New opportunities to learn
Once again our Eastern and Southern Africa team came together for our Continuing Education Retreat. It is always a wonderful time of learning, worship and fellowship. We were blessed to have Rev. Dr. Abjar Bahkou who taught us about Muslim Christian Encounters. He is a native of Syria and an ordained Lutheran pastor. This is a subject that is part of the context in which we serve as Islam is making it's way across the world. Rev. Bahkou shared with us the challenges of Islam walking us through what Muslims and Christians believe and reading text from both the Bible and the Qur'an.
January has been filled with new volunteers and new opportunities for them to serve across East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda). Our agricultural team has grown and are serving in new areas in Kenya and Tanzania. Our dear friends and former missionaries Delano and Linda Meyer are serving in the Turkana lands where they will be a new mission station. They are researching opportunities to help restore the land due to overgrazing.
We welcomed Rev. Michael Giddings and Rev. Douglas Bergelin to serve at the Project 24 site - Othoro. Othoro is home to 25 boys ranging from 4th to 8th grade. The pastors came to help them improve their English by tutoring them after school. It was also a cultural experience as they were a part of their everyday life. We are thankful for the support of Project 24 through our volunteers.
In preparation for 2017 teams, I set out on a few new adventures. I was joined by fellow co-workers for Christ, Sarah Kanoy and Molly Christensen as we traveled to Amudat, a remote area in Northern Uganda, home to the Pokot people. This is the potential site for an upcoming team and we needed to be on the ground to visit with the pastors, local healthcare officials and see the surroundings. It was quite the adventure as we set out on an early morning flight on a 13 seater plane. The landscape was amazing and as we approached Amudat, all we could we was a small airstrip with nothing around it. It was a fruitful trip and I am excited about the possilbiity of a team serving in Amudat. A few days after our travels to Uganda, we set out for Tanzania to also meet with church leaders and look at potential sites. No small planes on this trip, but still quite the adventure. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve alongside our brothers and sisters in East Africa as we share the Gospel.