It has been a hectic couple of weeks for us! We have been carrying out the first district-wide primary school reading tests. This means that, along with a team of twenty local teachers, we are making our way through the 76 school in Gulu District to test the reading ability of 45 pupils from each school. This has tested our “direction-following” skills, which have significantly improved as nobody has turned up at the wrong school yet!
In addition to this, we’ve been recruited by two primary schools to go in once a week to read with the pupils. Although we have only been going for a couple of weeks, we have already noticed the children becoming more confident around us, allowing them to engage better with what they are reading. We are really looking forward to continuing seeing improvements in the children’s abilities, and forming relationships with them.
One pretty major landmark event was James’ spontaneous baptism which was an amazing day for us all! We decided to go to the church baptisms as we were told 12 people were being baptised, which sounded like something incredible to witness! Pastor Jimmy asked us all when we arrived whether we had been baptised before, and James mentioned that he hadn’t but he had been wanting to for some time. This sent James rushing home to get spare clothes and the next thing we knew he was baptised, and then baptising some of the others from church too!
Being in Gulu doesn’t stop the celebration of British festivities, such as Bonfire Night! We had a great evening full of laughter, food and friends; and coming home smelling of smoke. It even rained, making it feel even more like we were back in the UK! We really enjoyed spending the evening with our British friends, and even with some Americans who enjoyed hearing about our traditions, or perhaps just enjoyed the fellowship.
During the same weekend, we celebrated Olivia and Kirsty’s 19th birthdays which were pretty epic! They consisted of many balloons, many pizzas and two incredible birthday cakes, with very special candles… it was definitely a birthday to remember (or two!).
Something which hasn’t been so enjoyable is the amount of time we seem to spend at the bike repair shop! So far we have had 15 chains falling off (13 of which were Olivia), 5 punctures (4 of which have been from Olivia), 4 broken pedals (all caused by Joe, who broke his own pedal so borrowed Kirsty’s bike and managed to break hers too!), 2 broken brakes and 2 broken gears. [Life Lesson #3: always leave extra time to get anywhere, and don’t let Joe borrow your bike!] We were going to say that despite these issues, nobody has fallen off yet. However, just before this was uploaded, Kirsty decided she wanted to fly and thought that over the handlebars would be a good start. It wasn’t. It hurt.
Prayer and Praise Points:
- Pray for the team energy levels as we have had the busiest two weeks yet, and are feeling fairly exhausted.
- Praise God for our ongoing fellowship with Gulu University Community Church, please pray that we are able to take a more leading role in the organising of Sunday School.
- Pray that our nightly bible studies are engaging for all of us, so that there is no risk of us losing our “spiritual buzz”.
- Praise God for the incredible celebrations we have had and long may they continue!