Monday, September 21, 2015

Imitate Jesus! Convention 2015

It was highly anticipated, long awaited, and now we are elated that we finally attended the "Imitate Jesus" convention in Kampala, Uganda! 1 of thousands held all over the world this year. The spiritual banquet was well prepared and thoroughly enjoyed by the peak attendance of 9,000 plus. We met so many new friends, and were so built up and encouraged by the information presented. We have many exciting stories to tell, and we'll tell them the most fun way- by pictures!

These wonderful people are Sudanese refugees from our congregation. They are all young ones who have been through too much, yet they faithfully attend meetings and are a big part of the congregation. With no pushing from parents or anyone else, each of them has shown great faith and love for Jehovah. They are amazing examples of zeal and endurance. They deserved to go to the convention, but initially did not have the funds. The financial situation in Sudan is terrible, and the value of their currency is extremely low. When we found out they were unable to attend the convention, it disturbed me so deeply. I spent night after night beseeching Jehovah, tearfully pleading their case, and asking for the right attitude. Then an answer came. After explaining the situation to some family in the states. I asked not for money, but just prayers. Pray they did, but they did even more. The very next day to our surprise a collection of generous, loving brothers and sisters raised enough money for all of the Sudanese to attend the convention!!! We were stunned and deeply grateful by the love shown. We can't tell you enough how appreciative these young ones were for the opportunity. All of them enjoyed the convention tremendously. They are all working on personal letters to tell how they benefited. THANK YOU from the bottom of all our hearts to those who generously donated. You have changed lives forever! 

Our very special visitor Mark Sanderson from the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses bestowed another great blessing. The release of the New World Translation Bible in Luganda! What a beautiful moment! Lots of tears from those appreciative friends who can finally read God's Word in the language of their heart. 

The Bible in Luganda. The stadium was split into 2 sides. A side for the talks to be given in Luganda, and a side for English. 

 With missionaries from the States and our lovely Japanese friends from Mbarara. 

Beautiful friends from Japan, Switzerland and Denmark. This family from Denmark were so encouraging. As husband and wife they were in Uganda several years, then surprise, a baby! They returned home, but came back to Uganda when they're son was 6 years old. Now he is 8 and they are happily serving as a family in Kampala. 

Spiritually fat!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Interesting Facts About Life In Uganda- By Niki

It goes without saying, we have a lot more to learn about Uganda. However in the past 3 months we've really tried to emerge ourselves in the culture. Thus, we have been delighted, surprised, amused, and confused by what we have learned so far. Up to this point we can share the following... 

1. Ugandans are sharp dressers! Most women wear dresses, skirts or trousers with nice blouses. The majority of men wear button up shirts, or polo's with dress pants and professional looking shoes. Even though many don't have a lot of money they arrive in style; looking neat and smart. A lot of clothing comes in from the US and Europe and is resold. There are some very cheap second hand re-sellers around. As a result, you see people with some pretty hilarious t-shirts, and they have no idea what they mean. Everything from "Sea Turtle Club of South Beach" to batman, to the playboy bunny! (Ok so, that's not so sharp.) 

2. As we have seen so far for most of the local languages the greetings are questions. Like instead of saying "Good morning", they say what's translated to mean "How was the night?" So often when we just say hello to passersby they reply "I'm fine."

3. There is no summer, fall, winter, spring. Just the rainy season and the dry. Here in Mbarara year round it's never hotter than about 80 degrees (F). A definite perk!

4. In our English congregation we do not use the standard Watchtower magazine for Sunday study. We use the simplified version only.

5. The kids go to school A LOT. Most 7 days a week, starting as early as 7 am and going to 5 pm. And there is no school bus, so most walk to and from school several miles a day. Yet in our congregation we have over 25 children who are regular at meetings. You can find them popping in a few minutes late dressed in their school uniforms with their backpacks and books on Wednesday night. I really admire their integrity and zeal. I never hear any complaints either!

6. There are a copious amount of Indian people. Many are well-known business owners. 

7. They have packaged cheese marked mozzarella, cheddar, feta, gouda, and so on. It all taste exactly the same except more or less salty, and it's not very good. We miss cheese. 

8. Ugandans are very social people. We are welcomed into homes often, especially when they know we are there to talk from the Bible.

Plus this week in photos...

Teaching some young ones in a village God's name Jehovah. 

Stopping to smell the flowers in the ministry with Mary. 

Some zealous boys arriving early for the meeting Sunday.