March Visit to Uganda

kla_morningI was given the opportunity in March to fly to Uganda to create a short film for the African Children’s Choir.

I was excited to work with a great organization, and blessed to have the opportunity to return to our home and connect with friends face to face. Unfortunately I only had 7 days to accomplish everything!

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Filming at the African Children’s Choir school.

The African Children’s Choir is an organization assisting impoverished youth to attain a quality education they would not otherwise be afforded. The film shows where a choir member, Peace, used to live and how participating in the choir and attending their school has changed her life. Peace’s story is told alongside the story of Elsa, who was part of the very first choir back in 1983, and because of the opportunities through the Choir is now working to impact change in Uganda.

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Posing with the star of the show, Peace.

Peace and Elsa are amazing individuals who did a great job articulating their story and inviting all of us to join in the work of educating the future change makers in Uganda!

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Click this image to watch the 5 minute film!

While in Kampala for the week, I grabbed every opportunity to meet with friends and catch up. When I wrapped up filming, I picked up our car and began the 5 hour journey to Mbarara early Sunday morning. I rolled into town just as Church was starting and enjoyed gathering with good friends again.

After the service I drove an hour south to the refugee settlement to greet the women Betsy has been working with. It was encouraging to see them face to face and I was able to share a short video of Betsy greeting them and reinforcing that we are working to return and continue partnering with them.

A few hours later I drove back up to Mbarara to fellowship with close friends and spend the night at our house. It was fun to be in our home again and see it was being well taken care of. Every plant seemed to be twice the size, grass had finally grown, and some small bushes turned out to be fruit bearing!

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Boys at the African Children’s Choir school playing football.

The next day, Monday, I drove the 5 hours back to Kampala and caught my flight out that night. Getting on the plane, I was completely exhausted.

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Being goofy with a bunch of the African Children’s Choir kids.

I feel overwhelmingly blessed with the opportunity of being back in Uganda, even for a brief time. The entire trip was a refreshing reminder that this was the location and work God has for us and we can’t wait to return!

Below are a few of my favorite shots from the trip. Click to enlarge.

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Back in Business

new_camera2In the last few weeks we’ve hosted a silent auction in Chicago as well as an online auction selling some of Micah’s photos.  We were overwhelmed by the generosity and support of everyone who participated and clearly saw God’s abundant blessings. We raised over $5,000 and we were able to purchase a Nikon DSLR, 2 lenses and essential audio equipment. We’ve been without a camera for 10 months, so Micah is loving having one back in his hands and already filmed for an organization the day after getting it!new_camera1

Thank you to everyone who came out to support us and participated in getting Designed4 back in business!

Silent Auction

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 3.09.00 PMOur Designed4 Silent Auction in Chicago last week was a HUGE success! Thanks to everyone who came out to support us and bought photos. We had 20 photos up for auction and every single one of them sold. By the end of the night we had raised nearly $4,000!

We saw God’s hand in so many things, and it was such a fun night! We are incredibly grateful for our loving and supportive community. Thanks for coming out!

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We know many of you missed the auction so we would love to have you join us on Facebook today and tomorrow to get some of these photos! The online silent auction is happening today, Cyber Monday starting at 6pm EST and ends tomorrow, Giving Tuesday at 9pm EST. Please click below to go to the private auction page and support Designed4’s work in East Africa!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1561373570760702/

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Recovery Plan

The waiter came up to our table and timidly said “Excuse me, but some children told me your car was just broken into.”  I immediately jumped up and ran to our car that was just across the street.  It was 6pm, still light out and on a public street but the bold thieves had only left shards of glass on our back seat.  The bag we kept our macbook pro, two cameras, and audio equipment was gone.  Just gone.

cameraThis happened back in February and they say time heals, yet the knot in my stomach still remains.  There was nothing we could do to recover the bag.  The police would be of no help, and insurance agencies had been uninterested in insuring thousands of dollars of camera equipment in a developing country.  So the equipment we had invested our personal saving into was now gone with no hope of getting it back.

As Betsy and I settled into this new reality we felt the best option was to step back and pray.  Was this a signal to end Designed4 as a business?  Should we stop working in Uganda?  The answers to these questions we heard from God and others was no.  This was a painful event but not outside of God’s sovereign control.  So we pressed forward.

Since our plans had us back in America within a few months, we decided to wait until we were back in the States to purchase new equipment.  We had some kind friends who allowed us to borrow equipment for film projects during the last few months in Uganda.

Now we are finally ready to replace the equipment that was stolen, but simply don’t have the resources to re-purchase it all.  So we are having a silent auction event on Thursday, November 20th.  We will be auctioning off 18 photographs and a few crafts from Uganda at Derby Bar & Grill in Chicago. All funds generated from this event will go towards equipment and get Designed4 back on its feet.

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Please join us if you are in the Chicago area!  We would love to see you and it’s bound to be a great event!  If you can’t make it in person and interested in joining in, we will have an opportunity for you to buy photos in the future! Stay tuned via our facebook page.

Friend’s B-day at Rwakobo Rock



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This past weekend we went to a birthday party for some friends that run a safari lodge at Lake Mburu (40 minutes away). It was absolutely beautiful near the national park and fun to gather with friends and their kiddos.DSC_1101DSC_1107

Porter showed this chameleon how to use its tongue… DSC_1089

On the way home we saw quite a few animals including zebras, warthogs, monkeys, antelope and cows 🙂DSC_1133DSC_1149
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It’s been a while…

It has been a busy few months here, I can’t believe we haven’t posted since Christmas! Here is a top ten list to catch you up…

1) In January we felt God leading us to pursue the “Business and Missions” model with a missions organization so we are in that application process to be here the next couple years.Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 10.28.11 AM

2) Two of my very good friends, Nikki and Maria, came to visit in February! It was so incredible and fun to have them here.Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 10.28.50 AM Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 10.24.01 AM

3) All of our media equipment was stolen in early February, which included our laptop, iPad, two DSLR cameras, a GoPro and a number of other media items. If you are interested in helping us out in this area, go here.Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 10.22.38 AM

4) We went to Rwamwanja refugee settlement twice as a survey trip to see what kind of work/ministry God might have for us there.Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 12.45.46 PM

4) Micah and I celebrated four years of marriage on February 27thScreen Shot 2014-03-30 at 1.07.53 PM

5) March 19th marked one year of us living in Uganda! A lot happens in a year! I will probably need to do a year in review post. We have loved living here and are excited to be here the next few years to see what God has for us!Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 1.06.55 PM

6) March 17-22 Porter and I went to Kenya for a women’s retreat that I was invited to with dear friends. It was Porter’s first “official” international border crossing. I had an amazing time on retreat and feel more rejuvenated and grounded than I have in a long time!Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 12.51.06 PM

7) We booked our plane tickets back to America, arriving June 13!! We are so excited to come home to visit and share Porter with friends and family! We will keep you posted on our travel plans.

8) Micah has three video jobs right now!  We are so thankful that Designed4 is picking up! One of the jobs has even loaned him a computer to work from, which is a huge blessing!Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 12.52.31 PM

10) Porter is 6 months old! He has 7 teeth already and is becoming quite talkative. He definitely takes after Micah and is a laid back, chill little guy who is so fun to be around.DSC_0040

That about catches you up. We will hopefully be posting more regularly now that we have a computer to use. However, pictures may still be lacking.

 

 

Oh Christmas Tree…

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This past week we got our Christmas tree! Somehow, we never fail to make getting a tree an ordeal of sorts. I wasn’t sure how we were going to pull of getting a “real” Christmas tree here but Micah was determined and it wasn’t as difficult as we thought. We went to three tree nurseries to find a tree “as big as Micah” after being shown many pine trees that were 5 inches tall. The third nursery was a charm and for $4 we drove away with our very own tree!

While most trees are dying, ours is growing in our living room, waiting to be planted in our yard 🙂  xmas 002xmas 001

 


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We bought Christmas lights at the local store and popped some popcorn to decorate our tree. We then tore pieces of aluminum foil to make tinsel! We love our little tree and have had fun decorating it! Christmas Tree 036Our favorite is the tin foil star on top. Christmas Tree 035

We are getting in the Christmas spirit around here and were able to borrow Christmas cookie cutters. Christmas Tree 030Christmas Tree 031We made a night of making and frosting cookies, and eating a few too 🙂 Christmas Tree 032Christmas Tree 034

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