An Interview With My Hero

He loves people far better than I do, he gives out of all that he has, he is brilliant, hardworking, patient, grateful, God-fearing, considerate, honest, and embarrassed that I am posting this! If this is too sappy for you, I don’t care.

Does he have any faults? Of course he does, but the plank is so big in my own eye that I can barely see them.

John Turner Palmer, IV. This man. My hero.

John stays very busy and is currently working on many “projects”. He is very excited to share them with you but is always short on time. So, in order to get this posted, I interviewed him. This way, all he has to do is talk and I do the rest (aka, saying what I want to about him).

What projects are you currently working on at Lulwanda Children’s Home?

We have just completed a flow study on our existing hand-pump well and are pursuing a solar powered submersible pump that will pump water from the well to our reservoir tanks. This will enable us to get off of the National Water System, which is very costly in our monthly operating budget.

We are working on implementing a maize mill that grinds posho (our main food at Lulwanda) and maize bran (for animals to eat).

We are converting 40 foot long shipping containers into a food storage facility.

We are finishing 4 tilapia farms.

We have planted 4,000 eucalyptus tress that will be ready for harvesting in approximately 7 years.

We are constructing an indigenous microorganism piggery (IMO) where we have identified and are soon purchasing 12 South African Cambra Pigs.

We are in the developing stage of upgrading our dairy farm to increase production of daily milk volumes.

We have built a series of drainage canals to help move water through the farmland.

We are building a mud and brick house for the farmer on the farmland.

What are some accomplishments from the past year that you are really proud of?

Getting the Tendo house up and running in town for our older kids, which enabled us to free up bed space at Lulwanda to take in the 12 new kids.

I was blessed to pray with several children to receive Christ this past year.

I am proud that we harvested our first crop of beans, approximately 2 tons of maize and 1000 liters of milk. The pig farm has grown to over 30 pigs.

We have recently completed installing a solar battery system at the Lulwanda Primary School.

I am extremely proud to be a part of this ministry where so many people back us up and help fund all of the above projects. We want those supporters to be just as proud as we are.


What do you enjoy about living in Uganda?

We have each built strong, supportive relationships here. I love the closeness of the missional community we are a part of. I also enjoy the friendships we have made at Lulwanda.

I like that the pace of life is slower here and that there is more time for relationships.

I like that I see my family more often.

I also really enjoy the abundance of God’s beauty around us. I have even taken to novice bird watching.

What is the hardest part about living in Uganda?

Knowing that we are “missing out” on relationships with family and friends back in America. Fighting the feeling of being forgotten by them.

Anytime I watch my family struggle through a bad day is hard.

You don’t realize how many simple, small, cultural things you miss in America until you get a small glimpse of them; a good song on the radio, a nice meal, Christmas music and decorations, Saturday afternoon football, a trip to Home Depot, etc.

What have been some life lessons you have learned during your time in Uganda?

I have always known that God is sovereign, but here I have learned to appreciate that and find rest in his sovereignty. I have learned to better abide in Christ.

I have learned to be more patient and that wisdom is more than being right or wrong.

People are more important than task.


Solar Panel on the Primary School


Doing assessment on hand-pump bore hole.


Tilapia ponds


Planting eucalyptus trees


The new maize mill


Shipping containers being converted into storage facility


A few of our new piglets


Mud house being built at farm


Another view of the mud hut.  Soybeans growing in front.


Moses learning how to milk from Farmer Geoffrey


John and Administrator Simon


John playing his weekly basketball game with some community guys.


Malakite Kingfisher John photographed near the source of the Nile


John harvesting beans


Kids harvesting beans


Drying the beans on the basketball court


John and two of his Mamas.


10 thoughts on “An Interview With My Hero

  1. Just prayed for your family, the children and the work. I am genuinely encouraged and thankful for you! This will be our first Thanksgiving and Christmas back in the US in 7 years. While we do love it, we do miss our Thai family and how we celebrated the season there. You are living like your Master, you’ve left your home out of you love for the Father and people. Grace to you during this time old friends!

  2. Enjoyed so much your long, informative letter with the pictures. Amazed at all you are accomplishing. John is my hero also. Prayers going your way.

  3. You are all my heroes! I am so proud of you all. You are missed so much and never ever forgotten. I remember how hospitable Cookie and Ted always were in Waynesboro and thinking of the wonderful life lessons they were teaching their kids. Hopefully those of us at 1st Pres helped too in some small way. Praying for you to have a Happy Thanksgiving, a very blessed Christmas and fruitful new year. Love to you! Helen (and Jim) Knight

  4. I always delight in your letters and all of the photos! It helps to better understand what you do. We are thrilled with all of the projects in process. We’ll continue to pray with your comments in mind. We love you and thank God for your willingness to leave family, friends, what is familiar, etc. to serve needy kids and share/live out the gospel.

    Trust that your Thanksgiving will be blessed of God.

  5. We enjoyed the interview and we’re excited to read about all the projects you guys are working on. We are feeling very blessed to be a small.part of your ministry. We pray for you often and look forward to your posts.

  6. I love reading your posts and am amazed at all that God is doing and in all that you guys have accomplished through Him! We have your picture in our school room and when we pray Psalm 91 each morning we pray it for you as well. I also think of you guys when I pass your old house in the neighborhood. You are an encouragement and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, days and struggles with us. That you for being so real. We will not stop praying and claiming God’s promises over you all! Lots of love and prayers, Xxo

  7. I really enjoy reading your awesome newsletters each time. Thank you so much for all your hard work and many blessings to you and your precious family! Our thoughts and prayers are with you each day!

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