Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Break Ugandan Style

Over the Christmas break, we headed off to the two nearest game parks – Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth.  It was another wonderful chance to enjoy the beauty of Uganda and experience the wildlife very ‘close up’.  Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its abundance of elephants and this time we were literally surrounded by groups of them as we travelled through the park.  They seemed very hungry and were too engrossed in eating trees and grass to really bother about us so we did not have any dangerous encounters.







We saw many baby animals on this trip, including this little elephant that walked in his mother’s shadow.

We also thoroughly enjoyed the boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel at Queen Elizabeth…

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We particularly got a kick out of this egret ‘surfing’ on the back of a hippo!



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The cape buffalos and forest buffalos were out in full force, and the small ones were staying close to the herd along the water, as they are often prey for the crocodiles.




We see monitor lizards quite frequently now in the parks, and as we were listening to the introductory instructions before the boat left shore, Karl spotted a large monitor lizard in the reeds and  we watched it catch a huge fish for its lunch.  Then at another point on the ride our keen eyed guide spotted another lizard sunning itself on a tree limb overhanding the water.



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With all the rains we have had in the past few weeks, we had a challenge trying to get to our accommodations in Lake Mburo.  We were advised at the gate to drive on the grass rather than along the tracks which had been chewed up badly by other vehicles that were stuck in the mud.  At one point, Karl and Ken and one of the staff members from the lodge (who came out looking for vehicles trying to reach the place) took 45 minutes of tromping through the muddy grass before deciding on the best way to navigate around a huge muddy area.  The zebras just ignored them and kept on feeding.

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Thankfully, we made it through with some expert driving by Karl and Ken!  A great time all in all!

Christmas Celebrations

Another Christmas season has come and gone and we are thankful for the rich meaning of Christ’s coming to earth to live and die for us.  As we celebrated advent each week as Christmas approached, we were reminded of the great grace of God to us as we live our lives here.  We miss family and friends at home in Canada, of course, but we have great fellowship with those friends we work with in Uganda … and we find the pressure of commercialism here far less (for which we are thankful!).  Here is a glimpse of Christmas at the Timothy Centre…


Our tree with special Ugandan decorations we have collected each year



Celebrating advent with our friends and co-workers



Karl and his friends performing at a Christmas gathering at a local restaurant in Masaka town



Enjoying friends on Christmas Eve



Christmas carolling with the kids!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Miracles Do Happen!

About 6 years ago I was introduced to a 19 year old boy from Kibaale, Rakai who had broken his leg in a football (soccer) match with some school friends.  At first Godfrey thought his leg would heal quickly.  Soon complications set in and a serious infection was found in one of the bones in his leg.  Shortly thereafter doctors removed the fibula.

It was several months after the operation that Godfrey hobbled into my office to see me, yet he was full of joy and optimism for the future believing that God still wanted him to become a doctor.   He informed me that doctors now believed that they might need to remove the entire leg due to the spread of the infection.


In God’s providence, about a week later we happened to have dinner with Brian Dorman the director of Africare, a Northern Ireland mission,  who informed us that they specialized in treating disabled children from all over Uganda at a place called Cherub, near Mukono town.


Within a few weeks Godfrey was admitted and had an operation to save his leg by grafting bone from his hip.  Although there were a few complications, the operation proved very successful. 

Today, after about  6 years I met this young man in Kibaale, with the same contagious smile, walking without crutches and so thankful that God had saved his leg.

Oh by the way, he is in his second year at a university in Kampala, studying to become a doctor.  Miracles do happen!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Signs of Christmas

In spite of the  hot weather and lush greenery everywhere, there are reminders to us Canadians that the Christmas season is approaching.  On a trip up to the city this week for meetings and errands we were able to enjoy the music of a youth band playing Christmas carols in front of one of the shopping areas.  We have seen them performing in previous years as well, and have always enjoyed themP1210086…especially as their conductor is a young man with a physical handicap that he obviously does not allow to hamper him.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Investing in Lives



Today we were reminded how important it is to invest time and resources in the lives of those around us.  A young man named Joash was a student from Kibaale who loved the Lord and felt a call to serve others as a pastor.  As our Kibaale students are all needy, they have sponsors from oversees who make it possible for them to receive a quality Christian education.  We have a special program for students who finish their ordinary level of secondary school in Kibaale and want to continue with higher education.  This ‘Post S4’ program is so essential to help students reach their career/ministry goals.  Joash was the first Post S4 student who really felt called to train at a Bible school in Kampala in order to become a pastor.  Because his original sponsor was unable to continue helping him with this dream, we helped to support him through this training.  We were really surprised and pleased to find him on our doorstep this afternoon with the news that he has just been appointed as the pastor of one of the larger local churches in Kibaale town.  This church ministers to many of our Kibaale Community Centre staff members and families of the children in our schools.  How wonderful that one of our own ‘boys’ has been entrusted with this level of leadership because of his integrity and love for God.


Praying a blessing on ‘Pastor Joash’