Sunday, 9 May 2010

Life update

Instead of telling you all about what's been going on in my head, I should really tell you what's going on in my life! I know it's been a while, but I'll try and keep it short and sweet so you know roughly what life looks like since I arrived back here:

I now have 3 classes I meet regularly, although 2 have now finished as the students have exams and then they leave for the holidays. These are:
- Mixed-sex students discipleship class on Thursdays
- Girls only purity/life class on Saturdays
- Girls' discipleship and evangelism class on Wednesdays. This is with a v exciting group of 4 girls doing a full-time discipleship course, an offshoot of a boys' discipleship course AIM is involved in and wonderful evidence of Ugandans taking on responsibility of ministry when a need is there, even though it was mzungus who started it. It makes me think of ripples on a pond - we threw a stone (the discipleship course for boys) and the girls' course is a resulting ripple on the pond. Let's hope those ripples keep getting bigger and better!

I also led a one-off Bible study on Ephesians 1-3, which was organised by my friend Fiona (a student at the university) that I mentioned in the post below. It was a lovely evening; we explored the themes of God's love for us and His complete Sovereignty, and how He does everything for His own glory yet still loves us infinitely and involved us in His redemption plan from the beginning. It was the perfect way to culminate the hard lessons God's been teaching me recently, and it was a huge blessing to hear other people's thoughts. It turned out a lot of people really needed to be reassured of these things, and God definitely showed more of Himself to us that night!

I have been whizzing around many different lab departments trying to fit everything in to my new tighter schedule (as I'm coming home early). I've finished both malaria and TB this month and had some experience in urine examination, gram staining and other small but vital tests. This month I should be doing DNA PCR, the test for >18 month old children for HIV. However, a vital piece of equipment is missing and doesn't appear to be available anywhere in Uganda.. So who knows what I'll be doing on Monday? Saying that, the most likely place is immunology again, as my boss is on leave and her duties are being shared among other staff. If I'm free I'll probably be doing all of her lab work.

I've applied to the Connect programme with Glasgow Navs and am now waiting for my interview (over skype!) to see where and how I will be placed in the ministry. There's a possibility I won't be in Glasgow, which is something I'm struggling through, as I really want to be there, but I want to be willing to go wherever God wants me.

The team at the moment is focussing a lot on working out Ugandan attitudes to church and the Bible so we can know what to address in relationships and teaching. The pentecostal church (nothing like the ones in the west, which are mostly strictly Biblical) is huge here, and absolutely saturated with prosperity teaching and false prophets. We are working hard to understand the mindset behind the acceptance of this teaching and how people understand the Bible and the office of preacher. People often set themselves up as essentially Old Testament prophets, promising earthly riches and hope and ignoring the hope of the world the come and the gloriously rich gift of God's son as Saviour. There's a lot to get our heads around, and it'll take a whole other post to explain, and I'll give it a try when I have time. I'm lucky enough not to see too much of that, as the students I work with don't tend to think this way, but a significant number of my work colleagues are pentecostal so I am seeking, along with the rest of the team, to understand this church and see how the Gospel is and isn't being preached.

A couple of weekends ago I went on the Short Term retreat at Lake Bunyonyi, probably the most beautiful place in Uganda. It was a very restful weekend, with marshmallows in the fire and rope swings in the rain, though Lindsey, you should have been there! We missed you.

So, that's what my life looks like at the moment, and I'm just starting to think about winding things up for my last month here. I'll try and get round to posting a few more pictures some time soon as well!

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