Molding a lump of clay

Molding a lump of clay
I am a work in progress, molded by my Maker, refined by His fire, shaped with His love. Walk the journey with me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Heading to Nigeria

Tonight I hop on the plane with Bingi Dorothy (another YWAMer from the Arua base), and we fly to Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

We will be attending a 3-week Leadership Training Course at the YWAM base, run by YWAM's co-founders Darlene and Loren Cunningham.

Darlene's help leaders develop their full potential in God.

My grow in my leadership gift and spend time at Jesus' feet soaking in His wisdom.

Over the last several years of serving on YWAM Arua's base leadership team, I've realized how very little I know about leading others. I'm pretty good at motivating myself and getting things done, but serving and mentoring others is a much greater challenge for me.

And yet following Jesus is all about relationship...we are the Body of Christ, after all, and I can't walk this journey alone.

There's a wonderful African proverb that always challenges me:

"If you want to go fast,
go alone.

If you want to go far,
go together."

My natural instinct wants to just do it all myself because I can get it done quicker, but my heart wants to do it as a team, which takes much longer and causes me no end of frustrations.

Please pray for me and Bingi, and the rest of the LTC staff and students, that God would meet each of us at our point of need, and bring the rest, refreshment and reinvisioning that we need to walk together and help lead this Body along His pathways.

Please also pray for John and the kids, and Bingi's family, that God would give them much grace, fun and joy over the next month while we are apart.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

God's timing once again proves best

It's easy to get frustrated when things don't work out according to my schedule, but after 12 years of living in Africa, I thought I'd gotten pretty used to being 'flexible.'

This week it was harder.

I'd taken an overnight bus to Kampala Sunday night to be at the Nigerian High Commission at 10 am sharp on Monday. The plan was to apply for my visa, and then go back to Arua Monday night. Since I'm about to leave for a month, I wanted to spend as much time in Arua with my family as possible.

When we reached the High Commission, however, we were told it was closed for Eid (Muslim holiday)...come back Wednesday.

Well, that's easier said than done, especially when home is a 7 hour bus ride away. Why didn't God give me the heads up before I left Arua so that I could have postponed my trip a couple days and just gone down Tuesday night instead? Then I could've been back Wednesday night and had more time with my family.

Frustrated, I had no choice but to stay in Kampala and wait for the High Commission to re-open.

One of the things I'd been planning to do anyway was to look for a formica counter top to mount our kitchen sink in. After about an hour of searching, I found one, and since I had time, made arrangements to buy it the next day and take it to be cut so the sink would fit in it.

Meanwhile, the YWAM base in Nigeria called John to let him know that another of our YWAM Arua staff, Dorothy Bingi, had been accepted for the same Leadership Training Course that I am attending. That meant she needed to get to Kampala as soon as possible to process her visa. And since I was there waiting, why didn't she join me and we go to the High Commission together on Wednesday?

She also needed a plane ticket to and from Nigeria, without which it is difficult to get a visa. Since I 'just happened' to be waiting in Kampala, why didn't I go to the Kenya Airways office and get her ticket sorted out?

Yes...the 'extra' time on my hands turned out to be just what I needed to help Bingi process her plane ticket, and run around with that 3 meter formica board all over Kampala trying to get it cut and then packed on a lorry for transport to Arua. Looks like that 'extra time' wasn't extra at all, in God's calculations.

Regularly I tell God, "Let Your will be done. You program my schedule so that I do the things on Your heart." But when something gets in the way of my plans, I can easily question God and think something has gone wrong. I gave all the right replies to my friends' texts of sympathy...'Yeah, it's a bummer, but God must have a reason for the delay.' But in my heart, I wondered if I just hadn't heard Him right, or worse, if He just hadn't told me.

It's harder to trust God when things aren't going as I think they should, but again and again He proves to me that time is in His hands, and He knows how much I need to do the things He's called me to do.

And of course, generous Dad that He is, there was even enough time for me to go to Sparkles and get a pedicure. :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Riots in Kampala

It doesn't take much of a spark to ignite years of discontent simmering just below the surface. The King of the Buganda people was prevented from visiting part of his territory by the Ugandan government...the Buganda people got thing you know, cars are burning,
shops are looted,
people are dying.


Rioters face off to the police

Our newest YWAM staff members...the Fielders, a family from Coventry, UK...had just arrived in Uganda with their 3 teenage kids. They were in the base vehicle with Yolam, a YWAM Arua staff member, and had stopped in Kampala to pick up some supplies before heading up to Arua.

Without warning, the vehicles in front of them started turning around and driving back the way they'd come from. A crowd of people started fleeing after the vehicles and before they knew it, the vehicle was surrounded by people running and shouting.

Someone stopped next to their car and jabbed the air next to the window, shouting, "You whites! Go back to your country. We don't want you here!"

This family just spent the last 18 months reorganizing their lives in the UK to be able to uproot and transplant themselves here in Uganda. They gave up their home, their car, their possessions...the last thing they needed to hear on jet-lagged arrival was "Go home."

But people are not themselves at times like these. Some demonic kind of mob mentality takes over and people do and say crazy things.

Apparently rioters stopped women, and those wearing skirts were let go, and those wearing trousers were stripped of their clothes. What exactly does wearing trousers have to do with the Kabaka not being allowed to visit Kayunga district?

Some missionary friends of ours from Arua drove to Kampala yesterday morning to take their son to the orthodontist. They didn't realize the gravity of the situation in Kampala until they came into town and drove along the empty, rubble-strewn streets. They counted 35 burning tires that they had to maneuver around. Thankfully they got to their guest house safely and hunkered down to wait.

Please pray for the situation in Kampala, and for the love of Jesus to transform these lives.

Please pray for the Fielders (who reached Arua safely!) as they settle in to the YWAM base and begin adjusting to life in Uganda. Their heart is to start a ministry to the deaf...see

Please pray for our missionary friends who are planning to drive back up to Arua tomorrow.

(Photos taken from Associated Press pics posted on the Guardian link above.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Everything AND the kitchen sink

Usually when we travel as a family, we move with A LOT of luggage. British Airways not only gives us a sizeable missionary discount, but also gives us a luggage allowance of 3 bags per person...that means our family can fly with 15 pieces of check-in luggage (not to mention all the carry-ons)!

Last year when we were coming back from furlough, we had 13 pieces of luggage filled with medicines, toiletries, birthday and Christmas presents, books, music, videos, shoes, clothes, and anything else we felt we needed for the next 3 years before we were due to go back home on furlough again. When you're shopping for 5 people for 3 years, it's easy for the luggage to pile up and up and up. I thought we were doing good because we were under our maximum allowance.

Nevertheless, we needed two vehicles to get us to the airport with all our stuff, and then had to hire a porter with one of those long carts to pile up all our trunks and suitcases on. We really did look like the Beverly Hillbillies, and it was all I could do not to start explaining myself to the passengers lined up for check-in who stood bug-eyed and gape-jawed as we trundled up.

I wanted to say, "You know, we live in Africa in a very small town, and you can't get very much out there, so when we come home we have to stock up on all the things we need for 3 years at a time, so that's why we have so much stuff," blah blah blah. But I just kept quiet and avoided making eye contact with anyone.

When it came our turn to check-in, the porter bravely maneuvered our massive cartful of luggage to the check-in desk, and through the hushed awe of the rest of the people waiting in line, I distinctly heard one man say, "Where's the kitchen sink?"

Well, friend, HERE IT IS!

We picked this and the toilet seats up in Kampala when I came back from visiting my granny.

Oh how I wish we had been travelling with this last furlough, just to round things off, like the proverbial icing on the cake. Nevertheless, we were finally able to travel with everything AND our kitchen sink!