How will you be part of my next visit to Uganda? (Click the photo to donate today!)
A very concentrated post from my very first international journey just 7 months ago!
I actually enjoyed the food on Ethiopian Airlines – and it came often!
My favorite airport.
My first Watoto village. An incredible and intentional ministry.
Kids of ALL ages just adored playing with the parachute! We played a variety of games. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard so much giggling!
We even took breaks just to chat. Not pictured: children randomly coming to join in and cuddle.
A portion of our unplanned foot washing ceremony. Probably the ministry time that meant the most to our team and the mums. They were floored that we would want to wash their feet.
Such sweet, affectionate people. I was in my element for sure.
The BEST bus drivers – George and Stephen! Good men with kind servant hearts.
The “school cafeteria” at the Laminadera Children’s Village.
Posho and Beans – my personal favorite.
“My kids”! This is the family (mum and two youngest siblings not pictured) that three of my teammates and I had Sunday lunch with and I visited them at school every day after that. They showed me their classrooms, favorite Scriptures, and we would share stories. They would even share their lunch with me!
Oh Baby Watoto. You’ve got my heart.
There are no adequate words to describe the experience of snuggling, calming, feeding, bathing, changing, loving on these babies. Certainly one of the most emotional experiences I’ve had. I am so thankful for Watoto – many of these babies had been left for dead, or worse, but they have been rescued and restored. They are on their way to a permanent family to be raised to become leaders of Uganda!
A portion of the Laminadera Worship Center dedication service. To this day, my favorite service! Such BEAUTIFUL people.
That’s the Worship Center on the right. Finally, plenty of space with shade!
I just realized that you can’t see the children dancing in this photo…but they were! They love it!
One of the best giraffe photos, captured by a teammate. Incredible to see live, in their HOME habitat!
We also saw elephants, hippos, many antelope, lions, birds, and more. A very special treat.
A whole LOT of incredible people 🙂
I’m hoping to have a full album up on Facebook soon.
Lots of Love,
in sending THANK YOUS, sharing my adventures via writing and photos, keeping you updated on what is to come…I sincerely apologize. I think of these things often and natural to my human state, I become overwhelmed. Your patience and continued support are incredibly valuable.
For now, you should know that my third out-of-the-Country trip is planned for February 22nd – March 1st, 2014. I will be traveling to Pétionville, Haiti, to partner with Agape Church. Our team will be providing a number of services and fostering many relationships as we host community outreach events, labor via cleaning & construction, and remain open to the needs of this ministry. Agape Church is in the beginning stages and is modeled after Watoto Church in Kampala, Uganda. Having experienced the life-changing ministry of Watoto, I knew that I wanted to be a small part this.
Many of you know that from February – September, 2013, over $5,000 was raised for my time spent in Africa. Many thanks to GOD and to all of YOU: your big sacrifices of time, money, and other donations; your consistent sharing of my story; your faithful prayers and love. THANK YOU.
This trip to Haiti is a dramatic decrease in travel time and expense! Just a two hour flight from Miami and $1,500 total – it could almost fool you to be a walk in the park! I’ve found this is my most challenging goal yet. Largely due to the timeline – funds due in under 8 weeks and it will be my 3rd trip in a year. Please understand that I have no interest in being a “short-term missions junkie.” I absolutely do not consider these trips to be vacation or my opportunity to see the world. I say YES to these trips because I am passionate about what is or will be happening there. I say YES to these trips so that I can talk about these incredible ministries in a more personal way. I say YES to these trips to stretch and challenge myself – physically, emotionally, spiritually. You can be part of it, too.
Thanks for standing with me in all sorts of different and equally important ways.
My immediate need is the $100 deposit. The next will be an additional $700 by January 6th. Finally, the full balance of $1,500 is due February 10th. Every. Single. Dollar. Matters.
Lots of Love,
I am continually in awe of your love and sacrifice – thank you! For those of you still looking to help, here are a few more things I would like to have before I fly out at 6am on July 10th! Keep in mind that I do not expect everything provided for me (nor has it been)!:
- Long shorts/capris/thin pants, size 14
- Undershorts (for skirts) M/L
- Non-drowsy Dramamine and/or other motion sickness meds
- LED flashlight and/or headlamp
- Excellent bug spray
- GF Snacks
- Camping backpack
- Above-ankle socks
As I’ve said, any of these things will be a luxury 🙂
Remember how I spoke about my Mamie saying that she wanted to buy me a new dress for Africa? Turns out that she had several beautiful long skirts and tank tops that fit and will be perfect for my time with the mums! I cried thinking about just how “tickled pink” she would be to know that she had very helpful clothes in her very own closet. I hope you’re resting in peace, Mamie. ❤
As I collect the last few things for my first trip, funding for my second is heavy on my heart. Plane purchasing funds are due at the end of July, so I’d love to have more advocates sharing my story! All of you have given above and beyond what I could have imagined. Thank you for sticking it out with me and supporting another trip so soon! Remember that every single dollar matters and all can be tax-deductible!
Just five and a half weeks until we land in Kampala! In our ten days in Uganda, we will travel to Gulu, spend time building, hosting a field day and then a carnival day for the kids, and pampering the mums! I can’t decide which part I’m most excited about. I am so ready to soak up every moment.
Less than $200 until I reach my goal! Click the photo to donate online 🙂
Thank you for all of the support. Lots of Love!
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.
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.
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!
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:
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,