We had a great time wrapping up 2018.
We enjoyed some great Christmas celebrations and celebrating all of our accomplishments throughout the year.
Here’s a highlight of some of what we got up to.
SKILLS FOR LIFE CHRISTMAS PARTY
We finished off our first year of skills training with a Thanksgiving service and Christmas party.
It was really special to be able to have the YWAM mission team there that day, so they got to join in on the celebrations.
Every class was featured throughout the morning.
Every class performed for us and some members from each class took the opportunity to share their testimony about how the skills training program was impacting on them and their hopes for the future.
The catering class did a wonderful performance.
Singing a song that spoke of the hope of heaven and that no matter what they face in this life - they can get through it and will make it.
Their voices ringing out with joy and hope was a beautiful moment.
The sewing class performed the local Buganda dance—this was a lot of fun!
Seeing them all shaking their hips and booties—how they do it I’ll never know!
It was especially fun when they pulled all the visiting YWAM girls and myself ( Leah) in to join in…… lots of laughter was had as the whole place enjoyed seeing the Mzungu’s try to keep up with the local women.
Although I must say– many shouted out after that Teacher Leah was more of a Ugandan than a Mzungu now from the way I move :)
I still don’t think I’ve quite got it though!
The beading and accessories class then did an amazing skit that they wrote—which was the story us ( me and Rob) and how we came to start Mbuyu. It was very comical ( with one of the ladies playing the part of Rob, and her main role was just to say– And that’s why I love teacher Leah.)
The skit was actually very moving - it journeyed through the various lives that women were leading before they came to Mbuyu.
There was a lady begging on the street with her baby, a lady desperately trying to sell bits and pieces to passers by on the street, a prostitute and a drunkard.
All of them someone ended up at Mbuyu in the beading class.
It was a very funny skit but also very moving, to see how people’s lives were improving, even after such a short time.
And to see them act out mine and Rob’s relationship, was very funny.
I shed many tears during the testimony times as a few people from each class shared their testimonies of how the skills training, along with the bible study classes, parenting classes etc were impacting on them. But not only on them, but also their children, and their spouses and the whole community.
Some got on their knees as a sign of gratitude, I felt completely humbled, and unworthy of their gratitude, because without our amazing team and our God and all of you who support the work, we would not be doing what we do. So I received their thanks not just on behalf of us, but on behalf of you each.
It was a really great morning—the YWAM mission team did a skit for us and gave a Christmas message and then we all enjoyed a Christmas cake and snacks cooked by the catering class. We danced and ate and enjoyed celebrating the end of our first year of skills training. What an amazing year it has been!
2019 will see the same people come back to master in the skill that they have chosen.
MBUYU KIDS CHRISTMAS PARTY!
What a FULL on and Fun morning the Mbuyu kids christmas party was.
More than 250 children from our Read for Life, Sports for life and study club came along.
Originally we were suppose to be doing games on the local field—but due to rain it was all moved inside.
The YWAM team helped us out with teaching the kids some new games ( Simon says etc) and teaching them some songs while the teachers re-arranged plans for the morning.
We then proceeded to have a big praise party. Heaps of singing and dancing and shouting and lots of fun.
Every project then performed an item or two—dances, singing, poems etc.
A few of them spoke on what they had learnt in the past year at their program.
Each class teacher gave out awards to the best attendees in their class, best time keepers, most compassionate student, best encourager etc.
The children were all very excited to get a certificate.
We then handed out the special Mbuyu Family Members of the year awards—to children who had shown exemplary kindness, service and compassion.
No one even knew about this special award but throughout the year there were a few students who would come early to help set up, they’d stay and want to mop the floor, they’d be the first to mobilise around the slum to encourage others to come as class was about to start etc.
It was really special to honour these kids in a special way—and what was especially wonderful was that the whole place agreed with who we’d chosen and were congratulating them and celebrating them.
YWAM performed a great skit for us and shared the Christmas story with us and it was a really great day!
We wrapped it off with cutting a Christmas cake for every program and then enjoyed drinks and cake all together.
MBUYU TEAM CHRISTMAS PARTY
December was such a busy month for us at Mbuyu - with all the end of year christmas celebrations and the YWAM team here with us - but that wasn't going to stop us from having an Mbuyu Team Christmas party.
So the 21st of December saw all of our team 17 ( plus Rob and myself and some of the team’s kids) congregate at our house for a fun day.
We hired some tables and chairs and enjoyed relaxing on the grass under our tree at our house.
Juliet led some fun games and we had given them the option earlier in the month did they want local food, or would they like me to try and do some sort of Australian meal.
They were excited for the Australian idea—so that’s what we went with.
We cooked BBQ chicken and beef kebabs ( complete with capsicum and fresh pineapple etc) we made coleslaw, beetroot ( from scratch—but tasted like tinned—actually better!) We put potatoes in foil and put them in the coals of the BBQ and had fresh bread rolls and salad.
It was as close as we could get to an Australian BBQ - it was actually really hard to pull off and worked out pretty expensive ( since a lot of the ingredients aren’t used commonly so you have to pay a lot more for it ) but it was well worth it—they all really enjoyed the food, saying they felt like they'd now been to Australia - for many the food was very different from anything they'd had before.
I wanted to make a trifle or pavlova but unfortunately this time I couldn’t find the ingredients—sometimes things are available - sometimes not.
But it was all fine in the end—we ate fresh fruit and cake. Two actually—because we surprised one of our workers who is currently pregnant, with a surprise baby shower cake and a baby bath full of gifts from us all. Something she’d never had done before (this is her 4th baby) and she was very overwhelmed and couldn’t stop saying thank you! It was beautiful to be able to bless her in that way.
One of the highlights was the secret gift giving. I put forward the idea earlier in the year about doing a secret santa ( not that they do santa here but secret gift giving anyways) they loved the idea and enjoyed randomly picking their name out of a hat. For months people were talking about it and working out their gift etc.
It was so great!
It was lots of fun watching everyone get their gifts, and the excitement from some of them was priceless!
We had a great time together—for me the highlight was at the end Rob and I shared our deepest thanks to them and shared how faithful God had been to us all at Mbuyu throughout the year, always providing for their wages, or the needs of their programs, sometimes on the day they were due to be paid etc.
They all shared their testimonies and highlights from throughout the year.
many of us haven’t even been working together a year We have such wonderful unity as a team—we really are a family—which I am so thankful for and surprises me as, yet!
2018 was a great year for the MBUYU team and ministries—but 2019—well you just watch what we will do!