Monday, March 23, 2015

Our Month in Photos

Hello dear friends! We've been in Uganda for 6 months now.  The first 6 months has been wonderful, terrible, exhausting, inspiring, confusing, purifying, lonely, fruitful, unpredictable and memorable. Some days we fall and others we soar. We've cried for the good and bad. We've been broken, mended and broken again and again. No matter what the next 6 months require we will give it everything we have. God is worth it. 
In photos, we'd like to give you a glimpse of what we've been up to over the last month. 

We've completed our formal Luganda training and cultural classes with our teacher and friend Florence.  We learned so much and we praise God for how He opened our minds to learn a new language in our 'old' age. :) Jade continues to practice with a local shopkeeper and Nathan uses Luganda quite often when we preaches and works with our pastors. 
In addition to pastoral training and curriculum development Nathan leads a weekly Bible study at a local university. Once a month they study in our home, play soccer with our kids and drink Jade's delicious American Kool-Aid. Nathan has been brought to tears several times seeing the men light-up learning new deeper truths. 
Jade regularly serves at the orphanage and sometimes takes the children along with her. This month she helped take 17 of the children to a local indoor activity center where the kids swam, jumped in bouncy houses and rode rides.
Sophie had her first big school project on Anne Frank.  She got to write a report, make a poster, give an oral presentation and dress up like Anne.  Nathan and Sophie worked on the project every day after school. 
She got a 150/150 on her project! We are so proud of her!

The kids participated in Spirit Week at their school. One day was Wacky Day where they dressed up crazy! Ezra won SECOND place in the entire school K-12! He sure did look wacky! :)
Every Friday the children have chapel at school. Last week Maddix's class led it and Maddix had a solo.  Even though she said she was nervous her proud parents thought she sang beautifully!
Nathan and our day guard Peter often sit and talk through things that come to Peter's mind.  He asks about things he reads in the Scriptures or hears around town.  Together they have talked through everything from philosophy to theology to Bible study and Church history.  Nathan has been so impressed with the deep desire of most Ugandans to learn.  These people are the BEST students!
Nathan often practices his sermons with Peter to make sure they make sense in the African context.  Not only are Ugandans great students, they are also fantastic teachers.  Peter and other Ugandan men and women have shared their thoughts on spiritual things with us bringing much new light to old ideas.
Nathan preached a sermon series about the Incarnation at one of our AGC churches: Kisugu.  Here he was sharing some exercises picked up from Dr. Bounds, his theology professor at IWU.  The congregation loved the motions and followed along with smiles learning how Jesus is fully God, fully man, fully One and He came down and brought me life.  Uganda is a warm country, ignore the sweaty armpits:)
After the service Nathan taught the children how to play "knockout".  The game quickly disintegrated into "shoot and scream" but they loved it!
This particular Sunday we brought one of the girls' from church home for the afternoon.  
We had a blast playing one of our favorite games with her. We call it "the water game"...creative huh?! We put our initials on the pavers, turn on the spicket and watch the water flow slowly through the cracks. We get pretty excited to see whose paver gets hit by the water first! :)
Ruby sat for 5 hours to get her hair braided by a sweet woman named Esther. 
Her hair looks beautiful and will last about 2 months. She loves it and often goes to the mirror to look at it. :)
Rainy season is officially here! We rejoice! The cool breeze feels so wonderful!  Anytime it starts to rain here our whole family runs out to the front porch hollering out "15 minutes!" and "no, 25 minutes" excitedly guessing how long until the clouds reach our house.  Needless to say, it's a big deal.
Our first visitor has arrived: Jade's mom!   She is the first of 18 in the next 6 months.  It has been such a blessing to show one of our family members where we live, what we do and who we serve!
Over a weekend we took Jade's mom 5 hours away to Sipi Falls where we hiked to 3 waterfalls and a couple caves. We are so grateful to live in such a beautiful country!
Maddix and Sophie were quite adventurous!
The girls swimming with the local children of Sipi, Uganda. 
During our hikes we saw traditional African huts, women washing their clothes in the stream and children warming themselves by a fire after bathing. So simple and so beautiful! 
 Thank you for your great investment in our lives and ministry.  We hope these pictures have helped give you a little insight into what our lives are like.  God is working and we are thankful to be included in His work.  As we pray for you please pray for us.  God be glorified in us.

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