Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Culinary Adventures

So first I'd like to apologize for waiting so long in between updates.
I'm going to try and post more regularly.

Yesterday, we decided to put to good use some of the things we got while shopping in Kampala almost three weeks ago. We bought ghee, which is clarified butter, and canned strawberries in syrup.

So we decided to borrow a waffle iron, and make waffles!

The first step was to readjust to using cast iron, both its weight and the need to keep it oiled.

The next thing was to adjust the thickness of the batter. I knew the waffles were supposed to come off on their own when they were finished, but I had to pry most of the first ones off with a fork to prevent them from burning, partially because of the batter, and partially because of the temperamental nature of the gas burner I was using.

I made it my goal to get at least one to fall off on its own when it was done, but Leah and I had a couple of good laughs as I gave up on a few more and pried them off. I didn't want to let the stove win. Finally, I managed to get one waffle to fall off the iron without using the fork at all. I consider that a victory.

Of course, even the ones I had to pry off tasted delicious when smothered with Hannah and Bekah's strawberries, and my ghee. However, Leah's prized, real 100% maple syrup was the real star of the night!

Last night we watched the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean and tonight we watched Escape from Planet Earth. We love to laugh, tell stories, and watch movies, and we topped off the night by making egg creams! They're not as good as the ones my dad makes, but they're pretty special all the same. By far the best part is the time spent in sweet fellowship with these ladies.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Catching Up on Posts

So here are some previous updates, for my patient readers and prayer warriors, starting with the oldest, to the most recent.

October 12th

The short story:

We are adjusting to having new teachers on staff at KEO, which now includes five ministries: 
Moru Asia, (more-ooh ah-SEE-ah) an early village class under a tree; 
Nakaale Primary School; 
Alamacar Primary School; 
Afternoon Class, for older students; 
and our first ministry, Moru a Grace Preschool.
Erika and I were talking about how many children are taught, Bible and academics, in our ministry, and the most conservative estimate was hundreds!
I had Thursday off this week, as we closed the school for Uhuru Day, Ugandan independence day! There are parties and dances going on all around, and even the rain can't dampen spirits. I wasn't able to see any dancing, but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to see some of the ones that will be held to celebrate Christmas!
I was able to fully unpack and set up my home, so that I finally feel like I'm fully back.
On Friday I got to walk to Moru Asia and see the children there. I have now greeted everyone who knew me last year, or at least, everyone who is around.
I have not yet decided if I'm going to choose one person here to help me with my language study, but everyone I ask for advice or assistance is so helpful that I haven't yet had a problem.

The Long story:

It was great to be back with the children here. I am blessed to be a part of this work. It's sometimes hard to remember the names and faces of so many people, but it's slowly getting easier. I am enjoying walking to school and church, even if the culvert is staying full of water, making staying dry a bit challenging.
I was able to spend two days at the Preschool this week, one at Nakaale Primary School, and one at the village class in Moru Asia, with the letter 's' pronounced with what seems like a lisp, Moru Ah-see-ah.
At the preschool I was encouraged to see many of the same students from three months ago, but there were also many absent. Some are absent because of sickness, so please pray for their recovery. We are working on writing out basic lesson plans, as well as teaching the teachers to follow them.
When I went to Nakaale Primary School I was able to test how much of my Karimojong language skills I had remembered, and I was encouraged. I still have far to go, but my favorite moment was with my P4 and P5 students, basically 3rd-4th grade, asking them in English if they understood me, and getting blank stares. Then in Karimojong I said, “Raise your hand if you know Karimojong”” “Kikey akan, iyenete iyes ngaKarimojong?” and they did! There are still lots of things I have no idea how to say, but thankfully I am working with excellent translators. Through them I was able to teach the difference between how Rahab 'feared' Jehovah and how the people of Jericho 'feared' him. I haven't yet learned the words, but they are two different ones in ngaKarimojong.
I was also able to visit with the class near the village of Moru Asia. There were about 25 children there on Friday, and the teachers had taken the initiative to 'slash' the grass, so that there would be places to sit and separate the children into two groups based on skill level. I was so very happy to greet some of my former students at the preschool, who have become shepherd boys, in charge of animals. They can not make the thirty minute walk to the preschool anymore, or spend the whole morning, but I am happy they are still getting to learn. They are hearing the gospel, and learning their letters and numbers.
It's very good to be testing out my Karimojong, and I'm even finding it useful to make cards and techniques that might even help others after me. This morning at church we were able to have a Bible school class for potential members, but since it is dealing with the membership vows, it is a very basic gospel presentation. Afterward, I was able to say a simple sentence to the translator, and even though he didn't understand me the first time, he was able to help me clarify my thoughts, and teach me the right way to say, “The people who will be saved are those whose sins have been washed in the blood of Christ."


The short story:

My language lessons are continuing to help me teach. I am looking forward to increasing my understanding and lessening my reliance on translation.
I love teaching in the Primary school. I have started again with my fourth grade boys, who are struggling with reading. Pray for my diligence and creativity to hold out as I seek to keep them engaged and learning.
I am seeking to give myself, whole heart and soul, in the service of His kingdom. Please pray that I would not look at my failings, but at His mercy and grace, knowing that when he looks at me he sees Christ's righteousness. 

Pray that as I seek to give my all, I'd remember that he is my all in all. I have been so ministered to by the people here, both mission members and visitors, in so many ways. Please pray for my ministry to them to be full of the whole gospel.
I know that he has a plan for this place, and that it has a part for me to play in it. I'm just waiting to see what the best way for me to play it is. Pray that as I seek to rely fully on him, that he would give me the desires of my heart, to be a blessing in this place. Pray also that I would not think too highly of myself, I truly am just a small part of God's kingdom coming in this part of the world.


The Short Story:

Thank you all for praying for me, short story, Less rain is always good, both for mindsets and illnesses. I'm so thankful I haven't been sick at all! It's almost a month and in the beginning of Nov. I'll get to go on a trip to Mbale at least, and possibly to Jinja, so please pray that I continue to stay healthy. I'm thankful we'll get to have our conference, with Doug Clawson and Mark Bube. I'm also thankful for some really good conversations with a good friend here. I think we're both doing well, and the school is thriving, but she's leaving for Christmas, and I promised I'd keep her in my prayers.
UGH, it's about to rain, right before evening service down at the clinic. Here's hoping I can get a ride with someone and not have to foot it across the culvert on my day off.

Long Story:

I've been praying about the future, and I'm willing to wait on the Lord's plans to be revealed. I'm not in a rush, and I'm refusing to worry about tomorrow, for sufficient to each day is the trouble and grace assigned to it.
I'm very thankful for our new teachers, as they are incredibly easy to talk to, great men, who really seem to enjoy teaching. 
We are still praying for at least another teammate to come and help from America, so please bring that before the throne of grace. It would be wonderful to be able to expand our labors here, but it really only works with more help, and not less!
On balance, I love my life here, with all its idiosyncracies and even with the rain, although I could wish I didn't have to go out in it! I was reminded during the children's Bible school class that God makes the sun and the rain, and these little Karimojong children reminded me that God is good! Ejok Akuj! Forever and ever! Ngikaru ka ngikaru! and also, without prompting them, they sang, This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it, and I sang along, in ngaKarimojong! It was one of the first songs I learned, and I helped translate it!
My many Bible studies are going well, I am memorizing Hebrews 12 and we are studying that on Wed. nights. I am also joining the FSOPC women's study on Relationships: A Mess Worth Making, and I am reading a book I found here called, Yawning at Tigers: You Can't Tame God So Stop Trying. It is a very insightful call to be looking at God closely and honestly enough to be amazed at God, and not to make him in our own image, so that he's tame enough to understand and control.
Well, that's all for now, the thunder is rolling, and we are going to move evening service to the big room, so we don't have to travel to the clinic in the rain.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Well, I'm back!

It's so good to be back again!


The short story:

We had a long and exhausting trip up to Karamoja yesterday, with some of us not even arriving until this morning.
I am very thankful that it was not worse, and that no one was hurt.
It's wonderful to be back with everyone here.
Please pray:
For rest as we recover from a very eventful trip.
For peace as I adjust to being back on the mission and settle back into my banda.
For picking up relationships as I get back to work here.

The LONG story:

I suspect that some of you have already heard what an adventure I have had as I've traveled back to Karamoja. I am very thankful for all of your prayers, we have all arrived safely back here.
I am exhausted, and the only reason I am writing this now is that there are people who will want an update at morning worship at my sending church. I have had a good night of sleep last night, back in my own bed, and a blessed Lord's Day morning. It was so wonderful to greet my friends here, and especially exciting to see the children in church. They had some songs prepared to share with us after morning worship, and they did a beautiful job.
My trip started four days ago with a great send-off by my Wednesday night Young Adults group. My family saw me off to my first flight to London, and I got five hours of sleep! I made my connection in Heathrow with no trouble, bypassing the long security line and arriving at my gate even before boarding started. Once I was onboard, I was able to greet Dr. Jim and Jenny Knox, and their little one, Eoin. I tried my best to stay awake, since I knew I would be arriving in Entebbe at 11:00 PM local time. I watched a few movies, and chatted with my neighbor, who had been in NY attached to President Museveni's trip to the UN. When we arrived in Entebbe, we were able to collect all of our luggage, after they took our temperature to make sure we were not sick. We met up with Pastor Al and Chris Verdick who had come to pick us up.
The next morning, Pastor Al, Erika, and I were going to try and make it all the way up to Karamoja. However, after lunching in Jinja, the roads were congested, and the rain was reported to be heavy. So when we reached Mbale Pastor Al decided it was too late in the day to start the next leg of our trip and we spent the night at the Sunrise Inn.
This is where the adventure really begins, or stops, depending on how you look at it. We left Mbale by about 10:30AM, with the other car, including the Knoxs and Verdicks. We made great time until we entered Karamoja about two hours later. This is when I started to lose track of time. First we were waiting to see if the trucks that were stuck in the mud in front of us would be able to get out. We spent some time trying to pull them part of the way, and evaluating a passage off to the side of the road. Then we tried to go around the trucks, and one car made it through, but mine got stuck, up to its axles. The women and babies got into that one, and drove to the next tough spot. Then Erika and I walked back to the other car to get some things we'd left behind, and stretch our legs. When we got back, it was starting to rain, but we were going to drive through the next stretch of mud. We all walked through ahead of the car, except for Jim who was driving. It got stuck on the side of the road, but Jesse had come from the Mission and between digging and pulling they got it out. The rain had stopped, so with Jenny driving, the women got in, while the men went back to try and help the other stuck car.
We were through the worst of the mud, but there was still some, so Jenny was being cautious. She mentioned that it felt like she was overcompensating a lot for the mud, but it wasn't until we lost all steering as we were coming through a soggy place and ended up slowing to a stop that we realized we had lost the tie rod on the driver's side. This story is already long enough, so suffice it to say that Pastor Dave, Bobby, and Josh came from the mission, and after they had tried to fix it for a while, we just ended up getting into one of their cars for Chloe to drive us, while they clamped and tied up the tie rod and slowly drove it the rest of the way.
Pastor Al, Jesse, Chris and Jim tried to get the other car out, with assistance from a tractor, but there were too many cars in the way for them to get home that night. Chris and Jim came back in Jesse's car, with the valuables, and Pastor Al and Jesse spent the night with the car, arriving back this morning after morning worship.