February 17, 2017
A Marathon of an Update
I've graduated my DTS!!
I want to begin by apologizing for not making a more frequent update. Making an update was the last thing on my to do list as I wanted to get as much out of this program as possible. Not to mention writing is one of the biggest challenges I have yet to overcome.
The first three months of DTS were spent in class learning and beginning to apply what I learnt into my life. It was a time that I learnt more about myself and God and how to have a healthy relationship with Him. I also met people that will be my friends forever, and luckily, many of them live near me in BC or are coming to BC for school so I will have people around me that have experienced the things I've experienced. I grew so much during lecture phase and if that was the end of DTS I would have already returned home a different person!
(A village church that we did a conference at.)
Here I will share some of my highlights and challenges with you. Outreach phase is when everything I learnt was put to the test. Trust me, I was stretched. We did our outreach a 7 hour drive from Jinja in a village called Kaberamaido. One of the biggest things I learnt on outreach was how to do door to door ministry. It was my least favourite ministry to take part in, but it's the one thing we did the most. Door to door is quite self explanatory. We walk door to door and tell people about the good news of Jesus Christ and basically just have a conversation with them about Jesus and encourage them if they have already accepted Jesus in their hearts. This was very difficult for me, first of all, because I'm very shy when meeting new people, so it forced me to be more outgoing and friendly. And secondly the way people share the gospel in Uganda is very different then what I'm used to, so I had to alter the way I approached people when sharing the gospel. Every time we went out on door to door we went in groups of two or three with one translator and we were always in different groups, so I was able to learn many different peoples' gospel sharing styles.
My favourite door to door experience was when I met a woman who had worked as a maid for one year and never got paid for her work. But when she decided she wanted to leave, the people she worked for took all her belongings from her. She was alone, in need of a new job, and far from home. She decided that the only way that she could get home was by selling herself to a man for sex so that she could pay for the taxi ride. She was at her lowest point and didn't even feel like she could go to church or pray anymore. She hadn't shared this story with anyone until she met me and I could tell that she was carrying a heavy burden and needed someone to share it with that would listen and not judge her. After talking to her for a while and sharing freedom in Christ with her she decided to accept Jesus into her heart then I prayed for her. It looked like the heavy burden was lifted off of her and she had the strength and confidence to pray again. I learnt that only God can change people and I am just here as His messenger.
(A family that we met on door to door.)
Some of the other ministries we took part in were crusades, mercy ministry, teaching at orphanages and schools, making prison and hospital visits, and running conferences at many churches.
One of the amazing things that God did for us in Kaberamaido was show us His power through the miracles He performed. One day on door to door some of the people on our team prayed for a man who was mute and he began to speak after four years of not being able to! That is just one of the many miracles God performed.
(An all girls school we taught at.)
(A crusade we led.)
Tanzania or Rwanda?
My friend Leslie and I were planning a relaxing trip to Tanzania after our DTS, but she got very sick and had to get a surgical procedure done in Kampala. And eventually she went home to Canada to sort out her health. We had to cancel our trip to Tanzania but I still wanted to travel somewhere before I started my placement so I decided, two days before we left, to go to Rwanda with five of my DTS peers. I had an amazing time in Rwanda. Some of my highlights were being able to cook my own food in a real kitchen with an oven and a fridge, renting a car and driving it for hours through a safari, going to Hôtel des Mille Collines (there is a movie filmed in this hotel called ‘Hotel Rwanda’ about the genocide) and being able to meet one of my friend's family. Leslie is doing much better now in Canada and will be returning to Uganda as soon as she feels well enough to fly.
During my outreach I realized that I have a passion for prostitutes and am interested in helping them recover and move on from their past. There is an organization near Jinja called “Women at Risk” which works with these women and their children, teaching them about God and giving them new skills to begin their own businesses. I will be getting to know the women, leading devotions, making games and crafts to do with the children, making home visits for those who have completed the program, and many more odds and end in the office. This organization is a bit too far from YWAM Hopeland, so on Feb 5th I moved to YWAM Torch so the commute won't be as long. I'll be working with Women at Risk for at least two months and might move on to work at a babies home in a different part of Uganda.
During my time in Uganda I have had Typhoid, a parasite and a worm but it was nothing that a few antibiotics couldn't fix and nothing has kept me sick for too long.
Things Uganda has taught me:
•To be more hospitable. Whenever you go to anyone's house they are so welcoming and generous even when they have little and they don't even know you. This is something I want to take home with me. So often in my western culture I become self centred and don't want to go out of my way to help others out or invite strangers to my house.
•To speak Ugandan English. It's definitely a different dialect. I might come home speaking very differently and definitely much slower.
•To butcher chickens and goats. Most of the meat we ate on outreach was butchered by our team.
•To cook with a charcoal stove on outreach. (Not as easy as I thought it would be)
Please pray for…
•Wisdom in deciding what to do after this year in Uganda
•Safe travels to and from Women at Risk
•That I would continue growing, learning and being challenged
•That I would develop good relationships with the women and children at Women at Risk
(Me with a few of the street kids that would meet me every day as I walked to church on outreach.)
I miss all of you very much and want to thank you for all of your support in friendship and prayers, it is really appreciated! I am excited to see how God will use me in this next phase. I would love to hear from you, so if you have any questions or comments, please contact me. Thank you for reading to the end and may God bless you!
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