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Sunday, March 29, 2009

A glance

Well, this week has proven to be interesting. First a family of five moved in with me two Thursdays ago and I loved sharing the time with them... especially since they were old college friends. Last Sunday I attended a very tiny church, where we sat in desks and chose the hymns we were going to sing out of a few books. The sermon was very long, but thankfully it was in English. :)

Then on Monday I travelled to Kampala with six others to attend a two day training on how to counsel trauma victims - especially children affected by the LRA (Lord's Risistance Army) or HIV/cancer families. The worship was refreshing and my heart broke over many of the stories. Kids were taken in the night and brain washed to be soldiers. Some escaped. Some experienced many tragedies and some still live in fear. Also, many Ugandans believe that cancer is related to AIDS - so the people are treated as outcasts. Very informative... I just hope to put the training to good use.

While traveling I saw fields of casava, papyrus, and tea... two monitor lizards... and the River Nile.

This past weekend I have been making connections with many people and yesturday I helped move my friends back out of my home... so now I have an empty home. Furniture, dishes, art, etc all needs to be bought to create a guest house possible for 12.

I am being broken of all the stereotypes I have had of Africans. They seem rude rather than friendly as I walk/bike past... often laughing or speaking in a squeaky voice. I have heard more song leaders who can't sing, than those who can. And I have to be super careful with going out alone.

Everyone here greets by saying "Praise the Lord" and other respond with "Amen". I think God has many lessons for me here in Uganda.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trauma Workshop

While driving from Nairobi, Kenya to Soroti, Uganda I kept seeing these beautiful polar bear skins. And then, when I really thought about it - I realized that they were sheep skin. Ha Ha.

I have finally found an internet connection in Uganda. I arrived 9 days ago in the country and have been settling in to my home in Soroti. Yesturday I travelled with 7 others to Kampala... about 5 hours south to attend a two day workshop on trauma counselling. The information and attendees have been incredible. We are learning about how to effectively communicate, reach out, and counsel children who have been traumatized here in Uganda. There are 26 people at the conference and the stories often leave my arms with goosebumps.

One man is sharing how he was abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army, but how he was able to escape and now how he is ministering to children who have been through the same experience. Another lady is mentoring rape victims and teaching them vocations so that they will be able to provide a way to support themselves, since they are considered cast out in their community. Many people are sharing incredible testimonies of the Lord's goodness and of how joyful it is to worship the Lord.

I just can't begin to describe all of the things I have seen or the people I have met in my new home. I really hope to make a difference here. To God be the glory.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Some of you might not know this story, but I am supposed to be traveling down country to Nairobi to begin the next phase of my journey. I was going to go on a family vacation with the Andersen's - to see a few safari game parks before I began my training with International Teams, but 45 minutes out of Kalacha, in the middle of the Chalbi desert, we hit vehicle troubles. For four hours we rationed water while Eddie repaired the Land Rover. Here is Eddie's repair job to the busted radiator. He pulled out all the bent pieces and sealed off each tunnel that can spout out water... enough to make the 45 minute journey back to Kalacha.
Bones and Eddie are checking out the damage and wondering what can be done.

Stranded in the Chalbi Desert.

The radiator came loose and hit the fan.

Here is Gloria, the nurse with Silas.
Gloria was chased out of town on Saturday with an angry mob of drunken men. Hopefully communication and healing can happen within Kalacha town so that the nurse can return to the clinic. Pray for her and the other missionaries in town - for wisdom, insight, and justice.