Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pure Joy Retreat

Arua has had power only one day out of the last eleven (and it looks like it's not coming back on for a while). I'm so glad to have solar, but without electricity to "top off" the batteries, we have not been able to wash clothes, use lights during the day, or charge things at night. We had to unplug our freezer and take our meat to a neighbor's house because our solar couldn't handle it well. I'm so thankful for what I do have. Most of the town does not have water right now, and no one has electricity.

Thank you to all the people who contributed toward our solar or helped teach us about it. It's been a wonderful thing!!!!

During the time my internet was down for 18 days at the beginning of January, I apparently received an email telling me about a conference that was going to be held in Kampala, March 5-8, for missionary women in East Africa. The first 50 to sign up could go…and go for free (except for travel to and from).

Thankfully, my sweet friend Jan, in Kampala, knew my internet was down, and she called me when she received the email. I didn’t know how I would travel down, but I said to go ahead and sign me up. So many of my friends ended up on the waiting list just the following day, so I owe her a great deal of gratitude for calling and signing me up and typing my information and sending in a picture of my family and….

Friends are such a blessing.

Pure Joy International ministry was put on Vicki Arruda’s heart by God. She has a successful counseling ministry, but three times a year she travels with a team to a foreign country to minister to missionary women. WoW!

We stayed at the Speke Resort in Kampala, and I didn’t even feel like I was in Uganda anymore.

There was air conditioning in all of the rooms, two large pools, buffets of food everywhere with decorated animals made out of dough, manicured lawns, waterfalls, a horse carriage, and 25+ horses available for horseback riding. Basically, it was better than being on a cruise ship.

The team she brings each time is tailor-made by God. It’s different every time, depending on who God has laid on Vickie’s heart, and these ladies are such servants of God.

The team of 9 ladies took time to visit with all 50 of us, and we had such a good time meeting other women who serve in the same country as we do. We now have contacts of people all over Uganda.

Some of us talked about home school, where to get a non-African haircut, or fun places to take your children; others talked about using another person’s ministry to help their own. Some ladies work in the area of Bible translation, one was a counselor to women who have experienced female genital mutilation, more than a few have adopted Ugandans living in their home, some run orphanages, one lady had 8 children she adopted when she lived in Alaska, one had a business to help other missionaries with any graphic designs they might need, and many held Bible studies in prisons.

The well was deep.

We were so encouraged, and the speakers spoke specifically to where we are in our lives and gave us practical help for our marriages and for raising our children. They did nothing but shower blessings on us continually.

All of this is possible because churches sponsor a certain number of missionaries. (Even though we get to go for free, each of the team members pays for her flight, food, and room). If any lady in America feels led to be a speaker, encourager, behind the scenes worker, etc, they can contact Pure Joy International and let them know. While I was there, I thought of quite a few women who would fill these roles amazingly!

If you don’t feel led to go to another country, you can help in any number of ways. Some ladies made 50 pieces of jewelry for us, others bought 50 taco mix packets, one made 50 homemade soaps, and churches all over had people make a special bag for each lady with some of the things she said she missed the most while living in Africa.

Every time we went to a meal, came back from a tea break, or came for a new session, there was a new gift at our seat.

Here is a list of all the things we were blessed with:

bracelets (2)
box of chocolates
box of heart candy
bag of stuff we requested
hand made soap
John Piper Trilogy
John Piper Romans
John Piper Hebrews
John Piper: 3 sermons
Did I mention chocolate?
embroidered hot pad
koolaid mix, taco, drink, wash cloth
Africa necklace
bead necklace
Burts Bees

Bath and Body works soap/ loofah
"faith" bracelet
hand lotion (bath and body works)
2 T-shirts and
crushed rosemary

Thank you Penny, Vickie, Becky, Sharon, Colleen, Janet, Kathy, Patty, and Boots (not pictured).

Thank you also to all the people and churches who donated money, items, time, and prayer.

1 comment:

LoveforAfrica said...

That is so cool! I'm so glad you got to do all this! :)