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Friday, November 28, 2014

Rainy Day Fellowship

After returning from Abango, the village where the Oil of Gladness piggery project is taking place, I decided to invite a few families over for some cooking lessons and fellowship.  The skies were grey and I just knew that rain was going to keep us indoors.  (Oh, by the way... our first sow has mated!!  I think babies might be on the way!  It's been a slow process, but someday we hope the piggery project will make money.)
 Sam and Moses read my Aunt Roely's pizza dough recipe, and with lots of guidance from yours truly, they were able to roll out some very yummy crusts.  Harriet and I watched as these men got excited about their cooking lessons. 
 I also made banana muffins with the children, and a avocado/banana milkshake to accompany the day.  Through this whole time of baking, the men also wanted to roast pork, so we seasoned it really well and put it in the oven after all the other baking was finished. 
 Anticipating snack time...
 Ta... Da... Minced meat and pepperoni pizzas
 After the boys put the pizzas in the oven, I slyly told them that I had actually never made a crust from scratch before... so well done guys!!
 Victor can't wait to try this western food!
 Serving it up...
 And chowing it down!
 Everyone was willing to try.
 What is a day indoors without a little bit of drama?
And a few good laughs
As the children went back to the playroom, four of us adults went through another "Meet Me at the Burning Bush" devotional reading by Peggy Forrest.  It is so beautiful to know that we can crawl up into God's lap when the world seems so topsy-turvy, and share our joys and burdens with Him.  We loved  Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." 
 Later in the evening we called everyone back together in the sitting room.  And had a great time of worship.  The kids all had a shaker, tambourine, or drum and they really kept the rhythm.
Actually, this was the afternoon worship time... in the evening the power was out, so we sat around by the light of a solar lantern, munched on roasted pork and cucumbers, and had more worship with just shakers and drums.  In the dark we worshipped the Lord together and I praised God for the fellowship of the saints.  What a great day of breaking bread together!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Cathedral... a full Day of Worship

Saturday afternoon was our final day of practise for our long day of worship on Sunday.  Oil of Gladness was called to lead the music for four services... 6am - Holy Communion, 9 am - Lugandan Language, 10am - Teso Language, 11:30 am - English service.  That was a full plan at the local Anglican church here in town.
At first I was excited... we were going to practise at 2pm... so I started getting the song books and equipment ready and headed over to the Cathedral.  Of course there were no sound guys and another group was meeting in the church, and band members weren't showing up... so time started dragging.  By 6:45pm the crew was finally there... equipment and sounds set up and all the singers present, but my mind was not in a good place.  I went and sat at the back of the sanctuary and spent time in prayer.  I asked the Lord to forgive me for being impatient and culturally insensitive.  I prayed that God would give me peace, energy, and joy to sing for yet a few more hours before heading home to sleep.
By 6 am I was back at the Cathedral and ready to worship God in a brand new way!!
I love worshipping with OG and I am so proud of the band... we not only sang, but some led in intercessory prayers and two of the guys preached as well.  The whole morning was about worship.
 Sam is leading the church in prayers.
 Moses is sharing God's powerful Word with the congregation.
During the fourth service, I read all the Bible passages throughout Moses' time of preaching.  I really felt like a Miriam, doing ministry with her brother.  :)
 Holy Communion
 The Vicar asked me if I grew up Anglican because from the altar he could hear me reciting the Apostle's Creed and the Lord's Prayer with great certainty.  I just smiled and told him about my very foundational upbringing!! 
 The band sang until 2:30pm because rains kept people in the church.  God is good.

A Tough Journey

Life changes from day to day here in Uganda.
 One day the boys are busy cleaning my car and having a great time, and the next day one of the twins falls out of a tree at school and suffers with a concussion.
 One day boxes of Children's Ministry material is delivered to my spare room, for upcoming trainings...
 And the next day they are turned in to a fort to keep the children busy.
 Four boys and 3 girls crammed their way into the boxes for a whole afternoon.  Two of the girls, Becky and Sarah, were visiting me because their mom was in the hospital.  One day the mother left town to attend a workshop 8 hours away, and the next day we receive word that she was hemorrhaging, struggling with malaria, and losing a baby at 11 weeks of pregnancy.  I was so sad for my friend, that I volunteered to look after the girls while the father traveled to be with the mother in the hospital.
 Ocen is here, trying to gain strength after his concussion.  At first the doctors diagnosed him with malaria, to diagnose the vomiting, but after talking with his twin brother, we found out he fell from a tree at school, and the symptoms were much worse.  For four days the mother and I had to help Ocen eat and walk around the compound.  His eyes were distant and his speech was very slow, but I praise God that he is much better now.
 Okay, so these are in random order... but the makings of a fort.
 Last Wednesday I took the ferry with my car, so that I could quickly get to the western side of Uganda, to pick my friends who had been in the hospital.
 It was smooth sailing, even through fields of floating lily pads.
 The car got all the way to Kampala on half a tank of gas!!  A great trip.
It was good to be with my friends, to see another doctor in Kampala, and then to drive them home.  Please continue to pray for my friend - that she will receive complete healing.  She is also struggling with fibroids and her hemoglobin is too low to operate. 
Last night we spent time in prayer and one of their daughter prayed this prayer:
"Dear God, help the baby in Mommy's tummy not to be dead; make it alive again so that we can have brothers.  O Lord, we need brothers to protect us.  And help Daddy to find money for food and clothes.  And help Mommy to feel better."

International Teams Gathering

At the beginning of November, a group of us International Teams workers went to Mbale for a 3 day Spiritual Retreat.  During the mornings and evenings the adults gathered together to go through Chip Ingrim's "Holy Ambition" video series... we had great discussions and felt challenged and encouraged to continue on with the ministry we are doing in and around Soroti.
 One afternoon we had a "Photo Mugging" competition - where we tried to come up with as many creative shots as we could with a plastic mug.  Each team was awarded points. And my team won!!

One evening we just played all sorts of family games...
 The kids loved being with the adults, but while we were in session - they had their own program of sports, crafts, Bible stories, etc.
 I never wear my hair down in Soroti... it's too hot!!
 My team in a mug
 I had to be the arms of Josh for one of the games... I laughed super hard.
 It was hard because he was so tall, but fun!!
 The whole crew in attendance!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Teaching Primary School

Every morning I arise before 7 am, to prepare myself for school.  Yes, that's right... this term I have been teaching every day and WOWEEEE do I love it.  Following the "17 Stories" curriculum, I have been storytelling at two schools.  It's super exciting to be teaching with a team of young people who are excited to share God's Word with these primary children.  5 of us have been covering the whole school.  On day one we teach grades 1, 3, and 5, and on day two we teach grades 2, 4, and 6.  There are at least 2 streams of each class, so it takes a while to teach the whole school.
The head teacher and the school director love having my team come in every day and teach during the Religious Education hour, so by 10 am, the "hostess" has our tea and snacks ready - bananas or bread, or cassava chips, or local donuts, or porridge.  It is such a blessing!
 Here are the young ones, putting on a modelling show during our break time.
 Joseph loves the children!!  He is so full of energy.
 Teddy is ready for tea!
 This child is a son of one of the teachers.  He hangs around the classroom all day long.
 Ann teaches at both schools with me.  God is shaping her in to an incredibly creative teacher.
 Peter is our preacher teacher... he loves the older classes.
 These P6 students are very attentive.
One of my favourite lines that the children came up with is that Jesus was born in:
The House of Cows!

 And for fun, I had to share this cake cutting swallowship photo... As Oil of Gladness, we are still celebrating the wedding of two of our own.
And just so you know... I am very far away!!