We are so grateful that you are curious about this mission trip - a group of teachers traveling to Uganda to help further train, support, and encourage Ugandan teachers.
Below you will meet our team. Please be in prayer for us as we prepare, go, and return & process this grand adventure.
Important people in my life…parents, siblings, nieces, church family, teaching colleagues and students
Believes in…the strength of the interconnected body of Christ
Fan of… playing, stories, building/creating/refining
Not a Fan of…writing; endings.
Top Played Songs on my device
- Rachmaninoff: Alleluia
- Offenbach: Flower Duet
- Smetana: Die Moldau
In Uganda I hope to…Connect with and encourage the teachers and families of the Suubi Family Center. Help equip them for motivating and educating children.
Teacher of...young students! I currently teaching reading to struggling readers, but I have also taught kindergarten and first graders for 15 years.
Important people in my life…Lane, my husband and confidant, and my ever-growing (always-hungry, sons) Eli (13) and Owen (11).
Believes in…helping others, continuously learning, and looking forward.
Fan of… getting “lost” in a good book and spending days on the water with my family and friends.
Not a Fan of…Winter (especially Winter in April) and people who tear down others.
Top Played Songs on my device
- Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw
- Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher
- Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band
In Uganda I hope to…allow God to use the spiritual gifts He has given me to support the Global Hands of Hope foundation in their vision as well as the children and teachers of the Suubi Children’s Center.
Teacher of.... current third year student at UWSP with an elementary education major
Important people in my life.... my family!
Believes in.... living for Christ only, not this world
Fan of.... FOOD! Dark chocolate, dessert with coffee, ketchup on everything and soggy food (haha... soggy fries, soggy cereal, etc.)
Not a Fan of... writing essays
Top Played Songs on my device... None because I don't listen to music on anything but the radio! (rare but true)
In Uganda I hope to... grow in my relationship with Christ and gain experience/knowledge of teaching
Teacher of... currently kindergarten teacher. Past: preschool teacher, Day Care Director, Environmental Education Teacher, substitute teacher (all grades)
Important people in my life.... husband -Phil, daughter -Kendra, son & daughter-in-law -Justin & Tori (married 2015), Phil's siblings and their spouses, my brother and his wife, nieces and nephews
Believes in...Jesus Christ as my savior, encouraging others, importance of play in the lives of children (and adults)
Fan of...warm weather, sunshine, summer, a good book, dark chocolate, honesty, quiet, exploring new places, being outdoors
Not a Fan of...cold weather / winter
Top Played Songs on my device... all by Matthew West
- Grace Wins
- Day One
- Live Forever
In Uganda I hope to... Follows God's lead, use my teaching experience to help/support the teachers and staff, and to learn from the people we encounter.
Teacher of... currently high school special ed teacher. Past 16 years: special ed teacher for grades PK-12, homebound tutor, tutored at the jail, worked in a therapeutic day treatment school for 3 years; behavior specialist
Important people in my life.... Children: Victoria (25), Cassandra (22), and Brian (20). Grandson: Braeden (4). All children I come in contact with!
Believes in... Salvation, grace, and hope. Unconditional love, warmth of sunshine, God's faithfulness
Fan of...St. Louis Cardinals baseball, warm weather, sunshine, the smell of rain, smiles on people's faces, love in action, grace and forgiveness.
Not a Fan of...cold weather, unforgiveness, maltreatment of children
Top Played Songs on my device...
- Casting Crowns
- Big Daddy Weave
- Lauren Daigle
In Uganda I hope to...build up and encourage the teachers to help them know how valued they are at Suubi! Learn how God can use me in different ways for the present time as well as in the future. Learn to love and respect others' cultures and customs. Meet new people and share God's love and promises with them.
Teacher of... reading intervention
Important people in my life.... Robert (husband); Brian & Kristin (son/daughter-in-law); Josh (son); Evan (son); our Compassion children
Believes in... Hope. That God will never leave or forsake you as He has promised.
Fan of... starry nights and beautiful moons, mountains and waterfalls, hiking, dark chocolate!
Not a Fan of...super cold weather (snow is good, though)
Top Played Songs on my device... I don't use a device, but current favorites are:
- Through All of It by Colton Dixon
- Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin
- If We're Honest by Francesca Battistelli
In Uganda I hope to... present reading workshops that perfectly match the needs of the teachers, which only God in His infinite wisdom can accomplish through us!! :). To experience a new culture. To love those we are serving. To meet a young boy who received one of my OCC boxes.
Oz (Billy oswald)
Teacher of...6th Grade English at Wisconsin Rapids Area Middle School and Varsity Basketball at Lincoln High School.
Important people in my life.... My wife Jen, my daughter Abbie, and my two sons Josiah and Max. Also, my friends, family, and coaching family.
Believes in...God. Jesus. The Holy Spirit. Straight up. They win in the end. Period. Amen and Hallelujah!
Fan of...he Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders, Wisconsin Badgers, Boston Red Sox, and the Green Bay Packers.
Not a Fan of...the Minnesota Gophers, New York Yankees, the Chicago Bears, or loud chewing...for real.
Top Played Songs on my device...anything and everything 90s alternative rock/grunge.
In Uganda I hope...God opens my eyes to see where I am most needed and gives me the wisdom and strength to do all that I can with the time He gives me there. I am hoping to be vulnerable to the calling of God and rely less upon myself and more and more upon Him. Amen.
Teacher of...special education
Important in my life...my hubby Matt, my daughters Peyton and Maya, my life group and my family members
Believes in...faith and love
Fan of...good food, wonderful books, strong coffee
Not a fan of...frogs in my garden or mice in my house
Top played songs on my device...
- Great Are You Lord - Casting Crowns
- Relentless - Hillsong
- Smile - R5
In Uganda I hope to... demonstrate love in action to the teachers, parents, and children of Bukeka to let them see how great our God is and how much He loves us.
STEVE VAN ARK
Teacher of... the future generation!
Important in my life...my wife and kids
Believes in...faith, hope, and love
Fan of...coffee and pie!
Not a fan of...snow every day for a week in April - ugh!
Top played songs on my device...
- Tapestry - Carole King
- Toby Mac Pandora Station
- Something Broadway!
In Uganda I hope to... be used of God to accomplish HIS goals