Mzungu Memoirs

Children of the Nations

Several of our blogs have shared about the dark history and incredible need of northern Uganda.  Oppressive regimes, the psychopathic leader of the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’, child soldiering, village decimation and AIDS pandemics in relocation camps have created a wake of trauma, death, pain, suffering and orphans.  Several ministries have felt called to serve the vulnerable and needy suffering from three decades of war in northern Uganda.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to serve one such ministry.  Children of the Nations (COTN) feels called to serve double orphans and children with terminally ill single parents infected with HIV.  COTN has growing ministries in Uganda, Malawi, Sierra Leone and the Dominican Republic.  You can read more at

eMi developed a master plan in 2009 for land owned by COTN at the time.  Aaron Haazen, a mechanical engineering intern, and I traveled to Lira, Uganda about a week ago to survey additional land and develop an architectural program and master plan for the now larger site.  I often feel Satan relishes our use of modern technology as he makes ample use of computers and electronics to attack us.  Aaron spent several hours attempting to get our GPS equipment functioning to survey additional plots of land.  Despite equipment never working, I rest in the knowledge that God will be victorious and this was spiritual warfare.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12

While touring the site, we were shown a borehole dug by COTN to serve the local community.  Ironically, the borehole had been dug on an adjacent plot of land.  It was definitely being used by the community as seen by the line of jerry cans waiting to be filled.

One of the mornings, we met a chicken sitting on one of the couches of the guest house where we were staying.  Not exactly something you expect to greet in the morning…

Pastor James Okala, the National COTN Director, asked us to stay longer so we could worship at Truth Fountain Church, where he is senior pastor.  We had originally planned to return to Kampala on Saturday so I could take care of tithe collections at two services at Kampala International Church, our home church.  I sent some texts to ask others to manage the collections and we were able to stay.  Of course, the request included a request for me to preach…a quiet architect preaching in a Ugandan Pentecostal church?

The service was lively to say the least.  I think Aaron explained it well when he told me the service made a Western Pentecostal service look like an Anglican service.  During one song, we noticed a woman bobbing her plastic chair above her head.  I preached for about 20 minutes, followed by Pastor James preaching for an additional 40 minutes.

During our journey back to Kampala, we frequented several fruit stands and stopped to meet some of the locals…some baboons that live in the fertile wooded area along the Nile River.  These baboons seem to be very accustomed to people as several came up to our vehicle to beg for food.  We gave some bread to one who sat on the road to enjoy his meal.  Another even chased our vehicle as we were driving off.

Thanks to all of you who are praying for us, supporting our work financially or following us through our blogs.  We are honored to be serving and using our talents for the Kingdom.  We give God all the glory.  He is truly amazing at planning and orchestrating the plan for our lives.  I cannot wait to see more chapters.

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