|Local parishioners leaving for third Uganda mission|
By Tawny Burmood
UNL Student Intern
Local churches, New Life Fellowship and Grant Evangelical Free, will embark on their third mission abroad to Kayango, (ki-YANG-go) Uganda from July 26 to Aug. 4.
The purpose of these trips is to continue building relationships with children who have been sponsored through the Children’s HopeChest project.
Children’s HopeChest provides refuge for orphaned children and works with them to meet their basic needs as well as children’s physical, educational, emotional and spiritual needs. They also set up CarePoints where care and food is distributed.
Essentially a project begins with a group of churches choosing a particular area that they feel needs the most help. From there the location becomes like a virtual “extension” from the churches.
For New Life Fellowship and Grant Evangelical Free the HopeChest project started in October 2008 when the group decided to take their local message global. Since then they’ve been committed to send a group to Uganda each year to develop relationships with the children and encourage, love and serve that community and pray daily for the children.
And within just one year the church has surpassed what Children’s HopeChest said most churches don’t get done in three years.
“We have 100 sponsored children, three structures up and this will be our third trip,” said Vince Carrig, a pastor at New Life Fellowship Church.
In July 2009 church members embarked on the first trip to Kayango, which served as a scouting mission for future trips. While there books were handed out to the children.
The second trip was then taken in January 2010 where Greg McElheny, the director of programming for Children’s HopeChest, helped the group drill a well, create a latrine and kitchen at the CarePoint. The installations not only provided water for the sponsored children, but helped many more around the area as well.
On the second trip, James Harms, local leader of AWANA program of the New Life/E-Free churches, said they could tell a difference in the children from the first trip.
“When we first went out there we found the worst of the worst,” Harms said. “On the second trip if you looked at our kids compared to the ones on the street they were better all around.”
Now going on their third trip seven members of the churches will be attending including Vince Carrig, James Harms, Brett Bullock, Jeff Michael, Ron Regier, Troy Kemling and Dennis Watkins.
After travel restrictions dates were placed on Uganda as a caution during election season, the group decided to get a quick trip in before the restrictions were underway. But after the bombing during the World Cup on Sunday, July 11, the dates have been extended from September to October.
As for the members of the trip--they will stay cautious of their surroundings but don’t feel it’s a reason to cancel the trip.
“We’re safe in the hands of the Lord,” Carrig said. “We’re His to do whatever He wants.”
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