Monthly Archives: March 2011

Depending on Christ

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I’ve been in Uganda for nearly 8 months now with about 2 ½ months to go. Once again, I’ve learned that God is faithful. I’m learning that He gives strength and grace for each day. I need to learn to depend on Him more as the disciples had to learn in Mark 9. They tried to cast out demons and couldn’t do it. They were depending on their own ability and didn’t pray and they FAILED! So often, I also do that! I depend on myself and don’t pray, when all the power I could ever need is available to me in Christ! My mom sent me these verses from Ephesians this morning and I looked them up in the Message for a different wording. It says I have more energy available to me than I can imagine…I just have to ask.

Ephesians 1:18-21 (The Message)

15-19That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

20-23All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.

 

Please continue to pray that I finish STRONG these last couple months. God can do the work in me….I just need to ask HIM and LET HIM use me! Please pray that God opens up doors for a job once I reach home as well!

 

Spring Break Uganda Style!

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Spring Break

Friday

Friday night was dinner at Terri’s house! All of kiddos hung with her and ate kebabs, pita and hummus, chicken drumsticks, veggies, ice cream, and brownies. Then we sang songs together and just laughed a lot! It was Kali’s goodbye party. She came to stay with Terri and help out at the school in the cafeteria for a couple months! She quickly became part of our family and will be greatly missed! Pray for her as seeks out God and as he seeks her out! I love and miss her!

Saturday

I started off my spring break going to pay my safari deposit with my new friend, Christina. She’s our new special education teacher and is from Germany. Anyhow, we took two taxis and a boda to get to the place where we needed to put down our deposit. That took at least an hour! After that we went back to town and did some shopping. First, we went to Capital Shoppers, where I found some Ragu © tomato sauce on sale for here and some canned tomatoes with mushrooms for cheap! Canned good are more expensive here! We then went to change some money before grabbing a late lunch. We went to Kitty’s (a local fast food kind of place). I ordered “all food with g-nuts,” which is a plate of rice, matoke (mashed plantain kinda), yam (it’s white and purple), sweet potato, cassava, and g-nut sauce (a peanut sauce, but not like Chinese peanut sauce). It was so good! I love g-nut sauce!

After lunch, we went fabric shopping. We went to many shops and I ended up buying two kinds of fabric, which I am bringing home! They are so beautiful! Then we went to a local grocery store called “Shoprite” (not like the one in Jersey though!). I got some veggies and then we headed back to get taxis home.

Once I got home, I had 10 minutes to get ready for a great birthday party! I went to a birthday party for Kenneth Hopson and Jade Acker! Two great missionaries! We all ate lots of great buffet food and cake. We played funny games and sang karaoke and I played with the kids! Overall, it was a family night!

Sunday

On Sunday, I went to church and enjoyed my time worshipping as always. The pastor spoke on listening to God instead of striving….gave me something to think about! After church, I went and had lunch at Kitty’s again and enjoyed some African tea. Before leaving, I had a great chat with one of the waiters as well. Then, I went back to find Jessie at church. We then hung out with one of the street kids, Laurence, for the afternoon. We fed him and spent time with him and then he didn’t want us to go. It was so sad!

 

Monday

On Monday, I volunteered to watch Jade and Shelah’s girls Anna Grace and Kayla Joy. Jade and Shelah run the Center for Hope, which ministers to Eritrean and Sudanese refugees by teaching English and other skills. They also reach out the Korean missionary families as well. I had a great time with the girls. Anna Grace reminds me of myself at that age and Kayla Joy is a feisty little thing! They are about 6 and 3 respectively. I then came home and did some shopping and made coconut and chocolate scones! They were delicious! I have learned to make scones here in Africa! Then on Monday night, I went to Terri’s house and watched American Idol from the week before! It was so much fun! A little American culture makes for so much fun!

Tuesday

I got up early to leave for safari at Murchison Falls. Christina met me at my gate and my boda driver was ready and waiting. We boarded the boda with out backpacks and took off for Red Chilli in Bugolobi about 20 minutes away. We made it as far as the outskirts of town and then it started raining! So before we even left we a little wet! We reach Red Chilli about 7:45, but didn’t leave for another hour! Before we left, we met Mike, a fun Dutch guy who ended up being in our group! Also in our group were Christoph and Claudia (a German couple), Tisho (a Japanese guy), and Felipe (a Philippino guy). The next exciting event happened when we stopped for the bathroom! I was headed to use a squatty potty…which I don’t like, when I found out there was real toilet! So I went in, closed the door, which looked like it might get stuck, but I went ahead and closed it! Then I went to open the door and latch was stuck! The handle was not working properly. Before I was able to get out, they had to knock the handle out of the door! The door banged into me and gave me a bruise! It was funny…I got stuck in the bathroom in a little roadside motel on the way! That would happen to me! We reached the park about 4pm after a two-hour long lunch break in Masindi! It was a slow lunch. I had a strange creamy veggie soup and chips (French fries). We got settled in our tent and then got showers before a late dinner.

Wednesday

We got up early after being woken up by a “HERD” of rolling suitcases to get ready for our safari. We left about 6:45 and began our safari. We ended up seeing lots of antelope/deer relate animals, some great giraffes, warthogs, hippos, elephants, ONE LEOPARD, a monitor lizard, and some birds. Right before, we got on the ferry, which took us across the Victoria Nile for our safari, I met a really nice American woman, Mary, who goes to Journey Church in Raleigh, NC! That’s my friend Aaron Bauer’s church! His church kids have gone to summer camp with mine a few times! So awesome! It was so encouraging to meet someone from home!

After a great bacon and cheese hamburger for lunch, we left for our Nile Cruise! We spent 3 ½ hours on the river enjoying hippos, elephants, weaver birds, secretary birds, egrets, crocodiles, and incredible scenery! We rode almost to the falls and back! What an incredible experience! A storm came up as we were coming back and I got some great shots of the clouds!

That night I got a much needed shower and enjoyed dinner. Christina and I then hung out at the bar with Mike (our Dutch friend) and Laurence (an Italian guy). I was an oddity with my bottled water at the bar, but I got to share my reason for coming to Uganda with Laurence, briefly. I told him I was teaching at a Christian school because I was a Christian and he was like I’m one to so? In thinking back, I wish I had said more about Christ than I did. It’s like he didn’t really understand what a Christian was. I told him God brought me to Uganda, but I should have shared Christ. It was a neat experience to say the least.

Thursday

On Thursday, we hiked around the Falls and took some breathtaking pictures! They are on my facebook pics! I took pics of rainbows in the falls! There are still pillars where Winston Churchill’s bridge over the falls once was! It washed away in the early 60’s the same year Uganda gained its independence! After our hike, we got back in the van for our long drive home. We stopped at the same restaurant where I ordered fish and chips this time! We then drove and drove and reached Kampala. Christina and I told our friends farewell and then boarded a boda for home. The problem was the boda took shortcuts that a loaded boda didn’t handle very well, but we made it home. I took a shower and heated my leftover pasta and sauce.

Friday

I woke up a bit sad and became sadder when reading a sad book by Karen Kingsbury. But I got up and got going after reading Psalm 71:14, “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”

I went and bought fruit, veggies, juice, and milk. Then I took off in a taxi to change money, buy Internet airtime, facewash, and astringent. I also decided to stop and buy pita bread and sandwich. Thankfully, I did stop and eat or I would have gotten soaked in the sudden rainstorm. I also found the first part of NCIS LA season 2 and purchased it! After eating, I got a boda home and reached home with mud-splattered legs! I rested and watched some NCIS and then took off for the craft market with Jessie! I had a great time and came home with bread, paintings, purses, candlesticks, and carvings! I rested that evening after cook a great meal of veggies, brown rice, pita chips, and guacamole!

Saturday

Saturday was pretty quiet.  I went to school and prepped for the week and downloaded many pictures.

Sunday

I went to church was reminded about needing to depend on God. See my other blog post! Then I went out to eat with Jessie and Bec (one of our high school kids). Jessie and I then went to another craft market, where I found my Africa woodcarving and some sandals and earrings. We then walked back and got a taxi home. I then came home fixed some papaya and went to school to work on an online app for teaching English online for Liberty University. Then I finished my day at home enjoying some dinner and rest before another week of school!

 

Faithful

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March 6, 2011

Jesus, I’m tired and exhausted…I want to cry. Yet, I am yours. It’s been a lonely afternoon and my body feels so tired. Yet, you are good and faithful. I think that’s the lesson in Uganda…that you are faithful no matter how I feel. You don’t let me go even though I often feel alone and at the end of all I can do. But, you are always faithful no matter my attitude and unfaithfulness. I was bemoaning my loneliness, but deciding to rejoice with worship songs on my iPod, when in came my neighbor girls to take me to a party. I was hesitant to go, but decided to go to please them and out of curiosity. I ended up going to an Eritrean baptism party that reminded of the family party from  “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. There was food and sodas and what looked similar to a bottle of Uzzo from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”.  The men and women were dancing, especially the men, whom I think had a little too much to drink. I was treated as a special guest and offered food and sodas. I enjoyed a soda and danced with the children and laughed. It’s hard to put in words such an experience.

But more on God’s faithfulness, I am learning that He must be enough. Calvary Chapel Kampala has blessed me beyond words with worship and the Word each Sunday. I don’t know what I would do without it!

March 13, 2011

The theme of God’s faithfulness keeps ringing in my mind as my times in Kampala is getting shorter. I really do believe that God brought me here to teach me HE IS FAITHFUL no matter what. I like Sara’s Groves, “He’s Always Been Faithful”

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine
Season by season I watch Him, amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me.

I can’t remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can’t remember one single regret
In serving God only, and trusting His hand
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me.

This is my anthem, this is my song
The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long
God has been faithful, He will be again
His loving compassion, it knows no end
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful, He’s always been faithful
He’s always been faithful to me.

and Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Faithful”!

I am broken
I am bleeding
I am scared and I’m confused
But You are faithful
Yes you are faithful

I am weary
Unbelieving
God please help my unbelief
Cuz You are faithful
Yes you are faithful

I will proclaim it to the world
I will declare it to my heart
Sing it when the sun is shining
I will scream it in the dark

You are faithful
You are faithful
When You give and when You take away
Even then still your name remains
Faithful
You are faithful
And with everything inside of me
I am choosing to believe
You are faithful

I am waiting for the rescue
That I know is sure to come
Cuz You are faithful
Yes You are faithful

I’ve dropped anchor in Your promises
And I am holding on
Cuz You are faithful
God, You are faithful

I will proclaim it to the world
I will declare it to my heart
Sing it when the sun is shining
I will scream it in the dark

You are faithful
You are faithful
When You give and when You take away
Even then still your name remains
Faithful
You are faithful
And with everything inside of me
I am choosing to believe
You’re faithful
So faithful

When I cannot have the answers
And I’m wanting to demand
I’ll remember you are God
And everything is in Your hands

With Your hands you put the sun and moon
And stars up in the sky
For the sake of love
You hung your own Son on the cross to die

You are faithful
Yes, You are faithful
When You give; when You take away
Even then great is your faithfulness
Great is your faithfulness
And with everything inside of me
I am choosing to believe
You are faithful
Ohhh
When You give and when You take away
Even then still your name is
Faithful
You are faithful
And with everything inside of me
I am choosing to believe
You are faithful

 

My life has been busy these past couple weeks with teaching and a science fair and field day! On Monday and Wednesday, I had Zumba, which was awesome! My teacher is such an encouragement and blessing! I am learning to dance the Samba, Calypso,  and a little hip-hop. I went to a Fat Tuesday pancake dinner at another teacher’s house and was blessed by that fellowship after spending the afternoon by a pool with some the high school kids! On Thursday, we had open mic night and I had lots of fun with music from teachers, yes even in French from the French teacher and the administrative secretary! We had a trio do Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” too (imagine a Ugandan, a missionary kid from Brasil, and an American Jewish girl!) It was awesome! I did my acapella rendition of Jennifer Knapp’s “Faithful to Me”, which I had not performed for 12 years! I also got to hold one the other teacher’s kids for a while named Selah! She’s precious and makes me think of Mowgli from “The Jungle Book”. Her mom is American and Dad Ugandan and she is just BEAUTIFUL!  Friday was the science fair and field day! I loved the field day! It made me feel like I was back at summer camp! I have sunburn to prove it! The kids on my team were great and so was Angelo (a Sudanese high school kid), who helped me with the younger ones. Friday night I went to a celebration for a couple’s new house and her birthday! It took a long time to start, which is normal for Ugandan celebrations. I was one of three white people invited though, which was an honor. We had local food: matoke, rice, meat, pumpkin, greens, g-nut sauce (peanut sauce), and cake. Then I played with a little Ugandan girl for a long time. Then Saturday was slow and I shopped and rested. Sunday was filled with church with a message on having faith instead of fear and then I got to eat lunch with two LU girls: Ashley and Sarah! After that I found my light bulbs for my little lamp, some jewelry, and oatmeal and got a boda home! Thankfully, the rain stopped and I didn’t get very wet!