In Uganda there are over 2.5 million orphans today. HIV/AIDS, poverty, sickness, lack of health care and the war waged by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda for over two decades are the major causes for this crisis. Many of these vulnerable children live in the North and struggle to survive each day.
In 2009, our family couldn’t shake a deep calling to be sent and step into the wake of this devastation. We decided to use our professional capabilities coupled with our passion for missions to begin the journey towards serving long term in Uganda. We engaged our church elders and leadership and began a conversation about what it would mean to answer this call. During a season of discernment and discovery it was affirmed that we were being called to Uganda, along with our church body, Common Ground Christian Church, to step into the gap and help bring restoration to this war-torn land and engage this call corporately.
We first were sent out to serve with an organization called Restoration Gateway. In 2012, along with our two children, we moved to join the Restoration Gateway family as Operations Director and Medical/Dental Director. We served there for three years and in 2015, we were offered an incredible opportunity to continue our work with a nearby organization as in-country directors of an organization called Otino Waa Children’s Village which is located just outside of Lira, Uganda.
Otino Waa began in 2003 as an effort to rescue 78 children who were being targeted by the LRA to be abducted. Today, there are over 300 children who call Otino Waa home. What started with 78 children has blossomed into an entire children’s village that serves as the equipping ground for raising up Uganda’s future Christ-centered leaders. Otino Waa’s vision is to be a center that expresses God’s love by providing high quality spiritual, physical, educational and health services for the most vulnerable and needy in northern Uganda.
We have served as the in-country directors of Otino Waa since August of 2015 along with our two amazing children, Ethan and Evelyn, and we are looking forward to years of getting caught up into what the Lord is doing here in Uganda.
Steve oversees the administration and management of our Otino Waa staff, 120 staff members. He manages the accounting, finances, personnel, health and future direction of our numerous ministry areas: orphan care, education, church planting, discipleship, global missions, vocational training, and community impact. He leads our weekly staff chapel and senior central staff operations meeting.
Bridget performs various administrative duties throughout Otino Waa as needed and directly oversees the Otino Waa medical/dental clinic. She practices medicine for the surrounding community, including performing surgery regularly through a private hospital in Lira and she also serves as a lecturer in the midwifery program at Lira University. She handles the majority of the logistics for preparing our visiting teams and when they are on the ground, she organizes and leads medical outreaches through local churches. She also speaks on our radio program that is aired once a week with a listening audience of over 1,000,000 people. She homeschools our children Ethan and Evelyn and serves as the headmaster and their primary teacher, 🙂 She also has been participating and speaking at retreats and events throughout Africa and Uganda.
Bridget graduated from medical school, specializing in OB/GYN training. Her time in medical school fanned her passion to be a vehicle for bringing Christ’s healing touch to “the least of these.” Before serving in Uganda, she served in over 20 countries as a short-term missionary while simultaneously working in private practice for 8 years in the Indianapolis area.
Steve graduated with a Computer IT degree and worked in corporate America (Lilly and Sallie Mae) doing help desk work and computer technical documentation and writing for several years. He has also served with an international Christian NGO as the operations manager and has worked as a church missions administrator.