including ones who were not used to being in classes or schools, but I’ve never taught in a class of ESLs. So it was an experience. The children all crowd around me, and a few have been slightly amazed at my paleness – holding their arms to mine in amazement. Which isn’t really that surprising, given how much paler I am than even most Australians.

We had a cup of porridge for snack. It was made from maize (corn) so I had some. It was sweet, and quite nice. It certainly beats the rice porridge that a few of church people have given me! The we had a play outside, playing skipping and with balls. I learnt how to say “my turn” in Luganda, but I’ve forgotten it already. Then we went back inside and continued study.

When back in class, I was go through individual work with the children, and then when I was helping a girl called Rose, she just started bobbing, then began to wee. I told her to go to the toilet, and she ran, leaving a trail of wee. She was back a few minutes later, and we continued where we left off. The teacher, Alice, thought it was one of the funniest things! I told her I’ve had worse – which is true! I’ve had children wee on me at work before!

The Baby School finishes at 12, so I came back to the visitors dorm and am recording a few thoughts before lunch. So far, my schedule seems to be:

8AM- 8:30AM – Devotions

8:30-9:45 – Baby School

9:45-10:30 – Break

10:30-12:00 – Baby School

12-2 – My lunch break

2-4 – Primary school

Other than that, I think my time is all free, which wasn’t what I was expecting! I’ve already read two of my four books (on the plane) and am a third of the way through the third. Hopefully I will be able to use some of my spare time to explore.

Anyway, I’m off to have some lunch, before Primary School starts.
Primary school was fun. I helped Amina with what in Australia would be termed Reading Recovery. It was very much like in Australia.
On the walk back I got beeped at a lot. I had thought people were beeping at me, and now I’m certain. A few people pointed or said “Mzungu” (which means white person). Amina walked me back, and she pointed out that Aussies walk very fast, while Ugandans stroll along very slowly. The funny thing is, to many people overseas, Aussies walk slowly!

I was planning on going for a walk after work, but ended up talking with Lisa, Britt and Andrew. Which is probably good, because I don’t have any local money, just $US. I need to change at least some of my money.

I’ve started a notebook of Lugandan words, which I hope to add to over my stay. So far I have 7 words – not exactly great conversation material! And given that I knew 3 of them before I came, I’m not doing so great one the language front.

A not on health: Brilliant! I haven’t had an asthma attack since arriving in Uganda. No signs of tummy bugs, or anything else, and I haven’t been bitten once by a mozzie. God be praised for answering the prayers of His people in regards to my health over here!

Anyway, goodnight for now!

Monday, 25 February 2013

06.11.11 - Journey to COME Uganda

For those who aren’t aware, I was staying and working at an organisation called COME Uganda.

Well, someone ‘borrowed’ by pen. Given I’ve left the airport, I don’t think I’m getting it back. It’s absolutely cracking me up.

I spent the time in the line being chatted up by a middle-aged Iranian. He pretended he knew me from Moscow (I’ve never been!) He supposedly ‘wants people to join him in his business’, and invited me to stop by his hotel anytime. I don’t think so. I thought, I’m not that young, and I’m definitely not that stupid.

I left the airport, and the driver, Patrick, was there to pick me up. He has 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. He’s really nice, and has told me how friendly everyone here is. There is a bit of a rivalry with Kenya – kind of a Sydney / Melbourne rivalry.

There are people everywhere on boda-bodas, their motorbikes, and animals on the streets like its their backyard. Big fat chickens and lean cows, even some goats.

There is an African child conference on! People were being picked up for it at the airport. I saw people for World Vision and etc there.

There are schools, childcares, and churches everywhere, and the smells of fruit and meat cooking, and it seems like its washday, with clothes everywhere, even in bushes and spread out over the grass to dry. And some things are universal, with Patrick lowering his phone as we drove past a police van.

The houses vary immensely, from ones that would seem slightly small and run down in Australia, to shacks that we wouldn’t keep animals in. In front of virtually every house is a stall of some kind.

I arrived at COME Uganda, and found that most people were away, including anyone I’d talked to or heard of. A family who are on a mission trip here for 5 months were here, and they helped me find my way around. They are Britt, Andrew, and their two daughters, Amaya (5) and Abbie (3). Britt showed me all the things, then I unpacked (I have my own room - luxury). We ate dinner together, which I could eat, being GF, and then they let me use their internet to email my family and Kal & Step to let them know I’ve arrived safely.

It’s only 8PM Ugandan time, but I am knackered. I am going to read my Bible and then go to sleep.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

5:45AM Ugandan Time. About to Arrive in Doha! (Then on the plane to Entebbe)

I got off the plane and had 15 minutes until boarding time for my next flight started – not much! My ticket didn’t have the gate number printed on it, so I had to ask at information. They ignored me, even serving other (male) people who came after me before me. Another girl was also ignored. She got frustrated and left.

Just like at church, I’m the minority on this plane. What’s unexpected is that Africans are not the majority, Indians are. Most of them forgot to order their vegetarian meals, and complained immensely. My meal managed to be vegetarian, but I could actually eat less of it than on the previous flight, as it was mostly gluten. They didn’t have enough time to get GF/CF food. They gave me some extra fruit. So I guess I’ve started one “African weight loss plan”. As long as I don’t get the usual one (travellers belly).

Something completely unexpected – my ticket was via Doha in the Middle East and not South Africa, which was what I thought. I seriously didn’t realise! But my one plan is to get to Entebbe, Uganda… hopefully with all my luggage.

2:10PM – Touchdown in Entebbe. Overflowing with thankfulness to my God for bringing me here, to the place of my dreams for the past 18 months.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Sunday 6th, 5:20AM Ugandan Time. Plane to Doha.

Been reading Desiring God (pg 190 my edition), and I came across the statistics that so shocked me when I first read them. They are current as of 2002.

• The global income of church members is $12.3 trillion ($12,300 billion)

• Of this, $213 billion (1.73%) is given to Christian causes

• Of this, $11.4 billion (5.4% of 1.73%) goes to foreign missions

• Of this, 87% goes to those who are already Christians, and 12% to already evangelised non-Christians

• 1% of 5.4% of 1.73% - just $114 million – goes to the unreached.

Current stats are available at missionfrontiers.org

Friday, 22 February 2013

Sam's Uganda Trip - The Airport and Plane

During my trip to Uganda, I took as detailed a journal as possible, with the aim of sharing it here on the missions blog. This will take place over a variety of posts – it’s MUCH too long for one or two posts. Other posts (reviews, quotes, prayer points, etc) will continue in the mean time, but I hope that you all find the details recorded here useful.

Saturday 5th November, 2011. At the airport, 10:15PM Australian time

The bit that has always worried me most about this trip was the airport. Not being in Uganda, not flying, but the being in the airport. If something goes wrong, it is here that it will happen. And this is the place I can’t control things as much, but will want to the most.

The initial stages went well. We got to the airport fine, checked on my luggage fine, and all that. We played a game for a gin company, and I won, and got a pack of cards. Mum got a shot of gin. (Julie and I don’t drink – her at all, me much.) We got a photo taken, dressed up in funny hats, with me having a trophy.

Then it came to entering the security, so I had to say goodbye. I went in, they took photos. I forgot my jacket. It’s my only warm one, but the weather should be ok. I have some rain macs in my luggage.

Then I had to get rid of my chocolate spread. I was so sad – it’s GF/CF, vegan, organic, etc, and amazing. I seriously nearly cried. Especially as they don’t have any food on the plane for me – they lost that information. So I now have half a packet of rice chips and some GF/CF cookies for a 14 ½ hour flight. They are sorting out the other end.

What’s worse is I don’t have my phone. Mum said to just leave it at home, so I did. So I couldn’t give them my coco-choc spread or get back my jacket. Sad.

I have about 1 hour til boarding.

Sunday 6th November, 2011. 10:10AM Aussie time.Dark outside. On the plane.
Well, I boarded the plane well, but completely forgot to take a photo of the take-off. I’ve got a spare seat next to me, and Geoff, the boy of the aisle seat is friendly. He’s going to Tanzania to climb a mountain, and then is going on safari. I was tempted to evangelise and say, as Ray Comfort says he does “Don’t like, there’s the door.”

I was able to eat about half the meal, but I completely forgot to keep the things I can’t eat that were in packaging. There are a lot of beggar street children in Kampala, and I was planning to save stuff for them. But I saved me snack, choosing the biscuits I can’t eat over the ice-cream I can’t eat.

Aside from that, I’ve napped, watched House, Super 8, and started a few other movies that weren’t that good, and done a little reading (Desiring God, by John Piper). I should probably get out my Swahili language book and ipod. Swahili is the 2nd national language of Uganda (the 1st is English). The thing is, most people speak neither language as a first language, instead speaking Luganda. I have a Luganda music CD on my ipod, along with the words in both English and Luganda. It’s a praise and worship CD, so I can learn a bit about Jesus in their native tongue. Back to my reading and music.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Mission Trip Diaries

I've decided for a variety of reasons to post my mission trip diaries from my two trips to Uganda on this blog.  Previosuly they were just on my church's missions blog (for which I was the major editor / contributer).  But I'd like to have a record on this blog too.

So, starting tomorrow, one entry will come out a day for a while.  I may intersperse these posts with the occasional other post, as I work out a few different things in my head.  I've not posted much as I've been working through some issues in relation to a variety of issues including (but not limited to) boys, missions, where I want to go with my life, the position that my church has on a vareity of issues, the supremacy of Scripture, the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church and the believer, and signs and wonders.

Enjoy the mission trip diaries!