I've been waiting to post these images for about 4 weeks now. In January, I traveled with a good friend of mine, Cliff, and my uncle, Merle, to Uganda. It was a quick trip (just 8 days in country) which seemed too short, but the three of us all left families and businesses behind, so we had to squeeze a lot into our time. We were sent from our church to spend some time with this man, George, who I'm proud to call my friend. George oversees about 65 churches in Uganda. We were meeting with him to get a better sense of what he's doing there, what his vision and needs are, and to see if there are ways that our church in Pennsylvania might be able to work with him. We quickly saw that Africa is beautiful. We started off visiting Good Shepherd's Fold, an orphanage in Jinja, where Merle's daughter spent a few months working last year.
Many images that come out of Africa show extreme poverty. And while Uganda certainly has a lot poverty, it wasn't my goal to come away just with pictures showing desperation. Yes, it's there... but there's also an incredible amount of hope. God is doing some amazing things, and I tried to capture some of the hope as well.
Mzungus (white people) can draw a crowd, especially among kids.
I did get a chance to take a few portraits while I was there. Love these.
Of course, poverty is very real.
And as George tries to help his people physically as well as spiritually, we helped get together a micro finance seminar for some of his pastors and leaders. Sarah, the trainer, is Ugandan, and is certified through the Chalmers Center for Economic Development, an organization that has a very well-thought-out strategy for poverty alleviation. If anyone's interested in this sort of thing, I highly recommend the book When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. The basic gist: poverty is rooted in broken relationships, and simply throwing money at a problem without addressing that underlying cause won't have long-term effectiveness. The seminar went very well, and it will be exciting to see what comes next.
We spent some time visiting some of the churches George oversees. What a great experience. Some of my favorite moments -- and pictures -- came from this portion of the trip.
Probably my favorite picture of the trip:
The rest are just some scenes from Uganda that caught my eye.
One day, I hope to be back.