Narnia or Jesus Film?
September 25, 2011 by cassandra
Today was a great day! Started off rainy but then became the most lovely Uganda day! While I was trying to heat up some water I learned we were out of gas for our stove. We really need to get more gas but it was raining. If you have not heard about life in Uganda and rain let me fill you in…..
When it rains out here life comes to a stop! Taxis don’t run, bodas find a place to wait it out, and people just wait. Wait for it to stop raining. I was blessed to wait it out in my flat! While waiting it out my neighbor invited me over for coffee (if you have not caught on us missionaries drink a lot of coffee and tea!). We had a great time chatting. It was really our first opportunity to get to know each other. Yes, I have been living here for almost two months but we are both busy ladies! After enjoy morning together I decided to try to get some gas….after all I did want to be able to cook something at some point today.
So, I set of to town with my friend and boda driver Emma. He was great. Got me in and round town EVEN with Starday traffic! I got to the store (not the gas store the other store) and I got a few things and then got really inspired! lets just say my living room has a new coat of paint! Well, almost all of it does. I am a little to short to reach up top so I will have to work that our some how. But wait I am not writing about paint! Or gas for the stove! It is about the film Narnia!
You, that is right the great movie that was first a book by C.S. Lewis! While painting my living-room I put in the movie because some how we had power! YES POWER (sorry but I get excited when we have power for more then 12 hours at a time!)!!!! Any way. As I was watching and painting I really saw the story of Christ in it. I know I know C.S. Lewis is a Christan and wrote it in a way that shows the story of Christ. Something this time really made me see it AND feel it. Maye it is living in a place that is so in slaved to darkness. Or the fact that everyone out here believes in the spiritual world but yet still not does know the one true God.
Lets just say I had a thought…while watching and painting ( am good a doing many things at the same time). What would happen if missionaries or any Christian would start showing Narnia instead of the Jesus film? Please don’t take it the wrong way…the Jesus film is powerful and has changed MANY lives. But, what is people saw the story of Christ in a way that moved them, made them want to watch, and for those who are more “closed minded” didn’t even know it was the story of Christ. People today are so passive. Whatever works for you is ok as along as whatever works for me is ok with you. COME ON PEOPLE! That way of thinking and living is only more reason to start showing Narnia!
So, I am just saying Narnia or Jesus Film?
Some of you know that I have a flatmate. She is working in Kampala until Dec. It is a great joy to have someone so me the ropes of life out here. But two weeks ago we welcomed another flatmate in! Mallymkun or Mally for short is the newest resident of the Naja flats. She is full of energy. Loves to sleep often. Enjoys fish and running around the flat until she passes out. Can you guess who/what she is? Let me help you out!
- Mally and I in the kitchen cooking up some grub!
Mally was gift to me form my home-stay family. They live just up the road form our flat. They are so great! While I was with them I got to learn about Ugandan culture and language. They have even adopted me. I get calls weekly form them, calling to check in on me. While they live just up the road it is like they are with me because of this CRAZY fun gift, Mally.
This past weekend (yes, I am a little slow on posting this, sorry!) I went to the Kampala Unit Retreat. Sounds so formal and big but, really it was just a time for all the missionaries (full-term and short-term) to come together and have a weekend of refreshment! Trust me, we all needed it!
- My Little Bungalow for the Retreat
The Kampala Unit is made up of many ladies and three families. One of the families was still on home assignment so I did not get to meet the, someday soon I hope. Some of the unite is new, just like me. Fresh off the plane! No joke. We had a lady join us that just flew in.
As most retreats go there was time for lessons, prayer, games, and of course FREE TIME! The three days were so enjoyable. For me it was a great time to get to know people and see what God is doing in the unit, big picture! It was also a time for me to learn more about why God has called me out here. I am sure you are all thinking “she moved out there to show the love of God to people in Africa.” Yes, I did but let me explain.
AIM has missionaries all over Africa. They have MANY missionaries all over Africa. People that pour their lives out for the Africa people. Give of their time, food, money, emotional support, physical support, and so much more. 24/7 the door is open and they are loving on people. But, who is loving on them? Really I know people back home are sending care-packages and cares. Supporters send in their money monthly. But honestly, who is loving on these people each day form where they are?
Something moved in my spirit once I saw the need; just like it did when I learned of the need in Africa. But there was something different about this move. Something I really could relate with. Something I knew I was being asked to do. Something like LOVE on and minister to the missionaries who are around me. Crazy idea…..right?
No, not crazy! It is a Jesus thing. As he went from town to town, city to city people cared for him. His own disciples cared for him. As he healed people were there making sure he had food and a place to stay. It might not have been big and fancy but never the less his human needs were meet.
That is something God is calling me to do. Meet the human needs of the lovely missionaries around me. If you know me, you know I love to give gifts, write notes, sit and chat over tea and or coffee, and be with people. So while at the retreat it was clear God has called me to Uganda to help get more people out here working in the Central Region AND to love and encourage my missionary family working along side of me.
Maybe while you were reading this your heart felt moved. I want to encourage you to LOVE on those around you. It is not as hard as you think. Make a batch of cookies and pass it on. Ask someone if they would like a coffee too, as you get a Starbucks for yourself. Really just think of what you would enjoy someone doing for you….and do it for someone else.
“Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
If you would like to help with the LOVING (loving on a missionary ministry) please contact me. I would love to get some support and ideas as I get started. Just add a comment below telling me you would like more info!
Things I Have Seen
Last Saturday marked one month of living in Africa. The month past so fast! It has not been a cake walk but, through faith and grace I have made it through. Along the way….I have seen some things. Here is a list of some of the things. Some of the things you can see almost everywhere and others are just a part of life in Africa.
Things I have seen…
-The president’s motorcade (twice)
-Cows causing traffic jams
-Children playing with old tires and sticks (the classic African photo)
-Loads of UN and WHO cars
-Moms holding little ones as they ride Bodas
-Birds that sound like monkeys
-A Ugandan wedding
-The Nile River
– School kids in their uniforms walking to and from schools
-Dads holding the baby as mom rests
-People hand washing their clothes on a Saturday morning
-Friends laughing as they walk down the street
Today is 9/11. Living overseas means one must read the US embassy notices. Advised to stay low today. So after church I did some work around the house….giving me time to think.
9/11 is very hard for many in the US. Hearts are hurting today, remembering the ones they lost on that horrifying day. I remember where I was on when it all happened, driving to high school. As I drove I just could not stop listening to the radio. My ears could not fully process what they were hearing. Once I got to school I stayed in my car, kept listening. When I finally went to class everyone was talking about it and many were in tears. Thankfully our English teacher, Miss. Mac, had us all stop and pray for a while. Some how in the confusion, news reports, and photos for those few minutes felt peaceful. The peaceful feeling of the Lord near.
Looking back, my memories and feelings of that day made me think of my new neighbors. We all have heard stories of Africa. Stories of pain, death, war, genocide, famine and more. It is true this place has seen bloodshed and pain. Many are still graving. Hundreds are in the mist of hardship right now! We in the West tend to hold on to the moments of pain and mark the passing. Looking at it I see it because seldom the West goes through these kinds of events.
For us it is not a daily struggle. We are not running into buildings praying the bombs miss us. We do not walk hundreds of miles to get water and pray we do not meet any rebels on the way. When we get a cough or fever, the first thought in our mind is not Malaria. We do not hear footsteps at night while hiding in the corner telling ourselves the LAR are not in the village.
So, when something like 9/11 happens of course it is devastating. It makes sense the world would come to a halt for us. As you take a moment and pray for everyone effected by 9/11 today…could also say a prayer for everyone in Africa? For all my friends and neighbors still living their 9/11.
Welcome to my new world!
Here are some photos of my new world!
- My living-room
After you pass through the living-room you enter the kitchen…..
After the kitchen we have my colorful bedroom (there are 2 more but they are not close to being done yet)….
- The Robbin Egg Blue Room
As things get done and the house looks more and more like a home I will post it for you all to see. The flat may need some TLC but Uganda itself if a beautiful place!
- The Nile River
The scenery is lovely and so are the people I am meeting!
- Rhona, Heather, and I
There are the lovely ladies I have been blessed to get to know! Heather and her husband are here for a year or so. He is working as a pilot at a local airstrip. Rhona is a great lady that will be helping me in me in the office and my language! This was taken on our trip to East Uganda to see some short-term staff.
Hope you all enjoyed reading a little and seeing a glimpse into my new world!
Things I Have Learned
For almost a month now I have been living in Africa. Thinking of living in Africa and living in Africa are two different thing. Here are some things I have learned while adjusting to live on this diverse continent.
(1-10 I have learned while at ABO and at my Ugandan Home-Stay)
1. Lose your watch! (time is spent on BEING out here and not doing)
2. Dirt is everywhere….and always on you.
3. Learned a few words of Luganda while making roses made out of icing. (my home-stay was at a home of a family that has a cake making business)
4. Things are different out here. VERY different.
5. People here always smile (even while walking down the street)
6. With a little paint and love ANY place can look like home.
7. No matter how prepared you are you are never really prepared to move overseas.
8. God brings friends just at the right time.
9. Everyday I do or say something wrong….and laugh at myself.
10. Grace has a whole new meaning!!!!
What Makes a House a Home?
August 22, 2011 by cassandra
Two days a go I moved into my flat here in Uganda.. The area I live in is called Naja for short. It is about 20min ride in to down-town Kampala and about a 25 min ride the opposite way to the Central Region Office. It is a nice little flat. Three bedrooms, two baths, and cozy. Slowly I am unpacking and getting use to the new area that I now call home.
Kampala At A Glance
While unpacking the other day I started to think about what makes a house a home. Some people say it is who is there while others say it is all about the heart. If your heart is there then it is home. That really made me think. My heart is for Africa. Does that mean my home is the whole of Africa? If so, that is one big home. But, I know that this world is not my home. Just a place I am living and working in. Living and working to see the glory of God made know to ALL people. So, after thinking for a while and trying to find homes for all the things I brought with me, I STILL had no answers. So now I am going to pose this question to you all (that is if there is anyone reading this). What makes a house a home? Please post your answers and reasons in the comment space below.
More and More Like Home
August 13, 2011 by cassandra
Sitting at Matoke. Looking around at the AIM guest house and Central Region Office. I will be calling this place my second home. Just across the yard form the guest house is the office, the office here I will be working. The compound is so nice. Really the whole area here is nice, so green and tropical. There are colorful flowers every where. There is a hint of Hawaii here. Pink hibiscus flowers and birds of paradise line the walk ways.
The office has a quite yet very effective feel. Everything here has a laid back feel but trust me all the needed work gets done, all in the rhythm of Africa. Everyone in the office is very excited for my first day of work…sometime in September. They have been praying for my arrival and it was a great joy to meet them all a few days ago. They made me feel VERY welcomed! They even made jokes about me bringing in “young blood” into the office. Yes, I will be the youngest. God has called me here and it is clear. I am eggier and excited to jump in.
There are also two very special residents at Matoke I have fallen in love with. Shuni and Gizmo…the two most sweet and loving guard dogs! I have made friends with them. I am overjoyed to have them around. When I move into my place I will not be able to have a dog, second story flat. Having them here each day when I come to work will be a great joy.
This morning started like the last two here so far in Uganda. Myself and two short term girls are staying at another guest house up the hill from Matoke. Matoke is small and with everyone finishing ABO and heading over at the same time meant there were more heads in need of pillows then pillows to offer. So, each morning we start our day off with a walk down the hill. It is a nice way to start the day. When we get to Matoke we eat breakfast and then start on language classes.
Language…yes I am learning a new one! One I have never heard until I landed on the 10th. Thankfully our classes are based on a program called LAMP. It is formatted to help you learn the language WHILE building relationships. Being in the community and starting relationships is one of the most natural and effective ways to learn language. Personally I am thrilled. Relationships are ministry. Forming relationships will also help me understand the language paired with culture. Really the three do hand in hand, Relationships, language, and culture.
A New Place to Call Home
August 11, 2011 by cassandra
How do you feel at home when you have been moving for over a month? When do you set down roots? At what point to people stop being aquatints and become good friends?
I have no answers to these questions. I may never have answers to these questions. For now I can just get comfortable with this new place I call home, Uganda.