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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Timeless Treats

Besides the Supermarket and home-made treats... 
I have loved seeing how God ties sweet things together.  International Teams and CRWM.  Canada and Uganda (even Kenya). 
 A few weeks ago, some Kenyan friends, who serve with CRWM, came to speak at my Dad's church.  For a few days we hosted them and shared stories from three countries.  We all had a good laugh when both men dressed up in bright shirts for the church potluck and presentation.  :)  And I was able to lead the singing - Mwamba, Mwamba (My Rock, My Rock) in Swahili. 
 I am grateful for unity in heart, purpose, and vision.
One last treat was seeing how Kuyper College - my alma mater - still has a special place in my heart.  First, I had four years of a rewarding education there.  Then, there are still staff and faculty who care about how God is using me and who want to meet with me whenever I come to Grand Rapids.  Third, the new Provost used to be a colleague of mine from the Philippines... and God still continues to give me simple treasures and pleasures. 
Oh ya, speaking of fun meetings... one of the MK's (missionary kids) that I used to tutor in the Philippines met me for dinner the other night.  He wanted to hear about my life in Soroti.  Yeah!
God weaves such a beautiful tapestry.  I can't wait to see the final picture in glory!

Unwinding the Home Service

The first day of summer has arrived, and I'm still curling up with a fuzzy blanket, trying to warm up in the now air-conditioned homes.  I have finally found time to breathe, read, and rest.  I have been on the road for the past two months and last weekend I finally crashed.  I still had people to catch up with, but I'm sad to say that I was exhausted and I didn't give friends the energy and excitement I think they deserved. 
Home Service is never easy.  Some people think I'm here on vacation, but honestly, it's not a holiday.  I have been in a different church almost every weekend since returning to Ontario.  I have LOVED sharing God's stories of what's going on in Uganda, and meeting with some amazing people in the churches, but traveling from town to town, home to home has worn me out.  I would describe the last two months as a couch surfing tour.  I have slept on at least 18 different beds and have logged in over 7000km on a car I've been gifted for the summer.
Looking back, I have had some pretty cool God moments.  One I remember happened while picking up a Kijiji item in London.  The owner of the item purchased noticed my plaited hair and I soon shared that I was a missionary in Uganda.  He said "Christian Missions?"  Yes... which led to him inviting me and sharing a very sad story.  He is a pastor's kid and he no longer believes in Jesus.  He insists that Christianity is a religion that instills fear and insecurity.  For an hour, we sat at his kitchen table, while I shared my testimony of giving all fears to God.  And because I know I am a child of God, my insecurities are small.  I truly value the fact that I am a daughter of the King - that I am loved, wanted, and treasured.  I walked away from that home - thanking God that I was able to share God's truths with this man, and praying that God would touch his heart.
Other God appointments have been with meeting with friends, relatives, and supporters - just talking about how I see God moving in Soroti.  I am so grateful for the people who are praying for me, writing letters or emails, or sharing their financial donations for the ministry.  I am not in Uganda alone... and it's not just that the Lord is with me... I feel like a have a team of people serving alongside of me.  I have cherished many moments of sitting around campfires, sharing meals, or curling up on couches and in a stretching way - I look forward to 2 more months of couch surfing around Ontario.
The longer I'm gone from the Uganda I love, the harder it is to share about the work going on though - my hair is no longer braided - so my appearance doesn't open cool doors for conversation... I feel too far away from the ministries that are continuing to happen.  I don't know where to fit in... Canada is no longer my home, and yet I love and need this place and people.  Thankfully Abba Father is with me each and every day, at every place.  O, the journey...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Miller Mall and More

Life is not normal for me on this side of the ocean, but it's still a fun adventure.  I've been crashing at other people's places and driving many long and straight roads to get to certain destinations. 
Last week I went to speak in Lucknow Community CRC and so I stayed with friends in the area.

After dinner, my host asked if I wanted to go to Miller Mall for ice-cream.  Now, most people reading this will have no idea where Lucknow even is... but it's 9 kilometres from the village of Whitechurch that I grew up.  It's rural hickville and I could not remember any malls for the life of me.  But I had a good chuckle when I found out that it is this tiny "general store" tucked in the middle of nowhere. 

After driving a few country blocks on back roads, I realized that we were only one block from another good friends house, so in the spur of the moment, we drove out of the way to pick her up.  Within moments our crew doubled in size and we headed to Hollyrood.  Miller Mall is full of all sorts of products - an old post office crammed in the corner, screws and nails, chocolates and clothes.... you can even buy one boot if you need it.  You don't have to buy the pair.  :)  We loaded up on delicious ice-cream and went to stand outside.  While chatting about life, I saw my old high school math teacher, and at least 11 horse and buggies drove by.  Even good old-fashioned Mennonites were stopping for ice-cream.  I laughed so much that evening and just enjoyed the fellowship of sweet friends.

In the past few weeks I've had incredible conversations about faith and missions, about family (both in Canada and Uganda) and friends, and so much more - while sitting beside campfires, or standing in spring greenhouses full of beautiful blooms.  It has been great to reconnect with so many people... and over the next few days, I also hope to write a few posts about some "God Stories" that have happened along the way.