I can’t do this but I’m doing it anyway…

28 09 2011

 

Have you ever had one of those days, or those weeks?    I find that at times I just have to put my head down and run into the storms, when I know that my words will not be popular and our steadfastness in ideas may not be what others want to hear.  Right now I know Deon and I are both in a place where we need to keep focus on what is really important.

I read this morning:  “Trauma’s storm can mask the Christ and feelings can lie… All fear is but the notion that God’s love ends… fear believes there is not going to be enough… [but] I AM THE SPILLING GOD OF THE UNCONTAINABLE, FOREVER-OVERFLOWING-LOVE-GRACE’”  (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts)

The storm may look ominous, (like this one yesterday over Lake Victoria) – but God does not step away from storms.  He either walks on the water or stays (sleeping!) in the boat! 

I so often need to be reminded that God is ever faithful and if He has called me, He will make each next step possible. 

One of my biggest difficulties was after Andrew had left.  We said goodbye in the middle of the night and I woke up the next morning with such a heaviness.  His exuberance and love of Uganda was catching and it was just plain darned fun to be around my boet again.  The only one in the world who calls me “Zeezee”, the one who truly grabs all of the opportunities and wrings every moment of fun from them … and I just KNOW how the thought of cold weather, order and ‘lagom’ are not his chosen preferences…

Here are some memories  of the last days in Uganda:

Checking out matooke (plantains) and chillin’ on the Nile’s banks…

Getting ready for the adventure of rafting on the Nile… THOSE rapids he is pointing out!

I was reminded today:

drseuss1

We are not on the same level of adventure as  Andrew is, and I was happily petting Bambi, the lodge’s bushbuck.  (I want one, I want one!)

On Sunday we needed some time to just chill and went through a bit of the Entebbe Botanic Gardens.  The gardens are fun to explore, and the jungle areas are amazing… a few Tarzan films were recorded here!  Deon got to do some of his favourite ‘klipsitting’.

We also saw this amazing PURPLE dragonfly… God is amazing in his attention to detail!

And saw a water monitor lizard – doing his best to hide.

We value prayers at this time – Deon is in a particularly busy time with work and there are several challenges he faces daily.  I need to know God’s best plan for my classes – I want things to be self sustaining as soon as we leave, but there are a few challenges around that concept here.





Back to realities…

22 09 2011

I love to share on the blog, and I have HEAPS to share with you, but I feel slumpy at the moment.  There are numerous realities that are crowding my mind:  Deon has a hectic load with very little support at the moment, I am at a crossroads with the classes  and spiritually something feels off (I am often as intuitive as a pachydermal rhino… don’t know exactly what the cause is).  My nature is also to feel for the needs of others and I can quite easily get drawn into the hurt of individuals: a new student in my class, herself very young, with a baby, asked that we pray for her husband – he was admitted to hospital because he has ‘gone mad’ (not too sure what that means here).

Another situation I am praying for is Sara, mentioned in several several places on the blogoshere this week, as she is getting ready to meet Jesus at any moment.  Some links to her story: Sara 1,Sara 2, and Sara 3.  I think of a family grieving a loss too soon and then think of others – needing comfort, in pain, and struggling with the multitude of life’s issues.  These are the realities we must all face.  I know that in each situation Christ can be felt so closely and in reality.  I pray that people will seek this presence.  But the pain is still real.  The tears still fill buckets.  The heart wrenching is agonising.  

 

Here are a few moments through the week with Andrew – loving having him here and sharing this real world with him.

Good African food: Stoney ginger beer, matooke, lots of meat and lush tropical fruit.

rock clambering around the falls a short way from our house.  Do you think he loved it?

 

Broadening the world-scope of Ugandans who have no idea of snow, cold, and how it looks (we ARE on the Equator!) .  The main thread of their questions – what vegetables and animals grow in the area? (answer – very very few!) How on earth do you dress for that kind of cold? (answer – there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing). 

 

 

We also spent an half hour in the market getting shoes made in the local style. 

Andrew in Mbale 038

– these are made from old car tyres – pulled and cut apart, and then worn for up to five years.  Good use of recycling!

 

The time has gone by far too quickly.  A bit of white water rafting on the Nile remains for Andrew (this does not appeal to Deon and me!) and then he leaves on Sat night. 

 

Then reality resumes.  What is our purpose here?  How does God want us to work in all the dirt and distress around us, and how can we live light and grace right here?  

Wishing you grace in every moment of your reality today.





siblings seeing the sights

18 09 2011

Andrew arrived in Uganda on Thursday morning for a fully packed trip.  Only four days in I am realising that ten days with my brother in this place is just not enough!  (which means a return visit is inevitable).

I got to explore Uganda is a very different way to how Deon and I travel.  Andrew-the-adventurer is totally bubbly  and people oriented – from the humble tour- drivers to the editor of a key magazine become totally charmed by his friendly powers!  I get to know so many people and see things through his eyes… it is almost magical! 

In a few days we did SO MUCH!   

1.  (Imagine me jumping up and down)  – I saw chimps in the wild!   There were only three of them, but we spent a long time watching them and the whole experience of being in the forest for several hours remains a deeply moving sensation. 

Budongo chimps, top MF 108Budongo chimps, top MF 098

There it is- no fences or cages!  Wow! 

Budongo chimps, top MF 054

(Real tree huggers and bush lovers, we are!)

2.  Off to the top of Murchison Falls.  Such an AWESOME place – in the true meaning of the word!   Powerful sounds of water crashing over rocks, sprays drenching through fabric onto sun-starched skin and irrefutable evidence of a mightily creative God.  And we planked it too! 

 

3.  two terrific and totally different trips on the Nile.  The first a cruise with cheese and biscuits, just for the 2 of us with a guide, and then the second on a big cruise up to the base of the Falls.  Both amazing and great! 

 

– Can you see the rainbow in the background?  So amazing! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Experiencing the supreme blessing of being in African bush, seeing African wildlife and smelling good African air after a thunderstorm… it remains immensely soul satisfying!

Piapiacs (birds) abound in the area – and we saw not one but TWO of these odd giraffes with strange colouration.   (These giraffe are smaller than SA’s – they are Rothschild’s giraffe.  beautiful)

 

All these many blessings – wow!  I need to get to sleep now – in our own Mbale bed, with my darling husband… getting ready for a hectic catch up week. 





Spring Sunday splendour!

11 09 2011

Such a lovely time here with family and special friends.  The weather has been most kind on our heat-loving bodies and the scents of jasmine, wisteria and hope fill the air.

Some scenes that have delighted our eyes: 

And one that gave me the shivers, crawling out of the kitchen sink (note – we do NOT have arachnids of this size at our place  in Uganda!  Rain spiders ARE found in Joburg…)

SA family 004

IT may be a while before I post again – not too sure when Web access will be easy again.





sublime spring

7 09 2011

We have arrived to glorious spring days here.  I had to try out a new camera and here are some local delights I wanted to share with you:

First Nikon pics! 063

 

And then I have done my first pencil portrait, which will be totally done when I get home but I was thrilled to get the chance to do this:





Family, mall treats and life is precious!

6 09 2011

We are doing very well, in case you are wondering! 

 

There is not much time to get onto the ‘net at the moment – we are far too busy chatting with family, getting and giving hugs and sharing what has happened to us all in the last few months.

It is amazing how special Uganda has become to us: we are missing our people there, and the Jo’burg atmosphere is playing havoc with our moisture-dependant systems!  The air is dry and we cannot get enough water in our bodies and lip-ice on our lips!  But I am getting a chance to go to art lessons, travel through the malls and that is such fun!

 

Deon and I are quite happy to be alive… yesterday Deon ate some fish which caused an allergic reaction: tingling lips, rashes and we realised we had to dash to a doctor when Deon started seeing white lights covering everything.  An injection and a good sleep later he is much better!

 

I choked waiting at a KFC today when Deon was not around -  My bulging eyeballs, red face and frantic hand motions attracted a heroine’s attention who beat my back and helped me until the servers passed over some water. 

We both realise we are not at all ready for the other to do an ending act! 

Pictures of all the beautiful blossoms and green shoots on the trees will follow.





a singing heart

1 09 2011

You would not say we are leaving for SA tomorrow… I have not packed my suitcase, am sitting surfing the net..

Deon and I were chatting earlier and it is almost a drag to go to SA!  This place has become so comfortable and enjoyable for us.  If we did not have the appeal of family in SA we may not go back! 

But back to soul satisfaction later.

 

I had an art date today!  I put up a notice in a coffee shop in town and others are interested in informal art stuff.  Cameron, a young American guy, came over and we chatted, doodled and drew for a few hours.  The rain came pouring in on the verandah after a while, but it was great to sit and do art with somebody else.  I really miss my art classes in Joburg.  There are 2 others who are interested in joining us and there may be more… this is wonderful!

This is all part of a sense of blessing and gratitude for being where we are.  SO MANY ways show how God reveals His favour:

# A lovely home with HUGE space, big trees, birds and bugs to please our nature-lovin’ hearts

# God’s provision for us – and I don’t have to rely on support from others to do my mission-heart desirings.  (I opened a bank account last week, with executive gold-card privileges.  5 years back I would never have thought this possible! and so far I have not earned any of my own money… )

#The chance to be doing the kind of things we both enjoy.  Deon is not sitting in a small office all day, but gets to be out and about quite a lot.  I get to do missions type things: teaching skills, working with people, hopefully living discipleship day by day.

# We feel safe and enjoy so many of the people around us.

I wanted to share how God is using others and fulfilling their ministries through us: This is from an email received from Cari, an amazing contact I randomly came across while seeking help with Adult literacy:

.
I am so happy we can serve you. About twelve years ago, before I was called
to serve here and long before we built our new facility (6 years ago) people
working on the first planning thought that we should someday be an
International Institute that served people like you. I read this in the
paper documents of the planning. Please know that today all of my colleagues
were rejoicing when I told them of our correspondence that we have been able
to serve you in this way.
So though we serve you, you are an answer to a long ago Godly prayer, even
though we no longer remember who spoke it.

It is SO AMAZING to be part of a big body where every person can be the answer to the prayers of others… this is one big kingdom we work for!

I was reminded of the verse shared with Pastor Leigh Robinson from Rosebank Union Church when Deon and I were preparing for our marriage.

The LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes". Psalm 118:23

God is good and He is faithful.  We may not feel it everyday but that is His nature – he cannot be Who He is not.  and we are His children…   what a privilege. friday 031