Finding Peace In A Changing World

In September 2017 we celebrated a year since we first opened Kingdom View. Many visitors speak about the peaceful environment. It is quiet, has a beautiful view and provides a safe haven for those needing healing, rest or a listening ear.

A short walk from Uganda Christian University, Kingdom View is visited by students and staff daily during the week and on the weekends for Movie Night or Relationship Forum. Every Saturday something is going on at 8 p.m. Some come to study, attend Bible Studies, get career counseling, attend cooking classes, watch movies and share their hurts.

Recently a UCU staff member requested the use of  "The Porch" to host a 2 day leadership training program for her husband's church leadership team. The facility is close to many things yet has the feel of being away from things since it is on a hill overlooking the city and Lake Victoria in the distance,


In addition to the weekly activities former students, friends and alumni come for overnight visits to reconnect as the schedule permits.  Connections are important and it is a place where hearts connect with each other as well as with the Lord.


We call it Kingdom View because we hope as people visit they will leave with a Kingdom perspective and a peace only the Lord provides.






Mark's Take On Construction In Uganda

Many of our friends have wondered what it is like to build in Uganda. In every aspect except one it is different than what you would experience in the U.S. But that one similarity is the most significant: the importance of working with the right people.

Specifically, people who wish to honor the Lord with their work; people who listen; people with integrity; and people committed to working through the inevitable surprises and challenges of construction. We were blessed to have such a team. One of our Uganda board members, John Ggayi, assembled a team of a structural contractor, plumber, carpenter, welder, roofer and electrician.  Each had done construction work for him over a period of many years.

There were bumps along the way but the Lord prevailed. The structural contractor is a strong believer who often would read his Bible while overseeing the work. When we reached what seemed to be an impasse, we dropped everything and prayed right at the work site. Consensus reached. Problem solved.

Now for the differences. Virtually everything is done by hand. The foundation was dug out by hand. There were no power tools except for a small diesel-powered cement mixer, small welding machine and hand drill. The construction crew worked virtually from sunup to sundown with only breaks for morning tea and lunch. Workers washed clothes from our tap when they arrived in the morning and then hung them out to dry. They bathed from the same tap in the evening before they left.

Ladders are made on site from eucalyptus poles. Scaffolding is made on site from eucalyptus poles. Hundreds of eucalyptus poles are used on the ground floor to support construction of the upper floor. Upon completion, they are removed.

Nobody uses wood as part of the permanent structure. The upper floor is concrete. We were told we must have metal or concrete steps but we insisted on wood steps to the upper floor with metal support. (Some Ugandans have asked if it is safe to walk on our wooden steps).

We wanted to make sure we had accurate bids before we started work so we knew we had the funds to complete the work. This is highly unusual in Uganda. People have some money and they start work until they run out of funds. Then they resume (sometimes months or even years later) when they get more money. The cycle repeats.


Despite our best efforts, we were about $20,000 over budget. (We are grateful to have completed Phase 1 but it has put the ministry under a current financial strain.) Who would guess that if you buy windows it does not include the glass? We paid for a tongue and groove ceiling but were informed the bid did not include a frame for attaching the tongue and groove.  And oops! We built a house on a hill with a metal roof and nobody thought to tell us we need a lightning rod!

Finally as we moved in we realized we could not put off construction of a drive and pathways as we thought. The gravelly soil made for a treacherously slippery uphill walk to the front door.


The Lord brought us through. Even now I am amazed and exclaim, “Look at what the Lord has done!”

Living Life Together Discipleship and Mentoring

Today I took a couple of students with me to review the progress at the construction site. We discussed staying on budget, adapting to change and staying on plan with excellence. Living life together and having conversations about all the decisions we make is fun. A problem came up with the roof and the architect and roofer had to be flexible so it would be round. The architect designed it and the roofer needed more direction and guidance but the result was good and we are moving ahead. Any kind of construction, anywhere in the world requires patience, clear communication, excellent drawings and a willingness to be flexible. After all this is God's project not ours but we want to honor Him in all aspects. I loved having Andrew and Tricia come along today and value their input. Both of them are students at Uganda Christian University majoring in Social Work and Social Administration. Learning about good stewardship and different ways of doing construction is particularly interesting to Andrew who helps manage some apartments his grandmother owns. The water tower is now secure and we don't have to be concerned about water pressure.  Next week the contractor hopes to have the roof complete then comes the tile work, painting, fixtures and finally the staircase and cabinets.


Tricia and Andrew Visiting the Site
Water tower...lots of good water pressure.

The Fence, The Main Gate and Deborah the German Shepherd

The fence is chain link and  covered with bougainvilleas instead of having a more costly concrete compound wall.  It is softer and easier to maintain. On the side of the property with the building we have planted bamboo in addition to the bougainvilleas to provide a dense barrier and support an existing fence.  The main gate is by the gate house and the other gate is a service gate for access to the septic tank and the later retail training area.





The Walls Come Up and the Gate House Begins

The walls are coming up to prepare for the upper floor and the gate house at the main gate is taking shape.The poles are used to shape the building and it is called "shuttering."  Later you will see how they are used and then removed. Due to the high theft rate it is imperative to have a secure compound and a gate that is guarded as well.  After two thefts even with a guard we purchase a dog as well. Now we hope to be well protected.













Dining Room With A View

The windows frame the view of Mukono below us. Two of the workers pose for a picture.




Beginning the Interior Walls and Windows

After bricking the base of the house the structure begins to take shape with the interior walls and openings for windows and doors.