Monthly Archives: March 2017

Uganda’s Water Crisis (Jack Wilson)

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Potholes in the roads and filthy, unfiltered air attacked my senses as I looked out my van window. It was truly hard to juggle the continuous up and down rattling of the van while being bombarded by the unusual smells in the Kampala air. After a grueling twenty-eight hours of travel capped off with a nine hour car ride, I had finally arrived in Bundibugio, Uganda to minister the Gospel and support my missionary friends in their work.

Throughout the week I encountered one particular problem – the price of alcohol. In Uganda alcohol is cheap, and water is pricey and unclean. Since alcohol was in some places cheaper than water, alcoholism is a growing problem. In fact, I went with a friend to talk to a regional authority, who was clearly inebriated, which exposed the problem even more. Alcohol itself is not a bad thing, but the lack of an efficient way to secure water is. Rain filters and somewhat effective piping run in the more populated areas of Uganda. But nine hours away from the capital city Bundibugio, there are very few rain filtering devices and thus a heavy dependence on rivers from the Rwenzori mountains. Since it is easier to ship alcohol and overpriced water through the country, there needs to be a solution to the lack of water engineering ideas in Uganda.

The easiest way to solve Uganda’s dual problem of alcholism and water scarcity is not through eliminating alcohol, but through sending more inventive minds along and hard working hands to produce more helpful devices. There is some wisdom to raising the price of alcohol, but in reality the country needs cleaner water as a whole. (It still amazes me how the people of Bundibugio can stomach the parasitic river water that flows from the mountains).

Recently, I encountered a new program at Mercer University that reaches out to other countries called Mercer on Mission. If Mercer on Mission were to go to Uganda and find a solution to this problem, the nation would see a wonderful increase in public opinion toward the government.

To provide more means for filtering, Mercer on Mission could send students to build clean and efficient rain storages and filtering devices. Such devices gather water effectively and store it through the dry seasons. They are used throughout the nation, not just Bundibugio.

In the end, my personal experience in Uganda creates a longing in me to solve the problems there that could be so easily fixed anywhere else on this earth.

Fixed Point, Fixed Vision (Sara Hinton)

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Not long ago it became official that Robbie Hinton, former head of the Westminster School at Oak Mountain, would be leaving to take a job with an organization called the Fixed Point Foundation. Hinton had spent at least six years with the school, watching it grow, making it grow, and pouring his knowledge into students–whether they wanted it or not. Now that he is leaving, many of us may want to know what this Fixed Point Foundation really is.

The Fixed Point Foundation is an organization dedicated to the spread of the Gospel. Now this is not something unique. Every church should have this purpose, but Fixed Point spreads the Gospel in a unique way. The world believes that Christians should be pacifists, always on the defensive, but Fixed Point is on the march. Actively engaging in the secular community, fixed Point founder Larry Taunton has two books published, and multiple articles published on and other outlets. His most recent book The Faith of Christopher Hitchens is a great example of how Taunton and Fixed Point work.

Christopher Hitchens was one of the worlds most notorious atheists, actively fighting Christianity on many stages around the country; but off those stages he and Larry Taunton, who debated each other multiple times, were really good friends. Toward the end of his life, Hitchens and Taunton took two long road trips together, on which Hitchens, who knew he was about to die, seriously considered multiple religions. The book is about how Taunton and Hitchens became friends despite the great controversy between them. This is the mission of Fixed Point, to go into the secular community and engage it in a loving and life changing way.

The U. S. S. Arizona (a poem by Katie Krulak)

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This past summer I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Pearl Harbor. I was not prepared for how sobering the experience would be. It is one thing to learn about the attack in history class, but quite another to stand where the event transpired. While standing on the memorial built above the harbor, I was inspired to write this poem detailing the events of the Pearl Harbor attack, centered around the U.S.S. Arizona.

The U.S.S. Arizona
There’s oil on the water;
There’s blood in the waves
“Be quick! Don’t stop! Keep working,
We still have men to save.”
Great fires blaze and roar;
Ignite with a hellish glow.
The great inferno rages
Through the corridors below.
Planes and bullets fill the skies
Shrouded by a smoky veil.
The screams and prayers of men
Drowned in the siren’s wail.
Molten metal bends and breaks
As guns and towers fall,
“So many men are still inside,
How can we save them all?”
“Point your guns up towards the sky,”
Bullets blaze pell mell,
As a peaceful Sunday morning
Became a scene from hell.
There’s still oil on the water,
Washed by the tide’s ebb and flow,
As bright fish dance and dart
Through the corridors below.
A monument of gleaming white
Stands tall above the waves,
A solemn mausoleum
For the men we could not save.