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
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
More Jesus, More Joy.