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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July 2013 Photos

A very concentrated post from my very first international journey just 7 months ago!

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I actually enjoyed the food on Ethiopian Airlines – and it came often!

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My favorite airport.

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My first Watoto village. An incredible and intentional ministry.

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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!

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We even took breaks just to chat. Not pictured: children randomly coming to join in and cuddle.

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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.

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Such sweet, affectionate people. I was in my element for sure.

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The BEST bus drivers – George and Stephen! Good men with kind servant hearts.

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The “school cafeteria” at the Laminadera Children’s Village.

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Posho and Beans – my personal favorite.

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“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!

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Oh Baby Watoto. You’ve got my heart.

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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!

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A portion of the Laminadera Worship Center dedication service. To this day, my favorite service! Such BEAUTIFUL people.

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That’s the Worship Center on the right. Finally, plenty of space with shade!

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I just realized that you can’t see the children dancing in this photo…but they were! They love it!

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One of the best giraffe photos, captured by a teammate. Incredible to see live, in their HOME habitat!

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We also saw elephants, hippos, many antelope, lions, birds, and more. A very special treat.

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A whole LOT of incredible people 🙂

I’m hoping to have a full album up on Facebook soon.

Lots of Love,

Siara

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

Details

A few reminders! 
~The quickest and easiest way for you to give is online! Steps are below. 
~I can accept check, cash, or change anytime, just be sure to include your name and address for tax-deduction purposes (or let me know if you don’t want a tax receipt)!
 ~Any money raised beyond my goal of $3,000/trip need will go toward Global Hope ministries. If you’d like to help with the cost of passport or immunizations, please do! Just know that those donations will be separate and cannot qualify for a tax-deduction, sorry. (But it is MUCH appreciated, trust me.) 

~Some friends and I are hosting a Thirty-One + Wine Tasting party in April! More information to come! 

Online Giving (currently debit cards only)
Super easy! Visit http://gethope.net/global-hope/give which takes you to https://app.mygivingsolutions.com/landing.aspx?cid=49

Give Directly (to someone’s trip):

  • Select “Raleigh” as location and “Mission Trip Support” as the fund. Enter your amount and check “One Time Donation”
  • Check the “In memory/honor of” box
  • In the “First Name” field enter the traveler’s full name (i.e., Siara Mims)
  • In the “Last Name” field enter trip location and travel date (i.e., Uganda, July 2013)

Thank you. More than I could ever put into words, thank you. Thank you for being proud of me, for encouraging me, for the tight hugs, for the concern, for the sacrificial donations, for attending my shindigs, for not hiding my social media posts, for reading my blog, for sharing your business profits, for opening your homes, for sharing ideas, for being excited with me, for sharing my blog, for not discouraging me, for sending me mail, for LOVING ME! I am so blessed, privileged, and thankful to be surrounded by you all in so many different ways. You leave me sobbing joyfully! I cannot wait to see what these next few months hold; my trip to Gulu and beyond – and YOU are an important part of it! 

Lots of Love, always, 
Siara

I think that God has a beautiful plan for every hurting person, to get them out of their hurt, into wholeness, back to a place where they have a sense of dignity, value, worth. You can’t just give a hungry man a loaf of bread and think you’ve solved his problems. I think we have to treat people holistically.

-Gary Skinner, Watoto Founder

Project Gulu

Watch this video to see what I will be involved with in my partnership with Watoto Childcare Ministries. This organization is the embodiment of James 1:27 – “True religion that is pure and unblemished before God is this: to visit, help, and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need…” They are LIVING what my heart LONGS for.