Saturday, September 17, 2011


Hey everyone,

Well, yesterday was the mid-project presentation to MAF. Basically, we showed them what we were thinking as far as master planning and initial building designs go. Leading up to the presentation, we were extremely busy preparing for it. It was a crazy few days. The presentation went really well though and we are now ready to finish designing and early next week we will start to work on final presentation work (sounds like Architecture School all over again, lol). It's been a challenging project but it's looking like God is somehow pulling it all together to create a good design for MAF's future on their airfield.

I have been loving almost every minute of this trip. God has really been working on my heart through it all and it's been really good. The team is great and we have all grown close over such a short period of time. It's awesome. This trip has really been re-fueling my passion for architecture (which I had been losing) as well as working in missions - whether that's for a season, part time, or full time is yet to be determined, but the fire has been lit. :)

If you're curious about what we're doing every day, let me give you a quick peak into yesterday's activities...

We had devotions at the eMi East Africa office in Kampala. It was great to meet the entire staff there and be involved in their worship/prayer time. Later on we had lunch with the entire MAF team at their Kajjansi airfield. That was neat. After that we had the presentation which was really good to be a part of - I'm really learning a lot from all these design meetings. We then went back to the guest house, ate dinner, had our own team devotions, and crashed - I fell asleep as I was falling onto my bed. Well, that last bit was a bit of a stretch. Haha!

I'm starting to ramble and blurrrrr my sentences so I'll get off now. I'd like to get some sleep tonight. :)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

..Work Begins!

Hello from Uganda!

The last 2 days have been intense (understatement of the year). We have had meetings with MAF about all that they want to do with their site - future development and such. We have since walked around the site surveying it and talking to MAF staff while at the same time discovering it's beauty. I would upload a photo, but the internet connection and data plan is so slow that it would take an hour. There are so many constraints on this site, but at the same time, so many opportunities! It's a massive master planning project with some building designs included.

I'm loving it, but I'm also realizing that I'm in a bit over my head. I'm only one of two architects on this trip - the other being the head architect. That means that a lot of design and work falls into my lap. :0 It's amazing, but also intimidating. It also means that I probably won't be updating this blog very much over the next few days. Please be praying for me, the other architect and the rest of the team as we try to come up with a long term solution for MAF that could really solve some of the massive problems that they have right now and really bless them in the future.

This trip has been a great experience for me so far. I had kind of forgotten how good these trips are. One thing that has been good is that I'm the same age and at the same stage in my life as the interns that are on this trip from the Uganda eMi office. They are great. I do have a bit more responsibility (in how I act and the work I do) since I am an assistant architect as opposed to being an architectural intern. Also, my skills as an architect have already been pushed and I'm really learning a lot. It's so good, but I'm also finding myself fighting the urge to work all night on it.

God is also stretching me in multiple areas that the nature of this trip naturally demands - from leaving the comforts of my home in AZ to being vulnerable with my team about things that I'm struggling with. On that note, I'm leading the devotions tomorrow so I should probably start preparing for that. :0

I threw this together really quick so please forgive the grammatical errors and such. I just wanted to update y'all on what we're up to and what God is teaching me. Hope you enjoyed getting a peak into this trip on the other side of the planet (for those reading from back home). Again, please pray for the team. We have an awful lot to do and it could potentially greatly impact and help a few awesome ministries that are doing vital (and hard) work for the poor and broken people of Uganda and surrounding countries. I also still need some support to get this trip fully funded. Please pray that I can get that by the end of the trip - that's when it's due. You all are awesome!


Monday, September 12, 2011


Greetings from Kampala Uganda!

Wow. Today has crazy. After an overnight flight from the UK, I arrived with the eMi UK team in Entebbe at 7am this morning (9pm AZ time). We spent the morning at the MAF guest house (which is way nicer than I was expecting it to be) meeting the eMi EA team members who will be joining us for this project. The afternoon started with an introduction of MAF and all that they do by Steve their program director. It's an amazing ministry. We then drove down to Kajjansi airfield (MAF's airfield) and spent the rest of the afternoon talking to Steve about their ideas for future development of their site while walking around their site. It's an awesome location!

We returned to the guest house for dinner and after that spent the rest of the night together as a team. We first had a devotional that was really good and then talked about some more logistics of the trip. After that meeting, we had a time of testimonies, where we all shared our life stories and how God has brought us to Him as well as how He has called us to this eMi trip. Everyone had very unique and awesome stories. Some of their testimonies were really powerful and really impacted me. It's amazing to think how God handpicked this whole team to come together from all of these completely different backgrounds to work on this project trip in Kampala, Uganda. Mind boggling. God is wonderful.

I'm extremely knackered (exhausted) - as I think my blog will reflect. Despite that, I'm so excited for what God will be doing through our team on this trip. There are a few prayer requests that I feel compelled to mention before I go. The MAF redesign is so much more complicated than we could have imagined and there are many problems with the existing infrastructure / master plan. There seem to be a lot of difficult decisions that will need to be made before much can be done to the site. Pray that God would lead the MAF leaders to know what to do, and that we would be able to help guide them to know how best to use their site - so many possibilities! Also, pray for energy for our team. A few of us are a bit behind on sleep and we really need to be able to focus on this design this week. It will be a hectic 2 weeks.

That's all for now folks. I'll try to update when I can, but I'm afraid that I won't have much time to blog once this trip gets going in full gear. Also, the internet hear in the guest house is horrid. I keep losing connection and it's really slow. They've said that they sometimes lose power for 12hr periods almost every other day. I hope that doesn't effect the work we'll be needing to do. That also means that I probably won't be able to post any photos - uploads take too long and use up too much of their data plan. :/


Sunday, September 11, 2011

..In My Seat

My heart is heavy as I remember the events that took place on 9/11/01. Just saw this video. Amazing.

"I've got to live my days with a sense of urgency."


Saturday, September 10, 2011

..Designing a World of Hope

As I'm leaving to Uganda tomorrow, I figured I'd fill y'all in with a little bit about eMi:

Engineering Ministries International (eMi) is a
non-profit Christian development organization made up of architects, engineers and design professionals who donate their skills to help children and families around the world step out of poverty and into a world of hope

Each year, more than 2.2 million people in developing countries die from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene (UN Water Policy Brief, 2005).

That is where eMi comes in. We are a Christian ministry that designs facilities that serve the poorest of the poor in developing countries. These facilities (including hospitals, orphanages, schools, clean water projects and more) directly impact communities by meeting their physical needs and communicating God's love in a very practical way.

I could continue on explaining all that they do and how they do it, but that could quite possibly become very boring. Instead, I've decided to share with you this short video that I just discovered that the eMi East Africa office has recently made about the work that they do. It is not only about the East Africa office, but about every eMi office. It's so great. Check it:

EMI from Halle Project on Vimeo.

The other cool thing about that video is that we (eMi UK) will be joining up with the eMi EA team on this project trip. There will be about 4 of us from the UK office joining something like 6-8 others from the EA office (there will also be a Canadian helping from his home in Canada). I'm really looking forward to meeting all of the team in 2 days! Can't wait.

Thanks for reading. Please continue to pray for me for God's direction on my life and for the project trip coming up. Thank you!



Well, the last couple of days here in the UK have gone a bit different than I had imagined them going. The plan was to recover from jet-lag and help eMi prepare for the upcoming trip. I also wanted to get a lot of reading in and spend a lot of time in prayer. However, the first night I arrived here, I received an email from a friend who I actually worked with last summer when I was with eMi. She just moved back to Wyoming and recently scored a job in her home town of Casper. In her email she informed me that one of the junior architects working there just put in his two weeks notice, and that if I was looking for a job I should send her my resume. She described the firm and it seemed like a great place to work and that they'd be very willing to help me work on my IDP hours (internship hours required to get licensed) while there.

At first I really didn't know what to do, but after a bit of thinking I felt like I should at least send my resume to her and see what happens. I mean, I hadn't yet heard of an opening in an architecture firm that I qualified for. Not to mention that I have someone working there that would recommend me. The only catch was that the only resume I had was old and outdated as I haven't created a new one in quite some time (that was one of the first things on my to-do list for when I get home). Also, I had only just started working on my portfolio and didn't have any of my work with me. The one good thing was that eMi was already prepared for the project trip so they didn't really need my help with anything.

So, I got busy. I spent the last 2 days creating a LinkedIn profile, a new resume, and a blog to showcase some of my work (mostly via links to other course blogs I'd made). I sent her my resume yesterday and she replied saying that she turned it into one of the principles today and that he said, "he knows revit! - top of the list" so that sounded promising, haha! So now I wait. I can't really do anything about it for 2 weeks since I'll be in Uganda so there's no use worrying about it. I'm still not 100% sure that I'd take it if I was offered the job. Lots of praying still needing to be done on that front.

Speaking of prayer, I really felt like I needed be doing a lot of that today. So, after another restless night of sleep last night (it didn't help that the sun devils game was super early here in the UK - w00t!), I got up and spent the morning in the Woods' garden - or 'yard' for us Americans. After a lot of wandering around the garden (it's rather large), I the perfect tree to lay under and just rest in God's presence.

[i love tree canopies]

I had a lot on my mind today, so it was really nice to clear my head and just talk with God. I really want to focus on this trip coming up tomorrow and not worry about what the future holds. I want to be invested in the present. On that note, our flight to Uganda is in 31hrs! Can't wait.. oh!.. yesterday, I met one of the volunteers at eMi UK who is also going on the trip too - an awesome Egyptian engineer named Andrew. We'll be sharing one of the rooms of the MAF guest house in Uganda so I'm sure we'll get to know each other pretty well.

[my view for the morning]

Today has been great. It's so good to just spend time with God in His creation. It's times like this when you realize that as long as you have Him, nothing else matters. Such a great reminder - especially considering the circumstances I'm in. God is in control. I trust that he'll continue to guide me through this crazy thing called life. Please pray for me to know if He is leading me to Wyoming (crazy thought! - I don't want to leave all my friends and family) or to stay in Phoenix (or quite possibly come back to eMi UK long-term). Also, please pray for the project trip. I mean, that is the reason that I'm where I am right now. Pray for the team as they also prepare individually for this trip. Thank you so much. Any prayer is much appreciated!

*random thought: you know that awkward moment when someone asks you a yes or know question and you answer "no" but then they didn't hear you so they ask you if you said "no"? Well, that is much more awkward here in the UK and for some reason it keeps happening to me and I'm never quite sure if I should answer "yes" or "no" to that second question.

Anyways.. I'm off to go spend some more time in the garden. I think it's time for a nap. Cheers.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

..Castle Walk

Greetings from across the pond!

I'll be in the UK for the next couple of days prepping for this trip to Uganda. Well, most of the actual preparations have already been made, so it looks like I'll get to spend my time recovering from jet lag and praying for this upcoming trip. w00t!

Last night I was able to spend it at the cell group I was a part of last summer while I was here. It was great. I only told one person I was coming so it was quite a shock for everyone else. We spent the night drinking (lots of) tea, playing an English version of spoons, and just catching up. I loved it - even though I was half asleep. I'd only gotten about 2hrs of sleep in the past 2 days at the time.

Today, I was up bright and early because I couldn't sleep. This jet-lag thing is a bit annoying. I spent the morning talking with Mike and Marietta about all that's happened since I've left. It was really nice to catch up with them. They then told me that I should do the 'castle walk' since I didn't get a chance to last summer. So, after Marietta jotted down some directions, I was off on a beautiful walk through Great Wenham. To see more photos that I took during the walk, go to my Picasa.

the start of the walk

took a detour to see this medieval church

the only key that unlocks this ancient door to the church

this church was built in the 1100's!

this is a moat that surrounds the castle (which I didn't get to see)

back at the baylies after the walk

That last photo is of The Baylies - the quaint english house that I'll be staying at for the next few days. It is the home of Mike and Marietta Woods. Mike is the director of eMi UK and every time we talk we usually have long conversations about life and/or God. It's so great that they've let me stay with them here before we head off to Uganda. Such a great time of rest - well, spiritually, I still need to adjust to the time zone.

Thank you all for your prayers! I'll do my best to keep in touch.



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