Monday, November 22, 2010

Sorry for the lack of blogging, we'll try to do better.

So last week we traveled to Kampala, the capital, so we could pick up some supplies and meet up with some friends. While I did a lot of running around and getting stuff done I've gotta say the best part of the trip was the few short conversations i was able to have with the street children.

Since the Karimojong are a very poor people and Kampala is the biggest city in Uganda, many Karimojong end up on the streets of Kampala. They end up there in a number of ways and the worst of those ways is by human trafficking. People buy the kids from their parents or kidnap them off the streets in Karimoja then take them to Kampala and have them beg on the streets just so that the person controlling the child can make the money. Also many women and children just come of their own accord to try and make a living in Kampala and end up begging on the streets. I didn't write this blog to dive into these issues but if someone has questions they can let me know and we can talk.

So once the Karimojong end up on the streets they're highly despised. The rest of Ugandans are pretty cruel and can be oppressive of the Karimojong. All this to say these kids and women end up begging on the crowded streets of Kampala where nobody speaks their language or cares anything about them.

We've been studying the language of the Karimojong now for about 4 and a half months. It's an oral language and quite difficult for me. So I feel like I barely know anything. Me and Kerri were however able to carry on small conversations with the people living on the street in their own language. And it was spectacular. Their faces would turn from that of a downcast begger to this bright, excited woman or child.

So this is a long story to get to a small point. I don't have any huge spiritual or philosophical truths to lay on you. I just want to share my excitement. This is just a confirmation that to reach a people, while you may not be able to become completely like them, you must meet them where they are. Those kids were so stinkin excited to talk to us in their language that it just makes me want to become fluent in their language and then just go hang out on the streets with them letting them know that somebody loves them.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

a month of wandering

So for roughly the past month we've been moving around Uganda for one reason or another. It started as a short trip as a retreat, but then we were afraid that I (andrew) had some disorder, possibly diabetes or hyperthyroidism, that was causing me to lose weight and other things. So we then had to travel to Kampala (the capital) to see a doctor. It turns out they think it was just a parasite, which is good. Then we had to stay a few extra days in Kampala because the roads in Karamoja were too muddy and we were afraid that the bus would get stuck and we'd have to sleep on the way. Once we finally returned to Kotido our team mates were leaving to go south and visit some friends who we really wanted to meet. Therefore we spent two nights in Kotido and then left again.

It's been an interesting few weeks to say the least. We've had some great prayer times though, and I can honestly say we've grown through the time. We are feeling much more at home back here in Kotido than before we left. It was great to come back and already have so many local people here say that they missed us and are happy we are back.

So now we have to learn to be. Our team focus right now is mainly just being and waiting. Yes, we're going to continue to support Rainbow Mike and the orphanage, but he is really great at what he does and just needs us as family to support him which definitely doesn't take all our time. Other than that we really feel like God wants us to focus on language learning, just live here in the culture naturally building relationships, and wait on Him for what's after that. So here we are. We cook. We clean. We go to the market. We visit friends. We walk around town. We Pray. We study the Word. We try to wait on God and we try to figure out what that actually means "wait on God". I as I type this I'm deciding that waiting on God isn't the best way to express what we're doing. It's probably better to say we are doing right now what God has told us to do until he tells us to do something else. I feel like "waiting" makes it sound as if this is just some interim period in which we're fully prepared and just waiting for God to get his stuff together. This period is a gift of preparation from the Father, in which is preparing us and giving us amazing relationships with people around us. This period is just as important as the next. As followers I believe we are just to be faithful to whatever God has for us at that moment and that's that.

This blog has been a bit of an exercise in thinking out loud, but I hope it makes sense. If you remember us in your prayers we'd really appreciate it. You can pray for Visas and Passport stuff to come through for our team, team unity, and that we could be here fully.

As always, hit us with some comments, and we love you ,


Saturday, August 7, 2010

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick and in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25: 31-40
When we were living in Boulder, Colorado, I (Kerri) constantly dreamed of the day when I could really put Jesus’ teachings into practice. I knew that I was supposed to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and care for the widow and the orphan in their distress. I knew that God’s heart was about justice for the poor and the marginalized – and to follow him, I knew I had to seek justice for them as well. But Boulder is probably one of the most affluent cities in the U.S. and marginalized people are hard to find. Even people who are homeless in Boulder are rarely hungry – in the summertime, they get to eat sushi and tourists’ Cheesecake Factory leftovers on a regular basis.

One of the reasons I was excited to move to Karamoja was the fact that the poor are everywhere here. I thought things would be simpler, more black and white (no pun intended). That, rather than being an abstract notion, following Jesus would be a tangible act when there are real people around you in need. What I didn’t expect was waking up every morning to the sound of kids banging on our gate, yelling at us to let them in. I didn’t expect for them to stand on the other side of our fence all day long and demand that we give them food, water, money, and school books. I didn’t expect the kids to throw rocks at us over the fence and try to climb into our yard to steal our soccer ball. I know that some of the kids go to school and have a home and a family, and some of the kids have beautiful smiles and just want some attention. But there are also those kids who live their lives on the street, wearing rags for clothes and going barefoot. Those kids that steal handfuls of your leftover food off your plate after you walk out of a restaurant. Those kids who are the most difficult to love and the ones who need it most.

Every day I get the chance to feed the hungry. Why? Because everyone here is hungry. Every day I get the chance to give someone a cup of water. Why? Because no one here has clean water to drink. Every day I get the chance to clothe the naked. Why? Because none of these kids have shoes. Every day I get the chance to follow Jesus. Yet the one thing I’ve learned is that however simple it may be, it’s not easy. No matter how much you romanticize the idea of living among the poor (if you’re anything like me), the reality is always more difficult. Street kids will still be at my gate tomorrow morning, trying my patience once again. The good news is that, with each new day, I’ll get another chance to love them and another chance to become a better follower.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Safe and Sound

We are alive, and extremely sorry for being out of communication. Our internet connection here has been patchy and our solar panel won’t charge our team computer. That being said, we should be posting once a week from now on out, Lord willing. We figured this first blog in Karamoja should give context and setting to our story here. We are living in a house in Kotido, Uganda in the region of Karamoja on a team of 10 people including children. Kerri’s sister Kristi and her husband Kenneth are on the team and they have four children with one on the way (due this week). The children’s names are Nevaeh, Ezra, Zion, and Israel. Also on the team are two single girls, Kelly and Chloe. The whole team lives in the same house. Currently we are focusing on getting our house set up and getting settled. Up next on the agenda will be supporting Kenneth and Kristi as they welcome their newest child into the world. Then we’ll be starting language classes and figuring out in what ways we’ll be supporting Shalom Reconciliation Ministries, which is the organization running the orphanage we’ve been helping support from the U.S. That’s about all for now, if you guys have any questions or any requests for how this blog should take shape let us know.

Andrew Meador

P.S. Just wanted to give you guys a practical overview of what life here looks like. Next week's blog should be substantially more interesting.

Friday, April 30, 2010


This being our first blog and all, I (Andrew) feel like some things need to be explained. Firstly, please bare with us because neither Kerri nor I are bloggers at heart and our posts will probably be a little awkward at first. Hopefully over time blogging will become more natural for us. We've set up this blog as a way to update friends and family about our time in Uganda. It's sort of our virtual newsletter. One of us will blog once a week and we'll switch off. You'll be able to tell whose post it is because mine will be long and poorly written while Kerri's will be concise, well-written, and spectacularly inspiring and also we'll sign them.

Currently on our hearts and minds:

1. "Team"
Lately when referring to the people we will be moving to Uganda with, we've felt like the word team is inappropriate. Nowhere in the Bible, that I can think of, does it refer to a group of christians living near each other as a team, but Jesus constantly tries to impress on his disciples that they are now a family (Matt. 12 & 23 for example). So we've been praying that we could have a family mentality within our community. We feel that when we call ourselves a team it seems as if we are banded together only to reach certain goals, but when our goal is to love our God and the people around us, our community isn't a group of "team-mates" but rather a family that showcases a kingdom where people are important not because of the roles they play but merely for being themselves. So please help us pray to love our community like our own family.

2. Pictures
A book I'm reading, of which I'll give you the title later, has spurred on a conversation me and Kerri started a while ago. I would like to say first that in no way is what i'm about to bring up meant to sound like condemnation on anybody else, it's merely us trying to seek the Lord in the way we carry ourselves, represent Christ and meet Christ in Karamoja. So the subject is what, if any, pictures do we post on our blog or use in presentations in the states? The reason to use pictures is to help people understand what we're seeing and help them connect emotionally with the people we are around. This side is well understood, and we've all seen pictures of African babies and I've even used some in different presentations I've done. The problem comes when you start thinking about these people as your friends. When your friend is starving, sick, practically naked, and surrounded by flies is it okay to take his picture and show it to all of your well off American friends so that you can raise money, support, prayer, or anything? Maybe, however noble the reason, if we use pictures of friends who are poor in their worst circumstances, just maybe, it's really exploitation.

Now it's your turn to participate. If you've read our blog, please comment. If you disagree with the picture thing, or think the team mentality has some upsides, let us know. We're fully open; feel free to disagree.

Scripture I'm contemplating this week: Isaiah 58

Scripture We're reading: Beginning of Genesis

Book I'm Reading: "Friendship at the Margins: Discovering Mutuality in Service and Mission" by Christopher Heuertz and Christine Pohl (go order this book and read it...right now)


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