By popular demand, we’ve decided to use the socalled “electronic media” to send updates back to the States during our time in Karamoja. This seemed better to us than traditional mail, which would travel across the Atlantic back to the US just in time for Thanksgiving. Alternatively, we considered sending updates via Twitter, but who really wants to wade through hundreds of comments on the post “Large cobra just fell from the ceiling onto my head!!!!”? We’ve decided that the blog is a better tool for many reasons, not least of which is that the previous “cobra” update can now be indexed by Google, and our site will probably show up on the first page of results if you search for “Cobra falling on head,” thus spreading the news of our work and ultimately the work of the OPC Mission to Karamoja to thousands (dare I say millions?) of people who would not be otherwise inclined to research the subject.
If you aren’t familiar with the Mission work in Karamoja, or aren’t up to date on the work they are doing, allow us a very brief overview. Karamoja is in Eastern Uganda, on the border with Kenya. The tribes there have been very slow to modernize—until very recently,they have still lived in mud and thatch huts, worn little more than thin blankets, and have lived largely off of the blood and milk from their livestock. There has been a Catholic presence in the region since the 1930’s, but most of the people are Christian in name only and the majority still retain one kind of animistic belief or another. The OPC established a station there in 2000 with a medical clinic and an evangelistic outreach. Now, nearly two decades later, the Mission has turned into some kind of Frankenstein monster of ministry, grafting on a part here, removing something there as missionaries come and go and priorities change.
As of this writing, the medical clinic continues under the supervision of Dr. Flip Baardman. Sunday worship continues at Nakaale Presbyterian Church and in two other preaching stations. The mission runs Karamoja Education Outreach, a programme aimed at teaching basic literacy and numeracy to children before they enter school with a view toward improving their educational prospects. A team of community health workers helps promote hygiene, nutrition, and disease prevention. Village evangelism takes place weekly in a dozen nearby villages. Both the First Catechism and the Westminster Shorter Catechism have been translated into the Karimojong language. Young men are in training for church leadership.
Be sure to refresh our homepage two-to-three times a day for more info on what we’re up to as well as shocking, never before seen photos. As soon as the cobras start falling, we can assure you, the carnage will be posted here first. Visit the contact page to sign up to receive emails from us with news, announcements, prayer requests, and valuable coupons redeemable at many local Karimojong retail shops.
—Christopher & Chloe