December and January provided opportunities to serve on a church camp for children and a conference for students which saw young people gaining a greater understanding of our Lord Jesus.
It was also a time of rest. I was able to attend a conference for international missionaries in Nairobi and stay with friends in Kijabe. Initially I thought my exhaustion and craving to be away from people were signs of an illness. I finally realised that I was just tired. It was the first time that I had moved out of a Ugandan context since arriving 15-months previously. I thrive in and love my life here so much that I forget that to live cross-culturally is bound to be tiring on some levels. I’m trying to be more proactive about taking time away each month. I love loading up the Landy and heading up for a camping trip on the Nile - even if just for a night!
My work with Word of Life has become tremendously exciting. I work with a pastor on the team to support local churches in children’s and youth ministry. I am particularly responsible for All Saints Cathedral, Kampala (ASCK) one of the largest Church of Uganda churches in Uganda and their recent plant, All Saints Chapel Lweza (ASCL). In God’s wonderful sovereignty a good proportion of my work last year involved building relationships with ASCK and that has become the place where my deepest relationships have been built. I have the utter joy of joining children’s and youth teams to read the Bible and to offer training as and when required - basically to serve them in those areas as much as I possibly can. I couldn’t have written a more fitting job description if I’d tried! To have the joy of working so closely with people who have become great friends and whom I learn so much from in an area that I am passionate about within the local church is just remarkable! I don’t know ASCL so well but am slowly getting to know the people there. The hope is that this can become a (relatively-speaking) long-term arrangement.
I am becoming accustomed to change and more patient when it occurs.
Monday: Preparation for the week. The evening is spent with ASCL youth leaders. Youth over here refers to people between the ages of 16 and 35. We’re working through what God says about the character of a godly leader as well as practical sessions on teaching and engaging the youth with the things of God.
Tuesday: Drive to ASCK. I’ve been asked to support the work in the children’s office especially as Irene (whom you may remember me working with last year, (pic, with me, at top of letter) has gone to bible college in Jo’burg. This church reaches out to 1,500 children (0-13yrs old) a week! There are around 50 teachers and seven overall co-ordinators. We spend around three hours having breakfast and fellowshipping together before I lead a study working through the book of 1 Timothy (see pic right). I am humbled by this group’s attitude to scripture and to Jesus. Their enthusiasm and honesty inspire me. I then join them for their staff meeting and spend the rest of the day there.
Thursday: Spend the morning preparing various bible studies and training sessions. I meet with a Ugandan friend in the afternoon. She’s getting married soon and so we’re currently reading through a Christopher Ash book on marriage. I also sometimes escape to my friend’s furniture business and spend a few hours making things out of wood! (like storage for my many books!). In the evenings I meet with one of the children’s and youth leaders at ASCL. We’re currently being encouraged by the steadfast love of God that we see throughout the book of Ruth.
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday remain the same with the addition of the occasional afternoons spent helping to train children’s leaders. Do join me in praising God for these exciting changes!
I’m starting to consider my trip back to England. I’m eagerly anticipating being reunited with friends and family once more. I was wondering if anyone might be able to help me with the following:
I’m also beginning to wonder how life may have changed since September 2016 so feel free to fill me in on any of the following:
1 March: visiting and speaking at a primary school serving a large slum area.
9-10 March: helping train children’s leaders with ASCK.
17 March: LWU Area Bible Seminar at Makerere University in Kampala. We’ll be teaching through the book of Habakkuk.
30 March: Speaking to young people on the ‘big swap’ at ASCK Easter festival.
1 May: visiting friends in S.Africa.
Mid-May - mid August: visiting England!! :)
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