Hi, my name is Michael Blank, and I’m a member of the UCSS board. During the summer of 2014 I had the chance to visit Bulike, the first time I had ever been in Africa. My “goal” was to assess the impact we were having in Uganda. I wanted to see the assets and I wanted to talk with the people to see what (if any) difference we’re making in their lives. I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the videos of my trip the past few weeks.

There were two things that surprised me:

1. The “village” of 5,000 people was actually not a village at all. It was a region. After talking with a few of the chairman, we estimated that UCSS is impacting about 48,000 people – far more than we had thought. The area is vast: it sometimes took us 20 minutes to drive from one place (a well) to another (like a church).

2. The second thing that surprised me was the supernatural power of God’s love. As some of the adults tell it, some Ugandas showed up (that was UCSS) and said they loved them. Then they (UCSS) gave them fresh water. And then they told them that there was a God who loved them also. This was perplexing to the villagers – they couldn’t understand why people were being kind to them. And that there was a God who lived them was a foreign concept to them since witchcraft has been the dominant religion there.

But it was clear to me that these people’s outlook has completed changed. I would describe their outlook before UCSS arrived as one of utter hopelessness. People looked at me a bit odd when I asked them what their hopes and dreams were before UCSS arrived – because they had none. But now they have hope. They have a dream for their families and their children. They think they can lead better lives. And they’re starting to look beyond themselves as they respond to God’s love.

Watch the short video as I summarize my thoughts from this 10-day trip.

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