Thursday, May 21, 2009

Living With Children Builds Your Character

After first and second terms of school here there is a month break and two months after third term. During this time, my house is always raided by many young girls that have no where else to go.
It's always a lot of fun for all of us, although not without challenges. My apartment is only a two bedroom and sometimes (most times during the holidays), there are more than 10 children plus myself sleeping there. That means a lot of noise. There's always a mountain of shoes by the door. There's never any clean dishes. Actually not much stays clean. The house looks disorganized. I think you can get the picture.
It is inevitable that there will be arguments, misunderstandings and people will get on each other's nerves. That is true of me as well. I go from living single to having a house full of people. I know I'm here as a missionary but at times things get on my nerves. Like when I want to sleep and there's all these shouts and giggles coming from all over the house or when I want to get something to eat and find it's already been eaten, etc.
I struggled with this at first. I kept feeling guilty. How could someone who is here as a missionary be allowing children to get on her nerves? Because I'm human and every change takes adjustment.
I also see it as a chance for God to grow my character. It's given me a chance to practice patience. It's definitely challenged me to not be selfish. I've learned that possessions aren't as valuable as the joy of living with people. I've learned that there are many lessons to be learned as well as taught.
But, most of all I've been blessed to share my life with some truly amazing young ladies. As much as I feel I've given them, they've given back a hundred times over. I've learned to treasure every moment with them whether it's correcting them or laughing with them. I've enjoyed our late night conversations and you definitely can't feel lonely with so many people in the house.
Second term starts next week on Monday. The children will all be departing to their schools on Sunday. It's going to take a minute to adjust to not having dirty dishes piled in the sink and the quiet. At least my little kids will be coming back to school so at least the house can be disorganized for half the day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Night Prayers

I think I've mentioned a fellowship in the slum that I attend. Actually, it's more than a fellowship. It's around 250 people that gather every night except Sunday to worship and pray together.
Saturday night was awesome as well as last night. On Saturday, we (meaning me and a couple of friends) around 9 in the evening. Yes, I know that is late but they start around 7 and go up to midnight and people are free to come and go as they wish. Since by 9, my day is winding down, that is usually a good time for me.
Anyway, when we got there, all seats were taken. My friend Annet and I decided to sit on the side of the house (sort of like a concrete ledge that surrounds it) so we spread a scarf out and sat down. It was during prayer time so we began praying as everyone else was. I like our seat down. It wasn't squeezed as the benches usually are (not that I mind) and I could stretch out my legs.
That is, until the rain began. It began suddenly and was pouring. People made a mad dash for the only covering of a few iron sheets where about 20 benches are usually positioned. Since we were the farthest from this space, we were the last to squeeze under there. We were a bit wet but we managed to squeeze. So did all the other people and we managed to position every bench there as well. The benches are made for 3 people. We normally squeeze 4 to a bench. That night we managed 5! Somehow it was fun. Hearing the rain drum on the iron sheets and laughing and talking with those we were so snuggling hiding from the rain with.
The rain only lasted about 20 minutes and then we went on with prayers as usual.
Then last night was just POWERFUL. That's the only word I can think of to describe it. No rain an no one sitting. Again we arrived around 9. After a few minutes, everyone was on their feet for praise and worship. Up to midnight, no one ever sat back down again. The prayers were on a level that it's been a long time since I've experienced. Really I have no words to express what it was like last night. I wasn't able to sleep for a couple of hours after going back home. It was like being high on God.
I'm again excited about what God is doing in my life and the new things I'm learning about Him. I can't wait for what tonight will bring. It looks like rain again. But, who minds the rain? It's just rain, right?
This place has overnight prayers frequently as well. I can't wait for the next one.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Kifumbira Medical Mission 2009

Many of you have heard me talk about a fellowship that I attend in one of the slums in Kampala. Every Sunday and Tuesday evening there's a group of us that meet in a field under an avocado tree for Bible study and praise and worship.
Some of our recently added fellowship members are a few young guys who live in the slums and are students at the national hospital studying lab technology. One of the guys is the leader of a student organization called Rachel Ministries. This organization is a group of students, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists who also love the Lord. They not only fellowship with each other, but organize themselves to do medical missions throughout Uganda.
They decided that since a few of them are now attending this fellowship and live in the area that this slum should be one of the areas reached. So, a joint medical mission between our fellowship under the avocado tree and Rachel Ministries was organized.
Yesterday, over 50 doctors, dentists, and pharmacists came to the slum to give medical care to over 500 people. Not only was medical care given, but the gospel was presented with many receiving Christ for the very first time. Also, it was fun to see some of the women who are served through our fellowship come out to serve others. Several of them got together and cooked a delicious lunch for the medical team as well as our team from the fellowship. They even had enough food that some of the older widows and the most desperate children were able to be fed.
This is one of the little girls I met during the mission. She is an AIDS orphan and is also suffering from AIDS. When her parents died, the girl was taken in by neighbors who are her current guardians. However, she has not been receiving any medical treatment and is not attending school. She is really sick. The doctors couldn't do much for her and referred her to the Pediatric AIDS department at the national hospital. So, I will be spending my day there tomorrow with her in hopes of getting her started on free ARVs and getting her treatment for the many sicknesses tormenting her. Then over the next few weeks I'll be watching to see if she gains enough strength to begin school.
Pray for us to not have to wait long at the hospital. Pray that she is not too sick already to start the ARVs and that she will quickly regain strength and health. Pray that she will soon be able to go to school and have a childhood as close to normal as other children.