Well today I just rolled out of bed…and went white water rafting on the Nile River! I have made numerous trips down the Occoee, Chatooga and Nantahaila rivers; I am now ruined forever for white-water rafting. We ran 8 rapids, over 18 miles, more than half of them were class five. The picture is of our boat flipping over in the class five, final rapid of our trip. Thats me in the bright green shirt. Never skip the chance if you get it. #waterinmyears
Uganda Update #3
Today we spent our time on one of Amazima’s properties in Buzuki. Here, Amazima hosts their Saturday program for the children involved in their mentor program. Around 450, kids in grades 1-6, gathered to worship, hear the Gospel, share a meal and take home a small bag of dry goods. When the worship started, I realized quickly that these kids have the pleasure of being led by one of the best worship leaders you’ve never heard of. Raul, the worship leader for Amazima, is literally world class. I was so impressed by what he was able with those kids and how he skillfully used his gifts. He was able to corral their mind’s attention and heart’s affection and direct it all to Jesus. After worship, the kids stood in perfect little lines to wash their hands before lunch and then decorated every inch of the property when they spread out to enjoy a meal. The picture is them walking away at the end of the day with their groceries. Each week, Amazima gives every boy and girl in their program a bag of rice, a bag of beans, some posho (like grits) and a bar of soap. Being a part of the Amazima mentor program gives these kid a great Spiritual education, a consistent mentor who checks in on them weekly and education about hygiene, health care and farming.
When we support Amazima by buying their necklaces or the Christmas EP, we give them the ability to grow this work. Please choose them when you buy your Christmas gifts this year and remember that every time you buy, these great kids are eating today and learning to change the world tomorrow.
Uganda Update #2
Jinja has perfect weather. It was another beautiful day in Uganda. We started out in a place called Masese. The people who live here are the outcasts of society. They’re from a tribe that’s been displaced to a land not their own and then edged to the fringes of culture. Amazima feeds 1200 kids here every Monday-Friday. If you buy a Christmas CD, this is who your money goes to feed. I got a first hand look at the feast. I’ll spare you all the details of what I saw, because language falls short, but it was a helpless feeling. Theirs are not problems that get solved easily. It’s overwhelming. I looked at the little folks today, many of them the same age as my boys, and just didn’t know what to do. So, I just taught them how to fist bump, let them touch my white skin and showed them my phone (God forgive me). I left with some good hugs and a lot to process. I was so proud of all those little guys. They’re some sturdy kids. I hope to love on them again soon. You can’t employ natural means to accomplish a spiritual work.
A few hours after that, I found myself walking to visit some of the families that are a part of Amazima’s mentor program. I met grandma Anastasia. She was beside herself with joy. The beautiful old lady, who lived in the fork of the road, in the middle of the jungle, received us as guests. As we sat down, with about 20 kids peeking around the corners, she was so happy to see us, listen to our foreign language and let us pray for her home and family. She was a serious charmer. When we got up to leave, she looked at me, took me by the hands and said, “Always remember the road to my home.”
That’s what I’ll take to bed tonight. I can’t really do anything, except what I can do. Love, pray, give, send, go and always remember.
Uganda Update #1:
Uganda is a paradox in perspectives. It’s a naturally beautiful place. Plant life colors beautiful verdant hills bright green. Laid over that canvas, is a lot of the brokenness that accompanies poverty. Kids play in dangerous streets and adults bear the burdens that their smiles try to cover, but their eyes betray. The hurt is as deep as the land is majestic.
Tonight our US team had dinner at a restaurant by the Nile River with Katie Davis and the Amazima staff. It too was another paradox, because I was struck by something very unique about them. They don’t necessarily do missions. They’re Americans (and a Canadian) living in Uganda but that’s about where the predictability stops. There was only talk of projects and programs when pressed. There were no 5-point strategies for feeding Uganda…none of that stuff. It might exist, it’s just not their main thing.
Instead, I noticed that all Katie talked about with enthusiasm was living life and being in Uganda so that she could love the people of her little town. Walk with them through poverty, suffering and death. Dance with them through muddy streets and bounce with them over thousands of potholes. They’re not doing, They’re being. They are being Christ. They are not doing missions. The love of Christ is their expression to the people and then the framework and structure rise out of that. The relationship comes first though. The dignity of human life and the beauty of a valued soul are features of their work. It’s humbling and convicting.
I realized that I could never sell enough CDs or nag enough on twitter to replace the impact I can make by lavishly loving people. I learned once again that people loving people changes the world for God’s glory.
Now please, buy the Christmas EP and tell your friends about it. Amazima needs it. That is one way you can love right now, but please join me in asking what you could stop doing, in order to start being. That was a great first day lessons for my busy life!
Uganda Trip Dec. 10-17, 2013
I leave for Uganda tomorrow with a team of people from Amazima. I am so excited to be a part of helping them through the Christmas EP, but beside myself for the chance to see what’s happening at the center of it all in Jinja. I never imagined when I made the Christmas CD for “somebody”, that God would lead me to Amazima. Beyond that, I never imagined that telling my story in a coffee shop would lead to the chance to go halfway around the world to see, first hand, who Heather and I were helping. To find out more about Amazima click here.
To find out more about the Christmas CD, Do You Believe, and why I made it, click here
I’ll be posting news form my trip while I’m gone on carlcartee.com and on instagram and twitter. I’d appreciate your prayers for God to be greatly glorified in the work of Amazima.
Don’t forget that a little goes a long way when you’re helping Amazima. For every CD you buy, 100% of sales goes to Amazima. They’re only $5 and each one buys a meal for 29 people. $200 feeds 1160 people! That’s not much more money than American’s spend every month on cable TV and cell phone service. Please help us make a difference this Christmas!
Thanks for your support and your prayers!
Love in Christ,
Christmas Music Is Coming Soon! 10.30.13
I’ve hinted at it through some social media, talked about it with friends, but now I wanted to make it official that I’ll soon be releasing a Christmas EP! I’m excited about the music and I wanted to share the story of how it happened and how I need your help.
Back in the summer I read a book by Bob Goff called Love Does. It had a profound impact on me and it left me asking the question; “what is my love doing?” The book forced me to take a deeper look at how I could escalate the way I loved people and for me it was through my music.
I decided to make a record and give all the proceeds to a ministry that helps the poor. A Christmas record seemed like fun because I love Christmas music and thought it’s a good gift to share with a ministry. I started making the record and praying for God to send me to the right place to give the proceeds.
Weeks later, I was way into the recording process, without a real clear vision of who I was going to partner with. Then, my friend Doug Martin started working for a ministry in Uganda. I heard his excitement about Amazima and the work of a lady named Katie Davis. I took note. Could these be my people? I kept praying for God to speak clearly about who I could make the record for. Next, a mutual friend of Doug and mine returned from Uganda where he had been working with Amazima. He was beside himself with the ministry and all that was happening for the Kingdom in Uganda. I listened for a long time as he passionately told about how God was working through the ministry of Amazima! I’m starting to take notice. The very next day, I saw my buddy Derek in the hall of my kid’s school. “What are you up to?” I asked. Derek said that he was starting to work some for Amazima. One of his jobs would be to help people in the US who want to do something to help out Katie Davis and the Amazima ministry. Ok really? It was clear I’d found my people.
The recording and production costs are paid. So from the first sale, for evermore, all of the money the record makes will go to Amazima! To find out more about Amazima, Katie Davis and the ministry we’re supporting, follow this link to the website: www.amazima.org You can find Katie's full story in her book Kisses From Katie
Here is where my friends come in. I’ve got some audacious goals. I want to give them $50,000. That’s a lot of EP’s I know, but that’s my number and faith has raised a lot more money than that before. So here goes!
Will you join me in telling the story about the record and include the new CD in your plans for Christmas giving. They’ll be $6, making them the perfect stocking stuffer, corporate gift or something to give to your entire neighborhood. The CD’s will sell digitally on Itunes, Amazon and other places as well physical copies through CDBaby and carlcartee.com. I’ll be in-touch with more details about official release dates and things soon, but for now, pray with me and join me in letting our love for Christ “do” something.
If you want to help in other ways by telling the story on your blog, social media platforms or with other connection you may have, please let me know through e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter: @carlcartee.