Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A new school year!

We are more than half way through our school year teaching the missionary kids, but the Ugandan school system operates on the calendar year, at least mostly. This year the start of school, which usually begins in late January, was delayed until after the presidential elections in late February. They have now been back to school for a couple weeks. (No, the 180 days of school required in the states, are not required here.) Students have had a lot of free time on their hands being out of school since November or early December of last year. One benefit of that free time is that students and parents have had more time to work to earn money for school fees. 

Our neighbors and friends here in Buwundo village have used some of their free time to make purses, headbands, and necklaces. I agreed to buy these items and save a portion of their earnings for their school fees. Some of these kids used to walk 30 minutes down the road to a school where they were being taught another religion and the students do not perform well on national test. Others were not going to school at all. Now these students are in the top school in the district, receiving a Christian education in their own village. We are so thankful for the many of you who have helped make this possible either through buying their crafts or supporting our ministry so that we can buy them. 

I am so thankful that these neighbors and friends will have the opportunity for a good education that helps them learn more about Jesus! Please pray for the older students in particular who are trying to catch up to grade level as they switch schools. 

Also pray for these little ones. I am thankful that they are able to begin their education here at GSF learning about Jesus from a young age. Please pray for our Ugandan teachers who are teaching and discipling many students! We are excited to see what God will do this school year at GSF!


Saturday, February 20, 2016


As many of you know, our primary ministry here is teaching missionary kids. This year we are teaching 13 students from K through 11th grade. (See the photo above.) We have recently been approached by another organization asking if we could also teach their MKs. In addition, we know of other families who might be interested in sending their kids to our school if we were open for additional students. We have been praying about this possible expansion which could more than double our number of students. Currently the GSF leadership team is discussing the possibility. 

If we are going to expand our ministry in this way, there are two significant hurdles to overcome. The first hurdle is that we will need additional teachers. Please pray with us that if God wants us to expand our ministry to other missionary kids, that He would bring teachers to work with us. As it is, we are currently dividing our instruction by subject area and we are each teaching 7 grade levels. In math, it is actually 8 different levels since not all students in a grade are at the same place. We are ok to do that when we just have a couple students in each class, but if the numbers increase, it would not be reasonable to continue with this load. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining us, please contact me ASAP. It does take some time to work out the details of getting someone here. 

Our second obstacle is space. If we are going to double our number of students, we will also need more classroom space. We are in discussions about the best way to solve that problem. Please pray with us for God to lead and provide what we would need to expand if that is what he wants. We are grateful for your prayers as we seek to follow however God calls us to serve. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Election time!

In the USA primary elections are underway to determine the presidential candidates. Here in Uganda we are preparing for a presidential election too! Although both countries are having presidential elections, there are quite a few differences.

The first difference is term limits. In the US, President Obama is not running again because he has reached his term limit. In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni has been in office for 30 years and is running again. He has been the only president to serve a full term since Idi Amin. He has brought much stability in comparison, so many have wanted him to remain in power. But this time there is a strong opposition candidate, Kizza Bisegye. Some of my Ugandan friends actually believe that he should have won last time if the elections were free and fair. I don't know; I'm just learning about all of this. 

While talking with some Ugandan friends, I realized that I had the privilege of growing up assuming that every vote counted and elections should and would be free and fair. Some of my friends here in Uganda have talked about fearing going to the polls. Many also believe that the election results may not actually reflect the votes. Even when I disagree with the results of elections in America, I am thankful for the privilege of having faith in the system. I'm thankful that I never feared that I was too unsafe to go to vote. I didn't know anyone who was killed in riots protesting the results of elections. I didn't ever fear going to cities where campaign rallies were happening. I even attended some. This has not been the experience of many of my friends here.

In the news about Uganda, you might read about riots and tear gas, but none of that is anywhere near us. We don't have a vote here and we don't have any reason to go into town. We have done enough shopping to stay in our rural village for the next few weeks. We are hours away from Kampala and have no plans to join any demonstrations. We feel very safe where we live in the middle of sugarcane fields and rural villages. Here is a photo of David on our front porch watching the sunset. Peaceful moments...

Our hope and prayer is that the elections will be free, fair and peaceful. I am reminded that my hope is not in political leaders or parties, but my hope is in the God who created and sustains the whole world.
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7
The God we trust is the God who loves his people so much that he sent his Son to take our sin upon himself to bring us into His family. We are in His hands. While we want to be wise in staying out of crowds and places where there might be riots, our ultimate hope is in the Lord. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

100 days of school!

Today was our 100th day of school this year. Some of our high school students baked to celebrate the occasion.

We had some other fun activities like....
...100 jumping jacks.
...counting 100 toothpicks.

...building towers with those 100 toothpicks and glue.
...counting to 100 by 1s, 2s, 4s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 25s, and 50s. 
...seeing how far 100 steps will take us and 

...building towers with 100 index cards. 

It was a fun day celebrating! Happy 100th day of from our MK school! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Tonight I am celebrating! I have been praying for over a year for some of the women I have been getting to know in Buwundo village. We have been reading the Bible together for the past 6-7 months. 

Tonight we were planning to read John chapter 20 about the resurrection of Jesus. As we were waiting for some of the women to join us, several teenage girls who were fetching water stopped to see what we were doing. One of the women invited them to come read the Bible with us. One of the girls turned out to be from our church who also attends school at GSF. She has very good English and has translated for me in children's church at times. I was excited to see her join us. 

We read the chapter together. The chapter ends by saying that "these things are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you will have life in his name." I asked if they believed these things. They all said yes. I asked if they wanted to ask Jesus to be their Saviour. They seemed to have some confusion, so I asked the teenage girl from church to help me explain and translate. After talking for a while to make sure they all understood what I was asking, they all said that they wanted to pray and ask Jesus to forgive their sins and be the Lord of their lives. All of these women and some of the teenagers prayed with me. (A few weeks ago our pastor, Jonathan, wrote out a prayer of salvation for me to study in Luganda.) 

There were a few women who couldn't be there tonight, but one of the women plans to go and pray with them if they want. I am so thankful for the way God is at work in their hearts, and I just want to have a party celebrating!  I am grateful for the many of you who also have been praying for these women! God can do amazing things! Please continue to pray for us as we will continue studying the Bible together growing in faith.