It is my week off and I went to the ministry center to give support to Olivia and observe her in action. It was great to see her working with the Primary 1 students the equivalent of a kindergarten class but generally in this primary school in Uganda they are about 2-3 years older than they should be in that class. She was managing a class that had 30 students and she told me that they are only on single sounds still because there are 5 groups of the same class. She teaches Primary 1 students every day of the week only one time because there are so many. She is also teaching other classes in the school up to the Primary 5 level. I was overwhelmed by how many students are in school and that they are one of 54 primary schools in that district. The cool thing is that we have a space designated for teaching reading and they actually get to then look at books they are learning how to read. I was encouraged to see how Olivia was able to manage a class and try and make it an interactive experience. I was able to give some feedback to hopefully help ease her burden, and offer some strategies to keeping order and encouraging good participation in the sessions.
I was also reminded of our needs that still exist in the Gayaza office. We run on solar power for many reasons, and that morning we were low on power. See at night we have security lights for the protection of the school and our building to deter theft. We have security cameras that run all night. That means in the morning hours when it is a cloudy rainy day power is very low. The lights might not turn on or the computers run on their backup power. Yesterday Matt was replacing our printer for a more efficient running one. But I still reflected on how much of an impact we are doing even if the things in the office aren’t running we still show up and we work hard. Even when it starts to rain and you can’t hear over the tin roof clanking. Meetings with coaches were being done, sessions with the secretary were being conducted so that work and ministry could continue. I don’t get to see the day to day operations often because I am working at school, so it is a good reminder of things that are hard and things that are working.
We have been reflecting on our 10 years of ministry and we asked the staff to do a little memory video of their memories of us. We still haven’t seen it because I am sure it needs a lot of editing (wink, wink). So many good memories came up as we were talking about how it all started and I was reminded of how faithful God has been. We have made it through some incredible challenges and I am in awe at times at how God has remained faithful to complete a good work in us. The odds were stacked so high against us and we could have so easily just given up, and no one would have even faulted us for it; except us. We knew deep down from the very beginning when we were only 24 and 25 years old and newly married. We quit our successful jobs, sold our things, moved to Uganda where we had no one to help us or hold us accountable. We had frontal assaults, spiritual warfare, behind the back attacks and much more. One thing remained for us though, we had God and we had each other. To me that is so amazing to reflect back on, but also propels us on because if we can make it through these past 10 years, no one but God can stop us from continuing on for another.
Through these times of reflection, I am reminded of those who did stick with us. The people who were worried for us and prayed fervently for us. Those who wanted to tell us to come home, but knew that we had work to do in Uganda. Those who gave money when they didn’t have much to spare, those who helped us get paperwork filed and mail posted. The ones that put on fundraisers for us and gave us a place to stay when we were visiting “home”. Those who told their friends and hosted parties to raise awareness, gave big donations so we could purchase things we really needed. Ministry is a partnership that is more than Matt and Brecka and we have always tried our best to tell the kids here and relay our thanks to those who have stuck with us all these 10 years and those who are new supporters. We appreciate and we continue because you make it all possible. Please keep giving and praying and sharing we love you all.