August 20, 2016
It’s now been 7 months since I moved out of my house, sold my company, left the good ole US of A, and moved to Uganda, fulfilling a deep passion in my heart for more than 25 years. Few know this but my desire to live in Africa began around the age of 5 years old. As a small child I had dreams of living in the bush, in the wilds of Africa. My childhood dreams have little relation to the reality of modern Africa, but my excitement remains the same.
It wasn’t until I was 23 years old that an opportunity arose to go on a missions trip to Uganda, Africa. Missions trips were nothing new to me as I had been to a few 3rd world countries already serving God and the people, but when I first heard the announcement of the trip, I told myself, “whatever it takes, I’m going”. God provided, and I went. Africa was much different than I had imagined. I saw modern technology, high rise buildings, and modern ways of life. These were all in the city, not so much even 30 minutes from town, but they still existed. Though the capital city is nothing like a US capital city, the attempts were there.
The next year, in 2006, another trip became available for me to join, and I wanted to go back to Africa and serve so, I went. It was during that time that the Lord gave me a specific and clear calling for coming and staying full time. God showed me the need for trustworthy and accurate Biblical teaching for young men. An opportunity also arose for me to return and become a youth pastor at a church I had visited. I highly desired to do it, but the timing was wrong and that door wasn’t being opened for me at the time.
An opportunity arose in 2010 for me to come and help run an orphanage, but I turned it down because I thought I lacked all necessary skills to handle such a task. I knew it was not something for me at that time.
I had the opportunity to come back to Uganda in 2011 to help plant a couple of missionaries and I took advantage of that. Again there was an opportunity for me to return and this time to start a computer school. I was highly passionate about it and started to pursue the opportunity when the doors suddenly closed as well.
My desire was as strong as could be to live in Africa, but my hope was failing. In 2013 I was presented with an opportunity to help start a Bible college. I thought, this is it, after 8 years of having the desire in my heart, this is the one I’ve been waiting for. I was even offered a fair amount of monthly support so I really wouldn’t have to raise any money. Agin, the doors closed. Following this, I came to a place where I decided I would never live in Africa.
In 2015 another opportunity arose for me to go for a few weeks. I thought, sure, I love it there, and I’ll get to visit some old friends. I made a choice, no matter who offers me any chance to return, I’m going to shut it down. The place we stayed was new to me. I had never been to that part of the country. But it sure felt like “home”.
Sure enough, after about a week of being there, I heard that the plan was to start a school of ministry for young men. My heart leaped for joy because it’s exactly the passion I had in 2006. But my reality senses kicked in and I reassured myself, deny all opportunities. About 10 days into the trip, the opportunity was put into my lap. I somehow laughed it off and said, no, it’s not for me. I returned to the US after being in country for 3 weeks, went back to work, back to my old life.
After being back “home” in the US, back to my old ways, back to my family and friends, the desire to go and help start that school became stronger and stronger. I finally decided I would start praying about it. Long story short, God confirmed it in my heart and in my life in every way I asked Him to. He answered every one of my prayers. So 7 months ago, I made that leap of faith, leaving it all behind, saying goodbye to everyone and everything I knew, for 10 months.
Little did I know, my 10 month commitment was only a joke and God had other plans for me. My first full day in Uganda, I meet the woman of my dreams, the one I’ve been waiting my entire life for. He also showed me that I wasn’t here only to start a school, but to continue running the school for years to come.
After asking Joan, the woman I’ve waited my entire life for, to be my wife, I bought land, and have recently begun building on it. Our future home should be completed in December, just in time for our wedding so we’ll have a place to stay together. Currently we both live in opposite sides of the compound we both work/serve at. She works in the elementary school as a school counselor who also works about 10 other positions.
We started the school in February, with 13 Ugandan young men, hand chosen by our NGO president, Bill. He had been working with these men the past couple of years as they were laborers, discipling each of them. The decision was made that these men would be our “test” students, our first class of men.
At our project, about 40 locals are employed in various positions including the school of ministry students. Recently there has been some major shifting of positions, some people laid off, and cutbacks made, all part of the growth of the project as we expand. Sadly more than 1/2 of the students at the school were included in this change. We were forced to end the school year a bit early, but not that it was a major loss for everyone. We had done much teaching with the guys. They all have a solid biblical understanding of their faith, an understanding of how to use a computer and type, learned how to drive, bettered their English, and other various skills they were taught.
The first year was designed to be a trial year, one that would include many changes, and one that would set the standard for future classes. It came with a variety of setbacks and challenges, major shifts and changes, and much gained wisdom. It was well worth all that we gained in wisdom to setup the future years and we got to share some great things with some guys I will never forget.
Many of these guys are now working for me in helping me to build our future home so I continue to see them and continue pouring into their lives as we work side by side.
Also in the works is next years schedule, curriculum, paperwork, dorm rooms, and everything else we have to accomplish before the next term in February. We will soon be visiting the local high schools and inviting the graduating young men to be a part of next years young men’s school of ministry. We are so very excited about it and though it seems February is much time away, we know that time is extremely short with all we have to do.
With the change of going from a short term, 10 month missionary, to one who is now full term for the foreseeable future, my financial status has changed. I made a budget and raised the funds necessary to support me and some of the various costs related to the school for my 10 month commitment. I recently began writing individuals, businesses, and churches I’m well connected with asking for monthly support. I’m also now petitioning you, the reader of my newsletter to prayerfully consider supporting me, my soon to be family, and the work we are doing here in Uganda.
All financial contributions are tax deductible through the organization I’m working with, Agents For Christ/Uganda Kids Project. You can give online at UgandaKids.org or you can mail a check to:
Agents for Christ
PO Box 67276
Portland, OR 97268.
Be sure to include my name on the memo line. Or you can give directly to me (non tax-deductible):
1717 Vista Chino #A7-235
Palm Springs CA 92262.
Thank you in advance for your financial support. It’s people like you who make it possible for me to serve the people of Uganda.
Until next time, thank you for your prayers, and God bless you. Robb Pierce, out.