Sunday, August 31, 2014

Here we are, SEND US OUT!

What a beautiful day.



Matthew 10:5-6 (ESV)

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.



 First of all I just wanted to say that I have been so blessed by the youth bible study that we have been having on Thursdays and on Sundays. It had been super rewarding and I have been so encouraged by the kids. They are such a great support to the team and just seeing them doing exactly what God has called them to do is just more than I could have ever asked for. Porsche (My permanent prayer partner) has been leading the group the last few weeks and encouraging the youth about how they are empowered by the Holy Spirit and that they have been given incredible power using only Jesus’ name. It is something that we all need to take time and give thought to. If we want to move mountains than we need to be putting our faith and that God will fulfill everything that he has given us the power to do. That seemed a little wordy but it made sense in my brain.

I should probably just back track for a minor second. This week we had three girls come this week. Lydia, Emily, and Alison. So if I talk about them at all you will understand who they are. I always love hearing about how they got here and how they are wanting to be involved in the ministry. Lydia is from Ohio and there are 8 kids (Emily also has 8 kids in her family and they have adopted). All three of the girls just graduated from high school so they are literally right where I was just one year ago. It is such a blessing (I was just told that I say that phrase way too often) I am really excited to see how God uses them and watch them get involved. I feel like I am getting to re live the same feelings I had when I got here for the first time.

On Saturday we got to go see where Gaspar (our Hungarian boy/ best friend/ step son) has been spending all of his time lately. He has been keeping his eye on this young girl, Mercy from Zirobwe. He thinks that she has great potential to be a professional futbol player. So he has been going back and forth from the stadium and has been finding new ways to get her into training. She has officially been put in the program and Gaspar has done everything he could to support all of the girls. He REALLY wanted us to go share devotions with them. Nothing was planned and it was really on a whim and we didn’t know where we were going. When we got there the girls greeted us. They are from all over Uganda so some of them don’t know English where as others didn’t know Luganda. It was so diverse. They invited us into their home. Two small brick built rooms and mattresses that covered the floor. We took our shoes of at the entrance and trudged through their small living space. Practically crawling into the second room we all sat around in a circle and introduced ourselves. Had a time of worship. Then prayed. Everyone in their own words prayed and it felt like the Holy Spirit really entered that place. It was HOT. And sweaty and stinky. There really is no such thing as deodorant here and it was hot so you can only imagine. At one point one of the girls wiped the sweat off of my face. Mercy was so excited to see me and it was almost like seeing a family member after being away for a while. I got to share about the story of Ruth and how it doesn’t matter what background you are from that God will use them and that no matter where they go in life whether they are an Olympic champion or a peasant farmer that the name of the Lord will be praised.  

Alright, back to this great day. So- we usually take the class out to the cattle shed. I always am so blessed out there because I feel like it is strange that we get to learn about God in a similar setting the Christ was born in. Sometimes I just catch a small glance at what it might have been like. After the youth worshipped with the adults we all surrounded the jack fruit tree and talked about how we wanted this service to look. Our sweet young musumba (pastor) Alex (also the boy that gave me the chicken) lead us in a prayer. We all lifted our hands to the sky and he began to pray in the local language of Luganda. When they pray they pour their hearts into every phrase and every word that they speak. After we prayed we broke into small groups of about 5 or 6 kiddos. Porsche and I already “Called” our favorite kids. We were hoping that we would get the chance to visit the witch doctor and pray with him/her. (That is going to come at a later time we were not able to get to it today) as we set of for Kawanda- the local town in the village. We stopped about half way at the water pump. Porsche and I wanted to give the youth an opportunity to go wherever the spirit had lead them. We formed a small circle in the middle of the road and began to pray in unison. Some people prayed in English and other in Luganda. As we were praying our voices got louder and louder. When the prayer ended Porsche asked them if they felt like God had put anyone on their hearts that we needed to go pray for, of course he had, off we went wandering down the bumpy, long, red dirt road. We came to a small home that seemed mildly unkept- several of us walked into the small mud hut as the rest of the team waited outside. It was very dark, the home belonged to an old man who could not see and who had a really hard time walking. There were many things on the floor of his home and it smelled of smoke. My HEART was filled and I was so ready to pray for the whole day. One of the youth said to our small group inside the home that we needed to seek Gods hand here and ask for his provision. I was trying to figure out which one of us was teaching who. We prayed for him for…I lost count of the seconds and minutes. We just prayed. I didn’t realize until after we left that house but the team that was waiting outside gathered together and prayed for the old man as well. After that we met a young girl at her home, she just watched us as we were walking by and decided that we needed to pray for her. We asked if we could enter the property and the girls mother asked that we NOT pray for her. One of the youth translated for us and then added that it didn’t matter because we needed to follow Gods calling so we just started praying for her. I don’t know what was wrong with her but what I could see was that she was missing her fingers on her right hand, her head was misshaped and almost looked like she had a burn on her head, and her sight was not very good. As the morning went on we came across several individuals asking for prayer and it was so beautiful and we shared scriptures encouraging one another as we walked. We even had an opportunity to speak to the gamblers of the town and invited them to come to bible study. They all called themselves Christians but the kids we were walking with said they have no fruit in their lives. On our way back to the church it began to sprinkle and we started playing some worship music on my phone. Alex then started sharing with the group that if this village of Nawabango is going to change it is going to be the youth that change it. It is going to be Christ through us. He told us that we need to be finding ways to further the kingdom right here in their home town. I am feeling so blessed and refreshed for this following week. Our church is real. I get to see His work right here right now.

I love Uganda.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Uncontainable Contentment

Thank you Lord for loving me.

This has been a growing month for sure as I reach the one month mark I have already learned so much and I have been able to be so involved in this short amount of time.

Friday I got to rest in and spend time with some of the team. We have a couple kiddos living with us right now. I am just finding so much joy in my housemates and I am so thankful for the growing friendships I have with this team. They teach me something new everyday.

Saturday we went to an introduction it is much like an engagement party and it is more extravagant than the wedding itself. Beautiful tents, so much culture, lots of food, and beautiful decorations. I was shocked. I had always heard of them but never attended one while I was here last time. It was a series of many people just welcoming the man into the family and the man has to really show and prove to the family why he deserves this girl. It is seriously like totally a show of how good of a party the groom can present. Little did I know that we were a part of the ceremony. We got to dress up in the traditional dresses called Gomesi's also known as Gomez' they are pointy shouldered- make a statement fabric kind of dress. AND they are like a toaster oven. It was so fun getting to dance and greet, and just be a part of the ceremony. One of the women told me that I am too happy and she wanted to give me to her brother. I declined.  I was so thankful for the opportunity to experience this Ugandan tradition. It was a very long service, The man gave so many gifts complete with many baskets of food, living room sets, and cows! The whole side that was seated on the grooms side just kept pouring in with more and more gift to show the girls family that he values her.

It just made me think of the "introduction" that we have with Christ and we really don't have to show anything for. We don't have to lavish gifts on him and try to prove ourselves. We have to simply give our lives to Him. I am so thankful for such a loving and giving savior. I, all too often,  take that for granted and don't realize the opportunities that he has put in my life to show him how much I love him!

Then today I really got thinking about our purpose in life and how do we find that purpose? How do we know if we have chosen the right path and if we are really following the calling God has for us? Did I make the right decision coming here? Is this where He wants me? What if I had gone to school? What if my husband is waiting for me at GCU right now? What if...

But living in the past brings regret and that is where right where Satan wants us. I am so thankful that I am sitting in a bunk bed in the middle of Uganda listening to turkeys and constantly being covered in red dirt. I love it. I know that God has me right where he wants me and it has been confirmed countless times and I don't have to wonder what my life would be like any other way because I know that God is using me in an incredible way. God has shown me countless times that He has a plan for my life and all I have to do is trust Him.

People keep telling me that they couldn't imagine me being anywhere else and I feel the same way...NOW. All this time I hadn't realized that God has been preparing me for this my whole life. From the first time I saw an outline of Africa down to the fact that I hate wearing make up. Protecting me from relationships. From the big to the small. God had a purpose for me and he knew it was going to be used right here at this point in my life.

I can honestly say that I have no idea what tomorrow will bring or if I will go to school, or stay in Africa, or even live in a mud hut for the rest of my life. All I know is that I am going to follow the Lords leading in my life no matter where he wants to send me. I am so grateful that I have the chance to serve in such a beautiful place. I am thankful for the dirty stained feet.  My life is changing. and lives are being transformed for Christ. not only here. but in America as well. I pray that the Lord will use me and they will see Him through what He is doing through me.
1 Timothy 6:6-19English Standard Version (ESV)
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and[a] we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before[b] Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Killing a chicken and drinking Mata

Sometimes God works in mysterious ways. This week was another great week in Africa.
I got to lead devotions on Tuesday before we left for the village. We played a team bonding game where we each had a partner and had to find thing in common with each other. It was very successful and took up our whole devotion time. I never know how to plan for devotions because things take longer or shorter than I expect. After devos we ran a sponsored kid party. They all came about 9am and Portia and I got to lead praise and worship. The kids love when us mzungus lead because we really have no idea what we are doing half of the time. We also got to lead a bible study with them and encourage their spiritual growth. We talked about how they are such a treasure in Gods eyes. The message was led by Gaspar and then we got a chance to spend time answering questions and praying together. After that it was time to EAT! We made porridge for them and gave them each a roll. I would say there were about 75 kids but I could be totally off I am not much of a gestimater.
I still cannot believe I am here.
Then we loaded up the van for a week in Zirobwe. We were on for manual labor this week.
I always set up as fast I can and then run to my favorite houses and play with my friends. I feel like a kid again running over to my neighbors house and playing with the kids and visiting other peoples houses. I grabbed my bag of string and beads and ran to Mama Franks house. On the way I ran into one of my best friends Sande and we walked to Franks house and sat and beaded with mama- I taught her how to make the bracelets that I always wear. She has really bad eyesight so it took her a good 3 minutes to put one bead on. As we sat on a mat in the dirt and we all lounged around the children that live there (Fred and Gaba who are both under the age of 5) ran around and picked up Encocos (chickens) and through them as high as they could to see if they could fly and the chickens face was obviously in some sort of distress. As I was falling asleep a bug kept hitting my tent thinking that it could get through and paranoid as I am every couple minutes I would shine my phone light around the tent just to make sure it wasn't actually inside.
I woke up to the rain (encuba) pounding on the tin roof that was above our heads. I smiled because I knew that meant I could get out of manual labor because we cant work in the rain here. Somehow God knew that was why I smiled because it stopped raining as soon as we were meant to start work so we went. We planted maize from 9- noon and spent time singing. After it rains here- when the sun comes out it get SUPER unbearably hot. It feels like you are standing still and the sweat is just pouring off of you. With that said I am looking into getting a solar paneled refrigerator so that we can have cold water waiting for us. If you want to donate or know someone who wants to please let me know I will be eternally grateful!
We had rice, vegetable curry sauce, and matoke with Gnut sauce for lunch.
We also had a financial planning meeting with the teachers from our primary school. I didn't realize what little resources the school is running off f right now. It was great to be able to hear what they invision for the coming years. They currently don't even have plates to eat off of, the kitchen they use is falling apart, and many of them do not even have the materials to clean their classrooms along with many other things. All that aside this is our first year and I am excited to see how the Lord is going to provide. During this meeting though- one of the teachers heads up the "senior women" section of the school which educates young girls about their bodies and helps them in crisis times. All the male teachers plugged their ears, or left, or started making silly jokes because they were uncomfortable. It was an INCREDIBLE reminder that boys are boys no matter where they live. :)
Now: the story you have been waiting for.... the ENCOCO
Alex came to me two weeks ago and just was asking me questions and asked me if I eat chicken. I said not in Uganda because I am scared of the meat haha. This week he told me he had asked that only because when I left in February he was able to work for some money and buy a small five months later it was grown and ready to eat. He had bought it for me in hopes that I would return. Of course I felt like the worst person in the whole world because I had let him down when he had asked me if I liked meat. He told me that he wanted to meet at 5 and we go to his moms house. it was a very cultural experience we walked about 3/4 of a mile to his moms place and all of his siblings and his mom were there waiting for us and greeted me very traditionally kneeled down and brought me the best seat that they could. We had a film going that had been translated into Luganda so Alex didn't want to stay long so they presented me with the chicken and off we went. Mind you I am always scared they are going to try to peck at my hand and so I was super nervous about killing it but I had to redeem myself and embrace the African way. As we waled back to the training center Dad Sande stopped me and asked me if I would come to their house in the morning to take Mata (milk) and that he would have it delivered if I wasn't able to make it.
Half way home we stopped to take a photo with the chicken and right after the photo was shot the chicken jumped out of my hand and ran as fast as it could into the bushes we had to run after knew what was about to happen.  Alex, Sande, and Frank all helped me because I couldn't do it by myself. I wasn't even strong enough at first but then I told myself I had to do it and then I did it! I became a killer. haha. I couldn't believe I was able to bring myself to it. All the kids that were standing around just laughed because I was so proud at what I had accomplished. the boys gutted it and then we had fried chicken for lunch today.
During manual labor Shadia brought me a bucket of fresh cowks milk. Viola cooked it with some Ginger and it was some of the most delicious milk I had ever tasted.
That's my week in a nutshell. <3
This week was good. As you can tell by the photos. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

This week in Uganda

 It has been a less busy week and we had three of our volunteers head home! So our team is getting smaller and smaller. Sometimes I like having a small team it gives you more time to bond and really encourage one another. This week was letter writing week so we went to several districts away from Kampala and spent time helping kids writing letters to their sponsors.

Monday evenings we do our prostitute ministry so I got to lead that because the rest of the team went to the village to help the teachers prepare lessons for next term. I recently discovered a Christian bookstore/ pastry store in a local mall that some of the other MST’s have been going to. They have some great studies. Originally I had bought the study of Ruth: Loss, Love, & Legacy for myself. I love Ruth. But then I got thinking why not go through this with our women! So we started the journey on Monday and we had a great time the study lasted for about an hour and a half. Some of the women participated in reading scripture, sharing personal testimony, and even praying. I am really looking forward to seeing how God uses this ministry to further His kingdom. Friday nights we go out to pray with the women on the streets. If you would be praying for us that would be so encouraged. J

On Tuesday we had a Kampala kid sponsor party and had about 100 kids come and spend time writing letters, updating their pictures, and bio/ medical form. We all broke up into separate teams and worked together in order that we could have a successful week. We also cooked a meal for them since that spent all morning with us. Kids started arriving about 9:00 am and were there until about 3:00pm it made for a long day. It was so fun though because I was able to see kids that I hadn’t seen in a long time! Some remembered me and we immediately clicked. I am so thankful for the friendships that I have made with some of these kids- I am always surprised at the kids who remember me. It is such a good reminder that we really don’t know WHO is watching us and looking up to us. To be guarding our tongues and encouraging and loving everyone you meet!  

During the Kampala party when the children had finished letter writing we started a dance competition against girls and guys. OF COURSE I participated. I had a great time! I really had no idea what I was doing either. In the midst of the dancing and singing and playing of drums it began to rain. When it rains here everyone finds shelter. I love it.

On Wednesday after we went to a park to do some letter writing at we went over to one of our team members, Andrew, home! He had invited us over to have something to eat. I am always nervous about that because they really could serve ANYTHING and you must eat. That is one thing I do love about Ugandans though- they are VERY generous and so kind! We spent some time crammed into his small but very beautiful home. He had made a cake, some cabbage, sausages, and more. We passed aroud the food and the small television was turned on and played familiar shows from the nickelodeon station. I sat and pondered how MUCH Americans have. Yet we are so greedy with it. It is one thing that I don’t think I will ever forget learning from this place.

Thursday we went to another school and did letter writing. Like I said the whole week was full of it. I sat down in a classroom with the other volunteers and waited for a child to bravely sit next to you. Its like they think you are going to bite them or something haha. One of the young girls that game to sit with me had a very peculiar name - Matrix. I tried to ask her some questions in English and than in Luganda and wasn't getting much of a response but when I got her book to help her write her letter her sponsors name was there Tina Sherwood. I was so excited because she is the other kiddo that the womens bible study is sponsoring! I got to help her write her letter and one of the staff members explained that I was connected. she didn't leave my side the rest of the time we were in that room.

Friday was another quiet day but got some office things accomplished. We still have a handful of kiddos that have been on the waiting list for many years waiting to find someone that will give $35 a month if you know anyone who is or would be interested please let me know! I will get you all the info you need. J

Today I did some laundry and we are headed out to go to church.  


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Novida or Stoney?

Yesterday was our free day- I always love Saturdays. It is like a backwards sunday because it is church day for us. In the morning we headed over to Mulago hospital where one of our kiddos are. Tony is a 16 year old boy that was diagnosed  with stage 4 cancer in his lymph nodes earlier this summer. Just a regular kid living a normal Ugandan life that was totally blindsided by what was happening with his body. He recently got moved to a smaller facility where he is getting fair care. I wanted to meet him and Julie is getting ready to leave Uganda so she wanted to see him again! When we got there- it is everything you see in films. Dirty, filled with sick people in the hallways, and flies...everywhere! Not the most conducive place to have your body heal especially when your immune system is low like that. We took public means: a taxi to a shopping center and then took a boda up the road to get to the facility. We walked down a dark hallway and was led into a room that was simply labeled "room 5" when we opened the door there were two hospital beds in a small space and no curtain to separate the two just a small divider that could be drawn when taking tests. There were four of us that went. When he saw us his face lit up and he had a huge smile from ear-to-ear. He is such a sweetheart. I only saw one personal possession of his- a small bible. Even when things are rough he still has radiant faith! When we asked him if we could get him something and he asked for juice- he hasn't been able to keep anything down. We got him some juice. His grandmother is staying with him right now as well and she saw my bracelets. Sometime this week I am going to go back and show her how to make them and bring Tony some books and activity pages!

After the hospital visit we went for some ice cream. Caramel flavor. yum.

In the evening we had church. Watoto Central. The choir came onto the stage and I was just beaming. Every week we are given the opportunity to get into groups of three with the people around us and just get to know each others name and spend a few moments in prayer. It is beautiful. We talked about being absolutely empowered by the Holy Spirit.

This morning we headed out to Zirobwe for church! Three of our volunteers are leaving this week so it was kind of a sad morning. It take about an hour and a half to get there. every two miles or so there is a series of five little bumps a big bump and then five more small bumps. Sometimes you can forget it is there and other times when you DO realize that its there it is super annoying. When we get there we are greeted by everyone in the village so as you are driving by you are constantly hearing kids yell out your name and wave as big as they can! Our classrooms are divided into three classes 0-8, 9-12, and 13+. I got to lead the 9-12 class today we talked about David and Goliath and touched on the importance of trust and what that should look like in their daily lives! After we prayed for the three girls leaving and had a time of saying goodbye to them. Our 13+ class doesn't start until after sunday school is over because that is when the worship in the main service gets finished. So all of the youth take their chairs out to the cattle shed and we share a message with them. Today Porsche shared with them and they were very responsive to the message. On our way home whenever we get to the nearest point of interest we all get sodas and the local snack! Novida and Stoney are the Ugandan sodas that are super yummy...just thought I would explain the title :)

After church we came home and had a goodbye circle and prayed for Julie and then we took her to the airport. I am going to miss her so much! She was a great encouragement to me and she started the prostitution ministry here and just opened my eyes to that sort of ministry. thankful that I got to be apart of that and here her testimony.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I prayed for rain

This week was a good week. It is always rough going out to the village for a week because you are literally signing up for no showers for a week and you know that by the end of the week you are going to be totally disgusting....but still you go. Cause you also know that it will be the best week of your trip so far.

We had a family from San Diego a husband/ wife and their three kiddos. It was so fun to have some Mzungu kids around they just keep life going. I loved it. Our programs looked a little different this week because of that.

We headed out on Monday after lunch. IT WAS HOT. When we got to the village we got our tents set up and all of our bags in our tents. It almost feels like we are setting up a house, we all sleep in one big room but we each have our individual bedrooms and space of the cement church floor. After I was set up I decided to walk over to my families house because we had a time of personal ministry where we could visit the families in the village or evangelize or do whatever seemed necessary. It is a fun time because it is unplanned and just richly wherever the spirit leads you really. (or the nearest child that grabs your hand). When I got over there I was immediately greeted there and sat on the front porch area and just talked to the kids. I mostly talked and they would just sit there and giggle at me. I hadn't seen my "mom" yet so I was hoping she would be there but she was out in the garden. So I sat and waited. The kids know that passion fruit is my favorite so they went and got me like 20 of them and presented them to me along with some maize and a stalk of sugar cane.  We played catch and they taught me how to play some African version of monkey in the middle. Rita (12) braided my hair, and Jennifer sat on my lap and just repeated everything the kids were saying to me. It was beautiful. Mom showed up eventually and we just spent time laughing and sharing what had been happening in the last 5 months of our life and how we had been praying for each other while I was in America. We ate dinner had devotions. Sleep.

There is something about the crisp morning air. Every morning when I walk a long distance to the nearest bathroom I always am amazed at Gods goodness, How beautiful a sunrise is here and all of the colors that go along with it. We were intended to have a sports day but somehow it got lost in translation. So we had a handful of kids come and we played futbol with them. After lunch Sunday was finished with exams so he came over and asked me to go to his house. I scarfed down my food as fast I could, because I LOVE home visits and spending time just seeing what the kids do at home, on a regular basis. As I walk through the village people yell "MUWALA WAMUSUMBA" they all want to greet me and ask me how my night was. I love the interactions I have with them especially the people that are not involved in our village church they are always so confused as to why a white American knows any Luganda. When we got to the house the other children that are doing chores stop what they are doing to greet you and go and get the nicest seating they can. Culturally, they will sit there and chat with you and drop everything they are doing just to connect with you. We played UNO for a while, and then I had a Luganda lesson with one of the New Skills chalkboards. I spent the afternoon there. It had been another really hot day but it was really overcast at the same time. so strange. I love the encuba (rain) here. I am always reminded of Gods promises in our lives and how his love is constant. He blesses us with rain. I made it back to the church just as the rain began to pour!! It poured for a slid 45 minutes. All of the children find shelter in the church. You DO NOT want to be caught out in the rain. As I sat there and listen to the rain pound on the tin roof and sound of children laughing and playing- I just smiled. I know that I am right where I am supposed to be.

We had manual labor from 9-12 and we were planting maize!! It was a good day for it since the ground was soft from the rain on Tuesday but it was a scorcher. Last week we cleared all of the grass into big piles and we had to remove the piles and then dig holes into straight lines. I go the easy job. I planted the maize and covered the hole back up with dirt. The methods that they use here are so different. Most of them are out there without any shoes on using hoes and picks that could do some serious damage to their feet but they still work so hard. We were scheduled to have a youth/community bible study but the dad of the family was leading a financial seminar with some community member so we thought it would be a good idea to have them sit in on that! It was great and I really feel like some of the community got a lot out of it. He was encouraging the people to all harvest different things that way as a community they could sell a lot more. I found it very interesting. The pastor "musumba" and his wife showed up with their sweet newborn baby and I got to snuggle with her for a little bit during the seminar. It made the time pass by so much faster. In the evening we had a program with the neighbor kids and played soccer with them. The older girls taught me how to play net ball.

Its weird to think you might be reading this at a time that has already past for me. ;)
Today we had devotions at 8am like every other day. Porche shared about how we are all different parts of the body of Christ and encouraged us to take that throughout our day. Today was evangelism day where we go to homes and ask people what questions that have and just share scripture with them. Today looked a little different because three of our volunteers are leaving this weekend so it was mostly home visits to fellowship with the families we know. We all broke up into smaller groups and spread out. We went to mama Sundays house and she told us some history of her family...all translated for us. How she had two older children that passed away, how she wishes she had grandchildren. We were able to encourage her and pray with her. Alia (a volunteer that was here the last time I was here) is one of the girls getting ready to leave. It is not a custom for the village people to cry but when she found out Alia was leaving there were tears running down her face. My heart broke. It rained again today. After lunch we packed up and headed for Kampala. Here I am.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Free flowers and time

Today was another incredible day.

I feel like that is how I start every blog. I need to start everyday the same as well.

I get so hot at on fire. I was able to find a fan from inside the compound and plug it in. I woke up with a sore throat. Pick your battles.

Saturday is our free day so I was excited to see what was going to go on. I am more than happy with having a home day, But since we had just spent a week in the village yesterday was a free day as well and we had the opportunity to just rest.

I got up and read from Joshua about how the Lord handed the leadership from Moses to Joshua and that he just continued to encourage him by say be strong and courageous. That is how we need to all be living our lives...STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. Period. I was reminded that even though I am in a different country, even though I don't speak the same language, even though I get weird stares and awkward responses to who I am as a person on the outside. I still need to be strong and courageous foe Christ. That was my mission and my challenge for the day.

We hung out around the house in the morning. French toast. In the midst of all of the rice and beans we somehow managed to score French toast, how that happened I do not know. We even had syrup from the local market. I watched a movie and just hung out with some of the volunteers around the house and stayed in my PJ's for quite some time.

Julie, Hannah, and I decided to go out to lunch today just to mix things up. We took bodas. yes motorcycles. The ones my mom told me not to ride. It was so amazing to be driving around the city again- it is so fresh in my mind that I was quick to pick up the directions I had from before. Since it has only been 5 months. At the shop there was a sweet older lady who was selling flowers and if you know know I LOVE flowers. I couldn't help myself. I walked over to ask the price because I wanted to buy them for our dining room table at the EAC compound. just for something pretty to look at. I was able to talk with the lady and here how she had come to Christ and was indeed a born again Christian. She was very kind and we talked of petty things: where I was from and why I have chosen to follow the Lords leading in my life. I ended up buying some yellow roses from her.

We then headed to the craft market for Julie to find a few things since she is heading back to the states next week. As I walked through the locals are saying things like "Hi my friend..." "come take a look..." "looking is free..." "You come in here..." "Please my sister..." "Mzungu I have the best..." etc. Since I know a handful of words in Luganda I was able to shock them with some of my understanding and having conversations with them. Everytime somebody would engage in conversation or we would visit a new shop I just felt compelled to give a rose to each women I cam by! They give, give, give. They need to be appreciated and they need someone to tell them that God loves them and that they are loved and cherished just as much as all the tourists that come through here. I wish I could tell you about every women I met and a few gentlemen. It was most definitely a "divine intervention" the Holy Spirit pressing on my heart to love these women! The first lady I gave a rose to really was so much fun! She immediately called me sister and told me about her shop and how it came to be. Gave me a gift and just shared her life with me. Her name is Suzie, I will go back to see her. I got a few free bracelets, drawing lessons, and a lot of love today.

After that we headed over to Watoto central church! It was such an amazing service start to finish all but the temp. in the building for lack of better words, I was on fire. The choir came onto the stage with all the musicians and I though to myself and even said to one of the volunteers sitting next to me I would love to get involved and give my time serving in this church in the choir! We had a beautiful time of worship songs and then heard a message from the pastor from the watoto south church. The message? GIVING YOUR TIME! I felt so convicted that I need to be involved somewhere in a church while I am here. They even passed out little pieces of paper to put your contact info on for getting involved in church. I filled it out and handed it to an usher. Excited to see how I can get involved. You can definitely be praying for that- the Lord make it clear how and where He wants me to serve.

We took a taxi home. I am hot and sweaty. Time to drink some water and go to bed to sounds of loud music and turkeys out my window. <3