Tuesday, April 2, 2019

We're Back!

It has been almost 2 months now that we have been back in the US.  Again, we want to say thank you to everyone that helped to make out time in Uganda possible.  We are truly grateful.

Our last week in Uganda was spent packing and spending last moments with friends.  We spent one night with our friends from Tennessee, the Morrisons.  We also spent 2 nights in Entebbe before flying out, and had some time to spend with our friends there.

Our friends the Morrisons, who are missionaries from Tennessee, and are
the new owners of our dog Arrow.

Our friends Michael and Rebecca who live in Entebbe with their two
youngest children, Chris and Vicky.

As we arrived in the Charlotte Airport, we were met by Andrew's parents, Heidi's parents, and Heidi's sister Heather.  It was a wonderful reunion!  We all stayed overnight in Charlotte together.  The next morning Heidi's family surprised us with a new van!  It was a huge and unexpected Blessing.

Mille, enjoying the new van.

With Heidi's parents and sister as we attended our first Sunday back
to our home church, Waterlife, in Lenoir, NC.

After arriving back in Lenoir, we stayed with Andrew's parents.  Heidi's parents also stayed with us in Lenoir for about 2 weeks.  We had some good time reconnecting with family.  We also started to remodel one of the houses that we had been renting out in order for us to have our own place.

Playing some Hand and Foot with Heidi's parents.

The kids got to have some quality time and Grandma and Grandpa Kanagy's
with cousins.  This is her cousin Katie.

Papa Kanagy made a fire and we got to have some S'Mores for
the first time in a couple of years.  This is Ivan and Papa with
cousin Graceson.

Heidi doing some sanding at the house after patching walls.

Andrew working during demolition stage.  We tore out the whole kitchen, including
the wall that you see in this picture.

We stayed with Andrew's parents for about a month and a half while we finished up the renovations on the house.  The kids got signed up for soccer, while Andrew and Heidi got signed up for coaching.  We were able to reconnect with some of our friends.  We haven't had much free time, but we have been able to take a couple of weekends to visit with family and friends.

Got to go to a married night out for couples at Watlife Church with Andrew's
brother Brandon and his wife Erica.

A couple of friends from Waterlife, Isabel and Melody, treated Heidi
to a nice birthday dinner.

We were able to spend some of Heidi's birthday weekend with friends from
our Charis Bible College days, Tom and Cindy.

One of the weekends was spent traveling up to Virginia and Pennsylvania to visit with many of Andrew's relatives on both his mom's and his dad's side.  Andrew's last remaining grandparent, his mom's dad, had his 90th birthday party in Pennsylvania.  It was a great time reconnecting with family.

Gathering with some of Andrew's mom's family in Pennsylvania.

Ivan enjoying the meal with Andrew's Uncle Jerry.

Andrew's Grandpa Lloyd, who just recently turned 90.

We have now moved into our house.  We still have a few things to finish up, but we are working on them as we settle in and find where to put everything.  Heidi is back to homeschooling the kids and getting them back into a routine.  Andrew has been working on finishing up the house, and working with his dad's construction business, as they are finishing a new house for his parents.

Our plans are to stay here in North Carolina and work with Andrew's family to grow the construction business over the next several months.  Andrew plans to help his father build a couple of spec houses to sell.  If everything works out, we will keep riding that wave.  If not, we will try a different path.

As for our involvement with PUR International, and Uganda, we are still planning and organizing a return trip in August with a group of 15 from both North Carolina and Norway.  Heidi and Andrew will both be leading the trip.  We will do both a medical camp, and a church building project.  Originally, we were going to do these as two separate trips, with the medical camp in April.  Many different factors lead to the change of plans.  We feel very good about this plan, and as usual, we see that the Lord is setting all of this to work out better than we had planned in the first place.

As we prepare for this trip in August, we have 4 different fundraising campaigns.  We have 2 campaigns for the travel expenses for us and all the different team members that will be coming.  Then we have a campaign for both the medical camp, and for the church building.  Here is a link to the page that shows all 4 of those campaigns:  August Trip Campaigns

We are so excited that Heidi and I get to go together, and we get to check to see how everything that we did and started there is progressing.  Please consider giving towards any of those campaigns to help us reach our goals.  These projects will be improving the lives of many people in Uganda, while at the same time providing a life changing experience for the team of volunteers that will be going with us.

We love you guys!  Thanks so much to everyone that has followed our journey.  We are amazed at all the people that we have run into here at home that are aware of where we have been and what we have been up to.  Thank God for the prayers and support of all those that have been following us, and Thank God for social media!

God Bless All of You!

Andrew, Heidi, and Kids

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Thank You!

A genuine and sincere THANK YOU to everyone that has helped to make our time here possible.  We leave Uganda in one week.  There is so much that has been accomplished in our short time here.  None of it would have been possible without generous contributions from hundreds of people, and many hours of work from hundreds of volunteers.  Here is a list of everything PUR International has been able to help organize and oversee since we came in October of 2017:

·       Construction of Chicken House at Victor's Junior Christian School
·       Raising/Feeding of 2200 Laying Hens
·       Production of 1900 Eggs per day
·       Feeding of Eggs to Students 2-3 Times a Week
·       Feeding of Vegetables to Students Daily
·       Planting and Harvesting of School Garden for 2 full growing seasons
·       Planting for 2 growing seasons at Garden for Village of Grace (home for orphans)
·       Construction, Planting, Harvesting of Greenhouse
·       Organized Soccer Program at Victor’s for over 1 year
·       Team played in Primary School’s League, Municipality Competitions, and 2 Christmas Camps
·       Sponsored a widow's 6 children for a full school year
·       Construction of 4 Pit Latrines
·       Construction to finish homes for 2 widows
·       Building of 30 desks for Victor’s
·       3-Day Medical Camp providing free treatment for over 1,000 people
·       6 months of discipleship teaching both in Mukono and to church members in village of Kyajja
·       2 Semesters of Culinary Training of girls from Girls of Destiny Training Center
·       Delivery of over 120 care packages to needy families
·       Basketball Camp at Nation Changers for 80 young players
·       Donations of shoes, sports equipment, medical supplies, Bibles, clothes, material for GOD
·       Training of Medical Staff, Teaching Staff with CPR, and GOD girls with sewing
·       Distribution of hundreds of Sanitary Pads to young ladies from several schools and villages
·       Hosting of 27 people from the US on Short Term trips
·       Hosting of 2 Interns (1 for 3 months, and 1 for 4 months)
·       Full Time Employment of 8 People
·       Part Time work for many others on different projects

So many lives have been impacted.  We cannot say thank you enough to everyone that has helped to make our time here possible, and to make it possible to be a part of everything that has been accomplished.  We are sad to be leaving the many friends we have made here, but we are excited that we will be able to come back to see them soon.  PUR International is still planning to host another medical camp here in Uganda in April, and to organize a building project in August.

Thank You!

Thank You!

Thank You!

It's been a HUGE team effort!

This month has been another busy one.  We started with Andrew being gone at the Christmas Camp soccer tournament with boys from Victor's, and Heidi and the kids at home beginning the process of making the move back to the US.

Andrew had a great time at the soccer tournament with the boys.  The team played well, but the competition was very good.  They only won one game, but everyone still enjoyed the experience very much.  It was great to be a part of making some memories with those boys.

We got up every morning and did a training session.

After training we would do a morning devotion together.

We all made some great memories together.

The Sunday after Andrew returned from the Christmas Camp was spent at another village church handing out more care packages to needy families.  These packages were distributed in the village of Kitoola, which is where we plan to build a church in August.  The church is pastored by a wonderful man named Peter who lives in the community.  They were meeting at a school, but the school's owner will not allow them to meet there anymore.  Currently they are meeting in a shelter made of wooden poles and a large orange plastic tarp.  The shelter is on the property where the church will be built.  This is where we built our very first pit latrine in November of 2017.

Tanner and Pastor Adam praying for a lady that chose to make
Jesus Lord of her life during care package delivery

One of the families that received a package in Kitoola

Church Service in Kitoola

This is Pastor Peter and his family at their home in Kitoola

After the Sunday in Kitoola we still had several care packages to distribute to some of our neighbors and to people we know from our church in Mukono that would benefit most.  While we did deliver those packages throughout the next week, our minds shifted into "Go Mode".  We have spent the last several weeks figuring out what we need to pack, what we need to sell, what we need to give away, and what needs to go into the trash.  It's been a huge undertaking, but we have had the right amount of time to do it in.  Most of it has gone really smooth, and we have still had time to spend with the people we have been developing relationships with over the past 16 months.

Delivering a care package at the home of some of our
good friends Rose and Farouk

Heidi playing Skip-Bo with children from some of the families
we have grown close to during our time here.
This was a birthday celebration for one of the boys that belongs
to some friends of ours that serve here in Uganda, and are
from Tennessee.

We were able to spend some time with Tanner's parents while they were
here visiting from ND.

It is true that we are very excited to get back to the US.  There is a lot that we are looking forward to in our return home.  Still, there is a lot here that we will miss.  God has been so good to us.  He has helped to make our time here productive in so many ways.  We thank HIM, and we thank YOU for this opportunity.  We know that our family has grown in so many ways as a result of this experience.  We pray that the seeds that have been sown will continue to reap a great harvest in our lives and in the lives of everyone that has been impacted as a result of our time here.

Happy New Year, and God Bless You from Uganda!

The Kanagy's

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

God is Good!

Hello again from PUR International in Uganda!  We have had a very busy and productive month.  We have had the Waitman family with us from North Dakota and Hallie and Jess Clark from Alaska.  60 more care packages were distributed to needy families.  We held a basketball camp for 80 kids where they received new shoes, a jersey, and 4 days of free meals.  We have also been able to share Christmas with several different families as well as some of our own family.  We can't help but say, God is Good!  None of this would happen without Him.  He deserves all the credit.  We see His hand in everything we are doing, and we are continually amazed.

At the very beginning of this month, Heidi was able to travel with some of the leadership of Girls of Destiny Training Center to a village where they handed out many sanitary pads that they had sewn to girls from needy homes.

On December 5th, the Waitman's arrived!  For those that do not know, Becca is Heidi's sister, and Ricky and Becca are the founders of PUR International.  They have 4 children, Israel, Bergen, Ireland, and Finn.

On December 10th, Hallie and Jess Clark arrived.  Jess has led the effort to raise money for both the basketball camp and care packages that we have been delivering.  Hallie and Jess hit the ground running.  The day after they arrived we had a day of distributing packages.

From there we started the basketball camp at Nation Changers Primary School.  We had planned on having 60 campers, and ended up with 80.  We had to adjust some things, but everything worked out perfectly.  We still had plenty of shoes to make sure that every player got one, and everyone had a wonderful time.  The young players and the Ugandan coaches learned a lot of new skills and drills, and had a lot of fun in the process.

After camp, the day before Hallie and Jess needed to get back on a plane, we had one more full day of delivering care packages.  We delivered packages in the village where we hosted the basketball camp.  We had a meal with the local church congregation, and then went with them to deliver the packages within the community.

The trip for Hallie and Jess was so full, and so productive.  We are so grateful to all of their effort.  They have played a huge part in impacting the lives of so many people here in Uganda.  This Christmas was so much brighter for so many families here who had plenty of food to give to their families.

The day after Hallie and Jess left, the Waitman's and the Kanagy's headed to two nights on safari at Murchison Falls National Park.  We all had a great time and saw many many animals.  We couldn't leave Africa without taking some time to see this beautiful place.

We did have some frustration when our van broke down while in the national park.  We had to have someone drive mechanics from the town where we live.  We rode home in a different vehicle and our mechanics stayed to fix the van and bring it back.  We all made it back to Mukono fine, and were able to share Christmas Eve with three other families.  Heidi did such a great job making sure all of the children got presents that they needed.

Christmas morning we woke up and had Christmas together with the Waitman's.  It was such a Blessing to have family here with us for such a special time.  God truly has been so good to us.  We are so grateful.  We are so honored to play a part in all of this.  

There are SOOOOOO many people who have chosen to join us in the effort to be a blessing to others through this channel known as PUR International.  That is what we want everyone to see PUR International as.  It is nothing more than a channel, with a label.  It is a pathway to connect people that desire to give, with people that are in need.  The money is nothing more than a tool.  We do not desire to have the attention go to the channel or to the tool.  The attention goes to people, relationships, experiences, giving, blessing, and ultimately the one who is the author of life itself.

God truly is so Good!  Thank you once again to everyone that has helped to make our time here possible.  We have about a month here remaining before we return to the US.  There are still many question marks about exactly what our life will look like after we move back, but we have peace in our hearts and trust that everything will work out great.  If you would like to give towards our family's expenses one last time to help with our moving and "restart" expenses that would be great.  Click Here to give towards our campaign.  We will be moving back to North Carolina, and then figuring out life from there.

2018 truly has been a great year.  Here's to the wonderful opportunities that are coming in 2019!!

God Bless You!!