I would like to tell a story… a true story. It is a story about ups and downs, trials and redemption, and ending with legacy.

We have had the privilege to meet a very humble man named Joseph Ochiel Oyoda He just so happens to be the father of Peter Ochiel, the director and founder of Action Ministry. Joseph has an incredible story and I am going to attempt to give you the abridged version.

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Peter with his father

Joseph Ochiel Oyoda was born in a small village in western Kenya named Got Osimbo in 1936. Life was very hard for him and he experienced a lot of loss. He lost both parents, and all of his siblings. Going to school was just a dream that he could not obtain. Naturally, despair took over and he turned to alcohol to numb the pain and to try to forget about all his losses. Later in life he even fled to Uganda and lived on the streets of Kampala and Jinja. He was basically giving up on life.

While living on the streets of Kampala in 1966, there were a group of christians that would hold open air meetings regularly in his neighborhood. Joseph would even organize a small group of fellow drunkards to mock and imitate the the Christians that were speaking. But one of the times they came, something happened to Joseph. He was convicted, and this revelation that he received completely transformed him from the inside out. He felt a supernatural love and sense of purpose that can only be attributed to one source. And, that source is Jesus. After this life change, he felt he needed to return to Kenya and share this life changing news with his own people. You see, at this point, the Gospel had not reached western Kenya. There were small amounts of Catholicism and Anglican churches, but the transforming message of Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit had not reached western Kenya. Most people still clung to their tribal rituals/religions and consulting their local witch doctors.

When Joseph returned to Got Osimbo in 1969, He did not hesitate sharing what Jesus had done in his life. Many people could see the change in him because they remembered who he was before. And thankfully so many heard the message and also experienced the same transformation. Eventually, enough heard the message and a small body of believers was formed. God had restored Joseph’s life and also gave him what he had lost in the past, a family. He met his wife Alice and they married in 1970. Even in his later years he was able to have 5 children, Leonard, Peter, Mary, Meshack, and Benter. He was truly blessed!

There are over a 100 churches in western and central Kenya that can trace their roots back to Joseph Ochiel Oyoda. He and a few other fellow christians were very passionate about evangelism and planting churches… And planting churches they did! Even Peter Fpro, (who we call “Chairman,” because he is the chairman of Action Ministry and we don’t want to be confused between the 2 Peters) was extremely excited to meet Joseph, because his own church (located in central Kenya) where he heard about Jesus was started by a pastor who was evangelized and discipled by Joseph. You could really sense the extreme gratitude that Chairman had toward this man! Chairman knows that because of Joseph’s faithfulness and passion for Jesus, he was also able to be saved and transformed.

What really impressed me the most is how humble he is. He has done such incredible things for Jesus, and unlike what so many others do unfortunately, he does not use his position to be honored or given special treatment. He instead works hard and continues to serve wholeheartedly. What an incredible example for Peter to have as a father! Is it any wonder that Peter is equally passionate about God and also serving wholeheartedly? What a legacy Joseph Ochiel Oyoda will leave. This man from a small village has truly impacted the world and His son, Peter, is following in his fathers foot steps. I like his name Oyoda… He is like the “Yoda” of Kenya. Ha!

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Most of the Ochiel family (plus Chairman to the right of Peter)

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Our KTA volunteer team with the Ochiel family and Action Ministry in Got Osimbo

There has always been so much tragedy and evil in this world. We may think… “God, how can you let these things happen?” God is probably asking us the same question. He has called us to be his agents, to live out the life changing message of Jesus Christ through our words and deeds. Maybe we can also leave a legacy like Joseph and raise up sons like Peter Ochiel.

This story is still being written. How will our stories be written?

stay adventurous;
Katie Sasser


Friday was a great day!  It was one of those days when you say to yourself, “it is all worth it!”  All the hard work and sweat, all the planning and meetings, all of it was worth it.

Village Art held a small ceremony for the class of girls who are just finishing their hair dressing course at the Village Art Hair Dressing School.  Today these girls received their certificates of completion and also words of spiritual and practical wisdom from a few staff members of Bringing Hope to the Family. Also we were blessed when the girls spoke about how the opportunity of attending the school has changed their lives and that now they feel like they have a chance at life. We could really sense the love that these girls received from being here by the love that they gave back to Bringing Hope.

I am so excited to have been apart of the whole Village Art project! Thank you to everyone who has given and volunteered to make this project a reality. Not only are lives being changed, but Village Art is also helping to support Bringing Hope by covering some of their administration costs.

This is, of course, just one example of all the wonderful things that take place around here.  Bringing Hope to the Family truly wants to change Uganda.  They want to raise a generation that stands for Christ, a generation who are living healthy sustaining lives, not lives of disease and poverty. And, they are doing that one child at a time, one class at a time, one life at a time.

stay adventurous,

katie

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Apr
2013


My family and I have lived in Kaihura, Uganda for over 4 years now and it has been such a wonderful adventure.  In this post I am going to attempt to narrow down a list of my 5 favorite things about life here, even though there are many more.

I love the landscape and the climate.  Uganda is such a beautiful place, but western Uganda in particular is extremely beautiful.  The area is so green, lush and hilly and the view of the nearby Rwenzori Mountains is beyond words.  So many times when I am traveling somewhere and I am looking at my surroundings I am left speechless and feeling so fortunate to be where I am.  The weather here is perfect and constant all year long with the temperature ranging from 70 – 85 degrees year round.  The mornings and evenings are cool and the afternoons are comfortable.  Like I said, perfect.

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This might sound funny, but when I think about my life here, I think about that old show “Cheers”.  I live in a community where everybody knows my name, and the majority of the time, they are always glad I came.  I have made so many friends here, and I love that!  And I love the fact that the culture here allows you to slow down and have a conversation.

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If you know anything about me, you know that I love adventure.  And our life in Uganda has not left me wanting.  Over the last 4 years I have found myself in the craziest places doing things that I would have never imagined, and talking to people from all over the world that I would have never otherwise met.  Whoever says serving God is boring is sadly mistaken! I have many times said the words, “I can’t believe I am here!” or “I can’t believe I am doing this!”

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Another thing that I love about living here is the freedom from fear and paranoia.  In America it is very easy to get caught up in wanting to be in control of everything and every situation.  But living in Africa, you can’t be that way.  There is way too much that will never be in your control, and if you tried to be in control, well, lets just say you would be a miserable person.  To live in Africa you have to trust a lot.  Number one, you have to trust in God that he has it under control. After that, you have to trust the taxi drivers, the boda boda  (motorcycle) drivers, your neighbors, etc… If things don’t work out how you planned, well that is just how it is.

Embracing this mentality is relaxing and enjoyable.  Hakuna Matata!

My last favorite thing is my Heavy Duty XL Super scooter.  I love writing out the whole name because I think it is so funny because there is nothing Heavy Duty or XL Super about it.  It is just a small 2 cycle scooter but I have loved having it.  I can just scoot anywhere I need and it has been perfect for hauling my boys around.  I feel like Nacho Libre when I am on it because the feel of it reminds me of the scooter in the movie.  And then there is the classic line from the movie when he is about to take off on his scooter and he says “I am the gate keeper of my own destiny”… The Heavy Duty equals freedom and I will miss that scooter so much when we leave.

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Jul
2012


So I am sitting here again thinking how funny my life is…  I am sitting outside on our veranda because we have found this one gold mine of a spot that we can get 3G+ internet speed.  I am trying to think of what to write about but I am distracted by all the birds chirping and what would seem like a million roosters crowing.

While this is happening, a fitting song comes on my play list, the “Return of Innocence” by Enigma.  This song has a real tribal feel and seems to bring me back to the reality of the surroundings and the place that God has called us too…  You know, life can be really hard here sometimes.  But I can say this with confidence, if you are where God wants you to be, there is no where better to be.  And the scripture “With God all things are possible” really comes to life.  We have our ups and down, don’t get me wrong.  It seems since we arrived at the airport in Atlanta to return here, one thing after another has gone wrong…

In a lot of ways, Chris and I are starting to feel really stripped of everything.   But I know when this happens, God has a tendency to do something really miraculas! We apologize for not writing a blog in a while… There has not been a ton to report.  But sometimes it is good just share what is on your heart.

Lately there has just been some finishing of projects. Chris and I have also been trying to think and pray about the next step for the Leadership Class.  There will be more things to report soon because our next team of Global Support Volunteers has arrived and we look forward to the time we will all be together. But in the mean time, here are a few photos of just a nice Sunday afternoon basketball game and a few updates on the clinic progress.  Till next time…

stay adventurous,
katie


We want to introduce you to Adolf, tell you a little of his story, and share with you his need…

Adolf came to Home Again just before Christmas and has adjusted to life here very well.  He is from a village called Rugombe about 15 minutes down the road.  At the time Bringing Hope found him, he was wandering the streets and homeless. He had been in the care of his aunt who was abusive.  The story is that at some point, Adolf took some food that he was not supposed to have.  When his aunt found out, she took some banana leaves that she was using to cover food that she was steaming.  The leaves were very hot and very wet.  She put them on the back of his legs and he was burned very badly.  As the skin healed, it grew together and he can no longer stand or walk properly.  It is our desire to try to raise money to help him get the surgery he needs to restore the use of his legs.

Adolf is a very fun-loving kid!  You can really sense his joy being at Home Again now.  He has been greeted with love and acceptance, he is able to attend school, and he realizes the new hope of life that has been given to him.  I am so grateful for Bringing Hope to Family and the many sacrifices of the house moms and other staff members as they give their lives to help these children!  It is really humbling and I hope their love and grace serves as a reminder to all of us to extend that to those we encounter!

If you are interested in helping Adolf, click HERE to donate.  Believe me when I say, this is money well spent.

As always, stay adventurous,
katie