Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Lately, I have been feeling pretty weak. Last week I was very ill with high fevers and other malaria-like symptoms. I felt terrible! The blood work didn't indicate any particular illness so we treated for both malaria and a bacterial infection. (It is possible to have a false negative with the malaria test.) I haven't had any fevers for several days now, but I am still feeling very weak and tired.

This morning I was taking some time to read and pray and this passage from 2 Corinthians 12 came to mind.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions,in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I have been seeing my weaknesses keenly. They don't make me feel strong. I regularly struggle with the fear that someone will be unhappy with me or that I won't do a good job. Now that I am back to teaching full time, I don't have nearly as much time for the many other aspects of ministry.

I know that some of my friends in the village wish I would come visit more. 

I wish that I had more time to spend with the GSF girls who are in my cord group. I know that every child who lives at an orphanage has experienced trauma, and I wish I could spend more individual time caring for them. 

I know that I have some students who need extra time and attention to help them understand math well, and when they don't get a concept, I often feel like a failure. 

I volunteered to organize meals and buy food for visiting teams, and I forgot about this until the last minute with a team that was here last week. It made for a crazy day trying to scramble and get the needed supplies. 

I dumped our trash in a private dumpster in Jinja and got scolded by a security guard and a police officer and paid a "fee" that felt like a bribe. Missionary fail. 

Yesterday, I realized that I still haven't gotten together all the receipts from our team that visited back in July and don't know when I am going to be able to organize all of that. 

I didn't plan ahead well enough with our finances, so I ran out of money to pay the students who have been making necklaces to earn school fees. Thankfully, the schools allow students to begin the school year before fees are paid, so they can still start back to school. 

An elderly neighbor is sick and I have been too weak to go visit him. 

I just ate a cookie for breakfast. 

I haven't written a blog post, a letter, an email or thank you notes for our support team recently. 

The list goes on. I can't keep up with all of these things, and I surely can't make everyone happy with me all the time. So here I am lacking energy, feeling physically weak and emotionally weak, trying to believe that "when I am weak, then I am strong." It certainly doesn't feel that way! But I go back to verse 9 and read that God says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." So I guess it really isn't so much about me feeling strong, but seeing that God's grace is sufficient and His power is revealed even when I don't have the strength to do any of these things. So I guess I need to stop the self-flagellation and start fixing my eyes on Jesus. Why is it that I either want to beat myself up over my weakness or I want a pity party to excuse it? Either way, I am just fixing my eyes on myself. Pray for me that instead I will lift my eyes, and fix my gaze on the One who looks at me and says...
....It is finished. (Jn.19)
....I have loved you with an everlasting love. (Jer.31)
...nothing will separate you from my love. (Rom.8)
...come to me and I will give you rest. (Matt.11)
...even when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you don't have to fear because I am with you. (Ps.23)
...I rejoice over you. (Zeph.3)
...I am your advocate. (1Jn2)
...I have given you my righteousness (2Cor.5, Phil.3)
...my grace is sufficient. (2Cor.12)

Today, I pray that I will stop looking at myself with my weaknesses and failures, and fix my eyes on Him believing what He says! 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lab sciences in rural Uganda

Teaching lab sciences to high school students has certain challenges when you live in rural Uganda. You cannot just order supplies from Carolina Biological Supply and have them delivered. Since David is teaching Anatomy & Physiology and Biology this year, he knew that he would need to do some dissections to provide the students with the full experience of these lab sciences. He also has a few students who are interested in pursuing a career in health care and wanted to equip them well for their future studies. One solution that came to David's mind was to use local animals for dissections. Our friend, neighbor and pastor raises pigs, so David bought a piglet and paid him to properly prepare it for dissection. 

David was able to help his Anatomy & Physiology students find and identify all the major organs and body systems. He then had his 4 A & P students teach the 4 Biology students what they had learned. They did a great job explaining! 

Since I am teaching Health to all of these students, I was thankful they they all were able to see the body systems that we are also currently learning about in Health class too. 

I'm so thankful for the learning opportunities we are able to provide these missionary kids. Math class doesn't usually provide as many interesting hands-on opportunities, but I am thoroughly enjoying the chance to help our students stretch their minds and develop their problem solving skills as they study mathematics. It is a blessing to see the ways our students are learning and growing! Please continue to pray for this group of missionary kids. They are amazing kids who will be equipped to serve in a variety of places and roles. We look forward to seeing the kingdom God that God will do through them in the years to come! 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Fun with science!

On Friday my Algebra 2 class was learning about inverse and joint variations. Most of the examples were from Physics so I declared it "fun with Physics on Friday morning!" But I don't have any interesting photos of us working together to solve equations. In the previous couple of weeks though, I was able to get some photos of our students having fun with science. 

We recently had the opportunity to see a partial solar eclipse. One blessing of having a roof with some holes above the science room is that it provides a great place to view a solar eclipse! Here is a photo of how we could view the eclipse on the table. 

David called the other classes into his room so we could all view this partial eclipse. He then showed the students a computer animation of an eclipse and explained how it occurs.
One of our students had eclipse glasses from the last time we viewed an eclipse, and he brought them to school for the students to all take turns using. Here is Miss Vicky helping Bobby view the eclipse.

The elementary students have been talking about predators and prey recently. They did an activity where they got the be M&M predators. Here are the 5th grade girl M&M predators. They look ready to eat their prey.

After sorting the candies, they put them into a camouflage habitat with many pieces of colored construction paper. 
When it was time for the hunt things got a little crazy...

Our high school Biology class has recently had opportunities to use the microscope to view various types of cells. Not quite as exciting as hunting for M&Ms but it is a fascinating learning opportunity.

We are grateful that our small school can provide fun learning opportunities for our students. They are a great group of kids and we are blessed to be working with them! It is our prayer that as they learn more about the world, they will be able to better appreciate and worship the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.  

Studying math and science always remind me of this hymn that I love: 
"This is my Father's world, 
and to my listening ears 
all nature sings, and round me rings 
the music of the spheres.  
This is my Father's world:  
I rest me in the thought 
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; 
his hand the wonders wrought." (Lyrics by Maltbie D. Babcock)