Profile of a true HERO!


Granny Topirista has a huge family.
Maybe that’s why her smile is magnetic.
A lovely and not complaining woman.
Her mom stays in the bigger house next to her terrible shelter.
home for NINE not the one that looks like a house but the lean-to on the right
home for NINE! …no, not the one that looks like a house , but the lean-to/shack on the right…
I asked why doesn’t she and the kids she cares for stay in there?
Alfred (our GM and Construction manager) understood the practical part but sometimes even the most practical solution can’t overcome culture.
She stays outside because once a daughter or son leaves the home of the parents they can’t go back.
There are exceptions but it looks like this is not one of the exceptions.
Mainly Topirista cares for the 5 children of her deceased son ranging from ages 8 to 15. In this culture some men (particularly the past generation) took more than one wife and the wives are called “co-wives”. Christianity is making some progress in helping the people of Uganda on this topic. Actually we may be surprised at such practices, but we shouldn’t let that deter us.
We can take a lot of lesson’s from the Ugandan ethics and practices we do not follow. It’s the poverty and existence of so many widow’s and orphans and the introduction of Hope of Jesus Christ we strive to promote.
In addition to the 5 children of her deceased son (Topirista had 9 children of her own!), Topirista cares for the 3 younger children of her deceased co-wife.
Topirista is another of our Hero’s!
To top it off, her mom is living and blind. A better sense of humor I have not seen and I’ve seen some good ones. In fact when we were introduced she said: “it’s good to see you” and she laughed and clarified saying: “I don’t really see you because I’m blind but I know you are there”. Topirista’s mom is 88, caring for two children of Topirista’s deceased brother, Moses.
For reasons you now know, Topirista will have her home be the first The Way Home construction team will build this coming 2016 as soon as possible, beginning January!
Thank you for joining in our journey.
We are thankful for your friendship, prayers, and ask if you can help, and encourage you to continue if you are already give, but if not please give what you can to support the expansion of the Kingdom through The Way Home, sending your gift payable to Every Child Ministries, memo note: The Way Home.
PO BOX 810
Hebron, Indiana
or electronically via our website donation page:
A monthly gift would help very well.
Merry Christmas!


Gasping @ “Jesus Loves YOU”

Today is Monday, June 1.

It was time for a special time with our staff to talk about the transition from the close of the Gospel’s after Christ had died, rose from the dead (according to the various witnesses, including the report of Dr. Luke) and the beginning of the Church in Acts. Several men were on our compound and are temporarily working with a sub contractor. I’ve enjoyned speaking with them and admiring their work the past few days.  None of them believe in Jesus as God or as Savior. They were kind of skeptical, at the suggestion Jesus is God, but were very interested at the testimony of Luke talking so confidently, just reporting what happened but in so doing expressing his own belief in it all. Because they are of another faith, with so many of their friends and family of the same faith around, there’s a lot of pressure to be skeptical of a Christians’ motives. One thing I wanted them to know was what I called an American proverb. I said: ” a person’s judgement is only as good as the information he has”. I told them “we will continue with Acts tomorrow to be picked up by Alfred and Simon when I leave in a week, but remember, whether you believe what the Bible says, or even want to come to a study like this tomorrow or any time, is a matter of free will. Your job is not at risk if you don’t come”. I told them “I examined the scripture for years myself, but after that, I believe it is all true, but you should decide for yourself. The meeting to hear scripture is only the sharing of good, and I believe very accurate, information”. We will see who shows up tomorrow!

We met with three more Granny’s to sign their home construction agreements (one a mother but a terrible situation she is in and an exception was made for her). One is Granny Fatina who with her 4 daughters, one son and three grandchildren all sleeping on the dirt floor together in a 9′ x 10′ feeble hut. Her eye had a thorn in it. It has been worked on by a Physician who knew what to do, thanks to our nurse, Asaph, who took care of her needs. In the process of signing an agreement we talked of a number of points but when I told her “Jesus loves you very very much” she gasped and cried very quickly, caught herself and gained her composure, trying to conceal her emotion. She also is of another faith but something special happened just then. Fatina accepted our Granny Coordinator, Simons’ invitation to join the Granny Group meeting very close to her for the group Bible study Simon leads. Please pray for Fatima and the children in her family.

Our new guard dogs (well…”guard-puppies” so far!)  are lodged in our guest house courtyard to allow them to be nurtured and grow. A very nice environment to raise them to a bigger size. The staff love them although generally Ugandans cannot really love dogs. But these dogs are here as “guards that do not take bribes”. As such they protect and cannot be corrupted according to one of our guards. Hope so. Already I’m looking forward to seeing how much Ricky and Lucy will have grown when I return again to Uganda in August, God willing.

coming soon: ferocious guard dogs!
coming soon: ferocious guard dogs!

God bless, Russ


Truth going forth!


Praise the LORD for what He has done ~ and will do…

Pastor's training Center classroom!
Pastor’s training Center classroom frame !


Alfred’s contracted with a man having experience to put a proper grass roof on TWH. That looks to be so! Alfred built a foundation with bricks and cement that is very strong and this roofing contractor is doing his part to put the stick built trussing structure up to support grass roofing material. When the poles are all up and in place grass is put on in bundles, layered and secured. I hope the end product looks so good. But by the quality of the rafters the grass will probably be good too! Now, where does he get the grass? He travels by taxi from Nasuti about 5 hours to the shores of lake Victoria, then by boat to an Island where the grass is growing. He hires local men to cut it, and bundle it, and stack it. They don’t have termites there. We do, so we need to spray our grass as it waits to go up and finally again when it gets to the roof. After the cutting on the island, they heap it on one or more boats (it’s going to take a lot!) and the boat travels over pretty dangerous waters (a storm can kick up any time like one of the great lakes of Michigan). When it arrives they load it onto a truck then to its home in Nasuti. We’re hoping all the grass we need arrives soon as the rafters may be done next week.


The Latrine too is nearly done, a four stall beauty with a real septic system hand dug and hand mixed and poured concrete made right there. With the 4 pit latrine style toilets there are two baths for bathing and changing. What luxury we will make available to our Pastors!


Again, you all, thank you for your generous praying, and your generous giving and praise the Lord over and over for what He has done. We look to what He will do as well!


I meet our teacher, Daniel Isabirye Friday, to talk about things I need to know to facilitate a Pastor Bible Training Program. Marcia and I are so thankful it will be run by Pastor Terry Nester (our missionary Pastor from our church in Jinja)  and taught by Pastor Daniel and probably a few others along the way. Pray for men on our staff and those others God has to come, that they will come and be faithful to work diligently and persevere to transform, and become the Shepard of their community God calls them to be.


We’ve signed agreements Monday with two Grannies to receive 3 room homes and latrines.

They are Beatrice (having 4 grandchildren ages 2 1/2 to 14)

Granny Beatrice and family of 4
Granny Beatrice and family of 4



and Elizabeth (having with her two grandchildren ages 8 and 10).

Granny Elizabeth






Yesterday we approved two more after the interviews. Fatina lives in the smallest straw and broken brick home (9 x 10) with four daughters and her son PLUS her 3 grandchildren (ages 9, 6, and 3). She has a thorn stuck in her eye.


Granny Fatina plus 8!
Granny Fatina plus 8!




We will get her to an eye doctor and hopefully get her agreement signed next week and start her home and latrine very soon. Please pray for God to be their Husband and their God.

Thanks and talk to you soon!




Arriving in Uganda…



I like that…

There’s an immediate change in attitude that is pleasing. Ugandan’s value relationship. They know respect and are trained as very young children usually with some firmness that respect matters, being polite matters, and understanding other people have problems so “we don’t need to push or hurry them or condemn them for being late because there probably is a very good reason they are late. Even if the reason is not good, it’s ok”. Paramount is that they generally really really honor and respect their parents and grandparents. Uganda is a hot culture where people matter more. It’s changing, the West has it’s influences and many are good, but Uganda is changing, especially in the Capitol and larger cities. I witness more Ugandan’s speaking with one another in English! Just noticed that.


But the Village has been the same and is pretty much the same for centuries. The Way Home ministries work in the Village. What an interesting time and place to be serving the Lord as Missionaries in Uganda.


Today in Church one of our staff, Asaph, who is Ugandan of course, like me as being a visitor introduced himself. He said: “I am DeWuke, Asaph. I come from where I come from”. That brought laughter…. but how that struck me as so true. Asaph moved around a lot growing up the son of a Church of Uganda Pastor who has been transferred so many times from area to area within Uganda. Asaph with his siblings always moved with his parents. Such a young man, but wise beyond his years. I think he knows more of where he is going (in eternity), more of where he’s going than he realizes about where he’s been. This is how we want it to be for those with whom we share the Gospel Village. To know Jesus as Savior, and “to know what today and the future in Christ has stored up for me”. I love that. Of course, being the only white person, I was asked to speak. I introduced myself as Russ Baugh and “I come from where I come from”.


Alfred, our General Manager and Construction expert, and Pastor, driver, etc. etc. picked me up on time at the airport on Friday evening at about 11PM. We have already covered so much in our conversations, getting the most current news from his side and my side. We have prayed together, laughter, shook our heads at this and that. Alfred is a Kingdom builder. Like Asaph, he comes from where he comes from, but he knows where he’s going.

God Bless!



Alfred and Russ
TWH Manager, Pastor Alfred Naburdere and me 🙂



until we meet again Fred !

What a blessing it was for the staff and granny-families to have Fred & Heather with them; serving so selflessly…it is bittersweet for us too Fred Thank you SO much for sharing your time there with all of us through this blog…we feel like we’ve been on the back of your boda 🙂  see you again ‘soon OR forever” !!


Fred writes:  Today was bittersweet as it was our last day at The Way Home.  While today was sweltering and we’re tired and starting to look forward to coming home it will still be hard to leave this place and its wonderful people.  This morning Heather sped off on the boda to track down the last three grannies while I stayed behind and spent some time talking to director Russ about how our church might be able to assist him in what God is doing here.  Later in the day we had a very special treat as we were able to be present at a granny interview where she was informed that she would be receiving a new home.  Her son passed away and left her with three orphaned grandkids and she still has three daughters at home as well.  They are all sleeping in the round eight foot diameter hut pictured below.  They will soon have a 10′ x 30′ house, a new latrine and three years of training and assistance with their garden. Director Russ shared with them how God has a heart for widows and orphans and that there are people in America who love God and desire to obey Him and invest in the things that He cares about and that is how they are receiving their new home.  At the end of our time with them He then also had an opportunity, at the request of one of the Ugandan pastors who will be following up with the family, to share the way of salvation with them.  It was astounding to hear the sensitive, culturally relevant way in which he was able to share the Good News – Good News that began 2000 years ago in Palestine and now traveled to east Africa by way of North America.  Amazing stuff here.

At the end of the day we were treated by the Ugandan staff here at The Way Home to a traditional Ugandan dinner of mitoke (an un-sweet banana kind of thing cooked like mashed potatoes), greens, rice, potatoes and even some of Tom, one of the turkeys we’ve been watching strut around the yard all week.  It was great to sit down and break bread with the builders, farmers and pastors who work so diligently bringing shelter, food and Jesus to the people of Uganda.

this granny-family's original house for 7!
this granny-family’s original house for 7!
turkey dinner BEFORE :)
turkey dinner BEFORE 🙂
a Nasuti specialty local dish
a Nasuti specialty local dish

On the road again (sing it like Willie Nelson)

Keeping you in the loop through Fred (Langeland)  – one of four servant-guests serving at The Way Home this week  with Russ: – 

Fred writes:  Third day on the road today.  Began with a beautiful sunrise – see  below – and then we saddled up and rode about 1-1/2 hr. to our first stop.  Really out there but the ride was beautiful.  Tim Johnson rode with us, too.  We stopped at only eight granny homes today because of the remote locations.  We saw some beautiful babies today but were saddened to see that they were all wearing witchcraft bracelets.  Even those who convert to Christianity often maintain their previous practices of black magic and ancestor worship.  It’s really hard to see that knowing that they will never know the abundant life in Christ unless they can be led away from the old practices.  Many of the Christian pastors here are uneducated and preach a gospel that isn’t really the Gospel.  More on what The Way Home Africa is working on to help with that later.

We saw some beautiful gardens today – we were really impressed at one stop where there are three grannies in immediate proximity to each other and they have teamed up to do some major power-gardening.  Many hands make light work.  Their gardens produce a very abundant harvest and they not only feed their grandchildren, but also can sell enough excess to pay for all of their school fees.  This concept really works when it’s applied and worked hard at.

As we visited some gardens that are a few years old it was really neat to see how the soil develops over time using the Farming God’s Way method.  The soil here is naturally a gritty red clay.  It is not particularly fertile and is even hard on farming implements due to the angular abrasive nature of the grit in it.  The Farming God’s Way method of using planting holes instead of tilling the soil, covering the garden with mulch to retain moisture and minimize soil compaction, and returning the spent plants to the soil results in a rich, dark topsoil after only a couple growing seasons.  It was very cool to see that the neighbors of the grannies being served by The Way Home Africa / Farming God’s Way partnership are taking notice and beginning to employ the same methods themselves.  This is really a game changer for the folks over here.

We had a little excitement on the way  back this afternoon.  The rainy season is moving in and we were doing our best to skirt a big thunderstorm but just a couple miles from home base we were nailed by a pretty nasty hail storm and had to pull off in a small town and take shelter under a canopy with a large group of local men.  They looked at us like we’re freaks but nobody bothered us.  We often wave to people as we blast down the back roads and they wave back, give us a big grin and yell “mzungu!”.  The Ugandan people are very friendly and helpful.

bodas in the hail

The Way Home- Backroads Tour Day 2

One of The Way Home’s guest-servants this week, blogs about his second day on the roads to photo journal our granny families with Heather:


Fred writes:  We spent another day on the backroads of Uganda visiting with 13 grannies at their homes.  We observed several fine gardens being prepared for planting.  They’re prepping the planting holes now and will plant the seed in another week or two when the next semi-annual rainy season begins.  We also prayed with each one that their garden would produce abundantly.  No all of them have gardens – we’ve met a few who are blind and one today wasn’t able to get up from her mat on the floor – but some of them we’ve seen have been astounding.  While the grand kids are away at school the grannies work on preparing and maintaining their gardens.  The idea is that they will be able to raise enough crop to not only feed their family but also enough extra to sell so they can pay the kids’ school fees.  If you can’t pay, you don’t go to school here.

We’re learning many things about how to best to help people in other cultures work their way out of poverty.  It’s so easy as westerners to want to just put together a team, write a check, and fix the problem.  We can see, though, the dependency problems that creates.  As we ride the bodas  through the little towns along the way we can hear the kids calling out for money from the mzungus.  When we pull into the villages it’s like the circus just pulled into town.  People come from all around the village to see what we have brought for them.  It’s encouraging to see how The Way Home Africa is working to break that cycle with the people they serve.  They’re working hard to fade into the background as they train up more and more Ugandans to do the work on the ground.  They’re also willing to apply tough love in situations where the recipients sit back on their hands expecting the work to be done for them.  
Well tomorrow it’s back to the bush on our trusty bodas and will be joined on our journey for a day by Tim Johnson.  Please continue to pray for us and for the work of The Way Home Africa.
Fred in Nasuti                   Heather and granny Amina
baby in granny village road trip                 sunrise nasuti

Beating Around the Bush

The Way Home’s “Servant’s Retreat” in the discipleship village is filled this week with….well…Servants!  Let us share the blog of one of those servants, Fred Langeland, who has come with one of our two senior advocate’s, Heather Osborn to accomplish a very BIG job…photo journaling our, now 60, Granny Families:
Fred writes:  Today was an adventure unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  We were on dirt  bikes literally beating through the African bush.  When I talk about Africa I normally hesitate to use words like “bush” and “village.”  In one of my classes in Bible college we had a student from Africa and I remember her complaining that Americans all thought everybody in Africa grew up in a grass hut out in the bush.  She was from a modern city and found our presumption both ignorant and arrogant.  Well, we weren’t in the city today!  We visited 17 granny homes, meeting with them, taking photos, and looking at their gardens.  We were really in the African bush.  We went down roads that weren’t even roads – some of them just a path between villages.  If we had lost our leader you never would have seen Heather or me again – there was no way to know where we were or where the next turn would lead.  I’d be building our grass huts as you read this.

My being here is an incredible gift and an experience I don’t want to squander on myself.  I believe God provided the means for me to be here for a reason.  Today in the solitude of my motorcycle helmet I recalled a thought from our devotions last night.  The person who shared it didn’t remember where she got it so I can’t cite credit but it goes like this:  “In Christian life and witness so much is lost because we are indefinite.  The devil is not worried by our pious aspirations.  He is troubled when, in obedience to God, for the glory of Christ and in the power of the Spirit, we make firm practical decisions to do specific things for the Lord.”  Pious aspirations.  Ever have any of those?  To be the best wife or husband your spouse could ever dream of.  To be the dad that yours wasn’t.  To get out of debt.  To save for a secure retirement.  To have deep conversations with your kids so they don’t make the same mistakes you did.  To be a godly man or woman.  I’ve certainly had more than my share of them and many of them have ended in my being indefinite.  My prayer is that through this experience I’ll move beyond pious aspirations about spreading the gospel to the poor in Africa into practical decisions to do specific things.  In obedience to God.  For the glory of Christ.  In the power of the Spirit.

Joy & Purpose giving this Christmas!


One Family decided this Christmas their family gift exchange would set a NEW tradition. A tradition of giving that will make a real difference in the lives of FAMILY. Instead of choosing names and dollar limits for a family gift exchange … they decided to pool their family giving dollars and build a house.  Not just any house, but a house for a destitute Widow struggling to raise her own orphaned grandchildren after burying  her own children.

The Way Home identifies these women living in poor conditions, often living in mud huts in remote areas of Uganda.   For just $2,200 you can bless a grandmother this Christmas with a new brick home!  In addition to their new home, they will receiving training and mentoring for sustainable farming through Farming God’s Way Biblical Worldview program.  This farming program will assist the grandmother in increasing her yield up to ten times and, most importantly, Faith in God’s provision.   Each new home purchased also includes a latrine as well as weekly Bible teaching and preventative medicine.

Celebrate the birth of Jesus by making a difference this Christmas, prayerfully consider giving a new home for a widow in place of a family gift exchange, office exchange or just because you want to make an impact this year.


Publishers Clearing House in Uganda???

You would think so!

I mean that’s what it seriously feels like each year when we interview the ‘neediest of the needy’ widows, left to raise their orphaned grandchildren, deep in the village of one of the most destitute areas of Uganda.

If you can…imagine this?
…they have lost their husband and now, without any time to grieve the death of their own children
…opened their humble leaking thatched roofed, mud hut to their now, orphaned grandchildren
…when they don’t have a clue where their own next meal is coming from!!
would numbers help you imagine? The average number of children our grannies have in their care is 5.5…one of our grannies has 14!

There is nothing more humbling

It is obvious throughout scripture…that God cares for widows & orphans…and because He does…we do/can too!

but to actually SEE it happen before our very eyes..

AND to be the one’s called by God to deliver that news to them is a privilege that there are no words for…

but a picture is worth a thousand of them right??

What happens when a destitute widow raising her orphaned grandchildren hears that her prayers for provision have been heard and answered?

Sharing that picture of HOPE with you from deep in the village of the “Pearl of Africa”

P.S. wish you were here 🙂


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