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Monday, January 14, 2019

Ministry struggles... with lots of joy

January has been off to a delightful start.  I love celebrating life with my neighbours... so on January 4th Opio, Ochen, and I had a fun time preparing for Vanessa's 20th birthday.  The had never seen a glow in the dark stick before, so we were creatively hiding on the veranda when Vanessa came home.  :)
 I'm glad I get to share a few simple joys with them... 
 And a banana, chocolate chip, walnut cake also.  
 Every celebration needs a cake cutting ceremony!
 On another note... I go to the post office every day.  I call it my husband.  O.P.O. (Oh Post Office) because I love to give and receive love.  Here is some love that I am sending back to a fun Sunday school class in Ontario.
 Feeling young now days!
 Last Tuesday I was asked to speak at the PCU youth conference in Kaberamaido.  I was told to meet at the church at 8:15 am to meet up with some other church leaders and then I would take them all to the village.  Well, of course, when I get there, no one is there, so I was served tea and I waited.  It was almost 1.5 hours later, with weak apologies, that we finally departed for the village.  
Youth were just gathering together to begin the conference, but we were still waiting for one more lorry of youth to arrive, so we had many presentations and announcements to begin with for the day.  And then the winds seriously blew... the tents came down and we had to take time to resettle.  
Of course, lunch groceries were arriving on the last lorry, so lunch was late, because it takes a long time to cook dry beans and mingle big vats of posho (cornmeal).  I'm still getting used to the cultural norm that visitors get served extra special food... so us leaders also at beef with soup, and cabbage... which delayed lunch until 5 pm.
Another setback for the day was the police.  Two officers came and demanded payment for hosting the conference.  They were calling them government fees... but this was a church meeting and so we ended up calling the local government security officer to get rid of the police - who happened to be drunk.  NO money exchanged hands after 3 hours of debates, which sidetracked and upset many of the leaders.
These are just some of the frustrations that we see or I experience on a regular basis when it comes to doing ministry.  But, through all of that... I love it.
When in the village, I am able to listen to the traditional instruments!
 And enjoy some dancing too.  :)
At that conference I led two sessions.  The first session was about the importance of prayer and how God wants us to stand in the gap in prayer.  And the second one was again about relationships and worldly issues that youth struggle with regularly.
I thank God for speaking activities.
 Some days, I just wake up to dress up! :)
 On Saturday I drove to Palisa... and I had a good time seeing all the uses of Papyrus.
 It's grown in swamps.
 Used for sleeping mats, walls, roofs, and so much more.
 Here it is drying in the hot January sun.
Speaking of hot... this time of year is the hardest in Uganda... it is not only hot, but dry, dusty, and too windy.  My lips and heels are cracked and I can never drink enough water.
But I shall not leave... Uganda is my home!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Christmas Video for you - Happy New Year!

Christmas Season 2018

A season of festivity and travel...
 Sugar cookies for everyone!
 Duck a l'orange and pork roast for Christmas...
 With 14 guests in the house.
 Opio and Ocen are happy to have their cousin Arthur around.
 Gift giving and receiving.
 My friend JJ came and provided lots of entertainment.
 Opio and Ocen are growing up so much - 8.5 years.They don't remember a time when I wasn't a part of their family.
 Ceremonial cake cutting with the Engulu kids.
 Boxing Day found 5 of us ladies from Sunday Bible study traveling to Ibanda, western Uganda, to visit Jesca's village for a few days.
 Grace, Vanessa, Jesca and I at the equator!
 Who says you can't be in two places at once?
 I loved driving on the western roads!! So fast and smooth.  
 Hiking the hills of Ibanda town... hoping to find Lake George or the foothills of the Rwenzori's...
 Leaving the home, we first had to visit a coffee factory.
 Then we began our assent.
 We had to stop occasionally for rest... and to few the breathtaking scenery.  Our God is such an awesome creator... and we praised Him for even making the tiny country of Uganda so diverse.
 Oh Vanessa... 
 The rolling hills were so beautiful.  I climbed 3 hills that day and got nicely sunned.
 Ibanda town down below.
 Jesca wanted to show us her church and school
 The region is known for the long-horned Ankole cows.
 Bones was curious why the Shepherd boy needed a helmet?!
 These ladies are such cool juniors for me.
 We went to see the grave sight of Harry George Galt... a maddening story for me really.  Click HERE to get the history.
 Birds in the garden.
 This millet sorghum is almost ready for harvest.
 A dove
 Another beauty...
 Teddy harvested some purple maize
and we roasted it for supper.
 Jesca is giving us a tour of her home town - Ibanda
 It rained on Saturday morning, so I introduced the girls to adult colouring books... they call it painting.
 On our final evening we decided to cook for our hosts... enjoying the outdoor kitchen.
 Goat stew, chapati, rice, matoke, a real treat.
 A vegetable was found in the market... and I wanted to make it for everyone... to introduce them to new foods.  I ended up carrying a sack of Chayote back to Soroti to enjoy.
 I was so happy to see my Sikh friends in Mbarara - I haven't seen them since 2012... and next month they are moving to North America... so I'm glad God enabled our paths to cross again.
 Vanessa, Grace, and Teddy loved meeting the Singh family too!!
 We also went to visit Auntie Oliver who lives amidst bananas!!
 On the way back we followed this dangerous load for a while.
 Bones wanted to see and experience the equator as well.
 New Year's Day was another feast. Pork and pizza!!