Monday, December 29, 2008

YOUNGLIFE POST-XMAS

So the past few days have been consumed with preparation and doing work in the style/name of "work crew." This has been incredible to be on this side of the whole thing. We have been cleaning this student center/hotel preparing for the 60 some YOungLife leaders to arrive from all over Uganda for training from the Younglife leaders in the USA. Before the Americans or "Muzungu's" arrived, we hung up signs in their room saying, "Malaria is endemic in Jinja District, MUST TUCK IN MOSQUITO NETS!" (when there were no mosquito nets). Another saying, "extensively check under bottom bunks for snakes/rats/lizards prior to bed." Along with multiple others about rat infestations and typhoid- all that great stuff. You know, malaria is very prevelant and we probably shouldn't use the water for stuff we do- so the warning is funny to us but normal to others:) The past few nights have been doing Younglife club and fellowship. Getting to dance and listen to REALLY LOUD music, play instruments, share with the leaders and watch funny skits. This has been a great time for us to reach in further with the people attending this camp. We have been getting to exercise serving and there is a lot of opportunity for that definitely. This is something we are all very excited about- getting to be alongside the experienced Leaders and learn from them.

Today, 12-29-08 was inturrupted with evan and christian going to see CHarles... remember him? This was the man i met a while back, and today we got to meet up with him and his family for the third time. Each time God grows our reltaionships. I can't even describe, its like we show up, and dive more and more deep. Leaving each other with blessings, encouragement and love. The Spirit just leads the conversation more and more to where it is obvious that God has purpose for all of us speicifically in that moment. It is a beautiful thing. Today was our last visit, and an amazing time of ministry. Very personal, just God leading us two strangers together to a very unique, and interesting relationship. Where we go to his house and minster and pray with the whole family. This is something only God has orchestrated, and we give God glory for His plan. We pray that Charles and his whole family come closer to the Lord- as He gives them eyes to see and ears to hear Him. That they would see God's glory and hand in their lives and continue to grow in their relationships with Him.

Friday, December 26, 2008

MERRY X-MAS... AGAIN!

Our Christmas was incredible for a lack of a better term. After our church service, we went over to Philip’s house for lunch. His mother made us beef, rice, pineapple, sweet potatoes, irish potatoes, and mashed bananas. We sat around and enjoyed company then headed home. We quickly began preparing for the Christmas Extravaganza BBQ Celebration! After gathering firewood from the “jungle,” starting the fire, and roasting all the meat and peanuts, we jumped into it! It was very weird in the fact that we haven’t really had Christmas anytime recent that didn’t have snow or wasn’t freezing outside. One of the girls was describing being at the pool on Christmas Eve, getting sunburned listening to Christmas carols. Strange. Well we all (us, our 5 room mates, Philip, and Hanifa) sat around the bonfire, eating our Christmas dinner (roasted peanuts and beef) playing a game called “ZIP-BONG.” Ah, I can’t even describe it to you. To briefly give you a picture, it was not letting your teeth show while saying these words going clock-wise or counter clock-wise according to the specific direction of what the words “zip” or “bong” meant. After the crowd died down a bit, us five- Hanifa, Philip and v-team- circled up for some serious dance-time. Thanks to matt for introducing the youth-group game of memorizing dance moves and adding on, we had ourselves a Christmas Extravaganza Dance Celebration. This was an amazing way to express joy. Looking like fools, not caring, being bad at dancing but being together in love and in the Spirit. We experienced God’s grace displayed through Jesus being born today. So in the most unusual and unexpected way, today we were able to dance and laugh and celebrate Jesus’ coming into the world to save us. It is all made possible by the grace of God.

That is a beautiful place to end, but it doesn’t end there. Soon after this, we introduced to them what we did when we go to rock and metal shows. As we gathered around for tea afterward, Kimby (Betty, our hostess’s baby boy) began to cry. This boy doesn’t like anyone except his mom, unless he is alone. Then he only likes evan. Surprising? Well, evan was closest when he began to cry and Betty left, and this was not a cry of loneliness, but because he had filled his pants. So in excitement that evan was going to get to hold Kimby and he wouldn’t cry- in fact it may stop his crying- he grabbed for him. Evan placed his hand right under his backside as Andrew mumbled, “… uh, I think that he went…” and walked away hysterical. So evan discovered why Kimby was crying when he looked down to see Kimby’s feces on his leg. This ended with an uproar of laughter to put lightly.

This Christmas was so incredible. Thank you for your consistent praying and support for us here. We hope that you enjoyed Christmas as well. This was a time of growing in our understanding and love of Jesus and His love for us. We are looking forward to this new year, beginning with new hearts and seeing what God has for each one of us. May Gods grace and peace be with you as we all embark on this new beginning- 2009.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pictures from the Farm


The View from Canaan Farm













Christian, Andrew and Evan
"V-team in the Botanicle Garden at the farm -- prime time realestate for Cobras!"














Richard Angoma
Canaan Farm Director


Giant African Harps!








Jackson Ochaya -- Former LRA child soldier, Jesus Follower

Christian, day one in the hut.








Men's Bible Study












African Sunset.
"God is good!"


Merry christmas to me! GRACE AND PEACE TO YOU THROUGH JESUS!

On Christmas eve, I felt a tug on my heart to go on a walk. So as i am walking down the street beginning to be wrapped up in my music, a man looks at me very strangely and crosses over the road, walking the same direction down the road as im walking. Sensing something, i pulled my head phones out. As he approached he said in a quiet voice, "Hello, my name is Charles..." And after a short introduction i was able to share Jesus with him. After a long walk on this Christmas eve through the side-streets of Jinja- talking about Obama, the LRA, Cobras, the works- I was invited to his home. This is what the travel book i read before leaving on this trip said not to do. So i accepted and was lead into this mans home into the building projects. I sat there, drinking a citrus Fanta (which i don't think they have in the US, i could be wrong it's been a while) and eating some crackers. I sat for about an hour, and we talked about God, and what Christmas was originally about. About how we received a gift, that Jesus was humbly born and came into this world as a hero to save us in the most unusual and serving way. After a while of this, and hearing his testimony it was definitely time to go because i was expected home long ago. So we prayed together with his wife and mother, and am expected to return back on Christmas day to take pictures and celebrate! I was even given homework to research Daniel and God's protection over him. So i am now writing this with much joy because God always has a plan. His timing is so different and sometimes we don't understand, but there is always something bigger at work and we can never know God's thoughts, but trust in His plan and character.

So I am overjoyed to write this blog to you, listening to my favorite artist ever- Judith Babidea- a Ugandan singer. May you rest in Gods grace and peace as this year ends and as we worship Jesus for coming to our rescue right when we needed it
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

12-20-08 LUBANGA WA NI BE!!!

The past few days have been wonderful ones to say the least. I write this to you in reckless joy. We jumped right into things after getting here. First was a very warm "younglife welcome." This entailed skits, music, worship and prayer. We were honored to be apart of the youth here in Jinja for the first time. After an extreme and first experience at the local market- we went to choir practice. We are teaming up with a church here called "Oasis Center." Joining instruments and voices has been a unique experience, especially listening to them sing, "So I'll join with the earth and I'll give my praise to YOU!" Every night so far has involved this somewhere in the schedule, rehearsing for a big Christmas service this upcoming weekend. Except this past night was a bit different- ending with such... pandimonium, hoopla, furor, chaos, laughter.

Boda Boda is comfortable (somewhat) with one person being the passenger and one driver. It pushes the limits when the driver is used to you (knows you by name) and drives as if you are not on the bike. But having two passengers as well causes for a little more joyful tension. Where the bike bounces up and down and rubs on the tire. Similar to me or Andrews' trucks back in the states. Well that is always interesting, much less when there are three passengers and a driver- four people on a motorcycle. An ordinary motorbike. I cannot explain- pictures wont even do it justice. But on one bike was Ibrihim (the driver), Anifa (our African friend), Betty (our African hostess), her baby and Andrew. And a guitar. On the other bike was our driver, Philip, a guitar, drum, Christian and me (evan). Philip was like an "uh-oh" oreo smashed between Christian, me and the guitar case. Keep in mind that Philip is about up to my chest when we sit on the motorcycle, so he looks like a true, double-stuffed oreo- squished between my torso and Christians back. It got to the point where i couldn't explain why (partly because i didn't know why) i was laughing so hard. I just lost it. It was the wrong time, because when someone gets a case of the laughs- we all know its contagious. So Philip- if only you knew him in this kind of situation- began to laugh with me. Luckily we were home soon before one of us fell off. "You know you're in Africa when..."

So we spent that day ministering to the small villages around the outside of Jinja. Driving about, gathering children over the loud-speaker on top of the mini-van, 16 of us piled out (yes, 16 human beings) and released the soccer ball to witness what Rob Bell calls "Amoeba Ball." This is where a cluster of kids violently chase after the soccer ball until seconds later it is torn apart. After gathering hundreds of children around, we split up into groups and shared the Gospel with them. Philip walked around the field with the wireless microphone inviting everyone to come hear. "Young and old, rich and poor, healthy and unhealthy, angry and happy, broken and together..." A dance off took place after the sharing and praying. This dance off was more of all the little African kids who actually can dance coming out of the womb and three white guys that look like the tin man trying to scratch his back. And suddenly when a "mizungoo" (white person) throws a dance move it really is a great method for breaking the ice because it A) makes them feel more confident and comfortable for obvious reasons and B) laughter breaks the ice for relationship and conversation.

We were invited after the long day to go speak at an over-night prayer gathering. As we approached this half-built brick building we could see the hearts pumping Gods love. We stepped into something great. Getting to share about Job and Gods glory was an incredible opportunity, as was to worship with them. We prayed together and headed home. Unfortunately (fortunately) our boda boda guys didnt come on time so we caught a ride with... yes i am going to go ahead and say it... a complete stranger in the back of a truck. Sounds intense. So we rode off in this pick-up after laughing and talking about "If it wasn't for you God...." moments with our new friend Emmanuel. After all of this we ended with devotion and spending time with God together at somewhere between 12 and 2 a.m. Philip described ministry in Africa like, "If you dont have the logistics or you do... you go and minister anyway." This vision is taking place daily, giving God our tiny, feeble offering. As we find individually who God has made us, we are learning to serve Him better with our strengths, weaknesses, identities, etc. As we continue, we are finding that God is too big to fit inside a box. We are finding that no matter where you are or what the circumstance is- God is holding up walls of water beside you. God is good, and He doesn't change. And we are each walking closer and closer personally with God, building our relationships with God from the ground up. We are so thankful for you praying because we want to affirm that Gods grace and peace is with us, and we are persevering, remaining in His love as you've been praying. God is here and He is truly a shepherd for His sheep. God has given us tight-knit friendship being built, constantly praying, challenging, affirming and encouraging each other- with us and others close by.

Please pray for the following things:

1) Pray that we would be bright lights for all the people close around us and people we are ministering to.

2) Good health and energy so we can go full speed, safe boda rides

3) for God to prepare our Boda's for Gods message of love, and we would have wisdom in those times.

4) The children that accepted Christ on 12/19/08 during the sports/dance outreach would remain firm and not fall away from God, but chase after Him with their hearts and grow to understanding and wisdom of Him in a relationship.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hello, from Jinja!


Hello our family! APOYO!!!


As we sit here in Jinja, Uganda we are so excited to be in touch with you for a minute. We hope that Gods peace and grace is with you. We want to start with: God is good all the time. Your prayers are being answered. Thank you for praying so much. So many people heard about Jesus and not only the out reach, but the bible study finished strongly too. We are dug down deep with the group of guys coming every single day. We are living in unity with our brothers and sisters here on the farm. God is blessing our offering everywhere we go. We are very confident that God is working on the hearts' of the farm residents. that He is speaking to them here, and growing the seeds that are being planted. please keep praying that God will touch their hearts.


Please pray for the women we have been ministering to: Tabitha, Rose, Pamela and Diana. Rose still has a son that hasn't returned from the LRA. Pamela and her family need prayer for health. Tabitha is getting settled into her new hut- she has two orphans she is mothering. Diana has many children and is fighting malaria. They all need prayer for Gods provision in their lives. We are praying that they would find all they need in the Lord, and He would be everything for them.


Please pray God would provide financially for the 2nd church we went to here in Kigumba. They are building a new church that is big. The last two days we visited homes and shared with them. Please pray for Gods provision and that they receive good health.


And please pray that God will continue to speak to all of us and we may serve Him well with who He has made us.

Lubanga wa ni be ("God is good"- in the language of Acholi)

Jesu ni wangu, wa zima wa mi lele. ("Jesus is my Lord, He is the light"- in the language of Swahili)


We are here in Jinja now. After a long and peaceful ride here, we were soon introduced to Younglife, Africa. We had the pleasure of doing fellowship with them, doing worship, and participating in a crazy younglife skit, becoming "part of the tribe" there is so much ahead of us, so we will keep you updated.



christian evan andrew


p.s. we got to take part in the killing of a cobra. as well as a few animal slaughtering's for food. for you PETA representatives, this is how the rest of the world works:)
(Image Above: Lake Victoria, Jinja Uganda -- from www.africanwater.org)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Travel to Jinja


The Team is traveling by bus across Uganda today. Watch for updates.


"Do not pray for easy lives,
Pray to be stronger men.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your power,
Pray for power equal to your task."


Philip Brooks(1835-1893)


"Finally, be strong in the LORD and his mighty power."

The Bible, Ephesians 6:10

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Update From Canaan Farm

A blog update from V-Team, in their last week in Masindi.
(red words are original text, black headings have been added)

Sight. In our Bible study, our friend Matteo came to Christ. it was incredible. we went through John ch. 9 when Jesus heals the blind man. And God touched Matteo's heart through this, and He accepted Christ.

Water to Widows. We have finished the hut and our new project focus is doing outreach for widows. We have been talking to 4; Diana, Rose, Pamela and Tabitha. Tabitha is who we built the hut for. But now we make water filters for them. We make the concrete mold, then we give it to them, or clean the one they already have - then share the gospel with them. We will just share whatever is on our hearts that time and preach and its great. We get to pray with them and lay hands and pray for healing. These ladies are the ones who do the jewelry. They are apart of the family empowerment program that Cannan farm has. They make the jewelry and Sarah Ray sells it then sends them the money. So, they can aquire this skill and make a living. And so we give them clean water and pray with them.

Preaching. On Sunday (11/30) we were invited to preach at a church! We three took an intense ride to the church in the main town, Kigumba. Usually Richard says to drive slow because of the bumps in the road. they respect that. But, this time it was so hot anddusty that richards order was to stay spread out to the taxi drivers. So this meant for them to drive.... fast. So we were greeted with Christs love there. We were given water to wash up, then had fellowship. The congregation arrived and it was home:) over and over it was "praise God for our being together!" and we would praise.
Here in Africa everyone in church dances:) Like, they dance for and hourand a half then have a half hour sermon kinda thing. So it begun with some singing and dancing. WOrshiping with our brothers and sisters in Africa. We had the opportunity to play and preach as well. It was cool because a lot of this church was youth, so we were really able to connect with them. And, by the way, it had to be translated into Swahili. Swahili is the coolest language ever. (just p.s.) so anyway...after that long service we took a long taxi ride home on our fourwheel drive drive way.
a few cool points-
  • We all got to have a coke since weve been here.
  • Andrew took a death bus to Kampala that drove at mach 3 on a broken road. He sat next to a woman breast feeding a crying child, and a man speaking an unknown language to him. He described it as- "I knew I was in Africa."
  • Evan rode a bike with Jackson riding "boda boda" (meaning riding on the back like doubling on a motorcycle) and He thought it was the twilight zone. Jackson saidthat they have NEVER seen a white man on a bicycle before. So through the center he drove, evan was the passenger, then on the way back they switched.
Bats. On monday night we had yet another bat experience. Every single night Evan has these encounters with bats in the bathroom. the first attack was he was going number two and one flew up under him to try to fit between his legs to get out of the toilet. So after awhile, he opened the toilet and the door to let that one out, and outf lew that one plus 8. Evan was ambushed. "they tried to dismember me," evan says. But incidents like this one happen often. Andrew found the correct way to deal is to make a small noise and they wake up and leave. But evan's problem is that they are never asleep in the bathroom when he gets in there, so its havoc. Because of evan's screaming and swinging, this causes some excitement for the bats and they like to mob him. Susan killed a bat with her sandal and it was a revolution.It was so exciting, and us three with a few of our friends were sprinting through the flowers to meet susan at the bathroom to see the kill. Because of the laughing i am pretty sure that the farm awoke in bewilderment.

Cobras. Then we had our first cobra experience. A huge group of guys on the farm joined up to dig it out and kill it. Because cobras are extremely dangerous and will kill. So we were all very suprised to see a few rats pop out of the cobra hole as we were digging, and basically threw everyone into panic. We got it though and killed it-making home a bit safer. so God is so good.

Growth. We are growing in our relationships together --us three, kinda like marriage. We are continuing to bring our five loaves and two fish, and God is working wonders around us. there is a lot of seeds being planted, and God is moving around us to make them grow. We dont know how all the time, but we know that God is speaking to them around us and the seeds are growing in the guys hearts- as well as whoever else He is planning.


Please pray for these guys! we want them to get in the word and grow deep. just pray for that bible study. Our focus is a lot more ministry. We travel and do home visits to people and pray for them, and share the word as well. One of our favorite times is gathering around at random parts of the day and night and worshiping. Or talking about God around a big fire eating roasted corn. We are learning to lead these boys to Christ, and serve them. We are being changed by Gods love, and His love is pouring all over all our friends here. The Spirit just takes it wherever He wants.


PLEASE PRAY SO MUCH: that all these people will be coming to Christ. We are watching the Gospel of John on DVD and a lot of people are coming. Pray they will understand Jesus' love. Our first "Gospel of John" experience ended with the entire crowd (probably 20) worshiping to Childrens worship songs and dancing. Pray that Matteo is strengthened as a new believer. Pray that Joseph comes to know Christ.


New Church. On sunday (the 7th) we went to another church to preach. God moved through us and we are confident in God-that He spoke to hearts and pray that the seeds planted will bear fruit. They are building a real church (right now it is more of a straw warehouse) and they need money. It is going to be huge, and we are confident that God will reach so many people through it.
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Pray in faith that God will build this church and people will give their lives to Christ. Every single day we go and clean water filters for people or build them. We will travel to homes and clean preexisting ones or make them for people who don't have them. This is a project Cannan Farm does through Family Empowerment. Everyday we are in close contact with needy people. We give them clean water then share the word of God with them. Then we'll pray with them. So please pray that on these days Christ will shine through and touch their hearts.


Christ. Pray that God will take our feeble offering and bless it in abundance- and God will bring these people to them. In every experience we are falling more and more in love with Christ. We are truly finding the meaning of "love the Lord your God, and your neighbor." Christ died for us, and we are Italicbasking in that love. That love is eminating out onto new believers and nonbelievers. We are finding more and more the truth that Christs love is all we need to be complete - and from that our actions are pouring out. God is becoming our everything. Our entire identity, motive for acting, everything. As we grow in that relationship, God is revealing His immovable and unchanging character - and our faiths are being built around that.


We are finding individually who God has made us. And every little quirk and characteristic is all being poured out as an offering for Gods glory. We are learning to not quench the Spirit, and let God do whatever He wants. To let those words flow. We are getting to minister Jesus' love in new ways- and as many as we can. Relationships are being built divinely. We are seeing all the"flavors" of God."

~V-Team
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"While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
~Jesus.
."One thing I do know, I was blind, but now I see."
~Blind man
healed by Jesus.
John chapter 9 (vs.5 & 25)







.
The Team leaves December 16th for Jinja.

Picture of Canaan Farm child and dance, courtesy of Sarah Ray.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

At the Next Stop

V-Team will be moving again. On December 16th they depart from their home at Canaan Farm, in Masindi and will travel south by bus, across Uganda, to the town, Jinja. (See Map)
The approximate travel distance between Masindi and Jinja can be around 250 km or 170 miles. It will be a day's travel.

Before they leave, Andrew, Evan, and Christian will be saying goodbye to many significant new Ugandan friends. They have worked under the leadership of Richard. They received new African names, farmed alongside friends in the fields, fought bats in the bathroom, fished, built hut roofs and mortar walls; worshipped, and taught Bible groups with the people of Canaan Farm. And, no doubt, so very much more ... we have no idea how much. So watch for direct updates when the Team reaches internet connection and finally breaks their long two week communication silence.

Their new homebase, is a rural town at the source of the Nile River -- a spot where the Nile begins its journey through Uganda, Sudan and finally Egypt. Upon arrival, the guys will move into a home that is owned and run by "Suubi Africa."
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Suubi is a Non-Profit Organization that works with people and projects in Africa. Their main drive is to provide jobs for impoverished women. By exporting and marketing products made by women, Suubi provides the empowerment of jobs. This practical form of hope currently employs over 65 women and impacts over 500 immediate family members. And these jobs are sometimes as simple as a bead. The women of Suubi make jewelry. And, the Team will see and experience it all firsthand, as they will be living at the base for this amazing organization.
Please check out their two very cool websites: Suubi Africa and Light Gives Heat. They take a couple seconds to download before you can start browsing. Be patient. It's worth it.

Bicycles & Young Life. After the Team gets settled into their new homebase, they will pick up their bikes. The guys pre-arranged to have bicycles while in Jinja. They will be in a school town and traveling around with the kids they meet through Young Life Africa. The main part of their work for the next weeks will be building relationships with the students in the region, through Young Life.

But, The Team is probably taking time to sit, listen, worship, remember, and getting ready to say goodbye to some very important people at Canaan Farm before they hit the road again.

Pray for their goodbyes, and safe travel in the countryside of Uganda.... and watch for updates. Godspeed.

"We have been shown a hope that doesn't make sense
A hope that's alive
A hope that contagious
A hope that changes everything
... and it's changed us."
~Suubi Africa

~kjl

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful in Uganda

Word from Nimaro, Lakija, and Angerwot.
(Andrew, Evan, and Christian.)

Today (11/25) we finished the outside wall of the hut for Tabitha -- the widow we are serving. Every morning we have been sharing the Word with her. We show up in the morning, and share scripture and what is on our hearts with her. Then, we get to work.
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The Bible study has been going really great. We have been going through the book of John. We are now on chapter 8, and everyday God moves. God will move through one of us and the Bible study will be led by the Spirit. Then all the group of guys get to ask questions. It is a great way for us to be sharpened. The Spirit puts different things in the boys hearts everyday. There is a guy here named Jpseph and he is so close togiving His life to Christ. His testimony so far is incredible. God has spared His life- and now in the Bible study Joseph will openly discuss how he wants to give His life to Christ. Another man we have beentouched by is Francis. He is asking a lot of good questions.
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One day we were going to do construction on the hut and we were greeted by Mr.Achana. He is a man who lives with his 2 daughters and sick son. Instead of doing the hut, we stayed with him until lunch and got the sunflower seeds out of the sunflowers by hitting them with sticks. We did about 160 kilos (about 4 dollars worth) of sunflower seeds from the sunflowers with him. We retrieved the sunflowers (size of a dinnerplate) from the farm then hit them. We got to gather together and pray for his baby as well. During church Sunday, Richard's mother, Sarah (filling in for the senior pastor), was feeling ill and went to her hut. While another man was preaching, she passed out and the entire church ran over. At first she was not breathing and was unconscious. Susan (Richard's wife) is a nurse and cared for her. We gathered to pray and waited. The next day we walked down to her hut and she was outside. We sat and talked to her. She said that she felt called to this place to preach and that the devil had no authority in her life. She is starting to feel better and it is amazing to see how God has healed her.
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Relationships with the boys has grown tremendously. We have recieved Acholi (the local african dialect- similar to swahili) names. Andrew- Nimaro (love). Evan- Lakija (loves mercy). Christian- Agenorwot (trusting in God). Now we are called by our new names and call our new friends by theirs. Every night before dinner while we wait we gather around and worship. We play the drum to their singing.We are learning their songs very well, and are able to sing a few! Or, we will pull out the guitars and sing ours while they clap. Either way- we worship Jesus Christ together daily.
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The other day we went fishing for tilapia. We all caught a few- and that night ate them fordinner. She just opened the fish and pulled the innards out- but then just fried it. So we got to eat the head and all (none of us really did though- too difficult and we're too impatient.)
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For Thanksgiving, we woke up and milked cows. Gross. And later we picked a goat and slaughtered it. Francis did most of the work. He "daisy-chained" the intestines which is a method we do to our rock climbing ropes. We saw it from start to finish- the slitting of the throat, skinning,dismembering, cleaning the stomach, and cleaning it all up. Then over a bar-b-q we ate our goat. We had just named him Frederick. So we ate Frederick for lunch. For dinner on thanksgiving we ate thedaisy-chained intestines too. We were very thankful, on Thanksgiving, for Frederick.
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We were able to share with another widow named Rose. She is praying for her son to return from being captured from the LRA. Please pray for Rose and Tabitha- that God would fill their hearts -- that he would be the strength of their hearts, and they would find everything they need in Him. Please pray that God would heal people on the farm, for we have met many people we've been praying with that are ill. Please pray for the many guys in our study are asking hard questions and digging deep. We are able to discuss so much, and build relationships.
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It is so good. Holy tolito! Evan had an extreme experience being ambushed by bats in the bathroom. We will discuss that when we have faster and longer internet."
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We're alive and well, and doing better and better everyday.
Its so amazing here.
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Lakija (evan)
Agenerwot (christian)
Nimaro (andrew)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pictures of Canaan Farm

(Below: The type of hut that V-Team now calls home.)


Finally, actual images from Uganda!

These pictures come to the blog from Sarah Ray. Sarah has been a profound influence on V-Team and has given them much guidance in the planning of this big trip. Sarah is an experienced world-traveler and supports free-trade business, and micro-enterprise for women in poverty in the poorest countries of the world. Her Yobel Market link is on the "Links"Sidebar of this Blog. The Team will be working with women in Uganda, who are making jewelry that will be sold in the U.S., by Yobel Market. The site is full of great and responsible ways to shop for Christmas. V-Team even uses her products. Christian and Evan both wear vibrant (wild!) passport carriers from Yobel Market as they go the globe.
In the course of her life and travels, Sarah has lived at Canaan Farm on a couple of occasions, and sent along these pictures. Thank you for the pix, Sarah!
You can click on her business website -- www.yobelmarket.com -- Go Christmas Shopping !!

Pictured Below: Canaan Farm. A bike used for travel to the market. A gathering of Canaan Farm residents. The closest Market -- 11km away. Market produce. Beautiful children. A pix of the Farm. Women in the business of making jewelry beads. Women Dancing.


The Current Home, for V-Team.

















Thursday, November 20, 2008

Life is good.

A quick e-mail excerpt from Evan:
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"... everything is perfect. i am living in the ideal conditions for me. no running water. outhouses. Showers by pouring water from a bore-hole over me in the sun. This is great here. I can't even explain how good this part of my life is. I have gone deeper into my relationship with God and i cannot explain very well, but i am just going so much deeper into my relationship with God everyday. This is my place. Everyday we either farm or do contruction of the hut. The hut is made out of bricks held together by mud mixed with water to create a harder than concrete substance. It is 14 feet across and we gather brick, and mix the mud and lay brick like real masons- my new favorite career. Being a mason of some sort. Either that or we farm, like, slashing all the bush out with ho's then chopping up the roots, then making a seed bed for some kind of vegetable. Every meal is the food from the farm -- beans, rice, cabbage, sweet potatoes, something!
They have a fishing pond with tilapia in it and i am looking forward to fishing in it. I am getting to know the area more, 500 acres total. Everyday we take a walk to water our new cabbages and we walk by a few huts and we say "Jambo!" or "Apoyo!" means like thank you or hello or something. I cant even explain. There is this need for God here. The civil war problem in Uganda and Africa is so terrible. And after children are abducted sometimes the family turns to witchcraft or simply their own ways. And there is just some kind of depression feeling where there is so much pain in the past. But here in Cannan Farm- people have hope and life because of Jesus. It is just amazing to see how much need is met here by God. Every night we gather and talk about God over a bon fire or after dinner drinking African tea. And the relational encounter with God is so unique. Ah, im sorry i cannot describe this better, but i have very little time...
It is awesome to see miracles from God ... Slowly but surely i am finding out how much God loves us and how much He wants this personal relationship with us. The timing is perfect too, because we would not have been ready to lead a bible study in september. Its like we were lead through Haiti and Brasil, and were on our own and practiced in Germany. Now we are here, and all we have is God to rely on. And He is blessing every aspect of our time here ... I am enjoying being in rural Africa. It is my calling. Farming. Masonry. Doin it up.
So i am sitting here in my hut and i hear rats and lizards crawling in the grass roof! and shortly going to take a shower outside under very cold hand poured water. its awesome!
... Life is good!
~ EVAN

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Real Contact! News from the Team!

The first V-Team dispatch from Uganda: The following update came in an email from the Team last night. It contains two sections -- some history of the region, and what daily life looks like, so far, for Christian, Evan, and Andrew at Canaan Farm. Amazing stuff.

"Lets start with a little bit of history..."

In 1986, Ugandan presidency was taken over by use of arms. The new government ran the opposing members out of the country, north intoSudan. Here, the outcasts began training and became what has beenknown as the LRA, The Lord's Resistance Army, commanded by rebelleader Josef Kony. The LRA began crossing back over into northern Uganda, terrorizing villages, killing, and kidnapping young boys andgirls between the ages of 10-15. The boys would become child soldiers and the girls would essentially become sex slaves. This caused thousands to flee from their homes in distress, broken, and no whereto go. Ugandan government began setting up IDP camps (Internally Displaced People) for the refugees to live. These camps, althoughmade with good intentions, were more dangerous than their homes to thenorth. Disease, famine, unclean water, and extremely rough livingconditions became what are now cemeteries. In Masindi District, justsouth of Gulu District (where most of the attacks occurred), theAngoma family owned 500 acres of land. Many people began asking ifthey could take refuge on their property, and without hesitation, theAngoma's allowed. In 2003, Richard Angoma felt God's call to move away from Jinja, Uganda where he worked on staff for an orphange, tohis family's property to the north and start what is now Canaan Farm.Canaan Farm is a place of refuge, where displaced people come andreceive skills in farming and agriculture, life management, a safe environment and ultimately the hope of Christ.

Now that you know some of the history, this is what we've been up to...

On our way here the first day we were confronted with our firstadventure very shortly (actually before) arriving to the farm. The van got stuck in the long drive way and being covered in mud from pushing it out was an awesome way to start off our adventure. We have arrived in this African paradise- and we don't know how to describe how thankful we are. In just a few days of being here, so much has happened that it is impossible to write it all out.
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The first night we ended with worship under the stars with Richard, Susan (his wife),Geoffrey and Jackson. We have started building a hut for a widow and are learning so much from that. Everyday from 3-4 we are leading a bible study for a group of guys (around our age). We have made two friends (Geoffrey and Jackson) that are Godly men. We are starting a bible study with them as well going deeper so they too can lead the other guys on the farm. A rough schedule of our day would go like this:
  • Wake up, breakfast, someone will give a devotional (like share what is on their heart) and we'll go off to work.
  • We have started farming by making two seed beds for cabbage.
  • Then we go back, rest, and have lunch. We will have our private devotions- then do the guys bible study and music practice. This has been another amazing thing put in front of us. The bible study has been placed on our laps and it is so beautiful to see what God has done.

In the past two days probably 20 guys have heard the story about Jesus and are beginning to learn more scripture. Along with this, we have music practice. An African instrument is the harp and it is so beautiful with the people singing in Swahili and another African dialect. They play and we listen to them, and we play and teach them guitar.

Words cannot describe the presence of God. God has put His hand all over this place. God hasgiven us the opportunity to lay hands on people and pray for their healing. God has given us a beautiful... Utopia, really to seek Him in. Everyday we get to wake up and go into the farm and learn about the crops and animals. We have really been blessed by being with God's people here- and we want to be a huge blessing to them.

Church this Sunday was great as well. After the senior pastor preached, we danced and clapped and sang. We are currently building relationships with guys here on the farm who were directly affected by the LRA conflict.Getting to hear their stories have been impacting. God is so good.

Thank you for your patience. Considering the dial up internet-pictures will have to wait, and the blog entries may be few from us for now. The reason we have limited internet use is because the closest internet is in the town of Kigumba, 11 Km away, and the way we have to get there is by riding taxi motorcycles known here as "Boda Boda"!

Please keep praying for us- for our influence and impact onthe guys here. It is an incredible opportunity. Please pray for all these people living on the farm- most know who Jesus is and believe in Him. Please pray for their growth and that God will manifest His Word in their hearts- and it will grow. We pray that Christ will make His home in their hearts, and His roots grow deep into them, making them strong and producing fruit.

Thank you for everything... we are off now to go pick passion fruit and explore the farm more. May Gods peace and grace be with you all.
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~V-Team

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where ARE they?!

"It's been a while... it's been a while since I could call you..."

V-Team is in Masindi, Uganda. It has been a strange silence to have them so disconnected from the web. Andrew, Evan, and Christian will be able to connect to internet when they travel 2 hours to a neighboring town. We will look forward to more specific updates when they are available.
In the meantime, some of you may be wondering about the Team's current homebase country. So, below, find an overview of Uganda from someone who has been there. Kay Smiley is a child advocate with Compassion International and has recently had a significantly life-changing experience in Africa.


Andrew' Leigh's Grampa, Art Gay, served several years on the board of Compassion International, in Colorado Springs, with friend Wes Stafford. This organization is doing amazing work around the world empowering children by releasing them from poverty, in Jesus name. To see Wes Stafford's remarkable new book about children in poverty, click on the picture.


Check out the Compassional International site to learn more about sponsoring children.



http://www.compassion.com/




From Kay Smiley,
Child Advocate, Compassion International:

Uganda straddles the equator in east central Africa. It’s about the size of Colorado with 28 million people compared to our 4.6 million. The average age in Uganda is 15, the lowest in the world. Life expectancy is age 50. Childhood deaths are mainly due to malaria and adult deaths due to HIV/AIDS. Although HIV/AIDS was at 15% of the population, it has now declined to 6%.


The official national language is English and is used in all schools. Most villagers in the areas we visited spoke Luganda for their everyday language. All the teachers and Compassion staff we met spoke 2-5 languages. Some had to translate for the children, depending on how much schooling they had. Whatever language is used, Ugandans generally speak softly with a beautiful lilted British accent.


Baboons. We stayed in another hotel for one night when we went on safari. It was located close to a jungle and they have trouble with baboons stealing food from the open- air restaurant and tearing the outside of the hotel off.


Uganda is simply gorgeous. Palm trees, grasses, open spaces. This was wintertime and everything was green and lush. The best part of traveling on a bus was being able to wave and smile to lots of people and to see the countryside~
People carrying heavy loads on their heads or on their bicycles
Empty, partially built houses
Children wearing uniforms, walking home from school
Children wearing ragged clothing sitting in the dirt playing with a strip of
cloth or a stick or nothing
Women washing clothes
A cow
A goat
Yellow plastic water jugs
Women selling fruit and vegetables
Women sweeping
Hunks of beef hanging from hooks
Men making bricks or metalworking or woodworking
Trash burning
Men washing work vehicles by driving them into wet ditches
Women carrying infants and toddlers on their backs
Giant anthills
Men shoveling mud out of road ditches
Women sitting on the ground selling roasted corn from a small stove Small patches of crops
We learned that poverty is not laziness.

The best part? Playing with the kids. Holding their hands. Taking their pictures and showing them the LCD screen, getting a burst of giggles. Singing and dancing together. When I looked at all the photos, the constant theme is smiles. Happy, wonderful smiles.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Arrived in Uganda


V-Team has landed safely in Uganda. They were picked up at the airport by Canaan Farm hosts, Richard and Jackson. Before heading off to their new home base, the guys took malaria medicine and were able to send a short, cryptic email update from a small internet cafe in Kampala. Fighting with technology and keyboards, their message looked like a code and started out with the words, "we hav landed safelyin uganda..."


They expect this first week to be some hard work. The Team will be learning from and working with Families Empowerment, Uganda. FEM is a Christian organization, that was founded in 2002 by Christians who were moved by the plight of war-displaced families affected by regional conflict in northern Uganda. It was also driven by HIV/AIDS needs. FEM-Uganda is located in the north western district of Uganda in Masindi, just two hours drive to Gulu district. Since it's foundation, FEM-Uganda has helped meet the needs of families who are victims of war, poverty, and disease with the purpose of sharing God’s love through Jesus. (brief website on blog sidebar) Watch for more information about this organization and the people of Canaan Farm.

On the agenda for the 3 guys, this week -- building a hut for a widow and learning to farm. They will also begin relationships and have conversations about life and faith with farm workers, during soccer games, and possibly around a bon fire with music.
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For the next 2 months, Uganda will be there home.
.~kjl

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

From Cairo

So we have reached the airport in Cairo, Egypt and everything is perfect! We took a 2.5 hour train ride to Munich airport and set sail this afternoon at 2 o clock. Everything has gone extremely smoothly- no complications thus far. Its amazing- we finding that the further we get away from home, the more different it is. South America is so close to the United States the further away we go. We don't even know where to start as far as the language goes. This is a whole new world- much different than quaint, little Kronburg Germany. Even though we are on the other side of the planet, it has been such a huge blessing that everyone we have asked for help speaks english and directs us right to where we need to go. Nearly every person has been so helpful and this whole travel has been just amazing. Thank you for praying today! How beautiful.
Well, another two hours, a long plane ride and a long bus ride ahead of us. Please pray for wisdom in this time. We want to be smart so we are not targets but bold- not having spirits of timidity.

GODSPEED!


friends,
Christian Andrew Evan

Snapshots from Germany















































Monday, November 10, 2008

Ciao Deutchland!



The rest of our time was filled with so much fun. We visited a lot of ancient churches and castles. Once again, it was great getting to know Philipp more. He has grown so closely to us three and its hard to communicate what all has happened- but here is our attempt... the final Germany video!

Leaving Germany















Hot to cold, to hot again. In the last 3 weeks, the Team has gone from sweating in shorts in Brazil, to chilly weather and coats in Germany, and now... back to the heat.

In the Air Tonight.

They are on their way, again. This week, V-Team will enter the fourth continent of their global trip.
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Tomorrow, the Team departs from the airport in Munich, Germany and will fly to Kampala, Uganda. Which, as the crow flies, is 3,533 miles or 5.685 kilometers. However, obviously they won't be traveling by crow. From Munich, their flight heads to Cairo, Egypt. Then, from Cairo, they fly to Entebbe/Kampala, Uganda. From Kampala, the Team will have to drive 110 miles to Masindi -- the home base of Canaan Farm. Tomorrow's trip will come to a grand total of 3,789 miles traveled.
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As the team leaves, they will be heading into an area of Africa that does not have readily available or consistent internet connections. They will be living in a place with less ability to communicate. We will hear from them less, but the blog will continue to provide updated information about where they are and how to pray. Stay tuned ... and, please pray as they depart for this next leg of the adventure.

~KjL

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

VIEW ALL BLOG ENTRIES!

WE HAVE JUST RECENTLY ADDED FOUR NEW VIDEOS, SCROLL DOWN TO KELITA'S OTHER BRASIL VIDEO ADDED RIGHT BEFORE "FUNNY MOMENTS IN BRASIL PT. 1" THEN JUST SCROLL UP AND WATCH THE REST!!! 

Ve ahr een Gehrmany! Eet ees so sveet!

We've been in Germany for a week or so, and it has been great thus far. We have been given a warm home to stay in- with a good old friend. Juergen (Philipp) lived with Evan for a few months, finishing out their senior years together. All of our friendships have stayed, and now we have met back up across the world! During this time we have been getting to know him and his family. It is such an awesome opportunity to love our friend Philipp. As conditions of life will intensify in Uganda, this is a great place to refuel.


funny Moments of Brazil pt. 2

This is part 2 of our funny moments in brazil, if you have not watched part 1, scroll down to the blog entry below this one and watch part 1 first. Tchau!

~christian

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Funny Moments of Brazil pt. 1



We decided to make a couple videos of some of the funny and more laughable things that occurred in brazil, enjoy!

Brasil 2008



Another video made by Kelita of Brasil 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

SPOT TRACKER!

Ladies & Gentlemen...

So, the Spot Tracker is not working.  We have had it on for the last 2 weeks, but we are being told that it is not posting on our page.  We have taken the batteries out and put them back in to try and reset it, its been on since we got to Germany and it hasn't posted here either.  We are going to try some troubleshooting stuff, we will let you know if and when its up and running again. Thanks and sorry for bad news! 

~christian

SPOT_Tracker.png

Friday, October 31, 2008

Another video....

This is a video that Kelita (Marconi's Daughter) made, we thought we would put it on our blog, its really good footage that we did not already have. Thanks Kel, its a great video, love you, miss you, hope to see you again someday soon!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Brasil countryside

Voce pedo?

So, we are just finishing up our final brazil videos, they will be up later today! sorry we haven't put any up in a while, we had almost no internet for the last 2 weeks in brazil. We are in Germany now, its very cold but we are loving it! After the brazil videos, we will post some stuff about Germany. Peace out ya'll!


This picture is just a glimpse of Germany, we will post more later, promise!

~christian

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pictures of the Xote Santo tour

On the road with Xote Santo
.Setting up the "transformer" stage in Carnaubas. Notice the güy up on the telephone pole getting the source for oür electricity.
Robino, andrew, Regis, Evan, Christian, Wilker, Eric and Olesandro (both on bottom)
Ändrew having a quiet time
Evan (Maximus) and Ceaser (Ceaser)
Sitting around the computer having a laugh :)






Xote Santo