Greetings to our friends throughout the world,
A picture is worth a thousand words. Each day we spend here in Kigumba is a mosaic of life. We see beauty in nature. Beauty in the people. Daily resiliency in the tasks of each day. The sun rises each day on people interacting, laboring, wondering. I would love to share physical pictures with you, but I am not comfortable intruding into their dignity and feel it is a show of disrespect.
This is my fifth time in Kigumba and because I am walking the roads daily on various errands, I have become a familiar face. One thing which never changes is the joy of the children when we acknowledge their waves and calling out of hi and bye. On a deeper level I think that this simple gesture by us is an affirmation of their existence and value.
Let me create a picture for you of the past few days. The team, Dr. Pei Li, Brother Lau, Evelyn and I have breakfast together around 7 AM in the hotel restaurant. There is bread, fruit, juices, potatoes, Samosa, chapati. Each of us also orders eggs. I take scrambled, the others usually omelets. Evelyn does not like eggs, so we always bring some cheese slices for the cook to keep in the kitchen to make her omelets palatable for her.
After breakfast there is a coordination of who goes where. We prefer the ladies to not walk alone. Pei Li facilitated a four-day Youth Camp. This involved around thirty young people from the area and some who came from Kampala. Brother Lau would walk with Pei Li each morning to the venue at the church. He also participated in worship with his guitar.
After time with Pei Li, Brother Lau has gone each morning to the school office. They recently rented this space near town. His task has been to assist the administration of the school in establishing accurate financial records and accountability, student records, and organization of the three hundred books now in their library. He has been assisted these last few days by a young lady, Morine, who while only 15 years old is very sharp and eager to learn. This has been the first time she has touched a computer. Today Brother Lau will be joined by the school registrar, Joel, and office administrator, Florence.
Evelyn completed a four-day course yesterday on Counseling Techniques. She had included these same skills in November within a two-week Theories and Techniques course but felt that the students had not mastered the skills. In speaking with several of the students yesterday I heard that they now get it and have internalized the knowledge. Both Brother Lau and I were recruited during the course to assist in role plays of the techniques. For those familiar with these techniques I assisted in the empty chair format. I spoke to an unavailable person in my life as if they were in the chair. Evelyn, as the counselor guided in me in areas of unresolved grief and forgiveness. I was brought to tears. But not embarrassed.
Today, Friday, August 30 Pei Li and Evelyn will both be at the same venue, the borrowed school classrooms we have referred to in our previous emails. This time there seems to be many more of the boarding students around during this school break than before. This has created multiple distractions of
noise and activity. Pei Li will be offering a credit class to the bachelor students on Group Counseling. Evelyn will be leading a class for the diploma students on subjects of Ethics, Relationships, and more. These two classes will be 9 to 5 today, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Evelyn and Pei Li will have one day break on Sunday from teaching but will still be in sessions with the school administration.
Brother Lau has been asked to lead worship and preach for two services on Sunday. It will be a long morning for him from 8:00 AM to around 2:00 PM. We are grateful for his willingness to step into this role or it would have been Evelyn feeling pressure to participate. She is exhausted.
Each evening we all meet for dinner at 7:00 PM in the hotel dining room followed by a game. I introduced them to the mindless game of Toss-Up. So true personalities emerge. Risk taking, gloating, daring, challenging, and for me failure attitude. I am the only one who has never won.
We all head back to our rooms by 8:30 PM to be sure of a hot shower before the power might possibly go off. God has blessed us in this simple thing. Mostly power has been consistent. And water always. Our time one year ago when we had 20 team members was powerless and running waterless for several days. That really brought out personalities.
I can give you a quick picture of my days since my task is to fill in the gaps. I have been to printer and now count Grace as a friend. Yesterday, I spent over an hour. The shop was very busy, so I worked behind the counter to collate and staple while Grace ran the copier. People gave a second look as they entered. I even helped one customer find something. My visa says very clearly, CANNOT WORK, so no pay. When I went back for another print job the power was off. They have light with solar but an extra charge to use generator for the copier. Last day of class so I paid the extra.
I confess a habit of needing a Mt. Dew in the morning so a few times I have gone to the one modern place in the town, an eight-month-old gas and convenience store on the main corner. The staff know me, and I sit and drink my soda while observing the range of people and activity. Most of the gasoline sales are to motorbikes. However, when the cars and trucks come it is like 1960’s in the USA. One attendant pumps the gas, another checks under the hood, and a third washes the windshield. Driver never has to get out of their vehicle.
There is a plan for me to go to Kampala one day to find and purchase some folding chairs and tables for the school. We pray that I will have success. A friend of the school with access to a van will be assisting me.
My normal way is to have this approved by Evelyn before sending out. I stayed back this morning and am going to go ahead and send. Hopefully this will give you a picture of our days. Thank you so much to those following Instagram. Your comments and encouragement are greatly appreciated.
Steve, for the Global Mosiac International team.