Saturday 16 February 2019
Having had an erupting BCG scab, a puffy purple finger, a bite from a ‘Nairobi eye’ and having been ill for the last few days, I must say it’s been an eventful week!
But each day, I’m challenged by a poster my good friend gave to me, which reads,
‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again rejoice!’
It’s been a tricky time and continues to be tricky as I’m still not 100% better and feel exhausted after completing very simple day-to-day tasks! And yet there is so much to give thanks for. In this letter, I’m going to list a whole load of things that I am super thankful for this week so I can firstly, tell you what’s been happening and secondly, encourage myself!
So here is a big old list of things I am thankful for this week:
Sunday school fun
I’ll start with the end of last week as I’m conscious I haven’t written about Sunday school yet. Sunday school is mad but great fun as it keeps you on your toes. There are about 350 children who split into age groups after meeting all together. It’s amazing to sing, dance and learn about God with the children but by the end of church, I feel pretty tired! I haven’t even taught yet! With such a small team, I really don’t know how Chris, Ros and the other teachers do it – I am full of admiration for them all. (I will be teaching my first class next Sunday so do pray for me as I prepare for that!)
Last Sunday was particularly eventful. We had an unexpected visitor hiding in one of the classrooms – a stray dog who the children ironically decided to name Angel.
There was chaos. Hundreds of children swarmed around us to get to children’s church but the over-excited pup bounded about the place, stirring great excitement in some but great terror in others! We had to stop little hands from petting what might have been a rabid animal whilst reassuring others who screamed and fled in fear! I spent a lot of the time trying to get her away but Angel kept licking the toes of all the children and sneaking into classrooms – she clearly just wanted to be loved! If there wasn’t the worry of rabies and disease, I probably would have adopted her into my little house but in the end, a watchman ended up chaining her to a tree and I’m not sure what happened after that…
My little house
I am so thankful for my little house! I moved in a few weeks ago and have loved cooking, cleaning and settling into life here.
This week at Namugongo, it was the Oakhill conference, where a team from Oakhill theological college in London came to teach and learn from the students at UMS. It has been so great having them stay and I’ve loved the teaching from Mark’s gospel and getting to know the team members. The week has been busy with volleyball competitions (hence the puffy purple finger), a gripping football match and traditional African dances, songs and an Oakhill rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at a very entertaining culture night. I was also super thankful for a couple of team members who came and sat with me whilst I was feeling ill and provided me with some homely, tasty snacks!
Prayers & Support
It is so encouraging knowing that people are praying for me back home, especially since I’ve been feeling a bit unwell. As well as prayers, I am delighted that most days begin with opening up letters from friends and ChristChurch kids! It really is such an amazing way to start the day and my walls are now decorated with lots of beautiful cards, which remind me of home. Equally, I am thankful for the prayers from students here at UMS, the Oakhill team and my wonderful host-family.
My wonderful host-family
I am continually thankful for my wonderful host-family! They are just great and despite the busyness with the Oakhill conference, they made it their mission to look after me when I was feverish and ‘faint-y’! I’m super thankful for Teddy too, who cleaned my entire house whilst I rested in bed!
To be honest, this was last week but I’m smiling just thinking back to it – my church here has a weekly aerobics group! I went for the first time and loved every minute of it. I’ll be suggesting it as an idea in my next staff meeting when I return home!
I will leave it at that for this letter. But over the last few weeks, there have been loads of other things happening, which I am so thankful to God for. A big praise point is that I’d been praying for friendships to build with students and they have been! I’ve enjoyed getting to know them more during Bible studies, dinners and lunch times. I’ve even been given a tribal name by one student – ‘Nangobi’- which translates to ‘daughter of a prince’! Lectures have been really interesting and it’s nice having them outside. I do however, need to stop getting so distracted from the wandering goats and chickens. The students here are completely unfazed by them. A couple of weeks ago, a gigantic cow and a tiny sheep were gallivanting around together all over campus. I couldn’t help but stare whilst the students just cracked on with their work!
That’s it from me for now but hopefully I will write a bit sooner next time!
Lots of love from
xx Laura xx
Enjoying some ‘rolexes’ after moving into my new home
‘Angel’ the dog
Volleyball – UMS vs. Oakhill
Cards & letters from home!
Giant African land snail