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Jesus said, "I have come so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." (John 10:10)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Uganda trip, chapter one...

Well, this will be the first of several blogs about our recent mission trip to Uganda, because this one has a "time-crunch"!   Needless to say, as always when you go on a mission to serve others, you end up getting blown away by the blessing you receive in return. This journey was no exception! Today I want to focus on a special "muzungu" (white person in Africa) we met at the Mbira orphan village. And I'm hoping you'll participate in a special opportunity to help her ministry after I share it with you.

 Her name is April. She is a 20 year old believer (with eleven brothers and sisters back home!) who has given up several years of her life to serve missionary families in several foreign countries. Currently she is serving the Applegate family at the orphan village in Mbira. She lives with them, helps to take care of their 4 children (ages 1-7, and one with substantial physical, special needs), rises early to start washing clothes (no running water while we were there), helps prepare family meals and wash dishes (did I mention no running water?), and helps homeschool the children.

 And if that weren't enough, she also teaches the orphan girls' devotions every night. And we're not talking a little "kum ba ya" and basic Bible stories. These girls scripture memory put ours to SHAME! And she teaches them the whole scripture, tackling hard subjects that resonate with these girls, like why bad things happen if God is good...and the singing they do at the start of these devotions is one of the most beautiful sounds we encountered in Uganda.

 But there's more.... On Sunday's, the children leave the service after the singing and go with April to the schoolroom for Sunday school (shown above...with baby on hip!). This could last for an hour or more, depending on how long pastor J.J. preaches. She sings lots of sings with the 50 or so kids there, teaches them a lesson from scripture (the week we were there it was the story of Noah, and I was just as glued to her as the kids!), plays a game with them to review the scripture and then sings some more. All this teaching is done with an interpreter (one of the older orphan girls) for the kids who come from the village and don't speak much English, and with no power (I.e. no videos, "canned music, etc") and very few supplies. The week I participated, she drew a game board on the wall with chalk for the review. We asked April if she could use any other supplies, and her eyes lit up as she asked for a few basic things. Upon our urging, she went into the other room and wrote out a list. Nothing on her list included things for herself, but all things to help her more creatively teach God's word to these precious kids.

 So, we have another group going back to Uganda in a couple of weeks and I'm hoping to fill a bag with everything on the list! YOU can help! See the list below and go out and buy something from it (or you may even have an extra one at home). Get it to me by this weekend if possible. If you live far away and want to send me money to get a particular item on the list, I'll be glad to do that too! Thanks for serving with me!

 April's list 
Magnetic alphabet letters
 Magnetic boards (the small dry-erase kind)
Dry-erase marker sets
Box of paper clips
Rubber duckies
Food coloring
 Bean bags
 Indoor bowling ball/pins set (there are some wooden ones at target I think)
 Flash cards for teaching Bible (biblical pictures sets, etc)
 Tennis balls
Construction paper
 Brown paper bags
 100 pair of kids scissors

 Many blessings, and more posts to come,