journal

africa

I just wanted to take a few moments and talk about why we decided to give to Habitat For Humanity. If you have the cd and have read the insert, you probably noticed that we are giving 10% of all proceeds to Habitat. Of course there are a lot of organizations and charities that we would love to support, so I just wanted to share with you the reason we chose Habitat for this project.

I have a brother named Matthew who I adore. He and his wife Shela and their two kids Karene (5) and Samuel (2) are living in Uganda, Africa. My brother has had a heart for missions for as long as I can remember. At my wedding reception (2002) my brother told me and my new husband Greg that he and Shela had excepted a position with Habitat in Uganda. Matt became the Director in the Ugandan offices in the fall of 02.

Greg and I had the opportunity to go to Uganda and meet up with Matt and his family in Kampala. If you have never been on a mission trip I urge you to make some time and do it. Among many other things, I promise it will absolutely put into perspective all we truly have here in the U.S. The experience will change your life!

Here are a few facts about Uganda, Its capital city is Kampala which has a population of about 600,000. In this bustling city only about 10% of the roads are actually paved. There are only two stoplights installed but just one works (no joke!). You have never seen that kind of traffic! In Kampala tribes and times come together. We would see women in traditional dress with babies strapped to their backs, and baskets on their heads. Crossing paths with young people in suits and heels heading off to work.

Matt has been there for three years now and has seen many improvements. There is always more to do, but never enough money to do it. It only costs $1200 to give a family a home there. The family, alongside volunteers, build a modest dwelling one baked clay brick at a time. Then the family is required to pay a small mortgage ($10) a month and that small payment actually goes towards another family's home. So by paying their mortgage, these people begin to realize that it helps their neighbor get a home too. With this system we saw whole communities befittingly from this system.

Greg and I were in Africa for about two weeks. We had some adventures of our own too, white water rafting on the Nile and going on a safari. We got to see another world, another way of living. Also we got to see how a group of believers from very different backgrounds than ours live out their faith and live in hope for a better future for their country. This trip and time with my brother was very special to my heart and the way I think about other people and their needs. Thanks for your time.

Check out pictures of our trip here!

Rachel