Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jesus Calms the Storm

On Saturday mornings Bethany and I hold a club for women who are students at Mundri Secondary School. Typically we play games, tell a Bible story, and do a science experiment each week. I love getting together with these women, and I always have so much fun!

*What happens when you hold a flame under a balloon?*

Two weeks ago I told the story of Jesus calming the storm. I like this story because it shows so clearly the power Jesus has over creation, but I also like it because I identify with the disciples in their unbelief.

I know God and have experienced His faithfulness and loving care for me. Still I don't believe. I don't trust. I have little faith. I am in a season of life when many things are uncertain, and my tendency is to be anxious. I am thankful that Jesus is patient with me when I struggle to believe and trust. There are moments when I wish Jesus would instantly calm my heart the way he calmed the storm, but I praise God for the ways He has worked in my heart slowly as I grow in trusting Him.

This week I am learning the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead which I will tell to the women on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I woke up early on Tuesday morning for our usual 6:30 AM women's prayer and it was already drizzling. It was the first day of computer classes for the staff of Mundri Secondary School, so I was a bit flustered by the rain since the school is a twenty minute bike ride from our compound. When the rain let up, I got on my bike and headed towards the school with a white board strapped to the back of my bike.

It was a smooth bike ride until I had to turn off the main road. The side road was a huge mud pit! I tried to bike through, but after slipping a few times, I decided to just get off my bike and walk the last mile. There were lots of students on the road walking to the nearby primary and secondary schools. One skill I still have not mastered is walking through the mud without getting muddy. Some of students helped me by pointing out the firm paths that I should take, but I was still doing a lot of slipping and sliding. Thankfully I never fell!

I showed up at Mundri Secondary School with my hem six inches deep in mud. I imagine I looked a bit like what Elizabeth Bennet must have looked like when she showed up at Netherfield. If you didn't already know, I'm an Austen fan. =)

Once I got to the school, John was already there teaching his Physics class. He managed to bike the whole way without getting muddy. John got the generator started after about 10 tries. It is a pretty massive generator and difficult to start.

I taught the first group of teachers starting with the basics. It was a fun class, and the teachers are very eager to learn. There is a wide range of previous computer experience ranging from teachers who have never used a computer before to those who have had training in Microsoft Word and Excel. Around lunch time, the generator ran out of fuel. John and I ended up teaching the remaining two groups of teachers computer basics by drawing a computer screen on the white board I brought. We will be teaching all the teachers every Tuesday, so hopefully they will all get more practice actually using the computers next week.

I really appreciate the relationships we have built at Mundri Secondary School. The teachers are great, and I enjoy all the time I get to spend there with the staff and students. To give you an idea of what the student body looks like here are a few statistics. There are 218 students and only 46 of those students are women. All of the full time staff are male. There are 75 students in John's first year Physics class.

Because of the rain that had continued on and off most of the day, Michael came in the Bishop's car to pick me up from the school. I was so thankful for the pickup and not having to walk through the mud which was much worse after the continuing rains. Well after loading by bike on top of the car, Michael realized the car was stuck in the mud. The teachers came running over to give us a push. Somehow in this process I managed to get even more mud all over my legs and skirt and the teachers still looked relatively clean.

We got going, and then after a few meters we were stuck again. The teachers came running over and gave us another push out of the mud and this time the teachers watched as we drove down the road in reverse to make sure we didn't get stuck again.

There is a list of African proverbs on the wall of the BNTC office. At the end of the day I thought of the proverb that says something like "when you pray for rain, you also pray for mud".

Water Tower

Here are two pictures of the current progress on the Hai Salaam water tower. If it doesn't rain Thursday we will start work on the solar panel rack at the site of the borehole.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Praise God!

Anna from the Bundibugyo team came with Kim and me to Okari church a few weeks ago and it happened to be the day that the Sunday school was performing their songs for the church. It was a beautiful morning of children praising God by singing, dancing, and drumming!

After two years of WHM Sudan flying into and out of Mundri, last month we had our first flight that was diverted due to weather. Most of the team piled into our new Land Cruiser, and we headed to Maridi (about a 3 hour drive) to pick up Melissa and send off Scott, Larissa, Kim, Heidi, and Anna. I had never been to Maridi before and being a water engineer, I took the following two pictures of the water taps in Maridi. The top rectangular structure has 20 water taps at the same location! I didn't get to count the taps on the bottom circular structure, but it is an interesting design. Hopefully sometime soon, I will have the chance to go to Maridi to learn about their town water infrastructure. There were even some street lights in Maridi.

After picking up Melissa, we stopped for some lunch which consisted of linya and greens.

There is one type of local green which is very tasty, but also a bit slimy (notice the strings of slime between Acacia's fingers).

We praise God for His provision of the Land Cruiser and for Melissa's presence on our team!

After many weeks of waiting, the truck of supplies we purchased in Uganda finally arrived! It included supplies we needed to continue work on the water project at Hai Salaam. We called the staff of the water office and resumed our work days this week. The tank is now on top of the tower and all the pipe connections to the tank are completed thanks in large part to John who crawled in the rather small tank and worked on top of the water tower platform.

On the truck were also supplies for a solar power system for BNTC. Paul, the principal of BNTC, can now check his email and charge his computer from his office.

There are also lights in one of the classrooms which means the students can study in the evenings. They were so excited that they even sang a song and danced when the lights came on!

We praise God for the supplies that arrived from Uganda that have allowed us to continue work on the water project at Hai Salaam and install lights and power at BNTC. We also praise God for our partnership with the water office, the Hai Salaam community, and the BNTC staff and students.