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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Vanessa's Letter

I found this note tucked under my door - from my sweet 16 year old neighbour.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Kenya Conference - Women in Sports Leadership

April 22-26 I was on a journey to Kenya.  For the first time I crossed the border for free, since my work permit now allows me to cross into any East African countries.  Yeah!!
A wonderful group of ladies gathered in Bungoma, at the Mashariki Afrika Sports Leadership School - where we had three days of sharing, networking, praying, singing, playing soccer, fellowshipping, and learning together.
 Bones came along for the journey, and he helped us to decide what topics we should cover for the discussions.
 He won the most votes!!
 Paul led us in many of the great talks, but he also bowed out a lot because it was a "Women's Conference".  :) It's great to see the leaders working as a team!
 Njoki was an energetic and inspiring facilitator. 
 God's presence was in this place!
 One night we had a cultural evening, to learn about our different tribes and tongues.  Part of the evening was about cooking foods from home.
 What would you have cooked if you were Canadian and had no oven?... I thought of an apple pie, but I couldn't pull it off.  :)
 So I made sweet and sour pork - one of my favourites. 
 Dancing with the ladies.
We had great discussions - about the challenges we face, how to share the Gospel through sports, health topics, and how to implement changes in our community.
I thank God for this time away, and that I was able to be there with Tereza and Dorothy - to other great ladies from Soroti.  God has given us a renewed passion for our work with children.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Marriage is Business!

Life is always an adventure here and I'm often perplexed by the ministries God calls me to be a part of in Soroti.  On Saturday I was asked to come and guide a church on Biblical Business and Marriage.  At first I was confused about how those two things go together, but it was so cool to see how God orchestrated a one day marriage seminar, under the guise of Biblical Business.
 While waiting for the 16 attendees to arrive, I kept entertained with a chameleon.
A few Ugandan men wanted to kill it because they fear the long tongue.
 I was grateful that I could even teach them more about God's creation and show respect to this sweet animal.
 On top of the world!
 Sunbathing Cautiously
 We began the day by looking at people who are successful in business. And why?! And then we discussed people who are successful in marriage and why.
Businesses need good foundations:
  • Hard work
  • Discipline
  • Dependability
  • Customers
  • Records Management
  • Helpful friends
  • Quality Products
  • Quality Services
  • Positive Attitude
  • Honesty
  • Planning
  • Prayer
 Throughout the day we compared the decisions we make and how money is spent in the home.  A pastor friend was helping me throughout the whole workshop and it was incredibly neat to see God working. It was overstressed that marriages need communication... so that everyone knows what other people need me to do, what I am able to do, and what I want to do, and overall, what God expects me to.... applied to both marriage and business.
I once saw a definition for business being: an activity to carry out for the benefit of you and your family.  With that in mind, we asked each person what they wanted from their spouse... in order to benefit them or the family.  I loved the list that each person gave to make their marriage happier.
  • open, honest, and trusting
  • TLC - tender loving care
  • appreciation or praising words
  • a listening ear
  • respect
  • a text that the spouse cares or an "I love you" message
  • to speak kindly
  • physical affection, a hug and a proper kiss
  • say "please"
  • hang out / go for a walk
  • allow playful activity
  • plan and talk together
I loved the list... everything on that list is free... except for maybe the text messages.  Some of these things were culturally stressing, and they said their children have never seen them act that way, but it wasn't me offering these suggestions... this list came from the attendees.
I look forward to seeing how God is going to change or bless these marriages.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Wake Up Call

The other day I received a super long letter from my good friend Michelle, and inside the letter she sent a poem that her teenage daughter recently wrote.  With permission from this awesome author, I'm sharing her missional poem.

A Wake Up Call
By Kaitlyn Stein
You walk past him with blinded eyes.
Although in plain sight you'd think he had the magic power of being invisible,
no one even bats an eye.
You'd think with tattered, torn jeans, and blood stained hands that he'd get some notice
yet every single person just walked by.
It's like you're all young again unable to read the sign,
that clearly asks for just a moment of your time.
All is wants is a belly not grumbling and unfrozen toes,
yet you all just turn up your nose.
Act like it's his fault no one has the compassion to care.
Treat him like a piece of trash on the sidewalk;
just some dummy who deserves it.
Even though one little screw up in your life could get you in the exact same pit;
scrounging around to even just find a pen to write your own sign.
Ha!  Maybe then you wouldn't think the way you used to act was so fine.
Compared to him, you have it all.
Breezing past him in your suit and tie,
not even caring, that in this cold, he could very well die.
To you a burger and fries is nothing.
To him it means surviving through the night.
Come on people get off your high horses and be a light.
Show him he matters.
I'm not saying you need to flatter - just show you care.
We weren't just put on this earth to take care of ourselves.
Get out there and help someone else.
We were called to be disciples.
We were called to show God's love
The way your acting just ain't good enough.
Change your ways today,
because we are all called to obey.
Who knows, someday it could be you on the other side,
then you'll sure be hoping someone will be kind.
But that isn't gonna start with you full of "No's".
Kindness is contagious so get to work and expose.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Training in Abim

An exciting time for every missionary... to go on a mission trip with other Ugandans!!
On Monday I traveled to Abim, in northern Uganda, for a two day training of Sunday school teachers.  We had a blast traveling, fellowshipping, training and teaching together.  Here is a glimpse at our little getaway.
 Bones found some beautiful flowers on our trip up north.
 I get excited when I see the hills of Abim.
 Team-building games
 Creativity, leadership, laughter, and problem-solving
 We did tag-team teaching.  I would teach, then pass the floor over to Peter, or Ann, or Joseph for a game, song, another lesson, etc.  So fun!!
 Different ways to memorize Scripture verses
 At the end of Day 1 we went to the Thur Community Museum... learning about the culture in the area.  A very hands-on experience.
 Peter and Joseph... drumming the dance
 Cultural costumes
 The Big Story... the Bible revolves around the story of Jesus
 Story-telling and acting - modelling different methods of teaching
 Puzzle making
Group photo... everyone enjoyed another 17 and 75 Stories, Max7, and CYCAS Training

Easter Eats

One of my sweet neighbours is attending a Catering Program and wants to learn how to cook, so I am teaching him some more western ways of cooking food. 
 Here was the feast
 Pork and Goat were roasted by the men
 Ocen helped decorate Deviled Eggs
 Opio grated carrots for carrot cake
 Arthur prepares the final touches
 Veggies for the stir-fried rice
 Onion Lover's Twist
 Scalloped Potatoes
 Digging in for lunch
Goat meat and carrot cake for evening snack
A great day with friends...
But even better
Christ has risen!  He has risen indeed!