Giving

Sunday February  15 th  2015

I’m about to sleep in a quiet place tonight up on the hill where the water goes anticlockwise down the plug.It’s a beautiful African  night with the frogs croaking, and no cockrel. I might sleep too well but I hope I see the sunrise over the lake.

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I’m giving thanks to God for meeting some very special people this evening and this weekend. For  their generosity in giving their time, money, resources and lives to helping others.It is good to hear their stories, listen and learn.

Beatrice and her husband are well educated Ugandans with good jobs.They largely finance their missions to areas of North East Uganda where the hens roost high in the trees and the trauma of the Lord’s Resistance Army still affects man and beast.(Is he that is on trial in the Hague not victim and perpetrator?) They educate and give health care,support churches to serve and rebuild their communities. We laughed a lot and shared news of common acquaintances. We tried to found a FB page for their organisation whilst they relished fish and chips with Internet.Faith inspiration.

I’ve  never heard of a doctor celebrating 50years of work, but this evening I have met a very rare lady.Tales of tooting her horn at a tank  and miraculously seeing it move out of her way in a war zone in Angola .Pioneering work in Uganda for those with consequences of obstructed labour and a lasting legacy of a teaching healing facility. I’m going to learn a lot  here from this long serving nun.
http://renouncereverb.com/2012/05/29/a-new-beginning/

And today we remember a martyr of Uganda. Archbishop Janini Luwum.
Killed by Idi Amin.It was the price of his Christian discipleship that made him say ‘ I live as though there shall be no tomorrow. While the opportunity is there I shall preach the Gospel with all my might and my conscience is clear before God.”    see link
The preacher at the memorial service will be the UKs best known Ugandan, and sufferer under Amin, Rt Rev John Sentamu, Archbishop of York.

Www.archbishopofyork.org/articles.php/2365/janini-luwum

And we hear of Coptic Christians martyred today.Sudanese, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Nigerians,Syrians,Indonesians, all have recent Christian martyrs in their number.And silent news on others. Giving their lives as they live out their discipleship of Christ.

Is  there a response? 

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Dreams and Angels, Boys and Bikes

A vivid dream. It always brings me to wondering why I have a vivid dream . Sometimes it wakes me suddenly with anxiety or sometimes it is just a strange pondering of why did I dream that . Go back a few months and I had a clear dream  on three separate occasions  within ten days .And exactly the same dream.

By then,I had to question what is going on .Why? and will I dream it again ? It wasn’t an unpleasant dream but an urgent dream of taking a mountain bike to Uganda. On making further inquires about my forthcoming trip, I was told that  a mountain bike would be highly treasured and loved. The reply to my query was a definite ,” Yes , take the bike ” . The only problem was I didn’t have a mountain bike . Without very much searching at all, but with an off the cuff remark that I was thinking of taking a bike to Uganda,  a very kind colleague offered me a mountain bike ,a few days later. One that was’ in the way ” and one that I was more than welcome to have. My remonstrations followed, that the bike could be sold .Were my colleague  and her family really sure they wanted to give the bike away? A definite “Yes”.

My colleague’s generosity now means I have a large box packaged and ready for the flight to Africa .I  have pondered over a few days how the mountain bike will be used,Will it be a communal bike for the school or for a particular family or community?

As it happened , just a few days ago I heard a story about Archbishop Sentamu, who in his childhood had cycled for medical help for his miscarrying mother.He had to return to her and his fearful siblings before the doctor arrived  and he is reported to have seen angels surrounding her and protecting her. This was a great story to hear as we repaired the mountain bike. A story of a small boy in Uganda, needing a bike for speed, in an emergency, to reach out for help. Angels protected John Sentamu’s mission and his mother and we can pray that the angels will protect this special mountain bike so it can be useful in Africa.

Angels featured again in conversation this week. Our homeless local told me of the angels that sleep with him at night .The cold had not bothered him and his only regret , was that the angels were not so present in the daylight hours. Whatever our faith, creed or country  people see angels and know the protecting power of God , whose messengers they are.

Dreams and vision, faith and bicycles …it’s a great mix for the start of a trip to Africa , but also for the everyday routine.