Sunday, May 1, 2016

An exciting Sunday

This past Sunday was a very exciting and full day. There were moments of celebrating, laughing, crying and much praying! I'm thankful for the ways God has been working, but it was also pretty exhausting!

As you may know, right now we have a team visiting from our church in America. This team includes some of our closest friends who we have known for many years. Since this team is a combination of adults and children, we thought it would be nice to plan some times to be with our adult friends while the children are occupied. Sunday school was supposed to be that time. While the children all went to various Sunday school classes I had planned a big breakfast for my friends with egg casserole, biscuits and fruit salad. Recently David and I have not needed to teach a Sunday school class, but we received a phone call on Saturday evening asking if one of us could cover for another missionary who was sick. David volunteered to teach and I hosted the breakfast. It was a nice time, but too short as the children began to return from Sunday school and we needed to prepare to go to church. 

Since there were many of us, David drove the GSF kids we normally take, and I walked with our visitors showing them some things about our village along the way. As we left our house we realized that one of our neighbors, who has never before come to church, wanted to ride along. She needed to ride along because she was also bringing her grandson with special needs. Although she is a grandmother, she is very young in her faith in Jesus. I was so excited to have them come worship with us! 

After church and having the team join us for lunch, we went to look in on the houses that are being built for our elderly neighbors. I did a little sweeping to clean up. It is exciting that they will be moving in soon! 

After talking with our neighbors for a bit, we got to help the visiting team distribute the gifts they brought for our missionary team. It was so exciting to see the amazing generosity of our church in America sending all of these gifts! There are even more gifts intended for the various ministries! My children are so excited to have some of their favorite things to eat like Honey Nut Cheerios and cheese to make macaroni and cheese! Thank you to everyone who helped send these gifts! 

After the gift delivery, we all went to GSF family church. It was a great time of worship, and we welcomed a new little girl into our GSF family and prayed together for her. Please pray for Mary Grace as she adapts to life here. Here is a photo of Nurse Grace holding her.

After family church we were all tired so we decided that the team would eat at the guesthouse and we would eat at home and have early bedtimes. Well, that was our plan... As we reached our house a little after 7pm we heard that the tap for our neighbors in Buwundo village had broken. David walked up to see what he needed to do. One of the security guards had shut off the water to stop it from spraying everywhere, but that also shut off the water to our house. David had a plan of how to switch things around so that we could have water at our house and still keep the tap from spraying all night. This plan would mean that our neighbors would have to walk about 10 minutes to fetch not so clean water again, so we decided to help them fill their containers to have water on hand until we could get the part in Jinja to fix the tap. Since the water was spraying everywhere while we were helping them fill up, I got soaked. It was fun though, laughing with all the children while we collected water and got wet. 

As I walked back to my house in my wet clothes, we met a young girl who could not talk and was walking around GSF near our house. She appeared to be 8-10 years old. I asked around and no one knew where she was from. When I asked her she just pointed up. She was motioning that she wanted to bathe, eat and sleep. By this time it was about 8pm and dark. I had no idea what to do, so we called other missionaries. She had also gone to another missionary house and that friend came up to check on her. My children ate some snacks for dinner and helped bring things for this little girl, a basin and soap to wash her feet, bandages and neosporon for her wounds, some tea and bread since she indicated she was thirsty and hungry. Esther also gave her a jacket that she recently had outgrown since the girl indicated that she was cold. Eventually the other missionaries and security guards were able to get in touch with our social worker and the LC (local counsel) to figure out what to do. They found the village that she had wandered from and were able to take her home. Our social worker will follow up with the family to see if there are ways that we can work together to help this family care for the children and particularly this little girl. We found out later that her name is Lydia. Please pray for Lydia to know God's love through Jesus and that the social worker at GSF will know how best to work with that family as His hands and feet. 

I am thankful for the opportunities God brings into our lives each day to show his love to those around us. I am reminded how Jesus took his disciples away on the boat because they were all hungry and tired, but when he reached the other side, he found that the people had gathered there. While sometimes my response is that I just want to escape into my home in moments like this, I pray that more often my response will be like Jesus, having compassion on them. I am thankful that he has had compassion on me! Now, I'm going to try to get some rest...

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