Anyone can help!

Anyone can help!

How will you be part of my next visit to Uganda? (Click the photo to donate today!)

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The year of Africa!

…well, the year of thinking about, planning for, obsessing over, and visiting Africa! 

It all “began” in January, when the Watoto Children’s Choir visited Hope again and I fell deeper in love with the ministry. I joked about moving to Africa and was told about an opportunity to visit. I applied a couple weeks after in February. The next 5 months were spent raising $3,000, collecting supplies, meetings, and most importantly, preparing my spirit. Then we left! More on those details later… 😉 

In the midst of digesting the beautiful experience of traveling to Uganda and ministering alongside the Watoto ministry, I am preparing to visit again – just three months after returning! I made this choice not long before leaving in July because I knew I would want to return and wanted to get a head start on fundraising! 

In an attempt to dissuade cookie-cutter expectations, I’ve wanted to avoid comparing my two 2013 trips to Uganda. However, it seems to naturally happen, so I’d like to go ahead and communicate the surface similarities and differences. Over the next few weeks, I will delve into more of the individual experiences – stay tuned!  

July 10-20, 2013
33 people – various life stages – families, couples, highschoolers and more! 
Jam-packed trip: visits to Watoto Church Central (South Ug.), Suubi Village (including sustainability project; S), Bbira Village (S), Kampala Market (S), Baby Watoto Gulu (North Ug.), Living Hope (N); Worship Center Dedications service (N), traditional lunch with a Laminadera family (N), 2 afternoons with the children of Laminadera (N), Watoto Church Gulu service (N), 3 days of building and Mums ministry & pampering in the Laminadera Village (N), crossing the Nile River by bus then ferry, and experiencing a real African safari. Lots of time spent on planes and buses, since we traveled up and down the country! No boda bodas (bikes/motorcycles) this time!   

October 8-18, 2013
10 women, similar life stages. 
We will be focusing on the Watoto villages in South Uganda, ministering to and pampering the mums in the Suubi & Bbira villages – 3 days at each. Additionally, we’ll attend an evening service at Watoto Central Church, visit Living Hope & Baby Watoto, including Bullrush (preemie baby home!) and other things we’re still ironing out.

More later… 

Seven more weeks before we leave! 🙂 

Lots of Love, 
Siara

Single digit countdown!

And on one hand, nonetheless! AH! Cannot believe there are just 5 days…as a matter of fact, in exactly 5 days, I will have just left DC headed toward Ethiopia. Cannot even believe my own words. I have been blessed with a few days off and will be using it to rest, hydrate, and prepare all of my supplies! I am so incredibly appreciative for the outpouring of love, things, and monies. 

Any last minute advice, suggestions, questions? Still need to pack GF – what are the must haves? 😉 

Looking forward to every moment of this trip and sharing it all with you when I return! 

Lots of Love, 

Siara

Guess where I’ll be in October…

Hello dear friends and supporters! 

Lots of news. I finally received my passport and immunizations- woohoo! And also very importantly, I am fully funded!! I am so thrilled and blessed by all of the contributions. As always, thank you for sacrificing financially, intentionally praying, committing to support in many ways, and encouraging my passion!

I also found out that my maternal Grandma Helen “Mamie,” passed away yesterday. She was SO excited for my Africa trip and was telling many other people, posting my support letter, and working with someone to help me with clothes. In one of our last conversations, she said, “I’m gonna buy you a beautiful new dress next month!” ❤ My heart hurts because I miss her deeply. But I can also find comfort and joy knowing that she is so excited to be in Heaven. She will always be in my heart and maybe even with me in Africa. 

Not only am I fully funded, but was given $300 over what I needed! So, I already 10% of the funding for my second trip to Uganda in October! I know, I haven’t even gone the first time and I’m already signing up for trip #2! But I understand my passion for this ministry. 

I will post details about both trips and their connection soon! For now, please continue to SHARE my story! I would love to have your help in this way as I prepare for the July trip! Half of the funds will be due not long after I return, so please spread the word! I’m also taking new and unique fundraising ideas – let me hear ’em! 

Trip #2 – Uganda, Africa – October 8th-18th, 2013 – $3,000
Donate online: http://gethope.net/global-hope/give “Siara Mims Uganda October”
Mail donations here:
Siara Mims
2054-422 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC 27518-6614

Lots of Love!, 

Siara

Exciting News!

On Sunday afternoon, our team had their monthly Uganda meeting. This one, though, was FULL of great changes and a fantastic guest! Our special guest was Pastor Doug Stride, who recently moved with his family back to the States after serving with Watoto for over 7 years! He shared a very small portion of his story while helping us understand and prepare for the Ugandan culture. His passion for the ministry is contagious. Pastor Doug now serves at Hope Community Church as the Executive Pastor for Expansion and Outreach! We are blessed to have him and his family. What a treat to have a person with first-hand knowledge of the ministry we are serving all the way in Uganda! 

I found his Watoto farewell video here.

You may remember that the purpose of my team’s trip to Uganda was to build staff housing for the Watoto Childcare Ministry. I mentioned in a prior blog post that I am not a builder, BUT I am ready to serve and recognize the importance of housing for this intentional ministry that cares for the hurting women and children of Uganda. Not only will we spend our time building, but now, we get to love on the mums and children of the Watoto villages!!! Previously, we would have little time to visit. Now, we have DAYS dedicated to hanging out with these beautiful people. If you know me, you can only imagine how I danced and applauded the news! We will have a Field Day and a separate Carnival with Crafts Day for the children; additionally, the women on our team will have the wonderful opportunity to love and pamper the Watoto Mums who care for these children! (Women -many of whom have lost work, husbands, children, family- are given a home with up to 8 children who have similar stories of loss and pain. Women and children who have lost their families are given families and those children are raised as future leaders of Uganda.)

The April Uganda team just got back from a trip where the men spent time building and the women ministered to and pampered the Mums. It was such a hit with the villages that they’ve made our trip a hybrid of that! How WONDERFUL! I’ve borrowed pictures from the Global Hope blog to give you an idea of what we’ll be doing. 

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The beautiful team of 17 from Hope Community Church in Uganda April 2-12, 2013

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Part of the team working hard building for Watoto! 

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The other part ministering to the women of the Watoto village.

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And also spending much needed time pampering these Mums with manicures & pedicures! Most ministry groups come for the children and don’t spend much time with the mums. Our team of godly ladies spent quality time listening, sharing God’s Word, and simply loving on the women. They were able to truly relax and that was exciting for the team to see.

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Of course, they did spend time loving on the children, too! This is Kimberly Baker, loving on a Watoto Baby! 

Following this team’s journey, hearing their stories, seeing their pictures…every moment makes my future journey so REAL! My passion and excitement for this trip continues to grow. THANK YOU, “April Team,” for doing a fantastic job and loving on the “July Team” as we prepare to go! 

FUNDRAISING UPDATE!: 
I am at $1,545 of $3,000! I am so blessed and excited to have crossed the 50% line!! THANK YOU, SUPPORTERS! My deadline to have a minimum of $2,200 is Mon. May 20th. Without this amount, I cannot purchase my ticket in time to go. Thank you for helping me reach my goals! Donate online here. Or, send checks made payable to Hope Community Church with “Siara Mims, Uganda, July” on the memo line here: 
Siara Mims
2054-422 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC 27518-6614

I will be hosting another fundraising party in May in addition to a hosting a yard sale! You can help by donating items, time, or shopping! 

Thank you, from the bottom of my soul, for every single penny, encouraging word, and help along the way. I am honored to have you join my journey! 

Lots of Love, 
Siara