A lot has happened since my last post...
Francis and I had the privilege of joining up with a Samaritan's Purse team from Canada in the Kamwenge district of Uganda for two weeks this last month. What a blessing that time was!
I was able to reunite with an old co-worker from Samaritan's Purse. Sarah has been working part-time for SP doing some testing on the bio-sand water filters in Kamwenge. Her and her husband Stuart allowed Francis and I to bunk at their house to keep our costs down so we could join the team with minimal expense. How incredible to see someone from home!!! I didn't realize how much i was missing home and Canada until I met up with Sarah, Stuart and this team.
During those two weeks the team learned a lot about the process of building and installing the bio-sand water filters... we were able to do a couple of hygiene fairs at local primary schools and one day even had an opportunity to vaccinate chickens, de-worm goats and help a man put a grass roof on his cattle shed (all of these people were recipients of projects of Samaritan's Purse). And to their credit I must say how impressive the work of Samaritan's Purse is in the Kamwenge district - they really have made a huge impact on many lives in and around that area by providing households with clean water, and helping many with their livestock projects as well. I hope and pray that Rays of Hope can one day make such a huge difference in the people of Kaberamaido.
For a couple days afterwards we also had the opportunity to go to Queen Elizabeth Park and see some real African wildlife on a game drive. We saw elephants, lions, hippos, kob, waterbuck, water buffalo, and warthogs (I've posted a few of these pics on facebook).
It was sad to say good-bye to the team after spending 2 cozy weeks with them, but life must go on... and so Francis and I returned to Jinja.
The days following my return were difficult, I have never really missed home so much as at that time, and even now still. I think it is especially difficult when i consider the possibility of staying for many years. A few months, a year or two, is not a big deal to give or commit to, but when you start thinking about more than that, the gravity of such a decision is a little scary. One day at a time, that is instead how i must live for now. As for next year... I don't know what is yet to come. I return to Canada in September, the plan is to stay for Christmas, and in January, either return to continue to help Francis with Rays of Hope or stay back and find a job in Canada, and do what i can to help from that end. Time will tell, and i trust that God will lead.
One thing i have come to see, is the struggle it is to have a missionary heart. No matter where you are there always seems to be a pull in two different directions. When i was in Canada my heart was longing to be here, now that I'm here part of me pulls me back to my home. I think i get along really well with the Ugandan people, and yet there are things about me they will never understand as I'm from a place so foreign to them, but then the same thing happens when i go back to Canada, though i am Canadian, the part of me that has been etched by my love of this place can only be understood by those who have spent time here, or are from here. Something to think about the next time you meet a missionary returning from the field, or a person who has just immigrated to Canada, i suppose their feeling is much the same.
Rays of Hope for Uganda, at this point, is still in the process of raising money. I thank everyone who has been helping to sell necklaces and African handbags to help us. Many hands make light work, and we are deeply grateful for all help you've given! Please pray that God would continue to bring in the finances needed to move forward into our next steps. If anyone else would like to help us in any way, please let me know.
Back in Jinja I'm trying to keep busy volunteering at Sonrise Babies home here and there and spending time with many people... my schedule isn't as busy as i'm used to in North America (and that is sometimes a huge struggle as our North American culture is all about the accomplishing of tasks), yet i hope that this time may be helping to develop my character in some way, and that my life here would really be making a difference in some of the lives of others despite what visible, concrete work i see getting done at this time.
Weekly bible study is continuing on at my house and we are learning a lot together.
Life overall is good. God is providing for me month by month for my 'daily bread' so to speak, and i trust He will continue to do so. Thank you to those of you who have been so generous and helped me out financially so i can be here at this time.
Well, that is about all for now. Off to go take out the garbage and feed the chickens.