Monday 17th December
Hi everybody, We are all looking forward to having the Lex family over for Christmas and our plans for the usual feast are coming together well. I will be away Wednesday to Sunday as I take the family on safari, but I will keep the phone on in the evenings in case you want to make contact.
Small scale campsite opening ceremony is now scheduled for 27th Dec so that it happens while the Lexs are here.
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas but will try and make contact over the Christmas holiday as well.
Friday 7th Dec
Just to let you know we are all now back in Kampala .
Our computer is in hospital right now so I am needing to borrow other peoples internet access until we get sorted so please bear with my limited communication for a while. If you need to catch me urgently please phone instead. I will let you all know as soon as we are up and running again.
God bless and thanks for all your messages, calls, emails and prayers while we were in Burundi.
Monday 3rd Dec
Today the team is on the bus back to Kampala and just myself and Alex are left in Bujumbura. We leave for Kigali tomorrow after a few wrap-up meetings today to discuss the way forward for work in Burundi.
Saturday evening was the Worship Event at Minevam Ville Church in the centre of town.
At 6pm 10 ordinary Ugandan Youth stepped onto the platform. The Holy Spirit ignited their praise and for the next 2 hours we touched Heaven. It was powerful and extra-ordinary. I think that says enough. I only wish you could have been here to experience it.
About 600 people packed themselves in and around the church. The desire and hunger for worship, for God and for reality, after years of civil war, is immense.
God bless and I hope my next communication will be a report once back in Kampala.
Tuesday 27th Nov
Thank you for all your texts and emails. Unfortunately the system here is not very good so replying by either phone or internet is proving a problem. Some of my emails are definitely hitting a black hole and so are many of my texts.... So if you have been communicating and are wondering why I am not responding... that is the reason.
But to let you know, we are doing fine and the programme is going well. We have been well received by everyone here and are looking forward to the rest of the week. We are very busy so that has also made it tricky to communicate. In fact I am now 3 days behind on my journal so need to catch up.
Prosper and Alex arrived well on Saturday. Unfortunately Ray had problems with his travel document at the border so he is back in Kampala trying to rectify that for himself and Dorothy and Carol as they are also on travel docs. All the rest of the team have passports so should have no trouble. Silver arrived ok yesterday evening.
Just now and for each morning we are running the training and in the evenings we are having youth worship meetings where we are teaching from Philippians. I began that last night and the other guys will continue through the week.
I think that will be all for now as the days training is starting now and i should be there.
God bless one and all
Ian ( and Silver, Prosper and Alex)
Friday 30th Nov
I have found a working internet connection so am making the most of the opportunity !
Firstly for those who were praying for Ray, I am glad to say he reached us on Wednesday evening with no problems at the border. At least we now know the procedure although it was unfortunate for Ray that he had to suffer. He was still here in time to do his teaching on Thursday morning.
The morning discipleship training is now successfully concluded. It has been well received by 50 Youth leaders from 8 of the Churches in Bujumbura.
Last night Silver also concluded our teaching on Philippians in the evening joint youth fellowships at Minevam Kigobe Church. These have gone well, looking at one chapter each night. Myself on Ch:1, Prosper Ch:2, Alex Ch:3.
While I have been having various meetings with city Pastors to discuss our work and how to proceed in the future the rest of the team have been in to 2 Universities for lunch hour fellowship.
Last night VOW arrived safe, well, excited and tired in Bujumbura. They are resting this morning at the team house and this afternoon will be rehearsing ready for the Worship event tomorrow. This evening we are invited to another city church where they are holding a Youth Worship rally. The team will present 2 songs and I will be giving a mini-preach (whatever that is!!!).
Please continue to pray for us and I will try and keep you updated.
Thursday 22nd Nov
Arrived safely in Bujumbura yesterday. Now rested and ready to face a busy 2 weeks. I will try and check email from time to time and can now be called direct on +257 79 312015. (dial 0844 497 0505 for 5p per min.) Please feel free to call at any time. Look forward to hearing from you.
Au revoir pour le mement .
Thelma spoke to Ian and reports:
Ian is fine and was still in the internet café when I rang so was surprised to hear from someone so soon! Climate is similar to Kampala. Time difference is only 2 hours ahead. He answered the phone in French! Re language, he says he can understand enough to not be lost as there are similarities to Swahili and other languages. English is not spoken, however. He thinks the team will understand more than he does, and of course Silver will understand it all when he arrives. Everything is organised and he is preparing to speak at a church tonight so will discover what sort of translation is required or if he has to attempt French.
Saturday 10th November
Yesterday's retreat was great.
We booked a minibus and all met at KBC at 10am to head to Nabinoonya beach near Entebbe. For our morning session we used Thelma's greetings and notes for a Bible study and I also quoted a few recent emails as an encouragement to the team
We then ate a huge picnic before Paul Kato (ACET Uganda) came and gave a useful talk on personal spiritual growth and development. This was mostly discussion and challenging to all of us.
The rest of the afternoon was time to relax, swim, chat, play football etc. We got back to KBC well fed and happy at about 6pm. This will be followed up this week by a team newsletter outlining future work so that the volunteers can plan their time better.
7th November - Burundi plans:
Ian has sent us the draft Burundi programme for our prayers. He will be spending longer in Burundi than the rest of the team to enable him to have time to build relationships as well as fulfil a busy work schedule. His workload while there is developing almost daily. He has been booked to preach 3 times, meet numerous Pastors, discuss with children's workers about Viva network starting in Bujumbura, plus arrange the discipleship training that the advance team will do and the Worship event. He writes as follows:
"My plan is to travel to Kigali, Rwanda on 20th November, spend the night there and then proceed to Bujumbura on 21st arriving by lunch time. This would give me all day Thursday (preaching Thursday evening somewhere), Friday and Saturday before the advance team arrives on Saturday night - 24th November. Sunday morning I am preaching twice in Florent's church then the discipleship training begins Sunday afternoon. This continues Monday to Thursday but just in the afternoons. Florent wants to take us to different school Christian fellowships at lunchtimes so I am expecting the days to be quite full. The rest of VOW will arrive Thursday evening - 29th November and will have a full day for rehearsal and meeting with their Burundi counterparts on the Friday. Saturday will be a day to finish preparations and hopefully relax a bit before the Worship event in the evening. Sunday I am anticipating VOW being invited to participate in Church services etc and relax on the lake beach in the afternoon. All the team except me will then leave and travel straight back to Kampala on the Monday ( 3rd Dec). I plan to stay on for about 2 extra days before I head home to tie up any loose ends.
On 27th October Collin and Lynette were married. Click here to see more about the big day.
15th October 2007.
Ian's HOLIDAY JOURNAL
Monday 17th Sept 2007
The past week was dominated by rain, mud, power cuts and badly behaved internet. That is why I am writing a weekly prayer update from Nairobi a few days late. In fact I want this one to cover 2 weeks ahead as i am avoiding internet during my break.
Last Sunday I had an update of my Yellow Fever and Tetanus vaccinations. These have not affected me before but this time around I felt completely lousy for 2 days afterwards, all aches, pains and fever till Wednesday morning. I checked with my doctor just to make sure I had not managed to get Malaria but he said my reaction to the Yellow Fever jab was not unusual at all.
So Monday and Tuesday were not very productive. I dropped the guys down to Entebbe so that they could start work on the campsite again and did a bit of admin. Even the admin was not very productive because the power was off from Monday afternoon through till Wednesday lunchtime !
Wednesday it rained so heavy up to 11am that we hid. The waters rose and the mud came up and I began to feel very much like Noah. It stopped around luch time and we waded out form the day and actually got quite a bit done including lodging my Kenyan visa application and ended the day with a meeting to finalise plans for Gershom and Julie's wedding. Then it rained again!
(By the way, as an item for prayer, the rains in North and East Uganda have caused widespread floods and many 1000s have been displaced. Some of those who had left the IDP camps and gone home as the war reduced have now been forced back into the camps because of the rain)
Thursday I met up with Fiona Carr back visiting Uganda. Graham Carr has gone to work for 2 weeks up in Karamoja. Fiona is catching up with Kampala Music School which she founded while in Uganda. She had some valuable advice about charity DVDs that I will follow up in October. She has just completed one for KMS.
I also dropped in on David who really seems to be settling in great and is now driving in Kampala.
Picked up my Kenyan visa and got a bus ticket for Nairobi)
Then it rained again and the power went off at home till Saturday.
(Please note we do now have the money ready to get a generator and will be purchasing this very soon so don't feel too sorry for us)
Friday was a frantic catchup day to make up for the useless days. Met with Henry over in Mukono to plan for the team from the church Douglas is now working with in Liverpool. Also to discuss and plan the day conferences for the Mukono district schools.
Met with Hannington at Power FM to discuss his involvement with YEA as a "Friend" and also to get Power FM support for the Discipleship media campaign.
Many other catchup meetings too boring and many to list.
Wedding meeting for Collin and Lynette, almost but not quite rained off.
TGIF debate complete washout and no one turned up so that will happen some other day.
Saturday Gershom and Julies wedding went great all through then the rain set in and I struggled even to make it home the mud was so thick. But the power was back so I could pack in the light .
Safe trip to Nairobi but arrived with a stiff neck from the road. It is almost impassable in places, more potholes than road and blocked up with heavy trucks. Quite a nightmare really. But a good nights rest and now I am writing this with a much less stiff neck.
The weeks ahead:
This week I have meetings at the project in Mathare Valley (to plan for some friends of David Cormell who want to come next year as volunteers), with the leadership of Parklands Baptist Church to get their involvement with our work starting in Burundi (they have some missionaries there), with Kip (youth pastor of PBC) to discuss YEA involvement with the PBC youth ministry, With Word of Life to finalise the December Youth camp, With Edgar and Sammy to chat about YEA in general and get up to date photos and profiles for the website......and....and...
I am also trying to contact Margaret Trueloves friends who work with street children in Nairobi but as yet they don't reply to emails and don't answer their phones so...
If time I want to find out what Kenyan Safari companies do with their used vehicles (as this may be a good way to get one for our future income generation)
I am sure I have forgotten some stuff but you can get a feel of the week from that.
Then on Friday I will head of into the wilds of Kenya to RELAX. I wont be checking email, the phone will mostly be off and I don't even know where I am going yet
God bless and thanks in advance for your prayers. Will be in touch again after 30th September.
I plan for this to be a much shorter update than last time but just as important. So much is going on at the moment that we would really value your prayers for.
Please feel free to contact any of the team direct by email or phone to get more information and updates. All our details are on the contact page.
So what is going on ?
Ian is back after a good 6 weeks in England, Belgium, Holland, France, Guernsey and Wales. In 2 weeks time he is heading over to Kenya to meet up with our co-workers there and also take a bit of a break after so much travel.
Since the last prayer update a lot has been going on that we can be thankful for. All work successfully completed:
* Collin and team gave training for about 60 Church of Uganda Diocese Youth workers in Hoima, Western Uganda.
* Collin and team spent some days in Gulu, Northern Uganda involved in Schools ministry and also planning with partners there for future work. We are now planning a Youth conference in Gulu in January 2008.
* Another Youth conference in Mukono . Collin took some sessions there too.
* Ian and team travelled again to Lwetamu and then on to Masaka for a week of discipleship training for Compassion Intnl sponsored youth.
Our volunteer team are growing in strength. Please pray for them as they sacrifice time and energy for YEA ministry alongside work, home and study commitments. Please visit the volunteer page to meet a few of them. More will be profiled there soon.
Our partnership with compassion International is developing. currently we are working with both the Kampala Cluster and Masaka cluster. As well as carrying out residential discipleship training for older youth we are doing needs assessment in the Kampala centres to ensure the training we offer is relevant. This is becoming a major part of our work.
The campsite is shaping up. We managed to get three 10 man tents at a bargain price the other day which can supplement the cabins. Most ground work is now done and we hope to continue construction within the next 2 weeks. Please check the campsite page for more info on this plus photographs.
Much discussion is now going on to develop work in Burundi. Edgar (one of our Kenyan co-workers) has been over and met with Florent Bahizi in Bujumbura (see home page). We hope the VOW choir will kickstart out partnership with Florent as they travel over in November for an evangelistic concert and conference in Bujumbura plus schools ministry in Muyinga. Please pray for these plans and the major resources needed to make this happen. As you pray if you feel you can help sponsor one of the team members travelling please email us for more details.
We have recently met with the President of the Baptist Union of Uganda who is keen for us to help the Youth Department develop a strategy for the National Youth Ministry. Please pray for this new working partnership.
Collin and Lynette are now having wedding meetings each Friday to plan for their big day on 27th October. Please remember to pray for them as they take this exciting step in their lives.
( Please look for Lynette on the volunteers page)
ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS:
* As the work develops the need for a 2nd vehicle is becoming greater. Please pray for the resources to realise this.
* We would love to open the campsite soon, so please pray for the work to progress well and for the resources needed to finish the basic construction.
* For energy, passion and good health in the YEA team and volunteers.
* Pray for a growing team of partners worldwide who can support this work in so many ways to match the amazing growth of the work in East Africa, This is an exciting season and we need more people to share in it. Please tell your friends about us.....
Thanks so much for your prayers and support for us. Please keep in touch with us personally as well as reading this.
God bless you
The Youthworx East Africa Team
I think you all know my flight back was good if a bit bumpy over Ethiopia, and I got back home with my luggage intact. One of our back tyres disintegrated on the way back from the airport, so we were late home after changing that in the dark. We now have a new one.
Thursday I tried to catch up with Collin while feeling like a zombie, then Friday repeated most of the discussions of the day before. ( I understood the 2nd time around !)
By Saturday it was time to pack and prepare for Western Uganda:
The 2nd visit to Lwetamu went well. We had most of the same youth with us from 3 months ago so we took the new discipleship course to follow on from where we left before. I was also able to meet with Sande, the area development worker for Compassion Intl, responsible for the Masaka district. We had a good chat about the work we are doing and he invited me to his district project directors meeting the following day in Masaka.
Our team of volunteers completed the work in Lwetamu well, coped well with the camping and bush location and all made good friends among the youth.
The fairly short trip from Lwetamu to Masaka for the 2nd programme was made exciting by getting stuck in the mud. 10 minutes and a bit of back and forth with 4WD got us out and entertained the kids in the local village.
We arrived at Masaka Baptist church at about 7pm (just as it was growing dark).
The programme went very well. A big lively Compassion sponsored project. the youth had so many questions we could have spent days answering.
I went to meet the project directors at 'Hotel Zebra'. They gave me an hour of their meeting to explain the importance of discipling the youth and discuss how we can work together. I was preaching to the converted ! A great bunch of very committed staff who have a real heart for the young people they work with. They are very keen to see how we can work together and we will now be planning with Sande. The idea is for us to put a time limit on taking our own teams of 2 years. During this period the project leaders will identify key youth in their villages who we can train to take on the programme. Then we will do a hand over and occasionally go back to monitor how the work is going. This may well become a model for how we can work in up country areas as it is not realistic to do all the work ourselves long term.
On Thursday afternoon we said our farewells and headed towards Kampala, stopping for coffee at the equator.
Friday back to business as usual. Collin was also back by now from taking a team of volunteers to a youth conference at Seeta near Mukono. We had a meeting with the Compassion staff at Agape Baptist (part of the Kampala cluster) and will be back there within this school break to meet with their youth for a needs assessment in preparation for running discipleship programmes later in the year.
Saturday I met with Catherine for lunch then went to see her new flat. Good place and very close to the school. I think it will be ideal. She seems to be settling in well and is ready for the new term to begin.
The week to come ....
Monday am: Meeting with Compassion Kamwokja ( part of Kampala cluster)
pm: Meeting with Micheal Pukol (new president of Baptist Union Uganda )
Tuesday pm: Meeting with Life Ministry youth team.
Wednesday Youth Conference in Wakiso (10km north of Kampala on Hoima road)
Thursday Youth conference in Wakiso
Friday Youth conference in Old Kampala School
1. Micheal Pukol has been a friend of ours for many years and has just been elected as the new BUU president. He wants to meet with us to discuss how to improve the youth ministry of BUU.
2. The youth conference in Wakiso is something that Pastor Andrew wants to have us involved in. We will probably be teaching or taking discussion groups.
3. I have been invited to speak at the conference in Old Kampala School. It is being billed as an international conference with 10000 delegates from all over the world. We don't know much about it, but I got involved by a bizarre connection where Pastor Ahmed in Dar es Salaam (previously in Mombasa) got to know the organiser called Adams who turned out to be my neighbour in Kampala. Interesting now to see what happens on Friday !
I think that updates you all pretty well.