To assist himself and others in getting ready for ministry in Uganda,
Barry McWilliams has assembled the following

A Guide to
Getting Ready to go
on a Mission to Uganda

Both Bob Hayes and Jim Sutherland have excellent material on preparing for a Short Term Mission Trip to Uganda with a ACTI team, and this page is not intended to replace either of those. Rather this page endeavors to assist you through the process of getting ready in a "step by step fashion", based on my own experiences. In doing so, I have many links to Bob's Africa Christian Training Institute and its Short Term Ministry Guide (Index) and Jim's Reconciliation Ministries Network: Uganda pages (best viewed with IE) as well as some of my own Eldrbarry's Uganda pages as well.

The steps in the process:

  1. Making the decision to go and becoming part of a team.

  2. Obtaining your Travel Documentation and making Health preparations

    Passports, Visas, Vaccinations

    It takes time to get these done, so get started early obtaining Passports and vaccinations. You will also want to start getting yourself physically in shape with a regular exercise program.

    Health Concerns:

  3. Learning as much as you can about Uganda. Make an effort to learn as much as you can about Uganda, and take time to study the maps. Online newspapers will inform you as to current events and issues. This information will both be valuable for you, but will also be quite useful as you endeavor to build your support teams.

  4. Gathering your Financial Support and building your Prayer Support Team
    In assembling your Support Team - probably the most crucial part of preparation - you need to have clear perception of your Support Team's role in your ministry. Your ministry is also their ministry. So they need to have clear direction as to your needs, specific prayer requests, and also should have an opportunity to rejoice in the ministry and what it accomplished afterwards. I endeavor to give my support team plenty of information about the work as it progresses, and a detailed accounting afterwards. I also make available regular prayer letters in a variety of ways: written, e-mail, on line. We tend to focus on the financial needs, but it is their commitment to pray that is most crucial. Money will get you there, but their prayers sustain your ministry, overcome the obstacles and opposition while there, and brings in the harvest.

    (Read Eldrbarry's Sowers and Reapers sermon and Jim Sutherland's lengthy article on Missionary Support)

    All funds raised by ACTI and ACTI team members are solicited in a straight forward manner without the use of gimmicks and are used as designated by the donor. In faith we trust God to meet the needs of those ministering with ACTI, the appeal for donated funds must first be made to God in prayer, and appeals to potential donors must reflect the nature of the proposed ministry, the nature of the need, and a request for prayerful consideration about investing in this work. Ask those who give to your support to include a note stating the funds are for your trip to Uganda and that we do not deduct any overhead. 100% of what you receive will go for your trip and any excess funds received will go to help anyone on the team who has fallen short of their goal and when all team members are fully funded, excess funds are used to purchase Bibles and other Christian books, and medical supplies, or used to help orphans in Uganda.

  5. Recruiting Prayer Supporters!

  6. Equipping yourself for the trip:

    Your first time, you will probably spend a lot of time and some cash to get ready for this trip. Thrift stores are good places for clothing; and my List of Essentials will help you with much of the other stuff you will need.

  7. Preparing for your role on the Team:

  8. Gathering Benevolent Gifts

  9. Packing your bags and making the journey

    You will have two different packing needs on the trip and you will spend a lot of time unpacking and repacking and securing your luggage day by day. First you have to pack for the flight - meeting the restrictions imposed by the airlines - checked bags and minimal carryons. Then in Uganda, you will be traveling from place to place, living out of your luggage, carrying a daypack along as you minister often all day at a distance from your lodging; distributing benevolent gifts (hopefully about half of what you bring) along the way, collecting a few souvenirs and leaving behind things as well as you again pack for the flight home.

    Checklist of items to carry on your person or in your carryon bag or fanny pack: Valid passport; Roundtrip airline tickets (or your e-ticket printout); Laptop, if taking it, U.S. $30.00 for Uganda visa upon arrival & money, a small flashlight, Medications, including Lariam, a small personal essential toiletry kit. You should carry all the essential information in "home travel folder." Other carry-on items: Cash and traveler's checks, Camera/film, Travel insurance information, writing materials, reading items, small rain gear pouch, small first aid kit in ziplock bag, one change of clothes (you will be travelling about 2 1/2 days), essential teaching/preaching materials.

    Probably the trickiest items to pack are our books and teaching notes which we tend to carry on - but Study Bibles easily push things past the weight limits. In country, your luggage may be transported on top of the Matatu (taxi van), so water-proofing of the contents may be a concern. I've used Zip-Lock bags for organizing items in my luggage. And I am impressed by the Eagle Creek pack-it system. Try to travel as light as possible.

  10. Journalling

    It is highly recommended that you keep a journal while on your trip. Whether you are already in the practice of journalling, of reflecting on your experiences, or of simply listening in prayer to God's voice, and writing down what comes; or not - you will find keeping a journal a valuable part of your mission trip. Each day will be packed with new experiences - keeping an immediate written record will help you recall them later. When you return home, your journal will enable you to relive many of them. It is also the best place to put your frustrations and negative feelings, rather than in teammate's ears. Make sure your journal is portable and take it and a good pen with you during the day, those slack moments that are sure to occur, are good times to add to it. Though you will be very busy, make an effort to use every opportunity to keep it up to date. Here are some Journalling resources: CS Journalling Workshop . . Wakimbo

  11. Heading Home
  12. Arriving Home

  13. Appendixes (In preparation)
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