Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Uganda Update 6

Time Will Tell… Time Will Tell (11/1/11)

Early this morning the truck showed up to pick up the students and their families. They packed everything imaginable onto the truck. There were two families who were not coming back but the way the other family's packed we're not sure if some of them are planning on returning or not. It was sad to see them go and if some don't come back it will be even more heart breaking. They all piled on their goods and then sat on top of everything and hung on. There were plastic jugs and bicycles hanging off of the back of the truck and it was really quite a sight.
Brother Wright called one of the students while they were traveling and found that they had some complications on the way. They had stopped for a break to have tea and one of the children threw a corn cob out of the truck. It happened to hit a man on a bicycle and he got very upset. As they tried to apologize and calm him down he beat up 1-3 of the students. Before long the police were involved and they demanded money from the students or they would not release the truck. From my understanding they paid the money and were able to go on their way. We trust they all made it safely.
The rest of the morning Becca and I spent preparing for our trip tomorrow and in the afternoon we took a walk through some of the property to get a better idea of what is around here. I guess we both had a little exploration we wanted to make sure we did before we left. Becca wasn't so keen on walking through the tall grass and I assume that is because the snakes like to hide in there. We went all over and didn't see anything dangerous. At least, we didn't see anything that we thought would be dangerous.
Here are some things you could pray about...
1.       Safe travel tomorrow (That is not a given over here.)
2.       Health (The Moss boys are sick and we don't want our kids to get sick just before we fly back)
3.       Empowerment (I will be preaching tomorrow night)
Thanks so much for your prayers and support. It means so much to us that we have people praying for us. Today we received a nice card from the Kimballs as well as one from my parents. It was delightful to read the cards and they were very encouraging. If you are planning on communicating with us from now on you might want to do it by email. The mail takes about 4 – 6 weeks to get here and if you mail something now it just might not get here in time. Thank you to all who have sent cards and please continue by responding to the emails or visiting our blog (jasonandbeccamiller.blogspot.com) and posting a comment.
Thanks again!!!

Christmas On Halloween But Where's The Queen (10/31/11)

Once again we made a trip to town in the morning. It almost seems at times like all we do is go to town to get supplies. While we were in town Becca and I were walking through the hawkers market with Andrew when one man asked me, "Where's the Queen?" I wasn't sure what he was talking about at first but I soon figured out he was talking about Elizabeth. I laughed and explained that she was at home taking a nap. Pastor Wright reminded us that someone else had already referred to her as Angel and I guess she has already left an impression. We had some extra time so we both got on bike cycles and had men take us across town to the supermarket where we needed to do some shopping for Jewel. For two bikes to carry us across town it only cost us less than 40 cents and it sure was a lot of fun. We made sure we got our picture taken with the drivers.
Tomorrow is when many of the students go back home to Adjumani and we wanted to give them their Christmas presents before they left even though today is Halloween. We carried them over and sang Merry Christmas to them as we walked into the center of their living quarters. It was quite fun watching the responses of people as they received their bags of gifts. For the most part gifts are never opened publically so most of them held on to their black sacks and waited to go home to start opening them. Others surprisingly started opening their gifts right away. This is a sad cultural thing why people don't want to open gifts publicly. They even prefer to carry things in a bag that no one can see through simply so others don't see what they have. If someone knows you have something it is very likely that it will get stolen from you.
By the way, people don't celebrate Halloween over here and in fact they really don't know about it. One of the workers wears a shirt once in a while that has a Halloween theme but I don't think he even knows what it is about. It is kind of nice not seeing all the spooky decorations and nonsense.

The Last Lord's Day Before The Students Leave For Break (10/30/11)

We were sitting here thinking about what we are going to write tonight before turning on the computer. Now that my computer is on because Jason's computer is dead I am going to dictate to Jason what to write. Jason thinks I need to have some input into our updates and up until now I have only read what he wrote. As soon as he finds out which position to put the computer in we will get somewhere. Last night it rained so it was a cool morning but the sun soon heated things up. The morning service was a normal service and we had a few visitors who came from passing out John and Romans yesterday. In the afternoon the students went to Dubai to sing and preach just like they did yesterday. Please pray that there will be fruit from these outreaches. For the evening service we had the Lord's Supper and Jewell made the communion bread and the used Ribena instead of grape juice. They use Ribena because grape juice is very hard to get and in fact we have not seen it since we came over here. Ribena is made from black current berries and looks very much like grape juice.
Supper tonight consisted of leftover chili and carrot soup. After supper we all played a board game with the Mosses and the Wrights. All was going well until the Mosses won for the first time. I cannot think of anything else to write except that Elizabeth is sleeping soundly and Andrew is drifting off into dream land. Jason and I will soon join them.

Love Lifted Me But Someone Else Lifted The Generator (10/29/11)

It was the best of times and the worst of times. That phrase fits today very well. After prayer meeting we discovered that the generator was unplugged from the house and stolen during the night. The thieves had cut a hole in the fence just big enough to slip the generator out. They carried the generator through the cassava field and then up to the road. From the road who knows where it went. The students who were guards last night didn't have much to say for themselves either.
They had been given instructions to walk in pairs of two from one post to another. When they reached the post the person already at the post would walk to the next post. This kept someone constantly at each of the three posts and two people moving. Only one guard reported that he walked the post last night and he only did it once.
As a result the generator is gone and that means that we have no way of charging our computers, phones, or anything else. It will cost somewhere between $1,200 and $1,400 to replace. For now we are using candle light and going to bed early. We are almost out of gas also. There is a shortage here and we have not been able to buy gas for weeks. This became more important today when one of the refrigerators, which uses gas, ran out. If we don't get gas we will turn to wood and there is not much of that around either.
If that was the worst of times what was the best? Well we took the students and loaded them onto the truck and went to a couple nearby towns to sing the songs they have worked on and then preach. It went fairly well and it took no time at all to pass out hundreds of tracts and John and Romans. The people literally thronged us for the booklets.
This situation only brings to mind the great need that missionaries have around the world both physically and spiritually. I have heard pastors say that a missionary should not get any more support than the average person in his congregation makes. This is quite interesting when the average person doesn't; fly half way around the world every four years with his entire family, pay over $600 a month for medical insurance that will fly you out of the country, pay over $6 a gallon for gas, drive 7 hours every couple months to get supplies, pay for the office and practical expenses of the ministry, need to build a fence around the yard with barbed wire to keep people out, hire guards to patrol the property, and many other expenses that simply come along with the task.
I appreciate so much the churches that have a heart for missions and not only realize the needs that their missionaries have but they do everything they can to support them. Missions is so much more than a ten dollar tip in the offering plate. Thank you so much to the churches who are sacrificing for their missionaries and personally involved in their missionaries lives. Those are the churches that do the most work for their missionaries. I don't simply mean physically either. The churches that are sacrificial in their giving and personal with their communication are the churches that are actively praying for their missionaries.
If there is one thing that we need from those who are reading these updates it is prayer. There is a spiritual battle here that is real and the only way we can go forward is if the battle is won in prayer. Please pray against the work of the devil here. The missing generator is nothing in comparison to the struggle that is going on for the people here. Satan has had a grip for too long and it is time that Christ be lifted up and magnified so that He can draw all men unto Himself. Please if you are not already praying begin to pray for us. We are real people with real needs, emotions and struggles. Satan wants to do everything he can to stop our work, discourage us, and divert the people from the truth. He must be bound so we can spoil his goods.
It is not a love for the people that will keep anyone on the mission field. It is a love for the Savior. God has called us to go into the entire world and preach the gospel and disciple believers. Our love for God in response to all that He has done for us is the only motive powerful enough to keep anyone going through the fiery trials that come along.Praise the Lord for the Wrights and their testimony here. They have truly showed the love of Christ through all the trials that we have observed here.
On a personal note, Andrew is 6 months old today and he is growing like a weed and I need to quit typing before my computer dies and I can't recharge it.

Final Exams Will Make Or Break Your Grade (10/28/11)

Today was another cloudy day. I spent much of the morning scraping paint off of the water tower so it could be repainted while Becca finished up the dresses she was working on. In the afternoon I ran to the tailor in Dubai to pick up my hat. When I arrived I found that he had not put the strings on it as I requested so I told him I would return tomorrow. Becca was not feeling well today so I watched Andrew while Elizabeth and Becca took a nap in the afternoon.
Today was the final exam for my students and most of them did very well. But as always, some do well and some don't do well. The best grade was 149 out of 150 (99%) and the worst grade was 56 out of 150 (37%). The average score was an 85% so I don't think it was too hard. Please pray that what the students have studied would sink in deeper than simple head knowledge. I want the students to have a deep and fruitful relationship with God that goes beyond head knowledge. Thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray for the students. We want to produce the next generation of preachers here in Uganda.

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