Thursday, July 15, 2010

NICOLE’S UGANDA UPDATE JULY 2010

THE WEDDING FEAST

And what a wedding it was! On June 19, amidst the ululations of the women, escorted by my African Papa, straining to get a glimpse of my groom, I entered the tent, which served as our church. I was SO happy! Nothing could wipe the smile off my face!

We exchanged vows, rings and furtive glances until finally they pronounced us ‘husband and wife!’

Then the party really began! The reception was beautiful. There was lots of food, lots of guests, lots of laughing, dancing, and speeches.

We ended the day quite joyously exhausted and there are too many people to thank for helping us pull the day off and making sure it was special, but I will mention a few..

My bestest long term friend Shannon came all the way from Canada to be my matron of honour, along with her husband Will and they were the keepers of my sanity in the crazy days leading up to the wedding! They were the representatives for all my family back home who couldn’t make it.

My dear friends, Paul and Harriet, who I worked with in Arua, came to be part of my entourage.

Pastor Sam Abuku, also from YWAM Arua gave me away as my African Papa.

All of Patrick’s family, aunties, uncles, cousins, sisters, brothers, mothers, grandmothers, made sure we had nothing to worry about on that day but enjoying ourselves!

Friends from Arua and Jinja traveled to be there with us!

And to all of you who sent your positive thoughts and prayers our way on that day, we thank you and love you!

Now, we get down to the business of married life and learning what it even means to be ‘married.’

Which leads me to the next chapter in our update:

ANG TULAY IS BACK IN TOWN!

The team from the Philippines has returned to the YWAM base in Jinja to continue the next part of the implementation of ANG TULAY (The Bridge). If you remember, I had been working with this group from June up until early November last year.

It is absolutely perfect timing for them to be back at this time and they asked me to join them in the work again. After talking things through with Patrick and praying, we decided I would indeed join them in Jinja, as the work is a joy to me and I was unsure of what I would ‘do’ after the wedding was over and real life began. Seems God just flat out knows what He’s doing. So, I will be staying in Jinja during the weeks, and travel back to Kampala to be with Patrick on weekends, for the next two months or so.

Just as a refresher for all of you, click on this link to see what Ang Tulay and Precious Jewels Ministry in the Philippines is all about and how it got started: http://www.preciousjewels.org/angtulay.html

As for Patrick, he continues his work as IT Auditor at Pride Microfinance in Kampala but he is looking out for a change, so please pray for him.

And onto the final chapter in our update:

LIVING IN DANGEROUS TIMES:

As many of you know, there were two terrible bombings in Kampala on the last night of the World Cup Games, one of which was suspected to be a suicide bombing. A terrorist group from Somalia are claiming responsibility hoping to drive out Uganda and Burundi’s peacekeeping forces from their country. Targeting civilians who were out to watch the World Cup match is senseless and disturbing. They also targeted an Ethiopian restaurant, where people had also gathered to watch the game. 74 people so far have died as a result, including foreigners and many were injured. In the days following, more bombs were discovered before they could go off, thank God! Security has been beefed up and the US and UK have also pledged their assistance and have already arrived to help investigate the bombings. We are living in dangerous times where not all people desire peace.

Initially I was very freaked out and if I am to be honest, I am still freaked out. Patrick works in the heart of the city! But what I’ve come to realize is, as our world gets smaller, and the global community continues to grow, we are all affected. No where is safe anymore but we cannot live in FEAR. I strongly believe in a God who desires PEACE, who teaches LOVE, and who exhibits FORGIVENESS. It’s this same God who brought me to Africa and gave me a deep love for this continent, who showed me the ones here He wants me to love, who gave me Patrick to be my husband, and who says to me:

            “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare…For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord.                                                                                                                                           -Jeremiah 29: 5-7; 11-14

So, we will keep on living and loving and praying for Kampala and Uganda. I invite you all to join us.

Thanks always for your continued support, your emails, your prayers, your positive thoughts and thanks for reading my update.

I love hearing from you so leave a comment!

Much love from Uganda,
Nicole