What a whirlwind!
A team of people from my home church, Village Bible Church (VBC), is here in Uganda, working with Juna Amagara Ministries (JAM). One team member, Linda, came about a week early. She is in her 60’s, and has always extended her trips to Uganda with me in the past. A big reason Linda came early was to work with my girls in ABIDE, using her skills as a sewing teacher. She travelled with Lilian, the wife of JAM’s Executive Director, who also sews. The girls made uniforms for some Juna Amagara students who don’t have them, and finished some pajamas for children that women at VBC had been working on throughout the year.
The girls enjoyed having Kaka (Grandma) Linda around, and learning from her. She is quite a mystery for many Ugandans as they can tell she is older than the average team member, yet seems young at the same time!
After a few days focused on sewing, the rest of the team arrived. ABIDE has enjoyed spending the evening they arrived, as well as three full days, with the visitors. Instead of having the VBC team involved in ministry on their own, we had them partner with the ABIDE staff and students so that we could build relationships with each other as we ministered to people with the love of Jesus. Together we led church services, played with children, hand-washed babies’ clothes (including cloth diapers!), held babies, sewed pajamas, and more!
Sometimes various team members were focused on working with children in JAM’s school and children’s home, while we captured others to participate in some things with our ABIDE students. Most of the team shared their personal examples of what it means for them to live missionally, encouraging our students to establish a lifestyle of ministry, regardless of their occupation/season of life. I know they were challenged when 15-year-old Melody stood up and said she has learned to really listen to the Holy Spirit speaking in her life and telling her to serve God in various ways as the opportunities come up. Afterwards, Pastor Keith taught a lesson on Nehemiah in our Spiritual Leadership class. Another special treat was when Julie taught a lesson in our purity class; it was so excellent, and really captured the attention of our students. She talked through four C‘s of a strong, healthy, godly marriage: Christ-centered foundation, Committed love, Communication, and Consummation. Later, several team members joined a few of the girls to minister at a nearby high school where we regularly hold Bible Studies. Before saying goodbye and giving final hugs, we had some time at the team’s hotel to worship, share testimonies, and pray together.
Okay…I said final hugs, but the team will be back in a week and a half to come to the ABIDE graduation. I’m excited for them to be a part of this ceremony, because it will be a meaningful event to attend now that they all know each other.
Throughout the week, Linda has stayed at my house. She intended to go to the hotel when the team arrived, but somehow she roped me into late-night sewing projects at my house, requiring her to stay with me.
She kept me up sewing and talking until after 1:30am every night, except last night. (We actually made it into bed before midnight that time!) In fact, one night, when Lilian was still staying at my house as well, the three of us were up, sewing and slap-happy until after 3:30am!
This morning, I sent Linda and the rest of the team to Kabale for a few days where they will meet and minister with the ABIDE boys. I have concluded that Linda has taken all my energy with me when she went. I was managing well while the team was around, despite my lack of sleep…but all day today I have felt like a zombie! But I found some chocolate, and I am on my way back up in the way of energy!
I’m praying for the team as they continue on their mission to get to know and be involved in the boys’ ABIDE house, deliver packages from sponosors to their children, and spend a week ministering to the schools and community in the village of Kishanje. They will be passing back through Mbarara before going to the airport to make sure they are a part of the graduation ceremony. That will be a great day!
Meanwhile…I think I need to get to bed!
(With the team using a nice camera, it looks like I haven’t been taking many pictures myself…oops! Here’s just a few…)