(t-3) hours until I (Amanda) depart for Uganda for the 5th time. What a whirl-wind of an adventure these past two years have been and what a joy it will be to return to my Ugandan family in 24 short hours. Jenny and Rachel, our summer staff volunteers (pictured above), left for Uganda yesterday morning; the three of us will meet on the other side of the world on Friday.
The three of us have been busy for the past 3 weeks attending and organizing orientations for our summer volunteer teams. What a privilege it has been to teach introduction sessions on identity, community, culture, development, poverty and global religion to our energetic volunteers and to learn with them through group discussions. Jenny, Rachel and I are eager to continue this teaching once we’re in Uganda. Jenny, Rachel and I (along with our intern, Stephanie Perez) prepared for our orientation retreats by attending InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Global Issues Internship Institute in New Haven, CT. We were fortunate enough to hear from such notables as InterVarsity’s Jim Tebbe, Duke Divinity’s Emmanuel Katongole, Yale Divinity’s Jim Irwin and New Haven’s own Ken Janke. What an honor it was to be taught by each of them!
As for this summer, we are excited to host 2 volunteer teams. Our university team, from University of Georgia and Wellesley College will be in Uganda from June 18-depart July 7th leading music camp for the kids at the NewstART Centre. Our high school team from Charlotte Christian School, including teacher Eva Crawford and college kids Laura Duncan (Appalachian State University) and Amelia Neal (Westmont College), will be leading a visual arts camp for our kids from July 14 until July 27. Jenny, Rachel and I will be in Uganda for 1 week preparing for the arrival of our teams.
If you wish to join us in prayer support, we ask that during this first week you pray for:
*Increased strength for our summer staff as we begin an emotionally, psychologically and spiritually demanding summer
*Unity between Ugandan and American staff and volunteers
*Safe travels for all of our team members
*Protection from the enemy as we seek to glorify King Jesus in word and deed
*The NewstART Centre, as we continue to discern the appropriate leadership positions for our staff
We will continue to update the blog during the summer so please keep reading!