Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Holidays

So I know that Halloween isn't a holiday but it kind of springs everyone into the holiday mood. It's funny because the celebration of holidays is really not a big deal here. Like today, nobody mentioned Halloween once. Of course the American holidays like 4th of July and Thanksgiving would just be like every other day if we didn't do something special, but even Christmas isn't nearly as blown out as you would almost expect it would be everywhere in the world. I'm not getting down on the "Christmas spirit" with the decorations and everything, I really do love that stuff as much as the next person, but it makes me think sometimes about just how incorrect our emphasis is when it comes to this time of year. Again, I'm saying this as much to remind myself as to just put it out there, but we seem to put more thought into getting the perfect present for that uncle or in-law than we do about their salvation, there has to be something a little off about that or we think more about where our manger scene is going to be placed than what place Jesus has in our every day lives. It's humbling me right now even just writing this. I challenge anyone who is reading this, to right now, pray about who you can tell about the Ultimate Gift during this holiday season and then do it.

If you are reading this and you have yet to really experience that indescribable love, that love that will never fade, that love that words cannot even begin to explain, that love that held God wrapped in skin on a cross 2000 years ago, then think after Christmas, comes New Years, and with New Years comes resolutions. Resolutions to shed a couple pounds, stop that bad habit, or to meet one of your "Bucket list" items. Why not make a resolution that sticks longer than this life, resolve now to follow Him, to trust Him, and above all else to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Leero ngezezzaako ok'ogera olunganda oku somesa abasomi mu Jinja Modern. Baa gamba nti teba sabola okuntegera, noloweko nalowoza nti njaku gezako ebintu bigya.

Ok ok, so that roughly says, "today I tried to speak Luganda to teach the students at Jinja Modern. They said that they can't understand me, so I thought I would try something new." I've been learning Luganda (the language in this area) for a few months now and God has blessed me with getting to pick it up fairly easily, but today it was put to the test. I decided to try a new approach and give the introduction, proposition, list the main points, and give the conclusion to my teaching in Luganda to see if they can grab more from the teaching. They refuse a translator and although I try to speak as slow as I possibly can, some days it just isn't quite enough. It seemed to go fairly well, but we'll see after talking to some of the students from there to see how they really thought it went and if I should do it again. I'll be honest and say that sometimes it seems more difficult for there to be a partial language barrier than a full one because those who know English typically only know it well enough to get things confused (of course that's where I'm at in Luganda too). Ughhh...just keep praying that God would help me to know how to effectively teach these kids and in some way help them to better understand what is being said.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The countdown is on: 45 days

So in a just 45 short days, I'll be landing on American soil for the first time in almost a year and a half for my two month long furlough. I have to admit that there are so many mixed emotions as it gets closer and closer. I of course am so excited to see everyone, especially my family, and not to mention eat some food that I've been craving for the past fourteen months; but it's really bitter sweet as I'll have to leave what is now my home for two months. Jinja is now where my life is at, and there is no other place in the world I would rather be than right here doing exactly the work that I have the privilege of doing. I know that those two months will bring about even more emotions, and I know it's going to be hard for many different reasons. One big reason is just how much things have changed in the time that I have been gone, but such is life and I know things have changed for me as well. If you want to "schedule" a specific time to get together for a meal or coffee or just to hang out and talk, just let me know and I'll be sure to make time for you.

What I ask right now is that if you could please just begin praying that I would come back even more passionate about the work God has called me to. Also, please just pray that I would soak up every minute of my time with everyone back home and that I would be able to balance everything from spending time with friends, family, supporters, and various ministry engagements.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A couple snapshots

I know that I can never really put into words all that happens here, but hopefully pictures kind of help. Here are a couple other ministry shots.

The ministry that I get to do on Wednesdays is at a school called Spire Road Primary School. I teach the kids who are in the younger age brackets and so I've just been going through the book of James. Again, it's just one awesome open door God has given us, and I'm so thankful we get to go in here and teach these kids.

One awesome unexpected opportunity God has given me is to teach the kids of our staff members as well as some of their friends. It's very informal and whoever wants to come, can. These kids are so on fire for His Word, and although it used to just be on Sundays that I taught them, they have asked for even more. Now, we get together to go verse by verse through the New Testament on Saturdays and then on Sundays we go verse by verse through the Old Testament. It's a challenge, especially since kids are not really my forte and I have absolutely NO experience teaching them, I don't really change too much of what I teach them than if I were teaching adults and so far they seem to still be learning, so it's been awesome to see glimmers of fruit. Pray they stay on fire for Him as they grow up.

One of the most challenging ministries that I have, is the ministry to the high school aged girls. No matter where you go in the world, this can throw challenges, but little by little we are getting closer and they are learning that I am here to not so much be there friend as I am to pour into them and help them grow in their walks with God above everything else. About three weeks ago, there was hopefully a sort of breakthrough with them where I pray they finally began to get just how much He loves them. We have been going through the book of John for a year now and are just now getting into the last 24 hours of Jesus' life. It's been difficult at times, but at the same time, it's those hard times that can make the good ones so much sweeter.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mwena Mwena Madness

So a couple of times a term, we as a youth ministry team, decide to get a little ambitious and have certain outreach events that typically contain food and some crazy game. Today we had what we call a Mwena Mwena, which basically means "everyone", as that is our goal for these events: to get everyone and their friends to come and hear God's Word. Today was a little bit on the crazy side between a water balloon game that got a little out of control (shocker I know), and insane amounts of popcorn and coca cola products. It seemed to work out pretty well and we had a lot of kids come, I think the final number was somewhere over 80. One of our pastors, Steven, taught a message on the prodigal son, so pray that the kids would remember the lessons from this teaching and if there were any "prodigal sons" in the crowd that they would humble themselves and run back into their Father's arms. All in all it was a pretty sweet time, of course now I'm beat, but events like these are what we live for.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The simple truth

I've said it before and I will say it again and again: I love to teach! I love sharing God's Word with a group of people be it kids, high school students, or convicted felons, and getting to learn with them, getting to go back to the simple truth of His Word. That truth that is laced through every page, verse, word, and letter of Scripture. James warns us that we should not seek to be teachers because they will be held accountable for what they know and whether they practice what they preach. That being said, teaching God's Word is one of the THE most challenging, humbling, nerve racking things I've ever done as I stand up before people with my Bible, my half sheet of paper that holds my teaching, and all my normal craziness, there's this overcoming feeling of "God, please let this be from you". Rarely do you get reminded more about your short-comings than when you get to teach about the way you should be living. I just pray that as I teach others, I too would be reminded and continued to be broken and molded more into His image each time I open His word, either when I'm by myself or before a group.

The two most important things in my life:

No frills - this is where I stand and teach at the high school

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

it's been a while...

Ok, it's been a little over a week, but that's still a while for me as far as not blogging. For those of you who didn't, know I had a NASTY flu that may or may not have been possibly the flu that everyone is freaking out about (if you know what I mean). I don't know if I've ever really been that sick and I was out of commission for a week, so it was pretty intense. Praise God that life is getting back to normal again, with maybe a little less on my plate though than before, or at least I'm trying to be wise as to when I schedule things now. Of course, this is all taking place when in just over 50 days I'll be back in the States for two months, but it's all good. Anyways, this was just a quick one to tell y'all that I'm alive and soon I'll get more back into my usual of posting random updates of the happenings here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A little story

As you all have heard many stories about my BFF (for you older folks, that means 'best friend forever') Aryanna, I thought I'd tell you yet another one. Now remember she's two. Today I heard her brother, Kenny, crying because he had pinched his finger in an umbrella and as I was talking to Kenny about it, she said "I will pray for him" so I told her to go ahead. Now, mind you, I didn't say anything to coach this response, she totally just did it on her own. She covered her little eyes and said a prayer filled with muffled words, and ended it with a big "amen". It was awesome to see a two year old to have such a response of prayer. I love this kid!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A ministry high

There are few things less amazing and humbling than just getting to have God do all the work and give some awesome fruit to ministry. After an already somewhat crazy day, I went to a coffee shop and partook of a glorious "London Fogesque" tea drink and then went to teach at one of the high schools here.

The doors God has opened at this school are cooler than words could ever explain. Not only do they allow me to go in there and teach a Bible study, but I have totally autonomy and don't really have to consult anyone as to what I do or how I do it. They have a sort of Bible club there that meets during lunch but it's seriously just a little TBN with kids walking around the room hooping and hollering and an out of context teaching so I kind of wanted to separate myself from that. So every Thursday I am able to go into the school at 4:40 and teach for however long I want to. Well, last term there were maybe 4 students who came but this term more people continue to come and today we had about 20 kids there. I'm so stoked, I can't even begin to tell you. There's seriously nothing fancy about it, I don't even do any sort of "worship" because that tends to open the doors for some madness when it comes to these students, it's purely the Bible being taught line by line, word by word in the book of Ecclesiastes.

Today we were in 5:1-7 and basically the focus was on worship, prayer, and promises and just having the right attitude when you come to God. I've loved teaching the book of Ecclesiastes because it's kind of one of those underdog books that seems like it's rather depressing, but it's so true and has so much to teach especially the youth. Time and time again Solomon emphasizes the pointlessness of life if God is not in the center - you can have all the money, relationships, titles, etc... but it's all for nothing if you aren't living for Him. It's been great getting to know the students and growing with them as God has really been teaching me a lot during this study as well. It was just too cool!

After that I took a little break for dinner and then I spent some time with Peace (JB's daughter) and went through Matthew 2 with her because she has school when I normally teach the other kids that study. We just hung out and talked and I love how even though she's ten she has such passion and I can't wait to see what God is going to do in her life. As she and I were finishing, the other kids asked me if they could meet with me for yet another Bible study (mind you we already meet twice over the weekend). We're going to try it out tomorrow night and see if they're up to it. I realize that it's a lot but having ten year olds eager to learn more about God is one fire that I don't want to go out so I'll do whatever it takes to encourage that desire with hopes that as they are being trained in the way that they go, they will not depart from it when they're old.

I just praise God for all of these opportunities. It just never ceases to amaze me how He works as truly it is ALL His doing as He's brought these things and seriously just dropped them in my lap with little or no initial pursuit on my part. He's just so awesome!


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