Arriving in AfricaRich Stigall
by Trace Thurlby from Uganda
I first encountered Africa and its 53 countries in the form of a 7th grade geography exam. Maybe its distance kept Africa foreign, or with 2,000 languages spoken on the continent, maybe its diversity.
Whatever the reasons, follow-on Africa experiences were second hand, fringe, and media driven. A Sally Struthers’ infomercial showing starving children with flies on their faces; a Toto song; newspaper headlines of poverty, dictators, and disease; Hollywood films featuring Don Cheadle or Forrest Whitaker; a War Dance documentary, an IMAX on the Serengetti; hardly enough to make one an expert.
After traveling the continent, one friend described Africa as a “generation of good decisions away from being healthy.” Others after living there speak of Africa capturing their heart.
In truth, despite these brushes with Africa, this part of the world has been largely ignored in my life. I suspect that’s my loss. As wheels touch soon in Uganda, I’m looking forward to changing that.
Over the next eight days, our GO team (Alison Barfoot, GO Africa Field Director and Scott Kice, Global Development Manager) will visit six, partner children’s villages and two sewing centers across the country. After that, a similar 3-day mission to Malawi.
From the work He is doing through local, church leaders here to care for His Kids, I do know God is on the move in Africa. What a privilege to be a part of it with you! I look forward to sharing a few of the highs and lows here in the coming days.