Monday, May 11, 2015

Here I Go AGAIN

I’m going to Uganda once again!

This trip will be with a group from The River Church in Durango. Even though this will be my third time to Uganda this trip will be completely different. You may be thinking what will be so different about going to the same country. Well I’m glad that you brought that up, because I've prepared a list of everything that will be different.

The Difference in the Same 

  • For the first time I’ll be going with people that I’ve met before. My first trip I went with people from all over the U.S., and my second trip I went all by myself. 
  • We’ll be working with several different ministries in Uganda. Both of my previous trips I worked at Noah’s Ark Children’s Ministry.
  • Part of our trip will include ministering in the slums. While poverty is apparent no matter where you go in Uganda, the slums are where the poorest of the poor live. I have only seen this part of Uganda from a distance. Literally from the road as we drove by, and I wouldn’t have even known that it was the slums if the driver hadn’t pointed it out. 
  • I will be the only person on my team that has spent a significant amount of time in Uganda. Already everything that I learned on my first two trips is coming in handy. 
  • We don’t have our own agenda. I’m the most excited about this. My first trip my team went with the plan of teaching sanitation and hygiene, and the last trip was about me finding out if Noah’s Ark was the place God wanted me full time. This time is it just about serving! Our whole purpose is to simply serve where ever needed.
As you can see there are a lot of differences, but the important things are the same.

The Same in the Same

  • We are going to Uganda, a place that is now very dear to my heart. 
  • And, most important we’ll be sharing God’s love with orphans and those in need.

My team leaves June 21st, so this means we will land in Uganda on my Birthday June 22nd. There isn't a better Birthday present on the face of the planet, as far as I’m concerned. We’ll spend 10 days in country, and then head home. I’m excited to see how God uses me this trip, and what He has to teach me. I think I might write a book called My Ugandan Lessons, on everything that God has taught me in Uganda. For those of you who know me you can attest to this.

I’m very independent, so it is difficult for me to ask for help. This is really something God is challenging me with. He is trying to teach me that He has placed amazing people in my life, and by not asking for help I’m robbing them of the blessing of helping. So, I’m swallowing my pride and asking. In order for this adventure to happen I need your help with two things:

  1. I need your PRAYERS. There is a heavy spirit that rest over Uganda, and it is really easy to get lost in the heart ache. After two trips under my belt, I know that I won’t survive if I’m not covered in prayer. 
  2. For this trip to even be possible I need to raise a total of $3200. I know yikes, that is a lot of money. But, it is very expensive to fly halfway around the world, because our team will be working with smaller ministries we’ll be staying in a guest house, and have to provide our own meals. It all adds up quickly. I've already dug into my savings, which isn't a lot since I've been a poor college student for the last three years, but it was enough to secure my spot on the trip. I’m trusting God for the rest. So, please pray about supporting me financially. 
If you would like make a contribution your gift will be tax deductible, because all funds are being given to The River Church. There are two ways you can contribute:

Send a Check:

  • Made Payable to The River Church Designated “Missions-Uganda” in the memo line 
  • Mail it to me at 1436 N Tamarack Dr Bayfield, Co 81122 This will allow me to make sure to thank you for your gift, and ensure that the funds are credited to my account.
Donate Online with a Credit or Debit Card: 
  • If you give online please send me an email at tammie1tiger@gmail.com, so I can let the church know your gift is intended for my trip. 
  • Go to www.iriverchurch.com 
  • Click on “Give Now”, then “Click Here to Donate” 
  • If you have never donated on this site before you’ll have to “Sign-up” for an account. 
  •  Log-in to your account Click on “Give Now” 
  • Under “Give to…” select “Missions-Designated” in the drop down menu 
  • In the next drop down menu select “Uganda” 
  • Fill in the amount you wish to give, and your Card Information 
  • Press “Continue” at the bottom of the page
  • Review and confirm your donation. 
Please let know is you have any questions, or have any trouble donating.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Little Catch-up for Your Fries (bring your own fries)

It has been almost 5 years, so please forgive my absence. I've been busy the last three years completing my degree, and I did it in three years when it should have taken at least four. I also did it without barrowing a single cent, so every spare moment was filled with school or work. But, last May I graduated with a Bachelors in Sociology, and promptly went job hunting. After a month of searching I accepted a position with Volunteers of America (VOA) in Durango. In Southwest Colorado VOA has five programs that serve Seniors, Veterans, homeless families and individuals, as well as women and children fleeing domestic violence. I have the privilege of working with all of these amazing programs. My position is like the local administration catch all. I do a little of everything. Some accounting, community relations, marketing, human resources, and lots of fundraising. God is continuing to equipment me for whatever it is that he's got planned. Stay tuned! My next post will be all about my exciting birthday plans this summer. God has been having me write alot these past few years, and I want to share most of it with you. More good stuff tomorrow,I promise!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time Flies

Africa has a way of eating time away. For a westener it seems at times that things take forever to happen here, but as I look back on the past two months and wonder where all the time went. I can hardly believe that I just have seven days left. The children are getting excited for the up coming holiday. Both the teachers and the children are begging me to stay. And now that I'm about to leave the teachers are finding work for me to do if I were staying for the next few months. Probably the hardest thing has been explaining to the children that I'm leaving next week. I always believe in being honest with children, not matter how difficult it is. Some of the older ones are disappointed. They have so many people who come for a short time then leave. To them it feels like no one ever stays. One girl put it perfectly she said "Uh, but its not fair." She is absolutly right it isn't fair to build a relationship with them only to leave, and most volunteers are never heard from again. The younger children don't really understand yet. Right now I'm not sure what's instore for me, I'm just focusing on loving these precious treasures while I can.

Once I'm home I'll post pictures. The internet is too slow here, it seems to take forever just to post one picture.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm Still Here

We have been without internet for almost two weeks. It is amazing the things you can live without when they are just not there. It is a little sad though the only truly personal message was from my mother, but she is also the only person that I’ve really written.

All of the sudden I’ve become very busy. Part of it is that I just realized that my time remaining is very short. I spent the last few weeks working in both the children’s home and the school. I’m doing more in two days at school than I did in a whole week when I first got here. Two mornings a week I walk the children from home to the school at 7:30. We spend the first half an hour playing, then at 8 we have assembly. One day just the nursery school has gathers and does several songs and games. They end with at least one worship song, and some of the children lead a prayer. The other day that I’m at school is Friday. I really enjoy Friday, because the nursery and primary school come together for assembly. We have a worship time, and then two of the missionaries have a bible story. I spend the rest of the morning in each of the three nursery school classes reading to the children. The youngest class, they call it the baby class; I also do an art project with them. At about 11 they have a coffee break and I help serve the coffee, they don’t really serve coffee it’s tea, and biscuits to the children. At 12 is recess this is when I get to play with the children and at 1 I help serve lunch. There are 80 students in the nursery school and the teachers even serve the food. There is not cafeteria, so for coffee the children sit on the porch at the front of the school. For lunch they usually sit in the assembly hall which is actually just a metal roof over a slab on concrete with a zircon on two sides. When I’m not at school you will find me in the children’s home playing with the toddlers. What little spare time I have is quickly filled with finding books to read at school, preparing art project for the baby class, putting together a song book for the aunties to use with the toddlers, and creating a program for toddlers. Such is Africa though. I’m finding that things seem to take forever to get started here, but once they start it makes me feel like I don’t have enough time. I still have a western timetable though. It looks like the new nursery school building will be finished any day now, however they will probably not move in until the new school year which for them starts in January. The teachers are a little disappointed that I won’t be here. They had a teacher last year that helped them set up their classrooms in centers like we use. Then they had to move into smaller rooms, so over half of their stuff is in boxes and not being used.

I’m so glad that I decided to stay for 2 months this time. Even though I have missed my family I know that I would not have been satisfied staying for a shorter time. I have really gotten to know the children and there is an actual relationship now. That will make it harder to say goodbye, but I don’t even want to think about that right now. There are so many volunteers here. In total there are about 40. There are only 2 that aren’t from Holland. Of course myself and there is one guy from Switzerland. That has been one of the hardest things for me; really I’ve had to adjust to 2 different cultures. God has been really good and every time I felt out of place He was right there telling me that I was right where I belonged, in His arms.

Hopefully I'll post more later have to go for coffee now.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Depending on Him

Here I sit listening to the wind bend the trees and cause the leave to quiver. Butterflies flutter by, and it brings tears to my eyes. This week has been difficult for me. I'm missing my family like I never dreamed I could. Yet, somehow in the midst of this sad and lonely feeling I have found a peace. The feelings remain, and I'm not sure that they will go away. Each time I hear the wind blow through the leaves, see at Butterfly flutter past, or just feel the warmth of the sun on my face I know deep in my soul that God is telling me that I'm not alone. He is right there. I rest in His arms and lay my head on His chest. God has been teaching me that I need to only depend on Him. This is not an easy lesson to learn, and I haven't quite got it yet. Below is a quote from My Upmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers and it describes what God has been telling me perfectly.

If our devotion is to the cause of humanity, we will be quickly defeated and brokenhearted, since we will often be confronted with a great deal of ingratitude from other people. But if we are motivated by our love for God, no amount of ingratitude will be able to hinder us from serving one another.

As He transforms me into a new creation the day to day continues. I'm working a little bit more in the home now. It is quite different than the school, but I really enjoy working with the toddlers. I'm still working at the school 2 days a week which I'm enjoying. I'm finding it hard to remember my schedule though. Each morning I wake up and have to really think about where I'm going and what I'm doing for the day. With only 1 month left I'm hoping that I'll be able to form relationships with the people that work here. For those of you who know me well you'll understand why this is hard for me. I'm not the outgoing kind of person. As Mr. Darcy from the book Pride and Prejudice put it perfectly "I am not one who has the able to converse with people that I do not know easily." But once you have that relationship with me you have a place in my heart forever. Maybe that is why I find it so difficult, it's not that I'm just meeting someone. For me I'm building a relationship that will last forever. That is another reason why this has been such a hard week. I look at these children and I see how much that need someone to provide for them consistent unconditional love. Already I'm thinking how hard on me it is going to be to leave them. I'm just like any other human, I don't want to get hurt either.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Progress and Birthday

The last few weeks have gone okay. I'm starting to fall into a routine, which is good. In usual African fashion it has taken a while for the people at the school to decide what they would like me to do. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not on an American timetable anymore. I'm still not sure if the school is the right fit for me. It is possible that I could do some work in the children's home starting next week. I would really like to be busier, so it would be nice to spend some time in the home. Right now I'm praying that God would place me where He wants me.

I celebrated my birthday on Tuesday and conveniently forgot my camera (sorry no pictures to share). The day started with them singing to me at the school during morning assembly. It was one of the children's birthday as well. We ate his favorite pancakes and jam for dinner. Then they sang to us, we ate cake and opened presents. I was so excited my mom called as the children were singing songs before being excused from the table. We talked for the first time in 3 weeks, I really miss her. I also got to talk to my brother which was an added treat. Later all of the volunteers got together at Peit and Pita's house for apple pie and they sang to me again. I ended the day by drinking a Dr. Pepper that I packed from home as a birthday present to myself. The part that I enjoyed the most was how excited all the children were that it was my birthday. They are still talking about it days later.

A lot of the children have been sick this week with a stomach flu. I'm not sure if it's the flu or if it's something that I ate, but I've been sick the last two days. I don't think that it is anything serious, but your prayers would be appreciated.

I took a few pictures of the children playing at school this week. It's hard to get them not to pose. If they live in the children's home they love having their picture taken and will actually fight each other over it. The children who live in the village don't know what to think of it. Some of them make funny faces or become shy when the camera comes out.





Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Home and Kampala Craziness

As promised this is a picture of my house. I was going to also post pictures of the inside, but the Internet is running too slow today. Isn't it cute!?!? There are three other houses next to mine, one on the right and two on the left. We are right in the middle of the bush, so there are trees everywhere. Yes those are vines growing on the roof. The house has a tin roof and over the years it has become covered with vines. It is actually really nice it adds some insulation and noise barrier. So my house stays cool and I can barely hear the monkeys jumping on the roof. The other houses just had the roofs replace and the volunteers staying there say that the monkey are really loud and their houses get hot.


Monday was rather busy. I had a meeting with the Head Master and Director of the school to arrange what I will be doing. Then I observed the class for a little while. One of the other volunteers invited me to go to Kampala with her in the afternoon. I really mean Kampala Craziness!!! I've been in Kampala before, but that was with a group and we hired a driver. Because it was the two of us we walked to the road from Noah's Ark caught a bota (motor bike) to Mukono (the closest town), then a taxi (really a mini van that they pack with 16 people or more) to Kampala. We ended up running all over the city trying to find a memory card for her camera. The afternoon was filled with taxis, botas, and walking then again taxis, botas, and walking all over again. It was quite an experience. Needless to say I was tired and dirty by the end of the day.

Yesterday I spent the whole day at the school. Nursery school is ran really different here than in the US. They are teaching the 3 year old class how to write letters and numbers, as well as phonics. It looks more like a elementary class would for us. I was really surprised at how well the children listened during the lesson and that they were able to sit for long periods of time. Because it is very different I was unsure how I would fit in having a completely different falsify. The last time I was here I worked with the teacher in the 3 year old class which made it easier. She asked me at the end of the day if I would like to take over art and story telling, because that is their least favorite thing to do. I breathed a sigh of relief; I know that I can do both of those things.

Today is a national holiday, I think Martyrs Day, so it will be back to school on Thursday. Hopefully I will be able to post more pictures soon.