I apologise whole-heartedly for the absence. My college account which this blog is run off was closed and the blog went with it. I was actually pretty devastated- 11 months of my carefully documented life was lost forever.
But I got it back momentarily.
Hopefully this blog will remain visible long after they shut down my college account once more, as I have linked a hotmail email address to it in the hope that they will not remove it entirely. However, it turns out that the setting that college have put in place are such that I cannot change email ownership and after about a week I will not be able to access this blog any longer.
This makes me really sad, guys.
I was hoping to revamp it and give it a new life that seems to be lacking at the moment. I was hoping to change the direction it was going in, make it better, but keep you guys as my awesome followers. Now I'm going to have to do something brand new and that really scares me.
But I built this little blog to what it is now and hopefully I can do the same with my new blog. Hopefully some of you guys will visit me over at my new URL (when I have it!) and stick around a bit longer.
I love you guys and thankyou for putting up with my erratic posting, long trips away this summer and my general ramble!
You helped me through rough times, and I know that some of you guys have prayed for me when things have been hard; I cannot thank you enough.
Keep in touch!
If you want me to email you my new blog details when I sort it out, just give me a shout on my alternative (non-college related) email; firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd love to hear from you :)
All the best,
1. Teaching the young people of South Sudan biblical truths and to inspire them to minister in their own churches. The youth conference had around 50 delegates and they were all so eager to learn more about their faith- once we managed to get a translator!
2. Engaging with the young people through sport and craft, building relationships and getting to know one another. It was exciting to build relationships with brothers and sisters across the world!
3. Going to the working prison, the barracks, the police and fire service to teach them about the love of God. I was so worried that we would be unwelcome, as we would be if we had taught about Jesus in British police stations or barracks but they genuinely wanted us there, many of them asking for bibles and prayer!
4. Using drama to make the young people smile but also to get across serious fundamental messages. They absolutely loved seeing us look stupid, so they particularly loved one where we all got soaked! The picture of me in the wedding veil was a drama illustrating sexual purity :)
5. Showing love to the street children who wandered onto our site whenever anything interesting was going on! They were in various states of undress and had no english whatsoever but they loved learning basketball and painting rainbows and cars (arrabia in their local language!)
6. Ok, so this one isn't strictly why we were there, but I thought it deserved a mention! In the middle of the compound there was this huge cosco container which apparently had been left there after shipping medicines and is now used as a storage unit because it is waterproof. One day after some of us leading an evening bible session, we came back to the central "eating" area and Matt was standing on top of it! So of course we all climbed up! Later, when this picture was taken, we went up one evening and ate a random bag of dried apricots- kind of random! It was just a cool place to chill :)
7. This last picture is one of my favourites from the trip. It is of one of the ladies who attended the conference, Florence, doing prayer ministry with someone whilst we were on outreach at the local churches! Putting into practice what she learnt! It was pretty awesome.
So yeah... just one last post about mission I promise! But tomorrow I'm linking up with Frills 4 Thrills for CopyCat Friday so you'll have to wait until Saturday!
Not that anyone reads them anyway :(
On that positive note,
The natural beauty, God's glory displayed for all to see, really just kept us going.
Even at our lowest, when we were struggling with tiredness or illness, we could look up and see just how big our God is. He put the stars in the sky but still knows us by name. And if he is for us, then who can stand against us?
Just a thought,
Uganda was our halfway house between the UK and South Sudan; both physically and mentally. We flew into Entebbe and stayed there for two days, sorting out visas and filling the time by swimming in one of the posh expensive hotel's pools for $4! It is an odd, hybrid country, half full of rich African culture, and half westernised. There are shops which could be on the high street back in England alongside tiny market stalls set up in disused corrugated iron containers. People wear anything from the traditional patterned dress to smart suits to jeans and scrappy tshirts. It is different from anything I have ever experienced before!
Everyone seems to think that because we were white that we had money. The child beggars on the street harassed us every time we went to buy water, the budha-budha (motorbike taxi) owners harassed us every time we so much as looked at them and even the hotel staff came into our rooms, pleading money off us for medicine, with a well-rehearsed (or maybe real, I couldn't work out) list of ailments.
It is a beautiful country, even if we only got to see the main road from Entebbe to Kampala and the inside of our horrible, cheap motel! The weather, too, was lovely, though we did get caught in a rain storm on the first day!
Personally I preferred South Sudan- you'll see why tomorrow! But it was great to experience another culture :) Plus, I got several cool stamps in my passport ;P
THE MISSION TRIP WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! (just had to put that out there!)
I'm afraid I am going to bombard you guys with many different posts about my mission trip to South Sudan! And this one is just to introduce the amazing team! One of my prayers for the trip was for team unity and God definitely answered it- there were no real conflicts or problems, we just worked together for the glory of God :)
So this was my beautiful room mate and fellow female, Beth. She is seriously so lovely! Together we coordinated the crafts for the youth conference and braved the long-drops! I was so glad to become friends with someone so on fire for God :) She has an amazing testimony and went on the craziest gap year last year to an extreme adventure bible school in New Zealand.
On the left Dan is surrounded by a bunch of South Sudanese village children who absolutely loved having their picture taken! He is an awesome guy who went with me to preach in a church in Kimu. He is so gifted at preaching and he really helped me work through some of my own problems too. He has a great heart and I was so blessed to work alongside him!
On the right Josh is dressed up in his church outfit- looking like he is about to go door knocking! Not only does he have the craziest eyes, but he is so lovely! He is really gentle at heart and was so good with the children, especially this one boy who had special needs called Bosco.
Then this is Mark deep in thought at one of the outreach events. It kind of sums him up really! He is such a deep thinker and has such a passion and thirst for Jesus. He only became a Christian in February and is so eager to fall deeper in love with God! It was awesome to have him on the team because he is really enthusiastic :)
And last but not least we have Matt, wearing Beth's grandma's sun hat to stop his scalp burning! He has an awesome sense of humour and a million different stories- each one more unbelievable than the next, though all true!
So yeah... that is all the young people I worked with over the last two weeks. We also had a team leader called Val, but she wasn't quite so keen on having her picture taken!
Next up, all about Uganda and South Sudan :)
Tune in tomorrow, y'all!