Sorry I haven't written in awhile, but I have not had consistent Internet or computer access. But, I received my new laptop this week!
With my new laptop, which my church, Westport Community, graciously purchased for me!
The past week has been a busy one. Last Tuesday I came from the island and then on Wednesday joined a group of six SHIM members in traveling to the district of Busia, to a small village area, where we held a three-day youth seminar. Our theme verses were 2 Timothy 2:20-21.
"Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work."
We centered our messages around this theme and although we didn't coordinate our messages, God did. : ) I shared about Joseph and the journey God took him on to mold him into an honorable vessel. The youth seemed to receive and be encouraged by what we shared with them. We were graciously and warmly hosted in the home of the pastor and welcomed by those of the village and church.
The church where we held the youth seminar. As you can see, it is not yet completed.
We were near the border with Kenya and at one point, saw some of its hills. The three of us girls on the team returned to Jinja Saturday afternoon, via a dusty, hot and crowded taxi. These particular taxis remind of a Volkswagen bus, except smaller. On the side they say, "Licensed to carry 14 passengers," though they often carry 18-20 people.
This past week we welcomed Andy, Karina and David Smith. Everyone was so excited to have the SHIM family reunited again! : )
Everyone is amazed at how David has grown. Of course, he is a charmer with his sweet personality and three-toothed grin. : )
David Andrew Smith - almost 8 months old.
On Wednesday, I and a friend, Katie from America, ventured to one of my favorite scenic spots in Uganda - Bujagali Falls. It is not far from Jinja and is a beautiful spot as the Nile River rushes down rocks on its journey to Lake Victoria. It is a favorite recreation spot for kayakers and whitewater rafters. I went here three times on my last trip and took so many pictures that my family became tired of them. : )
Me at Bujagali Falls
I am now back on Lingira Island with most of the SHIM team and a couple of American visitors, including Katie from South Carolina who is doing a two-month internship to earn her master's degree in public health, and Shanna Sullivan, from my hometown of Oregon. Shanna will also be staying until March and has been doing a variety of things since she arrived at SHIM. We discovered her talent for mending and have been paying her for her work with "special food items" (like Rice Krispie treats) not normally found in Uganda. : )
I am excited to begin my work with SHIM's child development program and will be dedicating my time in the coming months to better linking sponsors with their students and helping organize the program's other aspects.
I wish you all could see the beauty of Uganda. Pictures don't do it justice, but I will close with this sunset photo, taken from the nearby camp of Kyoya. Blessings from Uganda!
Sunset on Lingira Island