Thursday, October 14, 2021

Meet an African Pastor Podcast

By Anthony:

I started a new podcast called Meet an African Pastor Podcast. I started it just for fun since I really enjoy talking to African pastors. It's very informal and low tech. I'm doing this on my free-time so I won't be posting new interviews on a regular schedule. Here is the full description of the podcast:

This informal podcast is designed to help Christians around the world learn about the experiences of pastors and Christians in Africa. A different African pastor is interviewed on each podcast. The questions and topics vary but one of the main goals is to help Christians, especially from North America, listen well to their brothers and sisters in Africa and learn from them. Therefore, in most interviews there are discussions about the strengths of African churches and how God is working in Africa.

The interviewer is Rev. Anthony Sytsma, an American missionary serving with Resonate Global Mission in Uganda. Feel free to contact Anthony to recommend a pastor to be interviewed. (anthonysytsma@crcna.org). The podcast introductions were created by Andrew Rienstra.


Radio Ministry Article and Video Testimony

By Anthony:

Our radio program, Going Deeper: The Bible and Theology Hour, continues to go well. Thank you for your prayers and support! People especially appreciated the program over the lockdown when they were not able to go to church. But we have many listeners from all over our region who tune in faithfully, even after churches have been opened again. On our website, we had some issues with our file storage of recordings, so many of the older recordings are not working right now, but we'll hopefully have that fixed soon.

Stephen Omoko, my Resonate colleague, has been teaching a series on marriage and family, and it is extremely popular. Many people call him each week for counseling. Please read his excellent article about his counseling through this radio ministry:

Ministry in Uganda: Teletherapy is the New Normal

Some of us from our radio team also were able to visit Aremo Rachel, one of our most faithful listeners. She has been struggling during the lockdowns because she is a teacher and schools have been closed. She is blind and teaches blind students. She was greatly encouraged by our radio teachings and calls me often. She most of all appreciated understanding theologically why God allows suffering in our lives, and how he can use it for good. When we visited, we were able to provide some financial help and also connected her with a friend who was able to give her a Proclaimer (an audio Bible device). She now listens to the Bible every day and is continuing to listen to our radio program every week. Here is Moses with Rachel. Moses is a good friend and one of the translators on the program.

It is better to listen to Rachel's own words instead of just listening to me. Here is Rachel's video testimony:


Thursday, September 30, 2021

Grill and Garden

 By Sara:

Some time ago, I had this oven/grill made out of a metal barrel by a metalworking friend.  I first tested out the oven for bread.

More recently, we tested the top part for grilling.



 
 
When we lived in Mbale in 2009-2010, Anthony and I visited a lot of Bible college students at their homes on weekends.  We would usually get back to Mbale late on Sunday evening and would buy roasted maize and an avocado on the street for our dinner.  It's exciting to be able to roast our own maize (which I grew) on this grill.  Unfortunately, I waited too long before trying to roast maize and by then, most of it in the garden was already too dry.  The few which were still a bit green were not bad, but would have been better if they were roasted at least a week earlier.



Still food, but somewhat unrelated, here's a lovely roasted duck.

And on to the garden.  Here is some of the millet I grew this year:

I put these garden supplies outside and in the time it took to go back inside for something, Beorn made himself comfortable. 

Then, there are the peanuts I grew successfully this year.  The last time I tried growing peanuts was in 2010, when a squirrel ate almost every single one of them before I harvested.  I've been afraid to grow peanuts ever since because this is what I got that time (it was very disheartening):
 
 
Soroti is a better place to grow peanuts, though.  So I overcame my fear and ended up with plenty of peanuts.
 
 
This is how they look when you pull them out of the ground:

 Beorn thought they made a nice pillow.
 

This picture is during the process of harvesting - there are much more than that:

Paul is the expert peanut grower and taught me what to do:

I was pleased to get a sack of peanuts from my small garden:

I also have a couple new additions to my garden.  First, a small pineapple patch!  It will take a while to get fruit, but I'm willing to wait:

And then a strawberry sack garden.  I was inspired to give strawberries another try by a new Resonate colleague, Barbara.  She has an amazing strawberry garden and generously gave me these seedlings!

My five little sacks have nothing on Barbara's garden!

Cover Crops in Pallisa

 By Sara:

Early this year, I was invited to meet with a group of farmers near Pallisa to teach about caring for soil and cover crops.  They were very excited to learn new ways to improve their soil, since they've been struggling in recent years with worn out soils.  I brought some seeds for mucuna and jackbean and the group chose 5 farmers to grow and multiply the seeds.  In August, I went back to visit those farmers at their homes to see how things are going.

When I arrived at the church, I parked my car and had tea with the people there.  Then, Okello, who organized the training, and I headed out to see the farmers.  When we got to the car, however, I had a very flat tire.  Being hospitable, these guys didn't want me to have to get down on the ground and change a tire.  However, I was the only one there who knew how to change a tire... So I ended up explaining and describing to them what to do and they changed the tire for me.  After they were done, they were super excited about their new skill of being able to change a tire!

After that, all went well.  From just a handful of seeds, all the farmers have already managed to get much more.  Jane Rose only planted a tiny section with the cover crops and goats ate some of her mucuna, yet she has so far harvested all these seeds:

Whenever we got to someone's house, everyone nearby came over to see what was going on.  Leo (below) told us his neighbors are always admiring his mucuna (he's pictured standing in the garden) and are ready to get seeds from him as soon as he has them.  He also said he has stopped burning grass around his land and is putting it on his garden for organic matter, to improve the soil.

Robert had the biggest garden of mucuna, but he planted it next to a tree.  As you can see, some of the plants have already grown all the way to the top!  Next time, he plans to put it farther away from all his trees and bushes.  From this observation, he said he can see why it isn't good to plant mucuna and maize together at the same time!

David was the first of the 5 farmers to plant and carefully organized his cover crops in even sections.  He's standing in the mucuna, which is drying up since it was the end of the dry season, then the jackbean is on the left side of the picture.  He really liked the mucuna because he could visibly see all the organic matter it is adding to the soil through dropped leaves.

He is really happy about all the seeds he's gotten already and had a bunch of them packed up for Okello to take back to his office and store for distributing to other farmers later.


I always enjoy visiting farmers at their homes and seeing what they are doing.  These farmers are very serious about their work and improving their land.  They have had a rough first rainy season because it didn't rain much and the little rain was very sporadic, so it was encouraging to see how the mucuna and jackbean still did well.  We are praying for this second season to be better so everyone can harvest enough food for the long dry season.