Wednesday, October 09, 2019

What we've been up to...

My friends cooking out in the rain and mud
 The last month has been insanely busy - truly the kind of busy that usually makes me a little crazy. But by God's grace and the help of sweet friends, I've been taking one day at a time and these ministry opportunities have brought so much joy to others but especially to Eli and I.  I recently told a fellow missionary, "In America it feels like we can take charge of each day, make our list, and get it done. Here, it's more like your day takes charge of you." Meaning, I can set out with a "plan" for the day but most days what actually happens is much different from what I expected. And I'm learning to adjust to that and be ok with that - many times it's even better than I could have planned!

I got to cook inside! With Ella
 These are pictures I took last Sunday when we planned to host almost 30 of Eli's partners in ministry - the teachers for the Theological Education program that is going on in town here and also in several of the nearby refugee camps. But due to a constant drizzle all day and the fact that Sundays are usually very busy for pastors, we had 10 come. But we had enough food for 50 so you can imagine what a party it was!

Ella and Grace put together a beautiful salad
 The cooking took all day but my friends and neighbors came and we had such a good time working together.

The group of pastors/teachers we hosted on Sunday


 Eli did a SWOT analysis with the teachers so they discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the program so far (it's been going strong for 7 months) and opportunities and threats. There was great participation and discussion and overall very encouraging to hear how excited these men and women are about the program and how needed it is here in our part of Uganda.

I had so much leftover food that as soon as our guests went home, I packed up food and sent it to 3 different families. One friend who just had a baby, one who was sick with malaria, and then also to the ladies who helped me cook. I still had MORE food leftover and there was a ladies group meeting at our church property right next door to us the next day, so I invited the ladies over for lunch and they helped polish the rest off. Carson helped too.

Carson joined right in to eat with our friends from church


So let me review: cooked for an army and hosted a living room full of friends on Sunday, hosted more friends on Monday (which is supposed to technically be our day off) and then found out that Tuesday was Harvest Day at our church property. The groundnuts/peanuts were ready and the church members had a goal to finish it all in one day! That meant digging up the plants, shaking the dirt off, and then pulling each nut off the root. Guys, it was actually sooooo much fun. Josh, Carson and I stayed and helped for almost 4 hours!

Uncle Franco showing Carson how to pick the groundnuts off the plant

The Men's harvest corner

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Carson never misses an opportunity to beat on a drum!

Actually such a fun afternoon!
I can't tell you how great it feels to finally be feeling a part of the community, not only in our neighborhood but in our church too. Relationships don't develop overnight or even in a month. They take time and doing life together. And it is such a privilege to be doing life and making memories with these beloved friends.

Some other events I don't have pictures of but that also happened this week:
- praying over a young mama who'd been attacked by demons and leading her to a saving relationship with Jesus
- Bethany spending an afternoon at a burial for a neighbor's 16 year old daughter who died suddenly from an asthma attack.
- Eli finding out one of his students passed away unexpectedly and spending a whole day at the family's home and attending the burial.
- home schooling our 6th grader
- filling out home study paperwork and making phone calls for our upcoming adoption

And so on.

But we are about to catch our breath this weekend. Tomorrow, Thursday, we drive to the capital city where Isaac and Evan will fly to meet us for their 4 - day midterm break. We've rented an AirBnb apartment and we're going to relax and enjoy being a family of 6 for a few days.