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Josh Liegel, CEO of EIC Solutions, fulfilled a long-held dream by traveling to Entebbe and Mukono, Uganda, spurred by his daughter’s mission trip and an opportunity through his church. Despite uncertainties, he made a leap of faith, preparing his business and personal life while relying on others to manage things back home.

His journey was marked by embracing the unknown and relinquishing control, leading to personal growth. In the conversation with David, Josh emphasized the value of stepping out of comfort zones and serving others for personal growth.




Josh Liegel is the President and CEO of EIC Solutions, Inc, an electronics manufacturer that focuses on thermoelectric, solid state cooling systems. With nearly two decades of electronics-protection-industry experience under his belt, Josh seeks to lead EIC to new heights and break the barriers of solid state cooling application. This can only be done by fostering an inclusive culture of excellence, problem solving and creativity.

Show Notes

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David 0:00
Welcome to another episode of the agency balance and welcome back, Josh Liegel.

Josh 0:06
Thank you.

David 0:07
I’m, I’m stoked that you’re back on season two or wrapping season two and you snuck in.

Josh 0:12
Alright, great! It’s good to be here.

David 0:15
So today, Josh has a great story that I asked him to come on and share. And today we’re talking about journeys. Yep. You took a journey.

Josh 0:25
I did take a journey.

David 0:28
I heard you took a trip.

Josh 0:29
I took a trip that was the part of a journey is really how you want to phrase that. But yeah.

David 0:35
Amazing. And I actually don’t know all the detail behind this. So I’m, I’m really excited.

Josh 0:44
I wanted to keep you in the dark. So this would be really natural. So…

David 0:47
We hope today’s episode is going to give those some maybe courage, maybe some inspiration, maybe some ideas if they’re taking if they’re looking to take a trip or journey. So let’s just get into it.

Josh 1:01

David 1:02
Where did you go?

Speaker 1 1:04
So I went to Entebbe, Uganda, and Mukono, Uganda. In one trip, we went to both places. And just to give you some geographic, Uganda is in eastern Africa. The equator runs right through Uganda. And it’s one country over from the coast…And then it’s right there. And the capital of Uganda is Kampala. And Entebbe is just south of Kampala, and Mukono is just east of Kampala. And Entebbe sits on Lake Victoria, which is the second largest freshwater lake in the world, only second to Lake Superior by square surface area. So there’s this huge body of water right there. And then you have this city, Entebbe, which is actually in Africa. It’s a sizable city. They have big airport, they have you know, actually just had a big summit global summit there. So yeah, it’s a sizable city. So we were there for most of the trip. So

David 2:04
Wow. Wow. I’ve never been there.

Josh 2:07
Neither had I, honestly.

David 2:10
And thank you for plotting that out on the map. I generally do quite well in the geography category on Jeopardy.

Josh 2:19

David 2:20
When we watch Jeopardy every night, but that helped me a little bit because I I’m not too up and up on some of the countries

Josh 2:29

David 2:29
In Africa.

Josh 2:30

David 2:32
Wow, that’s amazing. So, quite a distance from where you’re located to there. I have to start with the why. So how did this all come about? Give me the backstory.

Josh 2:44

David 2:44
What, what made you wake up one day and go, “You know what, I think today’s the day I want to go to Africa.”

Josh 2:53
So that’s, I think that’s really you know, when you get to the to the why is really what started as a journey and not just a trip, right? So we’re gonna go way back. 17 years old. You know, when I’m 17 years old, I had a friend in high school, and her family had lived in Kenya, for a year, when she was a kid, her dad was a teacher, they went on sabbatical, and lived there. And he taught at this other school that was there for a year. And she had shown me all these videos, like home videos, you know, we’re going back to like, what, like, 9095 She’s like, showing me these home videos, and you know, like, and it was just so cool. You know, like seeing this other culture, this other world that I’d never experienced. And at that point, I was kind of like, someday, I’m gonna go to Africa, like, I want to go there someday, like, that is definitely like something I want to do with my life. You know, then high school, college, you know, getting out of college trying to figure out life, wife, kids, like, everything starts happening. So the dreams and then the visions of going to Africa, really weren’t on the table as far as like something I could do. Right. So then fast forward to summer of 2023. And my oldest daughter, who’s 16 At the time, has an opportunity to go to Kenya with our church on the youth group on a missions trip. So she goes out she’s gone for just under two weeks, and she came back and and she’s just this is life changing. This is you know, just revolutionary for her and she’s just so fired up about it. So I go to the missions pastor who I’m actually very good friends with at our church. I say Steve look if you ever if you guys ever do like just sort of a Random Trip not a youth group trip I’m obviously not in high school. But if you guys ever do you know just like a random trip into Africa at any point in Africa cuz we’ve been to the there’s been trips to Zambia and Kenya Uganda like different parts with different places we’ve worked with and stuff so if you ever get it, if there’s ever an opportunity, I’d love to be considered to be a part of it. Now this is is like July of 23. So he says, Yeah, you know, we probably have some stuff coming up, we’ll keep you posted. So I’m like, okay, cool. You know, like, that’s, that’s kind of, as far as I got in the thought process was, I should probably tell someone that I want to go at least somebody who could make that happen, or at least know when it’s happening. So I told Steve and I said, Yeah, you know, I’d really like the opportunity to go with us. So like, a month later, he says, Listen, I’m going to do a trip in January. And I’m like, okay, January is a good time. For me. It’s usually like, you know, it’s slower in our business during during January. And you know, we’ve just finished the year, we got the whole year ahead of us. So there’s sort of a little bit of time with, there’s some flexibility and stuff. It’s not the the heat of our business season. It’s not we’re trying to close out the year, it’s sort of a little bit flexible. So I said, Alright, January could work. And my response was, what are we going to do? Yeah, what were we got? Why are we going? Where are we going, like, what’s happening? And he was like, I’ll let you know. And I was kinda like, you’ll let me know. Okay, like, this is not what I expected you to say. I, you know, so I wasn’t really sure. You know what it was, but I was kind of like, excited. You know, who’s going, what are we gonna be doing? I mean, we’ve done, the church has done medical trips, the church has done more like, evangelistic outreach trips, you know. So there’s been different types of trips that have gone over before building trips, they’ve built radio towers, they’ve built buildings, they’ve, you know, done other things. So, having the opportunity to go, I’m just thinking, Alright, great. Well, what are we going to be doing? So, I have repeatedly, Hey, what are we gonna be doing? And he’s, yeah, you know, I’ll let you know. And I was like, Okay, I’m not sure if I’m going yet, but you know, just let me know we’re gonna be doing. So then it comes to find out that the trip is going to be small, there’s not going to sometimes it’s like, 2025 people are going to do some big project. Help out some people over there. But this was only going to be there’s gonna be six of us. It was gonna be Steve and Skye, John that I don’t really know, well at the time, but then the other guys the other three guys. We’re gonna Oh, very good friends of mine. One of them actually is like one of my best friends for past 30 years. Wow. So he’s gonna go so I’m like, Okay. I mean, it’s the team is lining up. And it sounds awesome. But I still don’t know what we’re doing. Like, what are we doing guys? Like, like, why am I going like, How can I help? Like, what? What skill set? Do I have that that’s going to be used here? And I’m still like, not I’m hearing like little dribs and drabs, like, we’re gonna go here, we’re going to meet with these people. We’re going to touch base with this group, we’re going to you know, but nobody’s like saying like, this is the plan. This is the itinerary. And I’m like a planner, itinerary guy, like in my brain. I mean, you can ask my wife, she’s, like, if she’s like, we need to do this. I’m like writing a list. Like, right away.

David 7:51
Let me guess you’re going there to record a podcast?

Josh 7:56
Yes, we’re gonna fly 7000 miles away to record a podcast. No. So I mean, we’re just, we’re really, you know, like, I’m not sure what to do. Because I’m thinking, Okay, I got to spend time away from work, you know, the business is going to be operating without me, and I trust the team that’s there. But I’m going to be possibly completely unreachable for a whole week. You know, my wife and kids are at home, I’m going to leave them for a week, I’m gonna put myself in the face of, you know, possible sicknesses and things like I don’t you know, there’s a lot of, you know, right on the water there on Lake Victoria. So mosquito count is high, like, you have endemic things going on there. So you don’t have to get a yellow fever vaccine just in order to get into the country. You know, so it’s like, there’s, there’s concerns there. It’s like, why am I going to take this risk? Why am I going to, you know, cause this inconvenience in my life, if I don’t even know what we’re doing. And my wife, I mean, she’s, she’s the best and she’s just encouraging me the whole time. Like, do you just need to step out just step out in faith, like, there’s a plan here, like, we’re going to, you just you got to, you know, just try it. I mean, she’s gone to the Ukraine, she’s gone to Mexico, she’s going to Ireland to do these types of trips before when she was younger. And I had done like a couple of domestic things, you know, here where we, like, you know, went down south and like, help some people do roofing and stuff like that, and in poor areas, but I’ve never gone international before. So I’m sort of like, I’m the newbie, she’s the seasoned vet. And she’s just really encouraging me to go. So I really want to have this desire to step out. But again, I’m like, pulled back. So finally, I’m like, Alright, look, I’m just, I’m just gonna say I’m gonna go, like, because it’s October now. And if I don’t say now that I’m going, like, there’s not gonna be time to get visas, and my gotta get my passport renewed and like, like, I’ve gotta get all this stuff done, and there’s not gonna be enough time. So I said, I’ll go. And so it was really a leap of faith. I mean, because I didn’t know what we were going to be doing. I was just kind of like, alright, well, well, I’m going and as soon as I said, Let’s go. I’ll do it. Steve, the guy who’s running the show. Rep was like, great, here’s what we’re doing. No way. So. So that’s when he kind of laid out to me what the plan was and kind of what we’re doing. And, you know, it. It was that that, that part of the journey of like struggling through should I go? Should I not go? Why am I going, you know, there was an aspect there where I was really like, being very pragmatic and very, like, I’ve got to, you know, figure this out, I’ve got to understand why I’m going and everything. And there’s part of it that’s like this emotional spiritual part where I’m like, I’ve got to be able to step out, I’ve got to be able to just say, Alright, I’m gonna go. And so I said, I’m gonna go.

David 10:37
Well, wow, that’s, that’s crazy. That’s, that’s actually, it’s pretty funny that he was kind of like, Steve was like, Okay, now, I’ll tell you. Well, sure. Now, I’ll tell you what we’re gonna do. But I guess I guess like, before we get into kind of the like, what you did there? Yeah. You said, like preparation and you’re a planner. P last episode, we talked about a lot of p p words, we’re talking about P words, again, not those type of keywords. Right. Um, but what what did talk about talk, talk to me share with our listeners, like the amount of preparation that you did have to do both. Personally, you’re sharing, you know, as a father, professionally as a business leader. But also, I think, maybe, you know, health and mental as well. Sure. Tell me talk to me about that.

Josh 11:35
So, I mean, in preparation, right, like, I think that’s even, that’s, that was even a step out. And like, I don’t know what to do, like, like I said, I’ve never really tried, I mean, I have travelled internationally, I’ve been to Canada. So not exactly a huge culture shock up there. The, it’s America with kilometers. I mean, that’s basically what you’re dealing with up there. So it’s not very different than what things are like down here, culturally. So I was trying to, I was trying to do this simultaneously, like, get prepared for everything. And simultaneously, like, be prepared for nothing, because you don’t actually know what you’re going into. And I want to prepare for the wrong thing. So it was really like, you know, from a business standpoint, I just wanted to make sure there was clear goals and objectives set for the business. And in my absence, again, not because I don’t have a good team there who can manage everything well in, you know, when I’m not there, but it was really that side of like, making sure the ship is still moving forward, and not just sort of like stagnating. In my absence. It’s only a week. But I also recognize the fact that I could get sick while I’m there, I could I could be out for another week, when I get back. You know, I had a friend who went out there actually, to the same area, wound up getting a parasite was knocked down for a couple of weeks when he came back, you know, so I knew that there was like, risk here. So I had to have things set up in advance in my absence, that it was going to be more than just here are the, you know, five or six business days that I’m going to be gone and recognize the fact that this could very quickly become 1116 business days, you know, the better part of a month, and are the objectives clearly stated in advance. And, you know, thankfully, shout out to Mike Clark, COO of EIC Solutions, just really holding it down, knowing what’s what, making sure things are moving forward. So, you know, we were, I was blessed to be able to have that side of things kind of taken care of everybody knew what to do. And then even with, at home, you know, again, my wife’s a superstar, she, she manages, you know, getting three kids to school every day, bringing them back getting dinner on the table, like she’s the best. And so, you know, she was, of course, sad to see me not be there for a week, but simultaneously really excited for me, so I didn’t have a whole lot to worry about there. So it was nice. I think emotionally, you know, I had to temper my expectations. Because it’s very, I’m such a planner that at times I can plan out like what’s going to be fun and what’s not going to be fun and like emotionally like how I’m going to deal with it. You know what I mean? Like I can I can fall into this trap of like ultra planning at times. So I really had to kind of dial it back for myself and say, Okay, I want to be totally open to like, what is going to happen here, and that I’m not able to control it, but I want to experience it. I want to see you know what opportunities are gonna come for, you know, meeting people and encouraging people and like being able to bless the people we’re there to serve and not just going in with this like preconceived art. I’m gonna get this done. I’m gonna get this done. I’m gonna get this done, you know? So I really had to be careful not to overhype myself. Yeah, and just kind of like let it be what it is planned for the unplanned. Exactly. But even in that I can get a little too granular. So I tried to, you know, have the things I needed to do. Do not overpack or over worry about like, well, what if this happens? What if that happens? I mean, the other thing you have to realize is like, we’re not going to, you know, it is a third world country, right? But we’re going to be in a major city, like there are still Yes, there are like street side vendors who are selling like, you know, live stock, and you know, things like that. But there are also like, small shopping malls where there’s like a grocery store and like a restaurant, and you know, there was a north face store and the one mall we provide Ritz Carlton to, right, so there was still opportunity, like, you know, if I needed some new T shirts or something, because I, you know, mine got lost or ripped or whatever, you know, I could get what I needed. So I didn’t want to overthink it so much that I was like, you know, preparing for like some backwoods Safari that I was going to be on for a month or something like that. I was I wasn’t, you know, going off the grid, I was just going to a place that was very unknown to me.

David 15:53
Yeah, I can imagine that. There’s probably times that you felt uneasy about the uncertainty.

Josh 15:59
Yeah, very much. So again, I don’t like uncertainty. It’s not my friend. And it actually is my friend. But I don’t like to. I like to pretend that it’s not. But you know, it is one of those things that the uncertainty side of it, for me was very scary. But again, that was where like, that stepping out in faith had to happen. Like, I can’t control everything. I can’t plan everything in life in general. And I have to be willing to kind of move and you know, adapt as I’m in the midst of it. So I had to recognize the fact that that was going to need to occur. And I was going to have to deal with it. Moment to moment. Right, right. So we’ve got to really the emotional preparation was really psyching myself up for like, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know what you’re going to experience. And that’s okay.

David 16:46
Yeah. Well, I think it also I mean, it sound sounds like you had some support there with you, because you had people that you knew, as well that were coming with you. So I think that maybe that helped right?

Josh 16:59
It helps a lot. I mean, having having a team that I was very familiar with, yeah, you know, good friends that I was able to travel with, because it travels heavy. I mean, it’s a 14 hour plane ride, the first leg of the trip, it’s for a 14 hour plane ride, and then you’re in an airport for a while then you have a short plane ride, then you’re driving all around and the roads there are less than favorable. I was glad I wasn’t driving. But…

David 17:24
I’ve seen videos. I don’t know if it was like that with some…

Josh 17:27
I mean, it was wild, because you’d have you’d be driving. And I mean, the potholes, you know, Pennsylvania, we talk about bad potholes. I mean, you’re talking potholes that are, you know, 12 to 18 inches, these are potholes that cows can fall in. Yeah. And then on the sides of the roads. They have gutters for the rainwater to run off on but they’re like stone lined troughs. And so if you go a little to the right of the left, like you could easily drive right into one of those and then be stuck. Plus, there’s no sidewalks, right? Most people don’t have cars. So there’s people walking all over the roads. There’s livestock all over the roads. There’s animals. And motorcycles everywhere.

David 18:06
Motorcycle and vehicles that are probably barely held together.

Josh 18:11
Yeah, yeah. So I mean, and so you’re in this situation where it’s suddenly like travel is just so different. But again, it’s like, I had to be okay with that. I had to be okay with the fact that things were not going to happen the way I thought they make happen.

David 18:26
So in addition to having people that you went with, you also had a good support system on the home front. And in the business, which I think is so critical. If you’re thinking about taking any any type of trip, you don’t have to Uganda, ashore, the mountains, but I think it’s you said it, you said it quickly, it was like you had a team that you could trust and you trust them and that they could, they’re going to be there for you to not only just not just keeping the lights on, but to help grow and keep things moving forward. And I think in ways that’s, maybe that’s healthy, too, right? Like, do you find that that’s healthy for you to kind of step away sometimes not to like test the system, but just to give them the opportunity to step in.

Josh 19:12
Yeah, I mean, it doesn’t. I’m not doing it with the purpose of testing the system. But I am testing the system just because of the nature of what’s happening. But I think it is crucial from a business standpoint, that you have those times where you force the system to be to operate the way you’ve designed it to operate, right. Like if you’ve, if you’ve done the work up front, it should be fine. But there is nothing scarier than taking your hand off and making sure it actually is fine. Now ultimately, in a week, we couldn’t careen that far into disaster. So it wasn’t like I was gonna be gone for six months or something, you know, but still, you know, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s like a baby, you know, like you when your baby’s learning how to walk. It’s kind of scary to let them go in that moment. You know, speaking of, you know, letting kids like letting my daughter go to Africa at 16 years. He’s old, and be like, Okay, I literally can’t do anything. If something goes sideways here, I’m 7000 miles away from you, and having to be okay with that. That’s again part of this journey of like, stepping out in faith and just being like, alright, well, I’m gonna trust that you’re gonna be alright. So.

David 20:20
Alright, so at this point, you’re, you’re locked in. You’re going, you told Steve that you’re going, Yes. He told you what you’re going to do. He told me that it’s a 14 hour flight. What the heck did you do on a 14 hour flight? Other than sleep? Like, what was the timing of that?

Josh 20:34
Um, well, first of all, I don’t sleep well on flights.

David 20:37
I don’t either.

Josh 20:38
So sleep was minimal. Um, so it was like a comedy of errors on my flight. For me, I think I think everybody else on the team was fine. Like, nobody else had any, like, major issues, but it was like, you know, so it’s, you’re just, you’re sitting in this flight, it’s, it’s fine. But it’s a 14 hour flight. So you know, seven hours through, you’re like, Yay, we’re halfway there. You know, I still have another seven hours to go. There’s only so many movies, you can watch. So many so many books, you can read, you got to stand up, you got to move around. My headphones broke in, like, the first hour, it was like that, the phone, I had them plugged into the phone, because I didn’t want to bring bluetooth headphones. Because I was like, I don’t know what the charging situation is gonna be like, I’m wearing wired headphones. So I plugged them into my phone, and I like got stuck, and I pulled it and it just shredded the cord. So I was like, alright, well, I’m not listening to music. You know, so did a lot of like, kind of standing up walking around talking to a couple guys on the team kind of just getting them where their head was at most of them had been on trips before, I think all of them had been on trips before to Africa. I had not I was the newbie, you know, so everybody else had kind of had some seasoning behind them, they kind of knew what to expect, I did not know what to expect. So but honestly, for a 14 hour flight, I think I really just was able to kind of get my head in the space of, we’re gonna go here, and we’re going to serve and it’s going to be unknown, and it’s going to be strange. And it’s going to be wild. And it’s gonna be awesome, like, all the same time. So by the time, you know, getting on to the flight, I’m very like, what’s going to happen next. Getting off of the flight, I’m more like, I can’t wait for what happens next. You know, I’m I’m so far into the unknown at this point that it’s like, I might as well just let go and let this happen, as opposed to still trying to hold on and trying to figure things out and trying to you know, so I think that 14 hours for me, even though I wasn’t able to do a lot of you know, passing of the time, I passed it just by really like praying through some things, thinking through some things kind of figuring out like, alright, well, what am I going to do next? I’m going to let this happen and just be here.

David 22:55
Is that their summer months?

Josh 22:56

David 22:57
Okay. See, I know a little bit.

Josh 22:59
Yeah. You’re just south of the equator, like literally just like, barely south of the equator.

David 23:04
They have what they call, cycling, were they like surging? They’re like, they would shut down the electricity at certain points. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Josh 23:14
I mean, I’ve heard about that but they didn’t do it while we were there, where we were. They may do that. We weren’t experiencing that. Again, there was this huge global summit that was happening. I forget what it was a GE whatever, oh, that was happening while we were there. So it was actually kind of crazy. Because we get off the plane. And there’s literally guys with like, AKs like, everywhere, just like because there’s all these global leaders coming in and stuff. So we’re just like, Okay, we’re just gonna…

David 23:39
Not a global leader.

Josh 23:41
You guys don’t need to worry about me, but…

David 23:42
We help out with global solutions. Not we’re not a global leadrer.

Josh 23:46
So you know, it was one of the things like it actually felt very safe. And I think because of that we didn’t experience some of the like, Yeah, some of those things that maybe would have made it even more uncomfortable, you know, something like that, but to speak to the summer month thing. Yeah, it was it was really kind of not a hot weather guy. I don’t love hot weather. And we’re going from it’s January and Pennsylvania It was literally snowing on the day we laughed like we’re like we’re no no, if we’re gonna get out of here. Like it was a pretty serious snowstorm. And, you know, we go from that, like freezing temperatures and everything. Our bodies are used to this freezing temperatures, you know, half a day later, you’re getting off the plane and it’s 85 degrees and 90% humidity, and there’s very few places that have air conditioning. Most places do not. So you’re just like, hanging out sweating profusely. Hence the need for new T shirts, perhaps you know, it was a it was very uncomfortable. I have to say like, physically it was very uncomfortable. But I think that’s part of that was again part of this journey. Like I had to like let it go and not be like, Well, how am I gonna get myself comfortable? It’s more like, Well, I’m gonna have to lean into this and just be uncomfortable.

David 24:59
For a person who creates a product to control, heat and cooling. When you have no control over what that’s going to be, you were probably miserable.

Josh 25:11
It was. I mean, that’s the thing, though. It was like, it wasn’t miserable like it. If I was here, and that was happening, and I was just sweating profusely all the time, I would be miserable. But we were there. And because I had sort of gotten myself into this headspace of like, I’m just gonna let what happened, what’s going to happen happen? Then? I was okay.

David 25:33
Or it’s just like going to Orlando. In the summer. It’s 100 degrees.

Josh 25:40
With less, you know, Disney.

David 25:42
Yeah, exactly. All right. So, um, what? What did you do?

Josh 25:52
So…so the plan that kind of came out, was like, an even this, to me was like that this wasn’t enough of a plan for me, if I’m going back to like, is this going to be enough planning for me? Like, this wasn’t really enough of a plan, but it was actually the perfect amount of planning. Like, having come through it, it was perfect. But going into it, I’m like, can’t we have more of a plan? Can we have more things on the itinerary? What time are we doing this, you know, but basically, we went to, we had three main objectives while we were there. The first one, and the one I’ll probably talk the most about. So I’ll kind of save that for last was, was to meet with ask a few a child care ministries, which was, which was a big deal. So I’ll get into a little bit about that. But then, we also went out to one of the islands that’s in Lake Victoria, and met with a guy who runs a school and church and child’s home, they’re, like, in the middle of this massive body of water, these these little islands. And so he was he was there. And then for three and a half days, almost four days, we were in Makoto, which I had mentioned, and that was for a conference for pastors who are in East Africa, Tanzania, DRC, Kenya, Uganda. So they were there meeting for this like biannual conference, I think they do it every, every other year. And so we were headed out there for that, just to kind of help out and, you know, meet with some people. And so to me, again, I’m looking for like, tactile things, like, what are we going to do? What’s next? Are we gonna build something? Are we going to, like, you know, raise a barn? Like, what are we gonna do here? And we weren’t, we weren’t digging wells, we weren’t, you know, we were just kind of helping out here and there. So in Makoto, when we were up there, we met a lot of guys who are just serving in these crazy areas, like, you know, places where there’s very little infrastructure, like in refugee camps, you know, like, where they’re, they’re just like, you know, I’m like, What do you guys do, and they’re like, Well, I’m a pastor, I meet my churches under a tree. And we meet in this refugee camp, and you know, we’ve got 50 People who come out and just like, we, we get to love on them and help them and stuff. And, and these guys are, like, so joyful. They’re like, so excited to be doing what they’re doing, you know, and in countries where they’re very hostile towards other religions and stuff, like, you know, these guys are, they’re serving faithfully and just excited. So you’re looking at that, and you’re like, you know, I’m worried about whether we’re gonna have air conditioning or not, and how sweaty I am. And these guys are like, I rode for days on a motorcycle to get here to be here to do this. And, and it’s constantly checking that thing in me of like, I want things to be planned, I want things to be comfortable, I want things to be sort of set. And these guys are like, risking life and limb, just to like, do what they’ve been called to do. You know, so I’m, like, just like growing learning from these guys. And it was just cool. I mean, like, you see these guys, and they’re just, like, they want to talk to you. They want to, like, spend time with you and like, just share a meal with you. You know, Steve said, really well, he said, Americans have watches Africans have time, you know, and they want to like sit down and they want to just spend that time talking to us and stuff and they love you know, our church and the things we’ve been able to help people with and stuff so they just want to like, talk to us. Like it was crazy because you’re going there to serve like that’s that was our our goal go there to serve. And I just felt like everywhere we went like it was like competing, like I wanted to serve but they wanted to serve us you know, and I was like, Come on, let me serve you know like, and…

David 29:29
That was infectious.

Josh 29:29

David 29:30
You probably immediately started to forget about any anything else and you you wanted to your your you were switching from watching your I liked that statement. By the way, Americans that watches Africa Africans have time. Yeah, you were you were like, I’m here. Like lean into the time. Yeah, I’m here to do that. So you’re leveling up to them. And yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s really cool. So so you’re You’re having meals with them. Yeah. And like, I assume, are they like? Are they assuming that you just understand their culture? Or are they explaining your talk to me about like the culture side of it.

Josh 30:10
They were, I mean, they, they do take it from the assumption that you kind of understand. And it’s not so far off that you can’t understand, you know, it’s, it’s, it is a different culture very much so. But it is. It’s still humanity, right. And you’re not in the jungles of you know, South America with it with some sort of tribal group that is, you know, very, like, indigenous and different than what we’re used to, you know, they’re still very similar to what we would expect up here. And so, as we’re down there, like, like, you’re, they’re explaining things to you, and it is culture shock, what they’re saying, because we don’t experience certain things like that we don’t experience religious persecution like that we don’t experience you know, the, it’s not even like homelessness, but just this like slum level of like living in these refugee camps, like, we don’t experience that we don’t experience, like someone’s calling, being literally like, I’m gonna go into an open air thing and just kind of make this happen. You know, we’re all like, Where can we meet what you know, who’s gonna come? Who’s gonna bring the drinks? Who’s gonna bring the food, you know, like, they’re very much like, just sort of off the cuff making it happen. So it is very different in that way. It’s very refreshing, honestly. But it is not. It’s not so far afield that you can understand, like, you’re still very much like, yeah, I get that. It’s just sort of foreign in the sense that it’s not how we do things here.

David 31:43
Right? Almost like they. I don’t even want to assume because it’s I don’t have a place for that. But it’s like, we’re us, we’re so used to all these amenities, a certain level of things where you get caught up into that, that hustle and bustle. But then, but they they don’t, they don’t know some of that.

Josh 32:04
Sure. And it’s not even like, it’s not that they don’t know, in the sense of like, they don’t know it exists, or they’re missing out. Yeah, it’s just kind of like, that’s not how it is they’re got it. So they don’t think about it in the sense of like, I need that, you know, there’s an expectation that comes with once you have something, even if that thing is temporary, short lived, or a gift or whatever, like you still kind of come to expect it, you know, how frustrated are we when our air conditioning breaks? Or our refrigerator isn’t working? Right? You know, and that’s the nature of mechanics, like things will break down, it will happen, it should be expected. But instead, we’re immediately Oh, you can’t I can’t believe this, you know, and it’s like, no, it should be very believable that this is happening.

Yeah. So you had you had some meetings? Yes. You had some good meals? Did you build something?

Just relationships. Just relationships. Yeah. No, we didn’t build anything. Up there, you know, our goal was really just to kind of be there. Steve was speaking at the conference. So he was he was there teaching doing some workshop stuff. And you know, we were there. We were taking some videos and photographing people, you know, to document what was happening. So people around the world kind of see what was going on, what it’s like over there, what the conference was like. But really the the thing I think that was the most impactful for me was when we were at SFU, a child care ministries in the beginning and the end of the week. So to kind of talk about that a little bit as a few A is a place. It’s a childcare ministry. So that means if we’re talking about orphans, we’re not talking about like daycare. So, so it was started by a girl who’s from Philadelphia, actually, her name is Julian. And she had gone out to Uganda to be a teacher. And while she was there, she noticed there was a lot of kids who were in the school that she was working at. And there’s one kid in particular who was falling asleep during class all the time. And she was kind of watching him and kind of thinking like, Okay, what’s happening here, come to find out, he had no parents, he had other siblings he was trying to take care of. And she really just created this burden in her heart to you know, serve these kids and give them a place. So she started with an African, national, his name is Danica, the two of them got together and started this, this ministry. And so what they do is very interesting. They’re not the only one in the world. I don’t want to give them credit that they are the only one who does this, but they do it really well. So I will say that but they they have a different philosophy of childcare. So instead of having like a dormitory style, which is perfectly acceptable, but that’s many places you have more of like a dormitory style. You know, girls over here, boys over here, maybe separated by age groups and stuff. They do family homes, so they have a house mother who lives in the house. And then there might be anywhere from like eight to 10, maybe a couple more kids who live in that house and act as a family unit. The mother, you know, raises them. And you know, so they have all these homes in this one neighborhood that they have that that all these little family units live in. So they started with a couple of kids, they currently have 160 kids. In this in this group. It’s phenomenal. I mean, you see it in, it’s just unbelievable. So when we pulled up there Sunday was our first day that we arrived in Uganda on Saturday, we met with Julianne, we met with some other guys from a church there, we all went out to dinner. And then we were all exhausted, of course. So then, you know, we just went back and fell asleep. And then Sunday morning, we headed over there to what’s called House six, which is one of the houses but it has the biggest plot of land. So they do all their group gatherings there and everything. So we headed there. And I mean, you pull in, and the kids are just so excited for me to be there. Like, I’m excited to be there, because this is what we came for. They’re excited just because we’re there. So I mean, we’re trying to get out of the van. And they’re like, hugging us. I’m like trying not to fall out of the van because they’re like hugging my legs as I’m trying to get out. I’m like, alright, you know, hold on. And I mean, they just, they all want to hug you. They want to know your name, they want to know like, you know, they just they want to know about you. So we immediately are like just onslaught of kids just hugging us and want us to pick them up. And you know, and the house moms are coming over and they want to get a hug and they want to you know, thank us for coming, you know? And I’m like, No, thank you for letting us come. You know, so we got to be with them for a day. And we really just got to like, hang out at their houses for a while kind of see what they do kind of understand how they live. They’re hanging out with the kids talk to them a bit. We got to be part of this big cookout that they did. And I want to talk about that for a second because that was wild if you have pictures of this, but I do have pictures I share. Yes, of course. So those who scroll them in? Yeah.

David 36:59
So for those who are trying to like paint because I’m painting this picture, right? Like you weren’t this world leader coming off the airplane.

Josh 37:05

David 37:06
But they’re you were you were a celebrity in ways.

Josh 37:09

David 37:09
And so we can we can link up some of the pictures on the YouTube video. So if you’re listening to this on Apple or Spotify jump over to YouTube to see this and we’ll put it on agency as well. Alright, so you get this big…

Josh 37:22
So we Yeah, so we’re there. We do like the services and then we’re like, we’re gonna head back oranges, big cookout. So, you know, obviously, I’m an American, we do cook outs all the time. So I know what this is. So I mean, we get there. They get all the kids in a circle. All of the 160 kids and adults in the house moms, I guess the babies weren’t there. So there was probably like 130 ish. I’ll talk about the baby house later. But they so this is big group. And they start singing, and they start singing this song about the goodness of God and like, so I’m like filming it. And we’ll we’ll throw that video up there as well. But like, just say here, these kids like these kids are orphans, right? Like, I mean, when you talk about some of their stories, like these are kids who were abandoned in the streets like the police, bring them there and say, Can you please take these kids because there’s not enough enough social infrastructure for the state to take care of them. So they know they’ll be cared for here. So they’re like, Well, you take these kids, I mean, kids abandoned in garbage dumps kids, you know, who have no family, or were part of a really abusive situations or, and they’re here, and they’re just like singing about how good things are, and how good God is. Right? So we’re just, like, overwhelmed with this, like watching these kids. And we’re just like, wow, this is like, unbelievable. So then they’re like, alright, you know, let’s, let’s hang out. So they, of course, start playing football, soccer for the Americans. So they’re, they’re playing football, and they’re playing this game called net ball, which is like Ultimate Frisbee slash basketball. Like, you can’t run with it. But you can like, but you’re still shooting it. But there’s no backboard. Like, you know, it’s an apparently it’s pretty big and like Africa, like, people play out. So like, they’re playing netball. They’re playing that. My my buddy Tony, who’s with us, the one you know, I’ve been friends for 30 years. He’s a hairdresser professionally. So he’s giving kids haircuts, you know, because they can always afford to get haircuts and stuff. So he’s helping some of the moms getting some haircuts. And so they’re cooking us this big chicken, cookout, right? They’re gonna cook all these chickens. So I’m not thinking about it. Oh, I know where you’re going. But I were talking to the guy who’s cooking and he’s like, Yeah, we got all this chickens, all these chickens this morning. And we’re like, okay. And he’s like, and we killed them right there. And we’re like, wait, what? Yeah. And he was like, Yeah, and I’m realizing none of these houses have refrigerators. That’s right. So they’re literally the best way to do this is to get a bunch of live chickens and just kill him right there. So Joe, who’s on the trip is immediately like, Can I do one? Like so he wants to jump in and help and do that? So they let him do that and they’re cooking and I gotta tell you, it was like the best chicken I’ve ever had probably the freshest meat I’ve ever eaten in my life, you know, literally moving hours before. But again, the kids are so excited for us to be there. They’re just like, I mean, you try to take a selfie with one of the kids. And immediately there’s 10 Other kids on top of you. Like, they want to be in on it, they want to love on you, you know. And so it was just amazing to see these kids. When we went back on Saturday, we got to go to the baby house was 27 babies in one house. And that’s the only house that’s staffed like, like, they have staff that rotates regularly and everything. And these kids were just adorable. I mean, they just, no, no one was really fussing gnomes crying, like everybody was just kind of like hanging out. And I got to hold these two twins, boy girl twins. And that was really cool for me, because I have boy girl twins, and they’re 17 Now so, you know, they don’t, they don’t wanna be held. So holding these little guys, and just just, you know, loving on these kids, and just getting to play with them getting to, you know, do that. And then we got to go back to how six on Saturday before we left, and hanging out with the teenagers. And I got to say, like, teenagers in Uganda are exactly like teenagers in America. I mean, they, you know, they have the same, you know, wants and desires. They have the, you know, maybe it’s scaled back from like, you know, stuff perspective, like, they don’t necessarily want all the stuff that we have here. Just because it’s not on their radar. Really. Yeah. But I mean, they’re just teenagers. They’re a bunch of teenagers. And so we got to hang out with them just coming encourage them. And more than anything, they’re encouraging us. I mean, these are kids who have been through so much adversity, and they’ve got so much joy, right? And we’re sitting here, like, let’s tell you how to be encouraged. And they’re like, sitting there encouraging us. And, you know, it was it was, honestly, emotionally it was kind of hard to get through. Because it’s just so overwhelming. You’re You’re amidst all this, like, amazing stuff that’s happening and just like how good it is to see these these things happening and how you can just jump in and be a part of it. You know?

David 42:02
Yeah, you you expected to eat chicken, but you didn’t realize you’re gonna have Humble Pie.

Josh 42:07
Yeah, so much, so much. I mean, it was just, you again, you just can’t, you can’t plan for that. Yeah, you know, and that’s, I think, for me, that’s why, like, I had to go, like I had to go and not plan and just see what was gonna happen. Yeah, you know, and that’s what we did. And being out there was, it was life changing in so many ways. And these kids just like they really affected me, you know, they really, really affected me and just to see their joy and their excitement. And it’s cool, because they call you uncle, like, so everyone’s like Uncle Josh. So they’re all coming over like Uncle Josh, Uncle Josh, you know, they’re hugging me. And like, you know, there’s kids who play music. So they were like, they had played for us. And they were awesome. They were so good. So we were, you know, talking to them about music and like, you know, just how much they love it, how much they love to play and everything. And they’re like, You need to come play music with us. And I was like, you don’t need me like you guys, you know? And but they just, you know, they just want to just love on you. And you’re just they’re like, No, I’m supposed to be loving on you. And they’re like, now we’ll flip the tables here. You know, it was awesome.

David 43:13
Yeah. So it sounds like you would do it again.

Josh 43:16
In a heartbeat.

David 43:17
Yeah. So what advice would you give our listeners that they’re thinking about doing something? That maybe that’s out of their control? Or something like this? Like, what? What’s the biggest advice you could give?

Josh 43:31
So, I mean, look, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of talk now about, like, stepping away recharging, you know, all that stuff. And I think that stuff’s important, like, don’t get me wrong, like, I don’t want to say like, you shouldn’t take a vacation, or you shouldn’t have those moments to like, just unwind and stuff. But the value of doing something really hard and really uncomfortable. Not only just like, Oh, I did a marathon or I did 75 hard or I did whole 30 or you know any of these things where it’s like I did this big thing. Took a lot of willpower, a lot of mental toughness to do that can really grow you and stretch you. Awesome, that’s good stuff. Couple that with serving someone else, stepping out and doing something that’s hard and uncomfortable for you. But it’s really going to bless someone else. That is where I think it really flips the script. You know what I mean? Because you come back from something like that. And it’s like, everything’s different. You know, everything is like, you know, you do a mental toughness exercise, like a really, really big one, whether it’s forced, whether it’s planned, or whether it’s, you know, whatever you just sort of step into and it happens. You’re gonna come out with a lot of good things. But if you purposely put yourself in that situation, and the goal is to help someone else, not just to grow yourself, you’re going to grow like that’s going to be a definitive outcome of that. But being able to actually say, like, I went there and like, I was changed, but I was able to help other people, I was able to do something bigger than just, you know, Increase my strength or you know, like, say that I, you know, have this checkmark on my bucket list or whatever you know, is, I think the thing that you really need to consider when you’re talking about something like that is, how am I going to help someone else? How am I gonna be a blessing to someone else, especially coming from a culture that is so blessed and so affluent? Like America is.

David 45:33
Yeah, it’s almost, it’s almost like you can’t predict what you’re going to get in return from that. But you said along the way, here that, you know, they were thanking you for coming, but you were thanking them for allowing you to be there because you didn’t realize that inherent value, perhaps, that you were going to bring back with you. So how did what I mean, it sounds like you’re still carrying and drawing from that, that that trip slash journey, right? Today? How is it? How have have you had those moments where you’re like, you’re caught up into the hustle and bustle and doing the things that we get back into a delay? Have you stopped yourselves in the track? Or have you referred back to something on this on?

Josh 46:19
Sure. I think, you know, it’s like, I have to check myself a little bit sometimes. And remember, like, I do have responsibilities, like I do have things that I’ve been asked to do. You know, whether it’s at work or at home that like, these aren’t necessarily things that are part of my daily life. And that’s okay, right? I can’t feel constantly guilty. You know, that we live in a society we do we do, right, and I can do the things that I’m called to do in that. But when it’s easy for me to get frustrated, or overwhelmed by a momentary thing, or I get, you know, something doesn’t work out the way I want it to work out. It is very easy for me now to like harken back to the situations that we experienced when we were in Uganda and the things that we were told by these people who again, just had so much joy, right? Like, you know, when you meet somebody who has traveled by bus for multiple days, in a third world country to get to this thing that you’re at, that you’re really uncomfortable, you know, you’re you’re hot, you’re sweaty, the food’s different, like, everything’s different. And they’re there just because they they’re there solely for you know, that thing that cause and they’ve, they’ve sacrificed so much to get there. You’re like, you know, what, if I’m a little sweaty, and I’m a little uncomfortable, that’s going to be okay, you know, that’s, that’s fine. You know, I’m going to be just fine. Yeah, so it’s easy to apply that then to business to life. You know, when when things don’t go your way, when things get hard. Like, there’s way harder things out there, doesn’t mean we don’t need to be diligent doesn’t mean we don’t need to work hard at the things we have, right. But we got to take them in perspective of like, what really matters here? You know, what’s the most important thing? And how hard can we focus on that in the midst of all the work we have to get done?

David 48:14
Yeah, and maybe it doesn’t have to get all done. Right now. Like, we live in the on demand world, we have this expectation. And our I know, like, I can speak for my kids, you know, they that they expect things to be like instantaneous. Sure. Or, you know, if you’re out, the weather is turned so I’m outside a lot now doing yard work and things out. Yeah. And like level setting and saying like, we’re not going to get this done in 15 minutes. Yeah, this is going to be all day. Yeah, we’re going to be doing this. Oh, you know, it’s, it’s so I think, I think that’s, that’s amazing. Anyway, anything you else? So can you plug either a link or anything? Should we link that up?

Josh 49:01
Yeah, let’s link it up. For Asifiwe childcare I think, you know, people can go and check out their website. There’s, there’s ways to donate there. In the fall in September, there will be a 5k that that is a fundraiser for them every year, we always look for corporate sponsors, and obviously, race day sponsors who you know, you’re just coming into to run the race. But they do that every faults in Tyler Park in Bucks County. But I’ll put a link to that as well. So we’ll have both of those there. But yeah, I mean, I think it’s really important for people to understand, and I know lots of people do so you know, don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s really important for people to understand just how important it is to be able to give back and not just give back in a way that’s like momentary, you know, that sort of says, okay, that feels good, but be able to do maybe a little bit more and maybe help a little bit more. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be one specific cause, you know, but Yeah, I mean, I would just challenge everybody like get out of that comfort zone, get so far out of it that it hurts. And do it in a way that you can serve someone else while you’re doing it.

David 50:08
Awesome. Anything else that you that you want to kind of go back on or anything that we we missed? Was there any like, you got all your luggage? You got it? Like there’s nothing else that we left, we left. We didn’t talk about?

Josh 50:22
No I mean, I did get sick at one point.

David 50:24
Oh you did.

Josh 50:25
I did get sick.

David 50:26
I was I was going to ask, but I was afraid to ask.

Josh 50:28
I was I was like, while we were there. I mean, you have your normal like travel, you know, discomfort, but it wasn’t things but I actually like spiked a fever, like wound up like in bed for like 12 hours. It was miraculous that I actually was like, immediately better again. You know, like literally I would I would honestly accredited to a miracle. But I was Yeah, we were in Mikono. And we had been we’re about halfway through the trip. And I woke up and I was just tired. And but we were tired. So it was sort of like, okay, I’m tired. I’m sore. But I’m sleeping on a bed that the mattress is like this thick, you know, so it’s, it’s, I’m gonna be sore, right? But then I was like halfway through the day, and it’s 8590 degrees. And I’m shivering, and I’m like, this isn’t okay, so I go back to my room. And I’m like, yeah, definitely have a fever. I don’t know how high it was because we didn’t have a thermometer. You know, thankfully, it was a time of day where I could like, call home. So I called my wife, she was like, we’re gonna pray for you. I was like, Okay, great. And I was like, you know, I was just like, I’m asleep for a little while. And probably about eight hours later, you know, I woke up, a couple of my buddies were standing out front of our little hut that we were staying in. And they were just like, I came out and they’re like, are you okay? I was like, Yeah, I think I am. I think I’m okay, I’m really sweaty. So I feel like I don’t have a fever anymore. And, you know, by morning, I was fine. You know, but it was just as probably just COVID. I don’t know what it was, you know, I really don’t. But I was I came out the other side just fine. And again, it was that moment of like, I can’t control this. And there’s nothing I can do. Like, I don’t know, if I can get to somewhere with that. I mean, I’m sure there’s hospitals and doctors don’t get me wrong, and we’re in a city. But like, I don’t, my doctor is not here. You know, there’s no urgent care around the corner. There’s, you know, like, I don’t know how it works here, you know, so I’m just, what am I going to do next? You know, I don’t know. But I’m just going to lay here and take it easy for a minute. And I’m going to just go with the flow here.

David 52:24
I would imagine if things got real bad, you could go into the city, right? Like…

Josh 52:27
Yeah, I mean, I’m sure it would have wound up somewhere. But, you know, it was it was one of those situations where it’s like, Alright, we’re gonna take it one step at a time, we’re not gonna jump too far ahead of ourselves. And we’re just gonna see where we wind up. And we’re gonna fine. You know, I was I missed out on a really big football match at the conference that is like, was pretty cool. I could hear it, but I didn’t get to go. But it was it was definitely like that moment of like, alright, well, I I have no choice but to roll with the punches here. So that’s what I did.

David 52:56
Drink my filtered water, maybe throw some vitamin C down.

Josh 52:59
Yeah, I mean, I didn’t I didn’t even have any vitamin C. I was just like, alright, well, yeah, here’s the water and I think someone has a Tylenol. So we’ll just go for that, you know?

David 53:08
Wow. Well, I think that I think what you have done, I think for me, just drawing back on this, that leap of faith is what you said plus, that’s a Star Wars term, the leap of faith. I use that it’s like Luke Skywalker thing. For my nerd listeners, but like the the leap of faith for me, that really stood out and the the intangible of you not realizing like what the output that you would receive back from them. Yeah. And that humble pie. It was. That’s just amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this trip/journey that you were on..

Josh 53:47
That I’m still on! I’m gonna I’m gonna go ahead and say this journey. I’m still on this journey.

David 53:50
It’s still on so we’re…

Josh 53:52
The trip as a part of the journey. Like I said.

David 53:54
You’re gonna do it again.

Josh 53:55
I probably will. Yeah.

David 53:56
That’s amazing. And you have, and maybe you’ll bring somebody that hasn’t been there.

Josh 54:01

David 54:01
I don’t know. I’m not volunteering quite just yet. I have to work up to maybe…

Josh 54:07
Go in your time. It only it only took me 30 years. So…

David 54:12
but No, in all seriousness, amazing stuff. Thank you so much for sharing that again. If if anything you want to plug for for you or again, this will will link everything up. But anything else you want to share?

Josh 54:25
No, I mean, we just you know, like I said, it’s a journey and it’s still a journey. Like it’s still there’s more to be done. There’s more, you know, service to be done. You know, I just want to pray that I’m, you know, doing the right things and stepping into the right areas, but it definitely opens you up to this whole new like, there’s a lot to be done out there. But I don’t have to have it all planned out and figured out I just got to take the next step, you know.

David 54:47
Well said, thank you so much, Josh. Appreciate you coming on.

Josh 54:50
Glad to be here.