Learning the Ugandan Way

Greetings!

The trip to the baby home was great! We got a tour of the facilities. John was especially interested in the biofuel made from cow dung. There are children from newborn to the age of 4. It is run by the sweetest, most humble nuns I have ever met. It is a tough job. Lilly and Jackson loved holding the babies until they found out that they did not wear diapers and could get peed on at any minute.

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Week 2 has flown on by. There is so much to share.  I wish I could update you daily, but the internet at the compound is not so great. So, we have come to town today to run some errands and get our mail (email that is).  I would love to post more pics and tell your more, but this takes forever. Think dial-up, calling cards and waiting drivers.

This past week was full of learning. There are days we go to bed exhausted from the listening and learning. The next morning God’s mercies are new and we begin again.

Early in the week (Monday) John and Jackson did hut-to-hut evangelism. It was a very neat experience for them. There happened to be a funeral in one of the houses in the village. John had taught the men’s Sunday School class at church the day before and 2 of the men from his class were at the funeral because it was one of their family members who passed away. The men came up and thanked John for his lesson on Sunday because it had been about learning to thank God in difficult circumstances. They said, “Yesterday when you taught us we did not know that we would need this lesson today.”  John was very encouraged. Then this Sunday the music leader told the whole congregation that his son was sick last week and he too remembered John’s lesson on being thankful in difficult circumstances and his son was healed. Wow!

 

Lilly and I stayed back at the compound and “worked”. The cooks taught us how to separate the chaff from the rice and pick out the rocks. You can buy this already done for you, but it costs a good bit more. I also helped the sweet laundry ladies hang sheets on the line. Mama Christina taught me how to cook Chapati (Ugandan tortilla bread).

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We washed clothes for the first time. Paul, the laundry guy, washes our clothes once a week, but your unmentionables are just that, unmentionable. So, we do those ourselves. The kids love doing this. We shall see how long this lasts.

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Lilly’s favorite thing to do during the week is go to the school and sit in the library with the beautiful librarian, Favor. Jackson’s favorite thing to do is chase the chickens and baby goats. He finally caught a chicken.

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My favorite thing to do is prayer and praise time with the children before bedtime. It is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. It makes me think how much more amazing will it be in heaven when we praise the Lord all together with the angels. To hear these children sing and watch them worship is truly unexplainable.

Last Friday our children at Lulwanda participated in a sub-district music competition at a neighboring school. It was fantastic and HOT. Each school had to do several different performances including a poem, songs, skits, drum solo and instrumental. The theme this year was malaria. The awesome part is that we won! Now, this Friday they go to the next level of competition.

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The most difficult thing for all 4 of us has been learning the culture as far as acceptance goes. Meaning, which things are acceptable here and which are not? What is expected of us and what is not? Are we being rude and inconsiderate without knowing it? Here are some examples:

– The kids love to play with Lilly and love to hear her talk. They do not really listen to what she is saying because they are to busy giggling at how cute she sounds. Sometimes, Lilly thinks they are making fun of her. One day she tried to teach them the game “Old Maid”. She came in the house very frustrated and said, “Mom, I tried to teach them the rules and they just keep laughing at me.” I told her maybe they could not understand her accent and she said, “Mom. I told them the rules in English, Spanish and Ugandan.”

– Jackson does not understand why all of the boys hold hands here, even the men. So, when they come up and grab his hand, he gets embarrassed and starts acting like a nut. They do not understand that.

– John does not understand why everyone throws trash on his nice clean lawn.

– The women do not understand why sometimes I do not cook a full meal at lunch. They cannot believe we eat just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and like it.

I am going to end with the market. The market is where we go to buy fresh fruits, veggies, rices, beans, and anything else you can imagine. The first time we went there I was very overwhelmed. Jackson was thinking how he wanted to open up a booth. “I just need to figure out what I want to sell”, he said. The part that stuck out to me the most was this:

There were these children walking around all over the market with little plastic buckets. I asked someone what they were doing and I was told that they were gleaners. They go around to all of the different “booths” and pick up out of the dirt any beans and rice that get dropped by shoppers and sellers. The Bible talks about gleaners. “When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap to the very edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You must not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident; I am Yaweh your God.” Leviticus 19:9-10

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Here is how you can pray for us this week:

– Continued good health

– Our adjustment to the culture to be fluid

– Continued relationship building with the children and staff

– Discernment for meetings with local officials and pastors

– Clear vision of what God wants us to do here in the future

We love you all and again thank you for your continuous prayers for our family. Thank you for reading our blog and caring about us!

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14 thoughts on “Learning the Ugandan Way

  1. I cannot imagine how tough the adjustment is there but your seeing scripture come-to-life has to be the most affirming message in your lives. Glad you all are healthy and especially that the kids are adjusting. As a parent, I am sure this is one of your biggest concerns. God bless and be with you!
    Greg Banks

  2. Bobbi, John, Jackson and Lilly, dad and I are so very proud of you, sounds like God is leading you all in the direction you need to be, he is so ever loving and kind. Follow your hearts,he`ll lead you to your right paths. We love you all so much and miss you but we know in our hearts God has great plans for you, and you will be all fine. See you all soon. May God keep you in the palm of his hand, safe secure and well. Love, mom and dad

  3. I know you guys have so much to think about and take in so I will follow-up later with another note. Please know that we are praying for you regularly and love following your posts. Our Missions Conference at First Pres Waynesboro is September 7-8, 2013. We would like your family to come if it can be fit into your schedule and share your experience and plans with us. Your presentation would be during the Sunday School hour on Sunday, September 8. I am thinking you will receive many invitations to make presentations when you return home so I wanted to get ours in early J Pray about it and we will talk more later.

    We love you guys,

    Bob and Donna

  4. taking a moment to catch up on your activities … sitting here reading your words and seeing God completely and totally in control! Thanks for the reality check and the reminder that it’s about HIM and not about me! Our thoughts, love and prayers are with you!! Tell Lilly that Sammi says HELLO!! :0)

  5. We love seeing your updates. Thanks for including pictures when you can. We are glad you are enjoying your time there. We will keep praying for you. Thank you for sending specific prayer requests. We can’t wait for you to get home so we can hear more! Love all of you! Give the kids big hugs for us please.

    PS: Tell Jackson I will hold his hand when he gets back! -Ben

  6. John, Bobbi, Lilly and Jackson

    First, we miss you all, especially when we were in Panajachel, Loyde asked about you all. It sounds like you all are learning fast on serving the Lord there. I know you will do a great job, your hearts are in it and God will show you the way. Again, we all miss you. We will keep you in our prayers. Love you, Ed and Aggie

  7. You can do it. I stopped eating meat after our first time at the market in Guate. One thing that’s true God humor however, just as soon as you think you figure one thing out- another one comes along! I’m pleased to see that Lilly now speaks enough Spanish to explain things to her new friends. She’s a fast learner. She must get that from her Momma! Can’t wait to talk when you get back. Lee and I have been praying for God to speak through you and to sustain you while you are there.

  8. It is so exciting to see how God is working in your lives as you obey his calling. We are praying for you!!

  9. I am in awe of your travels and your love of the work for God the Father. You are giving us much to think about in our own lives. We pray that God keeps you all safe, happy and secure in all your work. God Bless!

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