BOLAM Weekly Update: Pray for ill children
* Children: Please pray for our children who have been unwell this week: Innocent Tumwesigye – taking medication for fever; Blessing – complained of abdominal pains and headache; Gift – hit by a fellow pupil at school and his arm swelled up (he was taken to the clinic for medication and is improving); Tumuhimbise Innocent – his blood tested relative for his serostatus (HIV) numbers (we will take him to a hospital that can run confirmatory tests); and Namara who continues taking ARVs for HIV. Additionally, please pray that the Almighty Lord will help our children grow up well. Thank you for praying for all of our children at Keirungi: Joseph, Alex, Amanya, Kato, Kakuru, Gift, Night, Determine, Murungi, Antony, Deo, Blessing, Shalom, Nunu, Evelyn, Friday, Namara, Innocent Tumuhimbise, Innocent Tumwesigye, and Hanisha and Amri. Thank you, also, for praying for those children we have resettled with their families: Ninsiima and Odongo and Opio.
* Staff/Spiritual: Staff is doing well. Caleb is leading a study of John’s letters (1-2-3 John) for the weekly staff Bible study. Caleb preached from Deuteronomy 8:1-19 last Sunday encouraging everyone to remember the things God has done for them and to thank Him for it.
* Agriculture: This week, staff weeded cabbage and spinach and planted more sweet potatoes.
* Updates/Presentations/Meetings: I gave an update at Flatirons Baptist Church in Boulder, Colorado. I apologized to them that they had to settle for the “white guy” as Primrose was with her sisters and Samuel was finishing projects for his finals. I had one of my most successful speaking engagements (i.e., little stuttering). Perhaps, I am gaining the gift of languages! (See below under “A Taste of Uganda.”) I successfully recited 24 verses from memory (1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Romans 10:8-15, 17; and Matthew 28:16-20) as I preached a sermon on “One Purpose” – go and make disciples throughout the whole world and wherever you are. Over the years, I have strove to inform God of my speech impediment seeking fewer public speaking engagements and asking Him much more than three times to heal me of it (perhaps, even 300 or 3,000 times!). However, I have felt God telling me, “If it didn’t work for Moses or Paul, do you think it will work for you? … Go, and preach the Gospel and share what I am doing in Uganda through Bread of Life at Keirungi.”
* Travel: Life is becoming very busy as we prepare to travel in 18 days—2½ weeks!!! June 11 here we come! I am becoming so excited to get back and see the kids. Do you know how you have to go to the bathroom as you drive home or are traveling and you are able to hold it fairly well until you get very close to home or the next travel stop and then it seems like you can barely make it the last few minutes? Well, this is how I feel. I have been so busy that life has overshadowed my emotions for our kids and for returning to Uganda having been gone for so long. However, in the last week I have experienced a longing and an ache to get back to Uganda to see all of our children. I can hardly wait!!! Thankfully, we will see them in about three weeks. If it were longer, I don’t think I could manage.
General Ugandan, World, and Cox Family Update:
* Dad: We enjoyed visiting my dad (Arrie, pronounced R-E) and step mom in Brush, Colorado. Sadly, this was the first time I saw him since returning last August as I cared for mom for four months and then had to clean out her apartment (with Primrose’s help!) and take care of her affairs. Shortly after this, I then fell and broke my shoulder. It had been almost two years since I saw him last (July 2012). Sadly, his wife Vicki developed dementia after a stroke a couple of years ago. Her short-term memory is all but gone and many daily tasks prove too difficult for her. My dad virtually went from caring for his parents who both lived into their 90s to caring for his wife and taking on the responsibility of most of the household duties. Please pray first and foremost for their salvation (we are unsure about Vicki’s salvation but we do know that my dad is not saved as he has testified so), Vicki’s health (the best to hope for is that she remains stable and her decline is slow), and my dad as he now does virtually everything in the home.
* New Life: After returning from my dad’s, we went to my niece’s (Heather) baby shower. She is due August 26 and is having a boy. Thus far, the pregnancy is going well.
* Spiritual Growth: Please join us in rejoicing over my nephew’s (Christopher) girlfriend’s (Abby) spiritual growth as she was baptized May 4. We bought Abby a study Bible and devotional books to assist her on her journey. I should not have been the one to go to Family Christian to get her gifts as I had a bi-polar moment. Thankfully, my bi-polar moment was in the clearance section, but even $2-$6 books can add up fairly quickly. I spent my personal book budget for this year, if not even for next year.
* A Taste of Uganda: Though we will see them shortly in Uganda, Primrose’s sisters (Judy and Pamela) came to visit us as they were in the U.S. visiting other family. We enjoyed Ugandan food and fellowship as a few Ugandan friends who live in the Denver area came to visit with them and us. God is preparing me to return to Uganda as I was the only mzungu (white person) and had to wonder if they were talking about me. Thankfully, they tend to mix a little English with Rukiga so I, at least, know the topic of conversation. Being in the U.S. for the last nine months and much of that under dire stress, I had no space in my mind or time to give to grow in my language skills. Therefore, I have lost virtually all the Rukiga I knew, which really was not much to begin with. As I tell Primrose, I know words, but I do not know enough to understand a conversation. No, I do not have the gift of tongues, I mean, languages. It is difficult enough for me to speak English sometimes—imagine an African language, which truly is a FOREIGN language! This is not new for me. Even in school, I learned I did not have the gift of languages (at least, in speaking). I would get virtually all As in my book work in Spanish, but don’t ask about my conversational grades. This is the reason God placed me in Uganda. It is an English speaking country and I can get by not knowing local languages. However, I do wish to honor the people and the culture, so I hope to grow in my language skills when we return to Uganda. Pray for a miracle, especially being above 40! By the way, I did a quick search for “mzungu” and learned that it literally means “someone who roams around aimlessly.” I’ll stick with the “white person” terminology.
* Shoulder: My shoulder continues healing and I continually gain more range of motion. However, there is some friction (popping/clicking) that concerns the physical therapist. The therapist said we just need to keep an “eye” on it and is hopeful it will go away as I continue healing. I have been in a bit more pain this week with new exercises/stretches.
* Terrorism (Somalia): The Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed declared an ‘all-out war’ on al-Shabaab as AMISOM (The African Union Mission in Somalia – an active, regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations in Somalia) warned of more attacks by the al Qaeda-linked group in the country. “I order the Somali National Army to ‘move now’ to eliminate the enemy wherever they are in the country. We must eradicate this enemy from our country,” Abdiweli said at a press briefing. Please continue to pray for God’s protection from terrorist attacks in Somalia, Africa generally, and Uganda specifically.
* Uganda Martyrs Day: Christians in Uganda are preparing to commemorate Uganda Martyrs Day on June 3. Uganda Martyrs Day is a day set aside to remember the Catholic and Anglican religious leaders who were murdered. According to Wikipedia: “The Uganda Martyrs are a group of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity in the historical kingdom of Buganda, now part of Uganda, who were executed between November 1885 and January 1887. They were killed on orders of Mwanga II, the Kabaka (King) of Buganda, which is now part of Uganda. The deaths took place at a time when there was a three-way religious struggle for political influence at the Buganda royal court.”