It was the sweaty seventh mile of the day and I couldn’t have been happier to see a chair with a back and two arm rests waiting for me. I picked up my feet a little faster as I quickly approached the chair anxiously awaiting the moment of rest. With a loud thud and an exhale of relief I plopped down and began rubbing my calves wondering how long ago it had been since my last hiking adventure. Because I couldn’t remember where or when it had occurred, I concluded it was obviously a long time ago.
Ugandan Bucket List
It feels like I was just boarding the plane to get to Uganda with high anticipation of what the next three months would bring. Now I’m on the plane to depart, reflecting on my time in the Pearl of Africa.
In recent years, my parents have been into checking things off their bucket list. Since my first blog post was about how my parents inspired me to go to Africa, I find it fitting that they have inspired me to create a Ugandan bucket list.
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
In 2009, I embarked on a journey that I easily thought would be the greatest adventure of my life, an 11-country, 11-month mission trip experience: The World Race. Traveling around the world within a calendar year not only stamped my passport but forever etched my heart. Sure, I found adventure, but more than that...I found purpose.
We sat down with co-founders Mike and Cathy Hafner and asked them some questions about the great eight years of Field of Hope!
What did you expect to see eight years ago when you started Field of Hope? How does the reality measure up to the vision?
One of Field of Hope’s core values is adventure -- having fun and being challenged on the journey. Which my time in Uganda has had no short coming of adventure along with some challenges. From long car rides on rough roads that make my stomach turn to almost (unknowingly) eating a gizzard, this usually results in a good laugh or a sweet moment to follow.
Walter Okullu is Field of Hope’s inaugural Ugandan scholarship recipient. A long-time friend and trainer of Field of Hope, we are beyond excited to witness and encourage his development!
One thing that has come pretty easy in Uganda is making friends. The people here are so kind and welcoming. I was walking back to my hotel from a local cafe, one day, when a woman greeted me and started talking to me. I quickly realized that she only knew a handful of English words and she could only speak in the local language of Luo. We carried on a conversation with hand gestures. She was making a gesture like she was writing and I could figure out that she was asking me if I was a teacher. I replied, “No, agriculture”.
The time has finally come, I’m in Uganda! I have preparing for this trip since I first started my graduate program at Oklahoma State a year and a half ago.
Prior to this trip, I was often asked, “Why Africa?” or “Why Uganda?”. Over time, I have realized there have been many different parts that God has perfectly pieced together in my journey to the Pearl of Africa.
Field of Hope Curriculum Cycle
We have feet on the ground in Uganda! Those feet belong to the Field of Hope and Vivayic teams, including so many people of great talents and knowledge, all of whom we are honored to host!
The team arrived in time to be greeted by the rains. If you haven’t experienced the African rains, there truly is nothing quite like watching the clouds roll over the Nile River, seeing lightening crack across a sky with zero light pollution, and listening to the drops pound on an old tin roof.
Toto had it right to bless the African rains.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” ~ Matt. 25:40
Raised on a farm in Tobias, Nebraska, Glenn Endorf has led a life of Christ-like service. Meeting his wife, Jan, at synodical school at Concordia University in Seward, NE, the pair went on to teach at the Redeemer Lutheran School in Denver, Colorado, until the Lord called them to return to the family farm and continue the Husker’s tradition of farming.