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Tuesday, August 1, 2023

July Moments 2023

Moses and I need to make new prayer cards and ministry banners, so we thought we would have a fun little photo shoot.  These pics make me smile.
I've got this!
Tutu and Tiny - our lovely ladies
Moses was doing a steam bath with menthol to try and get over a deep cold.
Celebrating my friend Val, in the center, at a shower for her expected baby.
Spending time with Soroti neighbours in Kampala - Vanessa and Rose
We were making "Daddies" (hard cookies) for some kids at school.
This is local food - greens, chicken, and rice
Or a whole fish.  Yum Yum.
Timothy Leadership Training crew. We gathered for 3 days to discuss stories of change, teaching methods, reporting practices, and had a great time of fellowship.
Matthew is a 19 year old intern. He moved in next door and has become a great friend for 3 months. He joins us for Sunday lunch and other family meals.  His birthday is the same day as my oldest nephew in Canada, and they are the same age! It makes me miss my family in Canada, but it has been fun to have an extra family member around for a season.
Moses is in the middle of a series on the Book of John. He preached 4 Sundays in July.
A visitor came to church on Sunday and said "Tell those churches in Ontario that they need to invite Moses to preach on their pulpits, so that he can show them proof of how the Gospel can have depth in Africa!"
Oh Lord, make a way for the Canadian Government to allow Moses to visit Canada.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Slowing Down and Member Care

 There are always seasons in ministry when life slows down and we just have to sit back and see what the Lord brings next. To be honest, I sometimes struggles with these seasons, because I am such a doer. Although, since Covid I have learned to appreciate the quieter times. Throughout the month of June I found myself asking God what more can I do. Lord, I want to be used by You here! Who do you want me to share with, encourage, visit? And many days I am still waiting for those answers, but in the mean time, I am thanking God for each day that we are called to serve Him here in Gulu.

Our church family is very important to us, and so when Pastor Jimmy and Phionah asked us to look after their boys while they had to travel across the country for a burial in the village, we gladly obliged. Val, my friend, and an amazing Sunday school teacher decided to join us for home-made pizza one night. And I'm super glad that I just found a vendor who sells pepperoni. :)
Moses has been preaching a lot more frequently.  He and Pastor Jimmy are working through the Book of John.
I think this sermon was one that I particularly needed to hear this month, because life isn't about what I do, or how much I can accomplish. It's about staying rooted in Jesus, being connected to the Vine, and being a part of God's story.
I was absolutely delighted to be called back into the classroom for 2.5 weeks. I was teaching Bible class at a local educational co-op. We had great discussions about making the right choices and choosing to honor God through our actions, speech, and attitudes.
Lesson Prep time
For the protection of the children, I don't have their faces here... they have just run out to grab their lunch. I don't know if I could ever be a 9-5 teacher, but I sure do love being in classroom.
Our dining table often looks like this as Moses uses every Bible resource he can find to put together a one hour sermon. HIHI... I don't know what my African husband will ever do if he is called to preach in North America.
Last week I fell really sick. I ended up going to this tiny clinic to find a British doctor who could help get me back on my feet.  In reality, it's been 9 days and I am still trying to get back up. Thankfully it is just a good old fashioned cold now. Sadly, I think Moses just caught it this morning. He's in bed now.
One of the things I do for self-care is attend a ladies Bible study on Thursday afternoons. It's always a good time of fellowship, prayer, laughing, crying, and being in the Word. On top of that is the bonus of a hot cup of tea and a delicious treat. We always make sure to celebrate each other.
This month we also got to celebrate Pastor Jimmy!
I led the group through an entertaining round of charades.
This year was one of those few times that I didn't feel like celebrating my own birthday though. Usually I make a big deal and give people plenty of warning. But my physical body has tired me out lately. I can't shake this GERD and coughing, and adding the flu to this doesn't help... so I just told Moses all I wanted for my birthday were some cushions for the bench on our front porch.
But, in a very sneaky way, Moses pulled off a surprise Birthday party that I'm surprised I had the energy to attend. I had been in bed the whole day. I thought a friend was taking me out for a simple brownie in the evening, and it turned into a huge dinner party.
Happy Birthday to Me!
At a wonderful restaurant, friends gathered for games, stories, laughter, a meal shared, and then many stood up and gave a speech as to what they appreciate about me. It's quite a humbling experience.
I must mention these two ladies as well. Janessa (in the middle), a fellow Canadian, and Sarah, from Australia, are two ladies that I get together with maybe once every 6-8 weeks for a craft day.  Usually that's when I have time to make a load of birthday cards, or Thanksgiving, or Christmas cards. They are always much craftier - making wall hangings, painting, creating house designs, but I just make cards. :) It's another way for me to look after myself, but also pour myself out. I used to feel guilty about needing time with "home" culture, even though I love Uganda so much, but I now believe it's a normal necessity and I'm going to embrace it.
Thanks for checking in on us this month!

Friday, June 2, 2023

Much Ado About May

I really loved this past month. It was jammed packed with trainings, relationship building, good quality family time, and I was able to visit a new district in the north west of Uganda.
Little Joy is no longer little.  She is now 11 and she is quickly growing.  There is no picture of her here, but she got another new eye this past month. She loves it when the glass once again fits perfectly in her eye socket. It's been a pleasure walking with her since she was 9 months old.
Here is my friend and colleague, Barbara.  We are waiting for the ferry to cross the Nile River.
Mwikali flew in from Kenya to join us for a week in Moyo - leading teachers through a module of Educational Care.
Here is the whole training team - Prossy, Mwikali, Barbara and me!
Strong kids
Our outdoor classroom was much cooler than sitting indoors.
And speaking of outdoor classrooms, the Sunday school kids now enjoy class outside because we no longer fit in the church office. The while building/room behind the kids was the space. 
The kids love it when I bring costumes to teach the lessons. On this day the royal King Solomon assisted me with the Sunday school story.
I wanted to make a puzzle for the teachers. They have never seen a puzzle before and it would be such a fun teaching tool for the younger kids.
Barbara and I were discussing who is going to lead the next session in a 5 day training.
Pretending to sleep during the very long, hot days in Moyo district.
Barbara and I were training 32 teachers who currently live and work in a South Sudanese refugee settlement camp.
We were discussing the 9 different multiple intelligences and ways to look after the resources God has given to us.
Small breakout sessions
Dividing into groups like school children
To be honest, this is my happy place
Goofing around
Preparing for small group discussions

Crossing the ferry
We decided to visit the border of South Sudan since we were only 6 km away.
Even Bones loved the journey to Moyo.
Moses was freaking out while I was hanging out at the border.  Next time he will come with to make sure his adventurous wife is safe.
It's been about 4 years since I've been a part of Roots to Fruits. Where does the time go?
On the last day, I had a rotating classroom, to keep the discussion lively.
I loved this little hut - visually inviting.
Sad tractor
Welcome to the land of sunshine
One of Uganda's greatest resources - heat and sunshine
The neighbouring huts
One day we carried a sack of mangoes to the settlement from Moyo town.  Town was overflowing with mangoes that were just rotting away in great numbers.
The mangoes were devoured in 10 minutes!
We had delicious food to eat during our lunch time breaks.
A well used hoe
We ended our week with Ethiopian food.

I think these "Flame Trees" are gorgeous
Moyo Market
Meet Tutu, one of our two new puppies at home.
Luke is concentrating on colouring his picture of the widow who miraculously had enough oil and flour to make it through the famine.
Sunday school again
Welcome to Moyo District

Moses leading worship at church
Praying over the TLT action plans