Thursday, November 2, 2017

Laying the Foundation

The first team to come to Uganda from Williston, ND
The partnership between PUR International and True Vine Christian Ministries has officially begun.  This week (Oct 29-Nov4) we have hosted the first team of Americans from North Dakota to come and complete two projects that True Vine was in need of.

The first night after the team arrived,
the leadership of True Vine fed us
an Amazing meal with local food.
The first project was to build a pit latrine for a village church near Lugazi.  The foundation of the latrine had been laid before our men arrived, and then with our help, the walls and roof were added.  After completing the latrine the pastor of the church named Peter, and several of the church members showed their appreciation for our help.  We then gathered together to pray over each other, the latrine, and the continued partnership between us.

Beginning the walls of the latrine.
This was a great experience.  The church there currently meets in a building that they rent from a local school.  They do have their own land that they plan to build a shelter on, but the pit latrine was the first priority.  Now that it is there, the next step is to build the shelter, and then they will be able to use that land for their church gatherings.  This is something that we plan to help them with in 2018.

The finished product.
The second project that was completed this week was to build new desks for True Vine's school named Victor's Junior Christian School.  Through money that was raised in our "Foundation Trip" campaign on the website we were able to provide materials for the pit latrine and for 30 new desks to be built.  We were excited to do this project for them, and in fact they were used immediately the next day as students were taking their final exams for the term.

In both of these projects our role was to provide funding, and to help where we could.  The role of the Ugandan's was to instruct us, supervise, and work along side us.  In reality, they do not lack the man power to accomplish these projects, but they do lack the funding.  We are not approaching them with the desire to take over their projects.  We believe they need to be able to take ownership of it.  We also do not desire to just hand them the money.  We want to foster a relationship, and a partnership that goes beyond just funding.  This is more than a sponsorship program.  We are working together, and it is Awesome!

Working to put the desks together.
We have had so much fun working with Ugandan's this week.  Any time we rub shoulders with someone that is very different from us there is the temptation for our differences to take center stage, but when we have a heart to serve one another, we allow the things we have in common to take priority, and we overlook our differences to work together and appreciate each other.  There is so much we can learn in that process.  There is nothing like it, and it is the main purpose in us being here.

Several of the guys from North Dakota with the
desks, and some of the school children
Thank you again to all of you that are helping us in this mission.  We have many other projects that we want to complete throughout the year of 2018.  We will be scheduling some trips that people can sign up for, but we also want to extend the invitation out to anyone that would be able to bring their own team of 5 or more.  If you have a team to bring, we will give you a list of projects to choose from that we can do with your team, and work it out to be done during the time when your team can come.

Some of the projects that we are currently aware of that we would like to have teams come and work with us on are:
  • Painting the outside of Victor's Junior Christian School
  • Building a Chicken House on the School's property
  • Building the village church next to the pit latrine that we helped to build
  • Putting tarmac down on the parking lot at the school
  • Planting a garden of raised beds on land near the school for feeding students
  • Building other pit latrines at the homes of needy families
  • Putting up a fence on a piece of land where they would like to raise goats
These are all projects that we could work on any time during the year of 2018.  We invite you to pick one, decide on dates, recruit your team, and come serve with us.  We will be right beside you every step of the way.  With each 10 day trip we plan to have 3 days of service work, and at least 1 day of "touristy" type activities.  The cost of a trip varies depending on plane ticket prices, but all trips cost around $4,000 per person.  We will help with fundraising through our website, and we will help with all of the planning and preparation.  When in country, we will take care of all of your needs including transportation, lodging, food, and everything you will need while serving.

If you are interested in bringing a team,  Contact Us today!