Wednesday, November 18, 2020

November 2020 Prayer Letter

 Thank you for your prayers for us. See the prayer letter here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Going Deeper: The Bible and Theology Hour

By Anthony:

Our radio program is called Going Deeper: The Bible and Theology Hour. It is going really well. It is one of the most fulfilling parts of my ministry right now. I work with a great team of people who love the Lord, are great at what they do, and are passionate evangelists. We all go to the same local church here in Soroti. I trained Simon over the past few months on how to create a website and edit audio files. Through his hard work, we now have our radio program website up! You can download previous radio show recordings there. Check it out - Going Deeper. We are working on raising up other teachers as well. We might also translate the recordings into other languages to be downloaded.

In this post, I'd like to share some more testimonies from this year. The first section is written by Moses Adoput, one of our translators on the program. I changed the names in the testimonies he shared.

"Praise be to God the Almighty for the gift of his Son Jesus Christ and all that He has done especially for the Going Deeper programme. Through it many souls have been reached and changed especially during the time of the covid-19 lockdown when most people had no access to public worship places. From the time the programme began, I have interacted with a lot of listeners who could not hide their joy because of the powerful and inspirational messages taught in it. Here are a few encounters:

In the month of August, after the programme on one Saturday evening, a young lady, Margaret, beeped my phone [number] which we had given to the listeners on the radio. I called back and she was deeply sorrowful about how her family (mother and father) were leading their lives. She was from Katakwi - east of Soroti District. Her father was a drunkard and her mother was just religious who did not know or mind about salvation. Even Margaret herself was just religious and did not know what salvation was. I asked her if she could receive Jesus as her personal savior. She accepted and so I led her to Christ. I further talked to her mother who also accepted Jesus and they asked for the Ateso Bible. I got for them a new Bible and the whole family was joyous for all that had happened. They thanked Rev. Anthony too for his endeavors in teaching the Word of God.

Later in that very month of August, a certain soldier from Soroti town called just after the radio program. He was burdened with problems of persecution, feeling like he had bad luck, and he asked for spiritual help. That month Rev. Anthony was handling a series of teachings on prayer. The soldier requested to be prayed for but he had not received Jesus yet. I led him to salvation and kept on encouraging him to strive more and more in his prayer life. He appreciated God for the good work through Rev. Anthony and the team.

In the month of September, an elderly woman called from Bukedia district. She had listened to the series on prayer. She wanted us to pray for her son Alex who had challenges in his family. Alex was always tormented by evil spirits. So the mother asked that I call him and gave me his number. I later called him and led him to Christ and I was overwhelmed by how God had connected us to him. Alex promised to come and meet the team personally when he gets some time off of his work as he is a policeman in Karamoja region.

There are more great testimonies I always receive from listeners in various places and they always thank the Lord for the powerful and inspirational topics that Rev. Anthony and the team handle on the Radio. Thanks to God for the Going Deeper Radio Program."

Here are some other miscellaneous testimonies. For confidentiality, I've removed the names.

One listener talked to Simon on our radio team over the phone after my teaching. He was from the cult called Isa Masiya, (‘Isa the Messiah’). This is a common cult in Uganda. They believe that salvation is found in Isa, and not in the name of Jesus. Isa is the Arabic translation of Jesus but these people are not Muslims. Simon talked through what we had been teaching on the radio and then answered this man’s questions related to the cult’s beliefs versus what the Bible teaches. In the end, the man was convinced that what the Bible says about Jesus is true, and he prayed over the phone with Simon to believe in Jesus as his savior.

From a pastor I taught at Pentecostal Theological College in 2009 – “Hi Rev. Praise be to God. Thank you for your program at Etop radio. Your teaching has helped me and some Christians that listen. One day you preached about suffering and one of my church members, a teacher who lost his job in this period of covid-19, he told me that he was about to backslide (backsliding means falling away from Christ and leaving the Church) because of the storms (suffering in his life), but when you explained the causes of suffering and that sometimes God allows suffering in our lives, from that day he keeps time for your messages. Please keep it up and we build God’s kingdom. May God bless you 1cor.15:58.”

From a pastor – 
The teaching on God’s providence has encouraged me to have hope of life during this pandemic. Since God knew about it and is in control over it. The teaching on prayer, I learnt to have my secret times of prayer as Christ our Lord did. It was his lifestyle.”

From a woman - 
Praise God Rev. May God bless you. Your teachings have uplifted me a lot. I can’t wait for the next series on “Prayer.” Today’s summary teaching (on God’s providence) was wonderful. I know what it means to wait for the morning wishing I could rush the time for it to come.”

From a young man - 
He said he has learned so much about suffering in the Christian life and about prayer. He learned from our teachings about what lament prayers are, and he has started to also pray that way. It has really helped him. This also gave him the motivation to make an action plan of reading through the whole book of Psalms which he has now done.

From a pastor - 
Hello Rev! I praise God so much for you. I love your teachings because its scripture based, of meat and bones that have marrow.” 

From a Christian –
Thank you so much dear pastors. May God bless you all. The word has really inspired my life. We give him all the glory for what happens. Continue to build us spiritually.”

A retired bishop –
He called and said he really appreciated learning about God’s providence. It was the first time he heard good teaching about it and he plans to go out and preach about it to others in his churches.

From a woman –
She called and said our program has changed her family already. Her husband was an alcoholic, and now he has stopped drinking. He continues to listen to our program and she is waiting for him to get saved.

Exotic Foods and Animals

By Anthony:

Okay, this first video is not of an exotic food. But it is hilarious, so I wanted to begin with it. Sara is demonstrating how a dead rooster can still crow!

On to the fun foods. While I was running a couple months ago, I found this huge rat, some type of bush-rat dead on the ground. I heard from friends later that it is edible, but I didn't want to eat this one in case it was poisoned.

But after I shared that picture, my Soroti friends learned that I would be willing to eat one of these. And it was only about a week later that one of my neighbors, my friend Emmanuel, found one! There were other neighbors digging the foundation of a new house and they found one in the ground, and Emmanuel talked to them so that I could purchase it from them for a couple dollars. Don't worry, these are not like sewer rats. It's closer to being like a rabbit, just eating insects and grass and whatever else.

Some of our other missionary friends from Argentina, Federico and Belen, also had been wanting to try eating one of these, so they cooked it up for all of us to eat! They did well. It was tasty.

Traditionally in Teso, it is referred to as ebebele. Most of my Iteso friends just laughed really hard that I had eaten it! Some of the Ugandans we invited to eat with us happily enjoyed it, and others abstained. The ones who abstained said, "we ate that as children back in the old days! But we don't eat that anymore!" As time goes by, culture changes, and people's food preferences change much more rapidly than we might think. 

The meat was very good. It was a dark meat, more gamey than say chicken. But it was very nice. It didn't seem like I was eating a rat. The only hard thing was some really thin bones that I had to pick out.

Don't worry, this little guy might be similar, but we didn't eat him. They get in under our kitchen door once every few months. 

We had a termite colony underground in our yard. Finally we decided to deal with it since they kept causing problems. So Paul dug it up for us and found the queen so that they wouldn't keep coming back. Here is a video showing inside the termite colony.

Here is the termite queen, as long as one of our fingers almost.

Here is a video of the queen.

I decided to catch a bunch of the termites so we could fry them up to eat them. We've eaten them often, but I've only cooked them myself one other time. Although the queen is very edible, I could not handle eating that one! So the chickens got to enjoy her. The termites I got were pretty clean, but I had to clean a bit of the dirt and clay out of the container that got in there while catching them.

The final tasty result. We put cumin and salt and other spices on them. They might look odd, but in your mouth it's like eating chips or popcorn or something like that.

When I visited the home of a friend to pray with his sick mother, they served me bambara groundnuts. They're related to peanuts, but are softer and much bigger. Super good.

And the most exotic food yet, the magnificent Sneepo! Hungry? Why wait? Grab a Sneepo. If I had to describe the taste and compare it to the Snickers bar, the very best way to put it would be that it tasted like you might imagine a sneepo to taste like if sneepo was a taste rather than a sound. Haha.

Not related to our own food, but here is a video of our dogs enjoying bones. Our dogs are both having serious health issues that may not be treatable. But we are trying to at least give them some good nutrition through getting some meat bones once in a while. We just get these directly from the butcher in the market for a few dollars with the raw meat still on them.

This was 2 weeks later, after Caleb gathered up all the bones for himself.

We found this in the garden the other day, some kind of shrew.

Lizards get stuck in Sara's fences all the time. I rescued this one. I really love lizards. We have geckos inside our house too. They poop over everything but otherwise they are really fun.

We have been getting one of these frogs in our house about once a week lately, maybe because of having a lot of rain. They are tiny, like the size of your thumb-nail.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Science Garden

 By Sara:

When the lockdown started in Uganda, I began thinking of creative things I could do to learn and gain helpful skills for my work.  One activity I decided on was setting up a small experimental garden in which I could compare different methods of growing the same crops to see which one was best.

A friend who runs a business school just outside of Soroti offered to let me use some of his land for a garden, so I went and planted what I call my "science garden" there.  If I keep up the crops there, when schools open up again, I'll have opportunities to share with the business school students what is going on in my garden. 

I looked at two crops in particular: cowpeas (black-eyed peas) and millet.  For the cowpeas, I was comparing different spacing between the rows and between the plants and then seeing what effect harvesting leaves as greens would have on the yield of the cowpeas themselves.


For the millet, I had four sections, each planted using a different method.  The first was the control, the second had mulch between the rows, the third had cowpeas intercropped between the rows of millet, and the last one used a method of intensification where I planted the millet in a seed bed and then transplanted it a few weeks later at a very specific spacing between plants.  As the millet was growing, it was apparent that the plants in that fourth section looked the biggest and healthiest.  When I harvested, the yield from that very section weighed more than 3 times as much as any of the others!  In the picture below, it is the pile in the bottom right of the picture.  After the initial harvest, more grain matured later on the plants and I got similar results.


Next year, I am going to have to set up a comparison garden at home with millet, half simply planted in rows and the other half using the method of intensification.  More people stop by our house, so I would like to 1) do a second trial to see how productive the intensification method is and 2) have it be nearby and easy to show people who visit.

The cowpeas did not give quite as obvious results since it seemed like there were differences in parts of the garden in terms of soil quality and water holding capacity.  When I calculated the average yield per plant, though, the section with more space between rows and from which I weekly harvested leaves from every row for two months, produced by far the most grain and greens.  But I will have to try that one again to be more sure.