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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

An Auntie in Ministry

It's kind of fun, having early morning wake ups with outdoor dogs at the bedroom door and/or children screaming and searching for big black ants in their beds - which turn out to be the corner of the pillowcase.  After making sure that medications, breakfasts, daily events are planned, I also jump back into ministry.  Last week I taught every afternoon at a local child sponsorship program.  
 The curriculum was Understanding True Love / Sexual Purity with P7 students.

 I always love tag teaming with my junior discipler - Teddy
 and energetic - Peter
 This was the first time I have completely taught this curriculum and it was exciting, rewarding, and challenging for both me and the participants.
 It's not a topic that teens talk about easily, but it is such a necessity!!
 I love it that God truly does have the perfect design for my life!
 Day one was a little awkward, but day 5 had great discussion and I think some clear understanding, or at least a little more of a challenge to date wisely.
 Celebrating with the class!
 Throughout the week, various team-mates would invite us over for dinner... and us being the Tiesenga kids and me... or find ways to help me out with being a full-time mom while Steve and Tanya spend time getting medical care in Nairobi.

 Ronnie makes the best mash and chicken for these kids.
 If I wasn't busy enough, I also booked two morning trainings for Sunday school curriculum.  To be honest, these days put a smile on my face.  I love sharing God's Word and creative story telling methods to new teachers.
 This adorable thing is one of my alarm clocks in the mornings...
 And apparently Santa can appear long before Christmas.  Ho HO HOOOO!
 Today, dear Kate was "bored" and needed some extra time, so I gave up my feet to be with her.  :)
 She was very intent on creating a masterpiece!
 The many layers took hours to dry!! I'm not sure who wins... her sister also did a great job painting my finger nails.  A rare treat for me.
It's not certain, but motherhood may end on Friday for me.  Oh, I'm going to miss this fast paced life.  

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Full-Time Aunthood

Woah, it's hard to believe I have been back in Uganda for two weeks already.  Discipleship Bible studies are the highlight of my Sunday afternoons.  Today I dove into 1 Peter 1 with four other ladies and we talked about living a life of HOPE.  Tomorrow I will be sharing about "True Love Waits" or "Understanding Love and Sex" with a local community child sponsorship program for a week.
But, I want to put aside the normal side of ministry for a minute, and share what is really going on with my life right now.
There are times when I can go for weeks without the fellowship of other Western missionaries (although 5 or so of us meet on Thursday nights for Bible Study), but lately I have been with my Western colleagues a lot.  Two Saturday's ago, one of my former team-mates planned an awesome harvest party - with pumpkin games, autumn attire, yummy eats. and sweet talks.  It was a true treasure to be together - laughing, sharing, playing, and enjoying.
Then this week, my Wingman, Steve Tiesenga, started going in and out of the hospital with malaria.  I visited him in a Soroti hospital on Thursday afternoon, and he was down, and on oxygen.  Twenty minutes later, I was called by a mutual friend of ours, to see if I could stay with Steve and Tanya's 4 children.  An air-ambulance was being called from Nairobi, because Steve needed to be medically evacuated to Kenya for better medical treatment.  (Thankfully a few of us pay $20 a year to be a part of the "Flying Doctors" insurance plan... and Steve was ready to go.)
Needless to say, I have been a full-time Aunt since Thursday evening - making meals, entertaining and comforting, guiding and playing, directing bedtimes and med times, and just being with these awesome children.  At the same time, trying to keep up with the few ministry opportunities that are on my plate at the moment.
Friday was a baby shower for yet another colleague in town.  And Saturday was a meeting with a few of us, to decide who should fly to Kenya to be with Steve and Tanya, for company and assistance.  I would have gone, but it is far better that I stay with the children, because I don't do that well with medical assistance.
So here we are, in Soroti, praying for Steve's recovery... his lungs are really bad and he is on oxygen... if you want Steve and Tanya's story, you can check out their blog: Here.  I am trying to be a strong Auntie, but times are tough when there isn't always a good diagnosis or known treatment plan.  But we are trusting God and keeping smiles on our faces.  But when the kids hug me extra hard at night, or have a little melt down in their rooms, it makes me go to my room and shed a few tears too.
I am so glad though to be on a TEAM!! Not that we all work for the same mission agency (actually, I don't think any of us in Soroti do), but we share our joys and struggles together.  Some are great at obtaining flight tickets, others are making meals, others are calling prayer meetings, one couple took the kids for an overnight of camping today - which gives me a breather, others are texting, encouraging, and it's just great.  I offered up my car as well, to take another team-mate to the airport yesterday... because arranging a taxi or private hire would be too late.
God is working here.  Steve is improving.  The kids are being loved on.  And I am glad to be a part of the family of God.
 Playing games with the kids
 Inviting more kids over to play - because sometimes more is even easier for me.  :)
Fall harvest game - Pumpkin bowling