Sunday, March 11, 2018

Running Club

Our Village of Eden school has started weekly clubs.  We have Soccer, Basketball, Netball, Volleyball, Computer and Running.

For the month of March, the kids get to rotate around and try a different sport each Wednesday to see what they like best.  Then, in April, they have to choose one and stick with it - at least til the end of term I.  This past week, I had 7 kids.

The Coaches - Running, Soccer, Netball, Volleyball, Basketball
I am the Running Club Coach.  Just call me RCC. (Actually, don't).  For the picture above, Heather told the coaches to hold the ball of their sport.  Well, I couldn't just stand there empty handed, so I held my running shoe.

I know running is not as exciting as the other sports, but it can be!  So, I am trying to make it fun.

First, I timed them on how fast they could run a kilometer (6/10 of a mile).  The ones that really enjoy running were excited.  A few were skeptical and one just flat out refused to run (the one on the right int he photo above).  It is obvious she will not choose running as her sport - she will probably end up in computer class.

The average time was 5 minutes for one kilometer.  One kids was running in his shoes, but stopped mid way to kick them off - they were slowing him down.  (Uganda life)

After a timed trial, I talked to them about the importance of keeping our bodies fit and healthy because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  They seemed to be getting me because they were all nodding their heads in agreement.

Then, we played the best running game ever - capture the flag.  Nothing like sprinting, dodging and lunging to get that heart rate up. They loved it. (I did realize during the instructions that most did not understand English, so I had one boy translate -so much for the Bible verse earlier)  

We laughed.  I fell. They laughed.  We ran. We sprinted.  We gasped for air.  It was a great time!

This week, I have 20 kids in my group.  Should be great!

Rioting in the streets!

I woke up at 4:45 this morning to a "bam, bam, bam. . . "  and thought, "Mom is walking on the treadmill.  That's great!"
Then I realized that Mom is two continents away, in the USA and I am in Uganda.
"Bam, bam, bam, woo hooooo!"
"Oh, it is a party, funeral, remembrance day, wedding, or something else."
Why do Ugandans feel the need to play the music so loud and all night long?
It is at least 2 - 3 times a week that we have music all night long - loud, annoying music.
My questions each night as I try to sleep through the noise:
1.  Why does it have to be in the middle of the night?
2. Who is awake to attend these things?
3.  Why does it have to be so loud?
4.How do the children sleep?
I have some other thoughts, like cutting the wires to the speakers or . . . . we won't put those thoughts out to the public.

Anyway, Heather and I got up to run at 5:30 AM.  We were walking to the front gate where we either go left or right down the road.
 Lightening was flashing.
We also realized there were two parties going on - one to the left of the property and one to the right.
 I expressed my dislike in running around drunk people.
She pointed out the lightening.
 I mentioned the possible rioting in the streets. . .
We turned around and went back home.  Maybe tomorrow

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

God's House is Full!

This is God's house.  Not Helping Hands.  Not Village of Eden.  It is God's house.

God's House is full at the Village of Eden every day! 
(But there is always room for more)

We use the VOE church facilities 7 days a week.  Monday through Friday, every single room is being used.

The Sunday School rooms double as offices and classrooms.

Today, some of our Social workers were handing out uniforms to our Village of Eden Primary school students.  Through our sponsorship program, they receive school fees, a uniform, shoes and lunch each day.

It can be a bit difficult matching up the student to the uniform the tailor made for him or her!  This year we used some new tailors for the VOE school.  They didn't know to put names in the uniforms.  (oh no!)

The Upper Primary classes -3rd to 7th grade - also use the Sunday School rooms - which serve as classrooms during the week.

These children are very fortunate to have a classroom with walls, a roof and desks.   Many schools in Uganda struggle with these basics.

Our children also receive books to use for classes, individual instruction and high quality teaching.  We also take every opportunity to share the Gospel.  We have had many students receive Christ through our school.

 Heather is doing a great job running the school.  She is constantly training, counseling, encouraging and mentoring the teachers and students in order to first bring Glory to God and secondly to have a great school.

Finally, the sanctuary itself is used for our Nutrition Program.  Mothers of malnourished babies come 3 times a week to learn life skills such as sanitation, proper nutrition, hygiene, gardening, etc.  They also hear the Gospel and are being taught from the Bible.

These women are receiving help for their babies.  But, we are also working to change their lives - physically with education and food and spiritually through the Gospel.  Many of the women that have been in our program have received Christ.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

I stomped her foot!

Net ball!

The men play football. The women play netball.  It is an intense game.  Someone always gets hurt.  Someone always falls.  Someone always gets elbowed or kneed.

Heather and I tried out for the VOE Netball team yesterday!  The church is starting a team to compete with other community teams and they wanted Heather and I to play.

I said yes!

First, I love to play team sports.  Secondly, it is a great way to get to know some of the local women and to build stronger relationships with my housemothers who are on the team.    Third, well, it is fun!

Claudia took pictures and acted as a cheerleader. 

Edith is the ref and also my housemother supervisor.  She REALLY enjoyed blowing that whistle.  Too much power!

Edith was explaining that it was a friendly game.  So glad she cleared that up!  I would hate to see a game that was not friendly.  I have bruises. . . .

This is Catherine.  She was on the opposing team.  I had to guard her.  She kept getting away!  Then, if I made a good play, she would hug me.  It was an odd relationship. . . 

Netball is similar to basketball in that you throw it into a ring on a pole. But the similarities stop there.

You cannot run with the ball.  You must catch it without using your body, then you can pivot on one foot before throwing to a team member.  If you delay more than a few seconds, the whistle is blown.

There are only two people on the team that can actually shoot the ball. The others are passers, defenders and attackers.   I am an attacker.

I stomped the foot of the lady in the red skirt in this picture.  It was an accident.  She cried out in pain and limped.  I asked before the game if I should remove my shoes since many of the women were  barefoot, they said no.

 A lot of women came just to watch, laugh and cheer.

I want to begin incorporating the Gospel into the games so that we can take every opportunity.

Me and my nemesis, Catherine!  She had just hugged me again.  That is why I am laughing.

I loved running around the field, reminds me of when I played soccer.

In the end, the cottage team lost 11 - 15 but it was a great game!  

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Littles

Our resident Bible studies have started back up again!  I really love teaching children the Bible!  I love to see the fascination and wonder on their faces as they hear God's Word!

On Sunday, we began our 4-8 year old Bible class again.  We had been out during holiday break and waited until school began again to start back.

We are starting a new series, this one on Moses and the Israelites.  So, Moses was put into the Nile River again!  As I was preparing for this lesson, I was amazed to think that the same river and the same continent where this story happened is where I am now!  I have been in the Nile River!  Egypt is in Africa - I know, obvious, but, it still made me think.

Back to the children -

We call the children to Bible study by playing music really loud on the front porch. They all come running up and start dancing.  Reminds me of the Pied Piper.

The CEF material we use has something called "Word-Up", it is a slogan you use for the entire series to remind the children of a Bible promise.  I am supposed to say, "Word Up" and they shout "Trust God - He Cares".  I am trying to teach them this in the picture above.  My problem was that they kept saying "Word Up"  We have 5 more weeks to work on it. . . .

The boys

The girls, plus one boy on the left.  This was his first time at Bible study.  He struggled a bit. . . 

Heather is much more musically minded - she can acutually sing.  So, she is in charge of songs.  They love to sing and dance!

Heather also presents the Gospel in some form each week.  She does a great job. This week, it was a puzzle of the salvation colors that made a cross.

I teach the Bible story.  I always try to emphasize that it is not a made-up story but a story from the Bible.  Here, I am explaining that the story comes from Exodus.

These pictures made me laugh, I really get wrapped up in the Bible story telling - acting out all kinds o things.

Here, I am telling baby Moses not to cry because otherwise Pharaoh's men will kill him.

Vivian is my translator.  She is funny because she gets wrapped up in the story and forgets to translate many times.  I realize that I am talking but she is not translating.  I have to reminder her.

Still consoling Moses, he would not quit crying!  The kids were all sitting there with their mouths open.

After the Bible story, we play a game and then have a snack.  I must admit, it is only an hour, but it is a long hour!  But, every time afterwards, I am so happy.  I really do love teaching the Bible.