Wednesday, October 12, 2016

JUNE 2016 (Catching Up)

We started June with a church group of 10.  There were too few for a bus, but too many for one van, so we ended up renting another van, and I drove for two weeks solid - much, much more than I usually drive.  And much to my family's delight (those siblings of mine who say they never see pictures of me), this post will include many of me since one of the ladies in the group took several, understanding that the mom is usually the one behind the camera.

One of the greatest joys I have is teaching.  The Ladies Sunday School is a special delight, and I will greatly miss them on furlough.  As you can see, it is actually ladies and babies since we don't have a nursery.

Another joy I have is being the church pianist (or keyboardist).  Our children, also, contribute to the music of our church with Shae-Lynn playing her guitar and Stanley his violin.  We hope to get some instruments for the others to learn to play, too.

Babies are always so much fun.  However, living in Uganda, if you hold a baby, you expect to be wet on.  Most babies do not have plastic pants and are just swaddled in toweling or blankets.  This baby was born in the deep village just the day before we visited.

One thing we stress in our churches is discipleship, and what fun it is to teach.  One Sunday I came to Annet's door, she took one look at me, went back inside her room, came out with a Bible and said, "I am ready for you to teach me."  I was really thrown into surprise mode.  I noticed her Bible was one of the ones we distribute, so I asked if perchance we had already met and how she got a Bible.  We had not met before, but one of the men of our church had given her a Bible when he was preaching in the prison.  Being a guard on duty, she was listening to his preaching and expressed her desire to have a Bible of her own.  She had been saved many years before and had such a learning spirit.  I was sad to have only been able to meet with her about three times before she was transferred to another town.

With our church group visiting, we tried to visit as many of our village churches as possible.  One trip we were all looking forward to was to the Ssese Islands.  However, less than a mile from the landing dock where we would catch the ferry, we found the road was completely washed out.  Since we were loaded with John and Romans booklets for the islands, we opened up the boxes and distributed them to the hundreds of people stranded on the road.

Although our church's anniversary is in May, we delayed the celebration so that the church group could be a part of such an important service.  The auditorium was packed with many outside.  Several visitors came, including a prison guard I had invited.  Pastor Welder preached a stirring salvation message.

A trip to Africa isn't complete without seeing some wild animals, right?  One way to see many of them is on a boat ride.  The group was especially delighted to some lions, which isn't always a guaranteed sighting.

After we took the church group to the airport, we picked up more people.  We geared up for our Father's Day service and presented each father in attendance with a panga.

Many years ago, I led Joyce and her daughter Monica to the Lord.  Since then, I have faithfully invited Phillip, the husband/father.  Of course, every week there has been the excuse of work.  However at the beginning of the year, he promised me that in 2016 he would come.  I was worried that he would wait until after I had left on furlough. During Sunday School on Father's Day, I asked Joyce, "Did your husband come today?"  When she replied in the affirmative, I couldn't believe it and actually repeated my question to make sure she understood.  It was difficult staying focused as I taught the lesson, and then I nearly ran into the auditorium to find Phillip sitting on the back row.  He hasn't yet returned, but at least he has "got his feet wet."

We eventually did make it to the islands this month.  The waves were higher and more choppy than Keith has ever seen.  Last rainy season was very outpouring, so Lake Victoria is six inches higher than normal.  This is hurting the fishing industry, which is what most islanders depend on for income.  We had a great service in one of the villages and distributed many John and Romans booklets.

Thank you for praying for us and for the many people we reach with the Gospel.

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