Thursday, 19 July 2012

The End.

Well this is my final post for this journey I've embarked on and its been crazy to say the least. Over the last five months I've had some of the best times and worst times of my life. I've made new friends, experienced new cultures and foods, killed chickens, climbed mountains, swam in Ugandan lakes, preached the gospel, and ultimately learned of God's mighty love and His character. Its crazy to look back an see how much has happened. It seems so long ago that I was boarding a plane to Entebbe, so full of hopes and expectations. I was ready to see the world and gain experiences that couldn't be bought and thats exactly what happened. I've learned many things over these months, I've learned how to pray, how to worship, I've learned of God's extravagant love and grace, He will never tempt you more than you can bear, I've learned of His undeniable character of love for his children, I've learned of the importance of humility in the ever occurring theme. It seem God was ensuring I don't forget, and forget I never will. God truly is great and He revealed Himself to me more and more with each passing day. I will never forget my DTS experience in Jinja, Uganda. The last week or so was a hectic one. Once we got back from outreach we had little time to prepare for graduation and returning home, yet we wanted to squeeze in as much time with new friends that would soon be old friends. Finally twenty three of us graduated our class on July 14 and it was all over. Needless to say it was a week of late nights. And after all the sleep deprivation we drove to Entebbe Airport for the second time at six o'clock in the morning on Monday, flew nine hours, fifteen hour layover in London, eight hour flight to Chicago, two hour layover, and finally one hour flight to Grand Rapids for the first time in five months. I think I experienced my first reverse culture shock in the London Airport. The amount of people and stores overwhelmed me at first, but upon returning to Grand Rapids, I was just excited to see all the people and things I missed for five months. After a excellent meal and visiting with everyone, I fell asleep at 7:30 and didn't wake up until nine o'clock the next morning. Traveling can certainly wear you down. Today I feel a bit more adjusted to the time zone and culture and life is getting back to normal.. well as normal as it can after such an experience. I thank-you all so much for your prayers and support over the last five months and more. You truly have all been amazing and have blessed me more than you can imagine. The smallest thing, like just reading my blog has been a blessing. I couldn't have done it with out you all and thats the truth. THANK-YOU and God bless.
Psalm 20:1-4, "May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed."

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Small Beginings.

Only a half of a week of outreach left, how time flies. For the last week we have been in a small village again called Katiko, meaning small mushrooms. I didn't see any mushrooms there but I was able to see plenty of other things. The land there is blessed with plenty. They grow everthing from jackfruit to maize. We had roasted maize everyday and even though there was no shops to test my wallet, I ate in abundance. We also were able to swim in Lake Wamala (even though it was kinda swampy). On the Sunday before we arrived in Katiko, two others and myself were able to visit the church we were going to work with. The church was a less than half finished with maybe six benches. We got there and the church service had already started. I was a little confused at while it had started when there were only two people there and some few children. As the service went on I realized, that is just how small the church is. Some two other people joined us, but it turns out one is a drunkard that comes every so often and the other an irregular member. The pastor of the church and his family were the only solid members in this church. He had started the church two years ago and it was still at the stage that it started in. We realized something needed to happen here. We prayed about what to do in this place and an amazing conformation came as we all decided we needed to fix up the church. How can God fill a church that isn't big enough to fill? The excitment grew as more conformations from God came. God doesn't hate small beginnings as we read in Zechariah. Everything must begin small, it is our job to help it grow with God's grace. So we began getting supplies and on Saturday the work began. We leveled the dirt floor, finished the walls and roof, painted, got more benches, and even made a sign. After we were finished, the church actually looked like a church and we felt well satisfied with our work, so we went to the lake for a swim. It was amazing to see God's provision in the work that he has done for that church and I just know that one day they will have to move to a bigger location because God is going to richly bless that church. If you want to see pictures of the church you can visit (Alex's blog). Now we are back in town, doing more crusades and ministry with only four days left till we are back a the base then one week till home. I can't believe all God has done in these past five months and I know there is still more to come. Happy Fourth of July!!
"Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They'll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place!" Zechariah 4:10 (The Message)