Monday, May 21, 2012

happy 9 months to us!

We've been here in Uganda for 9 months as of today!

Also {from Vanessa} thank you so much for your prayers while Jamie was away in Rwanda. I definitely felt God's presence through increased patience and joy and the burden was lifted largely with the staff and students here keeping us company and helping out with the boys.
Thank you for your prayers. He is our ever-faithful God and He is so good.

A post from Jamie re: Rwanda is on the way so stay tuned!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Project starts with a bang

Yesterday we started our project! Out students arrived at 11:20 pm on Tuesday night and were at their guesthouse after 1am. Despite this we started our orientation at 10am this morning, knowing that if they sleep too much today, they will delay getting over the jetlag.

Yesterday morning, just as we were about to start, there was a significant car accident right outside the guesthouse where we are staying. It was loud and shocking. The one who cause the accident then drove off, with some people chasing him. Someone was significantly injured, and I have not yet heard how he is doing. I don’t think it was fatal, but the mans leg was significantly broken.

Vehicle accidents happen all over the world, but the fact that this one happened on the first morning that the students are here, RIGHT OUTSIDE the guesthouse leads me to believe that this was not an “accident”, but something caused by the enemy. Our students here are young and in a new culture, and something like this can through them off from their focus on the mission for which they were sent.

Please pray for us as we begin our orientation that students would not become scared or nervous about being here. God has them here for a purpose, and Satan desires to thwart it. Please also pray for our safety on the roads. We want to be able to focus on reaching Ugandans with the gospel, not spending time in the hospital! We will take from the Lord whatever he gives us, but we desire to spread his love across this nation!

Thanks for partnering with us in prayer. You are an equal member of this mission! John Piper says, “when it comes to missions there are 3 types of people. Zealous goers, zealous senders, and disobedient”.  As you give to our ministry and pray for us, you are those very senders!

Makerere Guild Leadership Training Day Report

Last Saturday we had the opportunity to have a full day with the most influential students on our campus! Here is a play-by-play of the day:

7:30am – we arrive at the campus and are the only ones there. We are glad to see that the custodian is here to allow us to come in! We can’t take this for granted
 7:45am – a few other of our Life Ministry staff arrive. We begin setting up our registration, which is opens at 8:00am
 8:00am – we are ready to receive our students!
 8:45am – no students have yet arrived. In Canada, we would begin packing up our stuff and head home, wondering if we could have done better advertising. In Uganda, we wait and assume they are coming but are late.
 8:49 – our first student arrives!
 9:23 – students are continuing to trickle in.
 10:10 – about 12 students have arrived (we are preparing for 60). We make an announcement that we will start at 10:30…. AM….
 10:35 – we start. I am today’s MC, so I welcome them, have them each introduce themselves (there are about 30 here now). We then sing the Ugandan National Anthem. I am struck by how well Ugandans sing. They know melodies and harmonies and it sounds really good!
 10:45am – Peter Asiimwe, a senior staff member in Life Ministry Uganda, is our first lecturer, speaking on “The African Dream” and “The African Leadership Challenge”. Some interesting quotes from these lectures:
 ·      Africa is the most religious continent on earth yet the most corrupt.
 ·      “Whereas the American as gone to the moon and come back, the African is yet to reach the next village due to absence of roads”
 ·      China, western Europe, New Zealand, India would all fit within the continent of Africa.
 ·      “Africa needs Godly leaders of integrity with a compelling dream of the future”
 ·      “Everything rises and falls on leadership” John Maxwell
 12:15pm – our National Team Leader in Uganda, Mr, Dickson Obwoya begins delivering a seminar on “How a Leader earns a right to Lead”.  This is leads to great discussion as students agree that there needs to be a shift in mentality from “receiving” a leadership position to “earning”.
 12:45pm – Ugandans tend to have lunch a bit later than I am used to in Canada, so I am getting a bit hungry. As my stomach growls, one of the student leaders besides me looks amused.
 1:10pm – there is 5 minutes left in Dickson’s message, and I am told that lunch will not arrive on time. Too bad there is no “30 minutes or free” deal here. Now we delay by taking Q&A.
 1:32pm- I just got the thumbs up that lunch is here!
 2:12pm – I have just gone through the line for lunch. We served rice, matoke (unripened, cooked bananas), potatoes, peas, chicken, and spinach. I went through towards the end. The chickens here are not like the ones I remember from Swiss Chalet. They look like they have been on a diet.
 2:22pm Also, it appears we have had a few people join us for lunch who were not part of the training event. 90 plates of food were served to our group of 70.
 2:36pm -The PowerPoint stopped working and I was asked to come up to fix it. Quite interesting to try to fix a A/V problem when everyone is looking! I will be more patient with and thankful for church A/V people in the future!
 2:40pm- Our current session is on “Habits of highly effective people. Our numbers ave gone down a little bit after lunch, but that is understandable as we are heading into Exam season.
 4:04pm – we are doing evaluation forms now, and people are sharing what they have learned and what they will apply. One student has just shared that “when I am an MP, I will try to think ‘win-win’ for the good of everyone”

Overall it was a great day that we pray will lead to many of the Student leaders on campus hearing the gospel and making decisions for Christ. It was an amazing opportunity that God gave us to be with so many leaders at once!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

the beautiful busy

It began last November. 
The planning for the student summer project has been in the works for months. Kelley {staff in Waterloo, Ontario} and Jamie began hashing out details and plans, putting together a staff team and sorting out details.
And now it's here!
Last Wednesday night Kelley arrived, followed by the rest of the staff {Hannah, Angela, John, Johnny & Bim} on Saturday night.
It's been a full house here with the three female staff staying in our guest room and the three male staff staying at the guest house right around the corner from us. We've already had some great times to laugh and plan and acquaint ourselves with each other. 

some of the staff in our dining room enjoying some lunch together

Tonight {at 11:20pm Kampala time}, 12 students from across Canada arrive at Entebbe airport {just under an hour outside of Kampala}. They will likely be exhausted but excited and we hope to welcome them in a way that helps them transition a bit more easily to this very different country and culture than they are used to.

Would you pray with us?
- pray that everyone would arrive safely with all their luggage and personal belongings
- pray that the students would have favour with all inspection and customs personnel
- pray for safety for our staff on the roads both to and from the airport tonight
- pray for all {previously arranged} housing details at the guesthouse to fall into place and that everyone would have a bed to sleep in tonight

Thank you for walking alongside us and our team - especially over these next 6 weeks of intense ministry!
Stay tuned for more updates and urgent prayer requests!