Mzungu Memoirs

The Name of the Lord

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. – Exodus 20:7

Northern Uganda has endured many hardships over the past few decades.  After several dictatorial regimes, including the tyranny of Idi Amin, all but three of the last 25 years has been scarred by war waged by a group ironically called the Lord’s Resistance Army.  The LRA ravaged villages, raped women, killed men and enlisted child soldiers.  Northern Uganda is still reeling from the effects of the war that finally ended in 2008.  Broken families, destroyed villages, thousands of orphans and refugee camps that cultivated the spread of AIDS were just some of the effects left by the LRA’s terror.

The United States recently sent 100 troops here to Uganda to assist in the search for Joseph Kony, the psychopathic leader of the LRA, still affecting the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.  Recently talking to two of our guards, I discovered that one of them, from northern Uganda, served with the Ugandan military in fighting the LRA.  You can learn more by watching the movie Invisible Children or by visiting the Invisible Children website.

I recently had the opportunity to help fight the LRA with good, so to speak.  I was blessed to serve Saving Grace in Uganda, a ministry begun in 2007 by Alon and Valerie Brandorfer, an American couple.  Living in Lira and serving in refugee camps, the Bransdorfers noticed many street children living there.  Following the murder of one of the children by a bread vendor, Alon and Valerie opened the home they were renting to 26 children and Fred Ojok, a Ugandan man who had already been working with the street children.  You can read more at the Saving Grace in Uganda website.

Saving Grace in Uganda serves the children of northern Uganda, showing them God’s love by providing food, clothing, shelter, medical needs and spiritual guidance.  Some of these children are war orphans, some are AIDS orphans, some are returned child soldiers, and some are running from abuse.

“I am nobody’s nothing.”

The response from a small boy when asked about his identity.

Saving Grace in Uganda has purchased a plot of land just west of the town of Lira where they have dreams of developing a children’s village to serve more street children.  Our team of two surveyed the property and developed an architectural program for the site through meetings with Fred Ojok, the Ugandan director of the ministry.  I then developed a phased master plan for the site.  I was blessed to meet Valerie Bransdorfer and Suzanne Kuhn (both of whom serve the ministry from the States) during a visit they had made here to Uganda.

The complete master plan would include a P1-P7 primary school, multipurpose building, library, clinic, boys and girls homes for 200, a guest house, a hospice house for AIDS patients and an agricultural farm for food production and training.  I also developed a design for the children’s home.

I continue to be amazed at how God is using us here in Uganda to serve other ministries and help spread the Kingdom.  All the glory goes to Him.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27

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