Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Application for worker's permit

Greetings from Uganda!

It is nice to hear that the weather has been getting warmer in southern Ontario. For us, the temperature since we have been here has ranged from 23-30 Celsius. The only variable is whether it is rainy season or dry.

Yesterday (Mar 20), we put in our paperwork for workers permits for us in Uganda. We should have everything we need to be accepted, but things are not always that straightforward here. Currently, we are here on our 3rd tourist visa, which allows us 90 days per Visa. We got our first upon arrival in August, then you may recall we had a harder time getting the 2nd in November, and then we got our third and current visa when we re-entered Uganda from our mid-year conference in Spain. If we get our Worker's permit, it will be a lot easier to move in and out of the country. It is also valid for a year, and once you get it, it is not so challenging to get it renewed.

Please pray that our worker's permit would be approved, and approved quickly. It is possible that we may need to get something called a "special pass" which gives us another 90 days, in order for the workers permit to be processed. Our current Visa's expire May 6th. It is our desire and prayer that we get our workers permits before then, so that we are set and not having to scramble around to get a special pass, or worse, another tourist Visa.

Thanks for your partnership in prayer,

Jamie and Vanessa

Friday, March 16, 2012

Good Morning from Gulu!

I am currently writing this from a small, modest, hotel in Gulu, Uganda. For you to get a bit of a picture in your mind, it is more like a motel back in Canada. One interesting feature is that in the bathroom, the toilet and the shower share the same space. There is no separate space for the shower. So the water runs on the floor right where the toilet is. It may be possible for me to save time by doing two things at once!

We had a great day of training yesterday with 15 students from Gulu University. We gave them vision for reaching their school, country, and the world, and then did practical training on how to build a spiritual movement, how to be a leader in a spiritual movement, and how to plan (what activities to prioritize) for a spiritual movement. I am again humbled by the opportunity God has given me to train and mobilze future leaders of Uganda. If Uganda is going to be transformed by the gospel, it is not because I will have a large event and preach to thousands. Uganda will be transformed as Godly leaders are raised up and sent into the society to change it themselves. 

These students here are very excited and so thankful for our visit. I only wish we could do more to help them. 

At the hotel we are staying at, for some reason there were people working outside all through the night. This meant I did not get a good sleep. I woke up a bit tired and cranky, but thankfully I went to God's Word and read from 2 Corinthians 4:7, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." I am just a jar of clay - weak, with not much value in and of myself - but I have this treasure, namely Christ, within me. This gives me strength to move forward and make a difference. 

Thanks for your partnership with us as we help accelerate the fulfillment of the Great Commission and societal transformation in Uganda and beyond!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Report from Bugema University Trip

On Feb 25, I travelled wit Nick and Trevor, our two Canadian teammates to a University 30 kms north of Kampala called Bugema. Bugema University is an interesting school as it is a private university run by the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Due to this fact, activities by evangelical groups are not allowed. While most campuses in Uganda have an Anglican chapel on the grounds, this campus does not. In order to still have a presence on the student body, the Anglican church has built a chapel just off university grounds so that students can still attend an evangelical church.

A small Life ministry group had been started on this campus, and they have been requesting that we visit them to do some training for them. There is so much need for training in the basics of the Christian faith in Uganda, and so it took us a while to be able to make time to visit that campus. There are about 15 Universities with small Life Ministry groups that want us to visit them.

On this Saturday we had for seminars. They were:

  •        Life Ministry Vision
  •        How to share the gospel
  •        How to grow in your relationship with God
  •        How to life a Spirit-filled Life

I was so encouraged by the students desire to grow. In Canada, if we had offered a training day with these topics, you would have to offer the students coffee and muffins in the morning, a free pizza lunch, etc in order to get a good group out. We tauht a group of about 25 and they really want us to come back.

Please pray for this small group of 25:

  •          as they face the challenges of following Christ on a campus that is not open to gospel teaching
  •          as they seek to share their faith with their friends
  •          as they seek to reach out to the community outside of campus in Bugema.
  •         That God would bless the small Anglican church that is located strategically just off campus

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Student protest on Campus

Today was an interesting day as I entered campus at Makerere. It seemed like there was a lot more police than usual. They usually have about 6-7 police officers at the main gate, but today there was around 30. I later learned that there was a student protest. It is quite intimidating, as protests are more common here in Uganda, and so you often see riot police around town. As you can see from the picture below, they are quite intimidating. They also are a lot quicker to use tear gas than they are back home.

Ugandan Police in Riot gear
Check out the article on the protest from the Daily Monitor, a local Ugandan Newspaper.

Please pray that there would be peace on this campus as the school year comes to an end. Please pray that the students desire for change would cause them to turn to Christ for that change!