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Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Lead Today Graduation

 On Saturday, May 21, a graduation was celebrated with all the youth who completed the 15 lessons of "Lead Today". It was a course on developing God leaders and I partnered up with Luke and Rapha from World Embrace, Gulu, to run 5 discipleship classes a week.  

We praise God for this group.  They were blessed with a big breakfast, a time of worship, a few speeches, a certificate, Bible, and a few other prizes and treasures.  One young man memorized every verse perfectly of the 15 week course and went home with all the chocolate bars!

Concussion and a Cut

 Earlier this month I knocked my head on the bathroom taps in the craziest of ways.  It took two nights before I realized there was a huge dent on my forehead and skull.  The next day I started feeling a lot of pain, nausea, and headaches.  I progressively got worse over the weekend.  And since it was school break and I didn't have to teach for two weeks, Moses made the decision to take me to Kampala. 

Sleeping during the 6 hour drive

I think we were both scared by the time one week had past. Thankfully a doctor saw us immediately and she ordered a CT scan.  She didn't think there was much there, but wanted me to see a neurosurgeon at 6:30 the next morning.

Thankfully it was ruled out as a concussion and a sinus infection. I was told to rest and drink plenty of fluids. 
After a few days of rest, I felt like I needed a new look before heading back to Gulu.  I can't tell you the last time I was at the salon. It was 2.5 hours of blissful pampering. A fun cut and colour.

After coming back to Gulu, I was able to rest a bit more.  Thankfully the pain and nausea has disappeared and I only occasionally am slow in speech.  The kids I teach have noticed that I am slower in processing, but they are so good to me.  This class has seen me for months now, come to class with a water bottle because of the constant coughing to do chronic acid reflux, and they have become so patient, caring and forgiving.  I'm glad I am still able to teach every day!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Jesus as Undercover Boss

Wrapping up Week 15 of the "Lead Today" series that I have been co-teaching, the lesson focused on Jesus as the perfect servant leader.  Jesus really is a very unexpected role-model.  Over the weeks, we pondered 5 levels of leadership.
"The beginning level of leadership is POSITION. Most people start on this level with others.  Real leadership growth begins at Level 2, where you earn the ability to influence others by building a relationship with them. Once you have gained their trust over time, you can begin to help them be successful and productive as part of the team. PERMISSION. This is a high level of accomplishment as a leader, as is moving to Level 3. PRODUCTION. But excellent leaders pursue moving to Level 4, where they invest in others helping them become better leaders. PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT. Only the very best leaders ever make it to Level 5. They do this by spending a lifetime serving, leading, and investing in others. PINNACLE"
The reason why I believe Jesus is a phenomenal leader is because He was and is King of the Universe; there at the beginning of time and part of creation.  He knew me before I was born. He gave up His pinnacle position on the throne and came to earth in the position of a human baby. Jesus influenced those around Him, but more importantly, He has greatly influenced my life.
I have been watching a few episodes of "Undercover Boss" lately, and while sitting in class, I imagined Jesus being the ultimate leader in an undercover position.  Jesus gave up His Heavenly throne, to be the Son of a carpenter.  Jesus learned, taught, and experienced.  He has been through mockery, rejection, hunger, tiredness, denial, homelessness, and so much more, so that He could die in my place.  Christ had a crown of thorns placed on His divinely human head, so that I could become a part of the Kingdom of Heaven.
My eternal King has already sat down in my heart and had a chat with me. I know that I have a place in eternal glory with Him. I'm a part of the company of Saints. I have so much to keep learning from my boss - patience, forgiveness, discernment, wisdom, courage, clarity of speech and more. At the same time, I rejoice that I get to be a part of the Kingdom business already - teaching Bible to primary students, leading discipleship classes, digging into His Holy Word and sharing it with others, serving as a missionary in Gulu, Uganda, and being His hands and feet on behalf of a few churches and saints in North America.
Right now, my heart is blessed to have Christ as the Leader of my Life.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Come to Mt. Carmel

Mount Carmel is the place where Elijah called the false prophets and the people of Israel together, to teach them a lesson in truth.  The Lord is God. There is no other.  I may not be as bold as Elijah, but I sure to love sharing how God's stories point us to Christ.  He is our Rock.  The One True God.
Sharing Bible stories in chronological order.
The kids ask so many amazing questions during our daily Bible times.
Here I am, showing teachers how I teach the story of Elijah on Mt. Carmel.
Who doesn't love to play a little dress-up every once in a while.
Equipping teachers with the Stories of Hope materials.
And guiding them through the idea that the whole Bible is one big story of God's love for us.
It's been a long time since we have led a group of teachers, and even though Covid has been a long season, it felt so good to be leading a training once again.
Moses is a great tag-time partner.  He shared the Biblical basis for doing children's ministry.
Jesus brought the little children unto him, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as them.
We are so grateful for our friends Benji and Chrispus, who helped to build a water tower!!
We know that God desires for us to bringing physical and living water to our neighbours!


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Short and Sweet Visits with the Saints

Every month, we as missionaries, are required to answer a few questions that MissionGo sends our way. One of the questions is: "How have you or your family been encouraged this month?"
Well, here are three examples:
April 1st, Moses and I were finally shifting into our next home. Our new and dear friends - Marianne and Michael Botting, invited my parents and us for dinner.  We showed up dirty and tired, but that was their hope.  Dinner was hot and ready, so that we could just eat and get back to work. Pork, posho, greens, and a tiny piece of chocolate filled our stomachs, but the gift and fellowship filled our souls.
As soon as we felt that the new house was ready for some verandah visitors, we called our Pastor Jimmy and his sweet wife Phionah over, along with newlyweds, Valerie (an amazing Sunday school teacher/child rights worker) and Lewis. 
Val wanted to introduce Smore's to the boys, so we had a barbecue party - with hotdogs and smores and laughed the evening away.
And then, on Easter Saturday, this awesome "Educational Care" training team pulled into town.  They were staying at a hotel just a few blocks away, so they also came home to see our new digs.  Fredha and Mwikali had flown in from Kenya, and Shadrach was the driver for the crew, with Barbara and Diana - the Kampala team organizing the whole team. Again, our hearts were touched by people of God who care about us.


Sightseeing with my parents - March /April 2022

After months of waiting and planning, Mom and Dad finally arrived in Uganda on March 16th to spend a whole month with us.  We were unbelievably blessed by our time with them.  From the company, laughter, encouragement, spiritual guidance and helpful hands... to so much more.  They helped us move to yet another temporary home in Gulu.  Wow, they were troopers.  They mourned with us as we buried Moses' stepmom in Abaango village - a culture shocking experience that took four days.  They watched us and participated by our sides in ministry - whether teaching children, leading discipleship groups, or speaking on the radio.  
Just thought I would share a few picture highlights of some of the side road trips we were also able to take together. We serve an awesome Creator God!

Kidepo National Park

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Lake Bunyonyi

Igongo Cultural Center

Crayfish avocado salad! So yummy!

Kitagata Hot Springs

Horse-back riding near Lake Mburo

Supping at Abyssinia, our favourite Ethiopian restaurant