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)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We left off with the completion of the chapel. This obviously calls for a party. I had a couple from my home church send me a donation to treat the boys and so I did. There is a hotel/resorty place in a nearby village that overlooks the Lake Victoria. We had stopped by there this past summer on our research field trip and the boys have talked about how they hope to one day go back. The day has arrived.

On my agenda for the night I had; pick up the boys, order food, eat food, go home. Unfortunately for me, Sam, Patrick, and the boys had a more Ugandan style gathering in mind. Ugandan parties, weddings, church services, funerals, and most any other sort of gathering are long drawn out events. I've heard stories of 6 sermons in one church service or weddings that just never end. I so far have not had many events of this sort so I am still in a bit of cultural rebellion. Anyway, their agenda went more like this; pick up the boys, Patrick gives an introduction speech, order food, Patrick give another longer speech, Sam gives a speech, several of the boys give speeches, Patrick does a question and answer session with the boys, I give a speech, eat food, they all decide that this was my gift to them so they want to have another gathering the next week that they plan, go home. Honestly it was great, but boy can Ugandans talk.

Fun story about the evening. I told them to go ahead and pick anything they wanted on the menu. Foolish foolish Brad. Of course every single one of the boys picks the highest priced item (lucky for me this was only $7.50 each). Each of the boys ends up with this big old fish. It comes out with a huge mound of rice as well. I was like "you guys really think you can finish all that?" Response from all of them "oh yeah, it isn't so much. We will finish." Guess how many finished. If you guessed zero you are correct. I took this prime opportunity to give them grief. "Can we get a round of doggie bags"

So, the next week they planned a dinner for Katie and I to thank us. We were also able to present them with their certificates of completion for the summer construction training program. They all chipped in and prepared for us rice and chicken. It was a generous gesture that I very much appreciated. I couldn't believe what they brought out next.

Side note-I have recently gone into the goat business. I have purchased 7 goats of my own and plan on raising them and breading them. Just for a hobby cause I really don't have much going on to keep me busy (that last comment is dripping with sarcasm).

Back to the story. They got me a goat! I couldn't believe it. Reminded me so much of the woman who gave the 2 copper coins. "Truly I tell you, these boys, gave more than I. I gave out of my wealth; but they, out of their poverty, gave everything."


  1. Wow, that's lots of great stories right there! I am so humbled by the generosity of the Ugandans. Brad, we'll be coming back in July and would love to see you again, if it's possible.

  2. There is so much "Brad" in this post it makes me want to reach across the ocean and give you a BIG hug. We love you, Brad. You bring such joy to our lives.

  3. "O, LORD,save us; (Hosanna)
    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. The Lord is God, and He has made his light shine upon us." Psalms 118:25-27
    Thank you, Jesus, for sending your love among your children in Jinja and the evidence of your Spirit's power and presence demonstrated through all this mutual love... so beautiful
    Can we come and see you next month when we are in Gulu?? we will be there from the 9th-21st???

  4. Hi Brad!
    What a heartwarming, inspiring post! Makes me homesick for Africa, and the wonderful, happy, generous people.
    Your young nephew is planning a BIG week for Uncle Brad. We are all supporting by ordering that fabulous, fresh bread!

    Just wanted you to know that our entire church family lifted your ministry up in prayer this weekend! Take Care, and God Bless your ministry.
    Teree Rittenbach

  5. God is so good and always blesses us beyond our imaginations. Thank you, God, for knowing us and loving us in such an intimate and radical way. Thank you Brad for sharing this wonderful post.

  6. Brad, we miss You are the best uncle we can get. We love you. We all love you. We like your black goat. It is nice to take your boys to that fancy place. It is even better because they thought to give you that goat. That was so nice. We wish you were here to eat dinner with us (today).

  7. I am getting in line for a BIG Hug. I have seen your "good heart" in action ever since you were a young boy. I love to hear about your life in Uganda and am missing you dearly. We love you so much and are thankful to God for such a son as you.

  8. This is too cool. Thanks so much for sharing!