Friday, April 20, 2012

A full day with the most influential students in Uganda!

Tomorrow (Saturday), we are doing a full day of training at Makerere University for the Student Guild (Student Union leaders), including the Student Union President. The training will be focused on how to be a leader of integrity.

This is an amazing opportunity for us to build credibility and relationships with the most influential students on the most influential school in the country. I am sure that future Ugandan MP's, teachers, journalists and business leaders will be in attendance. This teaching on being a leader of integrity could help transform this nation!

It is amazing that we will have them for a full day tomorrow! 20 years from now when they are in their professions, there will be no chance to get a full day with them to teach them in being a leader of integrity!

Please pray:

  • that all 60 students expected will show up
  • that we would be able to form relationships that would allow us to clearly share the gospel with them at a later time.
  • that all our speakers would speak well, so that our credibility is built for future opportunities.
Thanks for joining with us as we influence the future leaders of Uganda!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Canadians invade Uganda (with the gospel)

We are excited to share with you that from May 1 - June 11, we will have a group of 12 students and 6 Power to Change Staff members coming to Uganda from Canada on a missions trip! These Canadians will join our work on two campuses, and give us some much needed help in bringing the love of Christ to Ugandan students.

In addition to campus ministry, we will be doing some ministry in smaller towns and villages. One exciting aspect will be doing some activities at a boarding school in Gulu. This school is set up for children that were affected by the war. As you have probably seen from the Kony2012 campaign, the Lord's Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony ravaged Northern Uganda and Gulu in particular. Many of these children have been orphaned as a result. We will also interact with former child soldiers, who never got to go to school and are now 18 year olds in the equivalent of Grade 3. We will be sharing the love of Christ with this children through fun games and activities, and showing the Jesus Film in their local language.

Our goal in this trip is to accelerate what God is already doing in and through our team with Life Ministry. It would be silly to engage in activities that cannot be sustained after the Canadian students leave, so we are working hard to ensure that whatever we do during this mission can be followed up by us who will remain, or local churches that we partner with.

As we are preparing to receive this team, please pray that:

  • we would be able to make all the necessary practical arrangements (pick up from airport, accommodations, permissions from campuses, etc)
  • Canadian students would be able to raise all their needed funds (each student coming is required to raise $4900 CAD). 
  • God would provide the extra $2500 CAD that we need as a family to participate in this mission. (click here to donate online)
  • Many Ugandan students would hear and respond to the gospel, and would be integrated into our movement on campus, as well as a good local church
  • we would be a blessing to those in Gulu affected by the war.
Thanks for partnering with us!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

traffic cop

so I {Vanessa} got pulled over today.

we were driving to my friend kelly's house today to hang out with her boys and there is this one spot that i've almost always seen a traffic cop standing at, pulling people over. I've gotten pulled over once before and the cop just checked my license and wished me well.

not so today.

I was polite and gave my license when the cop came to my  window and asked me for it. then she proceeded to ask me to put on the brakes and checked my lights. then she came back and proceeded to ask me to put it in reverse to check my reverse lights. then she told me she was going to write me a receipt {ticket} because my back tires were not filled enough. I politely said that I was not aware that this was an illegal offense in uganda.
she told me she could "park my car" right now or write me a receipt and hold onto my license until I went to the bank and paid it and then i could pick up my license at the police station. I told her that I would be happy to go to the station and she could write me the receipt and I would pay the ticket there. she repeated what she had already told me.

she left to go back to her other traffic cop buddy and so I called jamie and told him what was happening. noah asked me why she had pulled me over at this point and I {somewhat bitterly} replied that it's because I'm white and she thinks I have lots of money to give her {which is generally the case the more I speak with other expats regarding this particular issue on the roads}.
she came back with an official receipt book and showed me that my offense was {on the back of the receipt} for not having a car that was fit for driving on the road.

at this point I was getting frustrated and feeling taken advantage of and again said that I was not aware that my tires were less than full and that I did not know that this was an offense that would get me a ticket. she then started saying that my brakes lights were out and reverse lights are out and this and that {she started pointing to random things on my car} and that my seatbelts - oh no, you're wearing your seatbelt. I told her that of course i was as it was unsafe not to.

she kept saying that she would write me a receipt, etc. etc. and then finally {I admit, with frustrated tears in my eyes} I told her to write me the receipt as she was leaving me no choice and I had two small children with me and had no other options. she just looked at me and then said,
you go to a gas station and buy new tires. I am forgiving you this time. but you go get those tires replaced.

I took off as soon as she gave me my license back before she changed her mind.

these are my tires when I got home today {no filling with air, no replacing.}

front tire

back tire

how are my back tires flat? 
she was totally looking for a bribe and to take advantage of the white woman. I was so angry when I got to kelly's house and looked at the tires for myself.

so this is life here in uganda. bribes are expected but today I'm glad I fought the system and also didn't get a ticket while I was at it.

Please pray for:
- police men and women who would stand up to the way corruption is just a part of the system here and that Christ-honouring leaders of integrity would start to infiltrate every working sector here in Uganda
- safety as we drive on the roads and for favor among the police here
- a humble spirit for us and not a heart of bitterness or frustration

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the "scoop" on our family's expansion

That's right! We are expanding our family.

in 2D - approximately 11 weeks old

in 3D - approximately 11 weeks old

On Boxing Day we found out that I was pregnant and it has been exciting to see the progression of this pregnancy so far.
It has been fun to be pregnant with slightly older children who can comprehend more what it means that "Mama has a baby in her belly" and ask hilariously honest questions.
We are expecting this little one to arrive in September and we will be staying in Uganda for the birth.
I have been seeing a midwife here at one of the hospitals who is from the UK and has been great so far although she will be returning to the UK around the time that I am due. I will likely be delivering the baby at the hospital with one of the doctors she works closely with.
Next week we will have another ultrasound to make sure the baby is developing properly {this is a routine scan} and hopefully be able to find out if this little one is a boy or a girl. We are so thrilled for this baby and are so thankful for another straight-forward and relatively easy pregnancy for Vanessa.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ugandan's on mission to Tanzania!

Hi Everyone,

This week we have a group of about 30 Ugandans from our various universities going to Dodoma, Tanzania for a missions trip. They leave today and return next week. This is exciting as part of our vision in coming to Uganda was to see Uganda become a sending ground of missionaries to the rest of Africa. We as a family did not go, but Nick and Trevor, our fellow Canadians have gone.

Here is an update from Nick:

The University of Dodoma is a fairly new university with a possible potential enrolment of 60,000 students - making it the largest university in the Southeast Africa region.  As a result, Life Ministry Tanzania has arranged this mission which will include ~250 Life Ministry students and staff from many of the nearby countries (Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, etc.) coming to the University of Dodoma with the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Tanzania, itself, is on the frontlines of the battle between Muslim-Africa and Christian-Africa - with Dodoma being an area and a university with a predominantly Muslim population.  Imagine, if the university students of Tanzania gave their lives to Christ while they were students, only to grow and become Christ-following leaders of countries, corporations, teachers, lawyers, etc. in the near future.  Southeast Africa is the starting point for an all-African Christian revival - and it starts with movements like this! 
We are going to do evangelism and some basic follow-up/discipleship with the students of the University of Dodoma.  There will also be some training for everyone involved. 
Fuel for your Prayers:
- Safety in our travels
- That God would be working in the hearts and minds of the students of the University of Dodoma
- That there would be a great harvest and movement started at the University that will have a great impact on Tanzania, Africa, and the world
- That God would also be working in us to grow us in our faith and our walk with Him
Join with us in prayer and excitement for this Ugandan mission team!

Jamie & Vanessa