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Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Time For Everything

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:          
a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,

    a time to kill and a time to heal,

    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
 This is a strange month... with so many seasons mixed in to a few weeks.  Two weeks ago I helped my long-time friends and colleagues (the Sliedrechts) to pack up their stuff and sell belongings at a community garage sale. A time to mourn, a time to embrace, and time to tear. They have shifted (moved) to Good's Shepherd's Fold, about 4 hours away, and I have already had the opportunity to visit them there, in the middle of fields of sugar cane, bordering a jungle forest.  A time to mend, a time to love, a time to gather together.
 One of the joys of serving with other mzungus in Soroti is that we all become a team, even if we don't work together... and we celebrate and struggle together.  Yesterday I witnessed the baptism of my nephew Drew.  A time to be born, and a time to dance.
 This picture doesn't do it justice, there was a huge group praying around the pool, but here are the six who were baptized.  A time to plant, a time for peace.
 I love it when my neighbour boys come and brighten my day.  Here they are... greeting me at the front door!  A time to laugh, a time to love.
 After 3 trips to the dentist in Jinja... I finally have my first crown. A time to tear down...
Hope Smiles! And a time to build.
 I went to spend some time with a butcher/sausage maker in Jinja (3.5 hours away), to learn about a new kind of market for the pigs.  We are lacking a market right now, so I thought it would be good to gather some new ideas for butchering and selling. A time to kill, a time to die.
 Training is one of my favourite tasks here!!  I love teaching, and this week my ministry partner stretched me into teaching a new curriculum.  We taught about Discipling Young People at a local Compassion site.  The training went well and I think we learned a lot together.  I'm feeling like the Lord is leading me more and more into youth ministry here. A time to plant...
 A time to build...
 A time to build... again.
 Discipleship is not easy.  It takes TIME.  It takes RELATIONSHIP... and it takes LOVE.
A time to gather the stones.
 My friend Helen had a baby girl on Wednesday... so I went to visit baby Aibo.
A time to be born
 Bath time is a time to weep
While visiting it had been a time to uproot so I came home with a nice back of freshly harvested groundnuts (g-nuts or peanuts).
Birthdays are rarely celebrated here, but they are one of my best days of the year.  So I try to make sure that those around me also know that they are special.  Susan just turned 27 and this was her first time to ever be celebrated on her birthday.  The boys were so proud to share the evening with her!!
A time to dance and a time to speak.
This past weekend I really felt like it was a time to search, as my emotions were very strong.  I don't know if I'm excited to be going to Europe and Canada next month, or if God is trying to teach and show me something, or if  I just needed to close the door and have a day of rest, but God is good and I shall continue to seek His face! And serve Him with joy!

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