Saturday, January 30, 2010

Island Ministry

We have had a busy two weeks of ministry here in Uganda. James has been to the Island twice and has taught men in the Bible School and also preached at village churches both weeks. Sonya stayed in Jinja, the first week but went to the Island this past week. This week was pretty grueling on Buvuma Island with lots of teaching and ministry activities. James and missionary George both taught the entire week at the Bible School and then alternated accompanying Sonya and missionary Geraldine to the villages where the women did "hut to hut" evangelism and Bible studies with women and children. Sonya and Geraldine also worked to clean the medical and dental clinic on the island which was a big ordeal.

Much thanks to the Island support team who handle the cooking and other chores necessary for "Westernized" island living. On the island, our days begin early with breakfast around 8 am. Mary, the cook is there at 6 am. (See our island kitchen facility above). Island student workers or men collect water from the well for breakfast. We have morning devotion and prayer and then head out for various tasks, leaving Mary and the other kitchen helpers to start the evening meal. We travel to a nearby village by boat (35-45 minutes) or walk several miles. We conduct Bible studies, and/or evangelism in the villages returning to the mission compound about 4 pm. Mary is still cooking the evening meal which is not ready until about 7:30 or 8pm. This week we had the same foods at every dinner: cabbage, white potatoes, yams, beans, rice and fish (twice) and posha (sp). After dinner, we discuss plans for the next day and then shower. The island shower is great. It is a cube shaped building behind the kitchen. Water is heated and poured into a drum with a shower head. Aside from the occasional bull frog or two, the showers are fantastic! We generally are in bed by 9 pm (Photo of where we live on the island) . This week we were on the Island from Sat.-Thurs. Our schedule will be modified because we begin our language studies soon. We will have a private tutor work with us three days a week.

Please pray for us that we grasp Luganda so that we can speak to the people in their heart language. Also continue to pray for our 3 sons, 2 of whom are in the military and stationed in Iraq and Korea, and our extended family in the States.

As a side note for those of you who are interested in the cats, they are doing well. They initially attempted to get outside to explore the beautiful grounds where we live. After hearing the many wonderous sounds and seeing the amazing sites (such as the Marabou Storks about 4ft tall), the cats seem content to observe the happenings through the many windows and doors of the house. We are screening in a portion of our porch so they will enjoy this when it is completed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

We've Arrived!

We reached Africa with our two cats! Our original plan was to check the cats but because of the extremely cold temperatures, we had to travel with the cats as carry-ons. Very special thanks to Skip and Joanie who took us to the airport and our long-time classmates and friends, Randy and Alice who met us at the airport. We could not have made it without their help!We had 11 pieces of checked luggage, 4 carry-ons and 2 cats in separate carriers. It was wild but things went well. The most difficult thing during this travel was managing so many pieces of luggage getting on and off the plane. The cats were perfect. They stayed in these two soft sided bags for about 24 hours. They did not eat (we forgot the food in the rush to change their carriers from the hard ones when we were going to check them). We attempted to give them airline food but they wouldn't eat it. They refused to drink water also. (I did find out that travelling pets often won't eat and this is a natural occurance). We've been spending a lot of time with the other missionaries, who are helping us get the house in order and get us acclaimated to the culture and job. Please continue to pray for us as we immerse ourselves in the work we are here to do.