I am living and working in Uganda with Amazima Ministries, but my eyes are set on eternity.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chapel Genesis

Update on the craziness that has been my life. One of our employees resigned 2 weeks back which has added to my duties as well as required me to learn many new sides and goings on of our organization. Although it has made things a bit hectic I have actually enjoyed getting more immersed in all the aspects of what we do here.

Added on top of all this we have just completed the election season here in Uganda. Due to the happenings in Egypt and several other countries in the past few months there was some concern about the peaceful proceedings of elections here in Uganda. So far it has been calm, which is an answer to prayer.

Anyway, we are nearing the completion of the chapel project that I started upon arriving back in Uganda, Nov 15th. Lets start at the very beginning. It's a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A, B, C. When you sing you begin with doe, re, mi. When you build you begin with research, drawings, and foundation. Sorry there was absolutely no possible way to make that rhyme.

We originally planned to make it 26' x 30', but after roughly calculating how much space a child fills when sitting, we realized that we needed it bigger to fit the 300 or so kids that come each Saturday. We decided to make it 26' x 45', which ends up being 1170 square feet.

We also decided that we want the same grass thatched roof we used on the gazebo for the playground. Even though they end up being a bit more expensive they have so many benefits to counterbalance. They keep the building cooler than a tin roof. It is somewhat a dying art, which we want to support. It is nice buying the materials from a village of local women who cut the grass themselves and bundle it (personally my favorite reason). Finally, it is absolutely gorgeous. Here are some photos of 3 of the 15 or so women who spent their days in the hot sun cutting grass to support their families. In the states seeing old school manual labor is a rarity and here you see it everywhere you look. I love it!

Now it was time to assemble the crew. We decided to work with all the boys from the playground project to further their learning and better prepare them for a job opportunity in the future. We also picked back up Sam my foreman from this summer and two older experienced builders that Sam had worked with in the past, Salim and Abu, that came with high praise. We also hired on another boy from the neighborhood who didn't work with us this summer, but in retrospect I wish he had. His name is James and he lives in the house next to the Amazima land. James doesn't speak a lick of English, but he is a work horse. It seems he volunteers for all the worst jobs and does them with a smile on his face. These are the type of guys I really like being around. Can't wait till I have a free second to take some Lugandan classes so I can talk to him. He is pictured below in the red shirt and bucket hat.

Everything here is done a bit different. Obviously we lack some of the equipment the more developed West uses, but there are still other differences. Foundations here are not poured with re-bar running through them. Rather, they dig the trenches and use a brick wall as the core. Then they are covered with cement. I'm assuming this is to save costs cause cement and metal are both expensive here. As for the equipment I know that a cement mixer would be nice. Luckily, I am the only one who knows the labor this would save and to all my workers mixing by hand is standard. For this project we mixed several hundred bags of cement. Yikes!!! Oh, and for those of you who followed the summer project, we still get to run to the well for water.

It was impressive to see the improvement the boys had made in just 3 months of work this past summer. They are no longer students, but fully capable construction workers. Obviously, there are times that they have questions or need correction, but they were confident and able to carry out most tasks easily after short explanations.

I can't tell you how much I love what I am doing here. Praise Jesus he has led me here and prepared and equipped me in a way that I can serve Him and His kingdom.


  1. I guess the guys have learned that once you have the notes to sing, you can sing most anything! Thanks for the update. We love you and are proud of you.


  2. Thanks, Brad. "His Kingdom Come."

  3. Well put Brian. I'm a bit ashamed I didn't come up with that. Older, wiser and wittier I suppose.

  4. hahahahaha . . . you boys both surprise me. I didn't know you'd be so up on your Sound of Music! :-)

    What an exciting thing to see the boys' growth in their skills!!! That is definitely my thrill for the day.

  5. We love hearing about your life in Uganda. We are praying for you and the work you are doing. Looking forward to seeing that grass thatched roof in place. It will be beautiful and I love that it helps others provide for their families. Praise God!

    Amy Patzer

  6. I love reading about your life and work, Brad. You make it all so interesting. You are in my daily prayers. Blessings, Aunt Charlotte

  7. Love it Love it Love it. Can't wait to be there with you. You rock.