Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday and Sunday!

Saturday, July 14, 2012
 But first! two photos from Friday at the distribution of the Pillowcase dresses:

More adventures today. We had the ACT Muko Board Meeting today. It was supposed to start at 9am and end at 12:30pm or 1pm. It started at 10:30am and ended at 4:00pm. It was a good exchange on the topics discussed among the U.S. Team and the Ugandan board members.

Of utmost importance was the ACT Empowerment Center. We had a great deal of discussion about lessons learned, what next steps might be and waited for Dave to arrive back from Muko after having visited the site with the Team of Marion (the woman from the UK who builds schools all over the world). They will be bringing us a proposal with costs for completion of the building tomorrow. We also discussed schooling for the Muko HOPE kids and what future plans might look like.

Sue presented 30 minutes of board training covering the topics of the eight basic board responsibilities, the board member job description and the legal duties of nonprofit boards. The board members seemed to appreciate the new information. It is the first time for most of the board members to serve on a board. One of ACT MI board members suggested our MI board could benefit from it as well.

The highlight of the meeting was the changing of the guard – Charles handed over the Chairmanship to Lydia Komugisha. There was celebration for what Charles has contributed for four years being the first board chair of ACT Muko. Lydia gave a speech about her upcoming tenure and the excitement she has for ACT. We also formally said good-bye to Fr. Bruno Byomuhangi, with great, great sadness. He just cannot attend the meetings with his workload at the Diocese. We will miss him very much (munonga, munonga!)

The ACT U.S. Team spent 20 minutes practicing bells to play for the ecumenical service tomorrow in the village. We are joined on the bells by Charles, Lydia and Generous. Then, part of the team headed to the village to pick up some items left in the office that we needed and walk through the Muko market. We purchased three beautiful fabrics but will add to them in Kampala. Driving out of the village, we dodged piglets, cows, chickens and kids. Christopher is so amazing as a driver and a man. “Just a rock”, one of the team said.

Tomorrow, Sunday, we will be worshipping alongside our Ugandan friends at 5 different churches and in the afternoon at the ecumenical service. So far, everyone on the team is well, healthy, and surprised at how beautiful it is here – the weather, the sunshine (not a drop of rain yet). They are appreciating the warm showers, the decent hotel rooms, and the food.

We pray all of you are well. We really have no idea what is happening in the world but life will go on without us knowing…

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The day was full from sun-up to sun-down of worship and fellowship. As Sue shared with the congregation at the ecumenical service this afternoon, this was the MOST important thing we came to do!

We were informed this morning that Aine, the driver of the Turniwe van, had gotten very, very low on gas and they were in the village! So, we spent some time trying to find petrol for him in Kabale before leaving town for the village. There is a shortage of petrol in Kampala and it is beginning to affect Kabale as well. Fortunately, the ProRide van, with Christopher, runs on diesel.

Today was the first time the team got to go up the mountain in the village to the Ikamiro Church of Uganda, the clinic and the VIP latrine.  By the way, VIP does not stand for Very Important People, it stands for Ventilated Improved Pit! It is lovely by the way. Our money was well spent here. We did not have time to go into the clinic as the church was awaiting our arrival for the baptism of Joash Turinawe. Karen and Dave Viele were asked (while still in MI) if they would be Joash’s Godparents. They were thrilled. When we arrived in Uganda, Generous also asked who on the team would like to be Joshua’s Godparents, son of Mabel, Generous’ sister. Some of you may remember her daughter had a heart condition and died last year. This is her younger child. Karen and Dave stood in as Godparents for both of the children. It was a moving ceremony – all in Rukiga.

We then were welcomed by the congregation and thanked for all we have done for the village. Unfortunately, since we have six churches here in Muko who are partners in ACT, we need to make appearances at them all so we left before the main service started and went down the mountain being dropped off (we split up) at all the other partner churches. This was about 11:30. The last service ended at the Pentecostal church at about 2:45pm. The ecumenical service in the Muko market area, sponsored by ACT, was supposed to begin at 2:30pm. They had prepared a huge lunch for us so we sat and ate together and the service started at about 4:00pm. Such is Ugandan time. Many of the village schools and church choirs had prepared songs for us – one even did a drama and Boaz Twikirize, Kapina and Mike Williamsen’s orphan was a star in the drama. They we as a team played handbells for two songs. The villagers had never seen handbells. Another curiosity.

Curt did an outstanding job as pastor for the service. He used a bit of his slight-of-hand to make points about Jesus’ teaching. The crowd loved it! It was being translated to ensure everyone was understanding. At the end of the service, ACT Muko volunteers presented each MI partner church with a basket. What a good idea. We will proudly bring those back to our churches to be presented. The service ended at about 6:30pm and we are now back at the hotel – really tired waiting for our dinner which typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to prepare. Such is Ugandan time…

We wish all of you blessings! Thanks for reading along about our journey.

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