Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful in Uganda

Word from Nimaro, Lakija, and Angerwot.
(Andrew, Evan, and Christian.)

Today (11/25) we finished the outside wall of the hut for Tabitha -- the widow we are serving. Every morning we have been sharing the Word with her. We show up in the morning, and share scripture and what is on our hearts with her. Then, we get to work.
The Bible study has been going really great. We have been going through the book of John. We are now on chapter 8, and everyday God moves. God will move through one of us and the Bible study will be led by the Spirit. Then all the group of guys get to ask questions. It is a great way for us to be sharpened. The Spirit puts different things in the boys hearts everyday. There is a guy here named Jpseph and he is so close togiving His life to Christ. His testimony so far is incredible. God has spared His life- and now in the Bible study Joseph will openly discuss how he wants to give His life to Christ. Another man we have beentouched by is Francis. He is asking a lot of good questions.
One day we were going to do construction on the hut and we were greeted by Mr.Achana. He is a man who lives with his 2 daughters and sick son. Instead of doing the hut, we stayed with him until lunch and got the sunflower seeds out of the sunflowers by hitting them with sticks. We did about 160 kilos (about 4 dollars worth) of sunflower seeds from the sunflowers with him. We retrieved the sunflowers (size of a dinnerplate) from the farm then hit them. We got to gather together and pray for his baby as well. During church Sunday, Richard's mother, Sarah (filling in for the senior pastor), was feeling ill and went to her hut. While another man was preaching, she passed out and the entire church ran over. At first she was not breathing and was unconscious. Susan (Richard's wife) is a nurse and cared for her. We gathered to pray and waited. The next day we walked down to her hut and she was outside. We sat and talked to her. She said that she felt called to this place to preach and that the devil had no authority in her life. She is starting to feel better and it is amazing to see how God has healed her.
Relationships with the boys has grown tremendously. We have recieved Acholi (the local african dialect- similar to swahili) names. Andrew- Nimaro (love). Evan- Lakija (loves mercy). Christian- Agenorwot (trusting in God). Now we are called by our new names and call our new friends by theirs. Every night before dinner while we wait we gather around and worship. We play the drum to their singing.We are learning their songs very well, and are able to sing a few! Or, we will pull out the guitars and sing ours while they clap. Either way- we worship Jesus Christ together daily.
The other day we went fishing for tilapia. We all caught a few- and that night ate them fordinner. She just opened the fish and pulled the innards out- but then just fried it. So we got to eat the head and all (none of us really did though- too difficult and we're too impatient.)
For Thanksgiving, we woke up and milked cows. Gross. And later we picked a goat and slaughtered it. Francis did most of the work. He "daisy-chained" the intestines which is a method we do to our rock climbing ropes. We saw it from start to finish- the slitting of the throat, skinning,dismembering, cleaning the stomach, and cleaning it all up. Then over a bar-b-q we ate our goat. We had just named him Frederick. So we ate Frederick for lunch. For dinner on thanksgiving we ate thedaisy-chained intestines too. We were very thankful, on Thanksgiving, for Frederick.
We were able to share with another widow named Rose. She is praying for her son to return from being captured from the LRA. Please pray for Rose and Tabitha- that God would fill their hearts -- that he would be the strength of their hearts, and they would find everything they need in Him. Please pray that God would heal people on the farm, for we have met many people we've been praying with that are ill. Please pray for the many guys in our study are asking hard questions and digging deep. We are able to discuss so much, and build relationships.
It is so good. Holy tolito! Evan had an extreme experience being ambushed by bats in the bathroom. We will discuss that when we have faster and longer internet."
We're alive and well, and doing better and better everyday.
Its so amazing here.
Lakija (evan)
Agenerwot (christian)
Nimaro (andrew)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pictures of Canaan Farm

(Below: The type of hut that V-Team now calls home.)

Finally, actual images from Uganda!

These pictures come to the blog from Sarah Ray. Sarah has been a profound influence on V-Team and has given them much guidance in the planning of this big trip. Sarah is an experienced world-traveler and supports free-trade business, and micro-enterprise for women in poverty in the poorest countries of the world. Her Yobel Market link is on the "Links"Sidebar of this Blog. The Team will be working with women in Uganda, who are making jewelry that will be sold in the U.S., by Yobel Market. The site is full of great and responsible ways to shop for Christmas. V-Team even uses her products. Christian and Evan both wear vibrant (wild!) passport carriers from Yobel Market as they go the globe.
In the course of her life and travels, Sarah has lived at Canaan Farm on a couple of occasions, and sent along these pictures. Thank you for the pix, Sarah!
You can click on her business website -- -- Go Christmas Shopping !!

Pictured Below: Canaan Farm. A bike used for travel to the market. A gathering of Canaan Farm residents. The closest Market -- 11km away. Market produce. Beautiful children. A pix of the Farm. Women in the business of making jewelry beads. Women Dancing.

The Current Home, for V-Team.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Life is good.

A quick e-mail excerpt from Evan:
"... everything is perfect. i am living in the ideal conditions for me. no running water. outhouses. Showers by pouring water from a bore-hole over me in the sun. This is great here. I can't even explain how good this part of my life is. I have gone deeper into my relationship with God and i cannot explain very well, but i am just going so much deeper into my relationship with God everyday. This is my place. Everyday we either farm or do contruction of the hut. The hut is made out of bricks held together by mud mixed with water to create a harder than concrete substance. It is 14 feet across and we gather brick, and mix the mud and lay brick like real masons- my new favorite career. Being a mason of some sort. Either that or we farm, like, slashing all the bush out with ho's then chopping up the roots, then making a seed bed for some kind of vegetable. Every meal is the food from the farm -- beans, rice, cabbage, sweet potatoes, something!
They have a fishing pond with tilapia in it and i am looking forward to fishing in it. I am getting to know the area more, 500 acres total. Everyday we take a walk to water our new cabbages and we walk by a few huts and we say "Jambo!" or "Apoyo!" means like thank you or hello or something. I cant even explain. There is this need for God here. The civil war problem in Uganda and Africa is so terrible. And after children are abducted sometimes the family turns to witchcraft or simply their own ways. And there is just some kind of depression feeling where there is so much pain in the past. But here in Cannan Farm- people have hope and life because of Jesus. It is just amazing to see how much need is met here by God. Every night we gather and talk about God over a bon fire or after dinner drinking African tea. And the relational encounter with God is so unique. Ah, im sorry i cannot describe this better, but i have very little time...
It is awesome to see miracles from God ... Slowly but surely i am finding out how much God loves us and how much He wants this personal relationship with us. The timing is perfect too, because we would not have been ready to lead a bible study in september. Its like we were lead through Haiti and Brasil, and were on our own and practiced in Germany. Now we are here, and all we have is God to rely on. And He is blessing every aspect of our time here ... I am enjoying being in rural Africa. It is my calling. Farming. Masonry. Doin it up.
So i am sitting here in my hut and i hear rats and lizards crawling in the grass roof! and shortly going to take a shower outside under very cold hand poured water. its awesome!
... Life is good!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Real Contact! News from the Team!

The first V-Team dispatch from Uganda: The following update came in an email from the Team last night. It contains two sections -- some history of the region, and what daily life looks like, so far, for Christian, Evan, and Andrew at Canaan Farm. Amazing stuff.

"Lets start with a little bit of history..."

In 1986, Ugandan presidency was taken over by use of arms. The new government ran the opposing members out of the country, north intoSudan. Here, the outcasts began training and became what has beenknown as the LRA, The Lord's Resistance Army, commanded by rebelleader Josef Kony. The LRA began crossing back over into northern Uganda, terrorizing villages, killing, and kidnapping young boys andgirls between the ages of 10-15. The boys would become child soldiers and the girls would essentially become sex slaves. This caused thousands to flee from their homes in distress, broken, and no whereto go. Ugandan government began setting up IDP camps (Internally Displaced People) for the refugees to live. These camps, althoughmade with good intentions, were more dangerous than their homes to thenorth. Disease, famine, unclean water, and extremely rough livingconditions became what are now cemeteries. In Masindi District, justsouth of Gulu District (where most of the attacks occurred), theAngoma family owned 500 acres of land. Many people began asking ifthey could take refuge on their property, and without hesitation, theAngoma's allowed. In 2003, Richard Angoma felt God's call to move away from Jinja, Uganda where he worked on staff for an orphange, tohis family's property to the north and start what is now Canaan Farm.Canaan Farm is a place of refuge, where displaced people come andreceive skills in farming and agriculture, life management, a safe environment and ultimately the hope of Christ.

Now that you know some of the history, this is what we've been up to...

On our way here the first day we were confronted with our firstadventure very shortly (actually before) arriving to the farm. The van got stuck in the long drive way and being covered in mud from pushing it out was an awesome way to start off our adventure. We have arrived in this African paradise- and we don't know how to describe how thankful we are. In just a few days of being here, so much has happened that it is impossible to write it all out.
The first night we ended with worship under the stars with Richard, Susan (his wife),Geoffrey and Jackson. We have started building a hut for a widow and are learning so much from that. Everyday from 3-4 we are leading a bible study for a group of guys (around our age). We have made two friends (Geoffrey and Jackson) that are Godly men. We are starting a bible study with them as well going deeper so they too can lead the other guys on the farm. A rough schedule of our day would go like this:
  • Wake up, breakfast, someone will give a devotional (like share what is on their heart) and we'll go off to work.
  • We have started farming by making two seed beds for cabbage.
  • Then we go back, rest, and have lunch. We will have our private devotions- then do the guys bible study and music practice. This has been another amazing thing put in front of us. The bible study has been placed on our laps and it is so beautiful to see what God has done.

In the past two days probably 20 guys have heard the story about Jesus and are beginning to learn more scripture. Along with this, we have music practice. An African instrument is the harp and it is so beautiful with the people singing in Swahili and another African dialect. They play and we listen to them, and we play and teach them guitar.

Words cannot describe the presence of God. God has put His hand all over this place. God hasgiven us the opportunity to lay hands on people and pray for their healing. God has given us a beautiful... Utopia, really to seek Him in. Everyday we get to wake up and go into the farm and learn about the crops and animals. We have really been blessed by being with God's people here- and we want to be a huge blessing to them.

Church this Sunday was great as well. After the senior pastor preached, we danced and clapped and sang. We are currently building relationships with guys here on the farm who were directly affected by the LRA conflict.Getting to hear their stories have been impacting. God is so good.

Thank you for your patience. Considering the dial up internet-pictures will have to wait, and the blog entries may be few from us for now. The reason we have limited internet use is because the closest internet is in the town of Kigumba, 11 Km away, and the way we have to get there is by riding taxi motorcycles known here as "Boda Boda"!

Please keep praying for us- for our influence and impact onthe guys here. It is an incredible opportunity. Please pray for all these people living on the farm- most know who Jesus is and believe in Him. Please pray for their growth and that God will manifest His Word in their hearts- and it will grow. We pray that Christ will make His home in their hearts, and His roots grow deep into them, making them strong and producing fruit.

Thank you for everything... we are off now to go pick passion fruit and explore the farm more. May Gods peace and grace be with you all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where ARE they?!

"It's been a while... it's been a while since I could call you..."

V-Team is in Masindi, Uganda. It has been a strange silence to have them so disconnected from the web. Andrew, Evan, and Christian will be able to connect to internet when they travel 2 hours to a neighboring town. We will look forward to more specific updates when they are available.
In the meantime, some of you may be wondering about the Team's current homebase country. So, below, find an overview of Uganda from someone who has been there. Kay Smiley is a child advocate with Compassion International and has recently had a significantly life-changing experience in Africa.

Andrew' Leigh's Grampa, Art Gay, served several years on the board of Compassion International, in Colorado Springs, with friend Wes Stafford. This organization is doing amazing work around the world empowering children by releasing them from poverty, in Jesus name. To see Wes Stafford's remarkable new book about children in poverty, click on the picture.

Check out the Compassional International site to learn more about sponsoring children.

From Kay Smiley,
Child Advocate, Compassion International:

Uganda straddles the equator in east central Africa. It’s about the size of Colorado with 28 million people compared to our 4.6 million. The average age in Uganda is 15, the lowest in the world. Life expectancy is age 50. Childhood deaths are mainly due to malaria and adult deaths due to HIV/AIDS. Although HIV/AIDS was at 15% of the population, it has now declined to 6%.

The official national language is English and is used in all schools. Most villagers in the areas we visited spoke Luganda for their everyday language. All the teachers and Compassion staff we met spoke 2-5 languages. Some had to translate for the children, depending on how much schooling they had. Whatever language is used, Ugandans generally speak softly with a beautiful lilted British accent.

Baboons. We stayed in another hotel for one night when we went on safari. It was located close to a jungle and they have trouble with baboons stealing food from the open- air restaurant and tearing the outside of the hotel off.

Uganda is simply gorgeous. Palm trees, grasses, open spaces. This was wintertime and everything was green and lush. The best part of traveling on a bus was being able to wave and smile to lots of people and to see the countryside~
People carrying heavy loads on their heads or on their bicycles
Empty, partially built houses
Children wearing uniforms, walking home from school
Children wearing ragged clothing sitting in the dirt playing with a strip of
cloth or a stick or nothing
Women washing clothes
A cow
A goat
Yellow plastic water jugs
Women selling fruit and vegetables
Women sweeping
Hunks of beef hanging from hooks
Men making bricks or metalworking or woodworking
Trash burning
Men washing work vehicles by driving them into wet ditches
Women carrying infants and toddlers on their backs
Giant anthills
Men shoveling mud out of road ditches
Women sitting on the ground selling roasted corn from a small stove Small patches of crops
We learned that poverty is not laziness.

The best part? Playing with the kids. Holding their hands. Taking their pictures and showing them the LCD screen, getting a burst of giggles. Singing and dancing together. When I looked at all the photos, the constant theme is smiles. Happy, wonderful smiles.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Arrived in Uganda

V-Team has landed safely in Uganda. They were picked up at the airport by Canaan Farm hosts, Richard and Jackson. Before heading off to their new home base, the guys took malaria medicine and were able to send a short, cryptic email update from a small internet cafe in Kampala. Fighting with technology and keyboards, their message looked like a code and started out with the words, "we hav landed safelyin uganda..."

They expect this first week to be some hard work. The Team will be learning from and working with Families Empowerment, Uganda. FEM is a Christian organization, that was founded in 2002 by Christians who were moved by the plight of war-displaced families affected by regional conflict in northern Uganda. It was also driven by HIV/AIDS needs. FEM-Uganda is located in the north western district of Uganda in Masindi, just two hours drive to Gulu district. Since it's foundation, FEM-Uganda has helped meet the needs of families who are victims of war, poverty, and disease with the purpose of sharing God’s love through Jesus. (brief website on blog sidebar) Watch for more information about this organization and the people of Canaan Farm.

On the agenda for the 3 guys, this week -- building a hut for a widow and learning to farm. They will also begin relationships and have conversations about life and faith with farm workers, during soccer games, and possibly around a bon fire with music.
For the next 2 months, Uganda will be there home.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

From Cairo

So we have reached the airport in Cairo, Egypt and everything is perfect! We took a 2.5 hour train ride to Munich airport and set sail this afternoon at 2 o clock. Everything has gone extremely smoothly- no complications thus far. Its amazing- we finding that the further we get away from home, the more different it is. South America is so close to the United States the further away we go. We don't even know where to start as far as the language goes. This is a whole new world- much different than quaint, little Kronburg Germany. Even though we are on the other side of the planet, it has been such a huge blessing that everyone we have asked for help speaks english and directs us right to where we need to go. Nearly every person has been so helpful and this whole travel has been just amazing. Thank you for praying today! How beautiful.
Well, another two hours, a long plane ride and a long bus ride ahead of us. Please pray for wisdom in this time. We want to be smart so we are not targets but bold- not having spirits of timidity.


Christian Andrew Evan

Snapshots from Germany

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ciao Deutchland!

The rest of our time was filled with so much fun. We visited a lot of ancient churches and castles. Once again, it was great getting to know Philipp more. He has grown so closely to us three and its hard to communicate what all has happened- but here is our attempt... the final Germany video!

Leaving Germany

Hot to cold, to hot again. In the last 3 weeks, the Team has gone from sweating in shorts in Brazil, to chilly weather and coats in Germany, and now... back to the heat.

In the Air Tonight.

They are on their way, again. This week, V-Team will enter the fourth continent of their global trip.
Tomorrow, the Team departs from the airport in Munich, Germany and will fly to Kampala, Uganda. Which, as the crow flies, is 3,533 miles or 5.685 kilometers. However, obviously they won't be traveling by crow. From Munich, their flight heads to Cairo, Egypt. Then, from Cairo, they fly to Entebbe/Kampala, Uganda. From Kampala, the Team will have to drive 110 miles to Masindi -- the home base of Canaan Farm. Tomorrow's trip will come to a grand total of 3,789 miles traveled.
As the team leaves, they will be heading into an area of Africa that does not have readily available or consistent internet connections. They will be living in a place with less ability to communicate. We will hear from them less, but the blog will continue to provide updated information about where they are and how to pray. Stay tuned ... and, please pray as they depart for this next leg of the adventure.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008



Ve ahr een Gehrmany! Eet ees so sveet!

We've been in Germany for a week or so, and it has been great thus far. We have been given a warm home to stay in- with a good old friend. Juergen (Philipp) lived with Evan for a few months, finishing out their senior years together. All of our friendships have stayed, and now we have met back up across the world! During this time we have been getting to know him and his family. It is such an awesome opportunity to love our friend Philipp. As conditions of life will intensify in Uganda, this is a great place to refuel.

funny Moments of Brazil pt. 2

This is part 2 of our funny moments in brazil, if you have not watched part 1, scroll down to the blog entry below this one and watch part 1 first. Tchau!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Funny Moments of Brazil pt. 1

We decided to make a couple videos of some of the funny and more laughable things that occurred in brazil, enjoy!

Brasil 2008

Another video made by Kelita of Brasil 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Ladies & Gentlemen...

So, the Spot Tracker is not working.  We have had it on for the last 2 weeks, but we are being told that it is not posting on our page.  We have taken the batteries out and put them back in to try and reset it, its been on since we got to Germany and it hasn't posted here either.  We are going to try some troubleshooting stuff, we will let you know if and when its up and running again. Thanks and sorry for bad news!