Dave and I have mixed feelings about missions trips.
That’s a weird statement considering we just got back from leading one.
On one hand, you spend a LOT of money to get there that could be used instead either by the organizations you work with or by full-time missionaries. Sometimes missions teams go in with the idea that they’re coming in to save the day (not exactly a Philippians 2 attitude).
But on the other hand, often the money spent to go on the trip is like an initial investment. It opens up the team members’ eyes and hearts–as well as the hearts and eyes of their friends and family members–to needs and Gospel opportunities they had no idea of before so that future support gets funneled in directions it would not have otherwise. Mission team members find that they are “mutually strengthened and encouraged and comforted by … (the) faith” of the people they meet. (Romans 1:12)
My hope is that those of you who have read my blog have, in a sense, traveled with us and been impacted just as we have. Some readers have already asked me about ways to contribute to some of the ministries we worked with, so what I want to do in this post is provide links to all of the different organizations we worked with while we were in Kenya and Uganda. You can learn more about these organizations and donate to them at the website links provided. I’ve also included the link to the specific blog post I wrote about our experience at each organization.
1. Kibera Girls SoccerAcademy:
This is a FREE secondary school in the heart of the Kibera Slum (the second largest slum in the world) that provides girls with a quality education so they can continue on beyond secondary school to universities and colleges. Great program.
Blog link: https://jenunderwood.org/2013/07/11/day-3-in-africa-a-gift-of-a-day/
2. Springs of Hope Orphanage run by Kenyan Mary Musyoka:
Venture Corps is a U.S.-based non-profit that advocates for several non-profits run by Kenyan and Ugandan nationals. You can find more info on Springs of Hope on Venture Corps website and donate specifically to it or to the Venture Corps general fund.
Blog link: https://jenunderwood.org/2013/07/10/meet-mary-day-2-in-africa/
3. Mercy Childcare run by Ugandan Wilfred Rugumba:
Mercy is dear, dear, dear to my heart. Our son, Patrick, is from Mercy, and I lived with Wilfred and his wife, Vena, for five weeks during our adoption process. Almost all the ministry we did in Uganda was through Mercy and its founding church, Light the World Church in Kampala, Uganda.
4. UAPO (Ugandan American Partnership Organization) (In Uganda, known as the Akola Project):
http://www.theuapo.org/ (this site has information about the UAPO)
http://akolaproject.org/ (this is the UAPO’s shopping site–beautiful jewelry and very soon, some amazing woven bags)