Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A time to finish and a time to begin

Yesterday around 9pm, I called our volunteer Gabriel in Soroti to wish him a happy birthday. I greeted him 
Me: Happy Birthday.
Gabriel: happy birthday? ... oh...thanks.
Me: I saw on Facebook it was your birthday so that's why I called. Is it your birthday?
Gabriel: the 25th.
Me: yes, today's the 25th.
Gabriel: then it is. But I didn't know until you just told me. I was taken up with many other things. Thank you for calling.
Me: How's your dad doing? (His dad had been sick in the hospital for some time)
Gabriel: He's passed on.
Me: When??
Gabriel: this evening.
Me: Oh sorry, your dad has died on your birthday? So sorry...
The conversation continued.
Gabriel receiving a chicken from one of the LoCoDI kids
He had reached up to 9pm without even realising that it was his own birthday, because he was busy serving the Lord by attending to his father on his death bed. What a way to spend your birthday. Please keep Gabriel and his family in your prayers. He said that his father had become born-again recently, so he trusts he is in heaven, but they are still feeling the sting of the loss. They will have the burial sometime this week. Gabriel faithfully serves the Lord with us in Soroti, he always meets up with the children in our sponsorship program, and teaches the purity clubs in schools. He has done this faithfully, without pay for over a year now. So, also, thank God with us for his life and contribution he has made in the lives of many young people.

In this new year we have started teaching computer and english classes two times a week on the weeks we don't have class.Ruudy is teaching english and Beckie is teaching computer. The english class is filled with some of the students we had trained in ministry, and also some of the workers from the orphanage we partner with Welcome Home. It is a tiresome task to teach adults with no education a new language, especially english, with all of it's funny rules.

The computer class is mainly focused on learning to type properly.
The students all keep commenting how interesting it is, as some have never even used a computer and others have become very okay with the popular hunt and peck method. As life is ministry, even these classes give us chances to speak into peoples lives that we normally wouldn't be able to. So please be praying with us for our interactions with our students.

We also started out this new year with teaching our first class without the assistance of our mentors/trainers, Jose and Sol, as they are currently stateside. We taught the course on marriage and family. It seemed to go on well. And I can take this chance to brag about Ruudy because I'm the one typing this time. He is a gifted teacher, and makes the class, fun, but because he understands the culture so well, it is at the same time very impactful. I feel honoured to teach alongside him. Ok, bragging aside, I continue. Our students will have their final class march 16-18 and graduate April 9. Please pray for them as they finish up. We try so hard to not make these courses just about packing information, but getting it into the heart, and making action plans and impacting the congregations and communities that they work in.

Other prayer requests:
My sister Christina and her husband Benjamin Kragt are moving to Uganda with their two kids, Isaac (6) and Ellie (3) on February 4. They are joining us at Kingdom Life Training Centre. We are so excited to have them here and to see how God uses them in this ministry. Please pray for their transition as one can only assume that it's quite the transition.
Ellie and Isaac with all of their stuff coming to Uganda

In Soroti, the headmaster of the majority of our sponsored kids, Julius, was fired this last year. He was such a pleasure to work with, as he really loves the kids, and would know the stories of all the kids, and had a heart of helping those who were the most vulnerable. He would even let some study without paying just because he knew that they had no way of paying. They ousted him because there were rumours that he was getting a lot of money from our organization for himself. Though we never even gave him a shilling (or a penny you might say). We only paid the school fees for the kids we have sponsored. Pray for him as he looks for a new job. Pray that the truth would be known and accepted. Also, for wisdom for us on how to handle the situation. We want to keep sponsoring these kids, but we don't know how it will be to work with the new headmaster.

A few other photos from the end of last year and the beginning of this year.
Goretti teaching at bible class on Saturday

Goretti, Patra, and Abella with their kids after bible class

Abella with her special pupil

Abella, Beckie and Sarah enjoying time in Entebbe

Sarah and Ruudy

Thanks Remembrance Church for the sock dolls!
She was happy to receive a sock doll

The nieces enjoying salon time with auntie

We celebrated Ruudy's 30th on Christmas day with all of his family

Ruudy and Beckie with all of our nieces and nephews

We were happy to get all of Ruudy's family together for Christmas this year

Ruudy's siblings cleaning out the goat intestines as part of our Christmas feast

As always, thanks for praying with us, and partnering with us. We are so thankful for each of you.