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Kristin Anderson: 2017 Uganda Kids Camp

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Pader, Northern Region

Uganda

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Family and Friends,

What a year it has been! For many 2016 was a year filled with challenges, adversity, and undue stress. Indeed for myself it included moving across the country, starting a new position in a territory I was vastly unfamiliar with and trying to make friends and reconnect in a city where I knew no one.

Though there were trials I have been unbelievably blessed with another year filled with new friendships, new opportunities, and new engagements to spend my time. After moving to Austin, TX in December 2016 as an AgriEdge Specialist with Syngenta I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about Texas agriculture. I have the privilege of working with about 120 growers from Waco, TX all the way to the Rio Grande Valley. This time has allowed me to expand my horizons agronomically and challenge myself in the areas of business and technology. The growers and coworkers I work with have been nothing short of amazing in accepting me as one of their own (an honorary Texan!) and pushing me to be my best self-every day.

While in Texas I have made some incredible Aggie friends through a previous trip to Swaziland and South Africa and have reconnected with some UT alumni as well as fellow Tampa natives. Most folks know my family grew by two this year with the addition of my rescued Collie/ Retriever Mix, Rowdy and my Blue Heeler Cattledog, Rusty. Having friends, family, and great dogs that love you certainly changes your life.

All things aside, my biggest challenge with moving and still trying to survive as a recent college graduate has been to maintain my relationship with God. Finding a church in a new city alone is very hard and cumbersome, but also finding a place where you feel welcome, connected, and encouraged is an even larger endeavor. Luckily after months of searching one of my greatest mentors and fellow coworker, Kevin, invited me to church with him and his girlfriend April. I fell in love with Austin Ridge Bible Church and the resources they offer their attendees.

After having attended the Southwest campus for a while and visiting young adult’s bible study I was struck one day by a Facebook Ad of all things for an invitation to a mission’s trip in Uganda. Eager, but not realistically thinking I would go I clicked on the link. Prayer and conversation with one of our trip leaders made me realize not how much the people of Pader, Uganda needed me but how much I needed this trip. I have been longing for a time to reconnect with God and advance the relationship I have with him and others. In college and as a young adult it is not easy to maintain faith. We are constantly buried in the worries of the secular world, told what to believe, and convinced that much of the world we live in should be about ourselves and not others. With moving and starting a new chapter of my life my faith has been the one thing that remained consistent. But truthfully, I am at a stage now where it’s time to act. This Uganda trip has been nothing short of a “God thing” thus far. I have connected with the other 8 participants that are going and we have been completing a study called “Helping not Hurting” in regards to mission trips that provide only temporary relief. I think it’s important to note that our group of servants are striving to provide sustainable encouragement and empowerment. We are hoping to share our broken hearts with theirs and embrace each other so that they may carry on their good deeds to help the people of Pader with Christ-like hearts.

The most poignant verse that has stuck with me through our study I share as a theme for 2017:

Psalm 139: 23-24

Search me, God, and know my heart;

Test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.

With all that being said there are resources and time required to make this trip possible. I would ask that if you can pray is most appreciated for this journey. Additionally, if you feel so inclined we are taking donations on individual sites as a sponsorship. My link is below for those interested:

https://kristinanderson.eventbrite.com

After the trip, I will provide updates and information about what we were able to accomplish. Thus far, God has allowed me to connect with a sub-project of our visit working with the farm manager of a 15 acre Farm Project through African Renewal Ministries. Many of you know my passions and my heart. I wish you all a blessed Holiday season and an empowered 2017 to make positive change wherever life leads you.

God Bless,

Kristin “KPA” Anderson

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Pader, Northern Region

Uganda

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