In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:17

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Frolicking in the sun and fond farewells

It’s bizarre to think we only have 20 days left…time has flown by. It has been a busy few weeks, and we have all had great fun. Some team-members are recovering from minor tropical diseases: brucellosis, bilharzia, and a few people have been the victims of intestinal yeast. JC also elbowed a window and needed stitches, Barney has been struggling with emotional limitations (“What do you mean feelings?..I’m hungry”). We are all on good form though and just relaxing today and catching up on our washing, after quite a hectic three days running a Holiday Club at Treasured Kids School.

On Good Friday, (public holiday) a few of us went to the country side for the day. Tom Archdale who is staying in Uganda for a few weeks took us. Tom was on this team two years ago).It was such a beautiful day and so lovely to get to see more of Uganda. We visited two schools, one of which Tom taught at when he was here, Glory for Education. We also walked for about an hour, through the countryside which was great to see more facets of Ugandan life, and visited Kiti Parents School. Tom got ushered into a room where about 150 children were watching an Easter film, and got handed a microphone. I’m not sure who was more surprised...the children or Tom. Both schools were really different to the schools we are all working in this year and it was great to see places where previous teams had obviously had such an impact. At Kiti School, 2 years ago, the team set up a teacher’s prayer meeting which is still going now.

The girls had a lovely weekend away in the Ssese Islands, in early April. They stayed in hotel right on the beachfront, and had lovely relaxed days reading and swimming. Unfortunately on their second day, Charlotte and Katie were both involved in a boda-accident and were badly grazed and cut. Amazingly, (by God’s provision) they managed to catch a ride to a local clinic in the back of a construction truck, and amazingly again, the clinic was open and they managed to get their wounds washed. The journey involved on the way back to the hotel, stopping to fill the truck up with sand, (and Nat and Fitzy sat in the back and covered by black dust), and then stopping to unload it at a building site later, before driving us back to the hotel. Heidi, Charlotte and Katie had to wait the next day until the ferry back to Entebbe, where they visited hospital in Kampala to get a more thorough check-up. Their grazes are healing well now.

Schools updates

Treasured Kids
In the last couple of weeks at Treasured Kids, Fitzy and I finished our Child Fellowship course, on Moses the Prophet, for P1 and P2, and JC finished it for P3 and P4 on Moses the Law-Giver. In the two weeks running up to Easter we led a fellowship lesson on the Cross and one the next week on the resurrection. JC had some Bible-studies with P7 boys. Fitzy had some great Bible-study time with Teacher Lydia and gave her a Bible which she was overjoyed with. (When the headmistress found out she picked it up, danced about the room and excitedly screamed to Fitzy “You have given her the Word of Life!” ) I led some really challenging and encouraging studies with the Headmistress too, who is a great woman and firmly rooted in God’s Word and her knowledge of scripture was really impressive. During the penultimate week of school, all the children were sitting exams, so we just milled about helping with revision, marking papers, and filling out report cards.(A mean task when you an average of 50 children per class!). We said goodbye to the classes we had been teaching in, and gave gifts like alphabet posters, number wall-charts, tell-the time posters and bible flashcards to some classes. The teachers were so happy with the gifts. During my last morning in Kindergarten my top class sang a song in Luganda to me, which was delightful and I had to try hard not to cry. Treasured Kids has been a wonderful place to serve over the last 3 months we have many memories and made many friendships we will not forget.

The term in Seguku has at last wound to an end. For the kids at the Upper School, this meant more exams then usual and the last weeks were spent feverishly preparing for their papers. Katy and Jim were able to teach up until the revision period started after which they were employed marking work and exam papers as well as playing Battleships. Lunchtime football sessions (as well as lower school ones) continued up to the final day of regular term and will definitely be missed by the kids. The Lower School was spared examinations but if anything, that increased the work load for Nat who was suddenly faced with the task of double Child evangelism talks each week. Both schools finished last week and all three Mzungus gave out a prize to every single kid, a toothbrush! The upper school year finished with a pupil-teacher football match (for which other ‘teacher’ from the Crosslinks team were brought in), where, after nearly an hour of toil in the African sun and some tight penalties, the teachers emerged victorious. It was emotional farewell. We have been extremely lucky to be at a place like Kings. We just pray that they teach the gospel correctly still now that we’re gone and don’t lean back towards using the word of God for punishment.

Children’s Corner
We have, at last, finished our time at Children’s Corner. Ash, Charlotte and Phoebe finished well with their different classes, and I managed to complete a year’s syllabus of R.E. for my P5 class in less than 4 weeks. The kids finished term with exams and we helped mark exams. We had an Easter version of ‘secret Santa’ where the teachers exchanged gifts (to the mania of the kids). We also an end of term teachers Vs pupils football match and despite Ash and I both managing to score from defence, we tragically lost on penalties. We have all made some good relationships with the kids and we had the teachers over to our house for dinner which was a good opportunity to chat in a more relaxed situation. We are all very grateful for all the opportunities to share the gospel with the kids in chapel, as well as leading the teachers’ Bible studies. We are all grateful for our time there, and hope that our impact will not be short-lived.

Last week Mikey, Nat, Fitzy, Phoebs and Ella went on youth afternoon, run by Andrew, from Calvary Chapel. They had a great afternoon played pool in Kampala, then walked to “Garden City” (the equivalent of a western shopping mall), and bought pizza, sat on a golf course, shared testimonies, prayed together, before being asked to leave by a golf-course guard. It was a great time to chat to Ugandan brothers and sisters our age, and be encouraged by each other.

Holiday Club at Treasured was a busy, and action-packed three days. Our theme was “Lost and Found” and our 6 team groups were Tigers, Lions, Giraffes, Zebras, Elephants and Monkeys. 6 talks were given on how we are all “lost” in our sin but how Jesus died so that we could be “found”. The story of the prodigal son, Zaccheus, the lost sheep, the two thieves on the cross, and the resurrection were all included. In the middle of the morning we had rotational activities which included sports, games (including “pants”) and writing that day’s memory verse out on cards. It was truly great to be able to explain the gospel to children over the three days, and further our relationships with teachers at the school too. It was fantastic to see children responding in our small-group times too.

With 3 weeks remaining, there is still much going on despite school holidays. This weekend, the team his helping to organise and run the street kids Sports Day, basically 8 hours trying to control 150 excitable young men doing football, dodgeball and tug of war. As we are being assisted by an ex-heavyweight kick boxing champion, the team remains optimistic. Some of us are doing a big painting/mural for Treasured Kids Kindergarten gate and a select few are off gorilla trekking to the south. Hopefully, the whole team will be going on safari before we leave the country, probably at Murchison Falls due to many recommendations from Ugandans and Ex-pats alike. 3 weeks is still a long time. And Ash still has to meet the King of Buganda of course.

“What is my new desert? The name of it is compassion. There is no wilderness so terrible, so beautiful, so arid and so fruitful as the wilderness of compassion. It is the only desert that shall truly flourish like the lily. It shall become like a pool, it shall bud forth and blossom and rejoice with joy. It is in the desert of compassion that the thirsty land turns into springs of water, that the poor possesses all things.” Thomas Merton.

Friday, 24 April 2009


Hi all
Its been a busy week here in Uganda. We have been marking exam papers, writing report cards, and sayign goodbye to teachers and pupils at our schools. (This has involved the presentation of various bizarre African gifts to us including a maternity dress for Phoeb and wall-hanging with a goat on it for Nat).
If you could just pray for a couple of things that are happening over the next few weeks we would really appreciate it:

1. Holiday Clubs starting on Monday 27th-Weds 29th We are expectign anything from 200-400 children. Our theme is @Lost and Found.@ Pray for the 6 speakers form our team doing talks that we would boldly proclaim Jesus's name and that the words we speak would not fall on dull ears. Pray that it wuld be a fun;filled few days and that children would come to a new understanding of Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. Pls also pray for all the little details and logistics...that timings, punctuality and games would all work out.

2. Pray for the planning of our Street Children SPorts day on May 09th. That we would be creative and imaginative, and again that all the logistics would work out. Pray that it would be more than just a sports day, but also a day where Children can come to a saving fath in our Redeemer.

For now, that is all. Thank you for all your letters and emails of suppport and encouragement. Jim will probs do a big update for the month, sometime next week.
Love to you all,
Ella x


@ The main languages spoken are English and Lugandan.
@ Much of the land is fertile and well-watered
@ According to
the census of 2002 Christians made up 84% of Uganda's population, 6.00% were
Mulism, and 4% traditional ethnic and a small minority Baha'i and Hindu.
Uganda is the first country in the world with a massive aids problem to halve
from 25% in 1992 to 8-10% in 2000.
@ Life expectancy for a man is 51 years,
and for a woman, 52.
@ The area of Uganda is 241, 040 sq. miles meanwhile
Britain's is 244, 820 sq. miles. However the population of Uganda stands at 31.9
million, while Britains is almost double that at roughly 61 million.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God and of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5