Immersed in Gulu

Submitted by: Ron Smith - August 15th, 2015


UgandaShapeFlagWestmont Women’s Basketball is in the midst of a mission trip to Uganda. The team is currently in the city of Gulu in northern Uganda, an area which was ravaged by civil war until 2007. Gulu has a population of just over 150,000.

What follows is a travel log by senior Karlie Storkeson, outlining their activities on August 14 (day six) and August 15 (day seven).

Wow, wow, wow. I’m going to attempt to go over what has taken place the last two days. But as a disclaimer, my words are going to barely even scratch the surface of all that we were able to pack into the last two days.

Day 6:

  • Morning devotions with Sports Outreach Institute (SOI) staff at Pugwimyi village.
  • Visited “Mama”, an old lady who is struggling to sustain herself.
  • Visited Winnie, a 10-year-old who was shunned by her peers because she had bad breath because she had worms in her throat. She has since had surgery and now has friends. A grandma took her in and she has big dreams for her to become a doctor.
  • We ran a basketball clinic at the village with all of the community, including the women who were so happy to be included in the sports.
  • Coach (Kirsten Moore) shared her testimony with the entire village.
  • Traveled to Lagutu village and ran a basketball clinic there. We were able to show them how a basketball game works by placing cones around a dirt patch and shooting into tires.
  • Aysia (Shellmire) shared her testimony in front of all of the kids and some of the adults there.
  • Visited the home of Valentina and Eunice (her daughter) to hear about their struggles. Valentina recently lost her husband.
  • Visited the home of Nancy and her five children. She lost her husband to cancer recently.
  • We debriefed about the day back at the hotel.

Day 7:

  • We began the day with morning devotions at the farm with SOI staff.
  • We then did brick making and planting onions and green peppers on the farm.
  • We visited the home of Presca and her grandma and siblings. She is sponsored to go to school through SOI.
  • We then visited the home of Janet and her father and family. She is also sponsored through SOI and by WOW which stands for Women of Worth, because Janet is 18 and needing help getting through school.
  • We then hung out with the girls at Christine’s house. They danced for us and then pulled us in to dance with them. We then had a time of sharing with them.
  • After lunch we went to go play basketball at a disability center in Gulu. We were able to play wheel chair basketball with some of the men there (and they were of course way better than us considering we had never played in wheelchairs before). We then played a game against the deaf men and women.
  • Lauren (Sende) shared her testimony with those at the center and then Kristin (Karr) shared the gospel with the people there. It was crazy cool because we were having what we were saying translated into Acholi and sign language.

So, that’s a lot. We laughed, cried, questioned, sang, danced and pressed into all that we were experiencing together. Here’s to another day of serving and processing together before we head off for our safari debriefing time.