Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween a la Uganda


Ok, so no matter what your convictions are about Halloween, everyone knows that October 31st can at least be a fun day to dress up. So we did just that. We went to a costume birthday party for a missionary here and it was awesome! We ate food, including Thai, Indian, and a quiche. Played, Pictionary, the girls totally won (and I may or may not have showed off my oober competitive side) and roasted marshmallows over a candle. It was a lot of fun. Oh, and just letting you know, my costume was a tourist so I rocked a t-shirt that said "mzungu" (what westerners are referred to by the locals), a backpack, cameras, my hair braided in a way that was only meant for Africans, and of course a bottle of Pepto Bismol (a must for anyone traveling to Africa).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sometimes...


It blows my mind when I realize I'm in Africa. Africa! I mean, what the heck!? I never in a million years would I have thought I would be living here. I don't know it's just one of those things that kind of hit me even again today. Wow!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two months

wow! As I was typing in "two months" for the title of this blog, my computer had remembered when I had typed "two weeks...and SOM". So it's now been officially two months that I've been here and it's unreal to think what all has happened in that time. I miss everyone back home greatly but more and more God's grace is just blowing my mind in so many ways that I can't even begin to tell you. From ministry opportunities and beginning to see the girls grow to what God's doing in my life personally I am just in awe of all that has taken place in a mere 2 months! It's funny so often we think of God's timing when we think of something that takes a while and how it's for just a brief moment, but God is also not restricted to our time line when it comes to short periods of time as well. I mean, who would have thought that as I was boarding the plane and saying goodbye to everyone that in just two months that God would do such a work in my life. He truly is a great God and I'm so undeserving of this grace that He has bestowed on me. Don't get me wrong, I have greatly missed everyone back home and there have been some VERY difficult times, but that's life and the benefits far outweigh the costs. Thank you all for your continual prayers and encouragement, it means so much!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

That was SOOO awesome!


Tonight I had an experience that I'll honestly never forget. I went to a Diwali celebration at a Hindu temple with Don and Danielle Pierce and their 3 girls. I realized just how sheltered I am culturally, but honestly I'm realizing it's not just me, it's all Americans. I had to really try and make a conscious effort to not be overwhelmed by how sad I was at how lost these people were. Seeing little kids bowing down to pray to these false gods was just unreal. Diwali is kind of like their new year/kind of Christmas (without Jesus of course) where they celebrate the good overcoming the bad in every person. I'm so thankful though for the opportunity I had to go and see this with fellow believers it definitely gave me a whole new respect for the dedication of people of other faiths, but as Don and I were talking, it's so sad that these people are so passionate and dedicated to serving their false gods and yet we're serving the one true God and we lack that passion, something's wrong with that picture.

Along with this blog is a picture of the Pierce girls (Gabriella, Victoria, and Kaitlyn) in the temple. Behind us is a kind of shrine to their gods and they walk around it and then come and pray before them. There's also a mat before them that people were making their offerings on.

Ahhh...Tuesdays


I have to admit I rather enjoy Tuesdays. I only have class in the mornings and then everyone else has other ministries in the afternoon so I get to kind of go and do whatever, today I went to Flavours and I've come to the conclusion that it might just become my new Tuesday routine especially since the iced vanilla late I had today was amazing and rivals anything I've had in the States.

Monday, October 27, 2008

another video

here is another one for you too

video

Just a little clip

Ok, here is a clip from my teaching this past sunday, I really hope it works out. There have been only about 5 or 6 girls the past two weeks because the others are practicing for our Christmas performance. This week we were going through the end of John chapter 1.

s video

Saturday, October 25, 2008

my new favorite place


I’m in what will probably my new favorite place. It’s called Flavours and it’s a kind of hip coffee shop where I can actually get something like an iced mocha. I’ve also heard rumors that their brownies are pretty much amazing. Oh my! This iced mocha is heaven! This place better be around for a while!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I've come to the conclusion that...

my stomach and I need to have a serious conversation about how we need to get along better. It just hasn't been very happy with me these past couple of days, I don't know if it's stress or what, but it hasn't been fun. If you think about it, please pray for me, it's not horrible, but just a little on the un-enjoyable side.

ehhh..

today was just kind of one of those days where nothing big or exciting happened. God's been testing me a lot though lately and so life's been a little on the challenging side, but He's also been faithful to minister to me so much through it all. I just pray I remember these lessons.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

the little things...


This orange was seriously THE most difficult orange I've ever had to peel, but so totally worth it. Oranges can only be bought in Kampala and so I haven't had one in over two months, it's weird those little things that you kind of realize you've missed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My room



ok, so today I don't have school so I decided to clean my room to the point where I could take a picture of it to show you. Due to it's quaint size, I took one of just my bed and then of kind of my dresser/bed (i.e. my whole room). I love it though, because it's mine and having a queen size bed is glorious!

Another adventure


Adventure number two: I ventured out today again, this time to Indulge which is a king fancy (by African standards) sandwich shop. I also went to the grocery store where I got myself my own little umbrella. I have to admit I’m enjoying my newest sense of freedom. Because the walk was a little on the long side, I put in one of my ear buds and listened to a teaching on 1 Samuel. As I’m writing this I’m sitting at a rather cute little table with a mineral water with a quite enjoyable sandwich before me listening to some sweet music.

On my way walking home from this joyous time, it started to rain, and then rain some more and then rain a whole lot more. And I was soaked and then ran into Danielle and we walked about a half a mile or so in the pouring rain and by the time we got to the church we were seriously soaked to the bone. It was a fun memory though.

my room



ok, so today I don't have school so I decided to clean my room to the point where I could take a picture of it to show you. Due to it's quaint size, I took one of just my bed and then of kind of my dresser/bed (i.e. my whole room). I love it though, because it's mine and having a queen size bed is glorious!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ewww!

I'm watching this wildlife video right now and it's so cool yet so unbelievably gross. We're watching one on caves and the footage is unreal, I've never seen this stuff before and they just showed one cave where the ground was entirely covered by cockroaches and it's just so wrong! Just thought I'd share with you some of our entertainment here.

gotta love it


Right now I'm sitting in my office that's nice and dark because it's raining and I honestly just don't want to turn the lights on right now. I'm hearing the thunder and the soft rain and little kids playing in the distance. I love times like these.

spreading my wings just a little bit

Today I was able to hang out at Ozzie’s restaurant where I enjoyed a cheese burger (I’ve had only once) and fries (I haven’t had since I’ve been here) and was kind of on my own for the first time. I have to admit I felt like such a little kid and I know I had to be careful as I was walking around so as to not look as deer in the headlights as I felt. I have to admit it was nice to have a little change in scenery and sit there and watch everyone pass by kind of hidden listening to the Glorious Unseen and rockin’ my outlines. I decided that instead of getting a ride on a bike (boda boda) or scooter (pichi pichi) I would walk home. It was just so amazing! At one point as I was heading down the hill to my house, I could look out and see Lake Victoria and it was just so cool!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Phew!

Yesterday I taught on John 1:14-34 and this morning I taught the devo on Ephesians 4:1. It's amazing how God is able to speak through us in the way that He does, I never feel prepared enough for a teaching, but they both seemed to go ok. I have to admit I was quite nervous for this morning's devo because I'm used to teaching high school students, but put me in front of my peers and my teacher, and boy howdy was it nerve racking! Needless to say, me, my NIV study Bible, my NASB key word study Bible, Libronix, and Blueletterbible.com have become quite good friends over this past week.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

worthy of the calling?

I'm preparing for my devo that I'm teaching tomorrow in SOM, and I'm rockin' Ephesians 4:1 for my text, honestly because it just humbles me. "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." Today as I was teaching the Bible study (actually it seriously was all God this time), and now reading and thinking about this text, I am honestly just amazed at how we truly are encouraged by Paul to "live a life worthy of the calling", I mean, wow! How can you live up to that? But then again I guess that's where God's grace comes in knowing that there is absolutely no way in my own power that I could be worthy, it's only by His power and His work in my life that allows that, I just hope I will do that some day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

His grace is sufficient

So with the passage I quoted a couple of blogs ago in 2 Corinthians 12, today I truly was shown how "His grace is sufficient" and "His power is perfected in weakness". I was pretty much at my lowest point so far this afternoon and He brought to mind some of His promises, I went to youth group and it's funny how fast God can work, getting to talk to the girls from Bible study again just showed how God was using me here and that it's by no means because of me or my skills, but by His grace alone, which is exactly what He continues to show me because I tend to forget pretty easily. Needless to say, my knee is still hurting really bad, but He has truly ministered to me and I have definitely learned how His grace truly is sufficient. Thank you all for your prayers, and I just thank God that He's in such control.

breakfast time


Just sitting down to some toast, coffee, and grapefruit (which I picked fresh off a tree - well on the ground under the tree).

Friday, October 17, 2008

my "thorn"


In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks of the thorn in his flesh, well for those of you who know me, you know that my thorn is my left knee. God truly does allow me to remain humble with showing that "His grace is sufficient" and "when I am weak, then I am strong". This incredibly awkward picture is of me doing a routine that I'm very accustomed to do, elevate and ice my knee.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

the newest addition...


To my office. the hard wooden chairs just weren't very conducive to my studying so I went and bought an office chair. Where would I find such a chair you ask...at a grocery store of course, no seriously that's where I got it.

bummer


Today one of the girls from my Bible study, Sarah, left to go to University in Kampala. Things here work very differently especially with school. She was seriously one of the stronger girls and she and I would actually get to talk quite a bit, I'm bummed she's leaving, but please pray for her to stay strong and not be deceived by other doctrines but to truly follow God in Spirit and in Truth.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15

Well as today draws to a close, I just thought I'd offer a little re-cap in order for you to get an idea of how life is here, although the past three days I've been off of school, but will start back to my normal routine tomorrow. Because school was canceled, I slept in until 6:30, it never seems to fail that I just wake up at that time no matter what I do, I guess it's a good thing though, it gets my day started. Anyways, moving on...I had my quiet time and read in the first two chapters of Colosssians and it was pretty awesome all that God has in His word and even if you've read something several times He allows you to see new things each time. I then proceeded to my breakfast of toast, yogurt, and coffee (with french vanilla creamer courtesy of yesterday's care package). After that, it was outline time and that was what most of my day consisted of, other than helping Bev with her computer. I was able to finish the book of Numbers and start Deuteronomy and because I've been a slacker lately I have calculated that I need to be getting 12 chapters done a day if I'm to finish the Old Testament by December 16th. After an invigorating day of outlining, we had the mid-week service where Jess is teaching through Genesis and it was a little stressful because our projector wasn't wanting to work, so the slides I made during the day for worship actually didn't end up going up and the people kind of had to figure out the music for themselves, although I did enjoy getting to worship instead of having to push the buttons, it was humbling going through the "what ifs" of how I could have maybe prevented the situation from going down the way it did. After service I was able to talk to Sarah, one of the girls from my Bible study, she's going to University tomorrow and I'm really bummed. She's coming by tomorrow during my SOM break to say goodbye, but she was seriously one I've been able to get to know and so it's kind of bitter sweet. After that, dinner time finally happened at around 7:30 where the six of us had chicken catchetore (sp?) and then Jess, Bev, Ryan and I watched Shrek 2. I had attempted to study for my exam tomorrow on Joshua, Judges and Ruth but with a movie like Shrek 2 playing, there's just no hope for that. Now it's getting close to 10 and I'm lying in bed surrounded by a mosquito net with my fan blowing full blast as I am procrastinating studying some more.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My first care package!!!!



Oh my goodness, I'm so excited! My first care package arrived today. It's from my momma and it may have taken it about 6 weeks to get here, but I'm just happy I got it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Exhausted


I've realized not really any of my pictures lately show me, so here's one to show that I'm still alive. No, I wasn't going for a Blair Witch feel, it's just that it's my bed time and my lights are off except for the light from my computer. As you can see, I'm a bit beat from the past couple of days, but it's exhausted in a good way knowing that I've been truly about His work, and not my own, He is truly such a great God!

Day tirp to Kampala




Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday I don't have school because Jesse (my teacher) will be at a conference so some of us ladies made a jaunt to Kampala. Leaving at 8 this morning, Bev,two Baptist missionaries (JoAnne and Sandy), and myself made the two hour car ride to Kampala in order to get the process for my working permit started. After being shipped around to different people at the immigration office, which actually went more smoothly than anyone expected, we set out to accomplish the other tasks we had on our list for the day. While waiting for something for Joanne, we went and had tea (I actually was a rebel and had coffee) at a food court of sorts. There were so many people bustling about on the streets. We then went to the bank and it seriously was unreal! They don't really have a set of rules of order, it's kind of every man for himself as they all crowd at a window and hopefully you get the things you came for in a timely manner, so the next time you're in line at the bank standing in a lovely line waiting patiently for the teller to call you, just be thankful you're not in Uganda. After that, we went to a mall, and it actually was really legit they even had a grocery store in there where I was able to buy sliced turkey. Now, my problem is that I'm the total opposite of a shopper and so I was pretty much over the whole experience in a few minutes, but a couple of the ladies are normal females and could spend the day shopping, so needless to say, it was a little painful, but it was still good times. After other errands, we started making our trek back home. It seriously was a day full of traveling and errands, we didn't get back into Jinja until about 6, but it was a productive day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An african sunset


Finally here's one of the African sunsets behind a couple of big momma billboards.

Sunday night routine


One glorious thing about Jinja, is that they have one Chinese restaurant, Ling Ling's, and it's actually quite good. Every Sunday after all of our ministries we head over there for some good food, just the six of us. One of the highlights of my week are those beautiful little spring rolls.

This week's girl's Bible study


This afternoon I had my girl's Bible study and went through John 1:10-13. I'm really needing to pick up the pace, because if I just keep rockin' a few verses a week, it will take me forever to go through it. Here's a picture of the girls: Sarah, Anna, Gloria, Joyce, Joy, Juliette, Brenda, and Rose.

my purpose

Yesterday was one of the best days I've had here in Uganda, mainly because God opened up my eyes to why I'm here. Not that I was doubting I had purpose, but it gave me clarity. The day started out with meeting with a girl named Sarah who was going out to do some street witnessing I was able to talk and pray with her and share some verses with her to encourage her and I later came to find out that they were also applicable to her on a personal level as well as on an evangelistic level, God is so good how He uses us in ways we don't even know! I then went to visit PMM, which is an all girls school. One of the girls from the youth group, Carol, lives there and it was their "parents" day and so I went as her "parent" because her parents aren't really around anymore, and I later discovered that she doesn't have very many people who pour into her, if any, and that is truly my heart is to show girls that someone loves them even if they may not experience love anywhere else. I then came back to prepare for youth group and did a couple of other things again just solidifying my roles and encouraging me that I'm where I'm supposed to be. And then with youth group, I was able to spend some time with the girls who come to the Bible study on Sundays and they gave me such a warm greeting, they're so awesome! Finally, as we were cleaning up from dinner, it was mentioned that I may be giving some of the village pastors a crash course in entrepreneurship so they can operate their own kiosk (a small store). I just am in awe of how God works! And I am also so humbled that God has truly been preparing me for this task for a while and I just can't believe I'm having an opportunity to minister to people in the capacity that I am. Thank you all for your prayers, because they are being answered far beyond any expectations.

Friday, October 10, 2008

a little glimpse


Ok, so pictures really don't do it justice, but here's a little glimpse of one of my views here at the compound.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ugndan independence day



So today is a glorious holiday: Independence Day. Now while the locals are all roasting pigs and enjoying their various traditions, I too have had quite an enjoyable day. School was canceled today so I got to sleep in the latest I have since being here: 8:30, and then the rest of my day has consisted of laundry (as seen in the picture I get to hang my clothes on a clothing line - it's actually a lot of fun), working on my outlines for school, and studying for my Bible study on Sunday. It's been so relaxed, yet so productive, and it's only noon!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

wow...6 weeks!

I've now been gone 6 weeks from beautiful New Mexico. Yes, I'm one of those people who doesn't mind the Land of Enchantment. Right now, I have to admit that I'm missing the fall weather, although here fall involves lots and lots of rain (or at least it should), but nothing like the cool crisp weather that I'm used to and then driving along Paseo and seeing the sky filled with balloons. I love it here, I just wish that I could be in two places at once. Anyways, six weeks down...and we won't talk about how many more to go ;)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

John the Baptist

So today I introduced the girls to John the Baptist as we studied John 1:6-9. It was really cool getting to truly study him, I've never really done that before. I mean to think of what it would have been like to walk along the Jordan, or the Nile, or the Rio Grande and see some hippie out there dunking people in water and then to find out that he was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus. I just love who God uses! He uses those you would least expect to do His work. It's not based off of how you dress, who your family is, or even where you go to church, it's based off of His grace and your ability to obey Him. It's awesome to read that he didn't compromise to the "accepted" ways of doing things, and even called the Pharisees a brood of vipers and called Herod out on the sins he had committed, I would love to have that kind of boldness and conviction, John had bluntness with wisdom and that is something I've yet to master.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Five weeks down

So I have now officially been in Uganda for five weeks and I have to admit I feel like I'm getting a little slammed as far as getting attacked physically. Last week I had a stomach thing and this week I've got a gnarly cold that truly started to get me yesterday. Even today I woke up unsure about the day of the week because my head is so congested and just not thinking properly. I have to study for my girl's Bible study and so I ask that if you read this, that you would pray for clarity of mind and that I wouldn't allow this to interfere with what God is doing or the ministries that I am a part of.

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