Take a moment to read through some of the testimonies and stories of previous
team members who came to Gulu, stepped outside their comfort zone, loved on
the Acholi people, and acted as the hands and feet of Christ.

TRIP DATE: June 2014, June 2016

I do not believe I will ever be able to articulate how remarkable my time spent in Uganda with VOHA and the Acholi people was. Every moment there was saturated with God's presence, from the bus rides to desolate villages once barren, as well as the rice and bean dinners filled with life and laughter... God was there. When I was in Africa there was an unfathomable recurrence in me that could not keep from sharing the Gospel. I am not sure if it was the infectious love that the Acholi people displayed or the urgency I felt because my time there was so short, but I, along with my team, was determined to make Christ famous.  There is something about being halfway around the world where I felt so out of my comfort zone but yet at peace, that I stepped out in confidence and spoke of Christ so boldly. The Acholi people have taken up residence in my heart forever.  Isaiah 61

TRIP DATE: December 2015

I received the amazing opportunity to visit the Acholi people of Gulu, Uganda in December of 2015, with Villages of Hope Africa. When I first decided to go, I was so excited to accomplish my lifelong dream, of going to a mission trip. During the preparation time, I started to feel a vast amount of emotions. I was super excited, but I was also scared, nervous, and wondering if I was good enough to go. 
Once I arrived I was super excited to be in Africa. As we loaded onto the bus, I just couldn’t believe that I was actually on a mission trip, in Uganda. My first 2 days, I was in such an awe of the country I didn’t really get the chance to understand what I was really doing. I entered in the first village, and it was so beautiful. But, even then I didn’t fully understand the impact that this mission trip would have on me.
In the beginning, I believe that I was expecting these overwhelming feelings of super strong emotions to let me know that this is where I need to be. I was wanting to feel this rush of God going through me, to let me know that this is where he sent me. I wanted tears to stream from my face, because of such strong and powerful emotions. I just wanted something to hit me and say, THIS IS IT!!! I received none of that.
Don’t get me wrong I had an amazing time, I was just expecting something that was more spiritual and powerful, in the beginning. As days went on I started to understand that I just need to be in the presence of the people and not hope for what I thought that I needed to feel. I eventually started to live in the moment and not search for the feelings, this was the best decision I made while on the trip.
            As I started to enter the villages with this new mind frame, I found such an intense love. Oh the people of Gulu, they had a love that I have never seen or experienced. They were so caring and gentle, they had a love for the Lord that I wish would overcome the world. They made me see the simplicity of God’s love, they showed me what it was to appreciate the blessings from God. They taught me how to be humble in a way that was so loving and kind. They taught me how to simply be still. 
            As it was time to leave, I was saddened in the sense that I would miss all of the amazing people that I met. But, I was also happy in the sense that I would be back with my family, friends and honestly some of the amenities that I have here in the U.S. I thought that when I got back I would miss it a little and want to go back in a time span 2 years. I’ve learned so much and had an amazing time, but I didn’t think that it was my calling (like some people that I went with). I thought this was such a blessing and amazing experience, I would love to go back again but probably not every year. I was so wrong. 
            When I came back to the U.S. I was more affected than ever. The experience hit me like a ton of bricks, I miss Gulu and the Acholi people with a strong passion. This was the last thing that I thought would happen, because I never received that extremely emotional moment while I was in Gulu. The people of Gulu affected me more than I ever imagined, they took a hold on me. 
I find myself thinking about Gulu, and picturing it all the time. I find myself wishing that I was back in a village, playing with the kids or working in the fields with the ladies. I often picture the faces of the people at the ground breaking for a well, and realized that they finally had clean water. I find myself picturing the patients and their families in the government hospitals, with smiles on their faces as we talk to them about the love of God. I often see Janet, a girl from a neighboring village, holding my hand telling me how excited she was that I was there with her. I see a little boy named Gideon poking me and running, a game to get me to chase after him. I see all of these amazing people that I miss dearly and yearn to see again. 
            Gulu didn’t just change me, it has become a part of me. I has affected me so much these words can’t describe. The expectations that I had, was nothing compared to what I have received. I will forever be changed by the people of Gulu, Uganda. The love there was that of none I’ve ever seen on this earth. I will never forget that love, Gulu has shown me how to love a stranger. I will forever be grateful to Villages of Hope Africa and to the Acholi people. Their Kindness and love will always be embedded in me. 

If you have previously served with VOHA on the ground in Uganda, and would like to share your story please email us. Let us know if you have any questions, or go ahead and send us your testimony with a picture of you on your trip.