Monday, June 28, 2010

More Life in Arua!

This video is some of the sights and sounds of our last few days. Things have really been taking off and we have been experiencing some great things. Three videos have been posted today so be sure to watch the other two below! Thanks for the thoughts and prayers...

Blind Boys - Sean's Comments

Below Sean talks about our experiences with the kids we meet. The Blind Boys singing that he mentions can be seen and heard in the above video. And there are three posts all in one day, so don't overlook the one below!

Teaching - Sean's Thoughts

Below is Sean's comments on our first couple days of teaching. I apologize about the quality of the video. I have to use a low quality in order for the video to upload at a decent speed. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Headed to Uganda!

We've been here for a few days now, but I'm finally able to get the video up of our venture over. Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

"You've gotta be flexible!"

Never before had the above statement been so true! And we should have expected it. Rae Rynaker, our short-term site coordinator, reiterated that phrase over and over during our orientation at the beginning of last week.

If you haven’t heard, here is a brief (and I do mean brief) synopsis of our travel adventures thus far:

Wed, June 16 – 3:30 p.m. – arrive at JFK, except it was the wrong terminal. We then hauled all of our luggage to the end of the terminal, took a variety of elevators and hallways to AirTrane which led us to the correct terminal.
- 6:00 p.m. – depart JFK for Amsterdam
- 9:30 p.m. – realized an air conditioner unit on the plane had failed, causing us to turn around and head back to JFK (legal reasons, apparently)
Thurs, June 17 – 1:00 a.m. – arrive back at JFK and stand in a line to potentially receive hotel and food vouchers along with transportation to the hotel.
- 1:00 – 4:00 a.m. – stand in various lines trying to figure out how to reconnect our flight out of Amsterdam. Realized we were in a pointless line, and eventually received meal vouchers at a different kiosk. We then boarded a van to take us to our hotel, which just so happened to be overbooked. So another hotel is logical, right? Nope. The driver took us back to JFK briefly, then we took a 20-minute ride to our final destination, the Holiday Inn Express.
-12:00 p.m. – leave our hotel for JFK Take 2
-12:30 p.m. – arrive at JFK and stand in line for three hours to figure out how to reroute our flight.
-6:00 p.m. – leave JFK for a second go at Amsterdam (an hour later than the expected take off)

As I write this, it is 10:15 and we are somewhere over the Atlantic well on our way. So it will take a bit longer than we had expected to get into Uganda, but here is how it is happening:

Fri, June 18 – 7:00 a.m. – land in Amsterdam
- 8:30 p.m. – leave Amsterdam for Nairobi, Kenya
Sat, June 19 – 7:00 a.m. – land in Nairobi
-8:30 a.m. – leave Nairobi for Entebbe, Uganda
-9:30 a.m. – ARRIVE IN UGANDA!!

Again, this is how it all is expected to happen. Who knows what will really happen.

But going through this has actually proven to be a very positive experience. All our time in line allowed us to meet a few different African natives, a couple of whom where believers. It was very encouraging to see other folks using their skills and situations to benefit the Kingdom. And we obviously learned patience, but in a much more applicable way. One difference we have continually heard between American and African culture is a time-oriented vs. event-oriented mind set. So just as was said at the beginning, we have to learn to be flexible! We are going to encounter many unexpected tests in our 7 weeks in Arua, and this was a great test-run to see how our team acts in the face of frustration.

And on top of this, we are privileged to be travelling with a fifth Ugandan teammate. Ashley Gillman, who we met Monday at orientation, is ending her travels in Kampala, Uganda and will be there for at least nine months serving the Lord by using her public relations skills to help at-risk children. So it has been great to have someone else along in the adventure with us.

Well, we’ve got another good 4.5 hours left in this flight, so I’m gonna do my best to get some shut-eye – something thas has been rare as of late and will be hard to come by tomorrow night as we make our way south into Africa. Again, thank you all for your continued prayers and thoughts for our team as we seek to show the love and goodness of Christ in whatever and any way we can.

Photo by Ashley Gillman

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Follow You

The morning of our departure, Kevin and Jess performed Leeland's "Follow You" at Vienna Baptist Church. The words are so appropriate to what we want our mission experience to be. The words are as follows:

You lived among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away.

All my needs You have supplied.
When i was dead You gave me life.
How could i not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow you into the homes of the broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God.
Follow you into the world.

Use my hands use my feet
To make Your kingdom come
To the corners of the earth
Until your work is done
'Cause faith without works is dead
And on the cross your blood was shed
So how could i not give it away so freely?

I give all myself.
I give all myself
I give all you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Getting Ready to Go...

This video was recorded last Friday night after a great first team meeting. Sean recaps our day and talks about what we're excited about!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hello White People!

Only a few minutes into my research about Ugandan culture, I had found several sites telling me to expect that common phrase aimed toward outsiders...

Jambo Mzungu! Translation - Hello white people.

But, to be sure, it's not an insult. This is just something they say. So we thought it was an apt title for our new Team Blog.

We each have different means of communicating with those supporting us, but we thought it would be nice to also have a communal blog. On here we want to post more general videos letting people know what is going on... things that we are all learning. We are going to use lots of short videos to do just that.

Our main goal is for those following us to stay as updated as possible. We can't let our desire to include folks become a distraction while in Arua, but, as you are a part of this ministry, we feel like we need to let you all know what's up.

Hope you enjoy!