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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.

May Moments 2018

May was a good month.  Ministry has been picking up - and so has my health and energy.  
Educational Care took place from May 14-18.  We accomplished Modules 5 and 6 - talking about Leadership in Christian Schools and The Purpose and Value of our Schools.
 Discussions and planning.
 Role-playing and drama
These teachers have been challenged to make a difference in how they teach and lead in their schools.
Digging into God's Word together
Praying with One Another

 Along with a very important action plan!!
I was also invited to attend a Ladies "IF Gathering" in Jinja.
 Women who live and serve, mostly in the Jinja area, gathered together for prayer, inspiration, worship, sharing, testimonies, and sweet fellowship for a day and a half.  I've never seen so many westerners in one place.... it made me feel out of place in Uganda.  :)  But I am so glad that I went to meet with God for a while.
 While there I was blessed to catch up with a long-time friend and team-mate - Angie Sliedrecht.
 Also, since joining with GOM I have new team-mates too!!  Natalia invited and hosted me for the weekend.  Such a delight to get to know her outside of our cold Niagara Falls training in Feb.  :)
 Hard-working Stephanie is also a pleasure to fellowship with whenever we meet.  Stephanie and I are praying to have a new NGO to get our work permits under while here in Uganda and I am so thankful for all of Stephanie's hard work as she communicates with lawyers and GOM. Please be in prayer for this process.
I finished off the month seeing a doctor and counselor in Kampala, getting more blood thinners, and PICKING UP VISITORS!!
 A trip to the Source of the Nile is always important!
 Watching birds and monitor lizards and monkeys

I am so excited to be hosting Ryan and Jalyssa Brink in my home for over a month.  Besides my parents or missions friends... I have never had visitors, so I am ecstatic!!  We have been having great time catching up, getting to know each other, and doing ministry together.  
My neighbour kids have come back home after spending school break in the village.
So cute!