Friday, May 23, 2014

In the Dark

The night before we left for the game park, the transformer here at Upendo literally blew. It sounded like a massive explosion. We came back from the park hoping that it would be fixed since it’s happened in the past and is usually resolved quickly. But the problem was bigger than we thought. 

The power company had to come and take the transformer. They tried to fix it, but they needed to bring a new one instead. Our neighbor said we were without power indefinitely. There was no set date to get it back.

So we hunkered down. No power means no hot water, no charging phones or computers, and no refrigerator. I can do without hot water. And not being able to charge things isn’t so bad either. But no fridge? That was a struggle for us.

We ended up eating a lot of bean dishes. We had canned beans so we made beans and rice.

Beans and spaghetti.

We ate a lot of beans. And tuna. (Not together, that would be weird).

We went into Kampala about every other day to charge up our computers and phones. We would go out to eat or buy something to bring home and make a nice meal.

It gets dark around 7pm here, so after the work day was done we’d take a cold shower and be in for the night. We’d save up the battery power on our computers and watch episodes of 24 in the evenings.

In all we spent 17 consecutive days without power. (We also managed to get through almost 2 seasons of 24). And now, we don’t complain when the power goes off for a few hours during the day.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite!

After Kaitlyn’s parents left, we had a bit of a problem. During their stay, we had done some home visitation in Igamba. During one particular home visit, I was sitting on a stool and the AMG worker with us kept picking things off of me.

She later informed me that they were bedbugs.

She told us to soak the clothes in boiling water and we should be fine, but to be VERY careful because just one bedbug can turn in to a whole infestation.

So that night, we came home and soaked the clothes in boiling water as she said. (It was too hot for my hands to touch so I used the other side of the broom. We also had no power, hence the flashlight in my mouth.)

We went to the game park and thought all was fine in our little world. But once Kaitlyn’s parents left and we started getting these tiny bites on our legs, and one day while washing laundry we started finding bedbugs among our dirty clothes.

We checked with our neighbor just to make sure they really were bedbugs.

They were.

So they had to spray. One of the workers here came in looking like a Ghostbuster to spray down the beds, clothes, floors, chairs, towels, EVERYTHING. He even had to spray the inside of my Land Cruiser. We stayed clear of the house for 6 hours, spending the day down in the main hall and the girls’ dorm. We came back up to the house to clean and start the very long process of washing all of our clothes.
So far we haven’t had any other problems with the bedbugs, but it sure does bring new meaning to the saying, “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

On Safari

While Kaitlyn’s parents were here, they blessed us with a little time away. We went to visit a game park and spent three nights in real beds with spring mattresses and…wait for it….


We wanted to go outside to enjoy the view of the Nile River, but we realized we could see it just fine from inside our nice cool room. It was a much needed time to rest, get away from the craziness , and take some time to get refocused.

We enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation. 

And even got out of our comfy beds early enough to see the sunrise one morning.

We saw Hippos.

My favorite were the giraffes.

And we even had the pleasure of seeing a female lion. She was injured, so that’s why she’s not going after the animal in the background.

We even had a visit from some very naughty guests who messed with our outdoor couch cushions.

But Kaitlyn had a whole lot of fun speaking monkey talk to them from inside the room.

We stayed up late talking and enjoyed some midnight snacks.

And came back feeling refreshed and ready for the next round of ministry.

A Visit from the Kings

In April, we welcomed Kaitlyn’s parents to Uganda. They had never been before, but have sent all three of their children here several times. They wanted to come visit Kaitlyn and see for themselves what the ministry is like here. 

They stayed in the house with us. They had time with the kids during the Saturday program. We were wrapping up the story of Jonah which we had been studying throughout the term. The kids had some songs and then we spent time playing lots of games together.

We also took them to Igamba, a village about 75 miles East of Kampala. We did some home visitation, taking them to the homes of some of our sponsored children.   

We took them out deep in the village where the people rarely see Muzungus (white people). So the kids were very interested in what this group of 4 white people was up to. We shared encouraging words and prayers with the families we visited.

And overall we just spent time enjoying each other’s company…Even if it was often in the dark. 

First Term

The kids started a new school year in February. We were glad to welcome them back, and the girls were especially happy to see their dorm painted all nice. Throughout the first term, Kaitlyn and I focused our Bible teaching on the Old Testament. We took them through the book of Genesis talking about beginnings. We talked about the beginning of creation, the beginning of families and sin (with Adam and Eve), the beginning of worship (with Noah), and the beginning of faith (with Abraham).

We wanted to make things a bit more interactive. So often the preaching for children here is no different than for adults. It’s just talking. So we wanted a way to get them engaged in what we were teaching. So we tried to incorporate props, games, skits, and stories into our teaching. 

Turns out these kids are very creative when it comes to putting skits together, and we enjoyed watching them learn about God in a more “hands on” way.

With the second term starting just a week ago we asked them if they remembered what we had talked about last term, and most of them remembered. This term, we are continuing on with the Old Testament, talking about heroes of the faith such as Moses, Samuel, and David.