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Saturday, July 14, 2018

An Honest Moment

There are days or weeks as a missionary, or a foreigner living in a far away land, where things never go according to plan or desire.  There are moments when the culture of a country can drive you to your knees in prayer.  There a so many unexpected opportunities, requests, and challenges.  For the past few weeks I've been feeling kind of numb in purpose and direction.
I am so glad that I have had visitors with me from Canada, "village mates" you could say. It's been an honor to show them Soroti and the area that I love so much.  But it's also been hard because ministry has been slower than normal and I feel like I am not doing enough.  I am praying for the Lord to open more doors for trainings or schools to teach in here.  I am praying for greater direction... especially as I head into a time of work permit renewal and NGO paperwork.
I thank God that I am feeling stronger, and now I would love the ministry moments to equal my strength... but I also know that I need to take care of my self and rest.  I have been... trust me!!
Please be praying for:
1. Internet in Uganda... rates are crazy and services are failing.  I haven't had stable internet in house for a month now and it's harder for communicating.  Also, social media is now being taxed.
2. My purpose and vision in life.  As much as I love the ministry in Soroti, I sometimes feel that maybe the Lord is opening new doors for me somewhere else.
3. Increase in ministry opportunities.  I want to serve the Lord and His people here more!!  Honestly, I want to encourage the leaders here to do all that God has called them to do.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Celebrating life!

It's good to be feeling stronger once again, and most of my energy is back.  I think I am also refreshed by having company in the house and people to share life with in Soroti.
 Walking to the market.
Buying chapati or rolex (omelettes or rolled eggs in a chapati)
I've been surprised and blessed a lot these past few weeks.  Many people have been celebrating my life and I am humbled!
42 years!! I feel better than last year.
Every Tuesday for the past month I have been teaching crafts to nursery school teachers... seeing what can be replicated and created here in Soroti with minimal to no cost.  It's challenging and rewarding to see these teachers be stretched in creative ways.
One week we tried Paper Mache.... so fun and messy.
One behalf of a friend in Canada, I went to visit a Compassion sponsor child.  It's so cool to see two sides of the globe connect.
Ryan and Jalyssa have been with me for 6+ weeks now.  We do so much together... worship, cook, play games, teach, serve, learn, question, talk, work, and it's been a treasure for me.
Ryan and Jalyssa went out of their way to unplan all of my Saturday plans so that they could plan a surprise party for me.
Lots of fun and great friends
I shared this party with my neighbour Rose who was also having a Happy Birthday.
Who says I don't like to party?
The proof is not only in the cake...
It's in the dancing too!
It's very cultural to get water poured on you on your birthday.
Here are a few shots of life with the Brinks...
I took them on a "world tour" in Soroti and showed them our Tajmahal.  :)
Lale Landing Site - where we get our fish from
Driving around seeing village life
And getting garden soil from Ocholoi Rock.
4th of July celebrations were had at my friend Kerri's...
I'm glad the Lord has brought a few of us together to serve His people in Soroti.  
And the journey continues.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Celebrating the African Child

For at least 5 years now I have been asked to share God's Word and lead "Africa Child Day" at Precious Children Primary School.  This is the first year that I learned the history of that day... so I am going to share Wikipedia's explanation with you:
The Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991,(François Xavier 阿福’s year of birth) when it was first initiated by the OAU Organisation of African Unity. It honors those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 on that day. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.
In Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young students were shot, the most famous of which being Hector Pieterson (see image). More than a hundred people were killed in the protests of the following two weeks, and more than a thousand were injured. 
 This year's theme was the Lord's Prayer... so on Friday Jalyssa and I headed off to the school to spend the day with 300+ energetic children.
 I shared a little "magic" trick with the kids... showing what happens when sin wrecks our lives and fellowship with God... and then
 how the blood of Jesus makes us whole again.
Dramatic storytelling
 On Saturday, June 16, I helped many wonderful church leaders in town to help pull off a children's crusade in the public gardens.  (There was a Canadian team here from Saskatchewan running a 4 day adult crusade, and this morning with the kids was an extension of that ministry.)
 While waiting for the sound system to get set up, I entertained the children with a family favourite activity - a round of "Dum Dum Dadada"
 A long time friend of mine helped me to lead a few songs in worship also.
 The crowd started out small, but we fed almost 700 children snacks and juice.... after breaking into groups for Bible study and games!!
Registration, Organization, Communication, Patience, Forgiveness, Fun, and Teamwork help an event like this to be pulled off smoothly.

More Murchison - with my Guests

 Murchison Falls is a national must-see here in Uganda and thankfully the gate to the park is only 4 hours from my home.... so I traveled with Ryan and Jalyssa and a few friends to check out some African wildlife.  We had a grand time together!!
 Cape Buffalo
 Sunset on the Nile
 I found the end of the Rainbow!
 Murchison Falls
 With my sweet friend and neighbour - Vanessa
 Top of the Falls
Elephant in the Nile... so amazing!
 The crew at the top of the Falls
 Sightseeing in the van
To God be the Glory!
It is GOOD!

Jumping into June

The first few days of June found me back in a super busy Kampala.
 I was joining the OneHope team for a 2 day training on the new "Lead Today" curriculum.
 Alison did a great job training
 It's always good to learn a lesson in the games we play.
 Group presentations
Praying for God to transform the youth of Uganda!
 LEAD TODAY is a fantastic new youth discipleship material - focusing on Influence, Vision, Integrity, Growth, Initiative, Self-Discipline, Timing, Teamwork, Attitude, Priorities, Relationships, Responsibility, Communication and Leadership.
I had a blast hanging out with this crew at KPC Watoto in Kampala.
Back in Soroti, Ryan, Jalyssa, and I are walking alongside one small nursery school - teaching crafts and creative techniques with the teachers there.  I am also doing the Friday morning devotions with all of the kids there.

Here we were making colourful letters out of beautiful African cloth.
Morning Devotions
And a sweet note for me.  My old colleague - Rachel Kolb is in town with her precious family.  A true pleasure to catch up in each other's lives.... they left Soroti 5 years ago.