Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Trip #2 to Kabale By Niki with Photos By Steven

 Last week was simply splendid. We traveled west to Kabale, Uganda for our second time. This time we came early so we could help deliver some parts on the meeting in the tiny congregation. The congregation of about 20 people use the Runyankore ( jw.org/nyn/ ). Most everyone there speak and understand English, so whenever they get visitors there is the option to give meeting parts in English or in Runyankore. For us, we know very little of the language so Steven gave a part on Thursday and the Sunday discourse in English. The friends seemed to really enjoy it, and the local brothers were happy to have a break. For me, I got very brave and assisted my missionary friend Andrea with a demonstration Thursday in the local language! I said very little because I know as much as a toddler, but I tried! Here is a clip below…

  Andrea and her husband Clinton are amazing! Being with them was one of the best times we have had in Uganda. We admire their zeal and determination so much. There are several foreigners from European countries or the states in Kabale, but very few if any have bothered to learn Runyankore. It’s a very difficult language, but with Jehovah’s help Clint and Andi (who come from Ohio) are fluent after just a few years. Even though many people understand English, often Runyankore is the language of their heart. Knowing even just a little builds a bridge between us and them. The effect on the people is incredible, and those two really stand out in the community. The weekend filled us up with joy! A definite highlight was the ministry. Since rowdy elections were taking place in town we traveled up the mountains and went in the ministry around lake Bunyonyi. Some people there have never been reached with the good news, so the response was wonderful and the territory was magnificently beautiful. The sun sparkled across glistening water with miles of mountain range to set the backdrop.
Our ministry troop Saturday. Humphrey a special pioneer brother, Clint & Andi missionaries, a the zealous local pioneer Jolly!

Teaching people in the mountains, picking up lots of children on the way.

As part of our 9 year anniversary celebration we spent a day at the lake together.

Tomorrow November 18th, we will be married for 9 years. Every year gets better. We are two very different people with nearly opposite personalities, but somehow so well matched. Moving to Africa has strengthened our bond. We both made this goal before we even met, so to achieve it together is so fulfilling. Husband and wife, partners, and best friends.

We took a boat ride to some islands and hiked to the peeks. 

Ya know just playing pool with donkeys...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Where?... By Niki with Photos By Steven

We often rejoice in the simplicity life in Africa offers. We both were sick with colds week before last, and for the first time pretty much ever we didn't feel a pressing need to push ourselves to resume normal activity before we were feeling good. Back home we, especially Steven, had many responsibilities. His job only allowed so many sick days, and for me I didn't get paid if I didn't work. With that we often exerted ourselves before ready, took the medicine to cover symptoms and dragged ourselves out of bed! Here... not so much. We still have many responsibilities, but not as many urgent or immediate. Africans by culture have a very laid back attitude about all things. "Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, I'll get to it... eventually. " Running late? No need to rush. "This is Africa..." Sometimes that's very frustrating when you come from a "I want it NOW" culture, but when embraced it's quite nice. Our language teach told us there is no word for "planning" in the local language, because Africans don't plan! I suppose if we could all find a balance between both cultures that would be healthier. That will be a gem of wisdom we take with us from this experience.
Among the various gems are also these things: Life is not about what you can get, but what you can give. (Acts 20:35) Something we also heard in the latest Gilead graduation on tv.jw.org Because of that attitude, is the very reason we have life at all. No one show that better than Jehovah and Christ Jesus. We feel closer to them reflecting on that. I think we always thought that, but now we KNOW it. 

I like the quote "You'll never become who you want to be by staying where you are." That "where" can be physical or where you are in your thinking. Self examination is key. (2 Corinthians 13:5) We all have to keep putting on "the new personality" .(Colossians 3:9,10; Ephesians 4:22-24) Each of us are a work in progress. Overall we feel the positives of being here far outweigh the negative.

Here are some highlights of the last few weeks!

These two joined us for the ministry for the first time! Santino is in the first photo and Gabriel in the second. One day Santion's teacher did not show up to school. Which apparently is common here. So all the kids just play when that happens, but not Santino! For 2 hours he taught and shared scriptures with his classmates and gave out over 30 Bible tracts! These boys have a bright future.

Beautiful territory with my beautiful sisters. 

Where are we? Despite the appearance we are not in Japan... although we feel like it sometimes being with our super Japanese family! And... Yea it's sushi!