Thank you Savior!

We just wanted to sincerely wish all our friends and family a very very merry Christmas. We especially want to thank God our father for the huge sacrifice he knowingly put into action on this day!

Tell someone you love them today and everyday after!
Don't let Christmas go back into hibernation at midnight!!!

...:::last two weeks = AWESOME:::...

A few months ago I was approached by Jeff Atherstone, the principal at Gaba Bible Institute (GBI), to join him and an American film crew in the creation of a handful of promo videos for ARM. I didn't really think much of it at the time, but have got to say that I feel so blessed to have gotten the chance to work on such a noteworthy project.
The First week had us all over Kampala shooting various projects and getting stories by the people affected by them and those affecting change. The stories have been so incredible and a true testament to what God's doing over here!
This week has taken the four of us, Jeff Atherstone, Jacob Lewis, Jeff Henson, and myself, to the North of the country. First Soroti, and then Lira. We've been documenting the struggles that Ugandan pastors face on a daily basis, and I gotta say it's really opened my eyes! It seems I've come so accustom to noticing the young and the sick, that I've never really thought about the welfare of the shepherds. It's really crazy to realize that almost every pastor here has had no training what so ever, and since their not really looked at as a big investment by their village, no one is willing to send them to bible school. Seems a bit strange but here's how it traditionally works;

A community will come together to fund a village member who shows a good amount of potential in the hope that that vary member will then return home and get a good paying job. That person is then expected to turn around and fund others in the community to enable them to achieve the same thing. The problem with this system is that most Ugandan's know that a full time pastor will most likely end up a poor man, making it less enticing to want to send them to school. It's a scary thing to think about since these figure heads are the ones looked to in times of crisis but will be the first to tell you how ill-equipped they are. 
That's why this week has been so great! Not only have I been able to work with an amazing group of guys on a fantastic team, but I've also grown in an understanding of what the church here really needs. Equipped Leaders!
I now want to ask you for two things...

First and foremost, PRAY!
Pray for the conditon of the church nt only here in Uganda, but at home and all over the world. Pray that God brings healing and colaberation to the many communities that are the church.
Secondly, I would ask that anyone who reads this will take a look at what GBI is doing and really consider how easy it could be for you to take part in the transformation!

...:::been a while:::...

Hello everyone out there! I know it's been quite some time since we've given out much info to you fine people! The more we get settled, the more things seem to get busy around here!
Coryn has been carrying out her normal duties at Maranatha High School, but has also picked up a Chemistry class at Heritage International School, a local "missionary kid" school. They must really think she's something special because they've already offered her a full time science position. We've been praying about it a lot and don't feel led to accept it but I know it's a nice feeling for her to be in such demand. On top of all her classes, she's also tutoring a kid here to earn a few extra dollars so that we can pay a few of really bad off locals for small tasks around the house. It's been great since we came here with a "No Handout" mentality.
Last week, we also got a short term roommate. Her name's Emily from Tennessee and so far seems like a pretty easy going girl. She also seems to like having a few mzungus around to pass the time. It's been fun for us too! Lots of board games and fellowship with her and the neighbors.
As for me, I feel like I've been getting to see a lot of the country. Last month we bought a dual sport motorcycle. It's pretty sick and Coryn even trusts me enough to hop on the back. It's made us a lot more mobile and really opened up some great opportunities for me to interact with the projects ARM has outside the city.

Last month, I traveled to Rukunjiri to photograph and film the kids from the Mwangaza choir. The Kids are amazing and really served a great reminder to why I'm here! I'm working on putting together the pics and vids for a promo to highlight the choir and their upcoming 6 month tour in the US.
I also got to travel to Lazira last week to photograph over 200 new children for the sponsorship program. It's really amazing how looking through a lens into each one of those kid's eyes can really pull on your heart strings. Just really surprised me since I had been with them all morning but it wasn't till I took each one's portrait that I could see the hope in each one's face! Also gotta add that I need to get a bit more exercise since I'm on day three from being sore from taking pictures! TAKING PICTURES?!?!
The next two weeks for me should be pretty awesome! I get to assist on an extremely talented video crew form So Cal! I'm so excited! The gear they're bringing is sweet, The talent, even better, and I get to travel to yet a new location, Soroti and Lira! The talent I was referring to is Jacob Lewis. He's a truly gifted filmmaker with an even more amazing heart for God, and I'm so stoked to get the opportunity to work with and learn from him!Check out this piece form him. It's pretty touching!

I guess that's pretty much it for now. Oh yeah, we're still illegal aliens here but really hope that will be cleared up soon without too much cost so we ask that you join us in praying for that one big time! Also, we just found out today that Coryn's mom was in a pretty bad accident on the 5th. She's okay now but did have to stay in the hospital for four days due to multiple fractures. Since the doctor's said she's be fine, they didn't tell us the news right away, out of fear that we'd jump on the first plane home (and probably rightfully so!). Anyhoot, we also ask that you join us in praying for a speedy recovery for her and to make the insurance process (car's totaled) as painless as possible. Thanks for the support!
Till next time...

...:::Monkey Business:::...

So I just feltlike sharing a few shots from our little weekend getaway to the source of the Nile in jinja...

As you might be able to tell, We had an amazing time experiencing Jinja with our home group!!! We camped on the banks of the Nile and got fried on our day hike with our new muzungu friends Evin and Amy Turly. On our hike, we just stumbled across these awesome monkeys, and wouldn't you know it, we had some banannas in our pack. Awesome! It was a completely differrent world than either of us had ever experienced and we both really enjoyed the time away.

Till next time...


..."Teacher," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?" "It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him. John 9:2-3
This week has been amazing to say the least. We packed up early Sunday morning and jumped in a taxi with our pal Morris en route to Bombo! We found ourselves filled with anticipation of what the week's medical mission would hold. We joined a team of doctors and staff sent through Peninsula church to Bombo Pentecostal Church. When we got to the church, things looked like business as usual. The church was still a church and service went on just like the previous times we visited. It wasn't till church ended that we realized what we had gotten into. In just a few hours, BPC was changed from an unassuming Ugandan church, into a full blown medical clinic complimented by it's own full service pharmacy. We arrived Monday at around 6:30 and were shocked to be greeted by about 200 people waiting to receive free medical care. The mission was off and running and before we knew it we had reached the end of our first day and saw over 500 patients. The week went on in pretty much the same way only differing by the increase in people waiting for us each morning! The turn out was amazing and trumped only by the stories behind each case. The boy in the picture above was one of the most alarming. He had been quietly waiting for his turn to see a doctor all day and was finally told that he'd have to come back early in the morning due to the number of patients in front of him. As he limped away, Coryn was shocked by the look of pain on his face. She asked what was wrong and the little guy just pointed at his hip. Upon further inquisition, we learned that he had undergone a hip surgery a few years back that had gone horribly wrong! The surgeon had fused the boy's growth plate to his hip eliminating any future growth of his leg. As if that wasn't bad enough, his body had now rejected one of the surgical screws which was now shooting out of his skin about 3 inches . We couldn't believe it! We almost sent the poor guy home and he didn't even try to plead his case to us! The doctors saw him immediately and had the screw out and the wound disinfected in no time. The saddest part of the whole thing was realizing that it was a 10 minute procedure that could have been done 2 years earlier when the problem started but, since access to proper health care is scarce, the family had no other option. I was just told today that the boy is screw, and for the most part, pain, free.
I could go on all day about cases similar to this but I'll save you the time. Besides the general medical problems, the team also performed a number of hernia and cosmetic surgeries. I can honestly say, after spending a day filming in the surgery room, that I've now seen things I'd never seen before. I was amazed, not only by the skills of our own doctors, but also the ingenuity of the local surgeons to do so much with so little. It was also interesting to have the sounds of roosters and goats filling the air during surgery!!!
By the end of the week, we saw over 2000 patients and at least 400 people came to Christ! We really felt God working on the grounds of Bombo and our hearts! Coryn and I really hope to be part of the team next year before we go!

Till next time...

..::babies babies babies::..

This week has started off great! We really enjoyed church on Sunday and got all of our cleaning and shopping done Saturday before the rain. The school that Coryn teaches at just got out on holiday so she started helping out at ARM's new baby home. I think she's really loving it over there and is getting pretty attached to the babies there.This little guy is Daniel. He's about 7 months old and was abandoned at birth. He's got cataracts really bad so the poor guy can hardly see. When he first arrived, he was really malnourished and the doctors didn't give him much of a chance. It's been really great for both of us to see him progress to a fairly healthy baby right before our eyes! We are a little worried because the doctors think his cataracts might be a symptom of a more serious heart condition and are taking him for further testing this week. We hope you'll join us in praying for this little life and the testimony he may one day become!
Til next time...

...::: getting used to things :::...

I was looking at the calendar today and was pretty surprised to see that by the end of the week, Coryn and I will have been away from home for exactly one month! Seems crazy to think it's been that long already. Things here are really starting to settle into place. We're in our apartment now and are, for the most part, taking care of ourselves. I do most of the cooking, which raises some brows from the locals but I just tell them I'm muzungu and they dismiss it as crazy western culture. I figure cooking is the least I can do after watching Coryn work all weekend washing our clothes.

From Uganda

I suppose we can't let them build up like we did in the states. We're learning pretty quickly that even though Uganda seems to move at a slower pace, it's not a place you can just put things off for another day. Everything we do seems to take some kind of planning down to the remembering start the hot water 15 minutes before we shower. It's definitely a different way of living for us. Good news is we finally have our internet working and can interact with all you beautiful people a little easier! (and cheaper!!!)

Our friend Hope came and stayed the night with us on Friday and was amused, to say the least, at the way we cook our food and generally run our house. She helped us out a lot by taking us to the market and showing us how to negotiate for food. I think the best part was at the butcher! Coryn almost lost it when the butcher hung a fresh that was still twitching only a few inches from her face. I made Hope scrambled eggs in the morning but she wasn't too fond of them because they were "too soft". I figured out later that they don't put milk in their eggs.

On another note, We're glad to hear that our Friends Don and Elaine, who we were with for our first two weeks, have returned safely from their trip through the Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi.

From Uganda

Pastor Alex and his wife
Millie, who they partner with in Bombo, and two other Americans, Jackie and Mark.
We're sad to have to see them go at the end of the week but excited to see how they'll further their ministry state side.

Coryn and I are getting pretty excited for a medical mission we'll be assisting with at Alex's church in Bombo towards the end of the month. We're not quite sure what our roles will be yet but We've heard that the word is getting out and the need should be huge!!

All in all, I think we're getting used to things pretty well around here and are able to concentrate a little more on serving and a little less on cultural differences. Till next time...

...:::a few more for the eyes:::...

Hi friends!
Just wanted to get a few more images up from our adventures here. There's tons more to come so stay posted!
I also have to say, We're loving it here in Uganda and are always so excited to see what tommorow will hold for us. God's working in and through us in amazing ways and it's giving us a realization of just how blessed we really are. We're adjusting really well to Kampala life and learning all sorts of Luganda. It's great to see the look on the taxi drivers face when we say masau!!!
Thanks as always for the prayers and support

Better Late Than Never...

We’re here! Just getting here seemed like such an amazing adventure already, I can’t even begin to fathom the experiences God has waiting for us. We took off from LAX on Wednesday evening, saying one last tear filled goodbye to our family. I never would have imagined it would be as hard as it was! Coryn and I then grasped each others hand tightly as we walked through the terminal into the huge question mark ahead.
We boarded the plane without a hitch and settled into the seats we’d call home for the next 16 hours. The flight to Dubai wasn’t too bad minus the tedium. I must have watched at least 6 movies between numerous un-restful catnaps. Sleep was hard to find since our route took us far north where the sunlight was constant but did, at one point, allow me an amazing peak at a sea of icebergs.
We touched down in the UAE at about 8pm local time and I swear the pilot had the hands of a surgeon. I’ve never felt a landing that smooth! Speaking of smooth, I think I should have shaved my patchy excuses for a beard before landing as it may have played a part in my repetitive “Random Screening Selection”. I was pulled aside two different times and made to completely empty all the contents of both my strategically packed carry-on bags along followed up with a slew of interrogation. Once we finally got out of the airport, we were hit with a heat straight from the belly of a dragon with heartburn! It was awful!!! I’m pretty sure that and the lack of sleep were the deciding factor that kept us in our hotel all night.
Boarding the next morning was a breeze and we were off by 9am. We touched down, not so surgically, in Ethiopia 3 hours later and were completely amazed at the view of the countryside as we made our approach. Everything was so lush and green with rivers winding through every nook. We only had a quick touch and go and were back in the air within the hour.
We finally got to Uganda 2 hours later and met our amazing guide Joshua. We proceeded into Kampala which completely took us by surprise. There’s so much congestion and the population is huge! The driving is nerve-racking to say the least and completely trumps the scariest traffic in Mexico. We got to our guesthouse in the evening and enjoyed a home cooked meal and crashed.
So far, the people here are some of the most inviting and genuine people I’ve ever met. Both Coryn and I are so excited to see what God has in store for us in the next year and feel so blessed to have the opportunity to share it!

..::a world so small::..

These last few days have been crazy! So many things are falling into place and their provision can only be accounted for in one way! God. Last week is a blur of work, finals, and meetings in coffee shops but none the less, I feel more and more confident that Coryn and I are making tremendous progress towards our departure. We've met with some really great people that have given us so much hope and anticipation for our trip!
Last week we had the pleasure of meeting up with Alex and Millie Ojera. Their an amazing couple from Bombo, Uganda who have started a few churches, including Bombo Pentacostal Church, that focus on the empowerment of it's people for the bettering of the community. They've extended us a warm invitation to stay with them during our travels between Gaba and Gulu. Most exciting is the fact that we'll also be partnering with them and Align Mnistires for the first week or so in Uganda. They gave us so much useful information and really made us feel secure about our initial transition into Ugandan life!
Our next set of sit downs was with a few people at our church heavily involved with RockHarbor's Uganda reach ministry. It was such a great feeling to feel the blessing of our home church and has led to some amazing new partnerships.
One of those partnerships was born this morning in a spur of the moment meeting with Sean Galaway from Krochet Kids International. Sean hails from our home church here in Orange County and has led many teams through Africa Renewal Ministry. He's moving to Ugnada for a year and will be in the nothern city of Gulu.
I was really excited after meeting Sean! I think mostly because he's a guy my age with a ton of ambition and compassion. There's a very calming feeling Coryn and I have gotten from knowing that half a world away, we'll be surrounded with people that are welcoming and like minded. It's been an absolute blessing!

..::Dry Mouth::..

I think it will take a week for the adhesive taste to leave my tongue!
I got up this morning and addressed the first batch of 100 letters. That part was easy thanks to my handy dandy printer! I then subjected my tongue to the dragging of 100 letters across it's surface. They should really flavor those things! Maybe mint or vanilla. Or Vanilla Mint! Anyway, I then went to three different mail centers trying to find one that did bulk mail. Not even my final stop, the good ol' U.S.P.S., did bulk! Guess I got spoiled at my last job? Next, I proceeded to annoy the clerk by affixing stamps to the 100 envelopes on the counter. She insisted! I just think she thought I'd be faster but I quickly proved her wrong. Now all we have to do is hope our passports arrive early enough to get our visas, Get our visas, Get Yellow Fever and Typhoid Vaccinations on Wednesday, Find someone to rent the apartment, Sell all our junk, Put the rest in storage, Pray they let us in the country without buying a return ticket, Arrive safely, Find a new appartment we can afford, and Adjust to Uganda!
We still have seven weeks, What am I worried about?...

..::So we're really doing this!!!::..

After two months of looking on every airfare search engine, I finally hit the "purchase tickets" button today! Two one way tickets to Uganda!!!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Emirates 216 Economy | Boeing 777 (777) | 15hr 55min | 8327 miles
Depart: 4:45pm Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles International (LAX)
Arrive: 7:40pm Dubai, United Arab Emirates Dubai (DXB)
Change planes. Time between flights: 12hr 45min
Emirates 723 Economy | Boeing 777-200 (772) | 4hr 5min | 1564 miles
Depart: 8:25am Dubai, United Arab Emirates Dubai (DXB)
Arrive: 11:30am Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Addis Ababa Bole (ADD)
No plane change. Time between flights: 1hr 15min
Emirates 723 Economy | Boeing 777-200 (772) | 2hr 0min | 757 miles
Depart: 12:45pm Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Addis Ababa Bole (ADD)
Arrive: 2:45pm Entebbe, Uganda Entebbe (EBB)
This flight arrives two days later.
Total duration: 36hr 0min | Total miles: 10648 miles
...Now I just hope they let us on the plane with a one-way ticket!!!

..::the letters are comming::..

If you haven't seen it, see it!
If that's what brought you here, Thanks for watching!
To receive a letter or to support our mission, please send and email to containing your home address and phone number!a
Thanks for watching!!! His service,
Jamesdon & Coryn

..::Uganda 2009::..

…the realization

Jamesdon, summer of 2005…
Coryn and I were on a short term mission in Victoria, Canada. Only dating at the time, we made a commitment to give each other space to allow God to do his work through us without the distraction of young love. After spending a few weeks immersed in a new and foreign way of living, I started to feel God tugging on my heart strings, giving me a picture of a life, perpetually lived in this sacrificial lifestyle. It looked magnificent! But little did I know the woman that would one day be my bride was having her own parallel experience.
Coryn, summer of 2005…
Before our trip to Canada I never truly knew what it meant to “hear God’s voice”, but after being in Canada for a week I knew that God was definitely speaking to me. After an amazing session of prayer and worship, I went to my pastor’s wife, Deanna, and told her that I felt God was calling me to missions in Africa. The first thing she asked me was “have you talked to Jamesdon about this?”, which I thought was an odd response. Little did I know, Jamesdon had come to Deanna earlier to share that He too felt called to missions in Africa.
When we finally sat down to talk about this there was no doubt in our minds that this was what God wanted us to do. We had no idea what this would look like, but God has slowly been unveiling His plan and now, four years later, we’re finally saying yes to what God had called us to do so many years ago!
What does this look like? Uganda! We’ll be serving for 13 months in various areas of war torn Uganda with Africa Renewal Ministry. Coryn will be concentrating most of her efforts with Maranatha High School teaching and developing their science department and Jamesdon will be heavily involved with computer networking and instruction as well as media production. We’ll be serving mostly in southern Uganda with some extended stays in Gulu.

...where you come in

For many of you, we’d first like to say thank you for all the prayer, support, and guidance you’ve provided us in the last year of preparation. The journey has been challenging, but without you all it would have been nearly impossible.
With that said, I first and foremost want to start by asking you to join us in prayer with longing, anticipation, and expectation that the Lord will continue to guide and provide for us according to His will. The column to the right is a great place to start!
Secondly, we humbly ask that you partner with us in the work being done in Uganda by contributing to our financial commitment of 20,000 to cover our expenses for the year. If you’d like to unite with us in this undertaking you may send donations to 3012 Herrington Ave. San Bernardino 92405 payable to Africa Renewal Ministries and include "the Kisslings" in the memo line..
We thank you again for your continued prayers and support for our ministry and look forward to keeping you updated on our progress. To help us facilitate this please email us at with your contact info!


A window into our adventure that is UGANDA