Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August in Uganda

I feel like the month has flown by already. Wow.

When I first arrived, two of my dear college friends were already at LCH with a team. Stephanie and Connie (along with our clinical officer) conducted hearing screenings for all of our children and staff. They also were able to move out of the hotel and into my house for the remainder of their trip. It was SO wonderful to have them with me. Although most of our time was at LCH, we were also able to visit the village where one of Stephanie's friends lives and travel to Sissyi Falls to trek up to the very top.

At the top of the waterfall looking down.

The children finished Term 2 on Aug. 13th. This whole year, our P7 class has been busy preparing to take the national examinations held in November. They sat with other children from the sub-county and took mock-examinations. In District Mocks, six of our students ranked in Division II (the second highest). Overall, Anthony Wanzala came on top with the most points at LCH in both mock-examinations. Please continue praying for our students as they bear the pressure of this test (determining if and which secondary school they can go to).

Other End of Term 2 Results (Class Ranking):

Top Class:
1- Samwiri
2- Davis
3- Flavia

P1 Class:
1- Norah
2- Gift
3- Phoebe Nambozo

P2 Class:
1- Moses
2- Sarah Kainza
3- Andrew Masiga

P3 Class:
1- John Mustoshi
2- Anthony Wojjambuka
3- Doreen Namasaba

P4 Class:
1- David Yeko
2- Malvin
3- Andrew Dezi

P5 Class:
1- Dinah
2- Brenda Babirye
3- Chrispus

So now that we are on holiday, I have been having fun with the kids... games, puzzles, felt Bible story pictures, football matches, and crafts.

We had visitors from a local bank come to do a charity project at LCH. They helped repaint the outside kitchen and bath houses. I pray that God would use these news friends to be advocates for our kids.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

God is good in Uganda

I truly had a wonderful, restful, fun, and refreshing trip to the USA- mainly Austin, Texas. Seeing as time was short, I didn't travel more than an hour outside of Austin, which made for plenty of time with family and near-by friends. I will post pictures later about my adventure in Greece (before I arrived in the USA) and around Austin.

But, I wanted everyone to know that I have now been in Mbale for over a week. I was really glad and eager to come back. I don't know if you should expect reverse culture-shock when you go back to America, but I know last time I came back, I was just memorized by all the options of things that you can get here and how easily accessible things are. So, i guess I expected sort-of the same feelings for this trip home. That was not the case though. It His own gentle and loving ways I feel like God spoke to my heart and said, "See, you are not missing out on anything in Texas. The reality that you thought was, is not really reality. So, you are free to fully embrace Uganda." Not that I wasn't embracing it, but I think like anyone would when living oversees and having left all family and friends behind, you just wonder if you are missing out on everyone you love's lives. So, I was glad for this lesson- that I can fully embrace Uganda- and am eager to see what more God will show me in this direction.

Now, I imagine that this might lead you to think the most frequent question I was asked when I was home... "So, how long do you think you will be in Africa?" And my answer... I don't know. As long as God has me here. My heart is willing to stay however long, but I am also not opposed to go back to America. I just want to be where He wants me. That is the safest and most peaceful place to be.

Otherwise, I found the kids getting ready for holidays (they break for a month holiday on Friday). I have slowly been getting stories and updates on what has been happening. It is surprising how much you can miss in one month. Unfortunately I do not have photos, but here is a brief update of LCH for July:

- The school participated in Music Competition again, where they sang and danced to traditional songs, original composition, and sight read a western piece. They sang wonderfully and got 3rd place out of 9 schools. This is a huge jump from last year (as they were 7th), so we pray that God would enable us to be #1 next year.

- Kids also went for football and netball competition at the subcounty level. A good number of our students were selected for the county level: Emma O, Ivan K, Kamadi, Namakoye Brenda, Sarah Khainsa, and Aida. In the end, the boys were all chosen to represent Mbale District at Nationals in Arua (northern Uganda). But due to the necessity to take mock-examinations for the exit level exams, Emma and Ivan stayed behind. Kamadi will leave on Saturday with Teacher Nathan to play football for the Mbale team. Please pray for their travels and time there.

- Thanks to a team that just came, all the students and staff have now had their hear tested.

- And as I said before, Term 2 is ending this week and the kids are eager for holidays to begin.


God is so good. I am almost without words to
express how humbled and overjoyed I am at the
Lord's provision. Wow. There are many awesome testimonies to how God provided. But the one I want to boast in how He has shown me a new aspect of Himself as a Father. We all have needs and wants. I won't say that the car was a
need. Rather I will say it was it was a practical, useful, and would be VERY helpful want. And I have seen that the Lord does not just come through for the big things, when we are desperate. But He loves me specifically and generously and desired to give me this blessing, just as my earthly father would have seen my practical want and helped me. I don't feel like my words adequately expressed what I am trying to say, but I will leave it at that. Hopefully you get the gist.

YES!! Praise the Lord! I picked up my new car Monday and was able to drive it to LCH yesterday!!! It was so fun to arrive and see the joy and excitement of everyone. They danced and shouted and jumped and hugged. It was awesome. It really showed me what rejoicing with those who rejoice means.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for praying God's provision with me AND for responding to my special project. Again, I am humbled and overjoyed. Thank you.

PS- so this is so silly, but I think my plate number was made just for me. Or the extra icing on the cake from Him. It is UAN 171W. My explanation of why it is just for me... UA (all cars start with this). N-- for Natalie. 1-- January, 7- my birthday (January 7th), 1- could be interpreted for a lot of things but my favorites are first born or God is #1. Then the W-- worship, wow, worthy, wonderful... you choose your adjective :) Silly, I know.