Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sundays!

Sundays are always nice and busy for me. This is kind of how it's been going the past couple of weeks: wake up at around 6:30, run worship slides and attend service for the 8:00 service, run slides for 10:15 service then hang out at the house, work on finishing touches on my teachings and devotional booklets, teach the younger kids for about 30 minutes (this week we talked about Jesus walking on water and Peter taking His eyes off of Him and how you can get saved just like Peter was), teach the girl's Bible study (this week we went over John 3:1-21) then from there it was time for Chinese. I love it though because it's kind of like what my whole week builds up to.

The Bible study with the younger kids has become one of my highlights to my week, to really think about things through their eyes is a challenge, but a good one. I have about 7 kids who come who are mainly kids of the staff members. They range in age from 7-10 and they're just so awesome! They each take a turn reading a verse as we just read through a normal NIV Bible that they have for those who come to church and then I kind of break it down for them and then give some illustrations and try to keep their attention while teaching them the spiritual truth behind it. I never in a million years would think I would be teaching kids anything, and so it's just been so cool how God has opened this door, knowing I did NOTHING to begin this, they just asked me about three weeks ago for me to teach them from the Bible and so that's what I did. Just pray for me that I would be able to teach in a way that helps them to grow but is still at their level and that they can understand it. My main hope is that I would just give them a passion to read their Bibles and learn more about who God truly is.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My BFRM

So for those of you who don't know, I have a friend named Jillian. We went to high school together, were roommates, I was in her wedding and we even worked together... needless to say we're pretty good friends. Well, she and her husband Christian just got a Mac and so they were able to rock the iChat with me tonight and I was able to see their precious little baby Anaya who is only 6 weeks old and I just loved it so so much! I have to admit there are times that I feel so out of the loop and hate that I'm missing so many huge events in the lives of the people I love, but God has truly blessed me with the ability to stay connected to many of them, including my BFRMCW (Best Friend Room Mate Co-Worker) - who I must say is still the coolest person I know.

Giving it a try

Right now I'm in youth group and today we did something we've never done before, we've divided the younger kids from the older ones in hopes of teaching them at their own level. Richard is teaching the youngin's (10-13 year olds) and Ryan is teaching the older kids (14-20). Hopefully it works out ok.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ooh another care package!

I'm so spoiled! My girls at Calvary hooked me up with two big boxes filled with amazingness! I got my first one about two weeks ago, and the second one today and this time I got Captain Crunch! Oh my goodness I totally had it for my dinner tonight!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And it begins....

Jess started playing Christmas music this morning, and I love it! We're listening to Alan Jackson sing "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" I just can't believe it's that time of the year. I love it so much!

My ode to Ocean Spray


So I already mentioned this in my last blog but I think a little more time needs to be spent on this... it's a subject that's very close to my heart: the joy that Ocean Spray cranberries bring to my soul. Some people grew up with fresh cranberry sauce, but for me, it's not a holiday without that glorious can-shapped (or those times when you try and make them look fresh) gelatinous mass on a plate. Normally you can't get cans of this beautiful product here, but the people whose house we went to planned ahead and had some people from the States send it to them. That is truly another thing I'm VERY thankful for.

My Ugandan Thanksgiving


Today was actually a pretty cool day. I had class this morning and then we headed over to Jim and Dianne Claire's house for thanksgiving with about 40 other missionaries and ten army guys who are stationed here. It was absolutely beautiful as we were overlooking the Nile, yeah, that's right the Nile and it was about 90 degrees. We had all the Thanksgiving necessities: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and even Ocean Spray cranberries. Afterwards, Jim, Diane, Kieth, Ellen, Jess, Bev, Ryan, and I just sat around a fire outside and had such a nice time talking. It truly was an awesome day considering it was my first holiday away from home. I'm so thankful that God has given these experiences that I know I'll never forget and how much He's taught me. Our God is such a great and amazing God and the greatest thing is how He put Himself in skin in order to die for our sins and endure that pain for us, so just to get on a little spiritual soap box, don't forget to thank God today in the midst of all the food, as every breath, every heart beat is a gift from Him. Oh yeah, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

winter?


It's always funny hearing from people about how cold it is right now back in the states, when here it's starting to get into the dry season and it's ridiculously hot all the time averaging between 80 and 90 degrees, this picture shows what our weather is like pretty much all the time. Most of the time it's awesome, but I really love the snow and the brisk fall days, but oh well.

Not my calling


I'm thinking cake decorating isn't quite my calling, but oh well. I made this cake for little Bev, she turned 8 on Saturday. It's a chocolate cake with oreo pieces in it, it doesn't look too pretty, but hopefully it will taste ok.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I need discipline!

I have about 3 weeks left before my outlines are due of the Old Testament and I'm only on 2 Kings, it always seems like something "more important" comes up. Please pray that I get them all done, this is going to not be a very pretty 3 weeks.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The other end

I'm seeing pictures of people in Montana and ABQ doing stuff with OCC shoeboxes, and I totally used to rock those little shopping sprees, it's funny though being somewhere where come a couple months from now we'll be receiving about 1,800 of them to give out to a couple of our villages. Wow, I never thought I'd be on the receiving end (well, kind of) of those little green and red boxes of wall-mart goodness.

Unexpected opportunities


Today was a neat day because I was able to have an impromptu Bible study with three of the boys who live here on the compound: Dennis, Moses, and Benji. They're such cool boys, and I taught on 1 timothy 4:12 with a little 1 Corinthians 13 thrown in there basically just because I didn't have anything prepared so I taught what I've taught before. Then after that I was able to spend some time with Anna as she was the only girl who came for the Bible study since they are all going through exams. She's awesome and I love getting to spend time with her, because it was just her I ended up not teaching on John and just teaching on James 5 with highlights about who Elijah was and then we just were able to talk a little bit about life. I'm so humbled God has allowed me to spend time with the kids and students that He has as many of them haven't really clicked with others and now He's allowing me to minister to them. I'm so humbled and amazed that at how He uses us no matter how imperfect we are.

Oh yeah, the picture is of me heading off to prepare my place for the Bible study, they typically sit on that mat and listen to the teaching.

Fancy Fancy


Last night we had what is called a fancy fancy which is a night full of games, food, and a teaching. It was awesome! We had about 100 kids show up and we had dancing, singing, shouting, and eating contests not to mention a water balloon fight which of course lasted about ten seconds even though it took me all day to fill them up. We also had a teaching by another missionary here and it was just one of the most beautiful days and it was just neat to see them all come out for this event. The four of us who put it on were all beat and talking about just how little we wanted to wake up this morning. It's funny to think that back in ABQ, we would have had at least ten people putting on this event with weeks of planning, not so down here. All in all though, it was an awesome event.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday night maddness

Tonight I went to a birthday party for a fellow missionary, it was for girls only and we were told to wear our PJ's. I have to admit I was hesitant at first because I really don't like rockin' girl-only things because I'm pretty much the opposite of girly, but I decided kind of last minute to go, and it was a little chica crazy for parts, but I did enjoy some sweet fellowship (and I'm not just throwing that in there, it truly was building up and encouraging each other). I do think my teeth may rot out though due to my high sugar intake.
One thing that was cool was to see the those in the missionary community, I'm kind of the baby of the bunch, but there are some who have been on the field before I was born, that's just insane to think about! To think that they were here before there was e-mail, skype, or text messaging, I can't even imagine what life would be like if I didn't have those things, and I'm just so thankful God has given me those glorious tools to stay connected.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I've got the blues...

I just rekindled some of my childhood. I was craving mac n' cheese and found out we had some Kraft macaroni and cheese powder so I made me some mac n' cheese with some cut up hot dogs and raspberry lemonade, I'm such a happy camper right now!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Finished!

Wow! So the class we've been going through for the past month or so in SOM is the Old Testament Survey class where we basically read through the book and then Jesse touches on some important things we should know about it, so after this morning's class I will have officially gone through the entire Bible (since I've already rocked the New Testament). This truly has been something I've always wanted to do, but never got the chance to, ok, I guess the better excuse would be that I was kind of afraid to. God's word has so much and now reading through the Old Testament God has opened my eyes to so many things that He also shows in the New Testament, it's like it's all finally tied together. If you've never read through the whole Bible, I highly suggest that you do, His word "is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword". Getting to read about His love, His grace, His mercy, and probably above all else His greatness and holiness is just unreal. Learning from Him through reading His word and allowing Him to pour into you through it is THE most important thing you could pretty much do, so to quote the folks from Faith Comes by Hearing, "You've Got the Time".

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Keep walking


I loved today because first I walked to the taxi park with Suzanne (the girl I met last Sunday) and then went to her house which is in Bugembe which is a lot further than I thought we even had to take a taxi/shuttle thing, which I might I add I took by myself back to Jinja. While I was there, I was able to meet Suzanne's mom and little boy and it was just an amazing experience that I will never forget. I wish I could give you a picture, but it wasn't really appropriate. Then I walked up to Jinja Modern to visit Linda again which was good times and youth group was fun as always where I spent some fun time teaching little Bev how to Salsa dance just a little bit. So all in all another good day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nice shades


Part of the before mentioned blog was a bunch of sunglasses because the kids love wearing mine and so for the sake of my sunglasses still remaining in tact and so they don't have to share mine all the time, there's now almost enough for each one of them. They loved it so much and they were so excited, it was so cute!

the glory of care packages


Today I got an awesome care package from some of the lovely ladies at Calvary who are pretty much amazing.

a little break from the norm


Today I was able to take care of Naziwa (Harriet). She has Malaria, but on top of that, she's got sickle cell anemia and a bone disease. She's the most precious little thing, she's 7 and is so smart, but is in so much pain, so today in before school and in between classes I was able to spend some time taking care of her. We played on my computer and she fell asleep on my lap and then we watched some Shrek and ate some glorious gold fish crackers.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's funny how God works sometimes

In life, there are certain struggles we all face, but I've found that when I'm dealing with a certain issue, God is faithful to bring one of my girls or someone else who is seeking counsel on a similar problem and that while I share with them and encourage them in how to handle something and God's sovereignty in it all, He is reminding me of those things as well. It reminds me of how Nathan confronted David about Bathsheba through giving him a story to truly make it hit David, that's what God does with me. I don't really get it, until I have to share it with someone else.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

morning sounds

So I try and think of all that is different here that I kind of don't realize and right now I've just woken up before anyone back in the states has gone to bed under my mosquito net and I woke up to hearing security guards running and chanting like the army does, birds chirping, and roosters crowing. It's funny how different even just the morning sounds are, but it's fun because every morning it's kind of like I wake up and just get to go "yup, I'm in Africa alright."

up and running

So we've been having some issues with our internet lately, but hopefully it's back to working again. I made another video blog so hopefully I can post that soon. These past couple of days have been pretty good, just continued encouragement about how God is using me here. Today, I went to Jinja Modern which is a high school and visited Joy, Joyce, and Linda. They asked me to come and teach and so I may be doing that soon too. I then just kind of hung out in town for a little bit and got myself a coffee and walked home. I love these girls here so much! And I just pray that God gives me the words to minister to them as effectively as possible.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Just another day in paradise

ok, so I don't know if "paradise" is the right word, but yesterday was probably the biggest day I've every had ministry wise and I'm just so amazed at the opportunities God had for me. The first thing that happened was some of my girls asked me to go to their school on Wednesday and hang out with them, so I'm excited about that and am curious to see what all that may include. Then on Friday, I had a cool witnessing opportunity with Bev and met this one girl named Suzanne who was 24 and I invited her to come to church, and she actually came yesterday! I was so excited! I ended up talking with her after service for a while and she said she had been praying for God to bring someone into her life to encourage her in her walk, and she actually got diagnosed with HIV about a month ago and has a 3 year old son and all sorts of other stuff. I was just amazing to think that God is answering someone's pray with me. I seriously feel like David when he said, "who am I God that you allow me to be a part of this?" Then this guys came up to me who I think had Polio and he told me that he volunteered at a place where people with disabilities are able to learn different trades and told me how he could tell that I'm disabled (I guess I can't hide it as well as I thought) and wanted me to come and speak to the people there. Then I walked with one of my girls Brenda to a school called PMM which is about 5 km away in the middle of the day (needless to say I've got a nice sunburn right now) and we visited a Carol, who lives there and were able to encourage her a little bit. I took a pichi pichi home and went straight to teaching at the Bible study. The rest of the night consisted of having a couple of egg rolls at the Chinese restaurant, watched Elf and going to bed at about 10. I'm wiped, but am truly in awe of what God is doing and I'm just so humbled that He has allowed me to be used by Him in the capacity that He has.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Indian Food and Youth Group


Today consisted of me having some different food, youth group and an intense movie. I'm getting a little more comfortable with Indian food, and I must say it's quite an acquired taste. It was good though, and hopefully soon I'll be obsessed with it like many people I know. As with every Saturday, we rocked youth group, it's neat starting to get more of an idea of how the kids think and where they're at in their walks. One of my most favorite things is just to sit back and watch them. Tonight my highlight was watching Dennis (one of the boys living on the compound) getting into one of the worship songs. He's about 12 or so and is so quiet, but he was having so much fun with the motions and everything. Oh yeah, after youth group I also watched Ghost in the Darkness which was quite an interesting thing due to the lack of my enjoyment in having things jump out and the others who were there with me I think were watching me for my reaction than they were the movie. Right now I'm getting ready to go to bed hearing a rain storm just starting and there's seriously nothing like the sound of an African thunder storm or the smell for that matter (we have a sewage plant and a tannery very close to us and so there are times when the smell can become a little intense.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My little buddy


Aryanna is quite possibly the cutest little girl with the cutest little voice.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Dinner Experience

Tonight I had dinner at the home of JB (our local teaching pastor). He and his wife, Grace, are so cute and their four kids (Peace, Bev, Kenny, and Aryanna) are seriously part of why I wanted to come back to Uganda so badly. We had a traditional Ugandan dinner of posho (kind of like mashed potatoes), rice, stew with a little meat, and cabbage. Oh man was it good! I cleaned my plate and I honestly never really do that. It was awesome just getting to sit and hang out with them a little bit and of course spend some time with the kids too. Aryanna fell asleep on my lap as she was being shy from the others who were there visiting as well. I seriously love that family so much! It was a great night.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A small fraction

I've been praying lately that God would give me more compassion towards people and to see people and situations through His eyes, and this morning during prayer I really had that prayer answered. Every Tuesday, the ladies (both local and missionaries) come together for prayer. As we were going around the circle, it was my turn to pray and all of a sudden I just started crying, it was so weird because I had no idea the issues I was praying about were hurting me so much, but I guess they were and it was so cool, yet mind blowing. It got me thinking about the hurt I have of seeing Christians not acting very Christ-like is not even remotely a fraction of what God goes through when His kids aren't living in a godly way. After that, it was kind of one of those things like "God, I honestly truly never want to sin against You, if what I do causes You anything like the pain I was feeling". If you have truly accepted Jesus as your Savior, you should be free from the sinful lifestyle of your past, but we still sin because that's who we are and that's part of being human, but we shouldn't allow our freedom in knowing that God forgives us of that sin to make us go crazy, we should realize that out of the indescribable love God has for us, we should be seeking to please Him with every breath, every thought, every word.

Monday, November 3, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things


One of my vices here is my crazy ice cream sundaes I've been making. I get about a half scoop of ice cream, a crushed up oreo, very little banana, chocolate syrup, and some walnuts. It's pretty much heaven. Oh...so good!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oy Vey!

What a day! It started off with a rain storm this morning and the 8 o’clock service only had compound people for the first half and it was raining really hard that it kept a lot of people away today. One sad thing that happened was a dead little boy was brought here so our guys brought him to town to help his mom take care of his body, that was just so sobering and something that you just kind of realized would never happen in America. My afternoon was spent finishing up making devotionals for the girls in order to try and get them to read their Bibles every day. I then taught the girls (only 3 came) in John 2:1-11. Instead of our usual Sunday night Chinese, we went to the missionary fellowship that happens once a month, there were about 50 people there from different denominations and I was able to meet a couple of new friends and spread my social wings a little bit more. It was a really good day, and it's just kind of crazy what all has taken place both ministry wise and personally.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Crazy day!



Today was another crazy day. Starting out with meeting with two girls who go and do street evangelism, then working on my newsletter, went to town, had some coffee and studied for tomorrow, walked back (the pictures are showing what part of the walk looks like), hung out with the kids, sweated out my life because the power was out so no fans were going, had an "interesting" youth group due to the lack of power, counseled with a student, had dinner, and now it's only 8:30 and I'm ready for bed.

I love technology!

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