Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The Prosperity Gospel and Homosexuality

By Anthony:

Synod is approaching in the Christian Reformed Church in the month of June. This is a unique Synod in that the delegates have three years of material to work through due to the pandemic cancellations. They are also addressing the Human Sexuality Report which tackles difficult issues such as homosexuality and transgenderism. Many CRC leaders have been writing articles to think through these topics together, and I have written one as well. In my article I review a documentary on Netflix, but in the process look in detail at some different views about homosexuality and their connections with the prosperity gospel. I would love for you to read it, and also I request that you pray for wisdom and guidance for the delegates at Synod.

Reflections on Netflix's Pray Away

Resonate Team Retreat

 By Sara:

Thank you all for praying for us and supporting our East and Southern Africa team this March as we were able to go on our first team retreat in three years!  We all went to South Africa, near the border of Lesotho.  It was a great time of fellowship, getting to know each other in person, and resting and having fun together.  The Uganda team got to experience Uganda airlines to get to and from South Africa:

We were all overwhelmed by how good the roads we traveled on in South Africa were:

The retreat was in a beautiful place and we enjoyed good weather for the whole time we were there, which was great since we got to spend lots of time outside:

 Many of us went on hikes, including one to see cave paintings which are 200-300 years old!

There were lots of fearless bushbuck around the grounds of the hotel:

We discovered that Stephen is an excellent volleyball player.  In fact, he's pretty scary when he runs up to the net to spike the ball! 😀

We didn't spend all out time outside; there was an art activity, which was actually a really good way to get to know each other better and hear stories about our backgrounds and relationships we value.

Here is our whole team, plus some family members.  Not everyone was able to come with their spouse, but it was wonderful to have the spouses who were available to join us.  We have team members from Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa:

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Hiking on Mount Elgon

 By Sara:

On Saturday before our church visit in Kapchorwa, Anthony and I took a hike in Mount Elgon National Park, which is nearby.  We did that once before, in 2010, when we lived in Mbale, so it was fun to do so again.  It is a beautiful place:

People who live near the national park are allowed to come in once a week to collect dry wood off the forest floor for firewood.  Saturdays are the day, so we saw lots of people cutting up branches and carrying it out.

This is a feather from a Great Blue Turaco - pretty cool!

For comparison, here we are in the same national park 12 years ago, when we were brand new to Uganda:

Kapchorwa Visit

 By Sara:

After an extended time of planning and delaying because of lockdowns and previous engagements, we managed to visit a church in Kapchorwa with the PAG bishop from the area who had invited us all those months ago.  Kapchorwa is beautiful and quite a bit cooler than Soroti because it is at a higher elevation, on the slopes of Mount Elgon.  Most of the Ugandan star runners come from that area, or at the very least train there. We drove by the homes of some Olympians.

Here is the church we visited:

The church wanted to learn about the fireless cooker, so I explained how it works and we started the process of boiling the beans for 10 minutes before the church service:

The training was originally going to just be a certain group of people who were supposed to come early, but they didn't, so we ended up including most people in the church as they were arriving for the service:

The beans stay in the fireless cooker for 4 hours.  Conveniently(?) the church service was really long, so the beans were ready right at the end of church!  There were lots of choirs singing special music:

Another guest preacher gave a short message and then Anthony preached.  The bishop also talked to the church about the denomination's vision and mission.

And then, before everyone went home, we opened up the basket of beans.  It is always fun to see peoples' surprised and amazed reactions: