ALLENDALE, Mich., — Next week, Ken VanderWal will pack his bags and travel to Uganda for the 14th time. The Grand Valley State University boiler engineer said the African country first captured his heart back in 2004.
“The people there are easy to fall in love with,” VanderWal told FOX 17 News.
Over the years, VanderWal has bought land and built a home in Uganda. Every single one of his trips has been about “paying it forward” to the people there. VanderWal shares the gospel in the schools and has raised thousands of dollars to buy Bibles and medical equipment to donate.
In June, he rode a bike across the state of Michigan to raise funds for the most recent trip. He was able to bring in about $4,000 thousand dollars with the 269-mile bike ride. VanderWal explained the money will be used to buy and distribute 400 mosquito nets to help fight malaria.
VanderWal plans to spend about a month in Uganda when he leaves on September 5th. He is also considering moving to the country as he nears retirement age.
“I can take care of the malaria, the physical needs but the biggest thing is sharing God with people,” he explained. “They have almost nothing, but they have hope and they have a dream, and they are just a loving people that I can enjoy.”
VanderWal has even formed a non-profit over the years called Liberty International Missions, Inc.
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