"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

School of Evangelism Day 2

Yesterday was day 2 of the School of Evangelism.  In the morning, the teachers presented more on how to evangelize and in the afternoon, the people went to the local village of Mooni (a lot of the kids that attend our church and play on our compound are from there) and evangelized.  It was a very exciting time!  

Today was also Eric and my 14th wedding anniversary!  What a blessing to be married and serving God together!  Eric said a lot of sweet things today and I love to hear it.  :)  But one of the best things he said to me today was when I talked to him on his phone on his way home from Mooni, "Dianna, I was talking to three men and I looked up and Katelyn [our 11 year old] was sharing the gospel with a whole circle of people.  She had the attention of everyone on the compound!"

Ah, there is no greater joy than to hear how my children are being filled with the Holy Spirit and serving him!  She had a glowing countenance while she folded her laundry last night and recounted for me about all the conversations she had with the people.  We pray that God will continue the good work that he has begun in her heart!

One of the more serious things Eric said to me last night, as we were falling asleep was, "Great things are happening today and this week.  We need to be prayerfully prepared for the attacks of Satan now."  Yes...experience tells me that that is all too true...we would humbly ask that you join us in prayer!  We are in such desperate need of God's grace!

Monday, May 26, 2014

School of Evangelism

Today we were blessed to host day one of a 3-day school of evangelism, sponsored by Africa Christian Training Institute and organized by the OPCU.  There were more than 200 Christians, many of them pastors and church leaders, who attended.  We were blessed by the teaching of Dr. Henry Krabbendam, who was our professor many years ago at Covenant College.  He has been coming to Uganda for 30 years.  We are so thankful for this opportunity to grow in our passion for evangelism as well as a solid foundation in the gospel.  By nature we have a "cobra heart", a "pit-latrine past", and a "poison life", but God provides a new heart (regeneration), a clean record (justification), and a new life (sanctification).  These blessings are organized by God the Father, paid for by Jesus Christ, and delivered by the Holy Spirit.  This is the message that we have the great privilege and duty to tell everyone.  Please pray for the evangelism that will be taking place over the next two days in connection with this conference.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Teacher Training

And exciting development among four of the OPCU village churches, is that they have started small schools.  For most of them, they are doing Nursery (pre-K), primary 1 and primary 2 (grades 1 and 2).  We are very excited at the small beginning we are seeing with Christian education.  We hope and pray that the Lord will bless these schools.

Eric and I have, for some time, seen the need for teacher training.  While we knew that we couldn't do a lot, we did want to do some.  So this past Saturday, we organized an afternoon class at KTC.  Eric taught on what it means to have a Christ filled school...that it is more than working to produce good smart kids, but that Christ should be at the center of everything so that Christ's kingdom is built.  I taught on the academic side of things.  I used the classical education model to give them the "Tools of Learning"...namely, "memorizing the facts" (grammar), "understanding" (logic) and "speaking" (dialectic).  I presented it, not as a developmental pattern, but rather as a way that a child can learn any subject..."memorize the facts"; "understand" how they fit together; and then "speak" back to the teacher what he has learned so that the teacher can check for understanding.

We thought that it went really well!  The Ugandan way of teaching is very very different than what we have in America.  Some of the information that we gave them, they really understood, some of it was very new to them, but they were eager to understand, and some of it was quite a stretch, but at least the ideas were presented and seeds were planted.  All in all, though, the teachers seemed very receptive and eager to have more days like this.  

Please pray for these schools.  Pray that their small beginnings will be blessed by the Lord...both spiritually and physically.  They are very poor schools.  The idea of a distinctly Christian education...bringing Christ into every subject...is also relatively new.  Please pray that God's will pour out his grace upon these teachers and schools.

A Great Date

This past Thursday, Eric and I went on a date.  Our plan was to go run some errands in the late afternoon, end with dinner at our favorite new restaurant and make it back in time to put the little ones to bed.  As we were sitting having our dinner, Eric said, "Let's drive up Mt. Wanale!"  So we paid our bill and took off.  As we were driving up, we saw a beautiful rainbow.  We didn't have time to make it all the way to the top and back before dark, so about half way, we found a spot where there weren't too many people and found a rock to sit on.  We watched the rain clouds blow and send their blessings to the earth below.  We prayed that God's glory would shine in our lives...even through our struggles...just like the sun through the clouds.  Then we left for home feeling refreshed and blessed with God's goodness to us and with each other.

Since this was an impromptu trip, I didn't have my nice camera with me, but I did snap come pictures on my phone.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Baby Pigeon

Ever so cute...

...and brave...

...to leave its nest...

...when it's most clearly at the bottom of the food chain...

Hard at work...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Khamoto OPCU

Today we worshiped in the village at Khamoto OPCU.  As usual, it was wonderful to be able to worship and spend time with the saints here.

Don't worry...not going liberal on you by sticking our daughter up at the pulpit...just taking advantage of the cultural acceptance of it being okay for pastor/daddies to take care of their little fidgety ones.  Of course one could possibly argue the previous statement if I told you that while she was up there, she was also doing quite the dancing moves during the praise and worship time.  ;-)

After church these dear ladies cooked us lunch.  So yummy!

Talitha with her buddy, Ivan...

We were so thankful for the sunshine today!  Our church in Mbale has been meeting outside for a year and a half now and never once has it rained on a Sunday morning!  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and especially Saturday had been so wet!  It had rained morning, noon and night...but the Lord was faithful to bring blue skies this morning!

As we were leaving, I came around the corner and found Katelyn pumping water...maybe partly to be a help, but mostly because the kids think its fun!  I'm sure the mamas don't mind a break though!  :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Our Visitors...

Our friends who come to play...

Find styrofoam in our garbage pit and turn it into guns...much to the making of many messes...

Find Tamarinds from our tree and, using empty bottles that they also found in our garbage pit, turn them into "makwage juice"...the local "kid brew"...don't worry...there's nothing alcoholic about it...although admittedly, we did a double take and few sniff tests to make sure when we saw it for the first time...they all (my boys included) love this stuff, although I have yet to figure out why...

Find birds at the lot next door while waiting for us to open our gate and then gift them to us...a fun treat for a couple days.

Seven years home...

May 5th marks seven years for these precious guys!  So thankful for all the work that the Lord has done to knit our family together and make it a just a small taste of heaven.  We praise God for his grace in our lives and had a great time celebrating with milkshakes at our favorite restaurant in town.

I love my gang!

Of boys and mud...

This is what can happen when my daily nap coincides with the daily rainstorm.

The boys were only mildly disappointed to hear that their subsequent shower also happened to coincide with a power outage and therefore no hot water.  ;-)