Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hello Europe

I'm currently in Brussels Belgium with 3 hours to spare... I managed to find some free wi-fi, praise the Lord! And I am only 15hrs of flying away from Seattle. I don't mind the long layovers between flights, it's helped me to enjoy flying and to relax a little. I left Uganda at 11pm last night and arrived here about 7am. The red-eye flights are really my favorite. I get to fall asleep surrounded by a million beautiful stars and wake up during the sunrise over Rome. Everything is beautiful from above. The sky, the stars, the mountains, the blazing sun and the glorious landscape. I don't know how you could see all of this and not worship God for His creation. Beyond the beauty, my heart is already missing Africa. Saying good-bye to Dovie and Pastor Danny was not easy and as I waited for my flight out it all hit me like a heavy stone sitting at the bottom of my gut. Now I carry the weight of my experience with me, knowing I cannot forget Uganda or it's people. It's a beautiful thing being split in two. I am now apart of two countries with my heart longing for one, while my head brings me to the other. I suppose we need that tension in our lives to guard us from a stagnate faith and stale pursuit of God. We are small beings in a heavy world but we serve a mighty God.

Monday, July 12, 2010

time to pray

So I am not sure how many of you heard the news... but last night there was 3 bombings in Kampala at some of the bars that were showing the world cup final. I was there that day and 2 days previous in Kampala but left for Jinja in the evening before the bombings occurred. It was said to be an attack from the Somali terrorists and out of the three places bombed, one was a suicide bomber. One of the blasts occured at the Ethiopian village, in Kabalagala which is not far from the house. So far it has been reported that over 60 people have died and even more are injured. It is quite the tragedy really. I was shocked when Pastor Jeff told me the news this morning. Last night me and him both went out to watch the World Cup final, praise God we were in Jinja. Please be praying for the families of those whose lives were lost yesterday. I hope that no one is worried, as some of the pastors have received many calls asking about our safety. Everyone is well and safe here thanks to God's protection! Also, be praying for my travels tomorrow. Tomorrow is my last day in Uganda and I fly out at 11pm, arriving in America on Wednesday around 7pm. I am praying for a smooth 29 hrs of total travel. It has been such a wonderful experience here and it is hard to think about being away for so long until my next return. Soon I will be greeting you all from America. Praise God for his provision and protection!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

the kids

Teacher Shillah, Teacher Lindsey, Teacher Judith and some of the kids of Precious Children.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

saying goodbye

So today was officially my last full day in Hoima. It was my last day at the school. The last day with the people I have grown to love and care for deeply. And it was rather difficult saying goodbye... more than just bittersweet. The people here have made me feel so loved and appreciated over this last month. When saying goodbye I was getting so choked up, it caught me off guard. I am going to miss the people and friends terribly. They were right when they said that a month is just enough time to fall in love and leave. Well I am finding myself leaving now and realizing that my time here has hardly felt like a month. Each day seemed to dance itself away and now my time in Hoima is over. I hope I can keep it together when I have to part with the family here too... What a blessed time this has been.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

These people know how to laugh

My cheeks hurt from all the laughter tonight at dinner. Jeffery Png and Pastor Danny are some of the funniest people I have ever met. Seriously, if we are not enjoying a nice conversation, we are laughing until I fear my face will be stuck. I am really enjoying myself and the relationships I have built. I feel very comfortable here and it is because of all the wonderful people I have met. 3 key leaders of the church are leaving for the Bible School in Jinja tomorrow and I am going to miss them terribly. This week we went to one of the secondary schools in the district and did a presentation on HIV/AIDS. I should add that I still get very nervous to speak publicly but I have been put in SO many situations to do so with no notice. So I have learned to think on my toes and really just allow God to take control and use me as needed. I swear sometimes I feel like I just close my eyes and start speaking and then when I open, everyone is smiling with appreciation.
Needless to say, I presented on the Prevention portion in front of a couple hundred students. It was actually a really incredible opportunity and time to educate the kids, so I felt very blessed to be a part of it. Also, yesterday and today I held a training for the new Kids Church materials that our church gave to the programs here in Hoima. And after that training I held a training for the Ushering Ministry. The funny thing is... I am not a qualified teacher in these areas but God manages to equip me and teach me in each of these areas too. So it has been quite the learning experience. I also went to the Clinic in one of the villages this morning and to hear the stories and to know the need is truly just devastating. We thank God for His faithfulness and provision in these things though. Visitors arrived today, one family from America and then Pastor Jeff and Lillian. It's so great, the family from America just happens to be Northwest University Alumni and they know so many of the same people that I do. The connections here are just so crazy and I am excited to be meeting so many different people during my time. The weeks have really flown by and I am seeing now that I don't have much longer before I return to America. Already there are many people talking about how much we will miss each other, although I don't want to think about leaving quite yet. In this next week I am traveling to Kampala and then even further north to Jinja. After that I will return and be leaving again to fly out. Anyways, tomorrow they are having me teach Sunday school which I found out tonight so again I know despite my inadequacies God will prepare and use so I thank Him for that. Oh, they may also have me help lead worship tomorrow... Lord help us all. Haha. I thank God that even though I am often stretched with the things they ask for me to do, I know the people believe in me and have confidence in my service to them.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Take a look

Here are a couple of pictures of the set up of where I am at...

This is the school compound. I am that last classroom on the far right. I spend most days here from 8am-5pm. Then somedays I return again around 6pm for prayer, worship, or bible study.

The first two older girls are what I call trouble... ahem. I mean Lilian and Doreen. But they sure do cause me trouble. Fighting over chairs, crying over fights, and constant battles with the teacher. They are bright kids though and we manage to share laughs and have some good fun.

This is my room, normally it is invaded with the boys. There is no down comforter nor a need for one. A sheet is plenty of warmth for the night.

this is the Siega's house and compound. It's really a beautiful place and like a mansion compared to the mud huts and small shacks that surround us in the city. They have fresh papaya that grow from the trees as well as the nice and smelly Jack Fruit.

The hills of Hoima and coming rainstorms. I am surrounded by beauty here...