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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Preparing for Resettlement - the White Eagles Monthly Report

Welcome to the November 2011 White Eagle Project Report. Our key areas of work are Resettlement, Quality Education, Intensive Mentoring, and promoting a Safe and Secure Home - here's how we are getting on! Emily, Director of Training at River of Life, writes:

We've been preparing some of the White Eagles that are over 18 to move out of the home, and so November has been a month of intensive mentoring especially. Through counselling some young men have been able to appreciate the new plan. One of them has said “we will not actually develop when we keep in the home and everything is provided to us!”. The biggest worry for most of them however is feeding and accommodation, because they are used to eating good quality food, and living in spacious rooms which they are sure cannot be found with their relatives. The parents/relatives will be coming for a parenting meeting next month, and we will be doing more training on Parenting and Preparation for Resettlement.

Quality Education
The P6 children who have been in boarding school came back home near the end of the month, and have settled back into the homes well. Our P7 White Eagles completed their primary leaving exams this month, and our S4 White Eagles completed their O-level exams. The S6 candidates began their A-level exams, which are due to finish at the beginning of December.

God has continued to bless the White Eagles through the team that is running the evening programme. In the Fellowship sessions, we have done:
  • Times of prayer, with different prayer stations around the room.
  • Small group discussions on Mark 11: 12-25: The Withering of the Fig Tree and Exodus 3:1-4:17: The Call of Moses.
  • Life Skills Sessions - we have continued with our series on HIV/AIDS, studying: How does HIV and AIDS affect the body? Transmission of HIV, Myths around HIV.
  • Music, Dance and Drama: In MDD, we have done sessions on Mime and mime games, dance moves to express our personalities; mirroring and mirroring games; discussion of different styles and ideas for acting out a nativity drama.
  • Games and Sports Sessions

WEP Family Sessions:
This month we started our Sunday afternoon sessions for the children from our WEP Families. Each session has involved a Life Skills teaching (where we have repeated the HIV/AIDS teachings given to our residential White Eagles in the evening programme), a time of games and sports/MDD, time spent meeting with individuals to mentor them, and dinner.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Geoff in Uganda - Busy November!

Geoff's been busy in November! Check out his updates below:

Schools ministry – I have been developing many sessions for the different schools that I have been visiting each week.  Some have been short sermons that have been given in the high schools, I have never preached really before so that was an interesting experience.  They went well, I preached on the Sheep and the Goats, The Withered Fig Tree, and finally on the disciple Peter and what we can learn from him. However I wouldn’t worry Rev. Hare, I won’t be looking to take over your post any time soon! This ministry however has now come to an end until February as the schools are now on the long holidays.

Hospital ministry has been continuing; it is still not what I call a ‘good’ experience, but it is certainly worthwhile.  Having to have full faith in God’s healing power is good to do, and to see the situations of some of the people there is very humbling, and also fills you with praise for the numerous blessings you have in your own life.  This week there was a child a prayed for who had cancer. To see a child there in bed overcome with cancer rather than running around playing football was hard to see. I hope and pray that God’s healing hand works over him over this next week as I am sure he could lead a happy and healthy life if cured.

Ball-line football Academy – as in October this month I have been going down to the local football pitch to watch games and train with the boys.  There were some very good results this month and the boys seem to be developing as footballers.  However the link between the River of Life Church and Ball-Line football academy has had to officially end this month. Due to certain circumstances, the two organisations have had to part ways. River of Life is hoping to start a new ministry based around sport, so my allocated time will therefore be dedicated to that.  It has been a hard month in that respect for all involved with the organisations, but hopefully the Lord will use this as an opportunity for new growth for both Ball-Line Academy and the sports ministry of River of Life.

White Eagle Project – as stated before the boys and girls are now beginning their long holidays, which are much deserved after a long and hard working term at their various schools.  They and I have enjoyed spending evenings together, and taking part in different sessions such as fellowship, life skills and music, dance and drama. I have often been employed in the role of music dance and drama leader, and have a chance to use my experience form Spotlight performing arts to good effect.  All seem to enjoy just having a fun session and expressing themselves in different ways. I am currently writing a script for the Christmas day service which will have the Nativity story taking place in the modern day in Neyendo, Massaka, so hopefully all of the White Eagles will enjoy bringing that play together.  Also this month we have started to clear a small playing pitch which is just below the church.  All of the White Eagles, big and small got pitched in and moved rocks, sand, and mud, and with a little more work we will have a lovely area to run sports and games sessions during the holidays.

Some of the older White Eagle Lads

Geoff is volunteering with River of Life for 4 months - to read all his blog posts, just click here

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Geoff in Uganda - Breaking up a Bird-fight...

Hi again! Wow this month seems to have gone very quickly which is a good and a bad thing. November has been busy as we have continued to work in schools and in hospital, and the White Eagle evening programme has been in full flow.

Firstly though; some fun parts of the month. Last week was the beginning of grasshopper season. That was really fun, although it seems to be mostly over now. The way which the locals catch the grasshoppers is interesting; there are lots of very bright lights scattered around Masaka town, and below the lights are big barrels with metal sheets coming out of them. The grasshoppers seem to be blinded or something by either smoke that is produced or the light, and they fall onto the sheet and then into the barrel. Then they are sold the next morning. One night in particular there seemed to be so many that i couldn’t see the night sky behind the swarm of grasshoppers. As well as this they seem to make good toys for the children who enjoy catching them, and pulling off their hind legs so that they cannot push themselves into the air and begin to fly. But most importantly they are rather tasty. They are cooked slowly with some onions and whatever you like, and make a lovely snack.

We also went to on a day safari this month. We set off at 6am in the morning in a 4x4 and set off for Lake Mburo. The roads were a mix of good and bad, but we didn’t much care as we were all excited to see what animals we would find there (plus we had chapattis to occupy us). We had not even reached the official gates of the park when we saw a few dozen zebras. They were truly amazing, so striking with their different stripes. As well as seeing the zebras we also wart-hogs, cranes, buffalo, monkeys, and spring-box (or something similar). They were all seen from the lake but we also took a boat ride around parts of Lake Mburo. On the lake we saw plenty of hippos, which I really enjoyed as they are one of my favourite animals. The size of just their heads fills you with awe. We also saw some baby crocodiles, as lake Mburo is connected to the river Nile, I think they were Nile crocodiles. Finally we also witnessed a 20 minute long fight between some African Fin-Foot was pretty interesting, but what was more interesting was watching the other boat of obviously dedicated bird watchers, be filled with both amazement but also dread as they feared that a rarely sighted bird might be killed by the other....thankfully we managed to break the birds up, told them to keep their beaks closed, shake wings, and paddle off in opposite directs. It was a truly amazing day, which I didn’t expect to happen when I arrived in Uganda so I feel very privileged to have been able to do that.

Also this month was my birthday; I had a good day at work and got to share some sodas and chocolate with the White Eagles. Then a few of us went for a meal in a local restaurant, in all it was very special to celebrate my birthday here in Masaka.

Geoff is volunteering with River of Life for 4 months - to read all his blog posts, just click here