Uganda Trip Recap - Maggie Bullard

My first time in Uganda was less than twelve short months ago, and by God’s grace, I

found myself eating my favorite again. Posho. 


Okay, no. Posho is not my favorite, unless my girl Scovia is cooking it, then it’s actually

delicious. But it is an important part of Ugandan culture and to think I had the ability to

enjoy it once again in the country that helped shape who I am, leaves me speechless. It

seems a little silly, I know, but really! This country and every piece of it has impacted me

in some way.


The marks Uganda has and continues to leave on my heart and my life are as deep as

the red clay dirt stains on my hands and feet. Being the hands and feet of Jesus is not

always easy; it’s not always pretty, planned, or put together, but the impact of my

obedience is beautifully messy and reaches far beyond my knowledge. It’s bigger than

me or whatever I am doing. I’m simply opening my hand and surrendering my life to

pursue the life that God has intended for me. 


When the Lord opened the door for me to return to Uganda on a trip as an Assistant

Director/Student/Mentor/however you want to name it, I was ecstatic. But this trip would

prove to be very different than my trip last year, and the differences pretty challenging to

me. From the outlay of the sports camps, to the places we traveled to, to the people we

interacted with, I saw Uganda with fresh eyes and perspective. I remember at the

beginning of the trip, I yearned to be back in the places I was last year with the people I

spent three of the best weeks of my life with, but the Lord showed me that He had

something very, very, special this time around. 


Team Uganda 2019 is a team of resilience, humor, card tricks, and serious go-with-the-

flow-attitudes. This team was stuck together like glue. Experiencing Uganda with

individuals who are in the same position as I back in the states was something

remarkable. On the levels of relating and getting along, we just got each other. Although

unique stories, backgrounds, and personalities, we all work in an industry that has

taught us that “teamwork makes the dream work”, and our time in Uganda was Dream

Work. 


This time around, the rose-colored glasses were off for me. I was seeing in real-time the

hardships that Ugandans face, but I was also living amongst the strongest and hardest

working individuals I have ever met. I was experiencing the joy a child experienced

when they perfectly hit a volleyball or threw an American football for the first time; but in

the next moment, I was experiencing a child feverishly wipe away her tears because the

wounds on her legs and feet would not and could not heal because of the flies and

infections that continued to prevent any type of healing. I think this time in Uganda, I

had to beg the Lord to chip away at my American expectations and perceptions of ‘living

well’. What material things Ugandans may lack, they make up tenfold in the love and joy

they express. The ways they come around one another, supporting and helping in any

way that they can for their neighbors and community.  It’s remarkable and inspiring, it’s

how I want to live in my own community. 


Uganda has taught me so much, much more than I could ever possibly express. I think

something that will always stand out to me is the fact that there is pain and brokenness

no matter where you are in the world, that’s just the result of sin. But there is also

beauty, restoration, and redemption wherever you are, as well. 


It comes in waves - missing Uganda. Some days I’m at peace with the time I was able

to spend in Uganda, with the incredible and very special people we spent any amount of

time with, or in the back of a giant school bus on some severely mangled roads, or even

wandering around the markets, taking in the not always pleasant smells. And some

days, I physically ache to be back - convinced that there is just not enough time to

satisfy my desire to be there. 


All in all, I cannot express my gratitude towards MOAM enough, for coming alongside

me during this experience, supporting me, and providing these opportunities. These two

experiences in Uganda have shaped who I am an individual, and I truly believe will

sharpen me as I pursue a career in the sports industry. Thank you just doesn’t seem big

enough for what MOAM does for individuals through these trips, but it’s where I will

begin. 


More Jesus, More Joy.

God Bless.

Maggie Bullard