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)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


We have been staying busy over here and if I'm going to have a chance to post about much of what we have accomplished I suppose I better get started.  We have expanded our land over the past 2 years and have started a farming ministry.  Because of these facts we felt it would be beneficial to build a small house for our farm supervisor on the tail end of our property.
Not only will it serve as a home, but also it will help with security.  As soon as we purchased our new land we put up a fence around the perimeter to identify our boarders.  We used two different types of fence posts.  First is the more traditional steel fencepost and the second is a live one.  Basically there is a type of tree here that you can cut off a branch and then just stick it in the ground and it will germinate.

The Foreman for the project
Anyway, back to the security.  Within a week or two, the steel fence posts had been cut in the middle of the night to be sold as scrap metal.  This is one aspect of Uganda that I am still getting used to.  Everything has value.  No matter if it is a steel fence post, used plastic bottle, or plastic sack.  Whenever I think about this I think about all the crap people leave in their yards back in the states.  One raid of bigwheels, garden hoses, and planters would pay for a 3 month holiday from work.  I talk about this flippantly, but it has drastic implications about both cultures.  Don't want to start preaching so I will get back to the house we built.

It has 3 rooms that are all 10' x 12' - for those who don't know ' = foot :)
                                                      - for those who don't know :) = Smiley face
These guys loved to pose

Basically it will end up having 2 bedrooms and a sitting room.  This is a pretty decent set up here because it allows the parents to sleep in a separate room from the kids, which is kind of a luxury.  We also built a small overhang that will work as a cooking area.  This will allow his wife to avoid the rain while she is cooking over her charcoal stove.

As an organization we don't do anything extravagant...on purpose.  Chris and I had been brainstorming how to make a latrine at minimal cost.  Basically this means a hole in the ground with some sort of sturdy cover to allow you to squat over the hole and not fall in.  This is a pretty traditional and common way to design toilets.

Hauling the dirt out one bucket at a time
This isn't even at full depth
Side story:  We had been communicating with some local staff and the builders about how deep we would dig it.  We were thinking that 10' or 12' (remember the lesson learned earlier in the post) would be pretty deep.  They informed us that they were thinking more like 30'.  What!!!!  I thought this was a situation of miscommunication because there is no way they can hand dig 3 stories into the ground.  Come to find out it wasn't.  They actually ended up digging it 38'  deep.  Absolutely nuts.  No miscommunication here.
Back to the original point I was making.  When building or doing whatever we go for minimal expense and maximal function.  The builders and I talked for long periods of time trying to hammer out the design we wanted.  I couldn't really understand the plan they had in mind and finally was just like "ok do whatever you all do here because you would know better than I on how to do it."  I felt like this was a fair annalysis due to it being my rookie venture in latrine building.  Well turns out they decided to build a two stall toilet with a bathing stall.  Not exactly what I had in mind, but I guess Andrew (our farm supervisor) and his family will never have to wait for an open toilet/hole.

Well this is getting long, like it always does, and I must say farewell till next time.

Good night and good luck.


  1. Awesome post Brad! I really enjoy reading about your experiences over there. Not sure if you have heard of this but has anyone ever looked at using bio-gas, sometimes called gobar-gas, for cooking instead of charcoal? Simple explanation would be that it uses the trapped methane gas from fermenting poop from livestock and humans. The gas can be used for cooking/heat and the solid is then safe to use as fertilizer. I'm not sure of the initial investment cost but it may be cheaper over time compared to charcoal. I'm not going to claim to be an expert I've just read about it a few times from different sources and thought it may apply to the farm that you are building over there.

  2. Hana, "That is very nice of you Brad, and I miss you." Emilie, "I really miss you, and I like that house." Abra, "I miss you, Brad. I can't believe you built that house. It's a lovely house, I'll see you in November." Elia, "I like that the house is blue because it is my favorite color." Isaiah, "I'm glad you could help provide this family with this nice house. I really proud that you are my uncle."

  3. Dear Brad,
    Thank you for the information on Andrews house. I really appreciate how you laid it out in a clear, concise manner and also already in blog format so I can just copy paste. How sweet of you.