Map of Uganda

Map of Uganda
The Uganda Kampala Mission includes Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and Southern Sudan. Our assignment covers all the areas except Ethiopia.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


We just returned from a week in Rwanda and western Uganda. We travelled with President and Sister Christensen on the ten hour drive from Kampala to Kigali,Rwanda.
We were in Rwanda to begin preparations for a Neonatal resuscitation program that the Church is going to do there. We also prepared for the ten containers of supplies that are on the way from Salt Lake City to the Congolese refugee camp in western Rwanda. It should arrive in the next month or so and we will assist with the distribution in the camp.

Rwanda is a beautiful country with rolling hills and mountains. People cultivate and plant crops everywhere by terracing the slopes.

The Branch of the Church in Kigali has grown from twelve members when it was organized last year last year to forty-five this year. We attended a First Year Anniversary party for the Branch on Saturday and nine new members were baptized in a beautiful lake outside Kigali.

There were two crested cranes outside our hotel window that spent all day pecking at their reflection in the window. They are the national bird of Uganda and are beautiful. However, they are obviously not very smart.

In many ways Rwanda is more developed and advanced than Uganda (especially the roads). However, the aftermath of the 1994 genocide is still evident, especially in Kigali. More than one million Tutsis were killed and some two million fled to refugee camps during the three month attack by the Hutu government forces which surrounded Kigali. We visited the genocide monument where three hundred thousand men, women and children are buried in a mass grave; it was a very sobering sight.

We did encounter several “obstacles” in our path during the return journey...

We stopped for two days in the Queen Elizabeth Park to go on a game drive. The guide kept telling us that we could not get out of the vehicle around the animals but we obviously did not listen to him. We did not want a bunch of long range generic photos so, in spite of his complaining, we got out to “pose” with the animals. You can't get good pictures from inside a vehicle.

Once, we did have a big bull elephant charge our SUV from about 25 yards away so we had to make a hasty retreat. It was a little hard to get this picture with the guide yelling frantically, "go, go, go" but we managed to do it anyway. When he finally calmed down, we told him, "see, we told you we were better off outside".

These hippos were in the river separating Uganda from the DR Congo. During the recent fighting, refugees crossed the river here, where it is narrow, to escape the fighting. They then travelled through the park to the refugee camp we visited earlier at Kanungu.

We will return to Rwanda soon for the refugee shipment. Now that we have finally seen lions and elephants we feel like we are really in Africa.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Sometimes in Uganda it is easy to focus on living conditions and not understand and appreciate the quality of life.

Children here are happy bright and playful. Whether at church or bare-footed in the villages they find ways to enjoy themselves in everything they do.

We have found them to be quite inventive when it comes to toys. Don Allen, from our Ward in Salt Lake City, sent a box of tops which the kids love. This is "Mad Max" a little boy who lives next door to the church in Mengo. When we got here he was really wild but now he runs over to give us a hug anytime we drive up. He loves playing with the other children at family night. We love him even though he is still slightly "weird"!

Kids in the city make wire cars which they can steer with a wheel. Some of the cars can carry up to two pounds.

In the villages where there is no wire, they make them from sticks.

This boy in a refugee camp constructed this wooden scooter to haul water.

While there, we even found this aspiring musician.

Children here are taught early how to tend for the animals. We once found Ssimbwa's son in a tug-of-war with a goat...

Eventually the goat lost out!

Children work hard here to be able to go to school and are eager to learn.

Elaine spends some of our spare time giving "teaching hints"...and passing out candy where ever we go.

Kids tug at your heart strings no matter where you find them.

"Everything must have a beginning"

"Everything must have a beginning"
Children at an orphanage in Entebbe, Uganda. There are so many children here it is incredible; there are orphans everywhere. The people take them in and it is not unusual to see families struggling with 8-10 children. We talked to a woman yesterday who has taken in twelve children. She said, "sometimes I feel sad that I cannot do more, but everything must have a beginning". We have decided to use that as our personal reminder to guide our actions here as we try to help.