After being here for about 2-1/2 years, in many ways we are just now getting settled in when it comes to solidifying the areas of ministry the Lord has called us to here. We are finally leading our first marriage conference here this weekend. This was something we did in America for several years but getting the conference material more formatted for this culture has been a chore. We are excited to see how this one goes & then begin taking it elsewhere; namely to Kampala to our dear friends at Kyampisi (Rock Hill) church.
This conference comes just after we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary! We were low key just splurging for lunch! When we think back on those 10 years & the 3-1/2 years of friendship before that, we are amazed at the journey the Lord has had us on. I am astounded that God would allow me to have such an amazing woman.
She is tirelessly ministering to people all the time and in so many ways. I could never have ever gotten a better wife & ministry partner.
We attended our first wedding a few months back at Kyampisi where I spoke the next day on the roles of husband and wife. What is funny to see in the ceremony is that the bride and groom never smile. You would think they hated each other or it was the last place in the world they wanted to be! They were an older couple and they were so cute.
The ceremony comes after what is called an Introduction which is a cultural ceremony that lasts a whole day & the cost is crazy. Many people live together because the Introduction is expected and & the groom’s parents get embezzled because the bride’s parents use it as an opportunity to make money and acquire material goods like cows and goats.
Life here comes with so many discomforts, inconveniences & difficulties and yet, we know we are blessed beyond measure. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Psalm 37 isn’t talking about stuff and selfish things; it speaks of what happens when our wills conform to God’s will. We find ourselves taking delight in what He wants us to do and having a passion for it. When I am teaching my students, I face the challenge of their comprehension and English skills not being what we would expect in America. Yet, I love learning HOW to teach them.
After a while you get used to the difficulties and they become normal.
One of the things that we don’t adjust too well with is the noise. There are noise ordinances but the police don’t enforce them so people will blast music all night long and some of the Christian churches will conduct services lasting until 3AM screaming and shouting and singing. What is sad is that they are merely disturbing the peace and making the neighbors mad & keeping them awake; not leading people to Christ.
They argue that it is their mandate to push the Gospel but that would constitute by force.
While Debra continues working with FMLK & Claire, she also ministers through food and is constantly baking something. I get to be the lucky recipient of the deliciousness. As has been obvious to those who view Facebook, I started building furniture which is hilarious since I have never done anything like it before. I have been able to build some solid pieces for our house.
I am using it as a ministry opportunity as well. I just completed a piece for our landlady who we love and minister to.
I am self taught which means I look at how furniture is built and try the same things. Sadly, I build better things than many of the carpenters here. One challenge is that I don’t have access to Home Depot. Lumber (They call it timber) here is improperly stored at “The Yard” so everything is warped and the boards are just cut; not planed or anything.
So it takes me a lot of time to find pieces with the various venders in The Yard and then I have to take it over to the planer dude with my order to plane it and cut any pieces that need it.
At the end of the day, we are Americans living in Africa; much different than our homeland but in some ways like our homeland used to be. As we watch the political and social issues in the US, we are in a land where we can easily share the Gospel and people aren’t focused on the hatred we see back there. Everyday is a day when I wake up and I am amazed to be here & regardless of how hard it is, Jesus is bigger & carries us through! If you would like to partner with us financially, please click here & it will take you to our giving page. Or you can reach it through the “Donate & Links” tab above.