Letter 10 – Life goes on

Monday 20 May 2019


Dear Reader,


I couldn’t feel further from Namugongo right now.

I’m sat outside our family caravan wrapped up in jeans, a jumper, socks and boots. I’m in the middle of a very green, daisy filled field breathing in fresh, English countryside air.

Everything is quiet, everything is still. There are no horns blaring, there’s no crazy, loud, booming music. Everything is quiet, everything is still. And it’s weird.

I’ve been back home for just over a week now and I must say, this little retreat to the caravan is just what I needed. This week has been the hardest part of my experience. Things have changed. It’s ridiculous. Me in my self-centredness believed that being away for 4 months put everything and everyone in some sort of time capsule. I felt as though the world back home had frozen in time and that I’d return to find things just the same as when I’d left in January. But life goes on! Things change. People change. People have changed. People have moved house, people have got engaged, people are pregnant, people have started new jobs, people look different, people – especially my youth group – have grown. Life goes on. I know in a little while, I will get used to everything – it’s only been 4 months –  but for now, it’s weird.

And then, I miss Uganda. Things have changed here and I’m missing over there. Obviously, I am overjoyed to be reunited with my family and to see loved ones and friends again. And don’t get me wrong – there are many things I won’t miss from Uganda, be it the overnight church services, the wild, tropical storms, the crazy roads and of course, the dreadful cockroaches.

But here’s a list of just some of the many things I do miss:

1)    People                                                                                                                                              I cannot stand goodbyes, they’re horrid. How wonderful though to remember that one day, there will be no more of them! I miss my host family terribly. I miss reading with the kids, watching them climb trees and playing games with them. I miss hanging out with my host parents – watching movies, chatting, eating and laughing together. I can’t quite put into words how greatly God blessed me through those guys. Then, I miss the students at UMS, the staff, the home-school club and the children at Church!

2)    My house                                                                                                                                         I miss my house, my room and strangely, sleeping under a mosquito net. (I hate bugs and having a net always made me feel very safe!) I miss my fun kitenge curtains, my desk surrounded by encouraging cards written by Christchurch kids. I miss my eucalyptus stools, my kitchen…the list goes on.

3)    Unexpected visitors                                                                                                                    I had lots of unexpected visitors in my house, which always kept me on my toes. I had lizards and cats launching themselves through my windows, bleating goats on my veranda and birds and chickens appearing in my living room. Then, I had students arriving at my house for late night meals or others waking me up at 6am! I miss those little surprises.

4)    ‘Going with the flow’                                                                                                                In the UK, we keep strict timings, we follow lists and have planners. This isn’t really a thing in Uganda. One student even asked me if I could teach her to use a diary! This ‘go with the flow’ attitude was tricky at times but I found there were real benefits too. Everything felt less pressurised. Not only that but it contributes to the culture being so relational – you stop to chat to anyone, even if that means being late for wherever you’re heading.

5)    Giving Teddy computer lessons

6)    6am Bible studies

7)    Morning runs on rusty red, dusty roads

8)    Trips to kitenge tailor shops

9)    Unashamedly wearing bright, kitenge outfits

10) Drinking overly sugared African milk tea

11) Having 1-2-1s delayed or disrupted for unusual reasons                                        During one of my 1-2-1s, the student kept taking calls whilst we were studying because of her sick cow. This would never happen with my teenagers in England!

12) Helping with homeschooling and homeschool club

13)  Greeting/being greeted with ‘helloooo, how are youuuu?’

14) Food                                                                                                                                                  I miss matoke, g-nut sauce, chapattis, gonja, Rolexes, cassava, Krest soda and other Ugandan delicacies.

15) Chapel                                                                                                                                     Every morning, there was a college chapel service. I miss seeing the students singing and dancing and listening to the college choir.

16) Falling asleep to the sounds of chirruping crickets and croaking frogs

17) Having posho and beans with the students every Monday

18) Market shopping with my ‘host-mum’

19) The warm weather!

20) Playing the ‘what’s the maddest thing being carried on a boda’ game                  The maddest things I spotted were a live calf, a coffin and a sofa (they weren’t all on the same boda, although that wouldn’t even have surprised me!)


In ‘Letter 3’, I wrote how I was an emotional mess before leaving for Uganda. I was terrified about leaving people back home and about living in such a different culture. And yet here I am, 4 months later, missing all of these things, missing all of these people, an emotional mess again.

But how great that that’s the case! The fact I miss it so much just shows how much God blessed my time away. He blessed me in so many wonderful ways and through so many wonderful people. Through this and all the amazing prayers and support from so many back home, God has reminded me of how He is with us wherever we are, whatever we’re facing and whoever we’re with. Life goes on but God goes before us, behind us and with us every step of the way.


Reunited after flying home! Ice creams in Windsor to celebrate



Caravanning back in chilly England


Letter 9- Time to be a tourist

Wednesday 8 May


“And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day. And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 1:20-25 NIV

Dear Reader,

Recently, I’ve been reading through the story of creation in the book of Genesis. In the story, we are told over and over again that God sees His creation is good.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reminded of the goodness, or rather,the greatness of God’s creation.

A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to have my parents, brother and boyfriend come to visit me here in Uganda. I am so thankful that they could see where I’ve been staying and that they could meet my wonderful host family and others who I have got to know here since January.

I am also super thankful for how we, together with our tour guide and driver Carlos, could explore and marvel at this beautiful country together. After staying in Queen Elizabeth park, we travelled south to Bwindi and then to Jinja before heading back home to Namugongo. Over an action-packed week, God blessed us with the wonderful wildlife and breathtaking views of Uganda.

Rather than write about all of this though, I thought I’d show you… so here are some photos! Enjoy!

Lots of love from


The Ugandan national bird – Great Crested Cranes

Time to be a tourist on safari at QE Park


Ugandan Cob




Enjoying the Ugandan scenery







Chimp trekking


Gorilla trekking at Bwindi


Jinja Boat ride to the Source of the Nile

Letter 8 – Monkey Drama


Saturday 6 April 2019


Dear Reader,


A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going on a weekend away with my wonderful host family to the ‘Black Lantern hotel’ in Jinja. Home to the source of the River Nile, Jinja is a picturesque, thriving tourist city with loads of activities on offer. Yet, tired and ready for a break, we chose to take it easy and enjoyed dreamy views, dreamy food (slightly spoilt by a not so dreamy tummy) and dreamy days by a dreamy pool.


Saturday morning, however, was more nightmarish than dreamy.


When we’d arrived at Black Lantern, my host siblings – Josh, Danny and Chloe -had enthused about the ‘monkey walks’ they normally go on. You get up super early and go along the path just outside the house and get to see loads of monkeys hanging out in the trees before it gets too hot. So, early on Saturday morning, eager to see loads of monkeys, the three children and I (equipped with my camera) set off on our monkey walk and we didn’t have to travel far. Just down from the house, we found – as promised – loads of monkeys, lounging around on the ground and swinging about in the branches overhead. The kids and I excitedly wandered about, gawping at the big, scary male ones and fussing over the tiny tiny baby ones clinging onto their mothers. I was in my element, snapping away with my camera and the children were calling me from monkey to monkey to take photos.


One of the monkeys was posing beautifully for the camera. She was stood about a metre away from me, square on, staring directly into the lens. As I happily clicked away, it wasn’t long until I realised that she was not so happy about being my photography muse. She started making funny, pig-like noises. Grunting away, she started to edge closer to me. I slowly lowered my camera and backed away with Josh beside me. But this monkey Mumma kept coming. The other two children were with us now and all of us began to take larger strides away from her but she edged nearer still. Then behind her, more monkeys appeared and joined the fun, watching, grunting and starting towards us too.

‘Umm Laura…?’ Josh said worriedly.

More and more monkeys gathered. I grabbed Josh and Chloe’s hands and told the kids to stop looking at them and to walk faster. I had no idea what I was talking about really. I can’t say I’ve ever been in a situation like that before. I know that you’re not supposed to look a dog in the eye but how similar are dogs to monkeys? The next thing I knew, Josh was calling me.

‘Laura, Laura! They’re cornering Danny!’

I’d been concentrating so hard on walking backwards with Josh in one hand and Chloe in the other that I hadn’t realised Danny was no longer behind me. I hadn’t noticed he was in fact, a good few metres away. His eyes were wide and he bit his nails nervously as he stood, hemmed in by two provoked primates. I shouted to Danny to run around them. He bolted, as fast as his little legs would take him and re-joined us, whilst his two monkeys joined the rest of the pack.


At this point, I told all the kids to run, which they did. I ran behind them, every now and then looking back at the staring, snorting mischief-makers who still followed us. As we neared the house, we passed a plump, rosy-faced, ‘Mzungu’ lady surrounded by her own set of furry friends. ‘Goodness me! I’ve never seen so many monkeys so close up!’ She said in an American accent. Seconds later, I heard her again, louder than before, ‘OH MY GOODNESS!’ Still running, I darted a glance round to see a Juarassic Park-like scene – the poor, defenceless middle-aged tourist was encircled by the brutish beasts.

You know what the worst part of it was? I didn’t even stop to help. I kept on running with the kids and safely reached the house. It’s terrible really. But you’ll be pleased to know that a couple of hours later, once the drama had died down, I spotted the rosy-faced American lady aboard a bus with a group of others, alive and well.


Upon arriving back at the house, the children and I gave a huge sigh of relief. The monkey drama was over but the monkeys still wouldn’t leave us. They instead, launched themselves onto our roof and into the surrounding trees. Thankfully, later on they calmed down a bit and I was able to get some snaps from a distance this time…


That’s all for now but I’ll write again soon!


Love from Laura x x x





Monkeys waiting at our windows after the great escape!


Letter 7 – Rusty Red, Dusty Roads

Thursday 14 March 2019


Dear Reader,


On Saturday, my neighbour Ruth and I decided to go on an early morning run. I confidently led the way, telling Ruth I’d show her a route I’d run a few times.

“It’ll take us about 20 minutes, it’s nice and easy.” I’d promised.

So, we set off for our “nice and easy”, 20 minute run at 6:30am. (I’d figured that leaving before sunrise would mean less children on the school run shouting ‘Mzungu!’ Yet, I’d forgotten what a friend here had told me – that Bzungu glow in the dark!)


After running at a good pace past a familiar row of shops, Ruth and I were startled by the sound of feet padding behind us. Clambering past us now, ran a long-legged, grubby wild dog and as he went ahead, he stopped in his tracks, turned around and waited for us, staring all the while. We then grew more unsettled to find two more long-legged, grubby wild dogs, tailing us on either side of the road. We kept running, encircled by this small pack of animals, with no other people in sight. I prayed for God’s protection and we tried to lose them. We tried to stop running to see if they’d pass by but the dogs stopped too; we tried slowing down but they slowed down; we tried speeding up but they sped up! They followed us for about 10 minutes before finally leaving us.

We breathed a sigh of relief and yet I had another worry on my mind.

As I’d told Ruth before, the run would last 20 minutes. Prior to meeting our new friends, we’d run for 15 minutes and we’d now run for another 10, but college was nowhere to be seen. In fact, I had no idea where we were…and nor did Ruth, but we kept on running. Everything around us looked the same – we were lost! And without a phone, I couldn’t even blame Google maps.


But what a beautiful place to be lost! The sun was slowly rising over the distant hills and we kept to the rusty red, dusty road, surrounded by rows and rows of deep green banana trees. The bushes and shrubs were alive with birds who’d occasionally show their bright, vibrant faces as they flew over us between treetops, singing all sorts of different songs. Yes, we were doing exercise and yes, we were lost but it felt a little like paradise!


Yet and all, I still held out hope that we’d end up on the right track again and so I ran ahead of Ruth to see what lay before us. After 100 metres, I stopped, as this glimmer of hope flickered away. There was an unfamiliar row of shops a little way off and we’d been running for about 40 minutes…we were definitely on the wrong track. Scrunching my nose up and shielding my eyes from the hot sun, I turned back towards Ruth, feeling thirsty and fed up.  Suddenly, I was distracted by some shifting silhouettes, which caught my eye in a nearby tree. As I peered more closely, I was delighted to spot a group of monkeys, leaping amongst the leaves. In higher spirits after watching the morale-raising monkeys, Ruth and I switched between running and walking along the road. As we approached the new row of shops, Ruth asked the locals for directions. It turned out we were super far from college; one man suggested that we should get a taxi but Ruth and I were determined to get back on our own.


We passed through streets lined with tiny shacks, whose owners sat outside and watched us intently. Some scrubbed clothes, some hung out washing and swept houses, others sold fresh fruit to passers-by or cooked chapattis and Rolexes on the roadside. Later, I feared the wild dogs had returned as I heard feet scampering behind us. But as they overtook, I saw that the footsteps belonged to a couple of teenagers running along the uneven turf with no shoes on! They wore bright t-shirts and shorts and Ruth told me they were students in a P.E lesson. More and more barefoot students followed until Ruth and I were engulfed by an enormous crowd of them. One student took the chance to hop on the back of a taxi for a free ride as we ascended a steep hill. In an instant, as quick as they had appeared, the students had vanished. Off back to school they went; they knew exactly where they were going! Everyone was busy, getting on with their day, whilst we puzzled around, trying to get home.


We asked 5 or 6 different people for directions before Ruth could work out where we were. We walked and ran and walked and ran, past huge fields, past more shopping streets, past farmers carrying scary-looking tools and past gigantic ant mounds. We eventually left the rusty red, dusty road behind us as we reached the main, tarmacked road, which took us back to college.

We arrived back sweaty and exhausted after our 1.5 hour run but laughed about the fun we’d had on our adventure in the African morning sunshine.


I’ll write again soon.


Love from Laura xxx



Letter 6 – Busy Busy Busy

Saturday 9 March 2019


Dear Reader,


Since the Oakhill team left and since my ‘eventful week’, I’ve been busy busy busy.

I’ve been cooking, cleaning, shopping, running and swimming. I’ve attended rugby matches, I’ve done pottery, I’ve gone to church aerobics, visited schools, attended weddings, sorted through stacks of lego and been paying visits to a tailor to have a chitenge dress made!

On top of all of this, I’ve been leading Bible studies with female students as well as reading the Bible 1-2-1 with 3 individuals here at UMS. And on top of all this, I’ve taught my very first Sunday school class and last week, had some interesting discussions with the teenage group at church.

So everything has been busy busy busy but I am loving it.


All the busyness has come with its challenges but God in His goodness, is teaching me so much. I have learnt lots through my 1-2-1s as we’ve prayed, read the Bible and shared about our lives together. Listening to their stories of suffering and yet witnessing the strength of their faith has been truly moving and inspiring. I’ve been reminded of Romans 8:28, that God works for the good of those who love Him. Through the trials these individuals have faced, God has been working for their good as He has strengthened them in their faith and love for Him. I am super thankful for my time with these women and it’s been a great blessing to study Colossians with them, a book I was studying with my lovely 1-2-1s back home before arriving here! It’s quite amazing to come to a completely different place, with a completely different culture and yet study and learn from the same truths I’d been looking at with my UK 1-2-1s a couple of months ago.

The Bible studies with the female students have been wonderful – we’ve been challenged by the seriousness of our sin as we’ve studied the first few chapters of Romans together. I was quite nervous about leading my first study but just before I led it, I opened a letter a Christchurch child had sent me, which read ‘To Lara, Remeber, God is always with you! ❤ !’

It was a beautifully timed reminder of a great truth, which was true as I taught my first Sunday school class too. Bible studies here are pretty different to at home and Sunday school is very different but God is always with me and I am really enjoying leading and teaching!


I’ll hopefully write again soon!

Laura xxx


Making friends with a Praying Mantis!

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Ugandan rugby match




Red dust road

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Matoke dinner with students and Robinah


Letter 5 – An Eventful Week

Saturday 16 February 2019


Dear Reader,


Having had an erupting BCG scab, a puffy purple finger, a bite from a ‘Nairobi eye’ and having been ill for the last few days, I must say it’s been an eventful week!

But each day, I’m challenged by a poster my good friend gave to me, which reads,


‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again rejoice!’

 Philippians 4:4


It’s been a tricky time and continues to be tricky as I’m still not 100% better and feel exhausted after completing very simple day-to-day tasks! And yet there is so much to give thanks for. In this letter, I’m going to list a whole load of things that I am super thankful for this week so I can firstly, tell you what’s been happening and secondly, encourage myself!


So here is a big old list of things I am thankful for this week:


Sunday school fun

I’ll start with the end of last week as I’m conscious I haven’t written about Sunday school yet. Sunday school is mad but great fun as it keeps you on your toes. There are about 350 children who split into age groups after meeting all together. It’s amazing to sing, dance and learn about God with the children but by the end of church, I feel pretty tired! I haven’t even taught yet! With such a small team, I really don’t know how Chris, Ros and the other teachers do it – I am full of admiration for them all.  (I will be teaching my first class next Sunday so do pray for me as I prepare for that!)

Last Sunday was particularly eventful. We had an unexpected visitor hiding in one of the classrooms – a stray dog who the children ironically decided to name Angel.

There was chaos. Hundreds of children swarmed around us to get to children’s church but the over-excited pup bounded about the place, stirring great excitement in some but great terror in others! We had to stop little hands from petting what might have been a rabid animal whilst reassuring others who screamed and fled in fear! I spent a lot of the time trying to get her away but Angel kept licking the toes of all the children and sneaking into classrooms – she clearly just wanted to be loved! If there wasn’t the worry of rabies and disease, I probably would have adopted her into my little house but in the end, a watchman ended up chaining her to a tree and I’m not sure what happened after that…


My little house

I am so thankful for my little house! I moved in a few weeks ago and have loved cooking, cleaning and settling into life here.


Oakhill week

This week at Namugongo, it was the Oakhill conference, where a team from Oakhill theological college in London came to teach and learn from the students at UMS. It has been so great having them stay and I’ve loved the teaching from Mark’s gospel and getting to know the team members. The week has been busy with volleyball competitions (hence the puffy purple finger), a gripping football match and traditional African dances, songs and an Oakhill rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at a very entertaining culture night. I was also super thankful for a couple of team members who came and sat with me whilst I was feeling ill and provided me with some homely, tasty snacks!


Prayers & Support

It is so encouraging knowing that people are praying for me back home, especially since I’ve been feeling a bit unwell. As well as prayers, I am delighted that most days begin with opening up letters from friends and ChristChurch kids! It really is such an amazing way to start the day and my walls are now decorated with lots of beautiful cards, which remind me of home. Equally, I am thankful for the prayers from students here at UMS, the Oakhill team and my wonderful host-family.


My wonderful host-family

I am continually thankful for my wonderful host-family! They are just great and despite the busyness with the Oakhill conference, they made it their mission to look after me when I was feverish and ‘faint-y’! I’m super thankful for Teddy too, who cleaned my entire house whilst I rested in bed!


Church aerobics

To be honest, this was last week but I’m smiling just thinking back to it – my church here has a weekly aerobics group! I went for the first time and loved every minute of it. I’ll be suggesting it as an idea in my next staff meeting when I return home!


I will leave it at that for this letter. But over the last few weeks, there have been loads of other things happening, which I am so thankful to God for. A big praise point is that I’d been praying for friendships to build with students and they have been! I’ve enjoyed getting to know them more during Bible studies, dinners and lunch times. I’ve even been given a tribal name by one student  – ‘Nangobi’- which translates to ‘daughter of a prince’! Lectures have been really interesting and it’s nice having them outside. I do however, need to stop getting so distracted from the wandering goats and chickens. The students here are completely unfazed by them. A couple of weeks ago, a gigantic cow and a tiny sheep were gallivanting around together all over campus. I couldn’t help but stare whilst the students just cracked on with their work!


That’s it from me for now but hopefully I will write a bit sooner next time!


Lots of love from

xx Laura xx


Enjoying some ‘rolexes’ after moving into my new home

IMG_7874 (1)


‘Angel’ the dog




Volleyball – UMS vs. Oakhill


Cards & letters from home!


Giant African land snail




Letter 4 – Finding My Feet

Saturday 25 January 2019


Dear Reader,


I’m 11 days into my trip to Uganda and as I continue to find my feet in a very different culture, I am helpfully reminded of these verses:


“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23


Everything here is very different and a bit strange.

Back home, if you ‘pop to the shops’, it means taking a quick and easy trip to buy a couple of things nearby. Yesterday, I ‘popped to the shops’ to buy a sigiri (a charcoal stove), a broom and some mangoes.


But I returned sticky, sweaty and sleepy.

I wrote in my last letter that driving on the roads here is crazy but it turns out walking around is even crazier. The streets are buzzing with tooting cars, people staring and shouting “Mzungu” (Swahili for ‘white person’), clucking chickens and bleating goats. The musty dust gets in your shoes and eyes and the smells of fresh fish, meat and chapatis fill the air. The few pavements that do exist are often ignored by boda drivers and are uneven and holey – you’ve got to watch your step to avoid falling into any deep ditches. Roadside sellers stand by their trucks, piled high with huge, bright pineapples and watermelons. Other, bigger trucks drive by, stuffed full with enormous cows, strung up by their horns enroute to the slaughter houses. Taxi ‘touts’ hang out windows trying to capture customers. (Taxis here are little vans that hold about 20 people at a time!) It’s all very chaotic and so far from a gentle stroll down Harpenden high street!


Communicating with locals isn’t easy either. I’ve been trying to speak some Lugandan by repeating words that I’ve heard. I’d understood that the word ‘nnyabo’ meant hello. I was proudly using it out and about but it turns out it actually means ‘madam’, which explains why some of the men reacted a bit strangely.

The majority of the locals do speak English though, which is good. But you’ve got to speak very slowly, pronouncing words and structuring phrases as locals do. My ‘host-mum’ calls it ‘Lugandish’. I still need to get used to this, especially speaking slowly!

As well as language, I’m getting used to social interactions, which are completely different from home. It’s a people pleasing culture where everyone is very careful not to offend others. In England, when we get to know someone, we might ask them about family or where they’re from. Over here, some may take offence or become suspicious if you ask such direct questions. Instead, Ugandans talk more about what is happening day-to-day, so I’ve got to get used to this!


With all of these changes, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed.

But what comfort there is in those verses from Lamentations, which remind us of our Heavenly Father who never changes. His compassions never fail, His great love for us always stays the same, He is utterly faithful to us wherever we are and whatever we’re doing.

Our circumstances and our surroundings are forever changing but God gives us grace upon grace each day and He is with us every step of the way – what a huge comfort! It has been great to remind myself of this when I’ve felt a bit scared. When a little daughter of a butcher shouted “mzungu mzungu” whilst waving a bloody knife at me, I thought to myself “it’s ok! God is with me every step of the way!” I did the same when I first ‘popped to the shops’ and managed to burst a whole bag of milk all over the shop floor. Or when I felt ill the other day, or literally just now when a funny looking insect landed beside me. Lots of mad, funny different things keep happening but God’s faithfulness stays the same.


God has also shown me much grace through the loving kindness of my wonderful host family.

My ‘host-parents’ are helping me to find my feet in this strange new world. They’ve welcomed me into their home, they’ve taught me lots about Ugandan culture and are really looking after me! Their three kids, my ‘host-siblings’ are brilliant. I’ve loved playing with them and have learnt loads from them too! It’s been so interesting seeing what life is like for my host family. I’ve enjoyed trying Ugandan food, chasing chickens out the house before they lay eggs on the sofas and picking g-nuts with Teddy and the kids (Teddy is a lovely lady who helps with home-schooling). There are so many other cool things here, some that I’m probably forgetting. The storms are amazing, the birds are incredible and the other day we found four kittens in a tree in the garden!


Next week, I will start working. I’ll be attending lectures, chapel services, Bible studies, meetings and helping at Sunday school for the first time. Over the next few days, I’m due to move out of my host family’s house and into a nearby guest house. I feel like I’m going off to uni again – we’ve been busy sorting out furniture and things ready for the big move and I’m about to head to the shops to get some final bits and pieces. I haven’t got a set move date yet and there are a few complications, but my host ‘mum’ says it’s giving me a true taste of the Ugandan way of life! Whatever happens though, God is here every step of the way- do pray for patience and that we’d trust His timing!

Thanks for reading, I’ll write again soon.


Laura xxx


Ibis birds


1 out of 4 cats


Picking g-nuts





Letter 3 – The Journey

Friday 18 January 2019

Dear Reader,


I have arrived safely in Uganda! Woohooo!


Last week, before leaving, I was an emotional mess. I was terrified about going to a completely different place, terrified about travelling alone and sad to be leaving friends and family behind. I’m pleased to say I feel a completely different person this week.                  God definitely answered prayers for peace on the journey here and over the first few days, which I’m incredibly thankful for.


I said my teary goodbyes to my parents early Monday morning at Heathrow airport and boarded my first plane of the day to Brussels. After the 45-minute flight, I arrived and had the mission of finding the next gate for flight number 2. Once on board the second plane, I cheekily tried and failed to get upgraded to first-class and then settled myself down ready for an 8-hour flight to Kigali, Rwanda. Right before leaving, I managed to burst a yoghurt all over me and I spent a lot of the flight watching and rewinding the film ‘Inception’ in an effort to understand it (I still don’t get it). But other than that, the flight was pleasant. I read, prayed, ate and slept and before I knew it, I had landed in Rwanda. Upon arriving, a load of people hopped off the plane, a load of others hopped on the plane and a team of airport staff with hoovers appeared and vigorously cleaned around the remaining passengers as we waited for our third take-off of the day.


After an hour, we were off again and after 30 final minutes of flying, landed in Entebbe, Uganda! I followed the crowds into a tiny, very warm airport where my yellow fever certificate was checked and after a while, my visa sorted (things don’t seem quite so efficient here.) I was really nervous – I was outnumbered and unnerved by the staring locals. My picture on my visa isn’t the best but my worried expression definitely sums up my initial feelings as I got to Uganda. Once I’d collected my bags, which thankfully all arrived safely, I wheeled my trolley out the airport and was greeted by Chris, the dad of the missionary family I am working with over here.


Finally, the home-stretch – the drive from the airport to Namugongo was mad. I get nervous enough driving on the lower-Luton road in the dark but the roads here are something else. People here just kind of drive wherever they like. We drove along a dual-carriageway type road most of the way from Entebbe. A lot of it was unmarked, there were dogs running and people walking on roadsides, ‘bodas’ (motorbikes) swerving about with no lights at all, kids sat on top of trucks and huge lorries hurtling towards us with their high-beam on! We kept having to slow right down and pull right over to avoid being hit!

When we got to the house, Chris showed me to my room, where I’ve been staying and where I will be for the next few days – it’s super! There are lots of cool pictures everywhere and a big double bed with a mosquito net I’ve been getting used to. I fell asleep to the chirping crickets and after a few hours, awoke to a very noisy cockerel (who I’ve also been getting used to) and some wonderful singing birds, ready for my first full day in Uganda.


Thanks for reading, I’ll write again soon.


Love from Laura

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Letter 2 – The Final Countdown


Monday 31 December 2018



Dear Reader,

I am always a bit apprehensive going into a new year, thinking ahead to what it will hold. As I look forward to 2019, with just 2 weeks until I jet off to Uganda, it’s safe to say I’m pretty nervous.

But I’m helpfully reminded that God is Sovereign over all. He goes before us, and works for His good purposes.

This was a big takeaway point from my commissioning service last month. It was a lovely day, where I was able to share with family, friends and my church, a bit about the work I’ll be doing whilst I’m away. I’m hugely thankful to all those who came along and so thankful for all the money God has provided through the generosity of so many people. I am so overwhelmed by the kindness and support I have received, which has meant I have reached the full sum of money I need for my trip!

As well as funds, my visa has been sorted, flights booked, malaria tablets finally bought and my body is full to the brim with all the vaccinations. A bag almost twice the size of me has been packed too -things are slowly but surely coming together. I’ve had a final meeting with my Crosslinks co-ordinator and it has been great chatting to my host family on Skype, finding out more about what life will be like in Kampala. Saying goodbye to friends for the final time before I leave has made everything feel a bit more real and I know that the next couple of weeks will fly by! Please continue to pray with me – for final preparations, safety, that I would trust God’s sovereignty and that God would use me well as I serve in Uganda.

Love from Laura x x x

Food after my commissioning service. This is an incredible cake a uni friend thoughtfully made for me. On the inside are the colours of the Ugandan flag!

Letter 1 – Fundraising

Thursday 1 November 2018

Dear Reader,


When it came to planning this mission trip, I remember having a big chat with a good friend of mine who is probably the most organised person I know.

She said, “Laura, what’s the plan? How are you going to raise the funds?”                                   I stared at her blankly – she said she would have a think about it and ping me some ideas.  Sure enough, that evening she sent me a humungous list of things I could do to raise the money. Super fun things like running children’s parties, karaoke nights, discos, baking parties, photo shoots…the list goes on.


In 2 and a half months, I am leaving for Uganda.

I am embarrassed to say I haven’t done a single one of those things.


Time simply hasn’t allowed for it! However, God in His goodness has provided me with different opportunities to raise money. One friend suggested that I could raise money by running the amount of miles it was between here and Uganda (all 6000 of them!) but instead, I’ve done a lot of ‘sitting’. I’ve dog-sat, I’ve house-sat, I’ve baby-sat. No, that’s not quite as adventurous as running huge distances or hosting big parties but I’ve had fun and it’s worked perfectly with my busy work schedule!


Also, as I write this, I am surrounded by stacks of cards, envelopes and cellophane wallets. I like photography and after finding a load of old photos I had taken, I decided to get them printed as greeting and Christmas cards. I have been selling them but still have lots left to sell, which will hopefully help with raising funds! P.S. If you fancy buying any cards, check out the ‘How can you help?’ tab on my page for more details!


As well as all this though, I am so thankful for God’s provision through the generous donations from friends, family and my Church. I have been so touched by how people have supported and continue to show their support for my trip. I’ve still got funds to raise (yesterday I was shocked to hear how much I will have to spend to stop myself getting malaria) but I have got to keep doing what I can and trust that God has got a hold of the situation.


Thanks for reading, I’ll write again soon.


Love from Laura x


IMG_6571Archie the dog keeping me company whilst I wrap cards ready to sell. That dog on those cards looks familiar…