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Margaret Nakavubu—who I call “my African Daughter”—has said to me many times in the last 2 years, “My dream is to come to America.”  I told her that she would come someday, when the time was right.

The Mission Uganda team finally felt it was time to bring Maggi to Iowa with the main purpose to have a banquet to raise money for the two mission trips in 2020.

Maggi is 34-years-old, has never been out of Uganda and never flown on an airplane. What a sight it was to see her coming down the escalator in the Des Moines airport!  When she saw me, she broke into a run and gave me big hugs. Several team members from previous trips were also at the airport to greet her. This was on a Friday night at 11:00 pm. So, this tells you how much this woman means to us. What a joy it was for her to meet my Judy—who she calls “Mom”—and Bryce Engber’s wife, Kathy for the first time. Little did she know what was about to hit her!

In Uganda, the average temperature is 89 degrees. She came to Iowa to face record breaking low temperatures. Poor Maggi was so cold!  We rounded up some winter clothes for her, including gloves and warm leggings. I am not kidding! I did not see her for the first three days without her winter coat on and gloves, even while we sat and ate dinner!

Maggi stayed with the Engbers for the first three days in Grinnell. Kathy started the two week long trend of spoiling this girl rotten. Kathy introduced Maggi to an electric blanket, and Maggi slept with this blanket on high every night for the first week.

On Saturday, Maggi was excited to go to the field with Bryce. She rode in a tractor and a combine. All this just fascinated her, and she never stopped asking questions. During her stay she was able to ride in the tractor and combine several times.

On Saturday night, Bryce and Kathy hosted a dinner for some large donors of the Feed Mill/Hog Project to meet Maggi. This allowed Maggie to tell them about the project, and they could ask her questions. We also found out why Bryce can’t ride in Denny Vander Wert’s plane—Kathy is a great cook!

On Sunday, most of the day was spent at the Newton Church of the Way. Maggi was introduced at the beginning of both services, and she thanked the congregation for the generosity to the people of Uganda. Several members of this church have been part of the first three mission trips to Uganda. 

We had a potluck dinner at 12:30 at the church with previous members of mission trips. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, catching up with friends and a time to meet their families.  

We had an open meeting at The Way church at 2:00 pm for Maggi to speak. This woman seemed to win the hearts of so many people of the congregation. 

When we meet with people, we just try to tell the story of what God did with the partnership of the Golden Heart Foundation and Mission Uganda. 

For those of us who have been part of this story, we can’t even believe all that God has done.  We are also amazed at how this God story touches the hearts and souls of everyone who hears it.  We have an amazing God with a purpose of spreading His love around the world. 

One thing I hear over and over from people I meet is, “if just more people would go out and love other people, we could change the world.” Mission Uganda is living proof of what God can do when his kiddos decide to join him. 

More to tell in the next few days.