Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wedding



















 One of the things we've come to realize about Ugandans is that they love to celebrate.  Ever since we arrived in June we've been hearing about the upcoming wedding of Eva (daugther of Uncle Jonnes one of the founders of New Hope) and Medie (whose father has driven for New Hope for many years).  The excitement was on par with the hoopla surrounding the royal wedding.  Yesterday was the big day and what a day it was.  Catriona has written about the events on her blog but I thought I'd share some more pictures to give you a taste of what we experienced yesterday.  Talk about colour!



 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Catriona

As some of you are aware, Catriona has been ill with a cough and recurring hives over the last month.  After two trips to Kampala to see a doctor of tropical medicine and some blood work and tests they've ruled out several things.  She does have a little more energy the last couple of days and is not coughing as much so we're hoping and praying that whatever is causing the problem is resolving.  Many thanks to all of you who have prayed for her.  We appreciate your care and concern.

Women's Retreat

A couple of weeks ago I spent the weekend at Musana Camp for a women's retreat.  It was the first women's retreat ever held at the camp and was a wonderful time of teaching and refreshment.  On the journey there I was treated to the wonderful sounds of women's voices raised in song.  There was also plenty of banter as we shared snacks and juggled babies on the five and a half hour trip to the camp.  Once we arrived we joined in some games and activities which again involved much laughter and enthusiastic participation.  One of my favourites was one in which your team of blind-folded and then led around various obstacles by the leader. 
The teaching over the weekend examined what it means to be a woman and how we can live out our roles with meaning and purpose.  Perhaps the most moving part of the weekend was listening to the stories of women who have grown up with abuse and incredible hardship. The power of God's redeeming grace in their lives was very evident.  I also came away with a better understanding of some of the cultural practices and how they impact women's lives. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fiona

 David's sister Fiona has been visiting with us over the last few days and we're really enjoying having time with her here in Uganda. She's been able to teach a couple of art classes for children of missionary families and is now off on safari to Murchison Falls. Catriona and Fiona had fun preparing tortillas from scratch for us for dinner and given the size of the avacados at the market this past week we had guacamole for two meals - yummy!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Village School



On the way home from our sponsor child's house in the village I was intrigued by the village primary school we passed. The ground around the structure had been carefully tended and a small flower garden planted. The small wooden structure had a brick room added to one end since we saw it last year. Note the pictures painted on the outside walls which is a common sight on school buildings here. Although it may look quaint I can only imagine the challenges of teaching school in this building during the terrential downpours that often come.






Sunday Lunch

Yesterday we were able to host Sam, our sponsor child and his family for lunch after church. We have been to their home a few times on our other visits so we thought it would be nice to invite them to our house. Sam has five brothers and sisters and a cousin living at home with him and we were happy that they all came for the visit. His Mom Aunt Jovia is a widow who supports her children and elderly mother by working at the guest house at New Hope. She is always so happy to see us and rushes to find someone to translate for her so she can talk to us. We are so encouraged to know that she has used the opportunity to work as a way to provide for her large family and we see day after day her trust in God. Yesterday as all 14 of us gathered around our table to share food and friendship she told us that she was so happy to be with family. It was indeed a joy for us to share this time with Sam's family. After lunch we walked back to the village to bring some leftovers to the grandma (Jjajja). We always get a kick out of Jjajja. She greets us with great enthusiam and directs everyone to their places. When Jjajja speaks everyone listens! Here is a picture of some of the family outside their home.


 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kobwin

This past week we had three days of staff training for everyone involved in the ministry here.  One of the benefits of this time is meeting people involved in the other children's centre.  We were privileged to host two men who work at the Kobwin centre for dinner last Wed.   The Kobwin Centre is ministering on a full-time basis to former child soldiers and others affected ("Invisible Children) by the Lord's Resistance Army atrocities in northern Uganda  Many of these children had little if any schooling and have undergone extreme trauma at the hands of Kony and his rebel group. These children have received intense educational remediation and discipleship in the context of a family setting.
 Uncle David the man pictured on the right heads up one of the family groups, pastors the church that meets at the centre and cares for his own seven children and several children of family members.  He shared how in his work in the local village he just recently visited a widow who is dying of Aids and who has twelve children living with her in a small hut and sleeping on a single mat.  Uncle Augustine is a teacher at the school at the Kobwin centre and he also shared the need to expand their school to meet the needs of the local community.  Although education is 'universal' in Uganda the reality is that in their community there are over 200 children in each class in the publicly funded schools.  Please pray for these two men who radiated such joy in the midst of huge challenges.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Zipporah

 We continue to value your prayers as we seek to reach out to our former sponsor child Zipporah.  She returned to a village near here this past week to visit her grandmother and then came to see people at New Hope as well.  Her future plans are still very uncertain and her eldest son continues to need medication and care which is probably best provided by the Kiwoko hospital which is close to New Hope.  As we wait to hear more about decisions that her husband's family will make we ask that you pray for wisdom for us.  We did spend time talking with her and are encouraged that she is open to listening.
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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Paint

From time to time I'd love to know what some of my Ugandan friends really think about us.  Such was the case on Monday when John and I were doing his science lesson.  One of the activities he had to do involved making paint.  Since we have charcoal which our workers use for cooking beans we decided to use it to make black paint.  The first step was to pound the charcoal into fine powder and John happily grabbed the hammer and got to work.  Our laundry lady Sidonia who doesn't speak English watched out of the corner of her eye for a little while and then came over to see what in earth John was up to.  I can imagaine her thoughts running along these lines.  "Why in the world would these muzungus take perfectly good charcoal and pound it into powder?"  She adores John and so before too long she was down beside him, took the hammer and started pounding away.  We couldn't get her to stop until every last bit of charcoal was broken up into fine dust.  We mixed it with water and egg yolk later on and had some great paint to work with.  Tomorrow when our inside worker is here we'll try to explain to Sidonia what we were up to but for now I bet we're providing material for some good stories.