Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Uganda Update 7

More To Do… Always More To Do (11/8/11)

For most of the morning it poured down rain. Becca and I laminated some flashcards for Jewel and started packing up some of the things we don't need any more. In the afternoon when the sun dried things up Sam put mortar over the electrical conduit we ran yesterday. It seemed like the day absolutely flew by and it won't be long until we will be flying home.

Missionary Maintenance (11/7/11)

Today was spent doing projects around here. Pastor Wright left in the morning to go the court case dealing with the group of people who attempted to stone Jewel over a year ago. He told us that they had brought in a young girl in place of the lady who threw the stone and claimed that a minor could not be charged like an adult. It's ironic because Jewel has a picture of the lady with her hand cocked back and in the act of throwing the stone. The picture was submitted to the court but somehow it has been lost. The Wrights will need to print another one and take it in. Today's final decision was to push the date back to sometime after we leave. Brother Wright told them he would be out of the country but they claimed that he didn't need to be there. Unfortunately, because he will be gone the whole thing will likely be dismissed and nothing will be done.
While Brother Wright was in town Jewel spent the morning cleaning house and preparing lunch, Becca spent the morning cleaning and unpacking, Nicole was… well I don't know, and Sam and I were working on several projects. We started working on the push lawnmower. Some bolts had broken off and we needed to replace them, as well as, sharpen the blades and change the spark plug. Then we worked on laying some electrical conduit from the house to the water tower and Sam took his chisel down to the new mechanics shop to put a hole in the wall so the water could drain out. Unfortunately, when the concrete was poured for the shop it was not sloped in the right direction so the water forms a huge puddle. Sam's hole in the wall allowed the water to drain out quite well.
After lunch Sam went back to chisel some more at the mechanics shop and I started mowing the lawn. Brother Wright went to town to get some 90 degree elbows so we could finish running the electrical wires from the house to the water tower. Part way through my mowing job I made a big mistake. I turned off the mower to get a drink of water. When I returned it would not start. I pulled the rip cord but nothing happened and I noticed that it was not turning the engine. I then took the entire thing apart to discover that two plastic pieces had fell out of their place and needed to be fixed. By the time I was putting things back together Brother Wright came back with the elbows. He gave me a hand finishing up and then started to mow while I went to work on the electrical with Sam. Just before dark we finished wiring everything together. Because we now have wires ran to the water tower we can leave the new generator locked inside of the water tower at all times. Hopefully this will be one more deterrent from it being stolen.
By now you may be wondering why I took the time to describe all these details about our day. There are many things that consume a missionary's time. Just today Brother Wright was talking about how wonderful it would be if someone could come over and help with the maintenance around here. Many of the natives don't have the skills and those who do have some skills generally don't do a very good job. He also was talking about how wonderful it would be to have someone who knew all about farming come over and help them manage all the crops around here. All these little things are necessary to the ministry here but they all take time away from the missionaries.
Christ said in Matthew 9:37-38, "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." Please pray that God would send people to work in the harvest fields of Aura, Uganda. God doesn't need people with Bible degrees and lots of training. God wants men and women who are willing to step out by faith and serve Him. Bible training is wonderful but simply coming over to assist a ministry with the skills that you have is what God is looking for. God may not have you come to Uganda, but be willing to go where He calls you. I once heard this statement and it should be true for all of us, "Where He (God) leads me I'll follow and what He feeds me I'll swallow."
Please pray for labors in the harvest field!
Today we also received a small packet of letters from the Adelphi ladies. It had a lot of nice pictures and notes from several of the ladies and children. It was a nice encouragement after a long day.

The Lord's Day: There's No Place Like Home (11/6/11)

Today we were with Nate and Sara for the morning Church service. Sam preached about music in the Sunday School as well as the morning service. My wife and I helped with Jr. Church and used all the balloons that Pastor Scott had sent along with us. I made them hats, mice, dogs, and a few other things with the balloons. There were eighty-eight children and so I cut several balloons in half so I could make more. When I was done cutting I had over a hundred balloons but somehow that wasn't enough. I think many of the children somehow got more than one balloon because we didn't have very many pop. Although we ran out of balloons, the children enjoyed themselves very much.
Tristen and Kali had asked if they could come and get some pictures and video for a research project they have been working on. From my understanding they are putting together a sort of documentary on the various aspects of Ugandan culture. Such as, traditional religion and culture, missionary culture, NGO (non-government organization) culture, economics, and government. Tristen sat down after the service and asked Sam some questions about music and basically filmed a little interview. Sam told us that Tristen had thanked him for being honest and really saying what God thinks about music.
After lunch with Nate and Sara we hit the road for home. It was a four hour drive from Gulu to Aura and I managed to sleep quite a bit in the back of the truck. Tonight we will get some good sleep. Thank you for those who are praying for our ministry here. There are so many ministries that God is working through here and it is quite exciting to see them. Our time here has absolutely flown by and we can't believe that we will be on our way home soon. Although we feel at home here in our little apartment, it will be good to get home and see all of you. Thanks again for praying for us!

Baptism In The Morning, Door Busting At Three, And What A Day This Turned Out To Be (11/5/11)

This morning after breakfast all the men piled into the pickup truck and headed out to the bush. There was a national man named Modest who came along with us. We picked up many people who have been saved at this particular preaching point and wanted to be baptized. After picking up two truckloads of people we all gathered at the river with others doing laundry, bathing, and washing motorcycles. We sang a few songs and then Nate reviewed from God's words what baptism was all about. Nate made his way out into the water and proceeded to one by one baptize about fifteen people. Everyone was happy and excited about those who were baptized.
On our way home from the baptisms Nate discovered that a store that under construction for a long time would open this afternoon at three o'clock. Many of the white people around here have been waiting for it to open so we went soon after three to check it out. It was in many ways like a very miniature Wal-Mart and was packed with people even though the opening was unannounced. Although it had a lot of things it didn't appear to have the things that Nate was looking for such as milk and cheese. It will be convenient because it carries a large variety of items but unfortunately it didn't bring anything new.It is totally different in the states. We have so many options and if you can't find what you want at Wal-Mart there is always Target, Kmart, and many other stores. Today made me thankful for all the convent stores we have in America.
For supper we ordered pizza and it came late. One hour passed with no pizza and then two and then three hours passed until we got pizza. Yes, I can already imagine what many are thinking, "did you get it free?" Of course not this is Uganda and that is the way things are. The pizza was cold and the boxes were a bit wet from the rain but we paid full price. I hope when you read this it encourages you to be thankful for the little things.

I Might Be Turning Into An Ugandan (11/4/11)

Today we left Soroti to visit the first church that the Wrights had helped plan, some missionary friends of theirs, and Nate and Sara. We plan on staying with Nate and Sara until Sunday afternoon and then heading back to Aura. Pastor Wright and I rode in the back of the truck instead of the Mosses when we left Sorotiand I found it quite comfortable. The bed of the pickup is very small compared to American trucks and so Ilaid down and hung my feet over the back of the tail gate as we drove along. I just happened to be on the side where the exhaust pipe was and because the truck is a diesel it puts off some black exhaust. By the time we arrived at Nate and Sara's my feet were as black as a native.We all had a good supper, took our showers, and quickly made our way to bed.

Touring The Orphanage At Soroti (11/3/11)

Today we spent the day with Dan Dwire and his family. They gave us a tour of the orphanage and the radio tower. Dan was very informative and had a lot of practical information about things in Uganda. He is a great shopper and knows all about everything from solar electricity to the cheapest way to ship things to Uganda. After a day filled with questions the Mosses, Dwires and us sat down to play a board game called Carcassonne. It was quite interesting because the board was made of little tiles that you played each turn and I was very happy to win as a new player. It was a great way to fellowship with our new friends.

Roaming The Road (11/2/11)

Today we were up before the crack of dawn and hit the road bound for Soroti. Travel went smoothly and it took us about six hours to get there. We were able to meet Pamela Wieler and Joseph tonight at church in Soroti. I was asked to preach and the service went very well. We are staying with some of the missionaries who work here and since they have high speed internet I am going to try to post some pictures. It is sure a lot different having constant electricity, hot water, and internet.

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