Uganda Summer 2013
Newsletter #5 / June 4, 2013
Cole’s observations & thoughts…
Today started with waking up at around 2:00 to the sound of a rooster crowing then falling asleep again, and finally waking up to the sound of that dumb rooster and the amazing sound of Henry playing the guitar. I was pretty sluggish but I then snapped out of it when I ate the French toast and cheesy eggs made by the greatest cook I have ever met (next to my mom): Maddie. The time flew by after that because Justin had a really good devotion on patience and endurance. We could have used that lesson yesterday during field day when the kids were doing everything we kindly asked them not to do, but I’m guessing he did the devotion because through all that chaos everyone was stressed and we needed more patience and we did endure through the long day.
My grandma and I got the kindergarten class and I have to say they are officially my favorite class at Sanctuary of Grace. The kindergarteners are fast learners because they have never done stickers before until Friday last week and now they are experts on Monday. One thing that touched me was during the kid’s g-nut break I was walking back to my grandma after putting stuff in the hut for her, but one of the kids in our class walked up hugged my leg and said “Thank you.” I asked for what and the answer I received was “For the stickers and sweeties.” But back to today; we had an Easter egg hunt and inside the Easter eggs were two jelly-beans and the kids loved it. Then they were done with school, because kindergarten only has a half day, but skipping ahead a few hours the school had their class presentations and that went well.
Amos and I then went over to the Rieger’s house and watched movies with them and played with the water balloons. Most of the people went to the market and Mrs. Cindy got me a Mountain Dew, which was the highlight of my afternoon besides the presentation, which I am savoring and/or have savored for three hours. Dinner was cheesy potato soup, made by Maddie, which was out of the park. Now I’m doing this and I’m sorry about 413 words isn’t that much. I could have done more but the day flew by, and I’m about to go watch another movie with Henry and George.
My calling to Uganda was under attach this year. Every time I started to work on the plans for my trip it was like Satan was standing behind me making me doubt my commitment to God’s work. Problems with my mother’s health made me question if my decision to travel to do God’s work was valid. After talking with my family we decided that I should come and do God’s work. As I prepared to teach my P1 (1st grade ) class at Sanctuary of Grace school I would pack, then pray, then cry with frustration that at times overcame me. This was Satan working as hard as he could to make my trip a not so good idea.
When we got to Sanctuary of Grace and started to get the supplies together I was able to finally feel that the things that we were doing was the will of God. I walked into my class on Friday and saw a sea of young faces looking to me to teach them the word of God. My teachers, Jeremiah and Vincent were wonderful to work with. They helped with translating concepts that the children were not grasping. My first story was about Daniel and the Lions den. We talked about how God protected us from Satan throughout our lives. We also talked about health issues that the children faced at home with unsafe water; poor wound care and using the bathroom in the bush toilet that polluted the ground where people walked and lived.
We learned new songs for the students to sing at a campus wide presentation for chapel on Tuesday afternoon. The songs included “This little light of mine”, “The B-I-B-L-E”, “Jesus loves the little children” and “My best friend is Jesus”. The children were very enthusiastic in their learning and singing. We decided to use the song, “This little light of mine” to present at the chapel on Tuesday afternoon.
Monday morning I went back to my P1 class with great expectations for God’s work through me. My stories for this day talked about Noah and the Ark story and completed our color pages that went along with the story. We talked about nutrition and how it affects us by eating good food and drinking good water. My helpers, Amos and Hank worked with the children doing outdoor games that the children really enjoyed playing with parachutes and relay races.
In the afternoon, I worked with the Teachers talking about the importance of reading with the children every day. I made a challenge to the teachers to use as a project to get the children to go home and talk with their family and bring back a story that was important to the family and then use the writing of the story in their Reading and Writing classes. When the stories are collected, I will ask Miss Lisa to e-mail the stories to me so I can create a book for the school that is representative of their community. We worked with a flannel board with the story of Noah and the Ark for each teacher to use in their class for Bible stories and to use the animals to teach math classes.
During our workshop two of our classes were found to be misbehaving during the field day activities. They were told by the Headmaster that there would be consequences for their misbehavior, one of which meant they were unable to give their presentation at our closing chapel. This was very disappointing for the teachers who had worked so hard to plan for the children. Our teachers were very embarrassed by their children’s misbehavior, but stated that it was providence that they now are aware of the behavior problems that need to be addressed in the school. -- There is always a reason for everything that happens and we may not understand what the reason is, but will be made known in the future.
I look forward to traveling to Jinga to complete more of our challenges for God.
*I am sitting here in the dark with a torch i.e. flashlight, posting tonight's update. The power is off - everyone has turned in & I think I am going cross eyed LOL...so please forgive me for not posting any pictures. Will try to post some tomorrow. Have a wonderful day!!! I am going to sleep now - Cindy