Donate Here

DONATE HERE: If you wish to send support for God's Work in Uganda, please click here! Every donation is deeply appreciated.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Remembering Uncle Andy

On Tuesday, November 17th, God took HOME my sweet Uncle Andy. 
I cried greatly when I heard the shocking news that my father had lost his last remaining sibling.  It's extremely hard to be away from family at this time, but I'm also truly grateful for the love of friends here who have offered prayers, hugs, tea, and a listening ear.
 Uncle Andy was only 55...  a very friendly man who was always ready to listen and offer encouragement.  I will remember him for his hugs, his devotion to the Royal Canadian Legion, his passion for darts, his strong faith in God, his care and compassion as he stayed with Grandma and Grandpa over the years, and his loyalty to friends.
I remember when I was a little girl, there was one day when Uncle Andy pulled up in a big rig and he parked in front of our house on Hwy 86.  Moments later I was loaded inside and we went for a tour around the block.  I always thought it was so cool that he was a long distance truck driver.
Of course, fishing and Andy have to be remembered as well... especially in the last few years when Grandpa, my Dad, and Andy got more and more in to fishing and tiny little motor boats. 
 A few years ago, we spent a week together as a family - just fishing and hanging out and I'm glad that I took that precious time to be with the clan.
I am going to miss Uncle Andy, but I know that I shall see him again!
God is my Rock!
These verses from Habakkuk 3:17-19 (Amp) have become an encouragement to me this week:
17 Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation! [Rom. 8:37.]
19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!  

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Trip With Incidents

It was important for me to make yet another journey to Kampala.  The work permit in my passport was going to expire on November 14th and I needed to make sure that Immigration had seen and approved my file.  Two years ago, my file went missing for three weeks, and I knew I didn’t have that kind of time.

Since the journey to Kampala is fairly long by bus, I decided that it was time for me to meet some new team-mates and split up the journey. I called Gert Jan and Stephanie Vroege, who live in Jinja, and I asked them if they would like to meet up for a time of acquaintance and fellowship.  They readily agreed, so Sunday morning, I boarded the bus at 10 am, hoping to make it in time for lunch.

Of course, TIA (This is Africa), the bus didn’t pull out of Soroti until almost 11.  Stopping in Mbale we wasted about another hour.  It was pouring rain and the exit to the park was closed, so all buses and taxis were trying to come and go through the same narrow entrance.  I have no idea what our driver was waiting for, but for a long time the bus was parked over the chain fence that should block vehicles from entering or exiting.  The chain was down, and at least four times the bus had to maneuver backwards to allow another bus into the park, before it would go forward again and park over the chain.  Leaving Mbale close to 2pm, there was no way I was going to make it in time for lunch.

Finally, around 4pm, I got off at the second round-about in Jinja and took a boda (motorcycle taxi) to their house.  Wow, what a sweet couple!  They have a beautiful property overlooking the Nile, but their hearts for the Lord are even more inspiring.  I had a slight headache, so I took a Tylenol and continued to enjoy the fellowship.  I was surprised to hear that they hadn’t eaten lunch yet.  They were waiting for me.  So together we sat down and supped on yummy sweet and sour chicken, with rice. 

My headache was getting worse and I started feeling nauseous, so I took a second Tylenol.  Not a fun way to meet new people.  Deciding to take a walk outside and sit on the verandah, I thought the fresh air would do me good.  Sipping tea, I knew it was too late.  Without saying anything, I slipped back into the house and quickly ran to the bathroom.  I lost my dinner.  A migraine had come.  Cleaning up, I went back outside and quietly announced that I wasn’t feeling well.  I asked them if I could lie down on their couch until my friend Beckie could pick me up for the night.  The two young boys were so sweet.  The whole family prayed over me, and then the boys went and got a blanket for me and toys for themselves, so that they could sit beside me.  We talked for a little while and then I feel asleep.  I woke up to Beckie’s call, saying she was on her way. 

I felt ten times better.  I wish that I could have met my new GOM team-mates under better circumstances, but I was grateful for the love, care, and yummy dinner.  Driving over to Beckie’s house I was once again full of energy, so we talked until late in the evening.

The next morning, I hopped in a van taxi and took another 2 hour journey to reach Kampala.  Seconds before exiting the van, the girl beside me threw up on my feet.  O ya, this is the trip! I climbed over the sick girl and got out of the taxi.  Wiping my shoes and toes on the grass, I marched over to Immigration.  The line-up was huge to enter inside, but when I went to the passport window, I was the only person.  Showing my “Receiving Slip”, the lady kindly told me to look in the top file.  If I found my file there, then we could proceed.  Four pages in, I found – “Karen Michelle Lubbers.  Approved for 36 months”!! I rejoiced and pulled out the paper.  I was given a bank slip.  The work permit is $250/year.  In total $750 US. I jumped on a boda again and went to the bank.  There I paid 2,540,000 UGX. I still find those figures shocking even though I have been here for 5 years.  Back at Immigration I submitted the bank slip with my passport and I was told to come back in 5 working days, my visa will be ready!!

Taking another boda into the heart of the city, we found our way to the bus park.  I like it that I now know which buses head to Soroti.  I jumped on the YY Coach and sat for the long journey home.  8 hours on the bus again was totally worth the joy of knowing that I can legally stay longer in Uganda!!

Pig Castration

Last week a bunch of Makerere University students came out to our piggery with a few of their teachers.
 The group prepares to castrate our male piglets - four of them.
 An open surgery, the students had great practice on big piglets.
 Lots of action in the barn
 Loads of spectators
And lunch for one happy villager!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sweet Fellowships

Life is always entertaining and ministry is fun... here's why:
 Hanging out with Tata Felicity - shelling gnuts.  My fingers are becoming strong!!
 I drove deep into Serere district on Saturday to teach in a very hospitable village church.  I was welcomed with ululations and a waving white flag, accompanied by song and dance.
 Anna and Peter came with to translate, tell stories, ask question, and teach games!! I love my team-mates.
 The church was decorated with fresh flowers
 Teaching "Rock, Paper, Scissors" for a "God is our Rock" themed day.
 The children prepared dances for me.
 Then on Sunday morning, at 7 am, I biked to another Church of Uganda in my neighbourhood.  This is the Sunday School room.  Kids crammed in to this room and stood outside the walls peeping in before the 2 hour class was over.
I was invited to speak in the adult church as well, and I kindly requested the adults to buy a few more iron sheets and make the kids classroom bigger - it's so difficult to teach when no one can move around in the space.  We'll see what the adults come up with in the next few weeks or months.  :)