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School of Ministry – The Beginning

3 Mar

We are just coming to the end of our second week of school.  It has been quite the experience.  At some moments I begin to feel a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing and I just have to relax and remember that we only do this by God’s strength and according to his plan – why should I worry about  things that are outside of my control.

I love having the school up and running.  I love being with the students every day.  I love teaching classes.

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The first week I was busy doing a lot of teaching as I covered an overview of the Bible.  This week has  been a little more relaxed for me as we start to settle into our routines.  I have been teaching some of the Biblical foundations classes looking at some doctrinal topics that we can draw out of various Bible passages.  This afternoon, I taught my first session in a series on Tentmaking – looking at practical ways that these students will be able to support themselves and their families as they engage in ministry.  I took the students out to the demonstration farm in Obule and gave them a brief introduction to some of the agriculture topics that we are going to look at this term.

win_20170222_09_33_29_proRachel worked with the students the first week giving an orientation to the library computers and she is looking forward to integrating some computer practice into this term.

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In addition to a variety of other quizzes, assignments, and memorization, I gave the students a “Bible Resources” assignment to give them practice using their concordance and their Bible’s footnotes and cross reference system – they spent a few hours in the library laboring through all the work I gave them last week.

We are still working out some of the finer details – how do we install the new photocopier, what is the most opportune time to serve porridge, do we have enough mosquito nets, where are the extra light bulbs, how many rolls of toilet paper do we go through in a day, do the beans have the right proportion of soupiness to be served with the posho, at what height should we hang the clock – those are just some of the earth shattering crises that I had to deal with today.

I am really loving every moment of this school and being with these students.  I know with confidence that this is the work that God has been preparing us for over these last few years.

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Animal Impact for the Holidays

6 Dec

Building the Barns

25 Jul

This has been a season of construction.  Work on the School of Ministry building at Calvary Chapel Soroti continues on.  The crew has been diligently working on plastering the ceilings and walls with cement.  The window frames are installed along with the electrical wiring.  The doors have been ordered from the local carpenter and the first of them should be ready for installation this week.  With a little paint, the inside of the building will almost be ready for use as we continue work to finish up the outside of the building.  We are thankful for God’s provision of the resources needed to finish this work.

In other places, this time of construction continues on.  Out at the demonstration farm in Obule, I have been busy with our builders there to put up the rabbit and guinea pig barn.  As a place for teaching, I am planning for a variety of hutches/housing options that will go inside this barn.  We will try to demonstrate an array of options to stimulate people’s creativity as they get ideas of what might work for them at home.  Everything from wire to sticks; bricks to bamboo; simple to complex.

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Once the grass thatch on the roof is complete, the only thing remaining is to put the final coat of cement down on the floor.

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The construction continues on the other side of the country.  In May, I was in Kanungu District which is in the SW corner or the country.  There is a community organization there that I am working with to set up a piggery project that they will use as part of their program to diversify income sources for coffee farmers in the area.  The organization will maintain a piggery building for demonstration and teaching purposes and will be giving out the piglets as loans to the farmers that they are working with.

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They are about to finish up on their construction and I hope to go back down next month so that we can bring in the pigs and get the program up and running.

Next up on my construction to-do list is to start building a very similar looking piggery at the demonstration farm in Obule.  The land has already been cleared next to the rabbit barn, now I just need to track down our builder and we will be ready to go.

If you are interested in partnering in any of these livestock projects, please let me know.  We have a Livestock Program special project account at CVM specifically for this.

Time for the Roof

16 Jun

Construction continues on the School of Ministry building.  A lot has happened since my last update.  The walls are finished.  The roof structure has gone up.  The timber framework for the ceiling was constructed and installed along with the wire mesh that holds up the concrete ceiling.  They finished casting the concrete ceiling last week, so this week the first of the iron sheets went up on the roof.

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The first of very many iron sheets to be put up.

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Once they got them started, the progress was quick.  All the iron sheets should be up by the end of the week and then they will be ready to begin installing the doors and windows, probably next week.  All the doors and windows are ready and waiting for installation:

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Keep praying for the progress of the school, for the construction, for safety for the workers, for the curriculum that we are planning, and for provision of all the necessary resources to get this project ready for students in January 2017.

Christmas Update from the Grahams

29 Nov

Hello Friends!  We wanted to send a special Christmas greeting to you!  So, here’s an update from sunny Soroti.

Animal Impact

6 Nov

Our mission agency, Christian Veterinary Mission, just created a video featuring our work with the Batwa of SW Uganda. We are appreciative of  CVM’s Animal Impact program for providing so much of the funding to be able to begin these rabbit loan groups.

Gulu Gospel Goats

20 Aug

Day 4…

Gulu teaching

For 2 days in March, I was in Gulu (northern Uganda) teaching on goat husbandry for a new revolving loan group we formed there as part of a church partnership.

November; In Pictures

3 Dec

The month started with a visit to Lomorucubae (Karamoja) to check on the house that the community is building for us.  The walls were up!

Lomorucubae House

Then, a drive around to the other side of the mountain for the peace celebration in Nabwal.  The peace monument was dedicated – at first the plaque didn’t quite fit, but it was nothing that the Land Cruiser couldn’t fix.  Many different peace choirs performed during the celebration.

Peace plaque Peace Monument Peace choir marchingPeace choirPeace choirJennifer has had enough of Rachel

A quick turn around for the next week in Masindi for the CLIDE staff retreat.  We were able to spend a day in Murchison Falls National Park with all the staff members – a first time for many of them to see the wildlife of their own country.

CLIDE team at Murchison FallsDaniel and Rachel at Murchison Falls Baboon attack Giraffes

Back home for the weekend, Rachel had a quick visit with her craft group – time for making some beads in our living room.
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Not even home for 2 nights and we were on the road again.  Two days of driving later, we reached Buhoma in SW Uganda where we held a follow-up training and rabbit distribution in a Batwa community.  Five participants each received a loan of a breeding pair of rabbits.  After reproducing, they will repay 2 rabbits to the development program which can be given out to a different community member.  After our first training in August, they worked hard at making hutches in preparation to receive their rabbits.Rabbit distributionNora's house

And then back up to Karamoja for a quick visit to Lomorucubae.  The community is making some great progress, the rafters were up and the grass was ready to be added to the roof.  Once the walls are mudded, we are ready to move in!

Lomorucubae house

Link

We shared at a church in the US this weekend!

29 Oct

We shared at a church in the US this weekend!

This past weekend we were able to share (in the form of a quick video update) during the services at one of our supporting churches (and my (Rachel’s) home church for 20 years!).  It was a great sermon from the series “Not a Fan”.  Click the link, enjoy the sermon and watch for our little update at the end.

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The Lolly Pups Are Here!

25 Oct

The Lolly Pups Are Here!

About a year ago we brought home the cutest little fluff-ball of a dog. Daniel had picked her out while doing a rotation at a veterinary clinic in Kampala with students from the vet school. He’d managed to save her little leg (she’d had some kind of run-in with another pup at the house), but he did lose two toes so the breeder didn’t want to keep her.

Enter Lolly Two-Toes.

She’s a great little pup but she’s very confusing to the people here in Soroti, most of whom have not seen a dog quite like Lolly, except on TV. She lives outside with Chumlee but sometimes while Daniel is gone I let her sneak onto the couch with me. She’s just too cute.

We’ve had requests for Lolly Pups since we brought her home so I was excited when we decided to breed her (although that process what a bit traumatic…have you guys SEEN that?!). Dogs’ gestation is only 60 days so about 12 days ago little Lolly had her pups.

We did start with 4 (there was another brown one) but that one didn’t make it. RIP little pupper (which, here, unfortunately means Rest in Pit-Latrine).

They are cute little things but I can’t wait till their eyes open and they start running around. If they are even half as cute at Lolly was we have OVERWHELMING levels of cuteness headed our way.

We won’t be keeping any of these pups because I need a puppy around here like I need a hole in my head BUT we’ll keep one from the next litter.