The Makintos arrive in Uganda!

After a two-day plane trip, the weary but excited Makintos finally arrived in Uganda! The next day they worshiped with Bombo Pentacostal Church. The church’s pastor, Alex Ojera, has been instrumental in the construction of AMI’s Joyful House of Refuge (JHR) and in the care of the Burundian refugees awaiting JHR’s opening. The refugees bid a tearful farewell as they expressed appreciation to the Ojera family, who has housed them for the past year. Praise God for the family we have in Christ!

The Makintos praising God at Bombo Pentecostal Church

The Makintos praising God at Bombo Pentecostal Church

Makintos express appreciation at Bombo Pentecostal Church

Makintos express appreciation at Bombo Pentecostal Church

Did compassion for refugees get her killed?


Was it Hafsa Mossi's compassion that got her killed? 

Ms. Mossi, a respected Burundian journalist, radio reporter, and a member of the East African Legislative Assembly was assassinated in Burundi days after visiting the Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda. Shocked by the misery she saw there, she broke down and wept. When Ms. Mossi returned to Burundi, she aired her experience and was accused of being a traitor because of her expressed love for those who had fled her country. She had reported her fears to other journalists in exile but was murdered before anyone could help. 

Hafsa Mossi's death has stunned many. The question remains, for this and other such violence that has driven 280,000 to flee Burundi since April 2015: Who will respond and when?

Introducing AMI's Uganda mission team

We are excited to announce our first mission team to Uganda! Pictured from left to right are Cindy Akiyama, Hannah Akiyama, David Friebe-Makinto, Joël Friebe Makinto, Paul Friebe-Makinto, George Friebe-Makinto, Mukarabe Makinto, David Hino.

The team will travel to Uganda this summer to inaugurate and dedicate the JOYFUL HOUSE OF REFUGE (JHR) for God's purposes and to welcome its first occupants! JHR will house refugees from Burundi and will be a sustainable community in which refugees will be able to continue their education, vocational training and livelihoods while being nurtured spiritually; a place where refugees will be able to continue experiencing life in its all fullness even as they grieve being away from their homeland. The core of JHR's initial occupants are Mukarabe's orphaned nieces and nephews who were formerly part of AMI's Rugaba's Children group home. They are being joined by others from the 280,000 who have fled Burundi since April 2015.

We are thankful for the many who have helped take JHR from a dream to reality! Pastor Dave Hino and Cindy & Hannah Akiyama will represent those who have supported establishing JHR, both financially and in prayer. Heartfelt appreciation will be expressed to the Pastor Alex and Millie Ojera and others in Uganda who have supported this project to its completion! 

Please pray for us as we prepare for all aspects of our mission. The team will be covering expenses through a combination of fund-raising and self-funding. See our AMI Uganda Mission tab for more information about the Makinto family's fund-raisers. 

Reflections at the Joyful House of Refuge construction site

By Mukarabe Makinto

It's Monday morning here in Uganda. I am standing in front of a tiny flat I am renting (can't wait for the total completion of the Joyful House of Refuge so I can move in) in this particular corner of Uganda. This is my first night here, and I am stunned by the simplicity of the beauty around us. The evenings are inhabited by limitless sunsets and clear starry skies. Then, during most nights, we go to bed on the sound of rain pouring down and pounding softly on the roof, making its way to the massive water tank outside my door.

I can't explain the phenomenon, but rain comes almost exclusively in the night time. Then we wake up with birds singing and a lush of a green scenery that extends beyond horizons. A tender breeze accompanies the last drops of rain, as if to welcome the joyful noise made by kids at the local school nearby.

But this can be treacherous because very quickly the scorching sun will befall us with paralyzing heat. Good thing is that the muddy roads dry out quickly and so we don't need to worry about the heavy traffic splashing water on us. You see, we have to walk at least two miles through these narrow streets, dodging the motorcycles (the "Boda boda"), the cows, the goats, the holes,...until we reach the main road to take our "taxi," the minivans serving as public transportation.

I miss home. I miss the men in my family; and I miss my friends. Working on the Joyful House of Refuge (JHR) construction site is rather interesting; so many languages, spoken and not spoken, which are part of life in any culture.  Navigating through these communication intricacies can be tiring and trying. One needs to be humble and very patient.  People are kind and will not openly tell you that you have offended them. You have to figure that out and learn how to gain their trust. Then you are friends forever.

I am homesick but the will and the work of God must continue unhindered.

Thank you all for your prayers and your support.

I am able now to esteem the hard labor done and what is still to be completed. It is overwhelming, challenging but exhilarating. 

I am realizing that what is verbally said or even quotations given for the "completion of the work,"and the timetable communicated are miles away from reality. Culture clash: old ways and resistance to explore new ways due to fear are what I am dealing with.

The group of refugees from Burundi is doing well and trying to integrate these new realities.

They are challenged and they are challenging as well. I am realizing that I am learning to know who they really are. It's exciting and frustrating at the same time.

"The Lord is my strength" and you are my encouragers.

God bless you all!

A twilight update from Uganda

By Mukarabe Makinto

I am missing my family.

I am feeling nostalgic. Maybe it is because of the sound of the rain beating on the metal-sheet-roofed room I am sharing with one of my beloved nieces.

We should be sleeping so we can be ready for church tomorrow morning; but I am missing you all. Tomorrow is very exciting because we will take the "taxi" (a minivan which normally seats maybe 18 people—"taxis" here are extremely expandable). Then we will connect to the "boda boda" (motorcycles), equally expandable, to get to church.

Internet connection is very rare and frustrating at times; nights without electricity are amazing due to the starry skies. One problem: mosquitoes.  I'd better get going before I am chowed to pieces, even though I am inside.

We are all doing great; and the construction of the Joyful House of Refuge (JHR) is amazingly  advancing. It is humbling and exhilarating at the same time. Being here is tremendously challenging, but in a positive way, because everyone is doing something. There seems to be no idle time and yet people are not rushed, except the "boda boda" guys.

I was blessed to have missed the scorching heat, or should I say, for the heat to have missed me. The rain started pouring down the second day after I arrived here. The air is clear, skies are bluer and starrier. Nights are fresher, the whole land is greener, and people are happier.

Thank you to ALL of you for your prayers. Please forgive me for not responding to your individual Facebook messages.

God bless you and have a wonderful day in the Lord wherever you are.

"For Such a Time as This"