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Back in Kampala!

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Update from Uganda: we are doing well! Two of our team members, Laura and Whitney left on Wednesday night and after a couple of delays, I am happy to report they are back in the US safe and sound. The past few days have been incredible. It is so amazing to see the body of Christ at work.

On Tuesday we spent the day at the beads project in the Acholi Quarter. The welcome we received was so special. These ladies are working hard day in and day out to make beads to pay for daily living essentials and school fees. As we toured from one slum home to the next we heard many of the struggles they are facing, yet they have hope; they are taking each day as it comes trusting the Lord is in control and is looking after them. We were able to do a large distribution at the beads project that included totes, clothes, sanitation products, bibles and gospel bracelets. Singing songs, dancing and praying in each of the homes was certainly the highlight for our team.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent at Hidden Treasure, a school built and sponsored by our dear friends, Charlene’s project. A few of our team members were able to visit Hidden Treasure last year and it was an absolute joy being reunited with them. Many of the children remembered us and we likewise remembered them. Seeing the smiling faces of Tracy, Trevor, Shirat, Deborah, Raymond, Mercy…the list goes on and on was wonderful. Mercy was a young lady we wanted to see and pray with. After facing a traumatic experience a few weeks ago, watching her vibrant spirit singing and dancing was a true testimony of her strength and courage. Alongside of the singing and dancing, we were able to share stories with the children about all the creatures of our God and King, looking at animals and learning their sounds.  Another lesson was spent talking about Jesus as the Good Shepherd in John 10 and coloring a depiction of that. The last exercise we did with the children before taking part in sports was writing a note or drawing a picture for a neighbor, friend or family member telling them something nice. Needless to say, our pockets left full of thoughtful notes from our new friends! It truly was a blessed time. We are encouraged by the work of Pastor Eugene and his team.

This morning we head into our weekend segment at the Lugogo Hockey Field. We will be conducting a secondary school clinic this afternoon followed by primary school clinics on Saturday and Sunday. It’s crazy to think our trip is coming to a close. The Lord has been abundantly working from one day to the next and we stand in awe of all He is showing us.

Thank you for your prayers.
God Bless,

 

Jodi

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Acres of Hope

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Family and Friends,

We spent the last week in Nebbi, Uganda building a school at Acres of Hope and introducing the sport of field hockey to the children. Acres of Hope is an orphanage and school that houses close to 40 children. Pastor Geoffrey Odongo founded Acres of Hope in 2011 and has been building up the project ever since. I (Jodi) met Pastor Geoffrey back in 2008 on my first journey to Uganda and we have been kindred spirits since. He is a man of God and has incredible faith and trust in the Lord. After hearing Geoffrey talk about Acres of Hope for many years it was an absolute joy to see all that the Lord has done to make Acres of Hope the place that it is today and the future of Acres of Hope is so bright! The children are full of joy and have such an appreciation for the place they call home. Pastor Geoffrey is cultivating a generation of young people that will do big things in the Uganda and the world. We are so thankful we got to spend time with all of the workers and children of Acres of Hope. It had a huge impact on our team.

Tomorrow we embark on a safari through Murchison Falls before going back to Kampala. Heading into next week we will spend time at the Nugulu slum at the beads project and then on to visit our friends at Hidden Treasure School.

Thank you for your continued prayers. May we continue to trust Him as he leads us and directs us in the coming week.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

God bless!

Jodi

 

 

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Bringing Liberty to Uganda

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A recent article in the Sports Spectrum Magazine published a story covering the common interest and experiences shared by Pathfinder founder Jodi Murphy and Natalie Barr, the Liberty Flames’ standout center forward — field hockey development in Uganda.

To read the whole article, follow this link:  Bringing Liberty to Uganda

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Updates on Masindi – Abby Batdorf

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We left bright and early Monday morning to begin our 5 hour journey to Masindi. The bus ride was such an eye opening experience as it was really our first look at a rural area. The trip started off very memorable at our first bathroom stop (which occurred in the middle of the jungle) as I met the most precious little baby in the world. She was only 2 weeks old! We had the opportunity to pray with her mother and give her some food along with a new blanket for the baby. We carried back the goodies to her hut to realize that her home consisted of just one small mattress.

We finally arrived in Kahara which is the second school started by Charlene’s Project. In order to actually get to the school, we had to travel down a very skinny path with our large buses. I thought I had paid for an African safari ride. The scenery was breath-taking. Whenever I thought about Africa before the trip, this journey and scenery was what I really thought Africa actually looked like. As we pulled up in our bus, we received the warmest welcome ever. They made a sign for us and were waving around flowers while doing their African yelling noises. They also greeted us with joyful singing chants. I have never seen so much joy on anyone’s face, we felt like we were celebrities! There were so many other people from the community that had come to see the ‘mzungos’ but you can tell the students of the Kahara school apart as they wore their yellow and green uniforms.

First off we had a tour of the classrooms and I was most impressed at the content material in which they were learning. Despite it being a rural school, they are expected to know a lot of information about all subjects. They were so eager to show off their raggedy notebooks and share what they were learning. It was time for us to leave for the day but we were able to give the children hope that we would be coming back tomorrow to teach them.

Day two at Kahara school started off with an African congo dance line. Something that really amazed me was how much joy those kids have despite the material things they don’t have. Most of those children never have or will see a flushing toilet. It is simply a hole in the cement floor. After we were able to calm down from singing joyfully for no reason at all other than being grateful for what we have, we started the kids club. Our Irish friends led a drama about the Bible story of the little boy who gave his lunch of 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish to Jesus to use it and multiply it. With the use of a translator we were able to express to the children how important it is to give Jesus all that we have despite how useless we may feel. Next, we split up into groups and we all were in charge of a class to do an activity that related to the story. When I walked in the room they all stood up and recited something about welcoming you into the room. I cannot get over how well-behaved the students were despite having no teacher. We got to sing some songs, and although it was difficult, we found some common understanding with the game of “Simon Says”. The students were released for lunch which consisted of rice and beans. I was helping to hand out the sodas and was actually tackled. I have never had so many little hands in my face. It was really touching when a little boy saved his drink and I asked him if he was saving it for later and I soon found out his was bringing it home for his younger siblings. It was sad to leave them but I knew we would return again for one more day of memories.

On our last day at Kahara, we started off by visiting people that live in the nearby community. My group visited a couple who had five children living in probably an 8 x 8 feet mud hut. Her name was Rachelle and as soon as we arrived she rushed to put down probably her best blankets for us to sit on outside their home. It was such a blessing to see their welcoming spirit. The man of the house was very refreshing to hear as he spoke a sermon in Swahili on how we must not ignore that the devil is real and we must do everything to turn from him. One of the very touching moments was when someone reminded them that we are all the same. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter where we are in the world and that we will all be reunited someday in Heaven. We presented them with such small gifts of sweets, teddies and blankets but they felt like they needed to show their appreciation as well. They quickly rushed to knock some avocados down from their tree and fill a big bag for us with passion fruit as well. It was hard to take their food away from them, but I know that they were so grateful for what we had done for them. We got back to the school and had to say our goodbyes to all the beautiful children. It was very difficult but each and every one of those children have marked a special place in my heart. I am so excited to see how God will work through our team for the remainder of the trip!

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Day 2 Lugogo Post – Helen Doolittle

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Updates on Uganda!

To sum up the day in one word … amazing! Like yesterday, we ran a clinic, fed the children and handed out some supplies. But today the kids multiplied so we had about 500. From yesterday’s clinic, it was cool to see all the suggestions of the team implemented and working. Everything just ran so smooth! Every once in awhile I had a chance to stop and glance around the field and look at it all in action. It was a beautiful sight seeing the hundreds of Ugandan kids laughing and running around while they were just being loved on. And that love was completely not of us or by our strength, but of Christ and my hope is that shone through today. My highlight of the day was getting to talk to this one girl named Aweko. For some reason she attached herself to me. She was just the sweetest girl ever. Her smile was contagious. I got to talk to her for a bit and she was just so pure in heart. At the end I gave her a simple bracelet, and she was so grateful, all though she was hesitant to take it because she said “but I have nothing to give to you.” She had already given me way more than anything I could give back to her.

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Day 1 Lugogo post by Jordan Richardson

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Greetings from Uganda!

We are so thrilled to be in this wonderful country after a long journey. The Lord has been so good to provide us all with safe travels and get all of our luggage here.

The last couple days have been a whirlwind. Friday we got the opportunity to meet up with the other half of our team that arrived from Ireland early that morning. They are so sweet and on fire for the Lord! We spent most of that day preparing for the first day of the field hockey clinics (Saturday.) We went to the Ugandan version of a mall in Garden City, and purchased over 600 packs of cookies, 47 loaves of bread, and plenty of jelly to feed the children on Saturday. It was nice to see what the more westernized side of Uganda looks like as we explored Kampala a little. There are people EVERYWHERE, all trying to sell things. There are no driving rules, so the streets (which are more like dirt roads,) are crazy. Because of the insane traffic, the roads are overflowing with bota botas, which are a cross between a bicycle and a motorcycle. They weave in and out of traffic and go pretty much wherever they want.

Today we woke up and headed straight to the national Ugandan hockey field. Seeing their facilities is a great reminder of how blessed we are to have the amazing facilities at Liberty. As our busses pulled up, children were already waiting for us in the stands. They are all so darling and well behaved. They are starved for attention and full of love for everyone. We taught them some hockey, played games, painted their nails and faces, and fed them some lunch. At the end we got to sing some worship songs with the children in a large group and Coach and Dr. Dickie got to share about our love for the Lord and the reason why we are here. We are very excited to go back and see the children again tomorrow. Today we had about 400 kids come, and we are expecting even more tomorrow.

After the clinic and lunch, we headed back to the field and got to do some demonstrations. It was nice to be able to have fellowship with girls our own age who have been born and raised in this culture. It gives you such a different perspective. They had just as many questions for us as we had for them. We will be excited to play hockey with them again next weekend.

Thanks for your continued prayers and thinking of us while we are away. We are so excited to see the ways that God is going to work through us as a team here in Uganda!

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Petition for Prayer!

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We are less than a week away from our Liberty Field Hockey Mission Trip to Uganda. The Lord cast this vision in my heart way back in 2010 when I first applied for the job at Liberty and now three years later He has not only brought this trip to fruition but He is has given a harvest of workers! Between our LUFH team the Northern Irish team we have 40 folks combined to advance the Gospel in the capital city of Kampala and the surrounding rural districts through the sport of field hockey and time spent in the schools doing Kids Club and English classes.

So many of you have taken part in this journey… either buying a t-shirt, helping orchestrate clinics and tournaments or simply checking in on the progress of how the trip was going. Many thanks to both Sports Outreach Institute and Liberty’s Center of Global Engagement for helping us get the trip off of the ground—managing both the big and minute details!

You can track the trip through this blog or if you “like” Charlenes Project on facebook we will be updating there too.

Thank you for considering a prayer partnership in this mission.

May the Lord grant many open doors for the gospel, sovereign protection from the enemies of Christ, and opportunities for refreshment and team bonding along way!

Love to all,

Jodi

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2013 Uganda Trip Announced!

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Jodi Murphy announced recently that there will be a trip to Uganda during the summer of 2013. The Liberty University Field Hockey team will be taking over equipment, conducting field hockey clinics as well as working in orphanages and schools during  the June/July summer break.

Pathfinder Hockey is welcoming any donations of field hockey equipment and gear that individuals or schools/programs have no further use for here in the States, but still serve a purpose in the hands of a young field hockey player half way around the world. Any interested donors can email Pathfinder Hockey at: pathfinderhockey@gmail.com

This will be the first time that Pathfinder will travel since a very successful trip to Uganda in 2010. Continue to watch this space for more news concerning the trip!

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Pathfinder Hockey Highlighted in NCAA magazine

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A recent article in the NCAA Field Hockey magazine covered Pathfinder Hockey and it’s involvement in the United States and abroad!

 

Check out the article at:

http://www.libertyflames.com/index.cfm?PID=10869&NewsID=8232

 

 

 

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Pathfinder Field Hockey Camp!

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Pathfinder Field Hockey Camp

Liberty Field Hockey head coach Jodi Murphy presents the the 2012 Pathfinder Field Hockey Camp. The camp will run from June 29 through July 1 and will include on and off-the-field development for middle school and high school-aged girls.

Campers will experience tactical and technical instruction in addition to game competition and much more.

More details may be found at http://www.libertyflames.com/index.cfm?PID=24456

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