Friday, January 8, 2021

Come To the Pearl of Africa


Kabale, Uganda is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Winston Churchill called Uganda the pearl of Africa, and Kabale the Switzerland. In January 2019 I arrived in this peaceful community and I was welcomed with open arms. My journey has taught me faith, hope and love. My journey taught me to judge a man by what he can do without, not what he has. My son was married in October and many clergy blessed his wedding from a different continent cool is that?

I am a project manager and I am inspired by Mr. Jeff, whom I have never met.  Jeff was a LMH’er in Uganda years ago, but his talents keep on giving.  He served with his wife and family.  He assisted with the development of a hospital that continues to serve people today.  It is one of the best hospitals in the area.

There are other hospitals in the area, including one only two miles from my house, that can also benefit from LMH’ers like Jeff.  We have the most supportive Bishop, Callist Rubaramira, in all the world.  This mission will change your life’s perspective. 

 What does the diocese provide? They can make sure you have a comfortable house within a short distance of the hospital. They can get you all set up with your basic needs. I promise after your 4 month training in Los Angeles with Lay Mission-Helpers, you will have all the wisdom you need. I promise to be a very effective project manager. The Diocese needs a LMH  (Imagine YOUR name here).  Please, come make a difference in the lives of these amazing Ugandans!  

2020 has been a difficult year with the crazy pandemic we've come to know as Covid-19.  It forced me home back in March.  Although I've loved seeing family, at a distance and masked, I dream of the day I can return to complete my mission in Uganda.

As I've learned and you will too when you join our team, you come thinking you will improve the lives of Ugandans. That you will do my friend,  but the added bonus,  you will leave Uganda blessed more abundantly than you can imagine.

Enjoy a couple more photos before you start the paperwork to start your mission! 

As I finished writing this,  I was extremely saddened to hear of the unexpected passing of an amazing  Ugandan Priest- Father Evarist Ankwashze. I would like to have him remembered for the great man he was.  R.I.P. Father Evarist.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Updates in 2020

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

I have entered the gate and traveled the narrow way, the rewards outnumber the challenges ten fold. My journey with LMH and Uganda is for 3 years; my lessons are for a lifetime.

A great deal has happened since the beginning of 2020. My journey continues into the second year. Tea farms in January/ February 2019:  21,000 Kilograms, 450 shillings per, 9,450,000 gross income. January/ February 2020: 71,000 Kilograms, 600 shillings per, 42,600,000 gross income. 
Thank you Jesus Our Father please keep the locust out of the fields.  Amen.

Chickens keep clucking and keep laying eggs.  
Thank you Jesus.  

My mission mate has arrived. I was very nervous about sharing space with a person from Colorado. They generally feel intimidated by the Big Red, can you imagine living in the red shadow. Much to my amazement Tony is an amazing person. His talent level is undisputed, his path is clear.  He is Mission. Ed and Cathy join us March 19, 2020. 
Fourteen months ago I was in a strange land all by myself, and soon we are four:  Project Leader, IT specialist, Physician Assistant and Registered Nurse.  Thank you Jesus.

All the people I have met, all the land I have traveled has added tremendous purpose to my being. I thought God called me to Uganda to help others, after 14 months I figured it all out. God sent me to Uganda to help me.  Thank you Jesus

Monday, January 13, 2020

Coming Home

I arrived back again on the sacred soil of Eastern Africa in Uganda, after spending sometime in the States. I was greeted by so many people as my car entered my village, cheers of joy, many waves, smiles. I am not an emotional person but tears came to my eyes.

My mind wondered for weeks what would I find, how would the projects be doing, chickens, tea, hotel, apples? I found the Chickens in perfect health, everyone accounted for, the Kabale environment and Martin were a perfect match. Father Leo Kosch taught a man to fish and fed him for a lifetime.
I found the tea farms continuing to flourish, the record tea production was not only maintained but was far exceeding goals. Herbert, John, and Lydia received 5 gold coins and returned 10, as scriptures writes the master was pleased. Humble Matthew was encouraged, enlightened, and moved. When Matthew left the record was 2,400 kilo grams per day, it is now 4,000 kilo grams per day. My four brothers know how competitive I am, Jesus knows how to humble his servants and this Nebraska boy is one proud, humble, inspired human. Thank You Jesus (as Damian Kabot always proclaims upon success).
Capricon Excecutive Hotel in Kabale Uganda is online with pictures for your viewing and booking pleasure. It is a Diocese owned hotel that is doing amazing things. Peter, Otto, thank you for your leadership. 
Matt & John Case
Apple John Case has taught me more about apples than any text book could ever begin. I look forward to the many lessons and just a small amount of apple wine. My father Paul taught me how to love again, and my son taught me a lesson in forgiveness.
Matt with his dad, Paul.

Go Chiefs from the Pearl of Africa Matthew

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Johnny Appleseed and I

John Case has taught me so much about apples.  We now have 2,000 trees planted that will produce in the next 24 months. I thought I was learning about apples, my lesson was faith. 

Mr. Case put four children through school with one acre of apples.  One of his children, who is a medical doctor, is now in a seminary in Louisiana to become a diocesan priest. Hmm. 

On the other side of doubt is faith.  Thanks for the apple lesson John.  I got the big picture. 

I think if we follow the beatitudes in Matthew's gospel, we might have the ten commandments covered.

Monday, May 20, 2019

God Isn't Done With Me Yet

A great deal has happened since my last blog.  The poultry operation has been a challenge but very rewarding; we dedicated our Lady of Fatima Chapel on May 13th, and I laid down my motorcycle in Queen Elizabeth National Park. 

The accident happened on Palm Sunday.  I had a palm on the back of my motorcycle and hours earlier, Father Adrian had blessed my travels.  I walked away with minor scratches, two broken ribs and gratitude to my parents for the strong bones.  Some will think I got lucky; my thoughts are my job is not complete.  God isn’t done with me yet!
Tea Farm
The new chapel was dedicated to our Lady of Fatima on the 102ND Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13th.  A large crowd attended and the service was inspiring. 

I have worked hard, along with my trusted labourers, in expanding my poultry operation to 1000 birds.  The chicks were to be delivered beginning of May, but that has been delayed.  Turns out, I will be travelling 145 kilometers to pick them up.  That should be interesting! 
Chicken Coop
Life in Uganda has been a life changing experience.  The countryside is beautiful.  The people are kind and welcoming.  God has been good to me.
Bishop Callist Rubaramira

I enjoyed a visit from Damian Kabot of Lay Mission Helpers Association (LMH).  I was grateful for his work ethic and friendship.  It was great having a fellow American to communicate with in person!  He has great vision and sees the big picture of life.  He is a wonderful addition to our LMH family. 
Damian and Sisters
Please consider joining us; the path is rocky, but the journey is both rewarding and easy……..rewarding – yes; easy – Not!  It is a challenge many days, but tackling the challenges is what exhilarates me!

Blessed are the poor in spirit:  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)   

Friday, February 22, 2019

A Few Projects

As Project Manager for the Diocese, I am working on several projects.  Financial goals are different for each project. Some projects must provide big-time financial gains for the diocese to thrive and serve the people. The number of God's people we serve keeps growing at a strong rate. At a minimum, we must have income producing projects that keep pace with that growth. Ideally we need to far exceed that target in order to offer more services.

In the USA our tithe from parishioners greatly increases when more people enter God's grace and join our diocese. Here in Uganda, an increase in parish size doesn't increase the funds we have available for service needs.  In many cases, it actually lowers the actual funding per person.  I know this doesn't always make sense in the American way of thinking, but let me share a short story of what I have discovered in my journey into the Kabale villages. 

Here in Uganda, many families are large.   I toured many villages and sometimes they have 7-10 children per household. They farm the land and raise livestock; lots of chickens and goats, the lucky ones have pigs and the really fortunate have cattle. As these families grow they increase the farming area and raise additional livestock.  It is quite enlightening how they welcome each child as a gift from God. The churches are packed full not only on Sundays but at many Masses and events during the week. The happiness in the hearts of these families are simply inspiring to me.  Those with the least appear to be the happiest. I have thought to myself, it is their faith that makes them happy.  What they lack in resources they make up for in joy, family unity, and faith.
Back to finances and my projects, these families tithe what they can, but the amount doesn't go up with each additional gift of God.  Some of these projects must produce more and more income to the diocese.

My projects that need to generate as much income as possible are the following:

Tea Farms

Short term goal -  we need to farm as effectively as possible. This includes proper fertilizer and weeding. This is well under way.
Medium term goal - we need a large commercial truck to pick up tea leaves and bring to Tea Factory. Currently we contract this part out. It costs us 20% of our gross revenue for this service. I believe we can net an additional 10% profit with this truck. I need to define some details including the continual costs of future truck purchases to make sure that projection is correct.

Long term goal  - find funding to have a diocese owned tea plant. Currently we bring these leaves to the factory that is owned by others. 
My vision points to a fully automated solar powered plant that would greatly reduce our carbon footprint. Currently they cut down trees for fuel to dry the tea leaves.   If we could partner with a forward thinking international company or university to design and fund this, what a remarkable gift to all humankind and God's planet.

Capricon Executive Hotel

Capricon Executive Hotel is another income generating project that has had some problems with revenues being too low and expenses being too high. This is my first hands on project, and the tide has clearly turned. This hotel will add additional funds to the Diocese in a few short months. We need your prayers and everything else we have to be effective.

1. We need six months to show real sustainable profits

2. We always need and give God's Prayers

3. Catholic book stores

Catholic Book Centres
We also manage two Catholic Book Centres.  God has given us great gifts. Not all of these gifts are financially related. The diocese is here to serve the faithful and quite frankly everyone.

These bookstores serve the people, they will never and shouldn't make a big profit.  They will make a different type of profit by preaching the Gospel. It is our obligation as a diocese to supply these Christian items: books, rosaries, bibles, crucifixes, etc., and we accept the challenge and pray to break even.

I finished the chicken coop that I wrote about in a previous blog.  I built it in honor of my father and father-in-law.
One other project we are starting on is planting an apple tree orchard.

Stay tuned...

Friday, February 1, 2019


This Blog update is inspired by my daddy, Paul, and my father-in-law, Allen.  What amazing examples of resilience they have shown me.

Both of my fathers grew up in an environment much like I live in now, in Uganda. Paul grew up on a farm with very few resources, no indoor plumbing, the food was either planted and raised, foraged or hunted. They wasted nothing, worked hard, and cooked with wood as their source of fuel.  
Allen grew up in a small town.  His father died very young and his sister was killed in a car accident, yet he never waivered or lost faith. I wish I could say the same when Cari, my wife of 30 years, died at age 52. 
I cannot change the past but I can surely follow their lead and redirect the future. Everybody reading this blog can count on it. Thanks for the example men.

I am going to build a chicken coop for 60 chickens in the next 3 weeks.  I sure wish I would have paid more attention to their guidance. Allen's son, Todd, built a house from scratch so I can surely handle a large chicken operation. 

During the past couple of weeks in Uganda, I have toured and studied tea operations.   The Diocese of Kabale has a couple large tea farms.  One task I have been assigned is to maximize profits from these tea farms.  God willing I will be successful. 
While touring the tea farms, Fr. Adrian took me on a drive toward the Congo and I was blessed to see many African animals including water buffalo, hippopotamus, monkeys and tipo, all in their natural habitat.  No zoo here! 

I was also blessed NOT TO SEE lions, elephants, and land gorillas!!! They are very close in proximity to where I live and I will tour them another day.

Everyone says "they were the greatest generation".   I can certainly appreciate now how much they accomplished in such a short time. 

Please stay tuned for future blogs.  The "Paul- Allen Center for Poultry" is under construction.  Cluck, cluck, cluck.