We’re 5 days away from leaving on our trip to Uganda! Are we excited? Yes. Are we ready? I sure hope so. This may come as a shock to some of you, but I’ve actually been reading some books in preparation to our trip. Yes, it’s true that I’m not historically a big reader (that become apparent when Grandpa Frey called me out at Thanksgiving dinner one year!), but I think maybe now I’m turning over a new leaf, because I have really enjoyed reading these books as part of our preparation for this trip.
28. I actually first read this book to prepare to go to South Africa. It’s a compilation of 28 stories telling how AIDS has affected the people of Sub-Saharan Africa. The stories are well written and share the heart and the science of AIDS and it’s impact. I remembered reading in one chapter about great measures the president of Uganda took to bring awareness to AIDS and teach the Ugandans how to prevent the spread of HIV. Because of these efforts, the prevalence of HIV is estimated around 8-10%, which is much lower than much of the rest of the continent. Uganda- they’re such a poster child.
Kisses from Katie. This book is an easy read, written by Katie, an American who moved to Uganda at the age of 19, and hasn’t yet returned. Instead she’s started a ministry that helps children in her village pay their school & uniform fees so they can go to school. In the process, she’s also taken 14 girls into her own home. You could say she’s a little sold out at this point. 🙂
When Helping Hurts. This book really got me thinking about the lasting impact of missions, whether overseas or across town. It asks tough questions, like ‘Who is the poor?’. I don’t know that I’ll have answers to that anytime soon, but I’m seeing more and more the need for culturally appropriate ministries and the importance of building lasting relationships.
Chasing the Dragon. This is the autobiography of Jackie Pullinger, a woman who thought she’d be a missionary in Africa, but went to Hong Kong and spent most of her life in the infamous Walled City. I just started reading this book, but am quickly getting through it. In each chapter, I see more and more of her journey unfold as she spent years ministering to drug addicts and gang members, something that seems so improbable for a single woman in the 1960s…and that’s what makes it amazing!