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Sunday, April 24, 2016

17 Stories and Sports Day

Monday mornings I share fun Bible stories at a primary school close to home, during the general assembly.  Then later in the morning, four days a week I drive over to another primary school to teach the religious education class and to hang out with teachers.  A third school has me teaching on Wednesday afternoons, and yet another school has requested me to come for guidance in both sports/games as well as mentoring in Bible story telling.
 Here is on of the Primary Three classes that I teach daily.
 When you ask children to colour, they feel the need to copy.  :)
 God created... Sin Separated... God promised hope!
 Noah... the Flood
 Jacob Wrestles with God... 12 Tribes of Israel.
Part of the 17 Stories curriculum has the children learning hand motions to remember each lesson.  At the end of 17 lessons they have a whole story to tell with their hands... of God's Hope - Christ.
 Last Friday was sports day.  The whole school was divided in to four colourful houses - Peace, Patience, Love and Joy.  Here are the kids during opening ceremonies.
 Points were collected all day and parents were watching the events.  It's like Track and Field Day, but with fun games played between the sports.
 I loved watching the little ones race.
 At the Officials Table - scoring their points.
 The Nursery Students had to sort groceries :)
 An intense egg race
 Sack Race
 Monkey Vomit... a leader has to help their partner cross a pond of monkey vomit by only stepping on the paper...
 After they step on the paper, they have to turn around and grab the second paper and place it further down the line... a super fun game.
I tried to get someone to take my photo while I explained to the kids how to be a Human Caterpillar, but they thought I only wanted pictures of kids... oh, even the English language can be a barrier.  :)   
So the only photo of me at sports day is a selfie. 
A race to fill the bottles
Overall, it was a long, tiring, fun, energetic, hot, awesome day. 
 On a completely different note... yesterday, I went to minister with a band called Jericho 7.  We sang and preached at a Secondary school outside of town.  Afterwards, when we were loading the truck with equipment, I started playing games and chatting with a precious little girl.  She has cerebral palsy and many people ignore her and stare at her, but we ended up chatting in a simple way and communicating love through the side mirror.  This little girl stole my heart!

The Truth about White Ants

This video shows when the white ants first came out the other night... in swarms.  The termites fly to the light.  We catch them and throw them in the basin.  When you touch the wings they can no longer fly.  They just keep walking around and around in the basin until you dry fry them in a pan. 
 Collecting with style
The final product

Monday, April 11, 2016

It's Prayer Request Time!

Good morning friends and family,

I am feeling the need to send out a list of prayer requests for friends, ministry, and personal reasons.  Please pray along with me:

  • Rev. Sam has health issues that are weighing him down.  The cause or treatment has not yet been determined and it is starting to affect his work and energy.  Please pray for a proper diagnosis and the money to treat his health.  And pray for divine intervention.
  • Rev. Beseri has an ailing elderly father who has been in and out of hospitals for the past few months.  The family is tired and financially strained.  Pray for the father to be able to eat well, gain strength, and increase in health.
  • The Tiesenga family is coming back to Soroti next weekend after being in America for almost a year.  Praise the Lord that I will have more team-mates in town again. 
  • Rose, my neighbor is writing her exam papers this week, and I am helping to look after the twins.
  • A family lost a 17 year old son yesterday.  For weeks he was sick and instead of bringing him to town for medical advice, they brought him to a witch doctor for herbal remedies and more.  The family found out just a few days ago that he had cancer when they took him to town finally, and last night he left his earthly body in a very painful manner.  Please pray for the family... for comfort and a knowledge of God's peace.

  • There is a big sports day coming up on April 22, that I will be helping to host at one of the local primary schools.  Pray that we will have fun and that I will be able to communicate well in regards to the boundaries for the cheering teams and the activities for the players.  We had a practice round yesterday and it was rather chaotic.  Kids want to cheer from the middle of the pitch.  :)
  • Oil of Gladness is in the middle of a revision process.  We have chosen a new team of leaders and we are hoping to fill up the schedule with some new ministry events.  A few members have said good-bye or taken a leave of absence from the team and so we are looking for more musicians.  But praise the Lord the piggery project has 19 piglets in the barn.
  • I am teaching God's story in three primary schools right now and I love being in the classroom.

  • I am once again trying to reconcile an ATM problem.  The bank machine shut down when the power went out and debited my account in Canada without giving me the money here in Soroti.  Please pray that Barclays and Scotiabank will reimburse the lost money.
  • This week I had a stalker at my gate twice.  The first day he wanted my number and for me to be his wife.  The second day he said if I wouldn't be his wife I should at least send him to school.  Please pray for my safety, patience, and personal awareness.  Then on another day I had a pastor called me whom I met at a GPS planning meeting two weeks ago.  He got my name off of the attendance list, called and also asked me to be his wife.  I don't know how to handle these situations except to pray, hang up, call out for help... and I'm grateful for friends, neighbours and stubbornness that have always come to the rescue.  But no more putting my number on attendance records... any where!!
I think that's a start for now.  :)  Thank you for praying with me!  God bless

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Time with Children

Easter Sunday, my neighbours invited me to share a feast with them.  The kids had fun playing with their relatives, while the adults sat around and talked, ate, danced, and listened to music.
 Christ is Risen!  He is risen indeed!! 
 Ok, so these aren't kids, but I'm sticking them in my update anyways.... Oil of Gladness is going through some changes and we could really use your prayers.  Some members are taking a leave of absence, others are praying the ministry continues.  We need new leaders, more energy, and better commitment.  Last Friday we had a huge meeting with 14 in attendance.  The Lord is going to move in this ministry I'm sure!!
 On Sunday I drove with my neighbours all the way to Malaba because we were missing Victor so much and we wanted to see him on his once a term visitation day.  I think he is doing well in boarding school... although I could never imagine being without my kids at home during primary years, or even secondary.  But if you want a good school here, sometimes that's the necessary thing to do... so a child has a chance at a good future school.
 Victor was overwhelmed by the visitors.  Tears were streaming down his face when we pulled into the compound.
 Here is Victor on his bed in his dormitory.  Every child has a metal trunk - filled with toiletries, books, snacks, photos, clothes, and other personal items.
 I was impressed by the neatness of the boys dorm.
 Victor really missed Opio and Ocen.
 Here are all the sweet boys!!  Including their cousin Arthur.

For the past few weeks I have been teaching every day in a local primary school.  The P4 class is very attentive - great listening, answering questions, participating with excitement.  But the P3 class is a little more challenging.  For one, they share a classroom with an older level of students.  The only thing that separates them is a super thin barrier of plywood.  The older kids peek through the shaky wall to see the activities we are participating in and both of us teachers are trying to speak over each other.  The other day was the hardest on me because the teacher next door proceeded to cane each pupil in his class.  My class sat in sheer silence as we heard the 3 wallops given to each child.  I could not imagine being educated, but it's the norm here.  All teachers walk around with a small branch, to use on children - for standing, talking, sharpening their pencil at the wrong time, resting, or sometimes I don't even know why.  My heart breaks.
 But the children are having fun learning the "17 Stories" of God's love for them!
 Ok... so my camera is not the best.  I wish I could invest in a decent piece of equipment... but I wanted to share one of my classes with you.
 I have noticed that when you give the children a blank piece of paper, and tell them to draw anything about the story, 75% of them want to copy something.  Creativity is lacking.  They have no idea how to begin, and having crayons is a sweet surprise for them.  They are good at copying, but I wish they could just imagine the burning bush, or the Red Sea, or the 10 plagues and draw them individually.
Here they are... quietly at work.
After teaching I went to the post office.  As I was locking up my box, one of the postal workers pulled up on a motorcycle.  "Hey Lubbers, did you get any mail today?"
"No, I did not."
"Oh, well that's because we haven't sorted today.  A lot of letters arrived, but we will sort them tomorrow.  I'm sure you will have a piece or two." 
Even though I highly doubt that I have a real letter, I am grateful for the hope that the postal worker has given to me for just another day.  :)