Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thank God the red light was long, I was able to roll down my window, give the man the clif bar, and converse with him for a short time. He ate the bar immediately and seemed most thankful for the food. His response was different than I expected. As I offered him the clif bar and he accepted, the man said, "Thank you, baby, you're a real sweetheart." Almost like I was a little child. I was glad that I could do something.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Recently, someone told her at work, expect a miracle today. She was like whatever. And then she's walking out of the building and says goodbye to the Math Dept. head. The Math Dept. head is freaking out b/c schools about to start and she just lost a teacher.
Amanda is driving home and says, Faith, Faith! She calls my cell. I actually heard and answered my cell. Hello, I do not even touch that cellular most of the time. I said yah, I'll email you my resume and you can give that to your people at Jay. My thoughts were whatever, but no, be nice. Amanda was telling me the Math Dept. head (Amanda is in the History Dept) was a strong Christian woman, and desired a new hire with certain traits and qualities, all of which I fulfilled.
So...I go to interview the very next morning. It went very well. In fact before the interview the lady was like I'm so excited... Which starts you off good. I was demanding--I expect a projector and this and that, and I won't do this and that, but I will do this and that...it was kind of funny, anyways, as my Dad says, I'm surprised they wanted you after all you said you would not do and what you said you wanted. LOL! So that went great.
I then waited to interview with the principal for an hour in a half. Miscommunication, and I ended up coming back the next day. I would say it was more formality than anything. Before the interview I was told things like, when you need anything, come by...I'm in room such and such. People do not usually here, when you need/want this come to me if you're not going to be hired. Principal gave the okay for me to be hired.
I was called Thursday night and told to show up Sunday. Amanda was most excited and today told me that this was her miracle from God. So...once again we reconnect, it will dangerous, we are across the hallway from each other, but it's also been amazing to have a friend like her back.
Throughout the week I have had so many people come up to me and say, "I have been praying that you would be hired" or "You are an answer to my prayers"--it's been really cool. And they say God is not at work in the High Schools?
You are reading about Jay High Schools newest senior Math Models and sophomore Geometry teacher. :)
Saturday, August 18, 2007
My disappointment is Gods divine reappointment!
I continue to search for a job, although, once school begins, numbers come in, schools will be hiring. I am picky. That's not helping me hire quickly.
Coming home and not having to be at work must be Gods divine reappointment; it has allowed me to settle in, move into my new room, and unpack from my 2 1/2 months of traveling.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Grandma and Grandpa Thomson (Dad's parents)
Grandma and Grandpa still know how to kiss after 60 years! We even clanged our glasses, like at a wedding reception, to have them kiss. :)
Faith (Me) with my cousin Trevor's daughter, Daphne. She was my little friend!
This past weekend we celebrated my Grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. We also celebrated a Guadet Family Reunion. This would consist of my Grandmother's family and all of her brothers, sisters, their children, all the way down to the Great-grandchildren.
I learned some neat things in conversation with both of my grandparents.
- As a young child and youth my grandpa remembers going to Church for the Fowl (Fall) Fest. They did not attend church often because they would have to go via horse and buggy and it was too much work, although, they always attended the Fowl Fest.
- I also learned that my Grandpa's father died at 46 or 47 years old from heart failure, my Grandpa was 15. They think his Dad was Presbyterian, but nobody knows for sure.
- My great grandmother--who died when she was 102, was a widow for 61 years. She was a widow for as long as my grandparents have been married!
- My grandmother grew up speaking only French in the home.
- My grandmother was a devout Catholic and spoke a prayer in French before mealtime. My family (my Mom's side) also has a grace that we say before every meal. I believe it may have came from the Salvation Army.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
While I was in Oregon, my family had the opportunity to eat lunch with my pediatrician. 25 years ago, Francine gave me Smurf at my Smurfday party. I still sleep with him. I also learned from her that as a baby I would entertain my older sister when we were at the doctors.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
My Uncle Neil is remodeling his home. Upon arriving in Centralia, Washington, I could not wait to help! Because of experiences with the different Habitat Houses, I was more than happy to jump up on his roof frame and nail the plywood down. God is giving me good experiences that I can use to help others--yah!
Upon arriving at PDX (Portland, Oregon), with just my carry-on, I had a 9 hour wait for my mother. When she arrived, we together walked down to baggage claim. Mom brought me a change of clothes and my cell phone! My Uncle Forest (Mom's oldest brother) so happened to be having a plane serviced at flight craft, whose runway is "shared/at" PDX. I was then able to fly from PDX to Aurora, which is minutes away from Uncles Forest's house. The best part of my little flight...I was sitting in the co-pilot seat! Spent the day trying to stay awake--success, and slept quite well that night.
My luggage made it to San Antonio and Dad was able to pick it up. The following day he packed me a bag and then flew out to PDX. Mom and I picked him up at the airport.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Today on my way to dinner one of the little guys, John, came running up yelling, “Auntie Faith, Auntie Faith” and jumped into my arms. I was quite surprised, and did not expect to have him run at me. That was fun; he’s quite a cute guy. He then gave me the honors of putting on his jacket after dinner and giving him a goodnight kiss.
As my time here is winding down, I continue to keep busy. Today was a very rainy 4th of July! My understanding is that this is odd. Oh and get this, I was cold! Put that in the books! Oh and another thing to put in the books, I was so cold that I drank a cup of coffee!
I am spending my mornings tutoring with five kindergarten girls in penmanship. Their behavior is somewhat like high-schoolers, let’s see where our limits are. LOL! I have enjoyed working with them, they are quite good—I have not had the problems the other people here have had. My girls come in and do as asked, usually on the first request. I work with them for 30 minutes on penmanship, and then read to them for 30 minutes.
This afternoon I scrubbed bad sealant off of the floor in the dining hall. I had plenty of time to think and pray during that hour in a half.
I have been officially introduced to the game of netball. Must say, it was a blast! I played with Momma Alice, Momma Anna, Auntie Claire, Auntie Cindy, and about five or six of the girls. My knees are nice and scratched up, as Auntie Claire and I play a hard game with each other. I am sure she enjoys having me on the opposite team, as when she came up to join the game she said, “What team is Auntie Faith on? I will be on the opposite team!” =) This is always a good choice; we both play tough games and enjoy fighting for the ball.
Net ball is a cross between our basketball and soccer in my observations. I laughed and ran hard, and can honestly say that I have not had as much fun as I had playing against Claire as I have had in quite a while. Some good ol’ competition always feels nice. Seriously, I had dived for the ball, as I was not going to get it otherwise. Later on in the game, both Claire and I took a run and then dive for the same ball…I landed right in between her legs, with the ball. =) We were both laughing so hard, it was great!
Monday, July 02, 2007
On my last day at the JSS (Junior Secondary School), during study hall, the girls and I read, sang out of the hymnal, and they attempted to teach me to dance their native Ugandan dance—for those of you who do not know, FCD—Faith Can’t Dance, and that is no joke! I will only have dancing at my wedding if my husband to be desires this act as part of his wedding. I will have live music, that’s for sure! No…there is no young man prominently placed in my life right now.
I really enjoyed singing with the girls, as they sang some of my favorite hymns—Oh Sacred Head Now Wounded, There is a Fountain, Be Thou Oh My Vision, All Creatures of Our God and King, and many more. Oh and I am borrowing a keyboard from the library, which is great fun for me here. I can push my headphones in and be in my own world for a while.
Back to the dancing, they tied a sweater around my back, so that it looked like I had a bigger bottom. They were then trying to teach me how to swing my hips. Clearly, I do not do it right. They just laughed and laughed and laughed at me. One girl would show me, and then the next, continuing to laugh the entire time. I felt kind of odd, constantly being laughed at, but I know how bad I am and oh well. The girls decided that when I go home, I must show my Mom my new Ugandan dancing skills. Really mom, my skills are awful! =)
It was my last day seeing those girls and one of them wrote me a nice little letter/note. I will post the letter when I have my memory card for the camera with me. I enjoyed my last day with the older girls and I will miss them, they were quite joyful and a whole lot of fun!
For the past week I have had the opportunity to take a wire brush and scrub the floors in the dining hall and to paint fascia board around the homes, here in the Rafiki Village. I like to do this, as I enjoy working with my hands, and when I am busy, I am not left bored with little to do. The floor was sealed with some kind of sealant, quite a few years back, which it should not have been sealed with. This special sealant attracts dirt, so as we are taking the sealant off, the tiles are becoming much cleaner, thus the room so much brighter. What an amazing concept!
I enjoy painting, it allows me to listen to my IPOD, and spend some time in thought and prayer. The children are surprised to see a female paint, as painting is a man’s job. I find it interesting that my painting opens the possibilities and the minds of these young children that feel certain jobs are “man” jobs and other jobs are “woman” jobs. I am not feminist by any means, but do not see a problem with me as a female painting—I am here to help in any way possible, albeit painting, scrubbing the floor, or playing with the kids. Did you hear that Mom? It’s a man’s job, guess my mother’s in real trouble, she has been remodeling my bedroom, including painting it. =)
Monday, June 25, 2007
These kids are amazing, and they know that they belong to Jesus Christ. I was in the Kindergarten class and we were looking at pictures. There was a picture of a thick book. When Teacher Ruth said, “What is this a picture of?” Jesca answered, “Yes, teacher, that is a bible.” Clearly I was proved wrong, it is not just a thick book, it is the Bible.
Thought for the day comes from Isaiah 53:11. When Jesus Christ sees Himself in you and me, He is satisfied. The idea of God being satisfied paints a beautiful picture in my mind, but even more amazing is that at times Jesus is satisfied with me.
I help out with Kindergarten. I see the Kinders, Monday through Friday for half of the day. I was quite surprised one evening, when I was eating dinner with Sandra’s family, one of the Kindergartners, to have discovered that she had lost a tooth. She had lost it that afternoon. And it was a prime tooth too—top, front, center, left.
All school students (boys and girls) must have shaved heads. Imagine my surprise, when the students that I had been working with for 15 days, came in and three of them were bald! And I was just figuring out who was who, and they had to go change their hair on me! =) The following day, two more students were without hair. My understanding is that someone will shave all of the children’s hair, going from cottage to cottage, one cottage per night, for eight days, until all children are clean shaved.
In Lugandan (a dialect used in Uganda) to say Goodnight, you say “Sula Bulungi” (prounounced sue luh boo loon gee). The children say this to me after supper and playtime. I am very slowly learning a few words of Lugandan, which is fun.
I have been teaching the kids “I love you” in sign language by shooting them love signs. The children, as young as two and three are excited to learn this and to tell me, “I love you,” as I also tell them that “I love you.” The young ones will put their hands out so that I can help them put their fingers in the correct order, the older ones, they just flash it back. This is quite fun for the kids, and I must say I rather enjoy it. As the children flash me love signs they yell out, “I love you.” (That is when we are outside.)
The mothers are also catching on and enjoy flashing signs of love. In the mornings when I run, I will see the kids as they go to breakfast, and they will shoot the love sign. This can be quite fun during dinner, as it is a very quiet time. I will flash a kid at my table, or even another table a love sign, and all of a sudden I receive five more love signs right back at me. The best part of this is that the children can do this while remaining quiet, yet be reminded of the love that people have for them.
I have also taught this sign to the Junior Secondary School (JSS) girls. I was running a couple minutes late on this particular day, I had ran to the guest house to grab my vitamin, and when I walked into Study Hall, each and every girl had their hand up, and was flashing me a sign of love. I flashed it right back. I cannot tell you how amazing it felt, to walk into a room, where every girl there wanted you to know that they loved you. What an incredible way to start your afternoon!
Monday, June 18, 2007
On a much more serious note, my thought for the day.
It is not amazing, or even astonishing, that Christians are extremely diverse in culture, tradition, race, lifestyles, ideas, etc. We see the excellence of Christ in the singularity of Godhead, who chooses to reach down and out to every people of this world. Consequently, Christs singularity is what is amazing about Christian people in every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Church was good today! I went to New Life City Church, here in Kampala, Uganda, East Africa, and was able to hear the pastor from Maranatha Bible Church in San Antonio, Texas, Reverend Dr. Rander Draper. Who woulda thunk? =) I came all the way to Africa just to hear a native San Antonion preach. Since the sermon was quite good, I thought I would share some of my favourite parts.
In response to cell phones and self glorification Dr. Draper stated it well… “Have we become so important that we come to church waiting for a call from man, instead of listening to God?” Even in Africa, we have to remind people to turn their cell phones off; this is not just an American problem.
“You cannot keep stuff forever; you won’t see a U-HAUL behind the hearse.”
“My pleasure is NOT God’s priority, nor should it be mine.” This does not mean that God does not want us to enjoy and be fulfilled; rather our priorities should be that of Christ…Kingdom priorities.
“When you are serious about Jesus Christ you are serious about that which is valuable to the Lord.”
“Do you keep ready? Ready or not, here God comes!”
“We should not look like we’ve been baptized in lemon juice! We need to have the ministry of face!”
Luke 12:20—“But God said to him, ‘You fool!...’” In response to this piece of scripture Dr. Draper said, “Now when God calls you a fool, you must be a fool!” =)
“I have eternal security, that’s why I’m secure. God gave me something to keep…eternal life!”
So there you have it, those are my favourite quotes from today’s sermon.
My revelation for the day…worrying about my job in the fall is not glorifying to God, my time here is, and I should not encapsulate it with worry. I woke up at a minimum 15 times with multiple different dreams of utter worry. Please pray for good sleep. This morning I did wake up and go for an 8K jog, which was nice and well needed.
At church I saw Lewis, a good friend of my brothers. Fancy seeing an FPC’n (First Presbyterian Church) at Gerald’s church in Uganda. Lewis left two weeks ago to minister with EMI as an architect. The other people from FPC, on my team at Rafiki, were also there—Naomi, Abigail, and Virginia. The rest of the FPC team working with Food for the Hungry are in Northern Uganda and have a very different ministry. Half of the Rafiki people attend church at Gerald’s church, the other half at another church. We were invited to attend New Life Christian, thus we went. Gerald spoke at FPC for the global mission’s weekend—he is excellent.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
This entry was written a few days prior, although I was not able to post until today.
This morning I decided that I was going to pray with Bomba every opportunity I had. For the past two days, Bomba has been “bad” in class and has not had a heart drawn on his arm at the end of the Kindergarten class. When Bomba came in from morning assembly and was holding the door open, just after the last person left, I held Bomba’s hands and whispered in his ears, “God help Bomba receive his heart today.” Bomba smiled and went on with the rest of the class after shutting the door. Bomba’s job this week was to shut the door after everyone had left.
In Kindergarten they take many breaks, one break every hour, at a minimum. Bomba and I prayed after every toilet break. At the end of the day, Bomba received his heart! This consequence made him very happy! =) Bomba’s behavior was excellent. His teacher later asked me what I was whispering in Bomba’s ear, I told her, “I was praying with Bomba, praying that he would receive his heart today.” The teacher then relayed to Bomba, “God listens, and God answered Auntie Faith’s prayer. When she prayed that you would behave and God would help you be obedient, you were. Bomba, God will listen to you too.”
This made Bomba extremely happy. In fact, he waited to receive his lunch, so that he could stand in line with me. When he received his plate of food, he took the food to the table and searched for a table that had two empty seats, one for me, and one for him. This took Bomba a while, but he managed to do so. He then protected that very seat with his life. I was the guest of honour at Bomba’s table. =) We ate pumpkin, something kind of like a tortilla, and overcooked peas—when you’re hungry, it doesn’t really matter what you eat.
After lunch I was able to help some of the secondary school girls with study hall and tutoring. One of the girls named Winnie wrote me a nice letter. I have made a picture of it so that you can read the letter.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
This morning I woke up and took a nice 5k run. I had not a problem waking up and getting out of bed—yah…no more jet lag! When I put on my socks, I noticed I have my first sandal tan of the season…heheh! My feet have nice little criss-crosses on them. After coming back from running I took a nice cold shower and Abigail cooked us bacon and eggs for breakfast. Yah for breakfast being made for you!
Morning assembly took place in the classrooms, due to rain. These kids love singing hymns. The hymn of the week is, “God will take care of you.” We sang the Ugandan National Anthem, and then the hymn of the week. Jesca led the Morning Prayer in the classroom—we prayed that God would help us be obedient to the teacher and that we would receive hearts. The students have a heart drawn on their forearm when they are good during the school day.
I am able to jump in and help at any moment, which is fun. Today I especially enjoyed helping the students understand the bible story, as we acted out the parable. The children are very cute. I am surprised that all of the boys and girls have shaved heads; this makes it somewhat difficult to tell the difference between males and females. I am very slowly learning the names of the Kindergarten class. Skovia and Phiona are in Momma Alice’s family, I have learned their names. Bomba is “bad,” therefore I learned his name. Alice is absolutely adorable; I have learned her name. The rest, I still need to work on.
During my lunch I spent time with the math teacher, learning how she wanted me to help these students, this was an answered prayer. Yesterday I felt very unsure as to what was wanted—approach, when, where, etc.
Study hall is a quiet time for the girls at the JSS. Individuals asked me for help on select problems and otherwise it was quiet. Coaching the girls one on one was fun. The girls are appreciative and easy to work with. Today I helped Deborah and Joan. Tomorrow will be Essy and Justine Patra.
My days here are much less busy than they were at home, in fact, they are kind of relaxing, but I am blessed by these students day in and day out, as I was by the students in San Antonio.
And you thought jet lag was bad Day 1! Ha! I slept solid (which is fairly normal for me), and did not get up at 6AM when I had my alarm set for. I had planned on going running, nix that one. I did throw on some clothes, eat, and run over to the primary school, just in time for morning assembly.
Morning assembly is interesting. The children line up with their teachers, all in a row. They sing the Ugandan National Anthem, sing the hymn for the day, and have a time for announcements.
In the Kindergarten class there are 18 students, and usually two teachers in the room. I help them write letters of the alphabet, learn the numbers before and after any number between one and one hundred, and sound out words. You would think that you were in an American classroom, except the students are very quiet and respectful, answer the teacher by saying, “Yes, teacher…,” raise their hands, sing and pray to God frequently (only at appropriate times) and have lots of restroom breaks. Instruction itself is very similar and kids are kids.
At lunch time they served me a tiny portion, I had to ask for more. I am not used to eating so little; I think most “white” people eat much less than myself. The lunch time meal is a native meal. On Tuesday we ate potatoes, peanut butter sauce, and warm sauerkraut. I ate lunch with the students.
In the afternoon I went to the JSS (Junior Secondary School) to help during study hall (this is when the girls do their homework) and then to coach in math. 5th and 6th grade math is not my forte, but it is where the girls need help. Working with them is refreshing. They appreciate and want your help. I have been spending most of the time reviewing multiplication and division facts.
When I went down to Kim and Tylers to charge my computer both of them were out. I enjoyed a nice game of go fish with Maggie (Kim and Tylers 5-yr. old daughter), and read her two or three different stories.
In the evening, after supper and playtime, I went down to Kim and Tyler’s house. They showed us a documentary one of the mini-missionaries, Lesli had created. By profession Lesli is an art teacher at the University of North Texas, on her free time, she is an artist. The documentary was about bark cloth and basket weaving. Bark cloth comes from the bark of a tree. A person takes the bark off, hits it thousands of times with a mallet, and then stretches the bark. Ugandan’s have worked with bark cloth for many years and it is considered a cultural artifact.
We were greeted at the airport by the Micklers (FH group and members/missionaries supported by FPC) and by Mike Enis (Rafiki). Rafiki has four people from FPC—Virginia, Naomi, Abigail, and myself (Faith). There are a few other mini missionaries staying with us at the same time.
The ride from Entebbe Airport in Uganda to the Rafiki Village was quite interesting. People will do anything to avoid a pothole. I felt at times as though a semi just wanted to hit us! Kinda scary—I guess my Mom would have to drive! Oh and by the way…I’ve seen about ten Subaru’s here in Uganda.
Upon arrival at the Rafiki Village we signed in with the guards. Mike told us that we would be signing in just once, after that, “you live here and are no longer guests.” The village has two guards on the outside at all times, and another two on the inside. We are very well protected, as are the children.
We came into the village and were oriented immediately. They showed us the guest house, and were given about two hours to lay low—nap, read, unpack… I chose to unpack, as I will be here for 5 ½ weeks. This is a fairly simple process when you only have one bag of things for you. The bags with the bibles and pajamas that were brought were taken immediately and placed in a separate area with the ROS staff (full time missionaries).
At our first meeting we were given our assignments. I am working with Kindergarten in the morning, and tutoring (in Uganda they call it coaching) in math, in the afternoon. I was excited to receive my duties!
Dinner the first night was a neat experience. The seven mini-missionaries (I would be one of the seven) sat in a row at the back of the dining hall. The children came in with their mothers (Momma Alice was mine) to eat dinner. They walked over to the sink, and washed their hands with soap. No towels! =) As a family, they placed out the table settings, filled the cups with water, and served each of the plates, including a plate for me. One mini-missionary sits at each table. A child came and held my hand (there is a schedule for what table each mini eats at), and directed me to the sink. I washed my hands with soap, dried them by shaking them, and then was led to the table.
On a side note, Mom, you’ll like this one… When you sit down the first words you say to the mother and to the child are “Thank you.” They both respond, “You are welcome.”
One of the children will prayed and then we ate, as a family unit. Table conversation was a minimum, or shall I say it was non-existent. My understanding is that this is typical. That’s difficult for me, as my family gathers around the table and talks. You eat, and that is all you do. The boys and girls eat quite a bit of food. More than I do on most days! (And I eat a lot!) The food is bland, but not too shabby. The pineapple is amazing, so are the avocado and the mango.
After dinner we had playtime. With my kids I played “in and Out the Village,” “Duck, duck, goose,” and just running around. Play time lasted for 30 minutes; it becomes dark around 6:30PM. The children went back to the house with Momma Alice and she prepared them for bed. I too could not get to bed fast enough, being on a different schedule is quite the challenge for one’s body. Needless to say, I went to bed, fairly early.
My first flight from San Antonio to Chicago O’hare did not go very well. This is okay, because we know that God is good. The following flight, also on United Airlines took us from Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow. This flight went okay. I was extra blessed with two seats to myself. =) I was able to sleep the majority of the flight—at the end of the flight, I guess I was a lot less stressed, because I about passed out during the landing. That was scary.
Our team was able to take the Heathrow Express into London for the price of the cheap metro ticket, due to construction. The cheap ticket is also a slower train. Yah! Our lucky day! Due to a 12 hour layover at LHR this gave us about 4 hours to run around and explore some touristy spots in London. Lexi’s (our group leader) friend met us at one of the train stations and from there; she took us on a walk of part of central London. We were able to see Buckingham Palace, the Canadian Embassy, The Westminster Abby, The National Museum of Art (we were able to view a Rembrandt, and a Monet, among some of the more famous artists!), and Big Ben, just to mention a few of the sights.
By the time we arrived back at the LHR airport, we were exhausted from a full day of sightseeing. Many of us were looking forward to sleeping on our next leg on Kenya Airways, from LHR to Nairobi, Kenya. Once again, I was blessed with an empty seat next to me! This enabled me to lie down across the seats, and sleep for the majority of the flight.The last leg of the flight was nice and short—about 50 minutes from Nairobi, Kenya to Entebbe, Uganda and there I sat next to a local Ugandan and spoke to him about his work, his plans, etc. All team members luggage arrived at the Entebbe airport. One bag of supplies did not make it with the Food for the Hungry (FH) team. We are hoping that the bag shows up sooner than later.