Friendship Christian School has mission work it performs in Hancock County in East Tennessee, but some of the students have gone to Uganda with their sponsor, Greg Armstrong, to help create working fresh-water wells for the residents.
Armstrong, who teaches high school science and is the school’s cross-country coach, leads students to the East-Central African country to help build wells and spread the message from the Bible.
“In May, we have a team going to Uganda to prepare water wells for the residents who don’t have access to fresh water,” Armstrong said. “That’s a neat project. A year-and-a-half ago, we drilled a well at (FCS), and used a pump we had brought back from Uganda.”
Students learn what a well is like in Uganda, he said, adding, “there is a lot of engineering, and concepts of math and science that we can apply from the classroom. It’s problem-based learning. We learn how to fix the pump, different components of a well and how to sterilize water. We hit the ground in Uganda. The students are well-trained and prepared to go to the areas to dig the wells and help the people
Two years ago, two FCS girls went to Uganda on their first survey trip, Armstrong said.
“They were looking around and had ideas I didn’t have,” he said. “The students were engaged on how to help with the water situation. Women, and usually teenage girls, are often responsible for carrying water back from places not close to their home. As the girls visited with these teenagers and women, they realized they did not have access to hygienic feminine hygiene products.”
When the FCS students came back to America, they created a program called 84 Days. They put together reusable hygiene kits for the women in Africa. They also did a campaign in Haiti and inner-city Nashville, where some of the same issues are occurring. Two students are going back this year to distribute the products to more Ugandans.
Six FCS students are going to Uganda with Armstrong. Three of those are going with him a week early to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano in Tanzania.
“I climbed it last March,” Armstrong said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s 20,000 feet high. There is the possibility for altitude sickness, so we have to be in the best cardiovascular shape. We will climb it slowly to acclimate to it as much as possible. We’ll probably climb four to five miles a day.”
In September, they’re planning to go to Boston and in December, they plan to go to New York for ministry trips.
Last year, students went to Haiti and Costa Rica. Although Costa Rica is not on the itinerary in 2020, Haiti is.
“We will work on broken well pumps, the same things we do in Uganda,” Armstrong said.
The school is raising money to help pay for the trip to Uganda. For information contact Armstrong at email@example.com or (615) 642-6863. Donations will be accepted until the trip begins May 22.