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Friday, September 9, 2016

ENT SKILLS in Amuria

A couple of nights ago, a priest pulls up on his motorcycle and calls me to my gate. He said that a letter arrived for me at the church office, but he had no idea what it was about, so he just handed it to me and raced off.  I opened the letter to see an invitation from the youth in Amuria (about 45 km North).  They wanted me to speak at their week-long conference and my topic was 2 hours of ENT SKILLS.  I chuckled.  I've never taught that in my life.  God, what's your plan here?
The next morning I called the chairman of the youth conference and asked him what he specifically wanted me to talk about.  He said, "Oh Auntie, we are about 200 youth here and I think you should teach us how to make reusable pads."  
Ummm, okay.  "I have never made them before! And it's two days away."  
"Well, then just share anything you want from the theme!  See you on Thursday."
I prayed and planned, studied and put together a speech for youth about business and skills - like honesty, integrity, timeliness, and other values. I wasn't feeling confident, but I knew God was going with me on this journey.
(And thanks to the FB messages of many friends... I may someday, soon, still do a workshop on making reusable pads... but with girls only.)
I drove to Amuria with another guest speaker, and when we arrived in the morning there were, yes, about 200 youth gathered together.  As we broke out for lunch, a huge crowd of adults were waiting to file into the church.  Apparently that town has a Thursday afternoon prayer session that people faithfully attend, and they weren't going to let a youth conference stop them.  As we were eating lunch the chairman was getting more and more agitated... he said that the youth had booked the church for the whole week and they were the first priority.  At 2:30 he told the youth to go back into the church.  The adults then decided that they would just stay and be a part of the youth program for the rest of the afternoon.
Ha Ha - Lord, give me direction!!  During one music presentation I took the time to pray and rearrange my discussion/speech with the youth.  There were now 600 people in the building... sitting in the aisles, crammed up to the altar - adults, youth, and children.  It was hot.  It was full.  And it totally wasn't the plan!
I gave one guy a camera, he ended up giving it to another guy... so one photo was taken and 37 mini videos were shot. :( Sorry, you can't really see the crowd.
Anyways, I started talking about how we should dream about our futures, and what God wants us to be.  I creatively told the story of Joseph, and watched the kids soak up the character.  I explained 8 Multiple Learning styles or intelligence's, and how we need to understand ourselves - so that we can find work with joy and purpose.  I explained that we can't just be lazy, but we need to move to better ourselves, especially if we are children of God.  I talked about proper planning and saving and the whole time I saw youth and adults alike sit with great intent.  The children didn't make any noise.  I've never seen a crowd so involved.  I knew the Holy Spirit was leading.  I was totally tired when I was done sharing.  Now I pray that it was more than just a speech, but that the people of Amuria can put a few new life skills into practice.  Oh what fun it is to be a tool in the hands of God!

In Kadungulu, Serere

September 1 and 2 I was called to Kadungulu to share about Children's Ministry.  I was super excited to know that my fun team of colleagues was willing to journey with me on this overnight excursion.  For two days Anna, Peter, Teddy, and I taught about Stories of Hope and different teaching methods.
We slept in freshly smeared dry cow dung mud huts, slept early, woke up with the sun, watched a solar eclipse in a basin of water, and struggled with language. But God gave us strength, energy, and we saw excitement and understanding!  Please pray that these village churches will apply the creativity and curriculum to their schools and Sunday classes.
 Teaching about 20 villagers
 And hanging out with kids
 God's Promises are never failing
 My junior disciple is a joy to journey with, especially at trainings
 The Bible is one big story - the story of Jesus... and today's church is a part of that story!
 Doing drama
 And teaching object lessons
 Hand motions
 Colourful curriculum
It's fun watching an adult try a puzzle or a word search for the first time.  May God's story of Hope be told through these willing church leaders!