Wednesday, September 24, 2008

SEPTEMBER UPDATE: A SMOOTHER RIDE

Hello hello! It’s been too long since I last wrote so I am going to try and fill you in on the last few months.

Looking back over these last months, I see I have learned so much! I’ve been able to adjust to this culture, the routine, the work and feel more at home.

HOSPITALIZATION
No, it’s not what you think. Our affectionate term here for hospitality is “hospitalizing someone.” One of my newest roles on the base is hospitality. I have been helping Regina, the hospitality queen but now I will take over for her when she goes to Sudan for two months with the DTS. I’ve already been the cake decorator to her cake baking but now I will receive visitors, make up the rooms and welcome the visitors with tea. African hospitality is very important here and sometimes it’s difficult for me, as my form of hospitality is a lot less formal. But I am learning and enjoying the challenge.







LIFE SKILLS
Our Life Skills program picks up again September 22 for our last term. During the break we have been planning our trip to Yumbe, to do more HIV work and we’ve been visiting some of our students. It’s really special to visit them outside the class and meet their friends and family and be in their homes.


YUMBE
Our visit to Yumbe was a success and a big thank you to all you helped us out! We discovered that in the last year, the women we visited have received training to go out to the more remote areas to teach about HIV/AIDS. This is so encouraging to us and we are now planning how we can continue to support them in this work. They are so passionate about their communities and I am definitely encouraged to see them taking the initiative!!
We also visited the Yumbe hospital where we spoke with the administration about their HIV programs, and we visited the lab to see how they do the actual HIV test. It has piqued my interest in this area of testing. I want to see how I can get more training in this area of VCT (Voluntary Counseling and Testing).
We also visited with the youth of the local church there and hope to bring Life Skills training to them during their term breaks.


Finally, we visited a little girl called Zaira who lives in the community where we stay. She is lame, can’t speak, is unable to care for herself, is prone to seizures and can be tormented by spirits at times. I know her from the time we took our HIV/AIDS school team there in 2007. We prayed for her a lot.
Now, when we went to visit her, we discovered her crouching in the compound, naked, dirty and terribly thin and weak. We came back the next day to bathe her, we gave her some of our clothes and prayed for her again. We feel very strongly that we need to monitor how she is being taken care of. All of us were touched and concerned by the state we found her in. Please pray for her and for us to know how we can help.



EXTRAS
Some of the other things that have happened in the last few months:
-had a team from the US come and they gave me the task to orient them to the culture here.
-led worship with a team from the DTS at the Anglican Church in town. We played and sang at all three services!!
-had the whole base at Pastor Sam’s house for his son, Stephen’s, birthday and everyone danced!!

-A story I wrote about a Congolese couple here is being published in the YWAM GO Manual! You can read the story on the YWAM Arua Blog: http://ywamarua.blogspot.com

ANSWERS TO PRAYER:
-we finally got a reserve water tank for the base!!
-we made new water filters for drinking
-we had a visitor here from the UK who is studying to be an actor. He came to one of our Life Skills classes and sang some broadway tunes for them! They loved it and we had the students sing some of their favorite songs. It was an answer to how we can make our classes more creative and lively. And music is something the youth really love here!!
-our trip to Yumbe!

MORE PRAYER:
-wisdom to know how we can continue to serve the community of Yumbe
-a good finish to this term’s Life Skills Club
-the development of the community life here on the base, physically, and spiritually. Lots needs to be done still to have a healthy community in all aspects.

Thank you everyone for your continued love and support!!