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)



  1. If it's as you say, and using those photos really is exploitation, then how else can we bring the reality of life in Uganda to life for Americans who have never left the comfortable confines of their country? Because it really is true, "a picture's worth a thousand words". What are your ideas for how to stir up compassion in hearts that have never seen or heard about such need?

  2. Good question. Kerri and I were talking about this, since you asked the question, and it's soooo true, pictures just capture something that words can't. Also, if you look at kisses from katie, that girl uses pictures amazingly well to show what God is doing in people's lives and I feel she does it in a way that's not only inspirational but also very positive for the kids in the stories. So this is what we're thinking... we should use pictures, but be careful in the way we do so. We think we should get permission from the people in the pictures before we use them, and we want to be careful not to make individuals think that we're using their story and their picture just to get money or sympathy from people in the states. We want them to know that we value them as friends and not just as objects to be pitied.

    This just comes from an overall desire we have to really befriend the people in Karamoja and build meaningful relationships with them, and out of those relationship we hope that there will be exciting stories of redemption and restoration that we can tell. And we want to tell those stories in a way that honors and dignifies people. Ultimately, we want to follow the biblical model of remembering and telling what God has done in people's lives.

  3. You guys have been in Boulder too long! Did you know that there is a war going on in the United States, a war for the minds... lol. So exploitation would probably refer to using someone else for personal gain. Using someone for their benefit would probably fall under advocacy.
    - written by kenneth (not kristi)

  4. Hi there, About the pics, it becomes a personal decision you make. When you're living with the people and suffering with them (for some) and bearing with them, loving them etc. it becomes your life. Your pictures of them become a documentation of your journey too. I think it also ends up depending on how "separated" you are from the nitty gritty of the actual culture (are you on base a lot etc?). Sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words. I have had multiple people say, "I can't get that little girl with the baby on her back off my mind, I pray for her whenever I think of her" etc. Or some people will have a picture you post in their mind as symbolic of Karamoja and then they will remember the injustice and suffering.


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